Page 45 Review by Stephen
THING THAT IS AWESOME +
THING THAT IS AWESOME =
THING THAT IS TOTALLY SUPER AWESOME
Neill Cameron has art down to a science.
All education should be entertainment and creativity is coolest when fun.
This is bundles of fun. It's instructive, interactive and each step is a full step, but not too steep a step so that budding comicbook creators won't run out of puff. Nor will they know that they're climbing a mountain until they reach its summit then feel like they're on top of the world!
By the time you and / or your young ones have finished this essential guide to comicbook storytelling with practical notes on how to pop your own comic together you will feel empowered enough to tell any story in many ways.
Just watch out for the bananas.
"Something's wrong with Mecha Monkey! He's gone into overdrive!
And he seems to be completely obsessed with bananas!"
No, Neill, that's you.
So meet Professor Panels and his Art Monkey. They're given up their free time at a mental health institution to teach you how to make comics, and not just any old comics: how to make awesome comics! All you'll need is paper, a pencil or pen and your brain.
"Note: do not remove from head."
Starting with stick figures, filling in blanks at the end of short stories Art Monkey has already drawn, you'll soon progress onto a variety of simple body shapes broken down into basics in the useful and reassuring knowledge that cartooning is all about is about simplifying: Keep It Simple, Stupid! Faces and emotional ranges swiftly follow on precisely the same principles, focussing on three key elements: the eyes, eyebrows and mouth.
However, cartooning is also about the stories themselves, so you won't just learn how to draw, but how to set up short sequences yourself with an introduction, confrontation and resolution, how to make that physical, mental or emotional, and how to turn the whole shebang into slapstick comedy, including how to draw a doofus. (I will sit and model for your children, yes.)
Before all that you need ideas and Professor Panels has some simple exercises to help you generate the awesomest ideas of all. Try the equation above! I did, below:
Page 45 + Winning The Lottery = THING THAT IS TOTALLY SUPER AWESOME (for both of us)!
Okay, what he really meant is something like this:
Bananas + Ballet = Bananarina! (See is believing.)
There are also lessons on lettering, and how cool it is to make your sound effects the visual equivalent of onomatopoeia, appendices on things like robot accessories (wheels, jets, missiles, claws, more missiles, chainsaw and a nice pretty bow!), dinosaur shapes, penguins, ninja penguins, and more stories to complete in your own insane manner.
Best of all, however, is that all these examples can be downloaded from the Phoenix Comic website then printed off so you can create as many versions as you fancy without drawing on the book itself!
I wholeheartedly recommend this as a starter guide to anyone of any age, so whip out some paper and sharpen your pencil right now!
Bring your own bananas.