We found 105 Reddit comments about Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Ok, now take note of what went wrong with your drawing and try again, and again, and again. Then after a few weeks go back and compare your latest drawings to this one.
The master has failed more times then the novice has tried.
If you want some resources, here are some youtube channels:
If you're really interested in paneled story telling check out Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.
This little sample gives you some pretty good ideas for telling jokes with simple visual transitions. It's a must read for anyone who really wants to create impactful messages through images.
Actually I think it's visual innuendo. The comic begins by implying that he's looking at porn, so things are starting to get blue, a bit naughty. The silhouettes reveal less, you can't see clothes (maybe they aren't wearing any), and leave more to the imagination—get you thinking 'what's he looking at there?'.
There's a lot more to comics than 'artistic effects' and the dialogue. If you're interested further, check out this book:
Understanding Comics is pretty much the first thing you should give them. It's a breakdown of the basics of style and structure of comic books. When my freshman-year roommate took a comics course in college, that was pretty much the textbook.
I'm a comic book artist that went to school for it, still aspiring.
For understanding things like panel layout, pacing in comics, etc, check out Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Making Comics are pretty good for helping both artist and non-artist get what makes comics comics. Knowing how to create the visual comic, even if you can't draw, will help you direct your script.
Also, there is no official, streamlined way to write a comic script. Just make sure you put in all the necessary details while keeping things clear for the artist. Like if there's a bad guy with a secret weapon, make sure the artist knows that the moment he shows up so the artist can plan for it. And unless you're planning for a particular effect, don't make a guy do more than one thing in a panel.
You are not writing a story or a novel, you are writing a set of instructions for an artist and nobody will really see the script. I've seen scripts say things along the lines of, "The detective removes his hat, revealing a masculine, sexy face, like (insert actor here)".
It's also important to know about comic book panel layouts and whatnot because often it's acceptable for the writer to give the artist a drawing of a suggested layout.
Here's really how, rather than reading an incomplete paraphrasing of it:
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Required reading at the Institute of Design, in 1994. (The Bauhaus).
I have some experience with webcomics. I write and draw Miamaska, which has been going on for 2+years, and I'm about to start my second comic next month.
General advice for web comickers!
(or: How I learned things the hard way and eventually stumbled into a good system)
I like well-drawn comics, but that doesn't mean they have to be intricate and detailed - just that they match the content very well. For example, I think John Campbell (Pictures for Sad Children) is great because he can get the emotion of scenes across really well with his simple drawings. (Though I equally love artists like David Hellman.)
I like funny comics as well as serious comics. I dislike comics that aren't even remotely funny (but are trying to be). I dislike comics that could have been funny, but they ruined themselves by either going on too long (Ctrl Alt Delete) or by explaining their punchline ((Ctrl Alt Delete) again).
I love comics that are consistently good, or at least only foul occasionally.
I dislike comics that are nothing but essays with pictures added. (I'm looking at you, 50% of Subnormality.) I think the comic form is a unique medium in itself and should not be treated in such a manner.
I like comics that are self-contained to a certain extent, in that either each comic is a unique situation (SMBC) or they only have particular story arcs (Dr. McNinja) and don't just go on forever with no resolution (Megatokyo). This is why, when I go to comics stores, I buy comic books (like Blankets) rather than serials (like X-Men). (There are exceptions to this rule, when a comic book is finished and the entire collection is sold as one, like Watchmen or Marvel 1602.)
I'm sure there's more, these are just my thoughts for now.
I'm not hugely into comics, but it's seriously one of the most eye-opening, interesting and educational things I've read in years.
That's some really cool art. If you have no exposure to comics and are interested in the creative side, maybe start with Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, which is widely renowned as a nuts and bolts look at how the medium functions.
Anything by Alan Moore. Promethea is a personal fave, but might not be the best place to start. Top Ten is also very good if cop drama overlaid with some super-hero stuff sounds appealing. Watchman is a cornerstone of the form, but you will definitely appreciate it more if/when you have a fair bit of 'capes & tights' superhero work under your belt.
Blankets is just stunning. I've bought it 3 times already and have the new hardcover edition on perorder.
Stardust is another great one by Neil Gaiman. It's also unique in that if you enjoy the story you can experience it in 3 different, but all very good, forms. The original comic, the prose novel, and the film all work quite well and give a nice window into what bits a pieces work better in each form.
Of course no comic list is complete without Maus and Understanding Comics.
Scott McCLoud's got two that I enjoyed: Understanding Comics and Making Comics.
They're filled with the basics, but they also have a insight into more advanced concepts. I think what McCloud really captures is that there is not "right" way to make a comic. But he does give you time-tested and proven techniques that usually work. He also presents many methods/intents/techniques as being in trade-off with others, which is an important lesson to learn.
Even if this is supposed to be a part of something larger, it should have its own arc. You know what's supposed to happen as the author, so maybe to you, it seems like its fine. But you need to look and craft these things from the perspective of the audience.
I'll use, say, Cowboy Bebop as an example. It's almost entirely a series of self-contained episodes, save for a few episodes that touch on this relationship between Spike and Vicious. But, the self-contained episodes are often iterating and riffing on some of the same overall themes that these connected episodes are built on. Or, when they aren't, they're carried on pure entertainment value. They feel good. They're flat out fun to watch. Or they revel in the absurd, which ties into the show thematically and also rides pure entertainment value.
Fallout: New Vegas does this as well. Side-quests seem self-contained, more or less, but they build on your understanding of the world and they often build on this theme of nostalgia for the Old World, or Old World Blues, as the game eventually puts it. All of the companion character side-quests riff on this theme of clinging to the past or moving forward, the factions all follow in this theme (whether its the major factions modeling their selves after Old World powers or the Brotherhood of Steel finding that they don't belong in the world anymore, so they either need to adapt or cling to the past and die). All of these side quests are self-contained, thus having their own arc and feel satisfying to complete, but also they build on the overarching theme of the game and give the player something to think about once everything is said and done.
You can do this with your own work. You can figure out what it is that you want it to be about and make build on those themes, even just from the start. If you have ideas and themes you want to explore, you can explore them from the start in whatever way you want, and tie it all into something more grand later if you're telling an overall story, or just keep riffing on them in different self-contained scenarios. The main, best thing to keep in mind though is that if this is intended for an audience, you need to write it with the audience experience in mind. Your ideas could be incredible, but the audience would never know it if you've written it to be impenetrable to them, or just so boring that it's unlikely they'll continue to read to get to the good parts.
As an example, I love the show Eureka Seven. Somewhere towards the middle of its run, it has a small arc with a couple of characters named Ray and Charles that culminates in some of the best TV I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. But, I can almost never recommend this show to anyone. The first ~10 to 15ish episodes are a chore. The show sort of acts like you should know who all the characters are already, or doesn't give you a whole lot to work with in terms of giving you something to come back for. For this reason, it took me from when it aired back in 2005 all the way until 2014 to finally finish the show from front to back. There was a ton of good there, but it was so, so difficult to get to it through the start of the show.
So, Entertainment value. Have you read Fiona Staples' and Brian K Vaughan's Saga? The very first panel of the very first page oozes entertainment value, while also giving some great banter to help establish the characters and introduce us to the world. This is a strong opening, and even if there is some lull to the comic afterwards (which there may or may not be depending on your tastes), its given you a taste of what it is and a promise of what its capable of delivering. This is a really great thing to have. If you're aware of Homestuck, it's the GameFAQs FAQ that serves as the end of the comic's first Act that suddenly shows you how the comic will format itself: Lots of nonsensical goofing around until hitting an emotional climax that re-contextualizes the events you had just seen. This isn't at the start of the comic, but entertainment value carries the comic until that point, assuming you're into programming jokes and goofball shenanigans. But, this scene comes so comparatively late that it's likely you've already dropped the comic before getting to the "good part" if these jokes didn't carry the comic for you.
