[REF] Recommended books.

Think your comic can improve? Whether it's art or writing, composition or colouring, feel free to ask here! Critique and commentary welcome.

[REF] Recommended books.

Postby STrRedWolf on Tue May 28, 2002 10:38 pm

Some folks are in search of some recommended materials on how to do webcomics, or comics in general. You may want to first get a good understanding with comics, it'll help immensely. For that, I myself recommend these books:

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
ISBN: 006097625X

Reinventing Comics: by Scott McCloud (same guy)
ISBN: 0060953500

They are listing at around $23. Barnes & Noble has 'em for $19, and Half.com has them for under $12. Some college bookstores may have them too, depending on what classes have them. I'm giving you the ISBN number for you to look around. However, they are worth buying and reading (and keeping!).

If folks have any recommendations, post them here. I'll leave it as sticky as to make sure it stays up top.
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Postby Chascraw4d on Wed May 29, 2002 9:34 pm

For people with an interest in at least semi-realistic figure drawing, there are two series of books that I'd recommend.

The first is the Dynamic Drawing series of books by Burne Hogarth. (I have Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery ISBN: 0823015874). These are some of the best books I've seen on drawing realistic and expressive figures for comics and related media.

The second series is the How to Draw Manga books (available at http://howtodrawmanga.com if you can't find them in your area.) Although of most use to people interested in a manga/anime type form, the fundamentals they cover are universal and I've yet to see any series of American published books treat comic illustration as seriously or as comprehensively. If they are avaialble in your area, I would recommend looking through a book before buying it. Some of the books are more useful than others.
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How to draw manga

Postby Agi_wataru on Tue Jun 04, 2002 1:00 am

Out of the how to draw manga serise I highly recomend books 1 - 3 2 and 3 more than one. and the one titled the basics or soem thign similar. (sorry for not actualy knowing off hand) if you want to knwo how to use copic markers or a marker similar in type. and other colloring methods that japanese artists use the one on markers is good as well. I personaly don't think bishoujo around the world is verry good at all. they have ok formes and stuff but some of it isn't really helpfull. if you want to know more abotu drawing cut girls and stuff I woudl get bishoujo. the book on tones is allsow helpfule that is if you use tones that ae cut and paste. another good book is "a beautiful girls computer technigue guide" ISBN4-04-707054-8 its verry helpfull for photoshop and corel advise and examples. the only problem is that its in japanese. it comes with full color pages and picture exampes of the windows showing how to do it. and a cd rom with the totorials animated and stuff. if you allready know stuff in photoshop its not that hard to figure out what there doing. but it really does help to know japanese but it isn't necisarry.
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Postby Halflight on Wed Jul 17, 2002 11:14 am

The Artist'c Complete Guide to Facial Expressions (Gary Faigin) isn't a how-to-draw book, but i found it really useful anyway: it explains both scientifically the workings behind facial expressions and pictorally how they look, what distinct features each has and what effects the degree of expressiveness. It's geared, of course, for realism, but the basics of what makes an expression click hold true for any style, i think. Accurate expressions are imperative for telling stories pictorally, and anybody that needs help with them would do well to look into this one.
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Postby Cindermain on Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:10 am

Those are great books, and I own each one myself.

However, they don't tackle the one skill many cartoonists and creators still have issues with: STORYTELLING.

The book you should check out for that skill is Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner, a true veteran in the field of comics. His book never got as much acclaim as McCloud's, as it was never aimed at the general public, but to people interested in comic creating.

This book is a MUST-HAVE.
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 11268 on Thu Sep 12, 2002 1:04 pm

My new favorite cartooning book that I just got today -- The Lexicon of Comicana by Mort Walker -- is a godsend... it's for more of a classic cartoonist. If you want to do a scene without words, or a classic cartoon strip, or just want to know about stupid cartooning books, you should get this. It's hard as sin to find, and I had to order mine off the internet after looking for a year at bookstores. You'd think that Mort Walker was a pretty lame cartoonist repeating the same jokes, but he really has created an excellent compilation of things like 'plewds' and 'sphericasia'.

And that, my friends, is why I shouldn't watch Reading Rainbow.

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Postby Netrek on Tue Nov 05, 2002 3:57 pm

There's also a book just called "How To Draw Manga" by Katy Coope. It's a fun little easy-to-follow guide for the beginner (really helped me out a ton).

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Postby Kali Shedemon on Sun Jan 05, 2003 2:46 pm

I personally recommend any book by Christopher Hart. (Site: http://www.artstudiollc.com/index.html ) It's a great series, bringing together not only his art, but art and tips from some top artists from companies like Marvel, Top Cow, Chaos!, and many more. He has books on Anatomy, Manga, Comic Books, Cartooning, and even some for kids. And not only are they "How to Draw" books, but they have great tips on making panels flow, making drawings more impactful and dynamic, and tips from editors and agents on how to get into the field of comic books or animation.

I have three of his books (Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy, How to Draw Cutting Edge Comics, and How to Draw Great Looking Comic Book Women.) and I plan to add them all if I can.
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Postby Toxic on Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:47 pm

"Screenplay: Writing the Picture" by Robin U. Russin and William Downs.

