Understanding comics - the invisible art

is an excellent book by Scott McCloud (isbn 0-06-097625-X). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
Do you hear what I'm saying? If you do, have your ears checked, because no one said a word.
For now I'm going to examine cartooning as a form of amplification through simplification.
Since cartoons already exists as concepts for the reader, they tend to flow easily through the conceptual territory between panels. Ideas flowing into one another seamlessly.
These first symbols - cartoons really - gradually evolved away from any resemblance to their subject, toward the highly abstracted forms of modern languages… and eventually to our totally abstract sound-based system.
The longer any form of art or communication exists, the more symbols it accumulates.
In this chapter, we've dealt with the invisible worlds of senses and emotions, but in fact all aspects of comics show it to be an art of the invisible.
The more an artist devotes him/herself to either of these two focal points (form and idea/purpose), the more dramatic the change if he/she decides to switch.
Symbols are the stuff of which gods are made.
All media of communication are a by-product of our sad inability to communicate directly from mind to mind. Sad, of course, because nearly all problems in human history stem from that inability.
The wall of ignorance that prevents so many human beings from seeing each other clearly can only be breached by communication. And communication is only effective when we understand the forms that communication can take.

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