Comics and Sequential Art Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Comics and Sequential Art.
This section contains 424 words
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Comics and Sequential Art Summary & Study Guide Description

Comics and Sequential Art Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner.

Comics & Sequential Art shares Will Eisner's decades of experience producing comic strips and books and teaching this neglected subject.

Comic strips and books are "a successful cross-breeding of illustration and prose," both visual and verbal interpretive skills in the reader/viewer. Because the sequential artist and the reader must share life experiences to communicate, the artist must recognize and render universal forms. The sequential artist deals with space and time. Balloons frame speech to make sound visible and measure time. Their shapes convey the character of sound and lettering reflects character and emotion. Panels (or boxes) are used to move a reader/viewer through time, suggesting the duration of events by how symbols and images are presented. The number and size of panels contribute to story rhythm and the perceived passage of time. The creator must "see" how the reader/viewer will recognize his/her intent, control his/her perspective, limit his/her vision, orient him or her, and stimulate emotion. The artist must understand and be able to render a wide range of postures and the emotions they reflect. Skill is required to select the proper postures and gestures. The face is the most important part of the body.

While ideally the writer and artist should be one, the two functions are now regularly segregated, and while artwork first gets the reader/viewer's attention, writing must control the project. There is no absolute ratio in comics, but visuals - images that replace descriptive passages - should predominate. The story is "broken down" according to fit the space available and from this point onward, the artist contributes to the "writing" by innovating composition and employing visual devices. Intermediate mock-ups, called "dummies," allow editor, writer, and artist to review the project before the expensive final product is produced.

Sequential art can be instructional or entertaining, with overlap allowed. The emergence of the "graphic novel" could move the industry beyond the cliché of the 1940s through early 1960s that comics are for a "10-year old from Iowa" - provided artists and writers risk trial and error to create a market. Instructional comics can be divided into "technical" and "attitudinal" types. Sequential artists must develop technical skills, including an understanding of how objects work in order to portray them skillfully and the ability to render work reproducible by the publisher's specifications. Computers save time by producing backgrounds, lettering, and shading instantly. Screen presentation may change demands on the level of art and move the creative emphasis to generating unique ideas and mastery of narrative style.

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This section contains 424 words
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