Monday, August 3, 2009

A Reading Pile Special: Understanding Comics Day One

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
By Scott McCloud

Okay, so today, I came to a special book on the Reading Pile. One that is remarkably different from any of the other books I have discussed thus far. As a result, The Reading Pile Special is born. In this, hopefully, recurring feature, I will take a deeper look at a book than any normal review can entail.

The first book being covered this way is Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. This book is considered a touchstone in comics. It’s a comic about comics. Not the history of comics (although there is a very impressive one of those, Comic Book Comics). No, this book starts with a definition of the word comics and then goes into detail as to what comics are and what they as a medium mean or are capable of.

I’m excited to read this book. It’s analysis is supposed to be profound and it is regarded as a game changer. Garry Trudeau said, “When the 215 page journey is finally over, most readers will find it difficult to look at comics in quite the same way ever again.”

So join me, as I spend the next nine days look at each chapter in detail. I’ll probably write a more traditional review at the end, but no promises.

A word of warning, even though Understanding Comics is itself a comic book, I will not be criticizing McCloud’s art in these pieces. I will probably rarely, if ever, mention the art at all. I am more concerned with the content and the theories of this book.

I hope you will be here tomorrow for the discussion on Chapter 1.

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