Scott McCloud – Understanding Comics

A must-read for anyone who enjoys comics (or graphic novels, if you must), but curiously the book also has tremendous relevance for the Web, and people writing (and developing) for it. One of the fundamental points that McCloud makes is that comics are a medium of transitions. In comics, the space between panels is your mind takes over and fills in the blanks that are not explicitly shown. The web functions in a similar way: you can click on a hyperlink and be transported to the next page in a sequence, or into a completely different scene or context.

The book also features a chapter on mastery, that is equally applicable to to any craft, be it writing and drawing comics, or playing an instrument, or woodworking.

But it is mostly about comics. Three-panel funnies or multi-book series: they all speak a common language. McCloud picks this language apart, and breaks it down into parts that you will immediately recognize, but probably had never thought about before. By closely examining ubiquitious patterns, he shows just how complex and fascinating they are, and what kind of subtle cognitive leaps our minds make when we read comics or view infographics. A must-read if you are interested in visual arts, or even if you just enjoy reading Tintin.