You guys may have noticed I’m a little comics-obsessed lately. But I still had questions, and I heard this book getting a lot of praise, so I got it from the library. I got a lot more out of this book than I planned on.
This was a REALLY in-depth look at comics, and the different techniques they employ. There is a slight bit of history, and some discussion on how comics are a “genre” or form of media that are kind of looked down upon – this was published in 1993, but I think that still applies. I’d love to see an updated version of this book, given the recent explosion of superhero movies and increased interest in comics and graphic novels.
I’d also love to see Scott McCloud do more of a “how to read comics” kind of books. While Understanding Comics is really informative and thought-provoking and I plan to buy my own copy, it didn’t exactly answer my questions – such as how to know where to start reading (for example, I want to read Deadpool comics, but where the hell do I begin?? Does it matter?), the differences between comics and graphic novels, and so on.
He DOES have another book called Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form, published in 2000, that I really want to read. It apparently tackles issues like sexual and ethnic representations in comics, creator’s rights, and more.
Whether you’re curious about comics, a newbie to comics, or a long-time fan of comics – I think this is a really worthy read.
Sarah Says: 4 stars