Tuesday 10 July 2012

How To Draw Comics REAL GOOD LIKE


Sample page from The Pirates of Pangaea, (c) 2012 by Daniel Hartwell & Neill Cameron.
Published in The Phoenix issue 11 - www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk 

I've done a few comics workshops lately for older students (GCSE-level) in which I've tried to focus a bit more on the specifics and mechanics of drawing than my usual "Hey Let's All Just Make Up Some Silly Nonsense and Have Fun" approach. (Not that there's anything wrong with Making Up Some Silly Nonsense and Having Fun, I hasten to add.) Anyway, I've also recently had a mini-spate of people asking for advice on drawing comics. There are some really great resources out there which I talk about in my workshops, so I thought for ease and convenience I'd link to them all here. Prepare yourselves... for the DROPPING of KNOWLEDGE.

Wally Wood's 22 Panels That Always Work: a sort of 'cheat sheet' of effective panel layouts from the legendary EC Cartoonist. I highly recommend studying these and indeed just nicking them and using them in your comics for exciting and effective compositions. These are available all over the internet, here's a page that gives background on it and has several hi-res versions of the file:

The Disney Comics Artist's Toolkit: another cheat sheet of sorts; this one's a seven-page long kind of complete comics artists training manual created as an internal presentation at Disney in the 1970's by comic artist Carson Van Osten. It's invaluable, and remarkable, and covers everything from perspective and staging to panel layout and figure construction - here's a link that gives some background and has good-quality scans:

Figure Drawing For All It's Worth by Andrew Loomis. Probably the best work on drawing the human figure I've ever encountered, an absolute gold-mine of a resource. Available from all good bookshops (and indeed Amazon) or as a free PDF download here:

Those three links are literally the things I have printed out and taped up over my drawing board. Can't recommend them highly enough. FURTHER READING: some (highly) recommended books on the subject of making comics. Again, available from all good bookshops.

  • Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
  • Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner
  • How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee & John Romita
  • Writing for Comics by Alan Moore

...and of course, last but not least there's my own How To Make (Awesome) Comics, appearing every week in the Phoenix! And don't forget, we put all the drawing exercises up as downloadable worksheets at www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk/awesome every week, too. For FREE! Yes I know, it is incredibly generous of us.

Anyway, hope all that is of some use to someone. Putting these links together was prompted by a recent visit to Teddington School, where I had a brilliant day doing workshops. One session was with a couple of Graphics classes who seemed weirdly knowledgeable about me and my work; check out what they had been doing a project on...

Which was rather hilarious, and did my ego no end of good, frankly. Huge thanks to Rachel Bide, Rachel Bannister and all the other teachers who made it such a smoothly-run and enjoyable day!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. The Disney Manual is a fab find, speaking as an editor constantly arguing for more lettering space!