People are always asking writers, “Where do you get your ideas?” This book actually answers the question.
Everyone knows that the best way to get a child to do something is to say it’s forbidden. McLachlan has given this book the subtitle “Ten Secrets to Creating Your Own Comics,” so that readers think they’re gaining forbidden knowledge. Some of the information isn’t much of a secret. The first tip is: “Comics marry pictures and words….” But the author’s really talking about much bigger ideas, like the different ways that words and pictures show the passage of time. He talks about the way a word or a picture can inspire readers, telling them that “the comic panels invite the reader to imagine what has happened between them.” None of this is hidden knowledge (Scott McCloud discussed most of the same topics in Understanding Comics, 1994), but it’s valuable information. The sections about generating ideas give very practical advice, especially the pages on “brainstorm doodles.” The sample comics that appear throughout the book aren’t quite so impressive (ROBIN HOOD: “Marian, would you like to join us in our forest?” MARIAN: “Sure wood!”), but the techniques they demonstrate are worth learning.
Advanced cartoonists may prefer a longer book, like McCloud’s, but this book has all the secrets beginners might need. (Nonfiction. 8-12)