Where does your comic-book-drawing origin story begin?
Comic books are a narrative commercial art form. The medium covers wildly different genres and styles, from Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko’s traditional superhero cartooning to Raina Telgemeier’s autobiographical young adult story Smile to Goseki Kojima’s inked art in the manga Lone Wolf and Cub. What unifies all comic book art is that it tells a story by placing one image after another, which is why the term “sequential storytelling” is often used for the medium. Even if your goal is to do cover art for comic books, learning the storytelling tenets of good comic art is essential for building your skills to pursue a career in this competitive industry.
Basics before Batman.
“Comic books can be broken down into three different building blocks you can study,” comic book artist and instructor Phillip Sevy explains. “Human anatomy, perspective, and visual storytelling.” Before you start trying to get your work in front of comics publishing powerhouses like Marvel and DC Comics, you need to hone your skills in these pillars.
Figure and life-drawing classes are a great way to improve your command of human anatomy drawing — a skill that’s important when a script may require you to illustrate people flying, falling, running, or simply chatting. While comic art can feature figures with exaggerated physiques, like the classic art of Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby, nailing proportions is still essential, and it’s something hiring editors will scrutinize in your work.