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Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative
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Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (Sequential Art)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,644 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
A companion to Comics & Sequential Art, this book takes the principles examined in that title and applies them to the process of graphic storytelling. Eisner shows comic artists, filmmakers and graphic designers how to craft stories in a visual medium. They'll also learn why mastering the basics of storytelling is far more important than the hollow flash and dazzle see ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Poorhouse Press (first published February 1st 1996)
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Sep 22, 2013 H.d. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um estudo sobre narrativas com suporte gráfico realizado através do próprio conceito de narrativas gráficas :) O livro tem um valor enorme sobre dois aspectos: num momento em que o Storyteling volta a ser considerado como é um dos meios mais efetivos para comunicação em áreas tão destintas quanto Gestão Empresarial e UX, é um manual prático e ilustrado de representar, refletir e comunicar ideias. Ao mesmo tempo funciona como uma introdução riquíssima à arte sequencial, com exemplos retirados da ...more
Nelson Zagalo
Nov 02, 2013 Nelson Zagalo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytelling
If you want an introduction about storytelling, or if you're looking for inspiration for visual storytelling, this is the book to pick. Brilliantly written and artistically inspiring for anyone trying to model, design or create new stories.
Disappointing. Eisner's reputation as a master cartoonist does not translate well to telling others how to do it--and furthermore, his examples from his own work of how to do it don't exactly work as ringing endorsements of his argument. This book is profusely illustrated (mostly with Eisner's own work, though some classic work by other hands appears too) to demonstrate his generally superficial and underdeveloped comments on various aspects of graphic storytelling. There are insights here, sure ...more
G (galen)
Sep 21, 2009 G (galen) rated it really liked it
Will Eisner, a master of comic art, on what makes for successful visual storytelling.

Eisner discusses the history of using visual narrative as a art/literature form and his concerned with changing the perception that comics are for 'people of low literacy and limited intellectual accomplishment.'

Most of the techniques and tips Eisner provides lend themselves more for the adventure and joke genre but I was really fascinated by the examples he provided of early woodblock print novels being publis
Lisa Feld
Dec 07, 2011 Lisa Feld rated it liked it
Shelves: bard
This is the second of Eisner's books on creating comics and graphic novels, but I was much less impressed with it than by the first book, Comics and Sequential Art.

It was definitely easier to read: I think the fact that Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics had come out in the mean time allowed Eisner to drop the dense, academic language and convey most of his ideas through brief cartoons. But Eisner has less to say here than in his first book. CSA really unpacked all the choices open to a creat
Mar 10, 2009 Parka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will Eisner Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative
(More pictures at

This is one of the three instructional books written by Will Eisner. The other two are Comics and Sequential Art and Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative .

Telling a good story is an incredibly difficult. In this book, Will Eisner shares with readers some of things to be aware of when tackling storytelling using comics.

He talks about techniques to use to help build a more convincing story. This would include comic tools like lettering, building momentum
Shawn Birss
Jun 13, 2015 Shawn Birss rated it it was ok
After reading Eisner's Classic, Comics and Sequential Art, I wished for more content, because the book was so insightful and helpful. This one, unfortunately, did not satisfy that desire. Where his first was dense with insight and thought-provoking ideas, this one feels like a B-side of rejected ideas. It doesn't really feel like it deserves its own book. A lot of it is recycled material from Comics, sometimes stated slightly differently but without the same polish and punch. It is also far more ...more
Ted Henkle
Feb 18, 2015 Ted Henkle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, comics
"Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative" is Book #2 in Will Eisner's how-to series on the principles of creating comics.

I liked this book as much as Book #1, "Comics and Sequential Art." Probably more so, because this one focused more on storytelling than art. I think the reason why this book had better appeal for me is because I'm more of a writer than an artist.

While the focus of "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative" was in writing, its just as lavishly illustrated as the previous boo
Samuel Snoek-Brown
Will Eisner was a genius. As a matter of personal taste, I prefer some of his proteges both for their written work and their work on how to write--Scott McCloud is, so far, still my top guy--but saying I prefer McCloud to Eisner is like saying I prefer Aristotle to Plato: Eisner is The Source of all modern graphic-narrative theory, and having read this, I see why. Better yet, he is so universal in his approach that he offers some fascinating new ideas for thinking about the craft of writing even ...more
Jan 07, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it
Will Eisner, for whom the industry's "Eisner Awards" are named, imparts his wisdom on how "comics" work as a cross-medium of words and art to educate and entertain.

Providing great examples of his main points through his own and others' work, this book really hammers home the key points of storytelling. The editors of this edition did a great job cleaning up and presenting the examples making it a quick and easy-to-digest read.

I felt the last fifth of the book seemed padded, but it was definitely
Chris Jones
Mar 31, 2014 Chris Jones rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2015
A lot of the content in Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative is already handled in the series' previous volume, Comics and Sequential Art. There are a few nuggets of wisdom, but they're buried under dozens of comic pages, presented to the reader all at once with no commentary. One of the great things about the first volume was that Eisner would make his points with a few pages of text at a time, then provide examples through a few pages of comics that were labelled and commented on to illus ...more

Podem ler a opinião completa no Floresta de Livros.

