Sunday, January 25, 2009

Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics

Normally I find books that discuss mediums quite boring, however Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics was not only interesting but enjoyable. The genius of the book is that he is showing and telling the reader his ideas at the same time, which in fact he says is one of the most amazing things about comics. Because I had the text and the visual it was almost like having a class lecture on comics right in my apartment. I liked how he not only talked about the history of comics but also tackled big universal questions like are comics art. His side notes were also helped to convey his idea and were always a good laugh. On the whole I find the book is very effective in its message.

The chapters of the book I found most interesting were Chapters 3, 5 and 6. Chapter 3 was probably the most interesting chapter to me though because I had never really thought about the spaces between panels that much. In fact, it's key in telling a story. The way McCloud categorized the different transitions between frames and also the six steps involved in creating comics made broad, intimidating ideas easier to handle. I liked Chapter 5 because as an artist I do agree that all lines convey some sort of emotion or message and using lines as a story telling tool is essential in comics. The brief history lesson of comics in Chapter six and through out the book was also very interesting to me.

This book is not only useful as a reader but as someone who does want to create her own comics I felt that this book was very helpful.