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Comics And Sequential Art [Paperback]

Will Eisner
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 29 2008 Will Eisner Instructional Books
Two classic drawing textbooks from an American comics pioneer, revised and enhanced for a new generation.

Based on Will Eisner's legendary course at New York's School of Visual Arts, these guides have inspired generations of artists, students, teachers, and fans. In Comics and Sequential Art, Eisner reveals the basic building blocks and principles of comics, including imagery, the frame, and the application of time, space, and visual forms. Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative teaches how to control a story effectively using a broad array of techniques. With examples from Eisner's own catalog and such masters as H. Foster, R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Milton Caniff, Al Capp, and George Herriman, these books distill the art of graphic storytelling into principles that every comic artist, writer, and filmmaker should know.

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Comics And Sequential Art + Graphic Storytelling And Visual Narrative + Expressive Anatomy For Comics And Narrative
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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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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"

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In modern times the daily newspaper strip, and more recently the comic book, provide the major outlet for sequential art. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
"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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comics Pro Gives It A Thumbs UP! Jan. 28 2003
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of useful tips, techniques and insight Feb. 12 2009
Length: 0:13 Mins
The book focuses on the creation of comics and the various techniques one can use. Specifically, it talks about the why the techniques work and the concepts behind. The various lessons touch on timing, framing, composition, expressive anatomy, writing for comics and other application of comics.

Every page of comics included that serve as examples come with captions. They explain the effect to achieve on readers. One example would be to tilt a composition of a moving train to simulate the rocking on the tracks.

How Will Eisner uses his panels and framing is amazing. He can use doorways or windows on a plane as frames, and he can so easily blend his panels together using the environment. Paneling and pacing when done right really just enhances the story. You'll see and understand why it works. It's all explained.

This book will serve as a very good introduction to comic artists. Professionals might learn some new ways of doing things too.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty good for beginners... June 30 2002
By A Customer
I rank this book at the same level as Understanding Comics. Both are good texts for the novice or someone with little knowledge of how panels, pacing, etc. function. However, for someone really serious about getting into comics I would suggest books such as The Five C's of Cinematography (as well as books dealing with the understanding of basic storytelling from scriptwriting to crafting short stories) and any of the reprints of Alex Toth's various comics work. What these influences add are both a better understanding of specific types of shots and framing (both Eisner and McCloud strike me as too vague) and an understanding of how and why comicbooks adhere to certain principles of filmaking (both in terms of layout and storytelling) and still must adhere to the limitations and advantages of the printed page, which Toth handles masterfully.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
My guess is that a hundred people have heard of this work for every one who has actually read it. At the time the book was developed, you could only find this information by taking Will Eisner's class at the New York School of Visual Art.

Unless you haven't been paying attention to comics, you will probably find that you already understand most of the key messages: words and illustrations combine to form imagery; time elapses between panels and the pacing of the time involved affects how you react to the story; the frames around the panels and pages as a mechanism for tying the story together; using anatomy and expression to extract emotion from readers; how to combine words and illustrations for best effect; the potential to use sequential art in more than comic strips and books; and new technologies for making comics and sequential art.

As for me, the only section that I found rewarding was the extensive middle section on panels. Maybe I'm obtuse (I probably am), but I've often found it difficult to follow and understand the choice of panel structure on pages in Golden age comics. Mr. Eisner thoughtfully provides extended sections from The Spirit to demonstrate why he made the choices he did and what he hoped to accomplish. It was like a Rosetta Stone for translating what some of those odd pages are supposed to do. For that section, it was worth reading the book. The other sections I could have skipped and not missed anything.

I also recommend you read Scott McCloud book's about comics and sequential art: They are more rewarding in terms of setting out the issues and opportunities.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Beginners!
I don't want to spew too much hate about Eisner because his work definitely was groundbreaking for comics/comix/graphic novels' studies. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anna Domestico
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comics Pro Gives It A Thumbs UP!
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2003 by D. Robertson
3.0 out of 5 stars More for the professional than the lay person
This is something of Will Eisner's lifework, the non-fiction complement to his wonderful work from the 1950s onward with _The Spirit_ through _A Contract with God_. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2002 by Glen Engel Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best Advice, from One of the Greatest
Will Eisner either invented or refined most of the techniques of storytelling that "modern" comics depend on. Read more
Published on March 10 2001 by Fairportfan
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... Read more
Published on Dec 23 2000 by Zorikh Lequidre
Before this book came out, most "how to draw comics" books were mostly concentrated on big, muscular heroes and action poses. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2000 by Zorikh Lequidre
5.0 out of 5 stars "Comics and Sequential Art" is a fantastic book.
Eisner is an acknowledged genius in the field of Sequential Art. His graceful and knowledgeable approach to his craft make this text emminently readable, and you never forget for a... Read more
Published on March 8 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest book on storytelling for any sequential medium
Will Eisner has written the definitive book on storytelling. This book is extremely useful to the aspiring comic artist as well as an aspiring film director. Mr. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 1998 by hevets@hotmail.com
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