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Comics & Sequential Art: Principles & Practice of the World's Most Popular Art Form! Paperback – April, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Based on the popular course Eisner taught for several years at New York's School of Visual Arts, this lovingly written book on visual storytelling contains an accumulation of his ideas, theories and advice on the practice of graphic story-telling and the uses to which the comic book art form can be applied. Whether you're a film student, literature student, artist or simply a fan of good storytelling, you'll love this book filled with Eisner's cartoons.


Indispensable technique from the mind of the master cartoonist who developed them. --Jeff Smith, creator of Bone"

There isn't a comics artist alive who hasn't benefited from Will Eisner's masterful work and formidable vision. --Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics"

When I decided I wanted to write comics, I bought a copy of Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art and studied it. If I were starting out today, with all the books on comics and graphic novels out there, I'd still begin with this book. --Neil Gaiman, creator of Sandman" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 163 pages
  • Publisher: Poorhouse Press (April 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961472812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961472818
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Comics & Sequential Art" is based on a course Will Eisner taught at New York's School of Visual Art although originally this work was written as a series of essays that appeared randomly in "The Spirit" magazine. Eisner provides a guide book to the "principles & practice of the world's most popular art form, and while it is of interest to those of us who read comic books it is clearly intended to be of use to aspiring comic book artists (and writers, albeit to a lesser degree). One way of measuring the book's success is to note that I have the 24th printing of a work that was first published in 1985 (and expanded in 1990 to include print and computer), but then the fact that the book was written by Eisner and uses dozens of examples of his own art work to evidence his points, as well as drawings down specifically for the book, is enough to tell you this is something special.
There are eight lessons in Professor Eisner's syllabus: (1) Comics as a Form of Reading looks at the interplay of word and image in comic books that has created a cross-breeding of illustration and prose, including the idea of how text can be read as image, which shows the sense of detail Eisner brings to his subject. (2) Imagery begins with the idea of letters as images and develops a notion of how the "pictograph" functions in the modern comic strip as a calligraphic style variation. The key subject here is that of images without words. (3) "Timing" considers the phenomenon of duration and its experience as an integral dimension of sequential art, with Eisner drawing (literally) a distinction between "time" and "timing.
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Format: Paperback
As a veteran comic book illustrator (You can find my work here on Amazon.com; I am the CO-creator and artist of Transmetropolitan), I am often asked to recommend books to aspiring professionals in comic book illustration. In that case I always enthusiastically recommend any of Eisner's instructional books as essential reading for anyone serious about their craft and dreams of getting into the industry.
From the earliest work of his career, Will Eisner was an innovator in writing as well as illustration. Even in his twilight years the man is still a vigorous and creative artist producing work that pros as well as fans can't wait to get their hands on.
These books display his genius in an entertaining and easy to follow method, and if put to practice will inspire and reveal hidden keys to making your work truly professional grade. A great companion book to Eisner's "Graphic Storytelling".
- Darick Roberston
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Format: Paperback
INDISPENSIBLE HOW-TO BOOK THAT REALLY STUDIES THE MEDIUM Reviewer: Zorikh Lequidre from Brooklyn, NY Before this book came out, most "how to draw comics" books were mostly concentrated on big, muscular heroes and action poses. There was very little emphasis on comics as a storytelling medium. Will Eisner has been drawing comics since God invented dirt and has explored almost every way a story can be told. One of his biggest contributions is using every element of the medium to tell the story. This book expounds heavilly on this.
Written years before Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics," Eisner expounds upon how comics are a visual, reading experience using both words and pictures. He instructs the reader in how words and pictures can be used together to tell a story. The author must lead the reader with visual clues to each sequential immage. Mood, emotion, even time can be expressed visually in a comic. Camera angles, panel borders, typefaces, all play a part in the effectiveness of a story.
Eisner gives plenty of examples of his work to illustrate his ideas. Most significant are his "Hamlet," "Life on Another Planet," and several "Spirit" works. Looking at this really helps the reader see how creatively a story can be told.
Also included in this book are examinations of the various types of work a comic illustrator can do, including storyboards and instruction manuals.
This book, and its sequel "Graphic Storytelling," are must reading for anyone who wants to create comics, and good reading for anyone who wants to understand them better. Don't settle for mediocrity, read the best!
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Format: Paperback
Will Eisner either invented or refined most of the techniques of storytelling that "modern" comics depend on.
Before this book, one way to learn How To Write And Draw Comics was to read, if you could find it, the entire run of Eisner's incredible "Spirit", which, fifty years after it ended, is still one of the most incredible examples of sheer bravado virtuosity in the medium.
Since this book's publication, the "read the 'Spirit'" method -- while still, probably, the most pleasurable way to study -- is no longer the best. Now the best way to really *learn* how and why comics work is to get this book,and to allow one of the true masters of the craft to share with you his sixty-plus years' worth of experience and innovation.
Learn how and why comics resemble film - and why they don't. Learn pacing, narrative and page beakdowns.
It's almost like having Eisner himself standing there, pointing out what to do and what not to do.
And anyone who thinks that Eisner must be irrelevant to comics because his most famous work was so long ago need look no further than the splash page of the fourth issue of DC's "Harley Quinn" (March 2001)... nor past the ending of the same comic, which subtly pays tribute to the "Spirit" story about an ordinary man named Gerhard Schnobble -- the one that Eisner has called his own favourite of the strip's entire run.
You want to do comics and you don't have access to professional training?
Buy this book.
You want to do comics and you "do* have access to professional training?
Buy this book, anyway..
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