Al Williamson · Bernie Krigstein · Frank Frazetta · Gahan Wilson · Heads Up! · Jack Davis · Joe Kubert

Heads Up: A selection of new books coming soon from Fantagraphics!

Every once in a while, I like to use the Amazon “Advanced Search” to find out what I have to look forward to in the coming months from my favourite publishers. Sometimes the information published in the Amazon catalogue is not precisely accurate. Sometimes a book will be credited to the wrong publisher. Often the books are listed without descriptions or cover images. Often the publication date that is listed turns out to be wildly optimistic. I think you get the picture. Anyway, today I was looking for forthcoming books available for pre-order from venerable comics publisher, Fantagraphics, and I just thought I’d share with you some of the titles that caught my eye. I don’t know if I will be willing or able to purchase all of these books if and when they finally are released, but they are all titles that I, and perhaps you, will definitely want to consider. So, without further ado, here’s my very tentative shopping list:


[NO IMAGE — that’s not an error; that’s my way of letting you know that there’s no image yet in the Amazon catalogue.]

Problematic: Selected Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2011 [Hardcover]
Jim Woodring (Author)

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995945

[NO DESCRIPTION — but it doesn’t matter; for me, it’s a must have!]


[NO IMAGE]

The Love and Rockets Reader: From Hoppers to Palomar [Paperback]
Marc Sobel (Author), Los Bros Hernandez (Illustrator)

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995921

[NO DESCRIPTION — I want to know what this is before I pre-order, but they’ve got my attention.]


[NO IMAGE]

The Love and Rockets Companion: 30 Years (and Counting)< [Paperback]
Neil Gaiman (Contributor), Marc Sobel (Editor), Kristy Valenti (Editor)

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (September 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995792

[NO DESCRIPTION — again, I want to know what’s in this!]


DAL TOKYO [Hardcover]
Gary Panter (Author, Artist)

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; 1 edition (Jun 12 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560978864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560978862

Product Description

“Dal Tokyo was a monthly comic strip, drawn in Panter’s groundbreaking “ratty line,” about a future Mars that is terra-formed by Texan and Japanese workers. In 1983 the L.A. Reader published the first 63 strips. A few years later, the Japanese reggae magazine Riddim picked up the strip, and Panter continued the saga of Dal Tokyo in installments for over a decade.”

About the Author

“GARY PANTER (Brooklyn, New York) is the author of Jimbo in Purgatory and Jimbo’s Inferno.”

[There’s some of Panter’s work that I like and some that I don’t. Dal Tokyo, however, is one that I will definitely consider purchasing. I won’t pre-order, though.]


[NO IMAGE]

Love and Rockets: The Covers [Hardcover]
Los Bros Hernandez (Author)

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (November 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995987
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995983

[NO DESCRIPTION — but an easy decision: a must have!]


[NO IMAGE]

Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures [Hardcover]
Joe Kubert (Author), Bill Schelly (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (September 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995812
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995815

[NO DESCRIPTION — but very tempting nonetheless!]


[NO IMAGE]

Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein [Paperback]
B. (Bernard) Krigstein (Author), Greg Sadowski (Editor)

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (March 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995808

[NO DESCRIPTION — doesn’t matter, I want it!]


[NO IMAGE]

Gahan Wilson Sunday Comics [Hardcover]
Gahan Wilson (Author)

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (February 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606996126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606996126

[NO DESCRIPTION — Do I need another collection of Wilson cartoons? Nope. Do I want another one? Yep. Will I be able to afford one? Time will tell.]


[NO IMAGE]

“‘Taint the Meat…It’s the Humanity!” and Other Stories [Hardcover]
Jack Davis (Author), Al Feldstein (Author), Gary Groth (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (January 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995785

[NO DESCRIPTION — but probably part of Fantagraphics’ new EC Comics Library, and therefore a must have!]


“50 Girls 50” and Other Stories [Hardcover]
Frank Frazetta (Author), Al Williamson (Author), Gary Groth (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (January 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995778

[NO DESCRIPTION — again, if it’s part of the new EC Comics Library from Fantagraphics, it’s a must have!]


Notice that I haven’t linked to any of the books listed above at Amazon or any other bookseller. That’s deliberate on my part. I’m not trying to make money by enticing you to buy things via RCN. My sole interest is to promote the kind of books that I enjoy so that those books will sell more copies and (maybe) publishers will keep producing the kind of books that I enjoy.

Art Instruction · Link Roundup · Oh the places I've been...

Free Art Instruction: A Few Good Links


ADVICE AND INSPIRATION:

Phil McAndrew! > Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School by Phil McAndrew — what are the ten habits of highly effective illustrators and cartoonists? Phil knows, and if you take a moment to read his advice, you will too.

@random > From Idea Sketch to Final Painting: Kent Williams, Mother and Daughter (2009), oil on linen, 42 x 50 in. — not art instruction per se, but much can be gleaned from step-by-step process photos, and the finished work is a knockout!


ANATOMY INSTRUCTION AND INFORMATION:

comic tools > April 11, 2009: Ball, hoop, cone, vase | April 18, 2009: Basic Bones | April 26, 2009: Torso Muscles | May 3, 2009: Upper Arms (and Kirby Dots) | May 10, 2009: The Forearm | May 17, 2009: Leg Muscles | May 24, 2009: Neck Muscles.

Ragged Claws Network > Anatomical Reference Sheets — seven plates from an old anatomy book for art students.

Ragged Claws Network > Download Here: “Constructive Anatomy” by George B. Bridgman

ReyBustos.com > Rey’s Anatomy by Rey Bustos – a display of images that use Flash technology to interactively cross fade from photos of real and sculpted human figures to drawings of those same figures with the skin removed to display the underlying musculature.


