Composition

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This book is a treasure for comic book creators! Marcos Mateu-Mestre, the author of this book, gives detailed, yet simple instructions on how composition works in comics and how the lighting, the view angle of each shot [or panel], the perspective and the layout as a whole can influence the tone and message of your comic. Through this book you will learn how to make each panel of your pages meaningful and/or how to give the appropriate voice in your story through them. Using negative space, size differences, contradicting lines and intercutting are just a few things that are covered in this book. There is also some information about the head/body shapes, as well as the dynamics of expression.

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Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels

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Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

I cannot help but review these two books interchangeably, for I have found they can both be used to make someone a better comic book creator! Scott McCloud, the author of these two comics, has worked at DC and has been studying comic books since 1984. These two comics contain a vast variety of information about comics – and not just about the typical anatomy-perspective kind of information, but actual “philosophical” information (or rather, a more mental way of looking at comics) which can both influence and inspire the way someone creates their comic. These books are greatly recommended for both beginners and experienced comic creators, and especially for people who like to look at comics more deeply than they ever thought it’s possible!

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How to Draw: Getting Started

This book is absolutely amazing for the simple reason that it covers everything about creating a comic. This is actually a compilation of the best ‘how-to’ segments from the now defunct Wizard Magazine, so be warned that each artist can have their own unique style (so you won’t be reading information coming from the same mouth, with the same art style). There is information about drawing, some in-depth information about perspective and some anatomy (yet, because of its variety of subjects in just over 255 pages, this book is not the best for learning detailed anatomy), facial expressions and drawing characters of different ages, among others! There is also information about character creation, body language, movement and action, drawing costumes and anything else you could possibly need for your action-packed comic (there is even information in drawing energy effects)! Information about a page’s (panels) layout, to texture and inking, this book is really chocked-full of information and tips for any comic creator out there!

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Successful Drawing

In contrast to Andrew Loomis’s other books where he focuses on a specific subject, Successful Drawing is a book that covers a variety of subjects and has a lot of theory condensed into it - most of which is illustrated combined with text. Despite the importance of said theory, I wouldn’t advise this book for a beginner as it could be difficult to conceive the information in its totality (for someone who’s just starting out). With that being said though, this book is a must for any intermediate and even advanced artist, as it covers a vast variety of subjects, from perspective (for which is given a lot of emphasis) to lighting and shading, to figure drawing and so forth. Moreover, Loomis’s illustrations can, not only be a guide and reference to you, but they can also inspire you and motivate you for your own artistic pursuits.

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Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist

Imaginative Realism is an incredible book that has all the information you will need to create anything out of your imagination. From robots to elves, to amazing architecture and to the most bizarre things you can ever think of, this book covers all kinds of fantastical ideas you might have and how to successfully put them down on paper. In addition, the absolutely fascinating imaginative drawings featured in each page of the book can be a great inspiration and a powerful boost to your own imagination.

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Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel: Everything You Need to Know to Create Great Work and Get It Published

This book is absolutely amazing. Although it doesn't go in great detail about anatomy and the like (there are many other books for that purpose, which I mention in my website here) it covers *everything* about comic books, from scenario and storytelling to fonts, to balloons, to colors and how to correctly structure your panels and strips. Personally, I've read this book countless times and each time I find something new to help me in making my own comics. An amazing book, greatly recommended for comic creators.

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