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Comics and Art

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by Will Eisner
Paperback: 164 pages
Poorhouse Press
ISBN: 0961472812
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Based on the popular course Eisner taught for several years at New York's School of Visual Arts, this lovingly written book on visual storytelling contains an accumulation of his ideas, theories and advice on the practice of graphic story-telling and the uses to which the comic book art form can be applied. Whether you're a film student, literature student, artist or simply a fan of good storytelling, you'll love this book filled with Eisner's cartoons.
Legendary comics creator Will Eisner turns a fine eye toward the principles of graphic storytelling in this extraordinary work, based on his popular Sequential Art course at New York's School of Visual Art. Readers will learn the basic anatomy of sequential art, the fundamentals of crafting stories, and how the medium works as a means of expression--a literary form that uses the arrangement of images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea. Eisner has created the most insightful and dynamic examination of the comic art form to date. It's perfect for use by the serious student, practicing professional and curious comic fan. The accumulation of ideas, theories and advice culled from his more than sixty years of experience is stunning to behold.

"Eisner has written an important, possibly definitive guide book to the creative process."
--Publishers Weekly

About the Author
Will Eisner is universally acknowledged as one of the great masters of comic book art. His famous weekly newspaper comic book insert, "The Spirit," made him one of the most influential comic book creators of all time. In 1978, Eisner wrote and drew the pioneering graphic novel, A Contract with God. For 18 years he taught classes in Sequential Art at New York's School of Visual Art, and in that time produced eight more graphic novels. Will Eisner lives in Tamarac, Florida.
by Will Eisner
Paperback: 164 pages
Poorhouse Press
ISBN: 0961472820
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A companion to Comics & Sequential Art, this book takes the principles examined in that title and applies them to the process of graphic storytelling. Eisner shows comic artists, filmmakers and graphic designers how to craft stories in a visual medium. They'll also learn why mastering the basics of storytelling is far more important than the hollow flash and dazzle seen in lesser work. 
Readers will learn everything from the fine points of graphic storytelling to the big picture of the comics medium, including how to: * Use art that enhances your story, rather than obscuring it * Wield images like narrative tools * Write and illustrate effective dialogue * Develop ideas that can be turned into dynamic stories These lessons and more are illustrated with storytelling samples from Eisner himself along with other comic book favorites, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, Milton Caniff and Al Capp.
The DC Comics Guide
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 to WRITING Comics
by Dennis O'Neil
Paperback: 128 pages
Watson-Guptill Publications
ISBN: 0823010279
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There must be dozens of books on how to draw comics, but even the best artists need to tell a good story. Who can teach them? Dennis O'Neil. A comics writer and editor for more than 20 years, O'Neil oversees DC Comics' Batman titles--one of the most successful comics franchises ever. In addition, he's a bestselling novelist, a screenwriter, and a writing teacher. So when it comes to storytelling, O'Neil knows his stuff. In this guide he delivers his knowledge in a succinct, no-nonsense style.
O'Neil explains three-act story structure and examines subplots, characterization, and methods for developing drama and suspense. He then applies these concepts to comics' specific forms: graphic novels, miniseries, maxiseries, and the rare megaseries (such as Batman: No Man's Land, a year-long über-narrative played out across five comics titles). As in good comics, words and images work together in this book. Every idea is illustrated by panels or pages from great moments in DC Comics lore. Especially illuminating are the script excerpts that come paired with the comic book pages they describe.

Strangely, the book ignores the visual side of comics writing. Modern comics scripts specify shots, angles, and blocking in movie-director fashion, but that craft is never addressed. (DC has a good opportunity here for a second volume.) However, what this book sets out to teach--storytelling--it does quite well. Aspiring comics writers won't just learn theory, they'll be empowered, because O'Neil provides a framework for crafting new tales.

--J.B. Peck
From Booklist
O'Neil has been scripting comics professionally for nearly two generations, and he offers much good sense and valuable information about his craft. Although an ex-Marvelite endorsed in a foreword by Stan Lee himself, O'Neil's principal experience has been with DC, for whom he started with Batman and Superman and proceeded to most of the other titles in the company's catalog. He provides everything from a basic glossary, complete with visual examples, of scripting concepts to advice on characterization--something vulgarly and erroneously supposed not to exist in comics--to guidance on work habits and concludes by discussing the various kinds of comic books, broadly conceived. He exemplifies from DC's stable, which may make the book enticing to even the fan who isn't particularly interested in becoming a scripter. But above all, O'Neil addresses the universals of writing in a way that makes the book useful to all aspiring scripters, regardless of their knowledge of comics.
--Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.
DC Comics Guide
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by Klaus Janson
Paperback: 128 pages
Watson-Guptill Publications
ISBN: 0823010287
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From Booklist
Here's a rich, well- and appropriately illustrated resource that goes far beyond its title. The author, an artist and comics editor, writes with clarity and insight about every aspect of creating comics: techniques for drawing human anatomy, effects of light and gravity on clothing and scenery, integration of text and image, and more. There's plenty of information for comics consumers, too--for example, how comics storytelling (and storytelling in general) works.
Janson doesn't limit his art or story examples to DC Comics; he uses a variety of sample pages from a wide range of publications, as well as original sketches, to clarify discussions. A valuable book for librarians and teachers as well as art students and comics fans.
Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved .
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