The cover of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Author(s): Scott McCloud
Artist(s): Scott McCloud
Category: Academic
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, Czech, Russian, Farsi, Finnish, Dutch, Croatian, Greek, Swedish, Galician, Slovenian
Grade Level(s): 7-12
Mature Content?: No


Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is more a meta-textbook than anything else. Considered an essential resource in the comic book classroom, McCloud runs through how comics work, some of the theories of representation, and takes it to an extremely high level. His skill and knowledge span the history of comics and reveal a deep and complicated understanding of sequential art and graphic novels. McCloud’s analysis ranges from the different types of comics to the variance in art and representation to the ways in which comics deal with time and relate concepts in the gutters (the space between the panels).

Teaching Points:

McCloud’s seminal work can be accessed by middle schoolers, but can also inform college students. Some of the concepts are extremely complex and difficult, while others are an excellent example of basic analysis and simple explanation. In a class that attends to visual literacy, Understanding Comics is an invaluable resource, though there are other options out there. Taken a few pages at a time, Understanding Comics can provide a solid background for analysis of the visuals of comics and be a good starting point for comic creation. There are a ton of resources and essays for Understanding Comics, only a few of which are featured here. This marks it as a text that’s easy to integrate in a classroom at al levels.

A look inside Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud, featuring the definition of sequential art.Related Resources/Lesson Plans:

2 thoughts to “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud

  • Jeff Dalto

    Thanks for including a link to my article about this book at the Convergence Training blog.

    Also, thanks for linking to the TED Talk. I didn’t know there was one.

    I am intrigued by your website and will look around.

    Have a nice day.

    • MrRoberts

      Thanks for your response, Jeff. You have some awesome resources and we’re glad they’re available for folks to check out.


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