Actual Advice and Critique
Comics are hard, because, unless you have a writer or have an artist to partner with, you're doing both jobs, and the quality of the thing depends both on being well-written and well drawn (or at least some balance between the two that makes it palatable to read). I think that if you think in an actual episodic way, you could improve your writing a ton. With this comic, the arc would be "how did Lasereye become Lasereye?" It's potentially a pretty good premise, right? You'll establish a character and have plenty of chances to create entertaining scenarios because... It's your story! Lasereye became Lasereye in whatever way you decide he did. Go crazy, tell us a story! How did some young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed kid turn into some dude in a slum with one eye glowing brighter than ever and the other dim and jaded? Telling this in three pages would actually be a great exercise.
Your art is rough in that it looks like you could use learning some base fundamental things like human anatomy. Your palette and the food stand itself reminds me of Kill Six Billion Demons though, which is great. You've created a good atmosphere in panels 1, 2, and the last panel on the last page, despite the artwork itself being rough. That's great! You know how a thing should feel. That's a great thing to have down pat that will only continue to be a boon as your technical skill improves (and it will if you work at it!). I think that if you buckle down and grind through learning how to draw, you could make very great, visually appealing work.
There's a problem in page flow on Page 2. Here I've shown how your page directs the eye with red lines. The way the page is laid out, you end up reading the fifth panel before you read the fourth panel, which will cause a reader to have to double back to read things in order. You don't want that. You'll wanna keep an eye out for how your pages read in the future. Just give them a once-over and ask where the eye would naturally go following the lines on the page.
So, if you aren't currently, learning human anatomy would be a great place to start placing effort. If you have access, figure drawing classes and the such would be a great way to start working on that. It helps immensely to have others around who can help you if you aren't sure what you're doing at first. Books on comics in general would be a good place to go as well. Understanding Comics and Making Comics, both by by Scott McCloud, are good introductory texts. Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner and Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist also by Will Eisner would be good as well.
For writing, Dan Harmon's Channel 101 guides will be great tutorials as he's one of the best working writers today in episodic TV. I'm aware this isn't directly comics, but the best writing advice is rarely going to come from a comics-focused book. Will Eisner will tell you how to use visuals to your advantage in telling a story, but the nitty-gritty of actually writing will have to come from somewhere else. The Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Cambell may help you understand structure further. This is what Dan Harmon is riffing on and working off of with his Story Circles, but adapted slightly for the sake of episodic television. Film Crit Hulk, an online movie critic/ the Incredible Hulk has a screenwriting book called Screenwriting 101. It's invaluable. I highly recommend it, even if it isn't directly about comic writing. You'll be able to adapt the advice as you work in your own medium.
Writing Excuses is a great podcast that covers a lot of important concepts.
I'm a big follower of Sanderson's First, Second, and Third laws of magic.
Stephen King's On Writing is one of the only books that I'd recommend on the subject. There are a ton of books about how to write well, but don't read too many of them, because at some point you're doing the equivalent of buying a bunch of running shoes and never actually putting them on to go jog around the block.
Dan Harmon's Story Circle Method is my preferred method of structuring stories; it's a prescriptivist version of Joseph Campbell's descriptivist The Hero with a Thousand Faces. (Glimwarden's plot is structured as story circles within story circles within story circles next to story circles.)
Also, /u/daystareld and I will be putting out a podcast in the next few weeks, "Rationally Writing", which is about writing rationally, so keep an eye on that.
My number one advice is to read a lot and write a lot, and do both of those with an analytical mindset. Break things down to see how they work and why they work, or in some cases why they fail. If you need help getting into an analytical mindset, try reading some in-depth criticism of something that you like or are at least familiar with. (Though they're not about writing, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud and the Youtube channel Every Frame a Painting were both things that influenced how I think about telling stories.)
Edit: Oh, also TV Tropes, which is itself a form of multimedia criticism.
I'd say your strongest point is your ability to convey action. The leaping on page 16 is particularly well executed. You also actually have a pretty good grasp of perspective drawing with the environments! It could use a little work, but I feel like every artist could do with more practice!!
The main suggestion I could give you is to start drawing from life. I know you are heavily influenced by Japanese comics, but trust me when I say that all professional manga artists are able to draw from life. What I mean is, take a figure drawing class, or at the very least pick up this book, or any other figure drawing book really. It will help you greatly with getting proportions correct, as well as help you with understanding the internal structure of the body. By skipping learning how to draw from life, and learning to draw from looking at Manga, you're really only taking the face value. Like, have you ever used a copy machine to make a copy of a copy? The original page looks crisp and clean, but that first copy has a few spots and scratches, and then the copy of that copy has big black splotches on it, and eventually the text is completely illegible. Not to say that your art is really bad! It's actually pretty decent for your first comics! I just believe that doing some observational studies will help your work greatly!
The next major thing you should work on is the writing. I get that his blindfold is what keeps his demons at bay, but by starting the comic off with the central character punching a guy's body in two, and then ripping another guy's arm off... it makes me not care about the character. I feel like if you would have shown the readers that he was a kind person, by like, helping the elderly, or defending his father or something, then I'd be like, "Why is this sweet kid suddenly a vicious murderer?" But since you didn't I was like, "Is this a violent comic for the sake of drawing a violent comic?" Therefore, when the dad was brought in to be killed, he started talking about how innocent the kid was, which is the exact opposite of my first impression. Also, why did they kill the dad? Why, then, did they let evil demon kid live, only to exile him? Wouldn't killing Kai solve all of their problems?
Anyway, I feel like you have potential, mainly because you were actually able to produce this much work! Do you have any idea how many people say they want to make comics but pale at the sight of how much work it is? You are a hard worker, and I know that you will be able to persevere and evolve into something so much better than you already are! On that note, buy Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. It will change your life. I'm being 100% serious here. McCloud is not only the go-to comics theorist, but he was also one of the first professional Americans to see the potential of drawing comics influenced by the Japanese! Once you have devoured this book, because you will want more, buy Making Comics, also by Scott McCloud. While Understanding dissects the medium and explains things you never would have thought about before, Making Comics applies those thoughts into a school-like setting.
tl;dr: It's good, but could be much better. Worship Scott McCloud.
If you're just doing this for fun and not for fame and fortune: I have good news for you. Webcomics are extremely easy to get in to. You start a website or an account on Webtoons or Tapastic and you upload pages. Done.
I'd recommend something like just do it. You say you've been thinking about it for a long time now. I get it. I'm a thinker as well. I roll ideas over and over (and over and over) in my head until I think I've found the perfect solution.
The point is, you always learn the most by doing. Some people write a script, some people write a book. Some just jot down notes and write the dialogue as they're drawing. You won't know what works for you until you start applying different methods and learning what you like and what you don't. Even if you have the perfect method, you still need to apply it to learn how to use it well. This goes both for drawing and writing.
As for some resources to get you started.
For story writing: Understanding Comics, any or all the books by Brian McDonald on writing.
For drawing: have you joined r/ArtFundamentals? Great resources for people starting from scratch.
Also, look up cintematography. Choice of shots makes a great impact on how well your comic reads (and how fun it is for you to draw).
So, my advice is just to get cracking. Have fun, and if it's hard to start at first, plan in some time to practice your drawing/writing. Produce pages as soon as possible so you learn about pacing and the process of setting up a page. Write a short story to begin with. You don't have to publish them now. It's all for you to begin with.
I can't really add anything to this conversation seeing as Maxwell Lord left such an excellent and thorough critique. However, one thing I will add is that you should definitely go out and pick up these two books:
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.
This one used to get a lot of love in UXville. Obviously the context is allegorical. But it's a good, fun read about the abstraction of visual storytelling and narrative.
Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics
Give Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud a read. While writing theory is only so useful, McCloud nicely breaks down some things about comics writing that aren't immediately apparent. The flow of reading on a page, how art can interact with words, etc. I've found it pretty useful, and it's a brief read.
Sure! I've done a bit of research about this topic a while back in university. I don't have my scans anymore, but I'll try to find a few examples! Sorry, I don't really read manga myself anymore, so I don't remember ones with white people in them.
First, here's Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, who briefly wrote about the issue of "The Other" in Japanese comics (I found it a bit superficial, but basically true).
When looking at the links, also note that non-Japanese people often are also drawn more realistic and more detailed. That's exactly how the concept of "The Other" is depicted.
