The Education of a Comics Artist, a collection of short essays and interviews edited by Michael Dooley and Steven Heller, offers a fascinating look into the methods and motivations of some of the top practitioners of visual storytelling. The book presents an amazing lineup of contributors—Jim Steranko, David Mack, Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi, Kim Deitch and many more legends in the field—weighing in on disciplines ranging from editorial cartoons to comic strips, Archie Andrews to alt comics.
Every section is insightful, with creators reflecting on the influences and insights that inform their work. Some articles are accompanied by black-and-white illustrations, but text is the main focus, with artists elaborating on the creative process that results in ink on paper.
Later portions of the book examine the conceptual framework that surrounds visual storytelling, with articles and interviews on teaching, understanding and—oh yeah—making money from comics. The thoughts on display are diverse, lively and occasionally contradictory, making for a rewarding view into how comics of all types are created.