Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Insiders Guide To Creating Comics And Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt

The Insiders Guide To Creating Comics And Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt Featuring Tips & Insight From Comics Masters: Neal Adams, John Byrne, David Finch, Klaus Janson, Karl Kesel, John Romita, Jr. and Many More.

This is a book on how to put together superhero comics by an editor who worked at Marvel and is now a senior editor at IDT Books. It is very much a guy book. None of the guest artists are women. The guest artists are some of the most popular artists currently working in the superhero comics business. They are featured in single page biographical spreads. The book was printed in 2009 so the information is very current.

The craft of making modern comics is covered in detail in this book. The book itself is very interesting to look at. The pages are a bright yellow, and they have many colorful images from comics including splash pages from comics like Captain America, X-Factor, Gray Area, Defenders, The Pulse and many other mainstream titles.

The book is broken up into chapters on different technical subjects in making comics; lighting, panel layout, inking, coloring, lettering, and the use of space. It is not just about the technical aspects of drawing it also covers how to create comics scripts, show emotion, and create believable characters. In the script section they have a piece of the script from Captain America #1 which was quite entertaining.

An interesting aspect of the book is that it also covers where film and photography meet with comics. There are technical sections on camera angle, point of view, lighting, and many techniques that come from film. I found this rather fascinating.

The writing is clear and to the point. It follows Andy Schmidt's maxim of first communicate then entertain. I learned a lot of technical points about graphic novels which I had not known before. Maybe I will be able to use them in future graphic novel reviews.

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