Excerpt from Understanding Comics (1993).

Excerpt from Understanding Comics (1993).

Scott McCloud publishes Understanding Comics and academic study begins in earnest.

Date(s)
1993
Alan Moore, author of Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, endorses McCloud's book with this dazzling review:
“Understanding Comics is quite simply the best analysis of the medium that I have ever encountered. With this book Scott McCloud has taken breathtaking leaps towards establishing a critical language that the comic art form can work with and build upon in the future. Lucid and accessible, it is an astonishing feat of perception. Highly recommended" (Moore).
Among the numerous topics that McCloud covers is the idea that the advanced cognitive requirements for reading and understanding comics serve as evidence that they are a complex and engaging art form. McCloud demonstrates that comic books are fully capable of communicating complex narratives to a broad audience. He draws on the example of closure in order to demonstrate this point. By omitting information, the comic requires active participation from the reader. Through spacing of panels and action, the reader is drawn into the narrative and forced to make judgments about what takes place behind the scenes. Closure is why we understand that the character in the above image is walking, bending, and stretching - even though there is no actual movement.

Topics in reading comic books and graphic novels are now regularly taught at the collegiate level.
Sources
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art. Northampton: Kitchen Sink Press, 1993. Print.


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