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Showing 1-10 of 321 reviews(5 star). See all 393 reviews
on November 13, 2015
For a novice to the world of comics (other than having read a few obvious series such as Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, The Walking Dead and a few manga) this serves as an amazing introduction into the deeper philosophy and craft of the art, as well as a fantastic way of getting up to speed with all the devices and tropes used to navigate and make sense of the medium.

On a meta-level, the book is also a stunning work of art in its own right and an amazing essay on determination, hard work, craftsmanship and creativity. The chapter on the subject of 'what is art' may well be the best description of the artistic process - be it related to writing, music, programming, whatever you like - that I have ever seen.

In a word, stunning.
6 people found this helpful
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on August 14, 2017
This books sort of blew my mind. It was recommended to me by an artist friend, and in a book about making web comics. I will read it again and again and keep it around as my comic bible. I read it all very quickly and it was easy to read. McCloud has amazing insight into art and how to create interesting stories as well as communicate through drawing. Before I read this book, I had never really been exposed to anything like it before. I hope to see him speak some day. He really knows how to explain complex concepts, and inspire others to create!
3 people found this helpful
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on April 20, 2018
I adore this book. It was a required text for a digital imaging class at my university. It's written in the style of a comic strip or graphic novel. There is so much information packed in here and I don't think would come across in any other format than this. It is not only about comics but addresses layout and type and point of view and so much more then you would even imagine which would carry over into any other art medium. It's just brilliant and a joy to read. This all coming from someone who does not usually read graphic novels or comic books. I'm really happy with being assigned this book. It's one that I'm not likely to ever resell because it's just fun to have around and to reference when needed. Definitely a great purchase.
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on July 2, 2016
I had to purchase this for my art class, and I was skeptical because I rarely find our required texts to be helpful in any way. But this book reakly impressed me! The format is just like a comic book, so it makes it more fun to read, and he explains things is a SUPER easy way to understand. I definitely learned a lot about comic history, comic anatomy, and how different styles affect the way the reader interprets what is going on.
3 people found this helpful
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on November 11, 2017
I've wanted to read this book for a long time.
As an aspiring graphic novelist, I've had my eye on it for as long as I can remember, and I decided to spring for this and finally get my hands on it. The book arrived on time and in brand new condition. The front cover of the book I received doesn't match the one advertised, but that's neither here nor there. I'm sure I just received a newer reprint of the book.
I'm on chapter four right now, and I must say, I've enjoyed this book immensely so far. McCloud's explanations and philosophies have me looking at my own work and comics in general, an entirely different light.
I would recommend this book to any artist/writer out there, or even just the average comic lover wanting to understand this artistic medium a little bit more.
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on July 12, 2015
I have to agree with Frank Miller, who is quoted as saying "Scott McCloud is the smartest guy working in comics," or, something like that. I have been a comic fan since the days when Gwen Stacey took a dive off the Brooklyn Bridge. As an artist, I cut my teeth on the works of Neal Adams, Jim Starlin, Mike Grell, and John Buscema -not to mention the greats, Jack Kirby and Will Eisner. But what this guy knows about comics, what they are, what they have been and what they could be, is astounding! This book will make you rethink everything you ever thought you knew about the genre. Great stuff.
One person found this helpful
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on February 11, 2014
For any illustrators, designers, comic book artists, enthusiasts, writers, etc. It is THE best and most comprehensive breakdown of all different forms of art that can relate to the comic medium but also be brought into other fields. I work in the gaming industry and at least three cubicles in my current view have some portion of this book photocopied and hanging in their cubicle.

Get it, absorb it, and then keep it forever as reference. If you take these lessons to heart, you WILL be a better artist.
4 people found this helpful
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on April 17, 2016
For people like me, that is to say, for people who did not grow up reading comics and possibly saw them as "kids' books", this is an imperative book to read. Not only does it explain (for me, expose) comics, it is a wonderful introduction into understanding so many genres of art and storytelling as well. His recursive method of explaining comics with a comic is pure genius. McCloud is to comics what Edward Tufte is to information dissemination.
One person found this helpful
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on June 7, 2017
Recommended during a lecture by legendary Apple Computer designer Susan Kare, this book is really phenomenal. Useful and eye-opening. Great for anyone interested in visual story telling. I think it'd make a fantastic teaching / learning tool for teens, but it's just as fantastic for seasoned design professionals!
2 people found this helpful
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on August 29, 2013
I didn't really start getting serious with comics until I was in college, oddly enough. This work would be my first foray into the comic art, and it was a great one at that. McCloud's Understanding Comics offers something for both the novice and veteran of comics, giving the layout, history, and nuances of it to the former and revealing new insights to the latter.

The thing that really strikes me about this work is that it is clearly a product of McCloud's experience with comics. He offers some really good points about why comics work, why they are popular, and what they say about us humans. With the writing style Scott employs, there is a healthy dose of comedy and knowledge, and he easily strings along the reader throughout the comic. We become familiar with some of the deepest mechanics at play in comics and the different regional variations. In truth, the fact that the book itself is written in comic form is partly why it is so effective. The reader learns about the medium while getting used to reading it in its natural format.

The insight McCloud gives about art in particular is something that really stuck with me. His interpretation was something new for me, and, upon further reflection, highlights why this comic is so enjoyable. It is polished, well-founded, fun, and a true learning experience that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. A must have for any person who enjoys comics, graphic novels, etc.
One person found this helpful
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