Last week the Maneater student newspaper published a profile of local comic creator Scott Ross. Ross is the driving force behind the web-comic Young Learner’s Guide to American Wildlife, which he also prints up as mini comics and distributes around town under the name of The Dancing Bear.
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The classic “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” has been updated and expanded into a larger and much improved edition. It now includes information on making comics digitally along with all the other standard comic-making topics.
One of the new, digital tricks I found most interesting was how artists now use Google Sketchup for laying out scenes. With this 3-D tool, you can create, or download, objects to build environments for your characters. Once created, simply place the camera at the angle or perspective you need for your scene and you have the perfect reference photo.
The drawing tips are much better than the old book, but still focus on superheros and costumes. (I’d expect no less from Stan Lee.) If you aren’t doing superhero work, you can skip those parts. The rest will still apply.
I still would not approach this book as a way to learn to draw. It does recommend using real life as reference, but it doesn’t go into much detail on how to render form and light. Anatomy and the human figure aren’t really covered either. If you want to learn to draw, I’d find an art book on the subject, or better yet, take a life drawing class from one of the many colleges in Columbia.
How to Draw Comics is a big improvement over the previous edition and has some great information, but it lacks drawing fundamentals. Maybe if they cut the history of comics section they’d have room for it!
If you really want to know how to draw comics, I’d check out “Making Comics” by Scott McCloud. It’s more comprehensive and covers topics that apply to any comic genera and not just super heroes. Plus, it’s written by a guy who, you know, actually draws comics.
You can check out “Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics” at the Daniel Boone Regional Library.
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