Sunday, 29 March 2009

Making Comics

The final book in Scott McCloud's trilogy on comics is more of a follow-on to his first book, but also finds time to expand a little on webcomics and digital delivery without making the speculations about the future that I found a bit problematic in Reinventing Comics. Some of the practical things in the book go into maybe a little more detail than I would possibly have liked - it is his longest book of the three - but then that would be really useful to someone who is seriously interested in going into the field and looking for good places to start and exercises that would be helpful to get them going.

The sections on composition and differences in approaches to showing things greatly expands on some of the basic "philosophy of comics" that he talks about in Understanding Comics. The sections which cover webcomics and talk about things that online creators are doing go into a good amount of detail, without going overboard. While he mentions a few times that he now largely uses digital methods for producing comics this is no call to arms to just leave behind pencil and paper.

I really liked the mini-essays towards the end of the book on Japanese comics, genres and thoughts on comics culture. Once again, as I re-read it I was struck by many examples of books which make me think, "Ooooh, I really need to read that." The first time I read it this lead me to Black Hole by Charles Burns, Blankets by Craig Thompson, Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware and eventually to Maus by Art Spiegelman: all of these have something amazing to offer the reader, and there were many more which have stuck in my mind this time as books I need to track down.

Making Comics does make me want to make comics, but also makes me want to go and read comics - no bad thing.

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