Here's a discussion of the "white"-looking faces (and "The Other" as concept).
Here's actually a picture.
Here are some more examples, also on other races.
please don't use capitals every other word. (/derpwizard "It hurts us, it does.")
i'll be frank here and say that your colours are a little lacking. i don't have any bandaids for that, but i suppose some reading up on colour theory or some colour studies will help. they don't necessarily have to be from real life, they can be from other comics as well.
and comics dont have to be vertical strips, but that's up to you. there's a nice book on comics i read recently (and enjoyed). you could take a looksee if you ever feel the want to.
Just my opinion but I didn't like Blankets all that much...Fun Home is awesome though!!
But, in addition to the others mentioned:
Understanding Comics -McCloud
Yummy-Last Days of a Southside Shorty-Neri
Pitch Black -Landowne(sp?)
The Arrival -Tan
American Born Chinese
Drinking at the Movies
also, if you haven't read this yet, dig into Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics it's a must and worthwhile read. best of luck.
> in books, it is just imagination and suggestion.
Don't discount imagination so quickly! There's a great bit in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics where he explains that, in comic strips at least, a lot of what makes them engaging is the space between the panels, where your imagination fills in the gaps. Books can harness this too, because they can very sharply define what you are and are not told directly.
A lot of consumer-driven media, though, focuses on telling a single story, which is definitely not exploring. You can find less linear games, movies, and books, all of which give you more of that exploration sense. Creating new things (doesn't matter what; art, music, code, LEGOs) can also feel more like exploring, because there's no story aside from what you're trying to tell, much like going on a hike in the woods.
Hello everyone. Have a great vacation /u/tehalynn
Don't forget to update the Public Calendar with your progress everyone.
As one of the new team of Mods helping to take over for /u/tehalyn I would just like to say hello and introduce the mods that are helping out while /u/tehalyn is off having a great time on vacation. Here you can see our Day 1 posts explaining why we love comics and are participating in this challenge.
Recommended Reading: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art If you have not yet read this book. Consider it your assignment today! Go to your public library and check-it-out NOW. I personally consider this and a few other books the bible of visual storytelling. I guarantee you it will forever improve your comic writing, drawing and understanding immensely.
EDIT Here is a really bad PDF zerox copied version of "Understanding Comics" for those of you who can't go to your library or have $12. Honestly I am not sure how this is remotely legal but, enjoy it while it's there.
Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics would be a good start.
>A comic book about comic books. McCloud, in an incredibly accessible style, explains the details of how comics work: how they're composed, read and understood. More than just a book about comics, this gets to the heart of how we deal with visual languages in general. "The potential of comics is limitless and exciting!" writes McCloud. This should be required reading for every school teacher. Pulitzer Prize-winner says, "The most intelligent comics I've seen in a long time."
Well, first off, stay away from Grant Morrison if you're just starting out with comics. Go with writers that have more linear story writing. Additionally, I'd recommend picking up the book Understanding Comics by McCloud. It's a really great guide that will help you uderstand the sequential art that is comic books. Here's an Amazon link to it: http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X
Yo, as a fellow aspiring mangaka, I got some tips for you:
Write for yourself, not for your audience (it's fairly obvious when you're intentionally trying to play to your audience [fanservice, super Japanese sugoi nihongo wo hanase dekiru yoooooo] and fans, especially Americans, will NOT appreciate it)
Shounen heroes can range from Ichigo (shatter fate, straightforward) to Yuuhi [Lucifer & the Biscuit Hammer] (brooding and thinking protagonist), this applies to every genre; research accordingly.
Forgive me if I am wrong, but I assume you are producing an OEL (Original English Language) manga. Don't fall into the stylistic trap, take a look at Osamu Tezuka's "Phoenix" and Hiroaki Samura's "Blade of the Immortal" to really see the artistic pioneers of the genre. Even things like word bubbles and panels can change the feel of an entire page. Don't fall into the Nick Simmons faulty thinking that manga is a specific formula.
If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics". No matter how good of an artist you are, there are certain nuances to the comic trade that need to be explored, if not the entire trade of art.
Take a look at the difference between the wildly successful Jason Chan and the sadly less employed Shaun Healey
Jason Chan is employed by everyone from Wizards of the Coast to Marvel Comics. Would I read a comic of his? Probably not. He can establish a temporary narrative (paint a sweet portrait of a single moment) but so far, seems to lack the ability to pace. A crucial element of manga.
Compare Oh! Great (Air Gear) to Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist). Holy shit is Oh! Great's art freakin' amazing. Have you seen how he renders people flying upside down and shit? This guy knows anatomy like crazy! Does his story make sense? HELL NO! He seems to make things up as goes along and abandons character development in favor of explaining his ridiculously complicated made-up physics (Air treks stopped making sense like 5 characters ago). On the other hand, Hiromu Arakawa's characters look like they've been through a steam roller, but hey, you can recognize them, they are fully developed characters, and you can understand their motivations.
Naoki Urasawa is an excellent mangaka. He created "20th Century Boys", my favorite piece of literature, and collaborated with Tezuka himself on "Pluto". They guy who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize pretty much said that Urasawa should've gotten it instead. His art? MEH! But it's a style that makes characters readily differentiable!
STYLE is important. Know what you're trying to say and SAY IT. Ichigo may look like Ikkaku, but their motivations, the stylization of their eyes, and Kubo's backgrounds create entirely unique atmospheres.
Know anatomy, start from ground zero (gesture, proportions), emphasize what you think is important and become unassailable in your knowledge.
DO SOMETHING, even if it sucks, practice, post, copy, learn. Enjoy what you do, manga is awesome.
There are several things going on here!
One, I think "being high" from pot is actually a learned response, like any other skill, it takes time and practice. It takes several exposures to actually really understand the experience and get a full effect. No doubt, there's something biological to this. Over time, the effects get more noticeable. I've never really met anyone who had it completely work the first time. Everyone I know said the effect got initially bigger the more they did it (and then, past that point, you build up tolerance).
A second thing is that the effects are really profoundly different for each person. A friend of mine was heavily into chronic dope, and he would often smoke with (what he termed) people who were 'beginners'. Like, he'd share a joint, and the person he'd smoke with would be really knocked around, for example they would barf or become so intoxicated that they would be incoherent or non-functional. It didn't affect him nearly to the same extent. He could smoke 10X that amount and not get nearly as high. I've known at least three people who are really weird people unless they smoke dope, and with the dope they seem to become just like normal. Bottom line, some of this depends on how much you smoke, how often, how strongly it affects you and what your baseline state is like. The range of responses is huge.
Then, there's at least one other thing. I've met several people who have a specific drug that simply doesn't work at all on them. A friend of mine could take heroic, death-defying batches of psilocybin and they simply were inert. He would feel cheated or ripped off and it was very obvious he was 100% sober. He once accused me of faking the effects! If I took a tiny amount from that same batch, it was a mystical experience, so it wasn't that the drugs were counterfeit -- he just couldn't get high from mushrooms. That happens to me too, but only during the refractory period...mushrooms (taken all alone) don't work again for a few days duration right after you take them once (but you can ordinarily tweak that by adding some extra substances). I've known some people that get an effect from pot that outwardly seems like it's so incredibly mild it's almost non-existent. I actually think the pot that is available is getting a lot stronger, which makes me think that most people are less sensitive to it than I am, because it's almost unpleasantly strong to me now.
What's funny and interesting is that once you have experienced a drug, you can easily recall the experience/feeling of it, and what's more, you can be in a dream of being actually high while you sleep, which is basically the same as saying that you can repeat actually being high without the drug. In other words, your brain learns to get in the state once it discovers it.
My partner is a lot less experienced with drugs than I am, but I notice when she is high more than she notices. She's all forgetful and not making sense, while at the same time she feels she's not feeling it. I feel that there's a certain amount of inward observation about being high that's different from normal reality. Part of what you learn (with a first drug) is to have a kind of duality that you experience towards your introspection. Here's the sober part of my mind noticing the high part of my mind. This is different from actually just feeling or thinking one thing.
The absolute best drug experience from a first time use is from LSD. It actually works insanely well the first time you take it, it's an unavoidable and very potent experience. The problem with LSD is not the thing that everyone is scared of: bad trips. The problem is permanent insanity -- I really think it's a bit of a dangerous substance. Out of a small handful of people that I know who have done it, I personally know at least 4 or 5 people who became acid casualties and had actual damaging permanent brain changes, and none of those people were doing anything truly weird, just using it the way anyone else would. I don't really recommend it unless you are willing to take that risk. One or two normal trips don't guarantee that something won't eventually happen. To me I don't think the problems/risks are connected to what other people talk about...I don't think you have to be pre-disposed to anything to have a potential problem with it. Perfectly normal people still run risks.
It seems like the psychedelics (like Psilocybin, LSD, Ecstacy etc. and extremely strong pot) are substances that inhibit the thalamus in various ways. Basically, this is the part of your brain that is like a traffic light, which makes you only think one thought at a time versus multiple thoughts. If you soak your brain in enough of the right juices, you can definitely allow a lot more traffic. What actually ends up happening depends on the person. I knew one guy who became a really fluid skateboarder with the same drug that allowed someone else to talk about philosophy.
Drugs have been a really interesting thing for me. I've experienced synaesthesia, visual-, corporal- and auditory-hallucinations, many, many powerful insights into myself and the world. All the normal things like time-dilation, munchies, laughing, whatever. Also lots of mystical and religious experiences. I once made friends with a house cat and we went hiking together for about 3 hours in the forest. I even wrote an exam on LSD once and the professor turned my answer into a class lecture -- I guess I came up with a pithy way of integrating all the things that the course was about. I've entered states where it was like programming my own brain as if it was a computer. I've been an insect on an alien planet, and I've had a UFO encounter and found a successful way to talk a friend out of suicide. I've seen Jesus appear and saw him convince a friend of mine to become religious. I've run from the police while feeling like it was in slow-motion. I also invented a couple of legit mechanical devices. It also changes the way I see/hear and process music and art, where I can suddenly hear through distortion, understand mumbled words and see more symbolically, metaphorically etc. Pot also improved my sports performance, and I actually had some of my best ever competition results while being totally baked. A few pro athletes I know don't race unless they are quite high on pot -- it seems to improve reaction time and endurance.
I once tripped sitting beside a river, and I had every visual element (trees, ducks, kids, dogs et.) map into a very realistic miniature simulation of the overall human superstructure, where I could look down- or up- stream and get a coherent snapshot of the past, present and future. After the high went away, the mental model proved to be durable and rational and the insights probably still affect how I see things. The very first time I dosed on LSD, the drug kicked in while watching the normal TV news. I still cannot watch any TV without seeing the gears moving on the propaganda machine, it literally cured me of the hypnotic susceptibility you need to "get into" watching TV. However, I'm probably even more interested in movies now. The best book about exactly how I see movies is this one, the only difference is that movies are sequential in the same space where comics are spatially juxtaposed, but the book is highly recommended regarding how it works.
However, I basically don't do any drugs at all any more. I probably went through a period of beyond-average experimentation, but I found there are a lot of risks for me personally. I don't particularly enjoy being actually high, so for me, it's a tool only insofar as it helps me direct my life. One major thing is that using drugs turns me into a dreamer rather than someone really living my life -- this happens in a seductive way that's hard to notice. The way that my personality is, I need to actually focus on executing on real ideas rather than coming up with more and more possibilities or being in a state of creative flux all the time. As a professional creative, I have an endless stream of possible ideas all the time even when I'm totally sober, and drugs make that overwhelming to the extent I don't (and can't) get enough done. Drugs are super time-consuming.
Understanding Comics and Making Comics by Scott McCloud are a great place to start.
Doesn't seem like you're as interested in getting help with writing as you are in getting help with illustration.
Still, regarding writing, I strongly recommend reading Scott McCloud's two seminal books on comic books: Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics.
I learned as much about comics from reading those two books as I learned about film from reading Story, by Robert McKee.
I.e., my appreciation and understanding of both media forms increased exponentially.
If you wish to learn more about comics, I cannot recommend Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art enough.
As for art style... eh, it comes in all shapes and sizes, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Especially when you do it just for fun and don't go for any other style than your own.
Firstly, I wouldn't consider my perspective of the role of art in society to be defined much by my experiences in school (esp. middle school and high school, for us Yanks)... And since I went to an art college, my perspective's further skewed here. Back in school, there wasn't much discussion about the role of Art. It simply was, and you took from it what you needed. No one ever tried to tell me art was meaningless or a waste of time, and for that I'm grateful. Art serves a million purposes. It communicates, challenges, and enriches. It can be a simple demonstration of one person's dedication or a reflection of the experiences shared by a civilization. Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" is a nice entry-level art theory/critique book. Worth a looksee.
Hmmm... this is a tough one to answer. I consider myself to be one who oozes confidence, so I feel like I have the authority to answer.
First, body language is a good, simple one to fix. Always walk with shoulders back and chin up. Also, from this TED talk, I learned that you look/feel more confident when you spread yourself out while seated. This TED talk has truly left a lifelong impact on me.
As far as talking goes, always be learning and always be passionate about what you're learning. I guess that's the biggest part. When I speak, I'm very enthusiastic about what I'm talking about, and I try to tailor my conversation topic to link it somehow to what the other person is interested in or has been doing lately. And -- very important -- I make sure to keep my enthusiastic rants short and to the point, always being aware of how long I've been talking. This is all a lot easier when what your learning can be related to a lot of things, or, conversely, if you're learning about a variety of different things.
You also really need to build confidence, which I think is actually easier than it sounds. If you want confidence, you need to build self-esteem. To build self-esteem, set goals and achieve them. And these don't need to be huge, difficult goals, either. For the past few years, as a college student, I've switched majors three times, so I've never been able to really pick something to obsess over and accomplish. But I have been exploring my interests, and during this exploration I've accomplished a lot of small tasks that have made me a more learned person. Even little things: over the past few months, I've gotten really into comic books, and last night I got hooked on a couple of new series (Afterlife with Archie and Trillium if you're interested). I've been reading books and watching lectures outside of school and taking notes on them. Right now I'm taking notes on Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. None of these "accomplishments" will get me any awards, but they make me a more cultured and more interesting person. And I enjoy the experience.
Make sure you're exercising. If I go a couple days without exercising, I physically feel like crap, and my self-esteem takes a dip. Make sure you're exercising, and make sure you set goals for yourself so you can build confidence as you achieve them. I've been weightlifting since the 8th grade, and just last week I was approached at the gym by someone who wanted to recruit me onto the school's rugby club. It's little things that slowly pile up to make you confident.
Lastly -- and this is more along the lines of your question -- teach yourself to be aware of other peoples' social cues. You can only really learn this through experience and/or by deliberately paying attention, but it's something that's INCREDIBLY important. If you notice that the person is "zoning out" while you're talking or that they're barely acknowledging you while you speak, stop talking to them and ask them a question. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so it's a good thing for people to associate their joy of talking about themselves with the time they spend with you. This doesn't make you a 'beta' male or an interrogator, so long as you make room for yourself to contribute to the conversation.
And don't be a dick. Everyone hates assholes. Golden Rule and whatnot.
I totally see how it could be used to break down boundaries. It's like how, if your brother becomes an A-list TV actor, he's still your brother who happens to be a celebrity. He never becomes a celebrity who happens to have been your brother for fifteen years. Sites like Reddit give us an opportunity to see everybody like a member of big, adopted family (just like the study group).
The thing is, we know our family are ordinary people we can talk to because we've seen them from all sides. To trigger that revolution, you'd need to introduce a new culture among the upper/creative class, where it's okay to be transparent about yourself. Sites like Reddit could enable that culture, but peoples' inclination to do so would need to be there, regardless, for the site to work. Before Instagram, people were already showing everybody at the table what their food looked like. Until they start physically zapping our brains, computers alone are never going to change people's behavior.
