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Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art Paperback – April 27, 1994
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A comic book about comic books. McCloud, in an incredibly accessible style, explains the details of how comics work: how they're composed, read and understood. More than just a book about comics, this gets to the heart of how we deal with visual languages in general. "The potential of comics is limitless and exciting!" writes McCloud. This should be required reading for every school teacher. Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman says, "The most intelligent comics I've seen in a long time."
“If you read, write, teach or draw comics; if you want to; or if you simply want to watch a master explainer at work, you must read this book.” (Neil Gaiman)
“McCloud’s masterwork is not just an indispensable treatise on comics, it’s also the best primer around on visual literacy and the mechanics of storytelling. A must-read for anyone interested in narrative of any kind.” (Alison Bechdel)
“Cleverly disguised as an easy-to-read comic book, Scott McCloud’s simple-looking tome deconstructs the secret language of comics while casually revealing secrets of time, space, art and the cosmos! The most intelligent comics I’ve seen in a long time. Bravo.” (Art Spiegelman)
“Reading Understanding Comics blew my teenage mind, and gave me a toolbox full of ideas that I still use today.” (Raina Telgemeier)
“The best analysis of the medium that I have ever encountered.” (Alan Moore)
“BRAVO!! ... A landmark dissection and intellectual consideration of comics as a valid medium. ... Anyone interested in this literary form must read it.” (Will Eisner)
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Top customer reviews
I really wish my Art History teacher had assigned this book. Scott McCloud talks more clearly about what art is, what it's good for, and how it functions effectively than the three semesters of lecture I had about what's gone before. It seems like practitioners of Art History talk about art almost exclusively through writing, but writing is a visual, emotional medium, and you lose a lot approaching it exclusively through text. By writing comics about art, McCloud integrates show and tell in a way that seems like this is how art was always meant to be discussed.
Anyone learning about art or design should prioritize reading this book. Suddenly, art makes sense!
This is a MUST READ for any aspiring comic book artist. Not just because it informs and explores technique, but it also gives you some real firepower against those who might make the claim that comic book illustration "isn't art" or is "low art". The work McCloud does is masterful in explaining the history of the art and his personal understanding of its expression.
Now that I am a grown ass adult, I finally got my head right and picked it up. Man, was I missing out.