ART INSTRUCTION BOOKS (FREE DOWNLOADS):

Some of these links are repeated in other categories.

AlexHays . Portolio > Save Loomis! — download PDFs of Fun with a Pencil, Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth, Drawing the Head & Hands, Successful Drawing, Creative Illustration, and Eye of the Painter, all for free. The books are also available via Illustration Age and the Internet Archive.

ComiCrazys > ComiCrazys Archive for the Famous Artists Cartoon Course Category — 18 free lessons and counting; available in both PDF and JPEG formats.

Lulu > The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed — download a free PDF of the classic book courtesy of Lulu.com.

Ragged Claws Network > Download Here: “Constructive Anatomy” by George B. Bridgman


CARTOONING TUTORIALS AND TOOL TALK:

Animation Resources > Preston Blair’s Advanced Animation — a classic! The whole book is online, but you have to download it page by page.

The Art of Jake Parker > Agent 44: Fixing It Old School — learn how cartoonists make art corrections in the real world.

arglebargle! > Ken Hultgren on Cartooning

ComiCrazys > ComiCrazys Archive for the Famous Artists Cartoon Course Category — 18 free lessons and counting; available in both PDF and JPEG formats.

comic tools > Comic Tools: Tutorials — learn about basic anatomy, balloon shapes, Kirby energy dots, perfect white-out consistency, ruling pens, cutting techniques, art corrections, scanning, and lots more.

Karmatoons Inc. > Drawing for Classical Animation — learn how to construct characters out of basic three-dimensional shapes, how to animate your characters according to time-tested principles, and how to create naturalistic movement through the use of live-action reference.

Richmond Illustration Inc! > Tom Richmond’s MAD Blog Cartooning/Caricature Tutorials — noses, hands, crowd scenes, cross hatching, and more.

The Tools Artists Use — find out what tools your fellow artists keep in their toolboxes that you might add to yours.


FIGURE DRAWING TUTORIAL VIDEOS:

ProkoTV > includes two playlists — “How to Draw Facial Features” (eight videos, two each on eyes, nose, lips, and ears) and “How to Draw the Head from Any Angle” (four videos). Also includes videos on shading, how to draw hair, how to draw Jack Skellington, and how to draw Santa Claus.


FIGURE PHOTO REFERENCE:

Character Designs > Photosets by Hong Ly — free figure reference for artists, licensed under a Creative Commons license, the very reasonable terms of which can be found on the Character Designs site; the 39 photosets include both nude and costumed models.

Figure & Gesture Drawing > Figure Drawing Practice — a customizable, timed slide-show of nude and clothed models designed to help you to practice gesture drawing; please note, however, that the images are copyrighted and as such cannot be used to create derivative works. They’re offered for private practice only.

Reference! Reference! — clips of animals and people in motion. The site is intended as a “free database for animation,” but any artist with an interest in drawing from life will find the clips a useful resource resource for home study.


ANIMAL PHOTO REFERENCE:

Figure & Gesture Drawing > Animal Drawing Practice — a customizable, timed slide-show of animals designed to help you to practice gesture drawing; please note, however, that the images are copyrighted and as such cannot be used to create derivative works. They’re offered for private practice only.


PAINTING AND DRAWING TUTORIALS:

Art Instruction Blog > A Direct Approach to Acrylic Painting by Greg Biolchini — watch as Biolchini maps out a painting, in detail, with charcoal on canvas and then elaborates and finishes the image with layers of transparent and opaque acrylic paint. Don’t worry about whether or not you like Biolchini’s style; it’s the order of operations that’s important.

John Singer Sargent’s Painting Process (PDF) — compiled from various sources by Craig “Goodbrush” Mullins. Here’s a snippet that will surprise many who’ve been taught to do the exact opposite: “If you see a thing [such as a shadow] transparent, paint it transparent; don’t get the effect by a thin strain showing the canvas through. That’s a mere trick. The more delicate the transition, the more you must study it for the exact tone.”

The Pictorial Arts > Russell Flint’s Technique — if you think of watercolour as inflexible and unforgiving, you need to read this account of Russell Flint at work. Here, in a nutshell, is the secret: “it is an essential characteristic of Flint’s method that, though the successive washes are put on with all the freshness, sparkle and purity of which he is capable, they must be absolutely dry, stage by stage, before the drawing is proceeded with.” Choose overly absorbent paper, use mostly staining colours, overwork the washes, don’t let them dry thoroughly between applications, and lifting/corrections will be impossible.

ScottBurdick.com > Scott Burdick: Demonstrations – nine in oil, one in watercolour. Even if the subject matter is not to your taste, you can learn something here about the traditional alla prima method of working out a painting in oil from the initial block in to the final flourishes.

Sovek: The Art of Charles Sovek > Lessons from the Easel – The Basics by Charles Sovek

UNBORED > Gary Panter’s drawing tips by Josh – ten simple ideas to free your mind and your hand.


OTHER “HOW TO” INFORMATION:

BenGrosser.com > Build Your Own Easel! – Free Easel Plans by Benjamin Grosser.

lines and colors > Pochade Boxes by Charley Parker — includes a lot of interesting and useful information as well as links to both commercial and do-it-yourself options.

WetCanvas > Making a Canvas Board! by Larry Seiler


BONUS LINKS: FREE DIGITAL TOOLS:

Blender — a free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

GIMP — the GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.

IrfanView — a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.

Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE) — Given a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, ICE creates a high-resolution panorama that seamlessly combines the original images. The panorama can be saved in a wide variety of image formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to the multiresolution tiled format used by Silverlight’s Deep Zoom and by the HD View and HD View SL panorama viewers.

Photoscape — a free and easy photo-editing program that enables you to fix and enhance digital images.