Praise for Drawing Words and Writing Pictures

“A gold mine of essential information for every aspiring comics artist. Highly recommended.”

–Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics

“Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is the ticket to fluency in the craft.”


“Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is an ambitious and successful work from two of the comics art form’s most experienced instructors…I always look forward to teaching comics classes, but with the next class I teach, I’ll be particularly delighted to skip the hours I usually spend at the photocopier putting together myriad handouts culled from dozens of sources and, instead, simply add, “Required text: Drawing Words and Writing Pictures” to my syllabus.”

Publishers Weekly

The complete book offers step-by-step entry into a complicated series of skills in a nonscary and approachable way. Highly recommended for public, academic, and high school libraries.

Library Journal

“Jessica Abel and Matt Madden’s Drawing Words and Writing Pictures provides an excellent foundation for the introductory comic book classroom…From the comic book basics: panel layout, penciling, inking, and lettering to the art of story: narrative arcs, character development, and world building, Madden and Abel manage to touch upon all the most relevant concerns for first time comic book creators…Whether it’s brush care, ink selection, or optimal drawing posture, DW&WP has it covered.”


“There are some who say that those who can, do, while those who can’t teach. Clearly they’ve never been taught by Matt Madden and Jessica Abel.”

–Chicago Sun-Times

Jessica Abel and Matt Madden’s Drawing Words and Writing Pictures may be the first significant textbook for the medium.


I came to it with a heavy shelf of How-To books, a bit of experience making comics, and a BFA in Comics, and I left humbled by their wisdom.


The book is…written in a winningly clear, casual us-to-you tone.


A sophisticated and technically precise book that’s both instructional and inspirational.

Booklist (Comics Education Core Collection)

“This is the first book about making comics that is truly a textbook. It’s not just about how to draw, but how to crate and design stories. It incorporates both theory and practice.”

Comics Worth Reading

“Jessica Abel and Matt Madden…have delivered the world’s most amiable guide to assembling comics and graphic novels.”

The Oregonian

Not only is Drawing Words and Writing Pictures the best book ever published on the basics of how to make traditional comics, it is in fact difficult to imagine how a better single-volume ad readable book could be produced on this topic.”

–Mark David Nevins

Abel and Madden’s book is a landmark, not because it is revolutionary, but because it is cumulative in a way that makes it something unprecedented.

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

“Matt and Jessica’s experience, both in the classroom and at the drawing board, has resulted in a book that should help any aspiring cartoonist. A goto-how-to that will undoubtedly be of tremendous aid for any school or instructor attempting to map out a thoughtful and engaging comics curriculum.”

–James Sturm, Director, Center for Cartoon Studies

“The future belongs to comics and, despite all the breathtaking developments in the medium over recent years, we have barely glimpsed the wonders still to come. the field is still wide open, ready for anyone to explore. That is why the time is right for a thorough, thought-provoking textbook like this, offering a step-by-step course to help you find your own unique voice. Start here and you too can become part of the future of comics.”

–Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Everything you need to Know