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72 Reviews
5 star:
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5.0 out of 5 stars arrived in good quality
the book arrived sooner than i expected! i'm really glad that it did because it was a gift for a friend for christmas. didn't get a chance to look at it closely.
Published 5 months ago by Zeyang Chai

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a neglected topic
McCloud sketchily reviews comics history, dissects the anatomy of comics, and meditates on human thought and visual perception. There's something here for lots of people.
His analyses of, say, the components of the creative process, might be debated -- but he invites discussion. Comics readers will learn a thing or two. Comics disparagers or ignorers would be...
Published on Aug. 9 2000 by ltp1


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5.0 out of 5 stars arrived in good quality, Feb. 16 2014
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This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
the book arrived sooner than i expected! i'm really glad that it did because it was a gift for a friend for christmas. didn't get a chance to look at it closely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good. Simple and effective, Jan. 3 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
This is a must read for everyone who has every wondered "why comics?" or even "why pictures?"
Simply and effectively drawn and read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Book on an Underappreciated Art Form, Jan. 21 2000
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
If you are interested in any aspect of comics at all, this is the first book you should have on your shelf. Scott McCloud guides you through the history and theory of comics art with wit and wisdom, all captured in an easily accessible comic. More than a simple funny book, this book will change your opinions on comics, whether you have never picked one up before, or you are a long-time comics professional. This book could be used as curriculum for a college course, despite (or maybe because of) the whimsical artwork. The art draws you in and makes the information easy to accept and understand (in fact, McCloud gives examples of why the comics artform makes it easy to read and identify with). McCloud takes this subject matter seriously, and after reading, you probably will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Look at the Psychology, Physiology, and Effectiveness of Comic Strips and Books, June 24 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
This is an important book that everyone should read. I would give it twenty stars if I could.

I've long been interested in both art and comic books (I have collected them for over 50 years). While the library shelves are full of wonderful books that explain what traditional artists are trying to do and why they succeed, I've often found the books to be pretty boring. In recent years, such books have gotten bogged down into abstruse language that is much less appealing than the art which is the subject.

But in those years, I've never seen anything that was very helpful in discussing the rules of comic art, except some books about pop art when that was popular that examined how the pop art was different from comic art. Naturally, I was blown away when I found that Understanding Comics is a far more comprehensive, thoughtful, and accessible book about interaction with art than I have ever read. Although the subject is ostensibly comic strips and comic books, it's clear to me that that Mr. McCloud has a deep and powerful understanding of all art. Some of his conceptual displays of where different forms of art fall in different dimensions of choice (degree of realism, abstraction, and message) are unbelievably powerful.

I hope that some art historian will stumble on this book and recast the history of art to explain and relate different styles to one another using this book's methods. There would be a lot more art lovers if that were the case.

Ultimately, the book's main benefit is to help the reader appreciate that comic art can be a higher and more effective form of art than either pure images or written words by requiring a mastery of more elements . . . elements that are more powerful in grabbing attention and conveying meaning.

Yet the book stays in humble form, a comic book. The powerful ideas sneak up on you as Mr. McCloud deconstructs the elements of comic art expression into chapters on defining what kind of art comics are ("sequential art" for short); explaining where various comics fall on the spectrum of reality, story, and abstraction; the way we fill in the spaces around the lines and between panels with our minds, allowing us to participate in creating the story and the experience; how time is expressed in various ways; the role of lines in creating our understanding and responses; how words and images can interact; a conceptual look at creating comic art; the effect of color; and a synthesis of the book in historical and conceptual terms.

If you want to enjoy both traditional art and comic art more, read this book. It's the Rosetta stone for non-artists in appreciating the images, stories, and messages that artists want to share with us through these media. You'll never be the same . . . and the change will be good for you!

Bravo, Mr. McCloud!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a neglected topic, Aug. 9 2000
By 
ltp1 "ltp1" (Manchester, NH USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
McCloud sketchily reviews comics history, dissects the anatomy of comics, and meditates on human thought and visual perception. There's something here for lots of people.
His analyses of, say, the components of the creative process, might be debated -- but he invites discussion. Comics readers will learn a thing or two. Comics disparagers or ignorers would be enlightened if someone kindly left this book where they'd scan it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical/artistic overview of comic books, Sept. 25 2010
By 
Richard Poulin (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
If you want to understand the comics as an art form, this is a must. It's also gets you thinking on storytelling in general, whatever the medium. And the "comic-as-textbook" format is absolutely incredible!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Comic as both Art and Science, June 28 2004
By 
Jeff "birdrcheepybooks" (midlothian, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
Disregard the Sanchez Review. If it is not fiction, Mr. Sanchez has no interest in it. This is a most interesting book that adds to the legitimacy of the comic book as literature and an art/science. A plus to collectors and readers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The best text book on comics around., April 19 2004
By 
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
This was required reading in the cartooning program at the School of Visual Arts and with good reason. Clear, informative and never dry, McCloud provides the best reference to understanding the principals of constructing comics without delving into drawing lessons, an area already sufficiently covered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening Read, Jan. 24 2004
By 
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
Even as a lifelong reader of many types of comics (superheroes, Asterix, underground, manga, etc.) this book was a revelation. McCloud has a gife for explaining the why's and how's of sequential art in a way that kept my attention through the whole book. As a professional artist and multimedia developer, the concepts McCloud puts forth regarding human perception of two-dimensional sequential art have helped bring me to a new level and I have recommended this book to others in my field who have found it equally useful and fascinating.
And if any of you comic readers know people who mercilessly rag on you for being a geek, this book just might shut them up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Comic Fans, Oct. 10 2003
By 
Joel A Shults (Springville, AL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Understanding Comics (Paperback)
Understanding Comics is about so much more than just understanding comics. It is an excellent work on Symbolism in many forms. I have been a fan of comics for years and I think this made me even more so. However, I wanted to know if a non-comic reader would get as much enjoyment out of this as I did. I got my father to read it by telling him about some of the fantastic things inside and left it lying on the table. The next day I found him reading it and he loved it too. We discussed it at great length and I think it left him with a lot more respect for Comics as Art. Everyone should read this book.
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Understanding Comics
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (Paperback - April 21 1994)
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