Saturday, 2 July 2011

Understanding Comics

I recently got this book out of the library as it was on my reading list for uni and because I am always looking to find out more about comics as a medium to help in my own work.  Anyway I'd like to take the opportunity to encourage others to read it because it simply blew me away.  Basically it's non-fiction but uses the medium it is discussing to present the facts and theories behind the diverse and often misunderstood world of comics e.g. :
Because of the way it is written McCloud is able to explain things in an exciting visual manner whilst including examples which don't disrupt the flow of the text.  The content itself is diverse and covers a brief history of comics, techniques that authors/illustrators use (note: it doesn't favour author over illustrator or vice versa, more importantly McCloud talks about how the relationship between the two is vital to a comic's success), and the role of comics in culture and society.

Although some people may be put off if they aren't particularly interested in comics, they shouldn't be as there is something in this book for everyone (illustration students - I'm looking at you).  Many of the techniques that are discussed can be applied to other media and there are often comparisons made between film, literature and fine art with the art of comics.  On top of this, McCloud's examples are witty and the visuals are stunning, as you'd expect from an expert of the field.  I simply cannot fault this book and never have I enjoyed reading non-fiction so much - so go read it!

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