Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The War Years, Heads and Cars

The top two things I like to do the most are draw and read comic books.

Hachette Book Group/Quarto Publishing Group must have been reading my mind because it sent five books that feed my desire to draw and read comic book courtesy of several of its imprints.

DC Comics introduced superheroes to comic books beginning with the introduction of Superman in Action Comics #1 in the year 1938. 

Not too long afterwards Batman and Wonder Woman soon took their places on magazine racks.

A plethora of copycats inevitably sprung up from other publishers anxious to cash in on the superhero comic book craze.

In 1941 when the United States entered WWII it seemed a natural fit that superheroes would play a pivotal role in the war effort.  Superheroes became so identified with the war that after the Allied victory in 1945 superheroes began to fall out of favor with the general public which was desperately trying to put the war behind them.

But, during the heydays of the war Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were in the thick of the action and their respective comic books sold in the millions.

Chartwell Books presents a colorful trio of books dedicated to the war years of Superman, Batman and Wonder Women containing 20 classic tales each pulled from the DC Comics' vault spanning the years 1938 to 1945.

Writer Roy Thomas (longtime comic book scribe) has compiled three marvelous, hardbound collections in full-color of the earliest adventures of the DC Trinity of superheroes.

Beautiful full-color covers complemented by spot varnish action scenes spotlight the three heroes.

Inside each book are stories of their war efforts from fighting spies and saboteurs here at the home front to battling the evil forces of Axis Powers overseas.

This is where superheroes earned their stripes and became the instantly recognizable icons of pop culture we know and love today.

Any die-hard comic book fan is sure to want these three outstanding books for their collection.
Recently the drawing bug has bit me again after having taken time off from my drawing table the past year.  Once bitten by the drawing bug it is hard to shake.

As an artist and designer I hunger for how to draw, paint or design new things and to improve those things I feel most comfortable with when I sit down at my drawing table.

I often mentioned to my high school art students when I was teaching that art is the only occupation that is based on failure.  Simply meaning that each drawing, painting or design urges artists to push on and create something even better.  It is a constant learning process.

From Walter Foster's Drawing Made Easy series comes Lifelike Heads: an excellent resource by Lance Richlin than offers a step-by-step series of illustrations created to help artists master drawing human heads-both male and female.

Beginning with simple shapes the series explores eyes, mouths, face shapes, shading and so much more.  It's a great first step in mastering the art of drawing human heads.

Thom Taylor, Lisa Hallett and Motorbooks Studios tackles high-tech with their marvelous new book called How To Draw Cars Like A Pro 2nd Edition.

I'm excited about this book.  I've often found it difficult to draw things mechanical and I'm anxious to take what I learn from this book and apply it to my drawings.

From simple shapes, perspective, light and shadow, color, exteriors, interiors, cutaways to using computers to render car designs this book has it all!


I can hardly wait to start drawing!