In chapter one, "Setting the Record Straight", of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, a definition of comics is described ("Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer"). McCloud also goes on to explain that comics aren't as simple and insignificant as most make them out to be. In fact, comics are not given the recognition deserved and aren't seen as very influential, although they indeed are. This chapter also gives a brief history of comics, telling how we can actually date them back to at least 1519. In the end, McCloud explains how comics will never be truly defined, for "Our attempts to define comics are an on-going process which won't end anytime soon".
Before actually reading this book and just glancing at it, I had no clue as to what to expect. I actually came to really enjoy this reading though. It's interesting to me how one can make an entire book's worth of ideas pertaining to comics actually using comics! What really sparks my interest though, is how in each panel you can see how the author visualizes the ideas he is speaking of. You actually get to view what is being read, given the advantage to truly understand what McCloud is trying to depict. For example, on page 10, McCloud is running back in time on a timeline to show us how we can place comics much farther back than the beginning of the 1900's. In this, we get to see how this idea plays out in his mind. This book really is an interesting one, far better than the conventional text book reading!