Letting your insecurities and flaws be part of your public persona, letting strangers see you as a fully fleshed out person with depth... that's a pretty terrifying thing. It involves spending several horrifying nights doing nothing but unrelentingly hitting yourself with your own big fuck-ups. Most people are afraid of showing that stuff to one other person, even when they've known and trusted them for years. Showing it to everybody, including lots of people who would have liked you if they hadn't known small parts of the worst things you've disclosed - especially in a field like mass media, where the most adoration-dependant personalities gravitate - is... not an attractive prospect.
Without that culture, our idols seem like perfect points of light and positivity, which is why people feel starstruck if one of them should stoop so low as to say something to them. Closure fills in the gaps that when they're away from us, they're doing what they do in front of us, rather than considering the idea that they're sitting on a bed with their face in their hands wondering if anything about their personality is their own.
\ I'm using "closure" in the Understanding Comics sense, which, Dan, I'm assuming you've read based on my third-hand understanding that you've read the biggest books on the structure of media you work in, and knowing that you wrote La Cosa Nostroid. For anybody who hasn't, you really should, even if you've never read comic book in your life and never intend to.
Sott McCloud would like to give you a hand
Josiah Brooks has an active channel with all kinds of drawing tutorials that are very beginner friendly, so that is one that you should definitely check out.
Sycra has a really beginner-friendly channel as well, with a lot of great tutorials that you'll probably find super useful when you're starting out.
Circle Line Art School has a bunch of videos about perspective that are worth checking out.
Alphonso Dunn specializes in traditional media and shares a lot of tips that will definitely help you out as a beginner and as you move forward and begin experimenting with different techniques.
James Raiz specializes in the kind of artwork I think you're interested in and he shows you his process for constructing characters from sketch all the way to final rendering. Sometimes it might be a bit advanced, but it will give you an idea of the type of process you're looking at.
Ahmed Aldoori has a slightly more advanced channel that is mostly centered around digital art, but includes a lot of short videos with decent tips that could help direct you in your studies.
Joe Cornelius is a painter who is very knowledgeable about colour theory, and so when you begin to use colour in your drawings he's definitely someone you should check out.
Feng Zhu is a master concept artist and teacher who's channel is very advanced and focused entirely on digital painting for video games and movies, and so it might not be particularly helpful for helping you learn to draw comics, but he's a wellspring of information about being a professional artist and it's a joy to watch his process.
Typically you can just type "beginner drawing tutorial" into youtube and it'll give you a ton of other options to choose from. As you move forward, you can refine your searches to learn about more specific things like technique and colour theory.
Also, you should search for comic documentaries on youtube and take some time to learn about the history of the artform and master artists like Jack Kirby and Jim Lee. If you aspire to be a professional then it would be to your benefit to have knowledge about the men that made the artform great to begin with.
Another great resource you should locate is a book called Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. This book will change the way you think about comics as an artform, and I can't recommend it enough to ANYBODY interested in them whether as an aspiring creator or simply as a fan. McCloud's other books are good too, but Understanding Comics should be on every artist's shelf.
Understanding Comics!! amazing book, totally changed my perspective on the medium.
anyone wanting to make better powerpoints just needs to read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.
All the artistic skill that it takes to craft a well put together story in a series of panels is equally applicable to comics or powerpoint.
I've noticed a few on my library shelves, but haven't read them all yet:
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. It's Bechdel's memoir about her father, and an excellent read. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0618871713/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_zF8HzbJGXQY79
The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary. It covers a milestone legal case in 20th century US. https://www.amazon.com/Lives-Vanzetti-Treasury-Century-Murder/dp/1561639362
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. It's a text on the nature of comics, in graphic novel form. It's a classic. https://www.amazon.com/dp/006097625X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_sO8HzbDMZF7EJ
The Book of Genesis, illustrated by R. Crumb. He illustrated the entire text of this book of the bible. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393061027/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_8U8HzbZBERQNM
And here's a good list from The Atlantic Monthly: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/08/comic-books-as-journalism-10-masterpieces-of-graphic-nonfiction/243351/ (I've read and enjoyed a couple of these titles, so I feel safe in assuming the others are just as good)
go buy Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud right now!
It will help with all of these issues and more
His stuff on "The Big Triangle" is so clutch
WOOOO! You should pick up a copy of "Understanding Comics". I'm not a great drawer, but I love making stick figure comics that tell stories.
Whatever you decide to draw, this will help your composition and choice in what to draw! I hope you enjoy it.
I can tell no definite source for all the stuff I learned. I took art classes in school and also an art class with an artist here in town. I watched hours and hours of youtube videos.
Ironically, the channel that helped me the most in the end with vector art was Alphonso Dunn's channel which is mostly about ink drawing. But some of the things he says about basic lines and the communicative value of lines really spoke to me.
Other channels I found useful would be Proko, Draw with Jazza and if you feel very serious, News Masters Academy.
In terms of books, I dunno. I had various drawing books, anatomy books, etc pp. Very interesting and entertaining and totally changing the way I think about Comics was Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics"
edit: Most importantly: training, training, training. Keep working on it and you will improve. Don't rest on your laurels once you have the first successes, keep improving.
Edit: There are many useful ways to critique non-representational and abstract work- Some of my personal favorite methodologies are Panofsky's three-tiered system, Semiotics, and formal deconstruction.
1). It's a portrait, with recognizable, yet stripped-down features in more or less the right places.
2). it either explicitly references Basquiat as /u/Felix-Is-Dreaming pointed out (and with whom I strongly agree), or it's another crown referencing kingliness - think 'the fisher king' if you want a more psychoanalytical analogy in relation to this piece.
3). Formally, the piece draws much of its strength from a secure composition and from its ability to span between representation and abstraction. It's angry splatter brushwork, dark colors, and broken down form all collude to present an identity in turmoil (or something close to that effect).
4). however, there is a careless amateur approach throughout the painting. In Scott McCloud's brilliant Understanding Comics, McCloud explains how someone who seeks to emulate only the style will only have a surface level understanding. I believe that to be the case in this piece. For example, there is no attempt at a ground on this piece whatsoever; does that mean the titanium white of the gesso sufficiently conveyed your meaning? Or is it a lack of foresight? Similarly, many of the colors are unmixed, seemingly straight out of the tube. Yet does that mean you are having a conversation with pure pigment as someone like Calder or Matisse? Or is the more likely story that you did not refine your intention for the color before application? When your characters crown hits the top of the composition yet the bottom doesn't, is that a conscious choice on your part or did you simply run out of canvas space?
you may be interested (or already looking at) some of the neo-expressionist painters, particularly from Berlin. If so, I recommend Donald Kuspit's: The New Subjectivism. Kuspit's a romantic, but acute critic and you might find some common ground with the artists within. This is to say, you have more experimenting and examination to do, of which I will leave to your own devices.
Edit: rephrased my intro for clarity. removed:
> geez, you other people have no idea how to critique a non-representational piece, huh? You can still use panofsky's 3 tiered method, an expliticly formal approach, hegelian dialectic. Shit, there are tons of ways to approach this.
You might be interested in Scott McCloud's 'Understanding Comics' (and later 'Reinventing Comics'). Possibly a little dated now, but there's a lot of useful information there.
Ναι αυτό εννοώ. Κρίμα.
Καταλαβαίνω ότι το comic είναι πολύ δύσκολη υπόθεση. Το πόσο δύσκολο είναι το κατάλαβα διαβάζοντας τη σειρά βιβλίων του Scott McCloud "Understanding comics: The invisible Art", "Reinventing comics" και "Making Comics". Δεν είχα ιδέα από comics ως μέσο και μου κίνησε την περιέργεια μία ομιλία (keynote address) του McCloud σε ένα συνέδριο που είχα παρευρεθεί. Awesome stuff!
Don't give it up just yet, and have a talk with your academic advisor and/or favorite professor. They've seen it all before, will not think worse of you (they're more likely to think better of you, actually!), and have the resources and networks to really give you a boost no matter what you choose.
Take classes in subjects you enjoy or find interesting! Your future is never set in stone. The average person goes through three complete career changes, and your major can fluctuate all over the place. Take this time to learn something new and useful and difficult, and don't read too much into your grades.
Freshman year is hardest before you find friends you feel you can really confide in. Taking cool classes will throw you in with like-minded people and potential friends.
