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- Publié sur Amazon.com
"The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics" by Klaus Janson introduces wannabee comic book artists and fans of the art form to a more detailed appreciation of what goes into drawing pages for "Batman" than they will have picked up through osmosis or imitation to date. Janson divides the fifteen chapters in this volume into three parts focusing on Drawing, Storytelling, and Pencilling designed to provide an introduction to one of the most difficult of art forms:
Part One Drawing: (1) Materials outlines what supplies an artist needs in terms of paper, pencils, erasers, rulers and templates; (2) Shapes are presented as the foundation of the creative process of drawing, the general concept from which the artist moves to more specific ones; (3) Faces looks at both the basic geometric elements in composing a face and the artistic range available through example of faces drawn by Joe Kubert, Gil Kane, and Neal Adams; (4) Anatomy covers both the structure and design of the human body, including all the muscles, with special attention paid to the most difficult thing in the world to draw, the hands; (5) Clothing establishes the four basic dynamics that shape the folds and wrinkles of a person's clothing; and (6) Perspective, which is covered from the fundamentals to the use of vanishing points and systems of perspective. This unit is the most instructive in the book since it deals with the basic building blocks.
Part Two Storytelling: (7) Juxtaposition establishes the uniqueness of comic book art in terms of how sequential art functions in the eyes of the reader, featuring diverse examples by Eduardo Risso, Sean Phillips, and Dave Taylor; (8) How to Lay Out a Page starts with the grid approach and then moves to the free-form end of the spectrum, starting with an example by Jack Kirby and then moving on to some by Neal Adams and Walt Simonson. Janson explains the value of insert panel and breaking borders, along with the larger pictures need for covers, splash pages, and double-page spreads; (9) Storytelling is considered as being judged by the criteria of clarity and entertainment, just like telling a joke; (10) Composition takes us down to the level of individual frames, looking at how the process of combining elements together to form a united whole; (11) Shots and Angles parallels what we know about such things from cinematography; and (12) Movement examines the one inherent disadvantage of comic art, which is trying to show movement in a static image.
Part Three Pencilling: (13) Procedure lays out how most comic books are written, so you can see where the penciller comes into the process; (14) Breaking In has Janson offering advice on how to break into the business in a professional manner; and (15) Anatomy of a Story has Janson walking us through the drawing of "Good Evening, Midnight," a story he wrote and drew for "Batman Black and White" #3.
"The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics" provides exactly what it promises: a clear-cut introduction to the fundamentals of drawing comic books. As to the fact that the vast majority of illustration examples in this volume are not pencilled but inked, I would point out a couple of pragmatic facts that would explain why. First, inked examples look better than pencilled examples. Second, given that Janson is using examples from real DC Comics, these are covers and pages of art that are already inked. Still, I would agree that more examples of pencilled art would have been nice, although I certainly like what Janson does in Chapter 15, "Anatomy of a Story," where we see layouts, pencilled, and inked pages side-by-side to have a full appreciation of the transformation wrought by the inker.
The companion volume to this work, "The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics," is authored by Dennis O'Neil. Along with Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" and "Reinventing Comics," as well as Will Eisner's "Comics and Sequential Art" and "Graphic Storytelling," and John Buscema's "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way," these two DC volumes are worthy additions to the limited library that every aspiring comic book writer/artist should have next to their computer/drawing table.
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Gregory M. Chin
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I was reading Klaus Jansen's book, the "DC Guide to Pencilling Comics" and the "DC Guide to Inking Comics", and really found them to be "must have" books, full of extremely useful information, on setting up art pages for comic books. One of the things the books say is to concentrate on one discipline or the other, but not both at the same time. Later on, after you've mastered both, then you can do both parts of it.
The author Klaus Jansen decribes how he goes about setting up his layouts for a comic book page. Of course, every artist works differently, and Klaus Jansen doesn't draw characters quite as large, or bold (using the "grid layout" for the panels)as Marvel and DC's legendary artists: Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, John Romita, or Sal Buscema. Today, the artists seem to cram as many panels per page as they can. Klaus Jansen was also the Inker on Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight" graphic novel. Klaus now does his own drawing and inking, as well as teaching comic book illustration.
Here is a very brief description of what's covered in this book:
About the comic book drawing phase:
The aspiring comic book artist (whether drawing or inking) need about 2 scenes of comic book pages, to submit as samples. Each scene should be about 2 or 3 pages of those comic book 11" x 17" pages. They are 2-ply or 3-ply smooth bristol pages. Normally the comic book companies supply the blank 11" x 17" pages.
But you can also buy them for [...]. (I've bought page packs from them before)
The method that the book author Klaus Jansen recommends is to start doing very rough layouts, or doing thick black marker sketches only, of what will go in each panel, on separate white or vellum paper. Saved the rough penciling for the next step. Then put these rough, thick marker drawings, and the blank comic book page over a lightboard and then rough-pencil the drawings onto the comic book page. This allow you to re-arrange or edit what you see. You'll want to make some room for word balloons. From here, you would start to do more cleaner drawings, and refine the details working from rough passes to finished passes on the pages.
Each comic book company works a little differently:
Marvel Comics artists don't work from finished comic book script pages. They get an outline only, and they work from that. The penciled-in art work is done next.
The author recommends being very dependable, by turning in the penciled-in pages (like every 3 pages), to the Editor, and not waiting until the whole 22-pages are completed. That way, the Editors can set things in motion, and pass them on to the Inker. Then the Letterers gets the pages after the Inking has been finished.
DC Comics will take photocopies of the rough penciled-in art pages, and use it as a guide to making the design of the word balloons. Then, the rough art pages are given over to the dept which does the word balloon. After the word balloons are put on the rough pages, the rough art is given over to the Inker, so that person can get on with his or her part.
Being aware of deadlines, and making regular contact with the Editor is very important.
Editors are the ones who can assign a new artist work. Another comic book artist can only recommend or introduce a new artist to an Editor, but the Editor assigns the work.
The Comic-Con conventions and other ones are a great place to bring samples and meet Editors.
It's important not to have an "attitude", and keep an open mind when talking to Editors and other Artists that you work with. Chances are the your early work will suck, and Klaus Jansen says not to bother to defend your work, not to explain it, and not to make excuses about it. Time is short, so the proper thing to do is just ask "what can I do, to make it better", and to accept constructive criticism.
Also, aspiring comic book artists should not write their own scripts, when drawing and submitting comic book page samples. If you can get an existing comic book issue script to work with, that would be best. (Some have been posted on the internet).
Klaus Jansen says that "there's a tendency for artists to write to their own strengths, and draw what they know". The Editors would notice this. Editors like to see how versatile the comic book artist is, and know if they can draw many things, whether it's characters, anatomy, settings, and objects. Quiet scenes or action scenes.
The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics