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Comics and Sequential Art [Hardcover]

Will Eisner
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1985
Norton presents here two classic drawing textbooks, revised and enhanced for a new generation. Based on Will Eisner's legendary course at New York's School of Visual Arts, these guides have inspired generations of artists, students, teachers and fans. In "Comics and Sequential Art", Eisner reveals the basic building blocks and principles of comics, including imagery, the frame, and the application of time, space and visual forms. "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative" teaches how to control a story effectively using a broad array of techniques. With examples from Eisner's own catalogue and such masters as R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Milton Caniff, H. Foster, Al Capp and George Herriman, these books distill the art of graphic storytelling into principles that every comic artist, writer and filmmaker should know.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Poorhouse Pr (Nov 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961472804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961472801
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 22.2 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,922,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WILL EISNER was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'Orson Welles of Comics.' He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena, and countless others.

During World War II, Will Eisner developed the comic format to for training and equipment maintenance manuals for the US Army. After the war this continued as the Army's "PS Magazine" which is still being produced today. Will Eisner taught Sequential Art at the New York School of Visual Arts for 20 years. The textbooks that he wrote were based on his course and are still bestsellers. In 1978, Will Eisner wrote "A Contract with God," the first modern Graphic Novel. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years.

The "Oscars" of the Comic Industry are called The Eisner Awards, and named after Will Eisner. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at San Diego Comic-Con, America's largest comics convention.

Wizard magazine named Eisner "the most influential comic artist of all time." Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-prize winning novel "Kavalier and Clay" is based in good part on Eisner. In 2002, Eisner received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation for Jewish Culture, presented by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

Like the Will Eisner Official Site on Facebook and visit www.WillEisner.com for more information about Will Eisner.

Product Description

Review

When I decided I wanted to write comics, I bought a copy of Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art and studied it. If I were starting out today, with all the books on comics and graphic novels out there, I'd still begin with this book. --Neil Gaiman, creator of Sandman" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

* Born in 1917, WILL EISNER was the author of The Spirit. Three compilations, fifteen graphic novels and his posthumous history, The Plot form the Will Eisner Library. The comics industry's annual awards, The Eisners, are named in his honour. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
In modern times the daily newspaper strip, and more recently the comic book, provide the major outlet for sequential art. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Nuts & Bolts of writing sequential art 28 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Absolutely essential reading for anyone who wants to write, draw or just understand better the medium of sequential art. It deconstructs the way a comic book artist comminicates with the audience, bringing into clear focus what is often subconscious knowledge. It looks at all the tools of visual communication from the words and text to timing, framing etc. Lots of well labled examples from Will Eisners own work (it would have been nice to see a few examples of how other graphic novel illustrators do it. I found the text a little hard to follow in places but not detremental to the overall value of this book. A first rate bible and reference manual for this genre of illustration.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
"Comics & Sequential Art" is based on a course Will Eisner taught at New York's School of Visual Art although originally this work was written as a series of essays that appeared randomly in "The Spirit" magazine. Eisner provides a guide book to the "principles & practice of the world's most popular art form, and while it is of interest to those of us who read comic books it is clearly intended to be of use to aspiring comic book artists (and writers, albeit to a lesser degree). One way of measuring the book's success is to note that I have the 24th printing of a work that was first published in 1985 (and expanded in 1990 to include print and computer), but then the fact that the book was written by Eisner and uses dozens of examples of his own art work to evidence his points, as well as drawings down specifically for the book, is enough to tell you this is something special.
There are eight lessons in Professor Eisner's syllabus: (1) Comics as a Form of Reading looks at the interplay of word and image in comic books that has created a cross-breeding of illustration and prose, including the idea of how text can be read as image, which shows the sense of detail Eisner brings to his subject. (2) Imagery begins with the idea of letters as images and develops a notion of how the "pictograph" functions in the modern comic strip as a calligraphic style variation. The key subject here is that of images without words. (3) "Timing" considers the phenomenon of duration and its experience as an integral dimension of sequential art, with Eisner drawing (literally) a distinction between "time" and "timing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
My guess is that a hundred people have heard of this work for every one who has actually read it. At the time the book was developed, you could only find this information by taking Will Eisner's class at the New York School of Visual Art.

Unless you haven't been paying attention to comics, you will probably find that you already understand most of the key messages: words and illustrations combine to form imagery; time elapses between panels and the pacing of the time involved affects how you react to the story; the frames around the panels and pages as a mechanism for tying the story together; using anatomy and expression to extract emotion from readers; how to combine words and illustrations for best effect; the potential to use sequential art in more than comic strips and books; and new technologies for making comics and sequential art.

As for me, the only section that I found rewarding was the extensive middle section on panels. Maybe I'm obtuse (I probably am), but I've often found it difficult to follow and understand the choice of panel structure on pages in Golden age comics. Mr. Eisner thoughtfully provides extended sections from The Spirit to demonstrate why he made the choices he did and what he hoped to accomplish. It was like a Rosetta Stone for translating what some of those odd pages are supposed to do. For that section, it was worth reading the book. The other sections I could have skipped and not missed anything.

I also recommend you read Scott McCloud book's about comics and sequential art: They are more rewarding in terms of setting out the issues and opportunities.
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