Making Comics by Scott McCloud

Insightful, like all of Scott McCloud’s books on comics. Not enough on its own for me to go out and start writing my own comics, but helped me to see connections between storytelling techniques in comics, films, and novels.

Three things I learned about comics and storytelling:

  • Comics adds additional choices to the way you tell a story. It’s not just the events themselves, but which moments from those events you choose to show, as well as how you frame the “shots” for those moments, and how you render the images within those frames.
  • Manga often uses aspect transitions between panels to build a scene. Instead of a single wide establishing shot, will focus in on different “aspects” of a scene (e.g., rain falling from the sky, puddles forming in concrete, raindrops battering steel and glass buildings, etc) forcing the reader to assemble the scene in their own mind.
  • Giving your characters different philosophies of life can both enrich their inner lives and make the world you’re building feel more real to the reader.