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The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics

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America’s leading comic book publisher brings its superstar creators and classic characters to the second in an authoritative series of books on how to create comics. The art of Klaus Janson has endured in the ever-changing comic book industry for over 30 years. Now this talented artist brings that experience to the most critical step of effective comic book storytelling: America’s leading comic book publisher brings its superstar creators and classic characters to the second in an authoritative series of books on how to create comics. The art of Klaus Janson has endured in the ever-changing comic book industry for over 30 years. Now this talented artist brings that experience to the most critical step of effective comic book storytelling: pencilling. Covering everything from anatomy to composition to page design, Janson details the methods for creating effective visual communication. Step by step, he analyzes and demonstrates surefire strategies for comic book pencilling that are informative and exciting. Using DC’s world-famous characters, he illustrates the importance of knowing the fundamentals of art and how best to use them. The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics is packed with a wealth of tested techniques, practical advice, and professional secrets for the aspiring artist. It is a valuable resource for comic book, graphic novel, and storyboard artists everywhere.


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America’s leading comic book publisher brings its superstar creators and classic characters to the second in an authoritative series of books on how to create comics. The art of Klaus Janson has endured in the ever-changing comic book industry for over 30 years. Now this talented artist brings that experience to the most critical step of effective comic book storytelling: America’s leading comic book publisher brings its superstar creators and classic characters to the second in an authoritative series of books on how to create comics. The art of Klaus Janson has endured in the ever-changing comic book industry for over 30 years. Now this talented artist brings that experience to the most critical step of effective comic book storytelling: pencilling. Covering everything from anatomy to composition to page design, Janson details the methods for creating effective visual communication. Step by step, he analyzes and demonstrates surefire strategies for comic book pencilling that are informative and exciting. Using DC’s world-famous characters, he illustrates the importance of knowing the fundamentals of art and how best to use them. The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics is packed with a wealth of tested techniques, practical advice, and professional secrets for the aspiring artist. It is a valuable resource for comic book, graphic novel, and storyboard artists everywhere.

30 review for The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Only the last damn chapter is about pencilling comics; the rest is a basic drawing tutorial. The title is misleading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Serge Pierro

    Although the material presented is somewhat useful to an aspiring Penciler, the lack of depth makes it more of an introduction to the skillset, than an actual book of instruction. Several topics are covered, but sadly rather shallowly, which has to be considered due to the length of the book. Make no mistake, there are still plenty of nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout. A serious student would be well advised to seek books that cover the topics within (Example: A book on Perspective would Although the material presented is somewhat useful to an aspiring Penciler, the lack of depth makes it more of an introduction to the skillset, than an actual book of instruction. Several topics are covered, but sadly rather shallowly, which has to be considered due to the length of the book. Make no mistake, there are still plenty of nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout. A serious student would be well advised to seek books that cover the topics within (Example: A book on Perspective would be a better use of resources than the few page devoted to the subject here.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    This book was fine in its way, but I felt it didn't go far enough in many aspects and too far in a few others. The author spent too much time talking about what you must or must not do, rather than discussing the options and times to use them. Personally, I think that Understanding Comics did a better job.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    The title is highly misleading, there is very little about the pencilling step of the process. It is more of a shallow review of the entire process from story conception, layout and basically drawing structure. Interesting, yes, but not what was advertised on the cover.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    A great reference for basic drawing techniques, but there was only a small section on the actual penciling of comics. & it wasn’t quite as in-depth as I’d liked it to be. A helpful companion for those unfamiliar with concepts like anatomy, perspective, and drawing dynamically. If you’re looking for tutorials specific to pencilling, you may not find what you’re looking for in this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey.parks

    I still suck, but now I know why.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    Great I had this book sitting undone. I picked it up and decided to finish it it’s great and straight forward. I recommend it to anyone wanting to make comics.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sofiya

    Very Helpful

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Kirk

    I learnt a few things from reading this book, and I definitely think that the author knows a lot more than me about both art and anatomy. However, I don't think he really had a specific target audience in mind, and the book suffers for that. If possible, I recommend borrowing this before you buy a copy, to see whether it's useful to you. For instance, there's a section which talks about using basic shapes to approximate the human form. The first few pictures are very simple, and then the final I learnt a few things from reading this book, and I definitely think that the author knows a lot more than me about both art and anatomy. However, I don't think he really had a specific target audience in mind, and the book suffers for that. If possible, I recommend borrowing this before you buy a copy, to see whether it's useful to you. For instance, there's a section which talks about using basic shapes to approximate the human form. The first few pictures are very simple, and then the final version is significantly more detailed, so it reminded me of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park: Step 1: Draw a triangle and a rectangle. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Batman! Another section talks about horizon lines, and asks the reader "Where is the horizon in these images?" That's a very good idea, but unfortunately he doesn't give an answer, so I don't know whether I guessed correctly. Looking at technical (IT) books, they often have a quiz at the end of each chapter, then you can turn to the back of the book to check your answers. I'd have liked to see something similar here, e.g. some smaller versions of the same pictures (more per page) with an extra line superimposed across them to show the horizon. When it comes to anatomy, he lists various muscles, but I found it hard to distinguish them in his drawings. I realise that pencilling is inherently black and white, but I think the book would have benefitted from colour on those pages, so that it would be easier for the reader to tell the muscles apart. There are other books that cover the individual topics in more detail, e.g. Perspective! for Comic Book Artists: How to Achieve a Professional Look in your Artwork or Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness, so I think that this book serves best as an overview: it makes me aware of various things that I might not otherwise have considered (e.g. how clothing hangs off joints) but I'll need to do further research to really understand those concepts. The storytelling section talks about how to structure a page. Again, this has been covered elsewhere (notably by Scott McCloud) but this book does a decent job. I've also seen this covered in books about writing (e.g. Writing for Comics with Peter David), so I think it may depend on the individual creative team as to how specific the writer is and how much they leave up to the artist. However, if you have one person doing everything (as is the case for several webcomics) then that won't really be an issue. I am impressed that the author described the difference between Marvel and DC scripts, since DC published this book. I did notice a couple of minor errors in the book: * On page 96, pictures E and F are the wrong way around. * On page 108, he says that the characters move from left to right. However, page 109 clearly shows them moving from right to left (at least from the reader's point of view). On the final page of the book, Klaus Janson wrote: "my goal is to continue to update this book in some form as often as I can." However, he wrote that in November 2001 (12 years ago) and I can't find any updates.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

