Understanding Comics (英語) ペーパーバック – 1994/4/27
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The bestselling international classic on storytelling and visual communication
"You must read this book." — Neil Gaiman
Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics is a seminal examination of comics art: its rich history, surprising technical components, and major cultural significance. Explore the secret world between the panels, through the lines, and within the hidden symbols of a powerful but misunderstood art form.
“If you read, write, teach or draw comics; if you want to; or if you simply want to watch a master explainer at work, you must read this book.” (Neil Gaiman)
“McCloud’s masterwork is not just an indispensable treatise on comics, it’s also the best primer around on visual literacy and the mechanics of storytelling. A must-read for anyone interested in narrative of any kind.” (Alison Bechdel)
“Cleverly disguised as an easy-to-read comic book, Scott McCloud’s simple-looking tome deconstructs the secret language of comics while casually revealing secrets of time, space, art and the cosmos! The most intelligent comics I’ve seen in a long time. Bravo.” (Art Spiegelman)
“Reading Understanding Comics blew my teenage mind, and gave me a toolbox full of ideas that I still use today.” (Raina Telgemeier)
“The best analysis of the medium that I have ever encountered.” (Alan Moore)
“BRAVO!! ... A landmark dissection and intellectual consideration of comics as a valid medium. ... Anyone interested in this literary form must read it.” (Will Eisner)
On a meta-level, the book is also a stunning work of art in its own right and an amazing essay on determination, hard work, craftsmanship and creativity. The chapter on the subject of 'what is art' may well be the best description of the artistic process - be it related to writing, music, programming, whatever you like - that I have ever seen.
In a word, stunning.
Get it, absorb it, and then keep it forever as reference. If you take these lessons to heart, you WILL be a better artist.
My personal favorite part is the chapter on panels, where McCloud introduces "blood in the gutter," the choice to have action happen between panels, rather than straight-up show it. He gives the example of having an ax being raised in one panel, and a scream in another. He points out that every reader is sort of an "accomplice" in the violence; we all had to imagine the crime in our own way, since we didn't get to actually SEE it happen.
Or as McCloud puts it, "Each of you held the ax and chose your spot. To kill a man between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths."
You ever just have to stop and read something again because it you had to make sure it was really that awesome? That chapter right there, that BLEW my MIND when I first read it. And the whole book is like that.
Buy it. Borrow it. Whatever, just read it. If you've ever read a comic book in your life, this should be required reading.