Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative book. Read 55 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. A companion to Comics & Sequential Art, t. The grammar of visual storytelling requires that the graphic novelist think critically about how Sequential art and visual narrative require that a reader connect multiple Will Eisner is recognized as one of the most influential writers to employ. Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative discusses the principles of storytelling with the sophisticated combination of text and imagery. While comics are the.
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Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (Will Eisner Instructional Books) [Will Eisner] on homeranking.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. There isn't a. Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), and Visual Narrative is a book by American cartoonist Will Eisner that. acceleration of graphic technology and the emergence of an era greatly depen- dent on visual course in Sequential Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Organizing the .. focus. After all, this is the art of graphic story-telling. narrative.. By Will EISNER. COMMISHONER. DOLAN. CENTRAL CITY. U.S.A.
The rendering of the elements. Artwork was delivered to the printer on paper board with zip-o-tone or overlays for grey tones. Throughout his stories. His dialogue in balloons is addressed to the reader. As in the theatre we are dealing with ac- tions that are taking place on two tracks of time. Wish I could have spent a bit more time with this but forgot I had it and then it was due. What effect will the story have?
The entire image is complete and intact. In panel B the reader is ex- pected to understand that the figure shown has legs in proper proportion to the torso and that they are in a compatible position.
In the closeup C , the reader is expected to assume an entire body exists outside the panel and, based on experience and memory, must supply the rest of the picture in conformity with what the physiology of the head suggests. The slim head A The fat head B implies a slim body. Subsequent views of the characters will of course substantiate these assump- tions.
For example, rectangular panels with straight edged borders A , unless the verbal portion of the narrative contradicts this, usually are meant to imply that the actions contained therein are set in the present tense. The flashback a change in tense or shift in time is often indicated by altering the line which makes up the frame.
The wavy edged B or scalloped C panel border is the most common past time indicator. It has the effect of encompassing unseen but acknowledged background. On this page the open panels are intended to imply unlimited space and the suggested setting. And by a Jloved combat?? It can be used to convey something of the dimension of sound and emotional climate in which the action occurs, as well as contributing to the atmosphere of the page as a whole. In addition to adding a secondary intellectual level to the narrative, it tries to deal with other sensory dimensions.
The jagged outline implies an emotionally explosive action. It conveys a state of ten- sion and is related to crisp crackle associ- ated with radio or tele- phonic transmission of sound.
The long panel rein- forces the illusion of height. The positioning of several square panels emulate a fall- ing motion. The illusion of power and threat is displayed by allowing the actor to burst out of the con- fines of the panel.
Since the panel border is assumed to be in- violate in a comic page this adds to the sense of unleashed action.
The absence of a panel outline is design- ed to convey unlimited space. It provides a sense of serenity and supports the narrative by contributing atmo- sphere to the narrative. It tells the reader that the actor is confined in a small area within a wider one — the build- ing.
It narrates this visually. The cloudlike enclo- sure defines the pic- ture as being a thought, or memory. The action would be read as ac- tually taking place if there were no panel or a hard outline.
As in the theatre we are dealing with ac- tions that are taking place on two tracks of time. Three small panels con- tained by a thick outline super- imposed over a broader panel with a thin out- line are meant to convey a time-focus necessary to the nar- rative. The absence of a panel outline here narrates the duration of time and the limitless locale critical to the story. The hard outline of the last frame an- nounces the close of the sequence.
The use of the panel border as a structural element, when so employed, serves to involve the reader and encompasses far more than a simple container-panel.
An example of the use of a doorway or window which, while resembling a panel, is nevertheless a structure in the setting of the story. The rhythm of the nar- rative is set in this man- ner.
Here, the placement of a head, freed, but relating to the narrow flat panel, evokes a feeling of a page that has unlimited dimensions. J 'Vy- The panel outline is actually the window frame. This is an integral piece of background art that tells of a shift in location. CITT line. The panel outline speaks to this and hopefully enables the reader to share in the experience.
IT'S like MO Tilting of panels and lettering seeks to create the subliminal effect. What, or how much, it contains depends on the number of pages that follow. It is a launching pad for the narrative, and for most stories it establishes a frame of reference. The panel is, in the conventional configuration, used only sparingly. A synthesis of speed, multi-leveled action, narrative and the dimensions of the stage is attempted. The problem here is to employ the panel so that it will not intrude on the segment of the story encompassed by the page frame.
