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Comment: Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; may contain marginal notes and or highlighting
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Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean Paperback – 10 Jun 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (10 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306816164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306816161
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 671,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

NPR.org "Wolk [is] such an engaging writer...If you're already a devotee of the form, you will find yourself nodding in furious agreement with his cleareyed take on precisely why good comics are good. If, on the other hand, you've ever publicly opined that comics are crude, juvenile and/or witless, be prepared: it's only a matter of time before someone presses this thoughtful, utterly convincing book into your hands."

About the Author

Douglas Wolk writes about comics and music for publications including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, Salon, and The Believer. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is very wonderful but, like Comics Between the Panels, just don't go thinking it's comprehensive. No Peter Kuper. No David Chelsea, Jim Meddick, Howard Cruse. Gilbert Shelton gets a glancing aside. Never mind; it would be churlish to complain at this cornucopia; why, even two ladies get chapters to themselves in this blokish world. Wolk is not afraid to tell it as he sees it - Will Eisner's New York tales are 'club-footed and mawkish'; his praise of Frank Miller is heavily qualified - but if you are at all interested in the comics medium, his enthusiasm will blow you away
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Format: Paperback
The book came fast enough but has knife score marks in the back, but seem as the book is superb and I need it so bad I haven't got time to hunt down another copy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, not bad 2 May 2014
By B. Licastro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am used to more traditional textbooks with more text and less images. This book seemed almost informal at times, but it got the job done.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want my money back. I bought this for ... 5 Jun. 2016
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I want my money back. I bought this for a college class and the teacher just lectured about how this isn't how to read comics.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars 5 Nov. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dirty and paper cover was weary due to being in contact with wet beforehand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No-brainer 5 Mar. 2012
By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' - Published on Amazon.com
Good title. Comics, so-called, were never funny, except - like all literature - incidentally, but a deeply serious business; it was (is) all about the reading. If you like reading ABOUT reading you'll want this, even though there's no reference to my own top ten, to wit Mr Natural and Wonder Warthog, Dilbert, Doonesbury and Monty, and five foreigners from childhood, the burlesque villainy of Harris Tweed and PC 49 from Eagle (Tintin still tantalisingly untranslated), the grotesque doings of the adult world in Dot and Carrie, by sometime Member of Parliament JF Horrabin, the only thing of note in the Star, London's third evening newspaper; finally, Ratman and Julia - but you'll need Italian to read those. Oh, Doonesbury does get a glancing mention from Wolk. Sorry I list no women above (though Julia is pitched at a female constituency); I love you all, but right now Shary Flenniken ticks my warped box

This review has been an attempt, like Wolk's admirable tome, to convey my enthusiasm for the medium
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reading (what?) comics 5 Oct. 2008
By J. Holt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Having read other books on comics, like "How to Read Superhero Comics and Why," I wanted to like Wolk's book more than those I've read before it. What I found most compelling about Wolk's book was his introduction where he talks about what makes comics different from other works of art is their unique deployment of metaphor. Yes, it's in that Straw Man argument (god, that is annoying, as other reviewers here suggest). What I found disappointing is that Wolk doesn't really deliver on giving us a coherent argument about that. Instead of giving us Comics, he gives us comics.

That being said, Wolk chooses some good, some bad, some interesting comics to talk about. I found his later chapters on individual authors interesting. Particularly on Starlin's Warlock, Ditko's Spider-Man and Mr. A, Sim's Cerebus, and finally Morrison's Invisibles.

You should look at the table of contents and see if Wolk writes about any comics (or creators) you have read and then pick up this book if there are enough of them. Note that Wolk will often spoil the endings of books so be careful.

Why I see Wolk failing to deliver on his promise to talk about metaphors in comics is that he spends way too much time telling us what the text in those comics mean (can't we figure a lot of this out for ourselves? -- exception: his take on Morrison's Invisibles is passionate and fairly coherent). I was hoping he'd be able to present a consistent view on the language of the comics medium (the art), and instead I got a lot of more of regurgitation of storylines (I already knew).
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