I highly recommend Understanding Comics to anyone interested in cartooning.
You should give her a copy of Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, both by Will Eisner. Actually, it might be easier to read them yourself so you can augment your own understanding of the difference between comics and illustrated books. They're prose for the most part (as opposed to Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud), with examples interspersed. Eisner lays down all the reasons why comics, graphic novels and sequential art in all its forms has been, and should continue to be, a serious medium for the dissemination of ideas and stories.
Okay, I'll give a quick sumuppance. Comics and graphic novels rely on images and words working simultaneously to achieve a visual narrative much like a film. If you want to you can consider them the middle ground between books and movies. I suggest those books because Eisner gives a much more thorough explanation than I will. One of the fascinating points he brings up is the use of cave paintings and hieroglyphs as a means of communication (before or, even, as written language) as well as the difference between logographic languages, like Chinese, and phonographic languages, like English (and most other written languages).
Okay, I'm rambling and I'm not even sure I've cleared up what the real difference between illustrated books and comics or graphic novels is. Really, since you're in the business of safeguarding and sharing information, you should read those books, as well as Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud so you can gain a greater understanding of why you like comics and why they should be included in the information which is preserved for everyone.
edit: Gawd, I misspelled achieve.
This one --> Understanding Comics
Any of Scott McCloud's books. Making Comics is good for the technical side, Understanding Comics (the 1st of his series) is also good to break down WHY comics are important.
(One can probably skip his second book, it mostly examines webcomics and since it was printed is fairly outddated now thanks to various internet technologies advancing as it all does)
DC Comics has also published a series of "How-To" books which are good to thumb through , I personally own all of them but the Writing one-
-[DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics] (http://www.amazon.com/DC-Comics-Guide-Writing/dp/0823010279/ref=pd_sim_b_4)
-DC Comics Guide To Pencilling Comics
-DC Comics Guide To Inking Comics
-DC Comics Guide To Coloring and Lettering Comics
-DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics
Since you mentioned the line thickness/thinness- um, the inking one would probably be a good one to start with. It'll show at least American/western methods of going about things, minus anything digital because the book was written before digital was big in the process. The Digital Drawing book somewhat helps on that issue but with programs like Painter, you can pretty much emulate any traditional tool fairly easily. If you have a particular style in mind you want, post it up and perhaps I can help determine what tools were probably used to make it???
Nice rundown. Here are some other books I would recommend OP check out:
Do you read comics? If not, head down to the library and check out a variety of them. Graphic novels and TPB's will vary in length, some shorter ones are fewer than 50 pages. Some longer ones are over 1000.
Browse Kickstarter. I'm not a huge fan of most of the campaigns on there, but a lot of them get funded, you can see from those campaigns what it takes to get what you want done.
r/comicbookcollabs is a good place to look for an artist, or deviantart, or comic book forums. You MIGHT be able to work out a partial residual deal, but expect to come out of pocket for your project to the tune of around $100 per page.
If you're not familiar with scripting comics you should get your hands on some comic book scripts to see how they pace a page, a chapter, a single issue, a book, ect. You might be fine publishing your first chapter at around 20 pages, you might want to do a short graphic novel at 50+ pages.
Here's some books you should check out
This is called critical theory. Try https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-Scott-McCloud/dp/006097625X
Step 1. LOOK at the art.
It sounds like you're doing this, that's great! The artist probably spent 2–10 hours on that one page, I'm sure they'd like it if people did more than glance at it. You might find it useful if you pay attention to these things in particular: shapes, how lighting works (the shadows, shading, and highlights), line width, composition and layout, foreground/background and perspective, anatomy and proportions (which can be unrealistic and still look good), textures and effects.
Take a look at through the Escher Girls tumblr if you want to see what inaccurate anatomy can do to otherwise skilled artwork.
Step 2. Learn about what goes into artwork. For comics, manga, and other sequential art in particular, I HIGHLY recommend reading Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. It is not a how-to-draw book. It's also well worth your time, and odds are good you can find it at your local library if you live in an native English-speaking country. The sequel, Making Comics, is also really good.
Step 3. Keep looking at the art for multiple series, over time eventually you'll start to notice what works and what doesn't, when rules are broken to good effect and when they really should've listened.
This is great. Hands are such a pain to draw well and you've done a great job. The story is relatable to anyone who's been high and experienced how weird your body is if you really think about it. 10/10, would read again.
If you're serious about moving from single illustrations to sequential art there are a lot of books and sites out there to help.
K Michael Russell
These are just a few. This may not be a popular opinion here but bittorent is your friend. Use it to torrent Photoshop, Manga Studio, and any drawing books you're interested in. Then you need to ask yourself what your end goal is. Printed comics? Web comics?
I've changed my workflow from originally doing everything with paper and pens to involving more digital elements during the process. It's made working quicker and most people want to consume comics on their laptop or tablet which means you'll end up converting to digital at some point in the future anyway.
Here's some examples of my stuff. I'm still learning so there's a lot here I'm embarrassed to show but it might be helpful context.
Web comic done with pencils and inks on paper then scanned. I did this for a year and you can see how much better my art gets towards the end from practicing every day. I wish I would have kept it up.
First try coloring something digitally.
Here's the second try doing a longer format comic. K Michael Russell's videos are awesome for learning the basics of coloring. Here's what the layers look like broken apart.
You can get a scanner relatively cheap, here's the one I use. The downside of a small scanner means you need to draw on paper smaller than 11x17 or draw on large paper and scan it in piece by piece.
I also moved to a Wacom tablet for inking/coloring. My next comic will be posted soon and was done 100% digital. I'm not in love with how it turned out but it helped me learn what you and can and can't do on a drawing tablet.
Hopefully some of this is helpful.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud is probably the best, most comprehensive book out there about the evolution of comics through history. The Comic Book History of Comics is a really good tour through the history of the American comics industry. The Ten-Cent Plague is another good book about the evolution of American comics.
First and foremost; write a script. Without a script you've got nothing. Let people read the script. Listen to what they have to say. If they can't visualize or understand any parts of it, then neither will the artist who will eventually draw it hopefully and neither will your audience, the readers. If you get defensive about criticism then just stop now, because you're going to hear it at some point unless you only let your mother read it.
Next rewrite it. I think it was Hemingway that said the first draft of everything is shit.
Find an artist. Listen to the artist's points. If your artist says you need more action. Put more action. If your artist comes up with a cool way to reduce 4 pages into one cool layout, let them. Don't let your script be your baby. Comics are a collaborative art.
Maybe before you start writing you should learn about comics. Read some. Definitely read Scott Adams Understanding Comics and Making Comics
Also read some really great comics like;
Frank Miller's the Dark Knight Returns,
Alan Moore's Watchmen,
Kurt Busiek's Kingdom Come,
Garth Ennis's Preacher,
Jeph Loeb's the Long Halloween,
These will let you know what come before, but also what's possible to do with the format.
For 18 years old that's pretty fucking good. But there is always room for improvement for every aspect of drawing. As an artist you should never stop learning.
A lot of good suggestions in this thread, the most important thing is to just keep generating content and finish an issue or a story with your art. It's not going to be perfect or up to your ideals all the time but just getting the work done is great for feeling accomplished and proving to yourself that you can finish something (this is really fucking important).
Then every once and awhile go back to a comic, or a page that you've already done and think about and write down the things that you can do better and ideas on maybe different layouts - and then try it out. Iterate on the same basic concept and you'll start to gravitate on what you like personally and what feels good to you. You do enough of that and you'll eventually have your own distinctive style.
Also getting inspiration by digesting and studying professional work is important too. I'd refrain from copying a style, especially for professional work - but I'd look at other's work and write notes about what this artist did in this book that you like, try it out and see if it's compatible with what you're trying to accomplish.
Strip Panel Naked: (dissecting panels, layouts)
There is so much more to comic books than people understand. If you are interested in this topic then I highly recommend "understanding comics" by Scott McLeod. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X
It's very insightful and is a comic book itself.
I really liked Understanding Comics. It is not 100% what you are looking for but it is a great book that is related.
Scott McLoud's books are great.
>The main problem I have is that I don’t know where to start.