Where the actors are displaying powerful and sophisticated emotions — where their postures and gestures are subtle and critical to the telling of the story — the panel outlines become a liability unless imposed with concern for their effect on what they contain.
One important facet of the full-page frame is that planning the breakdown of the plot and action into page segments becomes the first order of business. Pages are the constant in comic book narration. They have to be dealt with immediately after the story is solidified. Because the groupings of action and other events do not necessarily break up evenly, some pages must contain more individual scenes than others.
Keep in mind that when the reader turns the page a pause occurs. Here one deals with retention as well as attention. The page as well as the panel must therefore be addressed as a unit of containment although it too is merely a part of the whole comprised by the story itself.
In the following example, each page is of unequal reading duration, time and rhythm. Each encompasses a different time and setting. Each page is a result of careful deliberation. The individual panels vary from small close-ups set on another plane to the overriding panel at the bottom.
On this page a set of events not necessarily concurrent or in sequence must be held together because the threads of the plot are meant to be separate but related. The event on the top tier occurs in a differ- ent time and place from the sequence below which occurs in a more confined environ- ment. In reality it is a single unit that concludes the action begun on the previous page. This page holds the reader in place while it permits a series of actions which have a flexible time frame.
The details of action are the weave in the fabric. With an overriding background narrative such as the newspaper story — the page becomes a sub- or underlying panel by acting as an extension of the newspaper itself. The rest are sub-panels or back- ground. The need is to give eac panel individual attention. Good BV Good LUCK! That is, I hoped the reader would see and feel the entire page as a panel.
Then, steeped in the mood or message, read the newspapers which give the action depth. It is best employed for parallel narratives. This narrative form, or device, has interesting potential not often explored in comics.
The printed form lends itself to this because, unlike the transitory nature of the film medium, it can be referred to repeatedly throughout the reading. Obviously, it depends on the plot and careful planning. In a plot where two independent narratives are shown simultaneously, the problem of giving them equal attention and weight is addressed by making the panel that controls the total narrative the entire page itself. The parallel narrative is restored.
This involves perspective and the arrangement of all the elements. The prime considerations are serving the flow of narrative and following standard reading conventions. Concern with mood, emotion, action and timing follows. Decoration or novelty of arrangement come into play only after these are resolved. A center of inter- est is estab- lished. This beconnes the site of the major action. The perspective is now determin- ed.
The secondary narrative ele- ments are add- ed. This manipulation enables the artist to clarify activity, orient the reader and stimulate emotion. In each case the result is the view as the reader will see it. For ex- ample, accurate perspective is most useful when the sense of the story re- quires that the reader know precisely where all the elements of a drama are in relation to each other.
In this panel an over-head view is necessary to give the reader a clear unin- volved view of the setting and the events to foilow. Another use of perspective is its employment to manipulate and produce various emotional states in the reader.
Looking at a scene from above it the viewer has a sense of detachment — an observer rather than a participant. However, when the reader views a scene from below it, then his position evokes a sense of smallness which stimulates a sensation of fear. The shape of the panel in combination with perspective pro- motes these reactions because we are responsive to environment. A narrow panel evokes the feeling of being hemmed in — confinement, whereas a wide panel suggests plenty of space in which to move — or escape.
These are deep seated primitive feelings and work when used properly. The reader feels confined and domi- nated by the monster. The reader has plenty of elbow room and above it all. There is little threat or involvement.
As a result the integrity of the story tell- ing is compromised. Indeed, the artist himself, becomes party to this subor- dination because the first judgment rendered onto any comic book work is centered on the art work; style, quality and draftsmanship.
It is, after all, a graphic medium. In a field where the writer and the artist are two individuals whose professional reputation and earning power are dependent on recogni- tion by the audience, the need for the artist to display artistic prowess even to the detriment of the story is quite irresistible.
Often this results in an output of the story with virtuoso art work independent of — or even unrelated to the story. A representative example of a plot which needs careful discipline in art and perspective is the science fiction plot which tells of a supernatural occur- rence in a realistic setting.
The facts herewith xnd chrcmologically presented are available to us because The Spirit, long on the trail of these two, arrived on the scene within the hour. All the scenes here are shown from an eye-level perspective to reinforce realism. J HEY.. IPU' i rw liBi Every effort is made to keep it believable.
