New Books to help Modernize, Digitize and Webify Your Cartoons

April 28, 2006

   The world is changing, and it is changing fast. Cartooning has split in several directions, from classic strips and political cartoons, graphic novels and comic books, to manga and animé, and all eventually being computerized in one way or another. Are you struggling to get your work to come to life, to look professional, or to get a nod in your direction? Cartoonists of all walks have come to ease your distress, with a range of books to help make your cartoons soar in this tough, evolving world of 'tooning.

Draw - sell digital

    "Professional, digital quality cartoons" is what we want if we're serious about creating online cartoons. How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons is just the ticket for a serious cartoonist ready to take the leap onto the web. Author and cartoonist Leo Hartas covers the artistic basics and more, including script-writing, creating storyboards and originality. He also is informative on the business of digital cartooning, how to get your work seen and the all- important issue of setting fees. Though not aimed at brand-new cartoonists, it is a good look into the digital artist's work. Set at about $22 US, it is published by Barron's Educational Series, June 2004.

    Webcomics: Tools and Techniques for Digital Cartooning, might be just the motivator you need to get your toes into web comic creation. Written by Steven Withrow and John Barber, the book demonstrates to cartoonists how to take their cartoons from paper to online comics. It includes several successful examples and interviews. This book is aimed at the cartoonist who already has skills in cartooning, design and colour. Published by Barron's Educational Series, July 2005, it is priced at about $27 US. Web Comics
Draw Retro

    Ready to revamp your style with the "new" retro look? Cartoonist Christopher Hart has just the book for you. Cartoon Cool: How to Draw the New Retro Characters of Today's Cartoons shares the necessary skills to create 'toons that have that "Jetsons" space-age feel to them. It takes the reader through the 1950s era of drawing in "The Flintstones" style, too. Not ready for retro? Look for other books by Christopher Hart - he has a book for almost every level of cartooning skill, from putting pencil to paper to submission to syndicates. Published by Reed in 2005, Cartoon Cool is available for about $13 US

   The Encyclopedia of Cartooning Techniques, A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques is a brand new book, out in June 2006. It is aimed at the newer cartoonist who is eager to get started, featuring basic drawing plus viewpoint and perspective, how to get your figures into action and how to create a portfolio to show off your talents. Written by Steve Whitaker and Steve Edgell, published by Sterling Publishing Company, about $15. US. cartooning techniques
Naked Cartoonist

   Love the New Yorker cartoon style? Try The Naked Cartoonist for inspiration. In the styles of New Yorker cartoonists Robert Mankoff and Roz Chast, the book instructs on what humour is, what makes a good cartoon and how to find your voice and talents. Topped up with lots of illustrations, sketches and cartoons, The Naked Cartoonist is loaded with wisdom and wit. A price tag of $15 for hardcover, The Naked Cartoonist is published by Black Dog and Leventhal, November 2004. (Read about the delightful Roz Chast on The Cartoonists:

   With a drawing style similar to that of Maurice Sendak, How to Draw Cartoons may be aimed at the kids' market, but the art has an appeal to all ages. It's a very thin book, but Rob Court helps doodlers capture the spirit of illustration and good, old-fashioned drawing with lots of character. Published by The Child's World, Inc., March 2005, about $20 US. How to draw cartoons

Look for these books and more at your favourite local bookstore or at these websites :

© Susanna McLeod 2006