Alphabetical Index of Books About Comics

Panel Two

Panel Two is a followup to Panel One, a book edited by Nat Gertler collecting sample comic scripts by notable writers, that improves on the first in two ways: it covers even more diverse ways to write comics, and it includes commentary by many of the artists involved. As well as learning basic information (pros and cons of full script vs. just panel descriptions, for example, or a list of art reference books), you’ll be entertained by the occasional horror […]

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Totally Obvious

While travelling one weekend, I got the chance to read Totally Obvious: The Complete Master of the Obvious Collection in its handy, laptop-friendly PDF format. It’s all of Steven Grant’s essays published online under that title from 1999-2001, almost 300 pages of good writing and great insight. Most of what I’ve learned about comics — the medium, the industry, the artform, the business — has come in bits and pieces over more than a decade now. There are very few […]

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The Science of Superheroes

This readable popular science book has an interesting hook: superhero stories are used to introduce discussions of various scientific questions. Batman brings up gadgets and jetpacks; Spider-Man means spiders and cloning; Green Lantern, black holes and color theory. There’s also a chapter in The Science of Superheroes on the EC science fiction comics — although it sounds as though it’s more accurate to describe them as science-less morality tales — and DC’s Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space. The latter […]

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The Science of Supervillains

The Science of Supervillains opens with a preface that gives the reader the basics of the Silver Age of superhero comics. After that comes an introduction by Chris Claremont where he talks briefly about Magneto and the problems of writing plausible villains. Then the chapters, one each for Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, Brainiac, The Vulture, Poison Ivy, Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, Venom, Gorilla Grodd, Magneto, Vandal Savage, The Silver Surfer, Sinestro, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite, and strangely, the Crisis on […]

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Manga Secrets

I wanted to jump into this how-to book as soon as I received it. Manga Secrets is immediately welcoming, with well-laid-out pages, lots of attractive spot color, and an approach that suggests that anyone can draw manga with its help. Lea Hernandez clearly knows her stuff. She’s created her own manga-influenced graphic novels and worked as a retouch artist and manga rewriter. The introduction is done as a comic strip, demonstrating her art style while communicating her love of manga […]

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