Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Abstract Comics: The Anthology” as Want to Read:
Abstract Comics: The Anthology
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Abstract Comics: The Anthology

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Abstract comics? Don't all comics tell stories? How can a comic be abstract? Well, as it happens, beginning with the experiments of Saul Steinberg, through some of the more psychedelic creations of R. Crumb and Victor Moscoso, and with increasing frequency in recent years, cartoonists and other artists have played with the possibility of comics whose panels contain little ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Fantagraphics (first published June 30th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Fredrik Strömberg
This book is exactly what the title indicates, that is if not the end-all, then at least the first and so far only major book on the subject of comics that can be deemed as abstract.

The book contains a preface with a well-written but far too short essay on the subject of abstract comics, as well as a historical overview of the precursors to the abstract comics, mostly from the fine art's world, with many if somewhat small illustrations. The majority of the book is then an anthology with
Jan 06, 2017 Kim rated it it was ok
Shelves: europe, english, silent
I think the book was published too early. If the book is published just now (2015), it would have been a stronger work.
I was hoping that some of these shorts (I was about to write "short stories," but "stories" would seem to need, you know, -things- and -people- in them) could provide a visceral new experience, if not "beautiful" or engaging in the way that more traditional comics can be then at least a whole new punch in the gut, akin to listening to experimental noise or drone music.

A couple managed to excite me - most notably R. Crumb's "Abstract Expressionist Ultra Super Modernistic Comics," which I had rea
Full Stop
Jun 13, 2014 Full Stop added it
Shelves: spring-2011

Review by Tim Platt

Abstraction of form is a given in comics. Clouds are thoughts, sticks are people, and capes are cool. In his seminal Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud has a theory: “by de-emphasizing the appearance of the physical world in favor of the idea of form, the cartoon places itself in the world of concepts”. To McCloud, this makes “comics“ a form of language. “Words,” he says, “are the ultimate abstraction”. Simple or stylized images best en
Dec 04, 2012 Parka rated it liked it
Shelves: art-books, comics

(More pictures at

After a visit to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, I realised I'm not a big fan of abstract art. Getting Abstract Comics confirms the fact that I'm not a big fan of abstract art.

This book has a very nice textured cover.

The comics here resemble IQ quizzes that test the ability to recognise patterns. But they are more difficult here — insanely difficult — as they replace simple geometric shapes with abstract comic lines, colours and collage. Solving them will
May 17, 2011 rr added it
Oh, oh, oh, I like this book! It's a great anthology of comics that work in not-necessarily-representational and not-necessarily-narrative ways. It pushes readers to consider how much representation & how much narrative momentum they import into what they read and see.
I sort of want to rate this higher, but I just didn't respond to it that well. There were a few comics I really enjoyed, but I think abstract art is generally harder to relate to. It was also just difficult to see comics in such an obtuse way.
Mar 24, 2010 Wayne rated it it was ok
This almost got one star from me. I just don't appreciate abstract art. Never have. For the price of this expensive hardcover, I need more. I finished looking at it in less than half an hour and was pretty unsatisfied. There are much better anthologies out there.
Jane Elizabeth
Mar 19, 2012 Jane Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Surprising, visually exciting, and mostly over my head; I want to revisit this book after I have spent a lot more time actually creating my own comics, and can appreciate it more fully.
Apr 30, 2015 Lindsay rated it really liked it
This book forces one to consider comics as art objects. It is fascinating to see how wordless, abstract narrative is sustained in some places and completely absent in others.
Dane Martin
Dane Martin rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2009
Balso rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2013
Max Coombes
Max Coombes rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2014
Lacy rated it liked it
May 17, 2012
jacob guedalia
jacob guedalia rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2014
Alan rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2010
Chloe A-L
Chloe A-L rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2016
Nathaniel rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2014
saman rated it liked it
May 30, 2015
Janice Lee
Janice Lee rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2010
Mark Connery
Mark Connery rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2013
Shannon Drake
Shannon Drake rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2015
Hyde rated it it was amazing
Mar 23, 2016
C rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2017
Gustavo rated it liked it
May 01, 2013
Andrew Bakhit
Andrew Bakhit rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2011
lucy by the sea
lucy by the sea rated it did not like it
Apr 22, 2010
Andrew rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2014
Amber rated it did not like it
Nov 17, 2009
Todd rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book