Even in the face of a provocative opportunity such as an astronomy laboratory, the eye- level discipline is rigidly maintained. Of all the innumerable inventory of images that fill the human experience, the human form is the one most assiduously studied, and hence the most familiar. The human body, and the stylization of its shape, and the codifying of its emotionally produced gestures and expressive postures are accumulated and stored in the memory, forming a non-verbal vocabulary of gesture.
Unlike the frame device in comics, the postures of humans are not part of comic strip technology. Not much is known about where or how the brain stores the countless bits of memory that contribute to or become comprehensible when arranged in a certain combination. But it is patently clear that when a skillfully limned im- age is presented it can trigger a recall that evokes recognition and the collateral effects on the emotion.
We are obviously dealing here with the common memory of experience. It is precisely because of this that the human form and the language of its bodily movements become one of the essential ingredients of comic strip art. Springer Verlag, Their employment in repetitive glyphs later distilled into letters for language makes them a code allowing memorization and deciphering.
Perhaps the most obvious demonstration of this is in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Early cave drawings are an example of written communication using familiar images. Later, Egyptian friezes developed this further. Finally, the Egyptian Hieroglyphics codified the images into repeatable symbols to form a useable written language. There have been many attempts to codify human postures and the emotions they register or reflect. Because it has to do with survival, humans begin to learn it from in- fancy.
From postures we are warned of danger or told of love. In comic book art, the artist must draw upon personal observations and an inventory of gestures, common and comprehensible to the reader. They serve to demonstrate, also, the enormous bank of sym- bols we build up out of our experience.
Formal or organized recorded human com- munication began as visual communication. The skill and science if you will lies in the selection of the posture or gesture. In the print medium, unlike film or theater, the practitioner has to distill a hundred intermediate movements of which the gesture is comprised into one posture.
This selected posture must convey nuances, support the dialogue, carry the thrust of the story, and deliver the message. The manner in which these images are employed modifies and defines the in- tended meaning of the words. In comic strip art this property is widely employed. It would take a book in itself to catalogue the thousands of gestures and postures with which humans communicate visually. For the purpose of this discussion, it is necessary only to examine and demonstrate the relationship of gesture or posture to dialogue and to observe the result of its application.
Usually, it is the final posi- tion that is the key to its meaning. The selection process here is confined to the context within a sequence. It must clearly convey intended meaning. The reader must agree with the selection. In the example that follows, one posture must be selected out of a flow of movements in order to tell a segment of a story. It is then frozen into the panel in a block of time.
In a panel selected from a series, the frozen posture tells its story — giving in- formation about the before and after of the event. This event takes place over a short period of time — but because there was a need to clearly show the source of the weapon rock and the power needed to ef- fectively use it — the action was broken up into three panels.
It is acceptable simply because the moment of time frozen in this action sums it up with the understanding that the viewer knows and can supply imaginatively that there could not have been any other set of postures possible in order to arrive at this point. The postures that follow im- mediately are also assumed and it is unnecessary to depict them unless the next panel depends on the outcome of the movement.
Each posture is of equal importance in the narrative. The in-between actions are implied by each pose shown. Out of these, the reader can deduce the choreography. In comic book art this part of the anatomy invites the most attention and involvement. For the sake of this discussion, the face is studied without regard to individual personality.
The following example demonstrates the response of muscular reflex contor- tion in the face that reflects or gives evidence of an inner emotion. Discomfort in some part of the body. Comfort that extends over Body is poised for some the entire body. The distinction between posture and gesture in the face is less definable because of the limits of its anatomy. Except for the ears and nose the surface of the face is in constant motion. Eyebrows, lips, jaws, eyelids and cheeks are responding to muscular movements triggered by an emotional switchboard in the brain.
The in- tention is to display the application of facial expressions as a vocabulary. Its role in communication is to register emotion. On this surface the combinations of the moveable elements are ex- pected by the reader to reveal an emotion and act as an adverb to the posture or gesture of the body. Because of this relationship, the head or face is often used by artists to convey the entire message of bodily movement. It is the one part of the body with which the reader is most familiar.
The face also, of course, provides meaning to the spoken word. Unlike the body, its gestures are more subtle but more readily understood. It is also the part of the body that is most individual. From the reading of a face, people make daily judgments, entrust their money, political future and their emotional relation- ships.
This simply illustrates the adverbial effect of the posture of the head on the move- ment of features on the surface of the face. Together they communicate the emo- tional reaction to an unheard by the reader telephone message.
