[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.

Postby McDuffies on Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:39 am

Steve Bryant wrote:...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:

Well, that wasn't exactly loose pencil in third part - it was unfinished, but still tight in it's own way. Artists had to deal with the lack of information on what's going on the panel.
But it's true, that part if mucho helpful, to me specially on matters of shading and black areas. I was mostly reffering to other two parts - and not to all examples from those two parts, but yes, majority.
I mean, it's not bad book, it's good, oriented to USA comicbook style but that was the idea. I just thought that it was funny, and was pondering whether there's a point in being stressed over something that no reader is gonna notice unless they're professional inkers too.
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Postby Spools on Fri Nov 12, 2004 4:23 am

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Postby Steve Hogan on Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:31 pm

Robert Beverly Hale's anatomy books are good food for thought. He's kind of rigorous and old school (He would prefer you learn every bone in the human body.) but he makes a lot of good points about how if you don't examine something, you won't know how to draw it.
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Postby Taiwanimation on Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:42 pm

Can anyone recommend some books for background and setting concept development? The books I've seen on the subject focus mostly on how to do perspective.
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Postby Doublemint on Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:04 pm

I can't speak much about art, but for writing I've only ever found one grammar book that I found useful:

Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale


I really can't recommend this book enough. Not just limited to grammar, it covers the basic rules of language as well as providing advice on such things as the role of Voice and Melody in writing. It's the English you were too bored to learn in school. I enjoyed this book so much when I checked it out of the library, I went and bought myself a copy to keep.
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Postby Sumimasen on Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:50 pm

I’ve found that A Pictorial History of Costumeis a really valuable resource when I’m designing costumes for my characters to wear. Other than that any anatomy books, such as A Step-By-Step Guide to Drawing the Figureare necessary to have around if your comic has people in it. Also, if people are looking to improve their life drawing skills I’d strongly recommend taking a drawing course with a live model (or at least try drawing a real person posing for you), if possible.
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Postby William G on Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:05 am

I just got Gray's Anatomy last week.

Not exactly a comic how-to book, but it does help you figure out where everything is supposed to be. I've already noticed a slight change in my art.
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Postby Intergalacticlaw on Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:42 pm

Books on my Library Shelf:

The Spectrum Anthologies (vols. 1-12) - Years Best Fantastic Art. They've recently reprinted at least the first couple of volumes, and this year's is due to hit any time now. Great overview of comics, fantasy art.

Any of the Loomis books - they're all freely downloadable through saveloomis.org (or they used to be). Great reference...so much so I sprung for a copy of Creative Illustration a few years back.

ImagineFX magazine - Monthly. Great inspirational articles and tutes.

Draw Magazine and Write Now magazine - irregularly published - a wealth of comics related how-to's.

Japanese Comickers vols. 1&2 - good insight and step by steps.

Lots of whatever types of art inspires you and makes you want to get better.
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I'm surprised

Postby Lgcline on Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:50 pm

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Richard Williams 'The Animator's Survival Kit' This is the man responsible for Who framed Rodger Rabbit.
Yes it's mostly for animators, but the way he talks about putting weight and movement into drawing is amazing.
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Postby Shivafang on Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:35 pm

I posted this tip in another thread before seeing this one, so I'll re-post what I wrote here;


How to draw comics the Marvel way

This is a really good start and talks about everything from breaking down objects into 'primirive' shapes so they are easier to draw, and even drawing from perspective. This was one of my early favorite refferences for drawing. Even if you arn't drawing 'superheroes' it gives you a feel for form and structure that applies easily to Manga.

My recent favorite that I just picked up is
Anatomy for Fantasy Artists

It's also 'more detail' than you probably want for a comic (at least for me it was!) but it helps to understand the 'full figure' and then you can simplify from there.

A little less 'step by step' but a really good refference and even gives several examples of character design and 'poses' of the same character.
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Postby Fabio Ciccone on Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:58 am

I've read a couple of amazing books that are not in the list, but I've just found out none of them was published in US :(

Well, anyway, one of them is a compendium of Umberto Eco's essays, in which there is an analisys of a Steve Canyon comic, VERY nice to notice some stuff about character concepts and how to show emotions through character design. The same book has a chapter on the myth of Superman, also very interesting. If you see some of these in a book in English, they're nice reading.

