Book review: Comics

Carbaugh ComicsCarbaugh, Sam. Comics: Investigate the History and Technology of American Cartooning. [Build It Yourself Series]. Nomad Press. 2014. $17.95. 128p. 978-1-61930-250-9. Ages 9-12. P8Q8

Beginning with a timeline of comics from earliest cave paintings in 14,000 BCE, the educational book continues with history and hands-on exercises in writing comics—developing plots, creating superheroes, sketching faces and bodies including manga characters, using comic software, writing zines, and even setting up comic-con shows. Short bios of famous cartoonists such as Charles Schultz (Peanuts) and Bill Watterson (Garfield) illustrate different comic styles. Young readers will probably skip the written background to get to what they perceive as the meat of the book, but adults not familiar with the development of comics through the past century will benefit from the book. The author knows his subject, and the book is highly recommended for language and art classes.  December 2014 review by Nel Ward.

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