July 04, 2004

Understanding Comics

006097625X.01.THUMBZZZA few weeks ago my parents had some folks over for dinner and I got to meet Walter Wick, the person responsible for the I, Spy and Can You See What I See? books. One topic that night was 'What is art?' and at one point we got to talking about comics and manga. He asked me if I'd read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. I'd heard numerous people I know discuss it, but I'd never actually picked it up. So at his recommendation I picked it up a few days later.

The first surprise I got was that the whole book is written in the style of a comic. For some reason, I hadn't expected it (though it makes perfect sense). McCloud first asks "Just what is comics?" and the follows it up with a history of comics and look at just what it is that makes this art form special. The thing I really liked is that it felt like more than a book about comics. After reading this I felt like I had a deeper understanding of both art and storytelling. And I think the chapter discussing time and that space between the frames of a comic was the one that struck me the most. But the beauty of this book is how it slowly takes apart what makes a comic and then shows you how it all works together.

So even if you've never picked up a comic book in your life. Or think there isn't much too them. I recommend this book. Now I've just got to see if I can get my mom to read it. And I think I've also got to read Will Eisner's Comics & Sequential Art.

Posted by snooze at July 4, 2004 01:16 PM | TrackBack
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