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Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels (The Comic Books #3)

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  5,886 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. An in-depth look at how comics storytelling works, offering advice, how-tos and exercises.
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Turtleback Books (first published 2006)
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Mar 13, 2007 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pencilers, Manga-ka, nerds, dorks, geeks, spazzes, dweebs, me
The frustrating thing about how authoritative McCloud is is the fact that he's essentially right about everything. I've read it half-a-dozen times, and I'm doing the chapter exercises, and I'm very angry about how correct he often is.
Mar 28, 2011 Trey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always wondered why the master of explaining comics has never achieved the status of master of creating comics. Scott McCloud admits as much in the first few pages of "Making Comics," and I assumed for most of the book that it's a case of "those who can't do teach." If he had the innate ability to put great ideas on paper, maybe he wouldn't have the time (or the ability) to analyze comics so well. Towards the end, though, McCloud mentions another factor that may be holding him back when he ...more
Sep 13, 2012 Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scott McCloud propone con Making Comics una visión para aspirantes a profesionales del cómic que ojalá todos leyesen. También sus lectores, ya que proporciona un marco de referencia nada dogmático pero inestimable para comprenderlos y valorarlos. Y lo hace con màs claridad expositiva, espíritu didáctico y modestia que ningún ensayista de cualquier tema que haya leído nunca.

Sólo por esta lección sería obligado, pero además sus reflexiones son acertadas, ¡y sentatas!. Autor de la apreciada y exit
Jan 17, 2017 Kellan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I don't really know how to review a book like this, so all I'm gonna say is... I absolutely loved it. It entertained me, it taught me something, and it inspired me. It also had some really great art by Scott McCloud here and there. I have nothing bad to say about it.

Read this whether or not you actually have an interest in making your own comics. You'll learn a lot about how the medium works, and it'll make you appreciate your already favorite books even more.

J.G. Keely
May 14, 2007 J.G. Keely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Scott McCloud. He is insightful and funny and his analytic method is always useful in dissection of concept. I find that the conscientious author tends to be the superior author, and for this reason, McCLoud is indispensable.

Another thing that is refreshing about McCloud is that he takes the medium very seriously, and reminds us, as creators, that we have a responsibility to the art to do everything we can with it, and not simply accept the given standards.

In a lot of ways, this b
Mar 10, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comics artists or fans
Shelves: comics, nonfiction, art, how-to
This is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in making comics, or just learning about the theory behind them.

Scott McCloud lays out the fundamental building blocks and questions behind creating a comic, and covers them in depth. He eschews questions of technical execution and personal style in favor of theory and design.

He covers communication, pacing, framing, and transitions in excellent detail. His chapter on the tools available is more brief, but gives a beginning cartoonist enough
May 08, 2014 Tamahome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm not going to make comics, but I still find it interesting to read about storytelling. Remember, symmetry means life.

All done. If you liked Understanding Comics, it's pretty much more of the same. Plus he references a ton of indie comics and they're indexed in the back. He also has Reinventing Comics, but that seems to be unpopular, heh.

(I don't do stars.)

Not an artist, not a cartoonist. I just love reading guides for creative activities that aren't my own.

Making Comics concerns itself with decisions about the form that can happen organically or chosen deliberately. As a "happen organically" type, I really appreciate anything I can soak up on the other side. The section on Stories for Humans should be required reading for anyone who tells them. The rest is excellent for any writer who wants to take on the challenge of thinking
Feb 28, 2016 Toby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comic writers, comic artists
Recommended to Toby by: Raquel
I got this book when I was really young, and it's what got me into comics. I have to get a new copy, because the one I have is falling apart from so much reading, re-reading, and referencing.
If you want to get into writing and/or drawing comics, this book is essential. Every time I read it I notice a new gold nugget of information or philosophy that inspires me to go and make more comics.
Alex Ristea
Nov 16, 2013 Alex Ristea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Fantastic, fantastic introductory book to the world of comics. It's told in an easy, conversational style, making for a quick, yet deeply effective read.

In the end, story is story, no matter the medium.

Even though I'm garbage at drawing, I hope this will inform my own writing, or at least make me see the graphic novels I read in a new light.

Jan 24, 2009 Erik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I was never a huge fan of his retro-esque work on the 80s Zot!, Scott McCloud has become – in my eyes – the hero of modern comic book structural theory and analysis. And one heck of an effective writer and artist at conveying the hidden truths of this ever-developing medium, I might add. He is neither condescending nor intellectually ambiguous – despite his evident braininess.

As the author/artist of two earlier ground-breaking works – Understanding and Reinventing Comics (both of which
Apr 15, 2015 Eleanor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in writing comics and wants some tips and tricks to help them on their way. I am personally working on creating my first comic book and though I have had years of art education and lessons in how to draw I have never learned anything about incorporating that into a narrative structure. So this book was exactly what I was looking for.

Unlike most books about making your own comic this is not a how to draw book. It is very firm in it’s view that you c
Sep 06, 2009 Sofia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comic book readers and artists
Shelves: graphic-novels, art
Being rather new to the comics world (I only started reading them more steadily last year), I was eager to know more about the medium, and various online searches kept pointing to Understanding Comics The Invisible Art (also by Scott McCloud) as a great starting point. Unfortunately, at the time I set out to buy it it was unavailable, so I settled for this one instead.

I have to say I loved it! It really opened my eyes to a lot of details I was missing, or rather, things that I was aware of on an
Danielle Freeman
I picked up this book because, as a student of animation, I believe firmly that knowing how comics work and what makes them work is essential to being able to make a good animated film or series. After all, animation as we know it was born of comics. What I discovered in this book was not just a guide to making great comics, but to telling great stories.