A great reference book for people who write or want to become comic writers. Will Eisner relies on real comic examples to accompany his few words.
In terms of art expamples and references, this book is amazing, but in terms of actually teaching something deeper (not just the superficial stuff we see a lot of), it lacks a bit.
Still, it's an amzing book which I recommend to anyone who has a liking for writing comic.
Nov 25, 2014 Gianni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little bit of an unusual comic book, as this is an educational/instructional book written by the great Will Eisner to reveal how to construct a story and to illustrate the basics for crafting a visual narrative. A precious resource for comic artists and film makers at large, I found this book extremely informative and entertaining at the same time. The use of drawing and the technique of ������showing to explain������ is definitely working at an advantage for the reader. Highly recommended if ...more
Bob Hartley
Jun 17, 2012 Bob Hartley rated it it was ok
I've never really rated Eisner, but I thought I might get some good tips out of this since he's taught classes about it. It didn't really tell me much I didn't know, though; then again I don't know what I was expecting, to be fair. I'll probably look at it again when I come to write a graphic novel after I graduate. Also, there's a lot of spelling mistakes. That doesn't affect my opinion of the book, but I suppose it helps the "comics are for the less legible of us" argument. EEEEIIISNERRRR!
I know these books are supposed to be classics, and he is a giant in the genre etc, but while this book was competently put together and had some reasonable things to say about storytelling I found it incredibly irritating. I didn't feel like I was learning anything, disagreed with a lot of his generalisations, and was offended by his reliance on hackneyed stereotypes (which is bad enough in fiction but unforgivable in examples of "good" storytelling)
Paul Shillinger
Jan 12, 2013 Paul Shillinger rated it it was ok
I bought a copy of Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative because Scott McCloud praised Eisner's work so highly in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. I was disappointed that, in this book at least, Eisner didn't seem to have much to say on the subject that I hadn't already read elsewhere.
Mar 18, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
It's a bit dated, but it's a great introduction to the storytelling involved in graphic novels and other forms of visual narrative. The examples are helpful and I love the way the text is interspersed with an illustrated story using cavemen to discuss storytelling. I found myself think over the things Eisner said about storytelling and how the mind views comic, print, and film.

A must buy for me.
Jan 16, 2017 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stellar examination of everything that happens before you open up that comic book.

You're not just reading a series of images splashed to paper via a mere commercial transaction. You're buying 100s, if not thousands of hours of creativity, argument, boredom, mistakes, littleone the thousands of decisions made at every single level of human involvement before that cool story graces your eyes then your hands.

Philippe Lhoste
Dans ce second tome, Will Eisner explore plus en détail la narration en BD, déjà abordée dans le premier tome.
Il cite plus d'auteurs, comme Harold Foster ou Milton Caniff (d'autres auteurs dans mon panthéon !), fait des petits strips avec un homme des cavernes racontant des histoires, donnant un texte moins dense, illustrant son idée d'apprentissage par la BD plus facile que par le texte pur, et collant à son sujet.

Kevin Powe
May 29, 2013 Kevin Powe rated it liked it
Likely a great book for the right audience. Some interesting history of the art form, and some great examples to bring home certain points, but I was hoping for more on the visual composition of individual frames, rather than a broader view of structuring a story. I suspect the fault here lies with me, not the book itself.
Agradezco inmensamente a Will Eisner por haber creado este libro.

La verdad, para alguien como yo que sólo contaba con teorías e hipótesis sobre lo que es la narrativa visual y "graphic storytelling" este libro me ayudó no sólo a darme cuenta de que tenía una idea, sino también a expandir mis conocimientos.

Simplemente amo el libro, y sus ejemplos me fueron de mucha ayuda :)
Mike Jensen
Apr 25, 2016 Mike Jensen rated it it was amazing
Nobody was a better graphic storyteller than Will Eisner and nobody had more experience creating non-fiction comics to explain things. Near the end of his life and career, Eisner decided to explain what he had been doing all his career for budding graphic storytellers. This is a marvelous explication of what works best, what does not, and also benefits analysts such at myself.
Nancy Moffett
Jun 19, 2014 Nancy Moffett rated it liked it
i enjoyed reading this book which used comics I remember from my childhood as illustrations. Will Eisner genuinely appreciates and understands graphic artistry and gave me insight into how the graphic novel has grown as a genre. Glad I read it, although it seems a bit dated. The history was interesting.
Jan 16, 2009 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good review of aspects of story-telling in general, but specifically as conducted in the medium of comics. Lengthy examples illustrate each point. This is not hard-core literary theory, but consists of well thought out generalities by a practitioner of the art.
Jul 30, 2011 Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. Not really in-depth but well written with lots of examples en often even the information is written with drawings. Get's you thinking on which stories you want to tell and the different ways of telling them.
Jun 09, 2013 Cherish rated it it was amazing
A brilliant read! I was very surprised of how I was able to finish reading quite quickly than usual. It's a must book to have if you ever wanted to have a grasp on Graphic storytelling. I really enjoyed it.
Sheri Trapp-Cordova
Great introduction to graphic storytelling. I like that he covers basics of plot and structure as well as the graphic aspects. It would be good as intro to graphic storytelling or for basics of narration in literature study.
Dec 24, 2008 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
It was a bit less detailed than I would have liked. But it was an interesting exploration between the link of art and text and narrative flow in comic books.
Deborah Biancotti
Not as informative as I was hoping, but with plenty of examples of different styles and means. Surely somebody's written an *advanced* book on writing for the graphic medium?
Not as helpful as I'd hoped. Lot's of entertainment though
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Will Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'O
More about Will Eisner...

Other Books in the Series

Sequential Art (3 books)
  • Comics and Sequential Art
  • Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist

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