Making Comics

Making Comics

Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels

by Scott McCloud
Publisher: HarperCollins
Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Price: $25.99

When Scott McCloud says comics, he doesn't mean the inane strips in the life section of the newspaper. He means graphic novels, story-based comics, any text-and-image based narrative medium. If this isn't clear from his dedication of Making Comics to the graphic novel legend Will Eisner, it soon is from the book's content.

McCloud has long been esteemed as one of the foremost theorists of graphic novels, touting the medium as a distinct art form in its own right. In this guide he shows aspiring writer/illustrators how to plan and execute a compelling story, how to say something meaningful, and how to make your story clear and readable.

This isn't simply a big-picture guide. Readers are given plenty of details, from tips on drawing forms in motion, to maintaining consistency, to selecting the right pens for different tasks. Making Comics isn't for casual artists; at more than 250 pages, it's a thorough introduction for those who take their writing and drawing seriously.

The entire text is presented in comic form, with a narrator (presumably McCloud) guiding readers every step of the way. Parents should be aware that this is best for older students—McCloud addresses mature themes, and there is limited nudity in the how-to-draw sections. On the whole, however, he's discreet and clean.

Each page is packed with black and white frame-by-frame illustrations. McCloud is a good writer and a fantastic artist, and reading this book is as fun as reading a graphic novel. The big difference is that this one will teach you how to make comics of your own that are just as good as the ones you love. For comic lovers and artist-writers alike, Making Comics is highly recommended.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary: A graphic novel-style guide to writing and illustrating your own graphic novel.

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