Understanding Comics (Amazon link) is a 215-page comic book about comics that explains the inner workings of the medium. We recently chatted about it and how the concepts relate to online visual communication too (e.g. choosing what to include and what to leave out, guiding the reader’s eye, combining text and images for maximum impact, etc.).
Some excerpts we discussed:
Creating meaningful differences with “sequential art.” McCloud writes, “Taken individually the pictures [above] are merely that—pictures. However when part of a sequence, even a sequence of only two, the art of the images is transformed into something more: the art of comics!”
The first letter in each sentence is bolded to help separate statements.
It’s interesting how the placement of the “True Lighting” headline is unconventional yet works like a charm.
There’s a related thread on cartoons, comics, and information design at Edward Tufte’s site. Some of the interesting links mentioned there:
- A comic book that explains fair use from the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain
- The Comic Strip Artist’s Kit helps beginning comic artists deal with perspective problems and other drawing difficulties. Check out this page on how thumbnail sketches help you think out problems.
- Tom Toles Cartoons shows how sketches turn into finished cartoons