Understanding Comics The Invisible Art

Understanding Comics The Invisible Art[PDF / Epub] ★ Understanding Comics The Invisible Art By Scott McCloud – Oaklandjobs.co.uk The bestselling international classic on storytelling and visual communicationYou must read this book — Neil GaimanPraised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman Matt The bestselling international classic on storytelling The Invisible Kindle Ð and visual communicationYou must read this book — Neil GaimanPraised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman Matt Groening and Will Eisner Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics is a seminal examination of comics art its rich history surprising technical components and major cultural significance Explore the secret world between the panels through the lines and within the hidden symbols of a powerful but misunderstood art form. I finished reading it for my comicsYA Graphic novels class this summer 61616 and now again 8817 I'll read this and use it to help people understand comics every year It's the primary source though there are many good books coming out What I have to add is that I had a fun conversation with my class about one insightful claim McCloud makes that the simpler and cartoony a comic representation is ie a smiley face the universal it will be the we will say that's me In fiction classes I was taught to be as specific and detailed as I could be about characters and places McCloud says that realistic depictions of characters such as in superhero comics are actually less relatable than simple characters such as Charlie Brown or Nancy or most manga Less is in a way That's like suggesting that minimalism something like Raymond Carver's stories or Ernest Hemingway's stories invite readers in because we as readers have space to be the characters to connect with them Maybe this is less true for non comics fiction though But McCloud is interestingReview from before I've used this book many times to teach comics basics It's the best book I've found for doing this and it's in a comics format with McCloud as the cartoony and erudite narrator While thoroughly practical it's also the most philosophical and thorough and at the same time efficient guide to the craft McCloud also wrote Making Comics for comics artists This book is one of the classics of comic history one of its great books for helping you understand and appreciate comics for their potential complexity as an hybrid art form without uestion If you want to know how comics are made in all its range of possibilities and if you want to take see why this interrelated telling of visuals and words should be taken seriously as art and literature and cultural commentary and entertainment this is the book for you Great book but I'm too annoyed to give it four stars It's amateurish but I believe if you're aware of how great a book is while you're reading it it's not working at its best You can go 'oh wow that's such a clever way to illustrate this idea and the text is so effective' but it's a bit like reading an instruction manual and nothing personal or particularly poignant I guess the idea is to understand the basic structure and potential of comic art but must it be so academic and dry? The book doesn't limit itself to the conventional art theory but rather ventures into fundamental epistemological and phenomenological debates It's informative and eye opening but not particularly relevant like every single other art theory textbook Except this one has pictures or should I say integrated with pictures? Understanding Comics is a misleading title perhaps How to and why you should appreciate comics would suit the purpose of the book better Majority of people in terms of an audience that is likely to pick up a comic related theory book has little trouble understanding the intention of the drawing and writing we can feel the atmosphere be moved by the characters and thrilled by the action Appreciating the history concept and techniues that help build it up are however often overlooked Much like film and literature comics reuire a lot of conceptual and aesthetic decision to make it effective and communicative and McCloud tries hard to evaluate the general methods that are used to convey these expressions It would work better if he utilise specific works rather than general 'rules' and most of them only applicable to mainstream comics The last chapter goes on about the importance of 'understanding' and how comics can serve as a great tool of communication Frankly it is a bit arrogant to me No matter what your medium ink and paper music written words motion picture performance construction we as the audience give ourselves far less credit when apprehending these art forms We are subjected to arbitrary education test and criticism that are meant to 'guide' our 'understanding' of the creator's concept and execution how to read them how to properly experience them how to get the most of it like the artist 'wants' us to I feel as though McCloud is saying 'I'm the creator and you are the reader Through these lines and colour I'm telling you what is being expressed Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT?' Fuck this I don't have understand everything in order to appreciate it have you never read Pynchon or seen anything David Lynch?Comic art is merely another form of story telling it is eually capable of being as representational or avant garde as any other art form 'Understanding comics is serious business' why is it serious? why not just go out and say 'respecting comics is serious