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PrefaCe xi The tsunami of comics: coming to a town near you xi Comics education: the time is now xi enter Drawing Words & Writing Pictures xi a note on the title xii acknowledgements xii WelCoMe To DraWing WorDs & Writing Pictures xiii featuring the authors, Jessica abel and Matt Madden xiii INTroDuCTIoN xv Who is this book for? xv Sidebar: Forming a Nomad group xvi organization of the book xvii Special features xvii Companion website for students and instructors xix 1: BuIlDING BloCkS 2 A working definition of comics, with an introduction to the most frequently-used comics terms. 1.1 know 'em when you see 'em 4 Defining "comics" 4 Will Eisner 4 Scott McCloud 4 David Kunzle 5 What we talk about when we talk about comics 5 Sidebar: What's in a name? 6 1.2 Comics terminology 7 Frequently used terms 7 Sidebar: Emanata 8 Sidebar: Can't draw? Read this 9 Activity: Drawing time 11 Homework: Drawing in action 12 extra credit: Directed jam comic 13 2: every PICTure TellS a STory 14 A look at the single-panel comic and how it works. 2.1 Word and image 16 The juxtaposition of word and image 16 The single-panel comic 17 A closer look: cartoons and beyond 17 Activity: Gag reflex 20 Sidebar: Putting pen to paper 21 Homework: Gag me 22 extra credit: Sum of its parts 23 3: THe STrIP CluB 24 A discussion of how multi-panel strips work to tell simple stories, plus an overview of thumbnails. 3.1 a comic a day 26 Creating a comic strip 26 Variations in rhythm and pacing 27 A closer look: three strips in action 28 Bud Fisher's Mutt and Jeff_ 28 Roy Crane's Wash Tubbs_ 29 Tony Millionaire's Maakies_ 30 Activity: The wrong planet 31 3.2 Thumbnails 32 Writing pictures 32 Creating thumbnails 32 Homework: Strip it down 34 extra credit: How to read nancy_ 35 4: BrIDGING THe GaP 36 An introduction to what goes on between comics panels-in other words, panel transitions. 4.1 reading between the lines 38 Closure and transitions 38 Seven types of transitions 39 Activity: Comic jumble 46 viii Homework: Closure comics 47 extra credit: five-card Nancy 48 5: PeNCIlING 50 An investigation of the pitfalls and strategies of penciling comics, plus a brief look at the basics of drawing the human figure. 5.1 Penciling comics 52 Ladies and gentlemen, sharpen your pencils! 52 Penciling pitfalls 53 Penciling strategies 54 Blue pencil 54 Colored pencil 54 Map it 54 Photocopying or scanning up thumbs 55 Drawing outside the box 55 Preparatory drawings 55 Tracing 55 Sidebar: Penciling toolbox 56 Sidebar: A closer look: a master cartoonist's penciling method 57 Activity: Pencil one panel three different ways 58 5.2 figuring out the figure 1: sticking to the basics 59 Using "figurettes" 59 Homework: Penciling 62 extra credit: Practice drawing figurettes 62 extra credit: Drawing figurettes by tracing photos 63 6: GeTTING oN THe SaMe PaGe 64 An examination of one-page comics and composition at the page level, plus a tuto- rial in laying out pages, tiers, and panels. 6.1 elbow room 67 The one-pager 67 A closer look: two masters of the Sunday page 68 Segar: the page as story 68 Herriman: the page as design 69 Elements of page design 71 The grid 71 More approaches to page design 72 Reading order 75 Title design 76 6.2 laying out pages, tiers, and panels 77 Laying out a page 77 Live area 77 Inside the live area 78 Original art size 78 Page ratio 79 Gutters 80 Tiers 80 Activity: Lay out your live area 81 Homework: "a month of Sundays" thumbnails 84 extra credit: Comic book book report: Sunday page 85 7: leTTerING 86 A focus on lettering, both as an art form and as a technical skill, plus a lesson on using a photocopier effectively. 7.1 Hand lettering 88 Drawing words 88 Lettering is not handwriting 88 What's with the antique technology? 88 A case for upper- and lower-case lettering 89 Lettering styles 89 Other lettering concerns 89 Welcome to Ames 90 Activity: Make lettering guidelines and practice lettering 91 Sidebar: Making word balloons 94 Activity: A comic with no pictures 95 7.2 The photocopier 96 The good, the bad, and the ugly 96 Sidebar: Ruling a straight line: some tools that will help 96 Homework: "a month of Sundays" penciling and lettering 98 extra credit: lettering that speaks for itself 100 8: INkING THe Deal 102 A look at inking with a nib pen, and making corrections to final artwork. 8.1 Inking with a nib pen 104 What is inking for? 104 What's a nib pen? 104 Why nib pens? 105 Selecting a nib 106 Two basic kinds of nibs 106 Bowl-pointed nibs 106 The thumbnail test 106 Nib characteristics 107 Buying nib sets 107 Handling a nib pen 108 Drawing with a nib pen 108 Troubleshooting nibs 110 Sidebar: Inking tools 111 Sidebar: A word on posture 113 Activity: Ink your own drawings 115 8.2 Making corrections 116 Basic Corrections 116 Major corrections: Tracing and pasting 117 Tracing 117 Pasting 118 Sidebar: Making your corrections stick 119 Homework: "a month of Sundays" inking 120 Sidebar: More nib examples 121 extra credit: line for line 122 9: STruCTurING STory 124 An introduction to the narrative arc, the most fundamental type of story structure. 9.1 The narrative arc 126 Uncovering story structure: Jessica's tale 126 The narrative arc 127 Why so traditional? 127 Why conflict? 