A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Panels don't Have to Be Square," and Neither do Books on Making Comics

A princess knight, Edward the horse, a fairy, a candy-stealing dragon, and the love of comic art make The Center of Cartoon Studies Presents: Adventures in Cartooning one of the best ever all-ages "how to" books on creating comics. Heck, one of the best ever regardless of audience.

By using simply-drawn characters who illustrate concepts such as page and panel breakdown, means of communicating spoken language and visual ques such as setting, emotion, and scale, James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost have created the most democratic and accessible comics tutorial yet published.

Perhaps I'll start using the book when I encounter teachers who proclaim "I just can't draw!" at my seminars. (Funny, k-12 students say this too but have always been quelled when I model my own silly drawings. Many practicing teachers are much more stubborn in releasing their anxiety). The book, which does have an on-going fantasy narrative enmeshed with the easy-to-understand lessons which hardly seem like lessons (learning when you don't know you're learning is perhaps the most effective kind of pedagogy!), will certainly make it on my favorites list when it comes to quick, accessible, and democratic texts on comics craft.

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