Today's Archive Dive is from September 1, 2009, when I pointed out this fantastic guide to cartooning from a prominent Disney artist.
Carson Van Osten, a famous Disney artist who did many Disney comic books, created the famous "Comic Strip Artist's Kit." It was designed to help beginning comic artists deal with perspective problems and other drawing difficulties. They're still as rock solid today as they were when he created them in 1975. Enjoy.
We've had a healthy influx of new subscribers in the past few weeks, and it occurred to me that it would be good to post a few "this is how the site works" stuff that I can bump up from time to time. Please feel free to add to it for the newcomers. But -- to keep this as a useful archive for the future -- I'd appreciate it if you'd shoot any questions to me using the Contact link above.
Official site posts will appear in this spot. You will see a brief synopsis before you sign in. After you sign in, you should be whisked to the member area in which you can read the full posts. (If for some reason, this doesn't happen, please click "Home" above the Webcomics.com logo.)
There will usually be at least one new site post a day (including a Friday Archive Dive). Some weeks, there will be more than one per day.
Site posts are archived three ways:
- Hit the Search button above the logo and type in a keyword pertaining to the topic you're interested in.
- Click on Article Categories above the Webcomics.com logo for a list of subcategories. These are topics we cover very often around here. Clicking on a subcategory takes you to a listing of all of the site posts under that category.
- Click on Index above the Webcomics.com logo for a full listing of topics, subcategories, tags, and anything else I could think of to throw in.
In Robert's first article on the webcomics business model, he bent a couple noses out of shape. Many of you felt stuck inside or below "the base" of his model.
"The opportunity for the base is something I have the least expertise in, but my advice nonetheless would be to not focus on the business and focus on getting readers. I'm by no means a creative type, so I sadly can't help you much on how to grow your fan base (my skills come in handy when you already have them), I just know that's what you should be doing. This stage in your lifecycle is where your skills and talents are most critical. Again, listen to guys like Brad and Scott." — Robert Khoo
Before I started this article, I started looking at your comics. Not reading them in depth -- just skimming them. Checking them out. Seeing if any of them interested me, and trying to get an idea of where the majority of you stand when it comes to first impressions.
For those of you in or below the base, getting new readers is fundimental, and you can't get new readers if your work doesn't seem appealing.
Some of the things I was looking for while checking out your comics were:
- Style: Your finishing touches and details that ad up to what will hopefully be your unique voice. It's also a map of your influences.
- Fundamental drawing abilities: Perspective, modeling, anatomy, etc.
- Shortcuts: When faced with a limitation of your artistic knowledge, are you taking shortcuts?