Properly and skillfully done, it can carry the narrative without resorting to unnecessary props or scenery. The use of expressive anatomy in the absence of words is less demanding because the latitude for the art is wider. Where the words have a depth of meaning and nuance, the task is more difficult.
Ill This represents an example of a classic situation — that of author vs. This wedding of Shake- spearean language with a modern denizen of the ghetto may not be appropriate but the exercise serves to demonstrate the potential of the medium be- cause the emotional content is so universal.
It is at once a part and the whole of the medium. It is closest in re- quirements to playwriting, but for the fact that the writer, in the case of com- ics, is also the imagemaker artist. In sequential art the two functions are irrevocably interwoven. Sequential art is the act of weaving a fabric. In comics the imagining is done for the reader. An image once drawn becomes a precise statement that brooks little or no further interpretation.
With this as a given, we can arrange an order of progression which assembles itself as follows: The idea and the story or plot in the form of a written script includes nar- rative and dialogue balloons. Directions to the artist descrip- tion of panel and page content carry that idea from the mind of the writer to the illustrator. Each component pledges allegiance to the whole. The writer must at the outset be concerned with the interpretation of his story by the artist, and the artist must allow himself to be a captive of the story or idea.
The separate con- siderations of the writing and drawing functions are directly involved with the aesthetics of the medium because the actual segregation of the writing and art function has proliferated in the practice of modern comics. Unlike theatre including cinema , in which the technology of its creation demands by its very nature the coordinated contributions of many specialists, comics have a history of being the product of a single individual.
The departure from the work of a single individual to that of a team is generally due to the exigency of time. More often the publisher ordains it out of a need to meet publication schedules, control his property when he owns a character, or when his editor assembles a team to suit an editorial thrust. So, to accommodate the dictates of the publisher or schedule, the artist will engage the services of a writer, or the writer will engage the skills of an artist.
A factor that has always had an impact on comics as an art form is the underlying reality that we are dealing with a medium of expression which is primarily visual. This then lures the artist to concentrate his skills on style, technique and graphic devices which are designed to dazzle the eye.
Another factor in the loosening of this fabric is the procedure whereby the writer gives the artist the bare summary of a plot. The completed work at this point little more than a tapestry is returned to the writer who must then apply dialogue and connecting narrative.
Under these circumstances there could occur a struggle for identity as the writer, seeking to maintain his equity in the end product, overwrites in spaces arbitrarily allocated to him by the artist who has created an interpretation that is now irrevocable.
In this case the art without the text would be quite meaningless. The deliberate pause timing by the inser- tion of a wordless panel adds weight and power to the punch line. Here we seek a demonstration of the various possible applications of text which include dialogue, connecting narrative and description.
It can also affect the humor by adding a dimen- sion of incongruity. A minimum of word usage. Words here are employed for sounds. The artist shoulders the burden of conveying the action and the emotion of the fugitive by imagery alone. Balloons are more liberally used to reinforce the theme. A heavy application of narrative seeks to add dimension to the art and tries to participate in the story-telling by repeating or reinforcing what the images are trying to tell.
In doing so, however, one must then immediately acknowledge that in a perfect or pure configuration the writer and the artist should be embodied in the same person.
The writing or the writer must be in control to the very end. It is here that the graphic elements ascend to dominance. For the end product is, after all, to be read as a total visual. These virtually dictate the scope of a story and the depth of its telling. It is for this reason that stories and plots of simple, ob- vious action have long dominated comic book literature.
The selection of a story and the telling of it, become subject to limitations of space, skill of the artist and the technology of reproduction. Actually, from the viewpoint of art or literature, this medium can deal with subject matter and theme of great sophistication. Of the many elements of a story the most amenable to imagery are scenery and action.
It is also reasonable to expect this medium to deal with abstrac- tions that can be conveyed by human action and scenery. The dialogue which gives voice to the thought processes has the effect of rendering action mean- ingful. Text used in the introduction of a sequence or interposed between panels is employed to deal with the passage of time and changes in locale. It simply repeats the text.
At the outset the creator makes a determination as to the nature of the story. He must determine if he is dealing with the exposition of an idea, a problem and its solution or the conveyance of the reader through an experience.
The style of treatment i. Most often this is a predetermined concept and is eliminated from conscious choice or protracted deliberation. It is nonetheless important to factor it in the following steps.
