Author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud has been making and thinking about comics for decades. His classic volume explores formal aspects of comics, the historical development of the medium, its fundamental vocabulary, and various ways in which these elements have been used.
Speech bubbles, for instance, have a centuries-long legacy with antecedents in ancient art. Dialogue is part of life, and any medium that is going to represent life has to include it. But it’s also something that can feel like a “desperation device,” says McCloud — a product of necessity — and some “silent” comics can [...]