In Making Comics, McCloud lays down the fundamentals of storytelling through text and pictures--everything from character design to world buildi
Juan Bosco
Mar 29, 2011 Juan Bosco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Si hay algo evidente en los libros que Scott McCloud ha escrito acerca de los cómics es que de verdad ama a ese medio. Este libro parte de los principios, análisis y teoría expuestos por McCloud en Understanding Comics para explicar ahora cómo se hace un cómic.
Desde las ideas abstractas e intuitivas como el ritmo y fluyo de la historia, hasta los aspectos técnicos del dibujo y las herramientas que se usan para crear una página de cómic. Todo explicado de la manera más lógica posible: a través de
Jan 28, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. I can't count the times that McCloud said, "A complete understanding of this topic is beyond the scope of this book, buuuut let me do all the hard work and give you the highlights." And so he did. I am a theory-minded person so his breakdown was particularly helpful to me and those who think in more abstract terms. But of course the entire book is one big comic so there are tons of illustrative pictures and comparisons for those who want to see a more concrete example! ...more
Desiree Sotomayor
Jun 19, 2008 Desiree Sotomayor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should be retitled as "Making Comics the Scott McCloud way," and he even admits to it. Then again, I suppose one can only teach what one knows, and he has definitely done his homework. Even though it gets a bit ranty at some points, you can tell that McCloud is someone who really and truly cares about his craft, as well as those who are 'drawn' to it.

I don't think that this book is quite as accessible as the others--it presumes a lot of foreknowledge. I found the sections about facial
Oct 04, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I once wrote a 6-page comic and was blessed to have someone illustrate it. I don't think I'll ever do get involved with such a thing again, but this book is very interesting regardless. The information on emotion is influenced by Dr. Eckman's studies and worth a read all on its own. I can't wait to read Understanding Comics.
Truly a masterpiece, this is a one-book non-credit course on exactly the title: Making Comics. Also, the little comic version of Scott is hilarious and inventive in all the bizarre shapes it takes to show and share with us the many elements, styles, shapes, and considerations that go into making comics and graphic novels.
Zack Patten
This book was very helpful. It has helped me understand how to properly make a comic. I feel that in reading this I have a better idea on how to do my Graphic Novel final. It is definitely a good read if you want to learn how to make a proper comic.
Jeff Jackson
Aug 04, 2008 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Anyone interesting in storytelling period will find some great tips here, including a fascinating chapter on facial expressions and physical gestures and an essential section on how Manga works.
Collin Huster
Feb 13, 2017 Collin Huster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again McCloud does an amazing job at peeling back the layers hidden in comic books which really show the complexity of something so easily digestible. How to angle certain shots, the balance between the written word and the visual emphasis. Truly outstanding and really enlightening on such a diverse rich subject matter.
Feb 02, 2017 N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, art-theory
A good overview, written with a lot of heart.

Slightly judgmental at times — for example, McCloud has this weird bias against all my favourite fixed width ink pens. His musings on "tribes" of comic books artists didn't really ring true for me and seemed overly speculative.

I was also hoping for a lot more more technical specs, like DPI, monitor settings, scanner brands and sizes, what paper to use for what medium, Photoshop tricks, and information about publishing houses, none of which are in th
Althea J.
May 17, 2015 Althea J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McCloud uses the graphic novel medium to look behind the curtain of the industry and artistry of the graphic novel. He puts forth an understanding of comics and its potential for the future in a way that is refreshingly inclusive, encouraging, and empowering. He breaks down the elements of comic creation into its most basic components and synthesizes the ideas behind them in thought-provoking ways. McCloud challenges the reader/aspiring/current creator to push beyond what is known.

McCloud's worl
Stasia Lutova
Jan 07, 2017 Stasia Lutova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is so inspiring and amazing! This is the best book about making comic books/graphic novels I have ever read!
Michael Scott
Making Comics is a sequel to Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics (by thirteen years): it introduces and discusses the process, the main techniques, and important examples of creating comics, mangas, and graphic novels. Overall, it first sated my appetite for learning how to make comics, than left me wanting more. Easily one of my favorite books on the topic.

Interestingly, the actual making of comics, that is, working with physical tools (from pencil to computer software) and being part of the b
Sep 29, 2016 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informational, much like Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. This one, while still allowing for an insight into the way comics can be made as a reader, is definitely more for someone wanting to make comics (as the title of the book clearly states). Still an interesting read nevertheless.
Feb 20, 2011 Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been on a bit of a graphic novel and comic reading kick lately, raiding the library collections for any titles that sound interesting and devouring them at a rather manic rate. Traditionally, I never really considered myself a comic fan, preferring prose, but something about the elegance of the “artful combination of words and pictures” has really intrigued me. Beginning with autobiographical and other small press comics, I’ve been enjoying more and more graphic novels. Then, thinking bac ...more
Quentin Zero
Dec 30, 2016 Quentin Zero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really nice useful book about making comics!
Aug 01, 2008 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Magna, and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud is, like his other books on related subjects, basically a non-fiction comic. It's a faintly academic treatment of sequential art using the comics medium itself. This works pretty well, as he's able to literally illustrate his points using his own comics and other drawings on the page. So when he talks about the six different kinds of panel-to-panel transition types, he does so by presenting a comic that use ...more
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Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod) is an American cartoonist and theorist on comics as a distinct literary and artistic medium.
More about Scott McCloud...

Other Books in the Series

The Comic Books (3 books)
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
  • Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form

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“If you just write the kinds of stories you think others will want to read, you'll be competing with cartoonists who are far more enthusiastic for that kind of comic than you are, and they'll kick your ass every time.” 7 likes
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