The other one is Akira Toriyama's lessons on how to make a manga, very nice too, even if you're like me and it's NOT making a manga :P

I read a bunch of books about comics for my College final paper, and they certainly improved my way of writing and drawing. And never forget: McCloud is God!

Anyone read his new book yet?
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Postby Tetsuo75 on Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:34 pm

Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga by Koji Aihara, Kentaro Takekuma

A great HOW-NOT-TO book.
It goes through all the overused and tired tricks and devices of the genre. It's damn hilarious too!
Funny, this book helped me more than Scott Mcloud's Understanding comics :-?
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Postby Vulpeslibertas on Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:54 am

This might be a double post, the forum seems a little glitchy right now.

Anyway, I recommend Linda Seger's Making a Good Script Great. It's a screen writing book, but discusses many story structure elements that apply to comics as well.
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Postby Tashasworld on Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:45 am

It's not a book, but I recommend reading through TV Tropes. A Wiki-style site, it talks about the different formulas and "shortcuts" used in writing (not just for television, but also for movies, books and even comics and webcomics). It also gives examples of typical archetypes seen in different genres. It's an excellent resource for writers, as it can help you see what plot elements are overused and stresses the importance of research on the subject you're writing about. It also gives specific examples of how certain themes can be subverted and turned on their heads.
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Postby Allan_ecker on Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:56 pm

Fabio Ciccone wrote:I read a bunch of books about comics for my College final paper, and they certainly improved my way of writing and drawing. And never forget: McCloud is God!

Anyone read his new book yet?


Scott McCloud's new book, Making Comics is not the best book on comics ever. It's the best thing ever.

This book just cracked open the doors for me. I'd been making comics for six years before I got this book, and it STILL taught me hundreds of things I absolutely needed to know. I still use it as a reference, as a thought-provoker, or sometimes I just open it and read it to get that warm and squishy McCloud-is-God feeling.

Scott McCloud is pretty much totally totally awesome. All three of his books on comics are a must.
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Postby Largopredator on Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:26 pm

I've just finished Scott's books, and I absolutely loved them. Especially Making Comics really focuses more on the actual mechanics of creating a strip instead of just understanding how it works. Many great examples and good tips. I love it.

If you're looking for a sample, Chapter 5 1/2 is an extra online chapter that can be viewed here.
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Postby Fabio Ciccone on Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:34 am

My drawing teacher showed me the other day the book DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics

Haven't read it yet, but by the looks of it (and the fact that my teacher told me to read it), must be a nice guide to, well, to coloring and lettering :)

A preview of this book can be seen here
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Postby Abandon on Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:15 am

Steve Bryant wrote:
Bridgeman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life by George Bridgeman


I would definately second this one.
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Postby Rantermaster on Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:05 pm

For writing, I would recommend the following books...

Screenplay by Disney by Jason Surrell
It may not exactly be for comic writing but it has some great tips and gives you a general idea about writing for visual.

Any Roleplaying Campign Aid Book
Dependant on the type of comic you're writing, sometimes it's helpful to treat it like a gamemaster would. For anime-style stories, my recommendation is to read the BESM d20 book. It has a decent campiagn/story building section.

...Can't think of an art book off the top of my head that hasn't been mentioned...wait...

<u><b>Manga Matrix: Create Unique Characters Using the Japanese Matrix System</b></u> by Hiroyoshi Tsukamoto
Interesting system to use in drawing......

<u><b>Drawing Manga for Dummies</b></u>
.....No comment.

If you need to sharpen up on landscape and other things, I'd recommend to check out the closest library's art section and the children section.
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Postby Lance on Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:04 am

Steve Bryant wrote:Perspective for Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea is fantastic.

I'm going through this one now. The comic page format, clean illustrating style, and breezy presentation are so effective. Not a dry text, I have hopes it's lessons will stick.
Steve Bryant wrote:Figure Drawing for All It's Worth by Andrew Loomis

From 1943 and still considered one of the best. I'll admit I still haven't come close to really absorbing and incorporating it's lessons, but it's patient, packed with intelligible pointers, and someday I hope to get a clue from it.
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