Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Comic Cartoonist's Workbook

I'll be upfront, as I always am, and state right here, right now that I have a connection with the author of The Comic Cartoonist's Workbook, Steven Bové. I first ran across Steven on Michael Netzer's old forums (now his new forums) and I'm sure that, as is the way with Mike's forums, we probably started out fighting. Since then he's become a pal and has often posted comments here on this blog. That being said I've come to respect and admire Steven's love for the medium and his dedication to the advancement of the future of comic books. Part of this dedication has seen Steven offer a successful course at his local college for aspiring comic book artists.

Perhaps his best known work, and what should be his legacy, is The Comic Cartoonist's Workbook. This book was compiled, written and published by Steven through his own imprint, BovéWorks, and it follows in the same footsteps as Stan Lee and John Buscema's How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way, The Illustrated Comic Art Workshop by Dick Giordano, Frank McLaughlin and John Romita and Klaus Janson's recent DC Guides On How To Pencil/Ink books. This book more than deserves to sit on the shelves with those volumes. Bové's manual is an all round affair, detailing how to draw (useful for some, useless to me - I can't even draw a stick figure) and using detailed examples. Bové shows how to apply the use of reference by showing, step-by-step, how he created a strip by first using human poses via a digital camera, then penciling, the inking and the finished product. There's also emphasis on development, costume design and how to maintain a portfolio, including the best advice that Bové ever got, and the best advice any artist will get - take your portfolio everywhere you go because you'll never know who you'll run into. If you know of someone who wants to be a comic book artist then I'd highly recommend that they get a copy of this book and read it.

The book can be ordered directly from Steven. As it comes under his own imprint, it's a testament to the power of self-publishing. By self-publishing, Steven has avoided outside editorial influence and as such is able to offer an unbiased view on the industry today.

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