Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud

Genre: Non Fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 216
Source: Library

The Short Version:
McCloud uses comics to tell the history and art of comics.

Why I Read It:
When Swapna at S. Krishna’s Books mentioned it on Twitter a whole bunch of friend chimed in to say how good it was. I stopped that night and picked it up at the library.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, this innovative comic book provides a detailed look at the history, meaning, and art of comics and cartooning.

My Thoughts:
As a relative newbie to reading comics and graphic novels in the past couple of years my initial exposure was rather hit and miss based on recommendations from a variety of friends. Since then I’ve become more confident in branching out to explore on my own and have found the world of comics and graphic novels fun and entertaining.

This book is great for stepping back and looking into the history, form and structure of comics. Although it was written twenty years ago it’s still very relevant and informative. McCloud starts out by attempting to define comics and from there goes into the history of what he calls ‘sequential art’.

Along the way he explores the various methods of conveying elements of time and space in static images. He also explores how the Japanese forms of the art developed differently than American and European comics.

It’s a bit of history, a bit of explanation of the vocabulary, a bit of fun exploration of the various styles and methods.

I learned a lot and I’m glad I read it.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5