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Paul Karasik, Mark Newgarden, Jerry Lewis, James Elkins

How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels

On sale date: October 31, 2017

The authors use a single three-panel Nancy strip to explain how the medium of comics works.

Everything that you need to know about reading, making, and understanding comics can be found in a single Nancy strip by Ernie Bushmiller from August 8, 1959. Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden’s groundbreaking work How to Read Nancy ingeniously isolates the separate building blocks of the language of comics through the deconstruction of a single strip. No other book on comics has taken such a simple yet methodical approach to laying bare how the comics medium really works. No other book of any kind has taken a single work by any artist and minutely (and entertainingly) pulled it apart like this. How to Read Nancy is a completely new approach towards deep-reading art. In addition, How to Read Nancy is a thoroughly researched history of how comics are made, from their creation at the drawing board to their ultimate destination at the bookstore. Textbook, art book, monogram, dissection, How to Read Nancy is a game changer in understanding how the “simplest” drawings grab us and never leave. Perfect for students, academics, scholars, and casual fans.


"How to Read Nancy is a comprehensive, scholarly and intensely goofy dissertation on a single daily Nancy strip from 1959." — The New York Times

"How to Read Nancy is a mind-blowing new coffee-table softcover. ... For anyone with an interest in graphic design, pop culture, pop art, the history of humor, and 20th-century illustration, the book is a must." — Boston Globe

"A beautifully designed volume that's as entertaining as it is informative and likely to join Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics in the pantheon of explanatory texts." — Library Journal

"Reading the wonderful history of Ernie Bushmiller and the brilliant analysis of the details of Nancy's creation, detail by detail, based entirely on a reading of three panels of one strip, made me believe this is one of the genius books of comics history and design semantics." — Print

"How to Read Nancy is for anyone curious about the simple yet complicated ways in which visual art speaks to us." — Spectrum Culture


Paperback / Softback
9.3" × 12.5"