>my anatomy is very lacklustre.
Work on your anatomy maybe? Youtube would be a good place to start off with some free resources. Don't forget about environments and perspective drawing. Also if you're planning to do the lettering yourself take some time to learn the basics of typography and typesetting.
Are you just learning to art or do you have goals?
Dynamic Figure Drawing The early bits of learning to draw focus on correct proportions, but just knowing the facts doesn't mean you understand what you're looking at. Learning about weight and line of action can make figure drawings a lot more interesting.
If you're interested in comics Understanding Comics helps you understand how they work, but not how to draw them.
Do you have access to art classes? Have you done any art history? Art history is pretty great for knowing about the masters and the people that paved the way for today's artists. The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern This book tries to give a short and succinct summary of most of the art movements, but it's worthwhile to get deeper into parts that interest you. The Ninja Turtles (Michaelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael) are icons of the Renaissance, and I imagine the 11 pages for that time period fail to cover quite a lot of the Renaissance. Art is more than the paintings, it's the culture that is responsible for patronizing their work, it's the lessons they learned in pursuit of grander and grander works (The Monalisa represents a lighting choice - twilight hours with indirect lighting; On either side of her is two-point perspective and atmospheric perspective), the men and women that created these works, how these ideas traveled through the regions, and what their work meant to the artists in the time period they lived in.
There's a ton of advice I could give you - and I'll try to throw a bunch of it at you - but keep in mind I've barely begun this process myself. This is what I can tell you based on what I've observed, take it as you will.
My first piece of advice is to do the thing you said you never do. Put them down to paper. These little scenes and random thoughts you have swimming through your head are exactly where "we all find ideas to start from." It could be a simple scene in the middle of a larger story, it could be the very last words you want to someone to hear. Regardless of what it is, put it down on paper. I always carry a small moleskin notebook with me and have gotten into the habit of just jotting down something whenever it goes through my head. When you're used to just thinking of things, it's a little jarring at first to stop and write it down, but believe me - it will be worth it. This is the fountain of ideas you're looking for.
Arguably the most important thing I can tell you, is to write. Don't worry about whether it's formatted right, if you've structured your characters enough, or if you've done a good outline. Write. Whenever, wherever, as much as you can. You're only going to get better at writing by writing.
That being said, worry about format, structure, and outlines. And what I mean by that, is look back on the work you did, figure out where you could have done better and the next time try to do that. The first thing I ever wrote, I did without thinking about my characters, what they really meant, their back story, the environment they lived in, and said to hell with an outline. After it was finished, I knew for my next project that this had to change.
Consume the media you want to create. Not only should you actively read comics, you should try to consume anything that gives you insight to the business and how other people work. This is a list of books I bought and think have been extremely helpful. They give insight into the importance of creating characters, environments, etc before you even begin a script. I've listed them in the order I personally liked from best to still pretty damn good
Comics, man. The scope of what you can convey by mashing words and pictures together goes, in my opinion, beyond that of any other artistic medium. A really good book to read on the subject is Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. I can't even begin to describe the nuances of this medium in the way he can.
Ok, I am being completely serious. I am not trying to insult you. I was floored by this book, and I use it still. It is one of the greatest books I have ever read and teaches people how to LEARN!
I thought I knew, I'm a college graduate, I program for a living. I can read and learn already, right?
Please, please, please, consider reading this book and don't be turned off by the title.
How to Read a Book
[EDIT] Also, you since you like comics, I highly recommend Understanding Comics, it's a mind-blowing view of how comics work.
...and read this: http://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Scott-McCloud/dp/006097625X .
Along the lines of comic flashfiction, you can work on tiny stories within this larger vision you have and kill two birds with one stone.
it's very common to work at something for a long time and become blind to certain stuff
what works for me is to flip the art horizontally and/or vertically while in progress and you should notice right away the flaws then keep working then flip again. it keep your perspective fresh
also I strongly recommend for you to read understanding comics
despite the comic focus, it teach the whole visual language approach thing and it will blow your mind
Check out the Dark Horse guide to script format for comic book writers for help on structuring your pages and directing the artist.
Also, read a bunch of comics and check out Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics if you haven't already read it.
You'll find that some artists will have no problem working with your screenplay format, but if you want to submit to companies and/or give artists more direction, understanding this format is a good skill to have in your arsenal. I've just begun to work with it myself, so don't be intimidated ... just jump in and learn as you go!
Even master artists feel like they don't know what they're doing. The more you learn, the more you realize is left to learn. There is no point where you go from someone who can't draw to someone who can. It's just something you keep getting better at the more you practice and study. Copying from reference is a great place to start, keep at it. and don't be afraid to ask for critique if you really get stuck.
Just do what you can now, and as you improve it will get more fun and less frustrating.
If you want some resources, here's some youtube channels that have helped me:
And also some books:
You could also check out http://drawabox.com/ and https://www.ctrlpaint.com/ which both offer a more ridged lesson by lesson approach to learning to draw.
That sounds amazing. If you can, let me know when you finish. You can show me drafts too if you want. This book might help you understand drawing comics/manga better. https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-Scott-McCloud/dp/006097625X
My huge post got deleted as I was writing it because I hit some stupid RES command that took me out. So I'll give you the short version.
/u/ManVsMagic this comic is not very good. Go buy Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics". Read it. Learn. Buy the other two. Repeat. Get better.
If I may ask, what's the other graphic novel you've read so far?
I recommend reading Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. :)
Copy and pasting artwork from one frame to another is obvious and lazy. I know that sounds mean, but I was a comics major in college and my professor would have said the exact same thing. Avoid shortcuts if you want to get better. Also, the textured frame is distracting. May I recommend a book? Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud was incredibly useful when I first started out, and it's always great to go back to it. You're prolific enough to continue creating, so maybe it's good to develop good habits over bad. If I'm going to keep seeing your comic, I'd like to see you improve.
I always recommend Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics to friends when they are new to and want to develop an appreciation for the medium.
Understanding traditional arts will always help you no matter what because it helps develop an analytically eye. I would try to find places around your location that offer figure drawing sessions for like $20. Doing figure drawing sessions will help you come to a greater understanding about shape, form, weight, pose; All of those are extremely important to understand in animation. You don't have to draw well by any means (if your doing 3d), just develop your eye.
If you're not coming from an art background, I recommend reading 'Drawn to Life', 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brian' or 'Understanding Comics' as these will help change the way you think about art. They have to do a lot with Art Philosophy.
Understanding Comics: (a vastly underrated book)
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain:
Drawn to Life:
Absolutely! Here's a short list of non-magic books that I commonly see recommended to magicians.
Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud
Purple Cow - Seth Godin
Delft Design Guide - multiple authors
An Acrobat of the Heart - Stephen Wangh (shouts out to u/mustardandpancakes for the recommendation)
In Pursuit of Elegance - Guy Kawasaki
The Backstage Handbook - Paul Carter, illustrated by George Chiang
Verbal Judo - George Thompson and Jerry Jenkins
Be Our Guest - Ted Kinni and The Disney Institute
Start With Why - Simon Sinek
Lots of common themes even on such a short list. What would you add to the list? What would you take away?
Here's the amazon link for anyone interested:
CS/Studio Art double major here.
I would expand your thesis to include the importance and significance of both shapes and composition. Color is a useful tool from both a scientific and design standpoint for a variety of reasons; Red/Orange/Yellow are warm/angry, Blue/Purple is cold/calm, certain colors look absolutely horrendous when put together poorly (neon green on yellow, for example), etc. Shapes and composition are also useful in the same way; a sideways triangle always means play, a green check means yes, etc. Using color, shapes, and composition basically boils down to conveying a thought to the user as simply and elegantly as possible.
I recommend checking out Apple's iOS Human Interface Guidelines. They've been working on this stuff for years and while I don't always agree with them, they have a lot of it figured out. I also recommend Understanding Comics; it's a book about the artistic integrity/history of comics, but it also covers the basics of what "art" is and how to use it to convey an emotion or thought. The chapters about leading the reader's eye from point-to-point and how color and lines inherently carry emotion are especially useful.
