4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Heavily Illustrated Essays about How Comics and Sequential Art Communicate,
This review is from: Comics and Sequential Art (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.