Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Understanding Comics is a comic book about comic books. "Wait!", I hear you interrupting, "Comic books are just for kids, right? They're not *real* literature."
But seriously, if you have ever thought that, this is definitely the book for you. This is a dissertation on the art of the comic, an exploration into why and how we read them, an explanation of what separates them from other mediums.
Comic art is not a recent thing - Scott McCloud in this book takes the reader through the long history of how graphic narrative came to be how it is today - from the ancient Egyptian iconography, to the political illustrations of the 19th century, to the Mass-market super hero stories we often think of.
McCloud explains with an obvious passion for the subject - the entire book is fascinating, funny, and very thought-provoking. It's also fantastic that this book is itself a comic - it allows for examples of the terminology and visual demonstrations of the very message he is trying to get across.
If any of this sounds even somewhat interesting, I encourage you - no, I insist - that you go and give this book a read. Even if you don't think of yourself as a "comic-reader", I still would recommend it. It's truly a must read.
You can buy Understanding Comics here.