Thursday, August 22, 2013

Understanding Comics (Non-fiction Book)

Understanding Comic: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud is a good “think” book. Not only does it educate the reader about the world of comics, but it also expands the reader’s way of looking at media and art. I believe that a person does not necessarily need to have a strong interest in comics to benefit from this book.

Briefly, as the name implies, Understanding Comic: The Invisible Art looks at comics as art. Appropriately, the information is presented in the form of a comic, with the author speaking to us from inside comic book panels. The author begins by trying to define what a comic is and looking at them from a historical standpoint, starting with “comics” from ancient cultures. The author goes on to discuss such topics as:
  • How people and their surrounds are represented, 
  • The relationship of different panels to one another within a particular comic, 
  • How time and space are treated within a comic, 
  • How visuals are used to express an invisible world, 
  • The relationship of words to pictures in a comic, 
  • The artist’s purpose and path in creating comics. 
Understanding Comics helped me look at comics in new ways and whet my appetite for new types of comics, for example Japanese style. It also gave me cross-genre ideas. For example, I could see the effect of authors using more or less information to describe their protagonists. By not focusing on some details, I could more easily imagine myself as the character. In the world of social media, I thought about how the picture and the background or graphic work together to create a message. While this is a very easy book to read, it also has the potentail be a very inspiring one.

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