The writer initiates the breakdown and expects very often with a fervent prayer the artist to reproduce or convert into visuals the description of action and compositional instructions that accompany the dialogue. Obviously, a close rapport between the two will prevent impossible demands by the writer and confounding modifications generally in the form of abbreviations and downright omis- sions by the artist who is often struggling more with the limitations of space, time and skill of rendering not to mention laziness than with intellectual considerations.
It takes a very sophisticated writer of long experience and dedication to ac- cept total castration of his words, as, for example, a series of exquisitely writ- ten balloons which are discarded in favor of an equally exquisite pantomine.
But he must, nevertheless, go through the entire process whether or not he does it on a set of thumbnails writing dialogue as he goes or follows the formality of typing a script for his own use. This is a simplified example of an average script. In practice the presentation style of the script varies with the standards of the publishing house — or the agreement between artist and writer.
This script deals with only one page of a story. His face shows a crafty idea is aborning. Per- haps a close up, his face lit by the lone lamp. Two hours later. Fog swirls about the piles and rotting planking of the wharf. We see the Spirit standing in the one spot of light provided by a lone lamp post. The hull of a docked tanker is barely visible in the mist. In a corner of the panel we see a shadowy figure obviously a thug.
Close in on the Spirit Out of the shadows the thug moves close to the Spirit.. We see his glistening knife blade pointed to just behind the Spirit ' s ear.
The thug is dimly seen. The Spirit's posture is one of seeming sur- render. Failing that, and in the absence of any prior agreement be- tween artist and writer, then I come down in favor of the dominance of the artist. This is not to free him from the obligation to work in service of the story originated by the writer. For those who would like to have a rule these two might be useful. Actually, the writer will generally concentrate on plot and dialogue leaving or hoping for skillful stage craft by the artist.
Shown here is a two panel segment of script. I've been shot from behind. Jones falls into the Spirit's arms just as he arrives. Kabla diamond is.. Furthermore, the elimination of narrative makes the reading flow uninterrupted.
This is story-telling by the artist. It was never executed or published. T"' HflV? Since he can sketch he is able to supply the artist with visual stage directions. The compatability of the writer and artist is very evident here.
This allows the artist to innovate page layouts and panel composition. Page 1 [missing] Page 2 Panel 1 Martian zzzt.. Panel 7 - Caption: Spirit, also on stage SHH Panel 2 - Caption: Smith whose actual name is Algernon Tidewater can be seen with kids and parents or teacher.
Dolan is approaching room too. Martian P. Panel 6 - [Silent — P. HA HA! Panel 8 -- Caption: Panel 9 - Caption: This device functions as a trial mock up which gives the creator the chance to make rearrangements before the final product is begun. This instrument provides the editor, writer and artist with control of story and art. The time and money saving advantages are obvious.
The inked page is shown alongside. Working from a dummy the artist enjoys a great deal of freedom In that there is an underlying structure upon which the rendering can depend. Periodical comics, graphic novels, instructional manuals and storyboards are the most familiar vehicles. In the main, periodical comics and graphic novels are devoted to entertain- ment while manuals and storyboards are used to instruct or sell.
But there is an overlap because art in sequence tends to be expository. For instance, com- ic books, which generally confine themselves to stories designed exclusively for entertainment, often employ instructional techniques which buttress the exaggeration and enhance the entertainment.
In a work of comic art intended purely for entertainment, some technical exposition of a precise nature often occurs.
A common example is a procedure like the opening of a safe in a detective story or the assembling of parts in a space adventure. An image, wordlessly depicting a gesture or a scene, can, for example, convey depths and a certain amount of emotion. But as we observed earlier in the discussion on writing, images are specific, so they obviate interpretation. An assemblage of art that portrays life allows little input of an imaginative nature from the reader. In the main, though, these requirements on the reader are set down with precision by the art.
There is a kind of privacy which the reader of a traditional prose work en- joys in the process of translating a descriptive passage into a visual image in the mind. This is a very personal thing and permits an involvement far more participatory than the voyeurism of examining a picture. Another challenge to the sequential art medium is the matter of dealing with abstraction. Obviously, when the comic artist selects a single posture out of a chain of motions by a body — or an arrested moment in the animation of objects in movement — there is little time or space to deal with the amorphics of, say, the surge of pain or the glow of love or the turmoil of inner conflicts.