This is actually a screenwriting book, but it does have a lot of good stuff about writing dialogue, plot development, characters and such.
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Postby Steve Bryant on Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:29 am

Of course, the Eisner and McCloud books are essential. An Eisner book that hasn't been mentioned is Shop Talk, where he talks with a number of creators about the craft of making comics. There's also the forthcoming dual interview book of Eisner and Frank Miller that Dark Horse is doing.

Additionally, I'd recommend any of the Burne Hogarth Dynamic series
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Postby Caduceus on Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:55 pm

I'd like to reccomend Fantagraphics' Complete Peanuts. Even in his first two years Charles Schultz was groundbreaking.
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Postby McDuffies on Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:27 pm

A little lack of books specially for writers, huh? That's what this suggestion makes so interesting:

I recently found a book by Umberto Eco, "Six walks in the fiction forests". Extremely useful; It's a transcript of series of lectures he held somewhere, where he gathers up lots of conclusions and observations he made during years of being one of the leading literature theorists and philosophers.

It apears that the book is much more than that, it's a real little lexicone on writing a novel. It's dealing with lots of questions I've seen asked on forums ferquently: like matters of fourth wall, target reader, transitions in time flaws (flashbacks), a lot of stuff is said about pacing and the speed of naration: he gives mothives for slowing down or speeding up the pace, even some methods how to do it.
All of this is said through examples in literature. For instance, as example of the fastest introduction to story, he gives the first line of Kafka's "Transformation".
To me, specially interesting are bad examples he gives, like some quotes from crimy or love novels.

Although it's about literature, everything said can be applied to writing for comics. He even mentions comics several times, like Snoopy or Mad Magazine - after all, Eco is known as one of not many literature theorists who reckognized art in medium of comics.

And, unlike other Eco's theory books, this one's a very easy read.
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Postby Caduceus on Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:10 pm

I thought my Peanuts suggestion WAS for writers! ;)

Anyway, here is another book for artists:

The Art of Comic Book Inking by Gary Martin, published by Dark Horse books.

This is a great overview of inking with some fascinating comparisons of famous inkers inking over the same Steve Rude pencils. Great book.
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Postby Joel Fagin on Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:46 pm

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics covers a lot of fundamental storywriting stuff. It's pretty basic but good if you've never, say, done a short story writing class or read a book on writing or similar. Nuts and bolts of storytelling.

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Postby McDuffies on Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:34 am

WRITING THE CHARACTER-CENTERED SCREENPLAY
by Andrew Horton

Mainly for film scenarios, but useful for comics too.
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Postby Faub on Mon Aug 16, 2004 5:34 pm

Heads by Alex Kayser

It's a photo study of bald people and it amounts to a decent reference for male face types (though there are some females). The only problem I have is the faces are full frontal poses, no profiles.

The men range in age from late teens/early twenties to late fifties or older. You can also find several types of facial hair, including full bears and handlebar moustaches.

Google Search, several sellers are listed
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Postby BeefotronX on Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:48 pm

Here's my library:

Dynamic Anatomy and Drawing the Human Head by Burne Hogarth, and the Complete Idiot's Guide to Cartooning. They're all useful.
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Postby Phalanx on Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:36 am

Did anyone mention Loomis's Figure Drawing for All it's worth?
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Postby McDuffies on Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:42 pm

Phalanx wrote:Did anyone mention Loomis's Figure Drawing for All it's worth?

Actually, you can see the book here. YarpsDat gave this link in "pages" thread.

The Art of Comic Book Inking by Gary Martin, published by Dark Horse books.

This one annoyed me a bit. Far from it not being useful, but it was full of attitude "Noone respects us poor inkers", all through the book he's trying to convince readers that inkers are not just tracers - as if someone who thinks that would buy a book about inking.
But that's not what I was gonna say.
This is a great overview of inking with some fascinating comparisons of famous inkers inking over the same Steve Rude pencils. Great book

It's that part. It's kind of hillarious, hals of those inking examples look exactly the same. I mean, they're all good, but there's only a few of them that are distinctive from the rest. I don't have an eye of a professional inker, but far from it being unexperienced eye. :-?
I think the fault was the choice of Penciler on whose pencils they war working. It's too tight, doesn't let inker spin his wheel properly.
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Postby Steve Bryant on Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:03 am

mcDuffies wrote:It's that part. It's kind of hillarious, hals of those inking examples look exactly the same. I mean, they're all good, but there's only a few of them that are distinctive from the rest. I don't have an eye of a professional inker, but far from it being unexperienced eye. :-?
I think the fault was the choice of Penciler on whose pencils they war working. It's too tight, doesn't let inker spin his wheel properly.


...um, the majority of the book is <i>supposed</i> to be tight. In the text, Martin states its divided into three sections with the third section being the loose one where inkers choose how/where to spot blacks, etc. That's the section that has an incredible varience of approaches from Kevin Nowlan to Jerry Ordway to Rudy Nebres, Dave Stevens, Mark Schultz, Brian Bolland, etc...

That's the section that I refer to the most. Maybe it's just me and my myopic attention to detail, but I found it very helpful. :roll:

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