Saturday, February 02, 2013

More Great Comic Book Resources

If you enjoyed Michael Cho's inking handout, here are a few more comic book resources that I've posted before (but not for a while). All of them apply not only to comic books, but storyboarding and drawing as well.

I haven't reposted this in years, but the artist Carson Van Osten created this handout years ago when he was drawing Disney Comics (I briefly worked with Carson when I did a short stint at Disney Consumer Products). I think most of it is printed in Frank and Ollie's book, "The Illusion of Life".

Carson's handout is a great primer on common mistakes made in comic book design and layout. I posted some xerox copies of it years ago and it got a bit of attention on other websites. Carson heard about it and contacted me, and eventually he sent me an original, higher res version of the whole thing, which I scanned and posted (you can see his hand-written note to me on the first page). All of his thoughts are great and have really stuck with me over the years and saved me hours of frustration.




Legendary Comic Artist Wally Wood did a piece that shows up everywhere on the web entitled "22 Panels That Always Work".

If you're wondering what "Ben Day" refers to, they were transparent sheets with dots on them that comic artists would cut and lay onto panels to create grey tones or colors.

I always cringe when I think about this last great comic resource, because it's a brutal critique of Steve Rude's work by the great Alex Toth. Apparently Rude asked Toth to critique a "Johnny Quest" story and Toth did so, writing all his notes in the margins. Toth was a legendary curmudgeon and didn't bother to hide his clear scorn of Rude's work. I don't like posting it because it takes a lot for any artist to open himself up for such criticism and I doubt Rude knew it would become so public. But it's such a great glimpse into the mind of Toth and what made his work so great that I think it has a lot of value.

 
I find Toth's notes to be very inspiring, despite how tough they may seem. I think about his comment "When was the last time you lifted a heavy box?" every time I draw someone lifting anything. Great stuff...I wish more artists would leave us such a great glimpse into their thinking.

I reposted these images from this forum.

15 comments:

JK Riki said...

I've seen the Disney ones at the top (some of my go-to reminders!) however the others I hadn't, so thanks for sharing them! I always find this stuff supremely helpful when thinking about animation composition and layout. And I love thinking about animation composition and layout. :)

Luca Carey said...

Toth doesn't do Rude too many favors with his comments. Maybe I'm just a bit soft, but, for me, constructive criticism should be matched with assurance of things done right (Except when dealing with work so bad as to make any compliments disingenuous.) That being said, skimming through them I found most of them to be very thought out. The disney sheets were also quite interesting, though I find myself deliberately not doing some of the things outlined therein. For example, drawing an environment and balloons before the character in a thumbnail seems like it might lead to characters that seem tacked on or awkward. Time and practice will fix that, but then again I also think that time and practice will fix unbalanced compositions with any working order (ie, characters - balloons - environments, or any other configuration).

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, and I could be wrong, Toth was constantly asked for his critiques. He was of the opinion that people really don't want critiques so he set out to prove it with these comments. No holds barred. He was also, in a round-about way, trying to answer every problem he saw in comics with this critique.

The value of it is clear, as it's been re-posted countless times. Toth's brilliance shines through and this critique may be his finest legacy to comics, but will comics listen?

Typed 'anonymous' because I have less courage than Toth.

Paul B said...

Thanks for sharing all this great thing with us.
You are saving this art form.

David Rickert said...

I love the one with the wooden characters. That image of Mickey falling over has stuck with me for years and has been a good one to help me remember not to create symmetry.

Anonymous said...

In college I had a "curmudgeonly" teacher whose blunt critiques upset a lot of students, including me. I realize now, though, that he was the best teacher there. He was blunt *because he cared*, not because he wanted to hurt anyone's feelings. I wish I had checked my ego and really listened to and applied his suggestions, instead of getting defensive and dismissing what he had to say.

Which is why I don't think Toth was being a jerk in his letter to Steve Rude. He was just being honest -- again, because he really cared and wanted to help him. Why else would he take the time to write such a long letter? And note that he begins by saying "You're too good to be this bad . . . " So he wasn't out to crush anyone.

Magento Developer said...

He did not favor too rude comments. I may be a bit bland, but for me, constructive criticism should be accompanied by things well done (except when it comes to work as much as any sincere compliment.) Who says, goes, found most of them much thought. Disney Leaves were also very interesting, but I do not consciously do things they describe. For example, to extract heat and morality miniature balloons looks like it could result in characters that seem tacked on or discomfort. Time and practice, but then, we also time and practice that will determine the unbalanced composition of all work orders (eg characters - balloons - or any other configuration).

Comic Book Art Sweatt Shop said...

This site is like going to the Art Institute. Bookmarked! Thank you.

Sandy said...

Thanks a lot for all you make with it's blog. That's learn me all that my art teachers didn't.
I'm more passionate by the drawing art than never.
:)

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Anonymous said...

I don't understand what Toth meant by "fake". He seems to use it as a general critique, but I don't quite follow. It seems like he's saying that the scenery doesn't represent N. Africa, but he also uses it for what appears to be a photo-reffed helicopter.

Cult Posters said...

Toth is right in almost every comment. As good an artist Rude is , he's always more concerned with showing you just that, that he can draw well, so i really rarely thinks in story telling , and that should always be a comic book artist first concern. Stuff like all those back grounds where he just "attached" ruins and sculptures here and there, well drawn but with no logic of juxtaposition are justifiably criticized by Toth.

Clover said...

Spotted your write – ups, it’s cool. Very beneficial and interesting there are some ideas I haven’t heard before. Thanks for sharing.

clover
www.n8fan.net

Leslie Lim said...

You have done a great work. Thanks for making this blog. You helped me a lot on my research topic. Keep it up guys!

Laiza
www.imarksweb.org