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Panel Discussions: Design In Sequential Art Storytelling Paperback – August 28, 2007


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Paperback, August 28, 2007
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Panel Discussions: Design In Sequential Art Storytelling + Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist (Will Eisner Instructional Books) + Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: TwoMorrows Publishing (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893905144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893905146
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Glen Engel Cox on December 12, 2002
There's a presumption among people that if something looks easy or simple, that it must have been easy or simple to create. Most people look at a page of a comic book and think, "Anyone could do that." But until you actually try and write a comic or draw a comic page do you start to understand the painstaking craftsmanship that is the hallmark of most comics out there. This need to actually "try it out yourself," is a reason why I have my students write a comic script (and also the reason for the existence of creative writing in the high school and undergraduate education). Although we are creating stories and scenes in our heads all the time, being able to translate that to the page is the difference between consumer and producer.
With that in mind, let me suggest for everyone who ever wanted to learn about the tricks of the comic trade to look for Panel Discussions, a series of interviews conducted by Durwin S. Talon, a professor of sequential art at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. While it shares some similarities with other dissections of the comic art like Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Will Eisner's Sequential Art, Talon's book is slightly less formal in its structure, but makes up for that in the diversity of its points-of-view. The title itself is a pun, for not only are we discussing the panels of a comic, the format is similar to a panel discussion at a comic convention. Talon goes one-on-one with some fine artists like Will Eisner, David Mazzucchelli, and Mark Schultz, and has them break down the way they structure a comic page, how they get the reader's eye to move from point A to point B, and how light and dark play into the design.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By PCM2 on April 28, 2003
Lots of good comics creators are represented here, but on the whole this book suffers from poor editing and worse design. Too much space is given to talking about what attracted Artist X to comics, or how Editor Y never thought he'd be an editor when he was a kid. Who cares? I bought this book to hear professionals talk about their trade. Durwin Talon's interview style is very softball, and you don't get the impression that he's much of an artist himself. Overall, the book's text has a feel of "gee whiz, aren't these artists great?" rather than the serious discussion about craft between peers that its title and presentation would suggest.
The worst part about the book is the reproduction of the art itself, however. There are lots of pages presented here, but though there are a couple of brief color sections, the vast majorty are b&w halftone reproductions of color art -- which is to say, they've been shot from the pages as they appeared in print, rather than from the original art. Even worse, there's not a single page that was reproduced at print size, yet alone the size at which is was actually drawn. Most of the pages are reproduced at about 1.75"x2.5" -- barely large enough for the lettering to be legible. This seems a real shame for such a visual medium.
Overall, I'd say this was a good concept poorly executed. It could have benefited from the input of an experienced book designer who could have made better use of the pages available. A good, impartial editor would have been of immeasurable assistance here, too, to trim out some of the chaff in the text (and thus leave more room to display the comics themselves, which is what the book is supposed to be about anyway).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Flaws on August 21, 2005
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Very good book for the aspiring creator. I learned enough about storytelling to change the whole focus of what goes into each panel and each page. It made me realize things I might never have fiqured out on my own. I would have liked a bit more structure to the format. Like maybe asking each creator some standard, important questions and not just letting them talk about whatever they wanted. Also I wish the art was reproduced better. But over all a really usefull and important work for anyone interested in sequential art. I look forward to the next book.
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If you want to make comics professionally or just for yourself, just a webcomic, just doodling on paper, this has a lot of good information about composition, laying out panels and pages, how the eye reads from panel to panel and how to make the action coherent to a reader. No heavy jargon or confusing industry speak, just critical analysis of making comics. Lots of good examples of panels and pages.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laeck on October 5, 2004
I picked up Panel Discussions from a friend and loved it! I've always been a comic book fan, but had no inkling about how much thought and work went into how comics were made. I found it fascinating to read about the process the artists used and the ways in which they think about their work before they even start it.

It's easy to read because of the interview-like style and makes you feel like you're at a con panel. I only wish they printed all of the images bigger and in color. Guess I'll just have to go read the original comics for that...
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