Another Look at Books
Whenever I teach a cartooning class, the students are always asking me what "how-to-draw-cartoons" books I recommend. Whether this is a demonstration of their hunger for knowledge, or that they feel I am lacking as an instructor, I dunno. In any case, I always steer them towards Preston Blair's "Animation" book. This is the bible of how to draw cartoons, and every cartoonist worth a damn has a copy of it in their library. If you wanna be a cartoonist and have yet to check out this book, turn off your computer and go buy a copy RIGHT NOW! You can thank me later.
Of course, Mr. Blair's book isn't the only cartooning book out there. There are hundreds of cartooning books out there for the hungry cartoonist mind. Some are fantastic, some, eh, some downright awful.
Today, I'll spout my opinion on two books for wanna-be cartoonists, one good, one, ewwwwwwww.
If you are a fan of the TV show, " The Simpsons", and love to draw, then "THE SIMPSONS HANDBOOK", is the book you have been waiting for. This coffee table book is jam-packed with tons of tips on drawing Springfield's favorite family, as well as great drawing tips in general. Add in to the mix transparency overlays that show you how the main characters are drawn, as well as tips from production artists on the series, and you have one fun book. While this isn't an ideal first book for the novice cartoonist, for anyone who has the basics down, it's a wonderful addition to your cartoon library. Even if you don't want to draw at all, if you're a fan of the show, the behind the scenes looks at these characters is sure to bring a smile to your face.
One negative thing about this book: The price. It retails for $39.95, which I feel is a bit pricey. However, you can usually find it on Amazon for as little as $13.08, a much more reasonable price.
On to the other end of the spectrum. I always assumed, if you were writing a book about cartooning, you should actually know how to draw cartoons and know something about them. Apparently, I was mistaken, as "cartoonist" Brad J. Guigar demonstrates in his book, "THE EVERYTHING CARTOONING BOOK". Not to mince words, this is one of the crappiest books on cartooning I've ever seen (and I've seen some crappy ones)! The drawings are awful. A seventh grader would be ashamed of some of these drawings, and the author seems to come from the school of, "Hey! If you draw crappy, don't worry! The computer can fix it", school of thought. This book is so full of misinformation and bad examples, it makes my brain hurt. If you actually own this book already, my best recommendation would be to read it, and then do the opposite of everything the author suggests.
I feel mean dumping on a fellow cartoonist, but man, this book sucks.
If I have peaked your interest, and you are a glutton for punishment, you can get it for as little as $6.94 at Amazon. Don't say I didn't warn you.
That's just 2 of the many, many cartooning books out there. If you have a book you'd like my opinion on, drop me a line in the comments section.