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Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond [Paperback]

Jessica Abel , Matt Madden
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 39.99
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Book Description

June 10 2008

"A gold mine of essential information for every aspiring comics artist. Highly recommended." --Scott McCloud

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is a course on comic creation – for college classes or for independent study – that centers on storytelling and concludes with making a finished comic.  With chapters on lettering, story structure, and panel layout, the fifteen lessons offered – each complete with homework, extra credit activities and supplementary reading suggestions – provide a solid introduction for people interested in making their own comics.  Additional resources, lessons, and after-class help are available on the DW-WP website.


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Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond + Mastering Comics: Drawing Words & Writing Pictures Continued + Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
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Product Description

Review

Booklist

The passion for comics is surging worldwide, what with the popularity of manga and graphic novels and memoirs. Abel, whose graphic novels include La Perdida (2006) and Life Sucks (2008), and Madden, creator of the unusual 99 Ways to Tell a Story (2005), make learning the art of comics fun and exciting in this exceptionally well designed and friendly how-to. Present on the page as comic figures, Abel and Madden present expertly configured sequences of skill-building exercises and assignments, and encourage both novices whose drawing skills may be minimal but whose story ideas are compelling, and those adept at visual art but shaky on narrative. Numerous examples of comics rendered in a broad spectrum of styles and perspectives, and exploring a wide array of subjects and genres, accompany and reinforce detailed instructions. Lively, sophisticated, and comprehensive, Abel and Madden’s course in visual storytelling covers every narrative and graphic element, from drawing figures and character development to panel transitions, composition, lettering, depicting action, and penciling and inking techniques. Technically precise, zippy, and inspiring, this is an outstanding teaching book. — Donna Seaman

Review in Kirkus

Smartly designed and easy to understand, Abel and Madden’s text is an edifying course in creating comics. Comprised of 15 comprehensive lessons, readers are taught the basic elements necessary to conceptualize and produce their own comics. Assuming an audience range from individuals to a group, this pedagogical survey is written to serve a wide array of learners. The authors suggest everything from preferred brands of supplies to types of stretches to alleviate strain. Extensive backmatter, including helpful appendices on such topics as homework critiques, and a considerable bibliography round out the volume. This erudite study should leave its readers with a greater understanding and appreciation of the command one must possess to create graphic media. A valuable resource for all interested in the field and a natural companion to Scott McCloud’s quintessential texts Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics. (appendices, index, bibliography) (Nonfiction. YA & adult)

Recommended Review in BCCB

Comics are increasingly appreciated as complex, sophisticated blends of illustration and text, and this volume is a timely, in-depth examination of the format.  This exhaustively comprehensive guide to creating comics features fifteen individual lessons that take readers from concept to finished product.  A landscape-formatted paperback chock-full of diagrammatic examples, the book looks every bit the sophisticated how-to, and the tone is encouraging, highlighting comic strips that have rudimentary artwork or simple concepts and encouraging readers to explore everything from formal, paneled comics to wildly imaginative freeform interpretations.  The authors offer guidelines on how the book can be used by individuals, by groups, and by classes; regardless of whether one goes it solo or uses the volume with a course, the accessible and highly detailed lessons on everything from penciling to structuring a story to selecting a title will engage and inform readers.  The first fourteen chapters include background information, activities, sidebars with related but not directly relevant information, a homework assignment, and an extra credit activity, with the final chapter being a challenge to create a full comic in one day.  Extensive end matter presents almost as much information as the guide itself: appendices offer hints about necessary supplies, book reports that can be done on comics, and the making of minicomics, and an extensive bibliography suggests both graphic novels or comics that emphasize points in the lessons as well as drawing handbooks.  Serious readers seeking information will be drawn by the witty, informal tone and casual narrative voice as much as the impeccably designed and accessible lessons. 

Voya: 4Q 2P

Abel and Madden write a concise textbook for people wanting to learn how to create coherent and marketable comics.  Lessons focus on panel design and comic layout with detailed illustrations demonstrating each concept.  In comics, writing is as important as images and the artist needs to make sure each component is conveying the correct meaning so as not to confuse or bore the reader with irrelevant dialogue.  Comics require a storyline not unlike a novel where the protagonist keeps the action moving until a situation or conflict is resolved.  How to create that story and design it into a comic format is outlined through fifteen chapters and several appendixes, from the formation of thumbnail sketches and character development to the production of the final comic copy through photocopying or scanning in Adobe Photoshop.  For those unfamiliar with Photoshop, simple step-by-step directions are given to assist in creating the final masterpiece.

The text, designed for classroom use by teachers or as an individual tutorial, comes with further reading suggestions, homework assignments, and extra credit projects at the end of each lesson.  The assignments are well formulated to reinforce the techniques taught in each section; however, students looking for drawing instruction on creating characters and backgrounds will be sorely disappointed.  This book is not designed to teach would-be artists how to draw but how to write and give dimension to drawings through penciling strategies, lettering techniques, and inking with pens or brushes.  Students looking to create their own mini comics for publication will welcome the design pointers.  – Laura Panter

About the Author

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures was created by comics superstars Jessica Abel and Matt Madden and based on their classes at the School of Visual Arts.  Editors of the Best American Comics series and creators of a number of groundbreaking graphic novels including 99 Ways to Tell a Story (by Matt Madden) and La Perdida (by Jessica Abel), Abel and Madden are always at the forefront of the comics industry.    


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Some of you are into manga, others are into the underground comix of the 1960s, and still others are into film or video games, but you are all here to learn how to make this thing we call comics. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like attending a real life course Feb. 2 2010
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Length: 0:24 Mins
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is more of a course that a book on drawing comics. The authors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, both comic artists and teachers, have designed the book to follow a 15-week semester. It's easy to follow and each lesson builds on the previous.

The course is comprehensive and covers everything from paneling, storytelling, transitions, lettering, inking, character development, etc. Basically every form of education you need to create your own comic.

Each lesson has plenty of illustrated examples from the authors and other artists like Craig Thompson, Osamu Tezuka, Paul Pope, etc. You're exposed to many styles, genre and ways of creating comics. The instructions are so clear it's almost like hand holding, but of course you still have to do all the hard work. And the lessons end with homework so you can actually practice what was taught ' practical.

This is a really helpful guide on drawing comics. Highly recommended to aspiring comic artists. Well worth the price.

This is as close as it can get to attending a real comics drawing class.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best May 21 2009
Format:Paperback
This is the best for for anyone who wants to learn to create comic books, mangas and graphic novels. This book covers everything you need to know even if you're not good at drawing. Beginners and experts who wants to learn this art in a professional way, this is the book for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Répond parfaitement à mes besoins pour m'initier aux mangas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product!!!!! June 5 2014
By Chris
Format:Paperback
A very good product and a very good price. It arrived when it said which is a good thing for me.
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