Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels

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9781435261945: Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels

"Magnificent! The best how-to manual ever published." Kevin Kelly, Cool Tools

Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture in 1993 with Understanding Comics, a massive comic book about comics, linking the medium to such diverse fields as media theory, movie criticism, and web design. In Reinventing Comics, McCloud took this to the next level, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are generated, read, and perceived today. Now, in Making Comics, McCloud focuses his analysis on the art form itself, exploring the creation of comics, from the broadest principles to the sharpest details (like how to accentuate a character's facial muscles in order to form the emotion of disgust rather than the emotion of surprise.) And he does all of it in his inimitable voice and through his cartoon stand–in narrator, mixing dry humor and legitimate instruction. McCloud shows his reader how to master the human condition through word and image in a brilliantly minimalistic way. Both comic book devotees and the uninitiated will marvel at this journey into a once–underappreciated art form.

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Review:

Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics was published in 1993, just as "Comics Aren't Just for Kids Anymore!" articles were starting to appear and graphic novels were making their way into the mainstream, and it quickly gave the newly respectable medium the theoretical and practical manifesto it needed. With his clear-eyed and approachable analysis--done using the same comics tools he was describing--McCloud quickly gave "sequential art" a language to understand itself. McCloud made the simplest of drawing decisions seem deep with artistic potential.

Thirteen years later, following the Internet evangelizing of Reinventing Comics, McCloud has returned with Making Comics.

Designed as a craftsperson's overview of the drawing and storytelling decisions and possibilities available to comics artists, covering everything from facial expressions and page layout to the choice of tools and story construction, Making Comics, like its predecessors, is also an eye-opening trip behind the scenes of art-making, fascinating for anyone reading comics as well as those making them. Get a sense of the range of his lessons by clicking through to the opening pages of his book, including his (illustrated, of course) table of contents (warning: large file, recommended for high-bandwidth users):

From the Back Cover:

Learn How to . . .

  • Choose the right moments to clarify and strengthen your stories.
  • Frame actions and guide your readers’ eyes through each comics page.
  • Choose words and pictures that communicate together.
  • Create varied and compelling new characters.
  • Master body language and facial expressions.
  • Create rich, believable worlds for your readers to explore.
  • Pick the tools that are right for you.
  • Navigate the vast world of comics styles and genres.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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