Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review :: Foundations in Comic Book Art: SCAD Creative Essentials (Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists) by John Paul Lowe

Foundations in Comic Book Art is a good resource for anyone who wants to learn more about comic book art. I am going to get it out right now - I have no comic book art background, but was just interested in the concept to help me in some of my designs (and especially was hopeful that this would be good for my almost 9 year old son who loves to draw and I think would be great with the comic book style).

I have mixed opinions about Foundations in Comic Book Art. For one, I learned a lot about the ideas of seeing objects contained within shapes and the perspective of comic book art. But on the other hand, many of the lessons seemed somewhat incomplete (either lacking a real introduction or leaving off before it is all brought to a conclusion). For a book that claims to be foundational, I had hoped for more in this sense - more complete step-by-step. In my opinion, the chapters "Learning to See" and "Perspective Basics" were the most helpful for a beginner. 

I must also say that as far as comic drawing books I have come across, Foundations in Comic Book Art is among the more "mild" in terms of violent images or very graphic drawings of bodies (women in particular)...but I still wish it hadn't included things like a drawing of a woman's backside in a thong (and I don't mean flip flops). I do understand that in general these things are part of comic book art, but I wish that there would be something more family and child-friendly (comic book style) without lacking the important art concepts. This one, unfortunately, I will not be able to share with my family before I glue some pages together. 

For those who are familiar with Photoshop, there are a couple ideas included in Foundations in Comic Book Art on how to use Photoshop in their comic book art. There are also a couple references to Manga Studio. In general, though, Foundations in Comic Book Art mainly deals just with hand drawing and inking. If you are looking for something to help with software-based art, I would suggest looking elsewhere. 

In all, I think Foundations in Comic Book Art could have used more explanations of "why" and "how to" in order to be more useful to a beginner, but it does have some good techniques and ideas. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

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