Here's one better: Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
It's a serious comic book. Also known as a graphic novel. "Comic book" means the artwork and text are in a certain style, not the content.
I do from time to time. I've also been blogging for a few years. I'm taking time off from seminary right now, and am I'm also working with this ministry. We're hoping to create a visual guide to the reliability of the NT, sort of in the style of Understanding Comics.
Nice of sharing this information. When I dabbled in comic books I read Will Eisner's Comics & Sequential Art. A very comprehensive book by one of the greats.
Also the books by Scott McCloud are taking the medium beyond just print and to the web itself.
I've just started learning to draw. Actually, I've always sketched a bit, but I wanted a firm foundation in drawing. I'm currently reading and doing the exercises in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Right-Side-Brain-Definitive/dp/1585429201 It's been recommended by a lot of people.
It's really good, and I already see improvement in my drawing.
And read this book while you're at it (it's not just about comics but about drawing and symbols and how they work on our brains): http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X
The best book on how comics work, for my money, is Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. That would be followed up by Making Comics from the same author. It's a little theory-heavy but it's amazing. I'd say it's good for 14 and up, or maybe a little younger. This would get him a fantastic background in how comics work and how to create them in general. The first book is literally used as a textbook in some college "Comics Appreciation" type classes. The coolest thing about it is that it's a comic itself, and it demonstrates the things it's talking about right there on the page.
If he's younger, and/or he really just wants to learn to draw superheroes, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is really good on the fundamentals. It's old-school (most inkers don't use a brush anymore, they use computers), but the fundamentals haven't changed all that much.
Here's a more modern one from DC that looks pretty good and has good reviews, though I haven't read it.
Your gut instinct is correct in regards to setting explicit expectations.
However, the onus is typically on the writer to pay for the art. If you build relationships with collaborators, you may eventually decide to split the risk. But there is a greater demand for artists than there are writers and, as such, the writers have to add incentive to make working on their book viable.
Artists don't necessarily need writers to grow in their craft. But writers eventually need to see their work translated into art to better understand the mechanics of the medium, to learn how to best communicate their ideas to the reader via the artist and to have a product to show future employers. By telling potential collaborators you are willing to pay them, you instantly give you and your project a leg up on those competing for your artists' time and talent.
With that being said, paying out of pocket should not scare you off from this venture. Many artists will work for incredibly reasonable rates, especially if you are honest, cool and have good ideas. But offering a rate shows both that you are serious about your art and that you respect the art your collaborators bring to the project. If you're looking to dip your feet in the water, I know /r/ComicBookCollabs occasionally has events that groups creative teams. That may be a good place to start.
Perhaps most importantly, don't let the potential costs of collaboration keep you from writing. While the comic book medium requires art for publication, there's nothing keeping you from learning about storytelling, character development and the basic mechanics of the medium on your own. You may grow fastest with great contributors; but you won't grow at all waiting for them to come to you. All of that aside, if you don't have a script for collaborators, they won't have anything to collaborate with.
On a slightly different note, if you haven't read it yet, [Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics](http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&amp;refRID=0DSPZ3H5M9SJ1KSXTNTJ) is a great place to start thinking about some of the nuts and bolts of sequential art. While some of the techniques he talks about may have more direct application for an artists, it is essential for writers to have an understanding of the medium's strengths and limitations. Understanding Comics* provides this in an incredibly succinct, yet thorough manner.
Try taking a look at Scott McCloud's 'Understanding Comics' (or the more in depth 'Making Comics'). It probably covers a lot of the same things as the textbook you mentioned, only it's laid out in actual comic form. It's easy to digest, explains the importance of a lot of the different visual aspects of comics, and how they relate to the goal of telling a story.
As far as visual story telling there's nothing there. It's all just character studies. I'm a huge comics nerd and the medium is so unique and powerful but people think it's simple when it's anything but if you really want to do something with it. Check out this book:
It's probably at your local library if it's worth its salt. And read some great comics. Check out stuff by Top Shelf Publishing. I've talked with their publisher before and he really gets comics.
As far as the characters themselves go I think other people made the points I would make but here's another book recommendation.
The book "Understanding Comics" is a great book for story writing and world building beyond just comic books. It guides through story development. It's a really good resource for anyone in a field related to storytelling, like gaming or film making.
Scott McCloud has a couple great books on the matter.
Totally missed the one of the most important beginner books:
It's required reading for my 1st year students.
Typography is middling, layout is not particularly conducive to easy understanding, you need more "borders" or at least negative space framing around the individual sections, and you need to work on your technical writing a bit, it rambles and under explains at the same time in places.
Neat concept, requires more time fiddling with it.
To help with visual flow, I oddly enough suggest looking at some Scott McCloud books/work, as he's VERY good at flow for most of it, and you can see a long time evolution of his work into flow:
If you're looking for some books to help you with figures or comics in general, I'd highly recommend the following:
History and development of art in general? eeeeeeeesh I do not know. there are so many different styles and histories. I would say just encourage and provide opportunities. If she is like me or any of the million art weirdoes out there, art will just become a natural extension of her day to day. If I had to pick one book that was enlightening to my understanding of a small subject but also can be applied to a larger subject, it would Scott Mclouds Understanding Comics.
that actually maybe more relevant than a history of fine western art.
OK, so there's a fat cat on the window sill. This is the first literal description you've given this entire time. Now, with that, convey an idea.
Please stop acting like you've read these books when you haven't. And please go read them, or at least admit you haven't. You've "read" Vonnegut, but have you read his musings on writing with concepts? You've looked at an Amazon page of a Postman book, but have you delved into a Postman book and looked at how he talks about pictures, words and media? Have you read the grandfather of all these books, "Understanding Media" by Marshall McLuhan, which talks about how people take advantage of our poor understanding or language? Have you read Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics," which does a spectacular job of showing us how we can't really convey literal with communication mediums? Have you read "The Phantom Public" by Walter Lippmann, which looks at how words affect public policy? In fact, have you ready "1984" and discussed the use of media by Big Brother?
I'm sure you're a smart fellow, perhaps smarter than I am. But there is an inherent issue you aren't quite understanding with language. This isn't about definitions about metaphor, simile or even our particular version of language. This is about language and communication as a human tool -- its limits and powers.
Sup LazyJ507. It looks like nobody's really given you any tips yet, so I'll try, and see if this helps at all.
Work on drawing.
By that I mean draw from life. Often. Get a sketchbook and go out and draw a whole lot. Draw your family, your friends, your classmates, etc. Studying anatomy helps a lot! The real meat for drawing figures is in learning what things are SUPPOSED to look like. Try to find some life drawing classes.
Read a lot.
And by this I mean reading lots of comics. Read lots of comics and read lots of books about comics. See what you like and try to emulate--NOT COPY-- things that you think are awesome. I recommend checking out Scott McCloud's Making Comics and Understanding Comics. Also, check out Will Eisner's books: Comics And Sequential Art, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative and Expressive Anatomy have helped me tons. It's awesome seeing professionals in the comics world give you tips and visuals that help you learn. Also, read novels, watch cartoons, watch movies, play video games. Find the aspects that you like about each and see how you can connect that to making comics. Comics are a pretty limitless medium.
As for this comic specifically, work on size, spacing, lettering, panel layouts, and black-and-white balance. And maybe comedic timing, but that's more in the writing area.
I can't really think of any more tips, but if you're wondering about anything else, go ahead and ask.
(i'm a sequential arts student a bluh bluh bluh)
Looking forward to it!
She might enjoy this by the way (and maybe you would as well). http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1398072838&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=understanding+comics
It doesn't look like much but it is a really intelligent book about visual communication and a bit of art education as well.
The artist is Scott McCloud. He has a lot off informative books on making comic books.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud is very informative and a fun read. Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier is excellent as well.
Also for a bit of a laugh (but still informative) see this old show on Youtube:
The Masters of Comic Book Art
And the rest of the series are better!
lol, comics are just pictures and words. there are plenty of non-fiction comics in the world
by discounting the medium you are making yourself sound ignorant. you should probably buy what i linked you to, it could save your intellect.
also, you didn't address my comment about pitting two (real or perceived) groups against one another.