business' McCloud also comments on how the merit of comics lies in its ability to convey 'individual voices' through mass production really now? If you want personal expression why not read a few blogs talk to strangers in the park speaker's corner open mic go to a concert underground gig restaurant flickr public toilet open market join whatever radical societies there are out there? It is almost ridiculous to have to remind people that comics are capable of being expressionistic and please don't try to say your choice of material expresses something profound original than the others or with efficiency Why the fuck should it be efficient? Aren't you arguing that comics can be art too? Then why should it be readable straightforward and commercial like everything else? GAH I'm angryWhat McCloud is saying is that as an artist you have control over the output But at least for me I don't care if you came up with the entire concept or worked in a team as long as the outcome is insightful and fun And then he started talking about the human condition and how we can fix the world with reading comics YEAH And then there are angels reading comics statues of bullied comic readers massive yin yang symbol montage of great art works The world map Epic lightening 'THE TRUTH WILL SHINE THROUGH' real uote That goes on for about 20 pages Dear comic art Don't overestimate yourself not because you're insignificant Yes you have a long history indeed and we 'understand' you're not just some flat tone sexist superhero adventure and that you can be as postmodern as any other art school asshole graduate Message received Picture above single panel from Moebius' 40 Days in the Desert I don't get it but it's awesome Understanding Comics is a comic about comics by Scott McCloudI remember when this book came out in 1993 My fifteen year old self scoffed I've been reading comics for years What can this book teach me? Twenty five years later and a thousand comics later on the heels of rereading Zot I decided to finally give it a shot I was apprehensive at first since you really have to scrape to find a negative review of Understanding Comics Did so many people like it or were they afraid to admit they didn't?Understanding Comics traces the origin of comics back to the ancient Egyptians and other pre Columbian people This might be a bit of a stretch but McCloud explains himself fairly well More interesting to me was the explanation of the mechanism of comics and how they work on the human brain like the gutter in between panels and the visual language of comicsWhile I found a lot of the book interesting I think your enjoyment level of Understanding Comics will depend on why you read comics If you read them because they fascinate you and you see them as an art form this is your book If you read them for escapism and entertainment parts of Understanding Comics will feel like someone reading you the nutritional information of your food while you're eating itRemember the part in the beginning of Dead Poet Society when Professor Keating has them tear a section out of their textbook? Some of the analytical parts of the book feel like the good Professor would have turned them into confetti like the three axes of The Picture Plane Reality and Meaning or graphing scene transitions into Moment to Moment Action to Action Subject to Subject Scene to Scene Aspect to Aspect and Non SeuiturAll that being said knowing why things are the way they are and why they work was than worth my time Not only that it shows Scott McCloud's skill as a writer and artist that he took a subject that could have been drier than a desert and made it fun and interesting I expect I'll be dipping back into it from time to time along with How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way Four out of five stars This is a book on art and philosophy disguised as a book on comics disguised as a comic bookA brilliant must read for any fan of comics art philosophy and beautyAhmad EddeebMay 2016 Holy shit I'm starting a graphic novel book club This is our inaugural book and I'm so excitedWe had our first meeting today and in addition to saying terribly intelligent things about comics and eating mini cupcakes and laughing at my dogs we also picked a name for our accidentally all female group Jugs Capes I know you're very jealousAnyway I was extremely impressed by this book I can tell that Scott McCloud thinks that he is terrifically important and probably a genius but as often happens to me I was willing to believe that at least he was smart enough to have earned the right to talk about all of this So while there were a few points when I found him a bit condescending a bit cloyingly didactic on the whole I learned a lot about comics and how to think about them and that was great I though I was going to write about some of the things I learned but it's late and I'm tired and honestly one of the things he does best is really use the illustrations and the text in the best symbiotic way enhancing and augmenting one another throughout and so it seems like it would be reductive and dismissive for me to try to summarize his points with words alone So read the book And then you'll get it for yourselfOh but except for one thing which is so cool I just have to share it He talks a lot about how the reader is complicit in the telling of a comic story because so much happens between the panels in the gutter where the reader has to invent what is going on to connect one image to another He uses as an example a panel with an axe wielding man chasing another guy and shouting Now you're