Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels Scott McCloud
I had to read this for my young adult literature class last summer. While McCloud does have a book, Understanding Comics, my professor felt that Making Comics was a better introduction to the art form and how to read them.
Making Comics is a comic book about how comics are made. It talks about the history of comics, the role they play in different areas of the world (they're taken much more seriously in Europe in Japan) and the different styles of comics. Of course, it talks about how to lay out a story, choosing your frames, perfecting your drawing skills, and different tools used and the effects they achieve. Throughout, McCloud animates himself, walking us through these steps and issues with himself as a friendly, funny, and slightly self-deprecating narrator/tour guide.
If you're interested in making comics (or even if you aren't, I totally wanted to be a comics writer after reading this even though I can't draw at all) or are interested in how to read them, why artists make the choices they do, or the history of them, or just want an interesting non-fiction read in comic book form, this one's for you.
Round up is over at Jean Little Library!