How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1984-09-14
  • Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER

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Supplemental Materials

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Stan Lee, the Mighty Man from Marvel, and John Buscema, active and adventuresome artist behind the Silver Surfer, Conan the Barbarian, the Mighty Thor and Spider-Man, have collaborated on this comics compendium: an encyclopedia of information for creating your own superhero comic strips. Using artwork from Marvel comics as primary examples, Buscema graphically illustrates the hitherto mysterious methods of comic art. Stan Lee's pithy prose gives able assistance and advice to the apprentice artist. Bursting with Buscema's magnificent illustrations and Lee's laudable word-magic,How to Draw Comics the Marvel Waybelongs in the library of every kid who has ever wanted to illustrate his or her own comic strip.

Author Biography

The legendary Stan Lee is the most recognized name in the history of comic books. He is the creator of such top superheroes as Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, The Savage She-Hulk, The Silver Surfer, The Avengers, The Invincible Iron Man, and The X Men. Publisher Emeritus of Marvel Comics, he lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents


One The Tools -- and the Talk -- of the Trade!
Two The Secrets of -- Form! Making an Object Look Real
Three The Power of -- Perspective!
Four Let's Study -- The Figure!
Five Let's Draw the Figure!
Six The Name of the Game is -- Action!
Seven Foreshortening! The Knack of Drawing the Figure in Perspective!
Eight Drawing the Human Head!
Nine Composition!
Ten Draw Your Own Comicbook Page!
Eleven The Comicbook Cover!
Twelve The Art of Inking!

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Chapter 1



Since very few of us draw with just our fingernails, let's start off with what you'll need. Then we're got to make sure we're all speaking the same language. This part's the easiest.

Here we go! On these two pages you'll find just about everything you'll need to get you started. One of the nice things about being a comicbook artist is the fact that your equipment is no big deal. Let's just give the various items a fast once-over...

Pencil.Some artists prefer a soft lead, some like the finer hard lead. It's up to you.

Pen.A simple drawing pen with a thin point, for inking and bordering.

Brush.Also for inking. A sable hair #3 is your best bet.

Erasers.One art gum and one smooth kneaded eraser -- which is cleaner to use.

India ink.Any good brand of black india ink is okay.

White opaquing paint.Invaluable for covering errors in inking.

A glass Jar.This holds the water for cleaning your brushes.

Pushpins.Handy for keeping your illustration paper from slipping off the drawing board.

Triangle.A must for drawing right angles and working in perspective.

T square.Invaluable for drawing borders and keeping lines parallel.

Ruler.For everyone who says "1 can't draw a straight line without a ruler." Now you've no excuse!

Illustration paper.We use 2-ply Bristol board, large enough to accommodate artwork 10" x 15".

Drawing board.This can be a drawing table or merely a flat board which you hold on your lap. Either way, you always need some such thing upon which to rest your sheet of illustration paper.

Rag.This plain ol' hunk of any kind of cloth is used to wipe your pen points, brushes, and whatever. The sloppier you are, the more you'll need it.

Ink compass.Well, how else are you gonna draw circles? While you're at it, you might as well get a pencil compass, too-even though Johnny forgot to draw one for you.

Of course, there are some things we omitted, like a chair to sit on and a light so that you can see what you're doing in case you work in the dark. Also, it's a good idea to have a room to work in-otherwise your pages can get all messy in the rain. But we figured you'd know all this.

And now, onward!

Just to make sure we all use the same language and there's no misunderstanding when we refer to things, let's review the various names for many of the elements that make up a typical comicbook page.

A.The first page of a story, with a large introductory illustration, is called thesplash page.

B:Letters drawn in outline, with space for color to be added, are calledopen letters.

C:Copy which relates to a title is called ablurb.

D:The name of the story is, of course, thetitle.

E:An outline around lettering done in this jagged shape is called asplash balloon.

F:A single illustration on a page is called apanel.

G:The space between panels is called thegutter.

H:You won't be surprised to know that this"ZAT"is asound effect.

I:Copy which represents what a character is thinking is athought balloon.

J:The little connecting circles on thought balloons are calledbubbles.(We'd feel silly calling them "squares"!)

K:The regular speech indicators are calleddialogue balloons.

L:The connecting "arrows" on dialogue balloons, showing who is speaking, are calledpointers.

M:The words in balloons which are lettered heavier than the other words are referred to asbold words,orbold lettering.

N:This is my favorite part-where the names are. We call it thecredits,just like in the movies.

O:All this little technical stuff, showing who publishes the mag and when and where, usually found on the bottom of the first page, is theindicia(pronouncedin-deeé -shah).

P:Copy in which someone is talking to the reader, but which is not within dialogue balloons, is called acaption.

Chances are we left out a few other things, but this is all we can think of right now. However, not to worry; we'll fill you in on anything else that comes up as we keep zooming along.

Movin' right along, we now introduce you to one of Marvel's many widely heraldedclose-ups,so called because the "camera" (meaning the reader's eye) has moved in about as close as possible.

This type of panel, in which the reader's view of the scene is from farther away, enabling him to see the figures from head to toe, is called amedium shot.

And here we have along shot.In fact, since it shows such an extreme wide-angle scene, you might even call it apanoramic long shotwithout anyone getting angry at you.

When you're up above the scene, looking down at it, as in this panel, what else could you possibly call it but abird's-eye view?

On the other hand, when you're below the scene of action, as in this panel, where your eye, level is somewhere near Spidey's heel, we're inclined to refer to it as aworm's-eye view.

A drawing in which the details are obscured by solid black (or any other single tone or color) is called asilhouette.And now that we agree upon the language, let's get back to drawing the pictures...

Copyright © 1978 by Stan Lee and John Buscema

Excerpted from How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee, John Buscema
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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