going to die Then the next panel is the outside of a building with only an Aieeee screaming out Anyway see my point how much extra describing I have to do just to get to what he does with like two pictures? he then says To kill a character between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths See? Because each reader will make hisher own decision about when and how the axe falls how much blood comes out how many strikes are needed the specific choreography of the death Amazing Scott McCloud's love and understanding of comics is beautifully and simply expressed here So much so that it increased my love and understanding of comics I read in the past and definitely comics I will read in the future As I was reading other peoples reviews and discussions about this book I noticed that most people are intrigued with the idea that the simpler the character on the page is the easier it is for the reader to identify with the character This is something that I noticed myself long before I read this book so it wasn't so revolutionary to me BUT his chapter on time and expressing time in space in comics truly blew my mind when I read it It made me see and truly understand so much about pacing in comics It helped me form what I like to call my internal gear shift As a reader I didn't focus on speed of my reading and over time the only speed for reading became as fast as possible but in comics this can be a huge disadvantage especially when going through slower and solemn scenes Now when I see a comic page and take a look at the composition of the panels I know when the story demands of me to go faster or slower and I am grateful for this new found knowledge This book is an excellent start for anyone who wants to learn about comics and I certainly will continue my research on this topic I really appreciate that this book exists It's nice that something was created to help people understand the language of comics what they are what they can be what makes them special and so forthThat said there are parts which are a little convoluted Chapter 2 I'm looking at you and there are parts that are a little dated by now such as the chapter on color which I think has come a long way since the early '90s particularly due to the use of computers But there are so many parts that articulate things that we as readers may have never realized we were doing such as reading between the panels as discussed in Chapter 3I think McCloud did a great job of including all kinds of comics from Schultz to Spiegelman to LeeKirby to Otomo without placing value on one than another I also liked the parallels he drew between comics and other art forms although he emphasized visual arts far than literature which in some ways makes sense but I feel it neglects the fact that these are comic books Even in Chapter 6 which was dedicated to how language and words combine to form comics I did not notice any analysis of how comics stand up to other forms of literature However in the chapter dedicated to the artistic process I thought what McCloud had to say on the subject was so perfectly universal to all art including literatureOverall definitely an insightful read for anyone who enjoys juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate seuence it's one of the best examples i've found of someone writing so specifically about a topic that the observations and implications become absolutely universalthink about it hamlet is completely consumed in his little world and the stakes are all about what will happen to denmark and only denmark and centuries later we still perform the play and read it and think that that is us up there struggling with our problems just with a different namethis is what mccloud achieves here he is so fixated and clear in talking about comics that the scope of his thought travels to all corners of creativity art and human endeavorthis is not only a testament to the validity of comics as an artform and mccloud's mastery of it but also to the microscopic differences between the various supposedly discreet arts and vocabularies thereof when viewed from the vantage of a close and sensitive read of any one of them in particulara book that renews your faith in people's ability to communicate with and 'understand?' each other Well I also think this book was brilliant just like everybody else I was like 'how could he possible have two hundred and fourteen pages of things to say about comics?' but then I'd heard it was brilliant for so long from so many people that I gave it a shot And it is just theory It's like reading Roland Barthes or somebody but in comics which makes it easier fun which I think is in keeping with Mr McCloud's idea that comics are the best thing in the whole universe I mean some of his theories are a little wingnut he basically argues that comics are the simultaneously the culmination of human achievement and the basis of it but y'know I love me a wingnut theory So So yeah I am going to be on the lookout for the next ones AND for McCloud's non meta is there a prefix that means not meta? comics I love the idea of this conversation than I love the application at least in this book While I find the concepts themselves fascinating I found the book tedious The overall art and style employed by McCloud just wasn't compelling to me I really struggled to finish this book But as I said the conversation is a good one and the concepts explored particularly the role of the reader and the reuired brain work involved in reading comics were interesting I'm glad this book is out there I just wish I personally enjoyed it