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Itching to pick up a pen and pencil and give this whole comics thing a try? Here are some great resources to help you understand comics, from the first line you draw or line of dialogue you write to the ways comic storytelling works on your brain and heart.

Balloon Tales
A site devoted to the often overlooked art of lettering in comics

Comics and Sequential Art
By Will Eisner
Poorhouse Press 1994
ISBN: 0961472812

One of the first texts, by the grandmaster himself, to consider comic art and attempt to explain its format, inner workings, and style.

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative
By Will Eisner
Poorhouse Press 1996
ISBN: 0961472820

A companion to Comics and Sequential Art, this volume concentrates on how to tell a story in visual forms, drawing information from comics to filmmaking.

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Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics
By Christopher Hart
Watson-Guptill Publications 2000
ISBN: 0823030350

Ever wonder just what the differences are between how to draw manga and how to draw American comics? The answers are in this book, along with great guides for traditional characters and movements.

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Understanding Comics
ISBN: 006097625X

Revinventing Comics

ISBN: 0060953500

By Scott McCloud
Harper Collins 1994

After Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art, Understanding Comics is a must-read for anyone curious about how comics work -- as art and as a way to tell stories. Just why do we care so much about a mouse? Or a superhero? Reinventing Comics goes into how the comics industry has been changed by technology.

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The Art of Comic Book Inking
By Gary Martin
Dark Horse Comics 2002
ISBN: 1569716137

An informative guide to all the ins and outs of the most overlooked art of comics -- inking.

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Drawing Dynamic Comics
By Andy Smith
Watson-Guptill Publications 2000
ISBN: 0823003124

A great guide for drawing comics in the traditional American style. Especially good for learning about the variety in cross-hatching and just what makes a superhero different, visually, from an ordinary guy.

There are actual quite a few titles in this series, all of which offer great insight into specific parts of comic art:

Dynamic Figure Drawing
ISBN: 0823015777
Drawing Dynamic Hands
ISBN: 0823013685
Dynamic Light and Shade
ISBN: 0823015815
Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery
ISBN: 0823015874
all by Burne Hogarth
Watson-Guptill Publications

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The Art of Comic Book Writing
By Randy Stradley
Dark Horse Comics 2002
ISBN: 1569715793

In the same series as The Art of Comic Book Inking, this time author Stradley, one of the best editors in he business, gets into the nuts and bolts of how to write for comics. The book includes perspectives from such top authors as Kurt Busiek, Peter David, Ron Marz, John Arcudi, Dave Gibbons, Mark Waid, and Steven Grant.

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Torso author Brian Michael Bendis' home on the web

Birds of Prey author Charles Dixon's home on the web

A Distant Soil
Colleen Doran's home on the web

Will Eisner
A Contract with God author's home on the web

Warren Ellis
Transmetropolitan author's home on the web. Also check out his fabulous and always bracingblog

Christian Gosset
Red Star author's home on the web (along with the entire team who works on Red Star

Scott McCloud
Understanding Comics author's home on the web

Mike Mignola
Hellboy author's home on the web

Mark Millar
Ultimate X-Men author's home on the web

George Pratt
Enemy Ace: War Idyll author's home on the web

Alex Ross Art
Kingdom Come artist's home on the web

Greg Rucka
Queen and Country creator's home on the web

Eric Shanower
Age of Bronze creator's home on the web

Kevin Smith
Green Arrow: Quiver creator's home on the web

Matt Wagner
Mage creator's home on the web

Bill Willingham
Fables creator's home on the web

Judd Winick
Pedro and Me creator's home on the web -- check out the sections of Pedro and Me that didn't quite make it into the final cut!

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The Comic Page
An extensive and not terribly long history of comics from 1896 through to the early 1980s

The Comics Journal
The web version of one of the most respected mags in the industry. You do need to pick up the paper copy to read many of the articles, but this site is great to see what they cover.

The Comics Continuum
Daily news stories on anything and everything related to comics -- great for a quick fix!

Comic Book Resources
Extensive site full of news stories, reviews, online comics, community bulletin boards and more!

Leap along with Spidey -- from comics to the silver screen -- news, buzz, and interviews galore

Industry news, reviews, and a whole load of interviews

Sequential Tart
A witty site devoted to women in comics

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Art Bomb
A review site which also features a collection of online graphic novels

Nowhere Girl
A young woman seeks release from isolation

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Art Bomb
Also listed above for online graphic novels, Artbomb is also a great place for reviews of current titles (and is also co-run by author Warren Ellis).

The Comics Get Serious
Reviews of comics and graphic novels from D. Aviva Rothschild -- great for new titles

Diamond Comics Bookshelf
Diamond Comics is one of the biggest distributors of comics and graphic novels around the country -- however, this link is here not as a "product placement," but instead to point you toward their reviews, in the librarians section, written by graphic novel guru and advocate Kat Kan. Kat Kan also writes an excellent column on graphic novels in VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), an excellent journal devoted to Young Adult librarianship and services.

Graphic Novels: An Annotated List
A short annotated list by YA librarian Dawn Imada with great age recommendations.

Graphic Novels
Another quick take from the Berkeley Public Library.

Recommended Graphic Novels for Public Libraries
Reviews of comics and graphic novels from Steve Ratieri, an Ohio Librarian and comics enthusiast. Especially informative about superhero series and titles.

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The Comics Journal's guide to the Industry Awards
A short and informative guide to the number and history of awards given in the comics industry

2002 Eisner Awards
2001 Eisner Awards
Recent lists of the highest award in the industry

The Harvey Awards
One of the oldest and most respected awards -- and it remains the only one voted by professionals in the industry

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DC Comics
The place to go for all the latest on Superman, Batman, and the entire Justice League of America. They also have some great online comics featuring your DC favorites.

Dark Horse Comics
Very dense and exciting site connecting you to the independent comics industry. Features, interviews, merchandise -- it's all here. Warning: this site is very graphic heavy and is more fun if you have Flash installed -- if not, don't worry, you're given a link to a non-Flash version.

Image Comics
Image Comics does not maintain its own main site, but this link leads to all of their linked publishers, including Top Cow and McFarlane.

Marvel Comics
The place to go for updates and news on Marvel's world, from Spiderman onward. The site includes some great interviews and a bulletin board where Marvel head honcho, Bill Jemas answers fan questions.

Oni Press
Independent publisher of Queen and Country and a variety of newer comics

Viz Media
Leading distributor of Japanese manga and anime in the U.S.

Up and coming distributor of Japanese manga and anime in the U.S.

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copyright Robin Brenner 2002-2004