When faced with this task, the demand on the innovativeness and creativity of the comic artist becomes enormous. Yet it is precisely in these areas where the opportunity for expansion of the application of comic book art lies.
This is the prime and continuous confrontation which the comic book cartoonist must address. There are only two ways to deal with it: The efforts at this application of the medium, random and enthusiastic as they are, still run headlong into an unprepared audience, not to mention an ill- equipped distribution system that provides an adequate position in the general marketplace where display usually follows the patterns of yesterday.
Historically, comics have been confined to short narrations or depictions of episodes of brief but intense duration. Indeed, the reader, it was assumed, sought from comics either instant visually transmittable information, as in daily strips, or a visual experience of a sensory nature, as in the fantasy com- ics.
Publishers neither encouraged nor supported anything more. Early tapestries, friezes or hieroglyphic narrations either recorded events or sought to reinforce mythologies; they spoke to a broad audience. In the mid- dle ages, when sequential art sought to tell morality tales or religious stories with no great depth of discussion or nuance, the readership addressed was one with little formal education. In this way, sequential art developed into a kind of shorthand which employed stereotypes when addressing human involve- ment.
Those readers who sought greater sophistication of subject and greater subtlety and complexity of narrative could find it more easily by learning how to read words.
Future application of sequential art will find this its major challenge. The future for the graphic novel lies in the choice of worthwhile themes and the innovation of exposition. Given the fact that, despite the proliferation of electronic technology, the portable printed page will remain in place for the immediate future, it would seem that the attraction to it of a more sophisti- cated audience lies in the hands of serious comic book artists and writers who are willing to risk trial and error.
Publishers are only catalysts. No more should be expected from them. The future of this form awaits participants who truly believe that the appli- cation of sequential art, with its interweaving of words and pictures, could provide a dimension of communication that contributes— hopefully on a level never before attained— to the body of literature that concerns itself with the examination of human experience. The art then is that of deploying images and words, each in exquisitely balanced proportion, within the limitations of the medium and in the face of the still unresolved ambivalence of the audience toward it.
Style, presentation, the economy of space and the technological nature of reproduction notwithstanding, balloons and panels are still the basic tools with which to work. As for the receptivity of the audience, this must and will change and become sympathetic as the product delivers more and becomes more relevant. LOCR wrm Key It shows a more formal layout that retains the function of panels and balloons. The performance of such tasks are, in themselves, se- quential in nature and the success of this art form as a teaching tool Mes in the fact that the reader can easily relate to the experience demonstrated.
Properly done, these elements should com- bine to provide the reader with a famiharity born out of the experience that sequential art is so good at providing. The relationship or the identification evoked by the acting out or dramatization in a sequence of pictures is in itself instructional.
People learn by imitation and the reader in this instance can easily supply the inter- mediate or connecting action from his or her own experience. Here too there is no pressure of time as there would be in a live action motion picture or animated film.
The amount of time allowed to the reader of a printed comic to examine, digest and imagine the process of acting out or assuming the role or attitude demonstrated is unlimited. There is room for approximation and opportunity for specific performances which the reader can examine without pressure. Unhke the rigidity of photographs, the broad generalization of art- work permits exaggeration which can more quickly make the point and in- fluence the reader.
Designed for career exploration. While they employ the major elements of sequential art, they depart from comic books and strips in that they dispense with balloons and panels. Because of the fundamental relationship between film and the comics which preceded it, there is little surprise in the fact that the employment of comic book artists by film makers has boomed.
Here is an example of a story board for a commercial and the resulting film shown below. Norm, my name is Norm. Bella Brut,. ViTith Bolla Brut. Therefore, the aesthetics and technical skills must be ad- dressed almost simultaneously. There is little opportunity for serendipity in this discipline. Particularly in comics, the practice of sequential art is a teachable, studied skill that stems from an imaginative employment of science and language knowledge as well as the ability to portray or caricature and handle the tools of drawing.
Indeed, an average comic book story would reveal the involvement of a range of diverse disciplines that would surprise a pedagogue. It is worth the risk of over-simplification to attempt a charting of these to make the ooint. This is an art form that concerns itself with realism because it purports to tell stories. Sequential art deals with recognizable imagery.
The tools are human or animal beings, objects and devices, natural phenomena and language. I guess you could call it a more focused and nuanced discussion, but unlike in CSA, there were very few places where examples showed how different choices created different effects.