127 Other narrative structures 127 9.2 The elements of a narrative arc 128 The five essential ingredients 128 1. The protagonist 128 2. The spark 128 3. The escalation 128 4. The climax 129 5. The denouement 129 The narrative arc: Constructing a story worth the telling 130 The five essential ingredients in action: Cinderella 131 Activity: Analyze this 132 Activity: TV writer make believe 135 Homework: Thumbnails for a six-age story with a narrative arc 136 extra credit: Thumbnail a 3-page chip and the cookie Jar comic 137 10: GeTTING INTo CHaraCTer 138 A discussion of character types and motivations. 10.1 Developing your character 140 Which comes first-the character or the story? 140 What is a character? 140 Character types 141 Archetypical characters 141 Naturalistic characters 141 Intermediate characters 142 Character motivation 142 Conflict 142 Sidebar: Using drawing to help develop characters 142 The antagonist 143 Show, don't tell 143 Activity: Play your cards right 144 Homework: Character pin-ups for your short story 146 Homework: finish your short story thumbs 146 extra credit: Character mashup 147 11: SeTTING THe STaGe 148 A discussion of some of the many aspects of composition at the panel level, and a tutorial on title design. 11.1 Panel design 150 Building a better panel 150 Panel problem-solving: four basic considerations 151 Framing 151 Blocking 151 Acting 151 Mise en sc¿ne 151 60 panels that just might work 152 A few notes on the panels 153 Sidebar: Film terminology and comics 154 Panel composition 156 Asymmetry 156 Tonal balance 157 Diagonals 157 Reading path 157 Highlighting 158 Internal framing 158 Visual rhythm 158 Negative space 159 Silhouetting 159 Depth of field 159 Activity: Rethinking composition 160 11.2 Titles 161 The importance of title design 161 Planning your title design 161 Laying out and inking your title design 162 Sketch 162 Placement and composition 162 Letter measurement and drawing guidelines 162 Penciling 162 Double checking 163 Inking straight letters 163 Inking curved letters 164 Touch-ups and corrections 164 Sidebar: Type terminology 165 Activity: Plan, lay out, and ink a title design for your six-page comic 165 Homework: revise your six-page story thumbs and start penciling 166 extra credit: Draw a folk tale 167 12: CoNSTruCTING a WorlD 168 A focus on creating a believable comics world, plus a brief look at drawing heads and hands. 12.1 Creating a sense of place 170 The importance of backgrounds 170 Approaches to world-building 172 Drawing from life 172 Sidebar: Drawing specifics 172 Using photo reference 174 Sidebar: Things to keep in mind when drawing from photos 175 Researching the real world 176 Inventing realities 177 Perspective 178 Using your imagination 178 Activity: No time like the present 179 12.2 figuring out the figure 2: heads and hands 179 Heads and hands 179 Facial measurements 179 Variation 180 Rotation 181 Notes on drawing heads and facial expressions 182 Drawing hands 183 Heads and hands in action 184 Activity: The head's in your hands 186 Homework: Continue penciling six-page story 187 extra credit: on-location comics 187 13: BlaCk GolD 188 An lesson in inking with the brush, including techniques for softening blacks. 13.1 The liquid line 190 Introduction to inking with a brush 190 Basic brush handling 193 Charging your brush 193 Holding your brush 193 Checking your ink 194 Checking your brush quality 194 Practicing your technique 195 Don't "pencil" with ink 196 Sidebar: Know your brushes 197 Sidebar: Buying, protecting, and cleaning a brush 198 13.2 Softening the black 200 Techniques for softening blacks 200 Feathering 200 Using dry brush 202 xi Inking a panel from start to finish 204 Pencil 204 Linework 204 Finish inking 204 Corrections 204 Scanning 205 13.1 Notes on using a brush 206 Lines, spotting blacks, and other techniques 206 Sidebar: More examples of brush inking 207 Activity: Ink a panel in brush 208 Homework: finish pencils of your six-page story and begin inkng 209 extra credit: line for line II 209 14: CoMICS IN THe aGe of MeCHaNICal reProDuCTIoN 210 An introduction to reproducing comics using a scanner and sizing artwork using a proportion wheel. 14.1 Producing reproductions 212 Scanning your art 212 Step 1: Plan ahead 212 Step 2: Scan 212 Step 3: Save 213 Step 4: Combine segments 214 Step 5: Size image 216 Step 6: Adjust the threshold level 216 Step 7: Make Photoshop(r) corrections 218 Sidebar: What is anti-aliasing 218 Step 8: Convert to bitmap 219 Sidebar: Film and "non-photo" blue 220 14.2 olde-styley tools again 221 Using the proportion wheel 221 Sizing down and sizing up 221 Sizing down 221 Sizing up 223 Activity: Try the proportion wheel 224 Homework: finish inking, make corrections, and reproduce your six-page comic 224 extra credit: "It was an accident" 225 15: 24-Hour CoMIC 226 A final fun challenge to wrap up the book using all of the skills you've learned. 15.1 Marathon cartooning 228 The 24-hour comic 228 Activity: 24-hour comic (or 3-hour comic) 229 15.2 onward and upward 230 The end (but also the beginning) 230 aPPeNDICeS 233 appendix a: Supplies 233 appendix B: Homework critiques 237 appendix C: Story cards 247 appendix D: Comic book book report 249 appendix e: Making minicomics 251 BIBlIoGraPHy 261
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Comic books, strips, etc. -- Technique.
Cartooning -- Technique.