Ever Wanted to Draw Comics? Foundations in Comic Book Art Review

Comic Book Art book  review
(c.) 2014 by Watson-Guptill
Title: Foundations in Comic Book Art 
Author: John Paul Lowe
Published: 2014 by Watson-Guptill Publications

In Foundations of Comic Book Art, Sequential Art Professor John Paul Lowe takes you through the basic drawing and art techniques specific to comics you'll need to create your own comic books, strips, or graphic novels.  Written in an encouraging tone for amateur artists, this book is a good addition to the aspiring comic book artist's library. 

Lowe definitely has the skills and experience to write this book.  Sequential art?  That's a more formal, academic term for what comic book, graphic novel, and comic strip art are.  He's worked in the industry and also taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  Besides giving basic drawing overviews of the fundamentals, there were little tips and tricks that even I, a studio art major, never encountered (such as using coffee filters to clean ink pen nibs --they don't leave fibers like paper towels do).  I also love his positive attitude:  As he notes in chapter one, anyone can draw, as long as they have the desire and discipline.  It's the same type of attitude my favorite drawing professor from community college had and it's one I believe in myself.  

Even though I've drawn practically my entire life and majored in studio art, one thing I've never really done is draw comics.  Though it seems to me at times comic book artists seem to be given a "lower status" in the fine art world, they have to be able to draw human figures from multiple angles, create believable environments, and many need to be proficient in inking techniques.  Lowe covers all of these in this book, albeit in overviews, though there are many drawing exercises included.  I was expecting (hoping really) for more than a brief chapter on digital techniques (Manga Studio and Photoshop are used), but it was interesting to find out that the majority of comic books in the United States are still hand-inked.  I think perhaps because there are many books already out there on e.g. figure drawing, digital art techniques, etc. Lowe decided to focus on things he felt comic book artists needed to know ... kind of like a supplement to those other types of books.

I would definitely recommend checking out Foundations in Comic Book Art to anyone wanting to learn more about making their own comics.  I think it'd be best for a teenage or adult audience, but if a younger artist had the initiative and drive, I'm sure they could handle the drawing exercises.  I myself am inspired to take out the dip pen I got for my intermediate drawing class and try inking some line-art during my next school break. 

About the Author:
"JOHN PAUL LOWE began teaching at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2002. He has served as the school’s chair of the Sequential Art Department and as dean of the School of Communication Arts. In 2013, he happily returned to the classroom and his art studio. His career in comics began in 1991 with DC Comics. Lowe has also worked for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Archie Comics, and Dark Horse Comics. Lowe is the creator of the award-winning annual Sequential Arts Anthology, and the author of Working Methods: Creators Detail their Storytelling and Artistic Processes.

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
is a recognized leader in art and design education. SCAD’s talented faculty members are drawn from around the world and have exceptional credentials and valuable professional experience. Professors and alumni have worked for companies such as Marvel Comics and DC Comics, Walt Disney Company, Lucasfilm Ltd., Pixar, Electronic Arts, and many more. For more information on SCAD and its programs, visit www.scad.edu."
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through bloggingforbooks.org in exchange for an honest review, which I have done.*
Ever Wanted to Draw Comics? Foundations in Comic Book Art Review Ever Wanted to Draw Comics?  Foundations in Comic Book Art Review Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 10/05/2014 09:37:00 PM Rating: 5

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