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Understanding Comics Paperback – April 27 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 639 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Understanding Comics
  • +
  • Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
  • +
  • Reinventing Comics: The Evolution of an Art Form
Total price: CDN$73.37
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Product description

From Amazon

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

Review

“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)

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
639 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Canada on September 21, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on April 14, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on March 25, 2019
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Reviewed in Canada on April 27, 2015
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Reviewed in Canada on February 20, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on July 14, 2019
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Reviewed in Canada on February 16, 2014
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Reviewed in Canada on July 5, 2020
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Top international reviews

L. Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great read and a beautiful book. A classic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2018
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Jl Adcock
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Karol Zamojcin
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing and eye opening experience
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2017
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Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2019
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og505
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed how I see comics and art in general
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2013
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Amethyst
5.0 out of 5 stars ... this as a present for a friend but got sucked in reading half of it myself before wrapping it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 22, 2014
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Keith Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars The way that the book is written in a comic book style is a fantastic way of illustrating the ideas and concepts that the ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2014
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amadgambler
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to follow and entertaining
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2018
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I. Larman
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any level of artist
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2019
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Alex S Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally engaging and informative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 22, 2019
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Biff
5.0 out of 5 stars Best guide available.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2015
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Anthony
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but outdated.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2019
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DC Somerset
5.0 out of 5 stars Gifts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 13, 2020
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Felix
3.0 out of 5 stars More about comics philosophy, really.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2018
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James
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thought provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2018
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