There were hefty examples here both from Eisner's own work and from other comics pioneers like Milton Caniff and Al Kapp , but for the most part, the reader is just supposed to infer what the creator did and why it was the right choice, with no discussion of why that was the right choice there or how to decide what the right choice might be in a different situation.
On the one hand, it was clear in a long series of Terry and the Pirates dailies that the dialogue in each three-frame strip was crafted to subtly remind the reader what had come before while moving the plot forward. On the other hand, Eisner tells us that a joke needs a setup or prologue of the right length to clue the reader in and shows a page comic he drew with a 4-page prologue, but never says why this is the right length, when the prologue seemed unnecessarily long to me I think it could have been cut to 3 or even 2 pages.
Was he trying to set a particular pace for the unfolding story? Was it just about making sure the facing pages matched?
Did he run out of story and need to fluff it out to 30 pages? Without a discussion of why the choices were made, it's hard to incorporate the advice into your own work. More pictures at parkablogs. 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 More pictures at parkablogs. This would include comic tools like lettering, building momentum, using visual clues and writing. Examples include how props i. There are lessons on how to engage readers, how readers think and mistakes to avoid. These are followed with lots of comic strip examples — including a selection from different comic artists. Unfortunately, they aren't captioned page by page like it was done on his other books.
The comic examples are great, you know it but you don't know why they work. The book doesn't really go in depth into all aspects of storytelling. There's no talk on character development, story arcs, conflict management and specific story elements and tools. Overall, this is still a very useful book for anyone who's just starting out and thinking of drawing their own comics.
This review was first published on parkablogs. There are more pictures and videos on my blog. Jun 13, 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 After reading Eisner's Classic, Comics and Sequential Art, I wished for more content, because the book was so insightful and helpful.
It is also far more heavily illustrated, but where the illustrations further illuminated the points of Comics, these examples, often six pages or more, feel more like padding. I'd like to note that the illustrated portions are excellent, being mostly excerpts from Eisner's comics. However, many of the images in Comics were drawn uniquely for the book, while these are mostly reprints.
I would have liked to read this book condensed to a single chapter at the end of Comics, but on its own, after already reading Comics, I don't find it very helpful. Feb 18, Ted Henkle rated it it was amazing Shelves: I liked this book as much as Book 1, "Comics and Sequential 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 "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative" is Book 2 in Will Eisner's how-to series on the principles of creating comics. While the focus of "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative" was in writing, its just as lavishly illustrated as the previous book was.
Eisner even used comics from other writers to fill his pages and make his points. My only complaint about this was that some of the narrative and dialogue print was so small, I had to break-out my bifocals, instead of using my usual reading glasses.
Otherwise, this is another 5-star work from the grand master of comics. 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 Will Eisner was a genius. Better yet, he is so universal in his approach that he offers some fascinating new ideas for thinking about the craft of writing even when he is focused strictly on the artwork--he is a brilliant reminder that storytelling isn't really about language, it's about communication, and that writing fiction doesn't necessarily require writing text.
A fascinating book that I will keep on the shelf for quick reference at all times. Jan 07, 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 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. I felt the last fifth of the book seemed padded, but it was definitely worth the read - and the purchase.
I intend to come back to this book again and again as I work on my own storytelling and illustrations. 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 A lot of the content in Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative is already handled in the series' previous volume, Comics and Sequential Art.
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 illustrate his points. 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. A precious resource for comic artists and film makers at large, I found this book extremely informative and entertaining at the same time. Jun 17, 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. View all 4 comments.
Oct 26, Sean rated it it was ok Shelves: 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. Jan 12, Paul Shillinger rated it it was ok. 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, Michelle rated it really liked it Shelves: 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. 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 s, 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.
Readers Also Enjoyed. About Will Eisner. Will Eisner. By the time of his death on January 3, , 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 Will Eisner was born on March 6, in Brooklyn, New York.
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 'Orson Welles of Comics. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena, and countless others. After the war this continued as the Army's "PS Magazine" which is still being produced today.
The textbooks that he wrote were based on his course and are still bestsellers. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at San Diego Comic-Con, America's largest comics convention.
Wizard magazine named Eisner "the most influential comic artist of all time. Visit www. Other books in the series. Sequential Art 3 books. Books by Will Eisner. Trivia About Graphic Storytell