Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

4.6 18
by Scott McCloud
     
 

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Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, this innovative comic book provides a detailed look at the history, meaning, and art of comics and cartooning.  See more details below

Overview

Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, this innovative comic book provides a detailed look at the history, meaning, and art of comics and cartooning.

Editorial Reviews

Will Eisner
A landmark dissection and intellectual consideration of comics as a valid medium.
James Gurney
McCloud is the McLuhan of comics.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a rare and exciting work that ingeniously uses comics to examine the medium itself. McCloud (who wrote a comic-book series called Zot! ) conducts a genial, well-researched and funny tour of virtually every historical and perceptual aspect of comics, which he calls ``sequential art,'' that is, art that consists of sequences of words and pictures. Beginning in the 11th century with the Bayeux tapestry, he examines pre-Columbian picture languages and the printing press, presenting a quick survey of the historical development of early sequential pictures into the specialized visual language of comics. But it's McCloud's accessible and quite amusing discussion of realism, abstraction and visual perception that forms the heart of this survey. He dissects the vocabulary of the medium, cheerfully analyzing the psychological power of comics and their central role in our ultra-visual culture. McCloud attempts to place comics within the tradition of serious western art. His black-and-white drawings are a delight, ranging from simplified cartoons to parodies of classic comics and fine art, all the while manifesting every theory and comics trend discussed. (July)
Gordon Flagg
At first thought, a volume devoted to understanding comics may seem unnecessary. After all, it's the medium's very simplicity that makes it so attractive to children--and that has prevented it from being taken seriously by adults. But McCloud reveals the form's hidden intricacies in his ground-breaking guide, and he does so entirely in comics format. His cartoon version traces the 3,000-year history (from Egyptian paintings on) of telling stories through pictures; describes the language of comics--its "grammar" and "vocabulary"; explains the use of different types of images ranging from ironic to realistic; depicts how artists convey movement and the passage of time and use various symbols as shorthand; and demonstrates the expressive emotional qualities of different drawing styles. Particularly interesting is McCloud's explanation of how the form evolved in isolation in Japan, developing its own distinct visual language. McCloud's success at conveying all of this in comics format is in itself a strong argument for the medium's effectiveness and supports his view of comics as not "a genre of writing or a style of graphic art, but something entirely distinct." His entertaining work, illuminating for fans of comics, is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to draw them.
Library Journal
★ 02/01/2016
McCloud recounts his introduction to comics in the form of a comic, tracing the history of the medium; situating it among media theory, film, and web design; and explaining how its practitioners create meaning.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780878162444
Publisher:
Kitchen Sink Press, Inc.
Publication date:
08/01/1993
Pages:
224
Age Range:
9 Years

What People are saying about this

James Gurney
"McCloud is the McLuhan of comics."
Will Eisner
"A landmark dissection and intellectual consideration of comics as a valid medium."

Meet the Author

Scott McCloud has been writing, drawing, and examining comics since 1984. Winner of the Eisner and Harvey awards, his works have been translated into more than sixteen languages. Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) called him "just about the smartest guy in comics." He lives with his family in southern California. His online comics and inventions can be found at scottmccloud.com.

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