Thursday, September 28, 2017

How Comics Work

I first encountered the comic book art of Dave Gibbons back in the mid-1980s.

He was a part of DC Comics’ British Isles creative talent import program. 

Having established a good reputation as an artist in his native land, the DC editorial staff took notice of said talent and asked him to use his talent for DC Comics.

The first work I saw that he produced for DC was taking over the pencils chores of DC’s Green Lantern series.

From there he would go on to pencil a plethora of fill-in and one-shot titles for DC.

Not long after he teamed up with another British import: writer Alan Moore, and they collaborated on what is considered the best superhero series ever created: Watchmen.

Dave would then go on to other projects for DC and other publishers: most notably the Frank Miller Dark Horse series starring Martha Washington.

Gibbons has expanded his creative venue by adding inking, plotting, scripting and every other aspect of creating comic books.

Once such project is his comic master class where he teaches about the creation of comic books.

Gibbons and comic book expert Tim Pilcher have combined their considerable talents to publish the ultimate ‘how-to’ of comic book creation with ‘How Comics Work’ published by Wellfleet Press/Quarto.

I’ve read and studied a huge amount of books on how to produce comic books and I have to say that this is the best one so far.

Gibbons has opened up his archive of original comic book art and using it he demonstrates all facets of how to create comic books.

While the book primarily consists of his work there are examples of other artists, inkers, colorists, letterers and writers works included along with several tributes.

For a real ‘back to the basics’ and 'meat and bones’ approach to creating comic books this book delivers.

From story plots, scripts, sketches, designs for characters, vehicles, etc, inking, word balloon placement, lettering, coloring, cover designs and so much more this book goes into exhaustive detail.

It is a visual treat that delves into the process by which comic books are created.

I suggest that anyone considering entering the comic book field read and study this book from cover to cover.