Sunday, December 4, 2011

Understanding "Understanding Comics"

His Shirt is a reference to Zot!
a comic created by McCloud
that ran from  1984-1990
I recently read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics for the first time and it was quite impressive. Never before had I been exposed to such an amazing analysis of the comics medium. Originally published in 1993,  Understanding Comics dives into the deeper art and meaning behind comics all while being narrated by a cartoon version of McCloud.
  McCloud covers just about anything one would hope to see in this type of comic ranging from visual iconography and time to the invisible aspects of the art. In my favorite chapter titled "Closure", McCloud explores some of the less realized aspects of comics, including gutters and the automatic transitions that we see when we read comics. This is a phenomenal work and it made me want to go back and reread everything I had ever read and reevaluate it. It also made me want to go out and begin reading and analyzing every comic and graphic novel I can find.
  The entire comic world owes McCloud a thanks for this work as it eloquently and almost perfectly makes the argument for the importance and beauty of comics. I may be a bit behind the times on recommending this book, but anyone interested in comics or art should give this a read. The latest printing is available from Harper Collins, ISBN: 006097625X.