90 pages 3 hours read

Scott McCloud

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

Nonfiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Adult | Published in 1993

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. What makes a comic a comic? Is a “cartoon” something different, or are these two names for the same thing? Does everyone agree on the definition of the term “comic”?

Teaching Suggestion: Students will likely have sufficient prior knowledge to offer preliminary answers to this prompt without any outside resources. If students are answering aloud, you might encourage some debate on these terms rather than allowing the first definition offered to stand unchallenged. If you ask them to respond in writing, you might ask how many students think there is a difference between the terms “comic” and “cartoon” and how many students think there is a standardized definition of the term “comic,” as a demonstration of the diversity of ideas around these topics. Once students have offered preliminary answers, you might show them the sources linked below and ask them how they would improve their own answers based on this information.

  • This webpage from the University of Chicago’s School of Media Theory discusses several competing definitions, history, and examples.

Related Titles

By Scott McCloud