    I picked up this book on a whim, expecting exactly what the title promises: the DC guide to pencilling comics. Instead, this book is part drawing instruction, part pencilling guide, and part industry guide. If you have an interest in drawing comics professionally, this is probably one of hundreds of books you ought to read, and probably one of the few actually dedicated to comics as a medium (the rest, I would presume, would be art manuals). While the information presented in this book is I picked up this book on a whim, expecting exactly what the title promises: the DC guide to pencilling comics. Instead, this book is part drawing instruction, part pencilling guide, and part industry guide. If you have an interest in drawing comics professionally, this is probably one of hundreds of books you ought to read, and probably one of the few actually dedicated to comics as a medium (the rest, I would presume, would be art manuals). While the information presented in this book is interesting (to a degree) and somewhat entertaining, it's not what I, or probably most readers, expect. It's trying too hard to be too much, and in the process feels vapid and empty in its presentation. While I want to draw comics to entertain myself, and I want to appreciate the medium by understanding the work involved in producing comics. But I don't want a career drawing comics, and that's what this book is aimed at. In the end, this book is a sometimes fun, sometimes tedious read that tries to cover all the bases and thus feels like it's glossing over too much, which it probably is. But no matter why you're interested in the art of pencilling comics, there's probably something worth reading in it. Forewarned is forearmed, meaning you won't be disappointed too much, so long as you know what to expect here. If you're looking for a book to teach you how to pencil comics, keep searching.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chip'sBookBinge

    Look, the only reason why I even decided to read The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics was because I wanted something....anything to read and this was the only book available that was on the rack that caught my attention. When it comes to "instructional" books purported to teach you how to draw and all that jazz, I know full well that there really isn't going to much in the way of "new" information. If you've read one book like this, you've read them all. This book really only serves the Look, the only reason why I even decided to read The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics was because I wanted something....anything to read and this was the only book available that was on the rack that caught my attention. When it comes to "instructional" books purported to teach you how to draw and all that jazz, I know full well that there really isn't going to much in the way of "new" information. If you've read one book like this, you've read them all. This book really only serves the absolute beginner who is trying to break into the buisness. Klaus Janson does a great job of laying the foundation for all the things you need to know to get started. My peeve is that it's even a bit too 'basic' for the novice. Other than running down a check list of all that you need to know, there is very little in the way of actual 'instructions' or step by step projects within the book. This is worth a Rent for the newbies out there. Other than that, this is a Skip for anyone that already has a basic understand of what entails the comic book artist life. You can find more of my Book, DVD, TV and Movie reviews at my Forum (Penny Can) at... http://pennycan.createaforum.com Feel free to stop by and contribute your 2 cents.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Snoek-Brown

    I was looking for a book on scripting graphic fiction, and Janson--rightly--focuses on penciling, which is his forte. But he does include a few brief but interesting chapters on narrative structure and page layout that I found useful. His comments on the musical structure of his writing were particularly instructive. Even though some of his "instructional" bits get too bogged down in definition and explanation, with a tendancy toward repetition, if I was an artist looking for an art book, I'd I was looking for a book on scripting graphic fiction, and Janson--rightly--focuses on penciling, which is his forte. But he does include a few brief but interesting chapters on narrative structure and page layout that I found useful. His comments on the musical structure of his writing were particularly instructive. Even though some of his "instructional" bits get too bogged down in definition and explanation, with a tendancy toward repetition, if I was an artist looking for an art book, I'd probably have given this at least three stars (as it is, I'd like to give it two and a half, but Goodreads doesn't afford me that option). Still, this turned out to be a good book for beginners, and I'm glad I read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gazbot

    Some nice storytelling tips, and good general comics building info, there was very little discussion of the craft of penciling and how it differs from inking though. Overall; good if you are interested in making comics, not so good if you are looking for a resource about penciling for an inker as part of a team process.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Written by the artist from the legendary batman book; very interesting book; i learned about horizon line, face to hand to ear proportions, etc.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marrkvz

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  17. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe Wounds

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marie Duguid

  19. 4 out of 5

    SD

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gogospirit

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicetti

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hetherington

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex Heberling

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Ward

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Mellings

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Le moine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sally Austin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brit Sigh

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