Understanding Comics

Sponsored Links

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott Mccloud is an insightful and unique book on the wonderful world of comics. Created like a real comic book, Mccloud is going beyond the traditional step-by-step drawing lesson by depicting the very nature of comics like how to use time, space and lines gracefully and how to use text and images together.

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

The first chapter of the book is devoted to Mccloud's own definition of comics. Although this definition might seem obvious for most of us, the author is able to create a definition that is relevant and complete.  From there, you can move on to the second chapter: The vocabulary of comics. Mccloud is giving us a very helpful insight about the iconic nature of cartoons.

The third chapter is filled with wonderful tips on how to manipulate frame sizes and quantities to deliver a stronger message. You will learn how to use space to create nice effects that only comics can achieve!

From there, you will learn in chapter four how to manipulate time, speed and motion. It could be by changing the shape of the frame or simply by using lines to create a sense of motion.

Being fully illustrated (since the book is a comic strip!), the whole process is easy to follow even for beginners!

The next chapter (the fifth one) is devoted to emotions and text bubbles. Once again, Mccloud is able to demonstrate how easy it is to create a single emotion from a couple of lines.

Your characters don't need to be complex and filled with details to be expressive!

Chapter six of Understanding Comics is a very important one. This part of the book shows the importance of keeping the right balance between images and words. A comic book is not just a text filled with images! 

Text can be powerful in some occasions while images might be more appropriate for other purposes. 

The next chapter is my favorite one. Chapter seven, called "The Six Steps", is devoted to the path a comic book creator might choose to move from an idea / to form / to idiom / to structure / to craft / to surface.

This one might be more complex to understand at first, but it will help you figure out exactly your position on a creative scale. Knowing where you are will help you go where you want to.

The nice part about the last chapter is the fact that it can be applied to any type of art. Whether you are a musician, a painter, a comedian or a dancer, it will help you figure out the reasons behind your passion and the steps that you need to choose to stand out from the crowd.

The last two chapters are about colors and the place of comics in our world. Colors were expensive back in 1993 when this book was first published, but now, with the popularity of web comics, this part of the book is even more relevant than ever. 

Understanding Comics is a wonderful book that every comic strip artist should own and read from time to time. Even if the book is almost 20 years old, it's still one of the best work done about cartoons and comic strips since Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art in 1985.

The fact that the entire book is done like a comic strip is also nice. Images are powerful and the illustrations and examples that Mccloud is providing are valuable and very helpful. 

This book is highly recommended!

About the book:

Author: Scott Mccloud
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Number of pages: 224 pages
Year: 1993

Go back to Comic book reviews
Go back from Understanding Comics to home page

Take a Look at My 2D Animated Movie!

Enter the world of Amelia, a cute little girl with a fertile imagination and a strong personality. In this movie. Amelia must fight an evil tooth fairy who replaced the good one in her quest to create the greatest castle of all time!

What's New?

  1. Waiter Clipart

    Apr 21, 17 11:26 AM

    We are open! Learn how to create a wonderful waiter clipart ready to serve clients and make your journey on this site a perfect one!

    Read More

  2. Viking Clipart

    Apr 19, 17 03:19 PM

    Take a trip into the past by sketching a viking clipart that is adorable and cute ... unlike the real characters!

    Read More

  3. Vampire Clipart

    Apr 18, 17 03:34 PM

    Even if we are working on a vampire clipart, this won't be a bloody drawing lesson! I promise!

    Read More

  4. Teacher Clipart

    Apr 13, 17 11:03 AM

    What better lesson than one based on a teacher clipart to learn to draw fun and amusing cartoon illustrations!

    Read More

  5. Superhero Clipart

    Apr 12, 17 02:18 PM

    Save the world by drawing a superhero clipart that will protect us from evil and keep peace on earth!

    Read More

  6. Student Clipart

    Apr 11, 17 10:43 AM

    Study this student clipart carefully before proceeding with this lesson related to school!

    Read More

  7. Soldier Clipart

    Apr 05, 17 10:46 AM

    Create a colorful soldier clipart that is adorable, good-looking and ready to execute some orders!

    Read More