Recommended Reading for Cartoonists

What follows is excerpts from a few letters between Ampersand and Ismael Hope. I'm posting it here (with Ismael's permission) in the hope that folks reading this will email me with their own book recomendations to include on this page.

You'll also want to check out John McCleod's List.

Ampersand: The best book on comics is Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud. Any good comic book store should be able to get this for you, and it's still in print from a mainstream publisher (Harper-Collins) so any ordinary bookstore can get it too. This isn't a how-to book, but a book about comics in general, how they work and how people read comics. Nonetheless, it's by far the most in-depth discussion of visual storytelling available.

Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner is an excellent guide to the basics of comics storytelling, and again, a good comics shop can get it for you.

Ishmael Hope: I have Your Career In The Comics by Lee Nordling. It's 278 pages for $9.95 published by Andrews and McMeel, A Universal Press Syndicate Company. I found it a little hard to look through because most of it is segmented advice from professional comic strip artists, but it does give some important criteria on meeting the needs of the editor, syndicate and newspaper. It also has plenty of other stuff like formats to choose from, advice on submitting a strip, advice on how to keep up with deadlines, etc. For someone who has already learned the craft of comic creating this book would be a terrific resource for getting syndicated.

Ronald B Coleman wrote: Hi, I saw your page of book recommendations for cartoonists, and I would like to suggest one of my personal favorites. For the beginning cartoonist, who will probably start selling to magazines, I would recommend How to Draw Cartoons Editors Will Buy by George Crenshaw. It has a lot of really good marketing strategy, which could take the cartoonist years to learn on his own. Cartoonists can order it directly from the author at:

George Crenshaw
Paramount Press
703 Ridgemark Drive
Hollister, CA. 95023