- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 27 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006097625X
- ISBN-13: 978-0060976255
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.5 x 26 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Understanding Comics Paperback – Apr 27 1994
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As all good card-carrying comic-book fans know, their sheer passion will never overcome narrow-minded critics and their baying cries of derision. There is far more to this perpetually underrated medium than a mix of art and prose. With this indispensable, spellbinding tome, writer/artist Scott McCloud rises to the challenge of dissecting what remains the most enigmatic of art forms. After all, says McCloud, "No other art form gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well". Over the course of 215 impeccably formed pages, McCloud joyously exposes and deconstructs a hidden world of icons in a most literate and valid manner. His charming guidance finds a place where Time and Space is effortlessly malleable and the reader is both a willing accomplice and necessary vessel for comics' singular magic. Cunningly presented in comic form, McCloud (or his comic equivalent) conducts a journey that spans thousands of years, taking in art from Prehistoric Man to the Egyptians to Van Gogh to Jack Kirby. Never has psychological and cultural analysis been so understandably clear, beautifully aided by clever visuals and his truly infectious love for the medium. By the end of this funny, charming, rare and exciting book, you'll not doubt the notion that a comic book "...is a vacuum into which our identity and awareness are pulled ... an empty shell that we inhabit which enables us to travel to another realm". A fine exchange for a little faith and a world of imagination. --Danny Graydon
“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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It makes me think, laugh, and have revelations consistently. If you teach a comics course, I could imagine no better textbook.
For instance: There is a segment which shows a handful of images of a kitchen. The author then goes on about how you heard and smelt the kitchen. ...I saw images on a page. None of my other senses were engaged.
In another segment, he just puts a bunch of random images that he has decided have set meanings...and never actually states what those are supposed to be. Out of the images he selected, I'd recognized maybe a third, if that.
A final point that might annoy some people: He insists on using "Comics" as a singular noun, so you might get pulled out of the reading by faulty grammar quite often. "Comics is" and so on.
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