Illustration

9 Essential Books to Learn More About Comics

Don't miss these titles selected by Charles Glaubitz González

There is no greater inspiration for an illustrator than to study other illustrator's work, and when we talk about comic authors, having a good library with your favorite issues is practically mandatory.

But the shelves of an aspiring graphic novelist should not only hold comics. It also needs to feature books from other artistic fields and, above all, manuals and guides dedicated to comic book creation.

Below, you will find a selection of great books about comic writing curated by Charles Glaubitz González (@mrglaubitz):

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by Scott McCloud

Written and illustrated by Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is a comic about comics. It deals with graphic novels' language and explains how they are created, how they are read, and how the reader interprets them; all this makes the book an essential title for any comic book lover who is thinking of becoming an author.

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McCloud, S., (1994), 'Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art', William Morrow & Company

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels, by Scott McCloud

Somewhat the following title to Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art and written in a very similar style, Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels is a book that focuses on the entire scope of the field: from the most basic principles of comic drawing to the facial expression characters should display to get the reader engaged.

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McCloud, S., (2006), 'Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels', William Morrow & Company

Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist, by Will Eisner

A legend within the comic world, Will Eisner published this adaptation of the lessons he imparted at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he taught all kinds of essential theories and practical techniques to create comics.

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Eisner, W., (2008), 'Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist', W. W. Norton & Co.

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist, by Will Eisner

This book, also authored by Eisner, contains lessons in visual narrative and tips about building a story–how to combine words and images, master the different languages of the graphic novel, the development of dialogues, etc.

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Eisner, W., (2008), 'Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist'

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden

More than a simple book, Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond is a course that includes chapters devoted to lettering and the structure of a story, essential for art students and comic book lovers.

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Abel, J. and Madden, M., (2008) 'Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond'

How Comics Work, by Dave Gibbons

How Comics Work is a walk through the comic industry's guts from the point of view of Dave Gibbons, known for his work with franchises such as Batman, Superman, or Dr. Who. In this book, he shows us some unpublished comic pages and explains how to make it as a professional in the industry.

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Gibbons, D., (2017), 'How Comics Work', Wellfleet

Comic Book Design: The Essential Guide to Creating Great Comics and Graphic Novels, by Gary Spencer Millidge

The well-known creator of Strangehaven, Gary Spencer Millidge, publishes this basic and comprehensive manual of comic creation that with a title as suggestive as "the essential guide to creating good comics and graphic novels" shows us everything we need to know about the creation of this type of publication, from character design to inking, through the structuring of bullets.

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Millidge, G.S., (2009), 'Comic Book Design: The Essential Guide to Creating Great Comics and Graphic Novels', WATSON GUPTILL

Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers, by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Comic fans worldwide love the work of the Spanish artist Marcos Mateu-Mestre for his composition, the creative use of color, and the flow of his stories. In this book, the author gives readers a series of indispensable lessons about drawing and visual composition.

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Mateu-Mestre, M., (2010), 'Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers', Design Studio Press

Framed Perspective Vol. 1: Technical Perspective and Visual Storytelling, by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

His experience in cinema and animation, both at DreamWorks and Sony Pictures, has given Mateu-Mestre the necessary knowledge to become an expert of perspective, an essential resource in the world of comics that is also the focus of this book.

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Mateu-Mestre, M., (2016), 'Framed Perspective Vol. 1: Technical Perspective and Visual Storytelling', Design Studio Press

Charles Glaubitz González teaches the Domestika course Narrative Techniques for Graphic Novels, where you'll learn how to use drawings as a writing tool in comics.

English version by @angeljimenez.

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