Customer Reviews: Cartooning the Head and Figure
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on January 18, 2004
This book is a clearly written, easy to follow, detailed and concise handbook on cartooning the head and figure by using several different styles and variations, and emphasizing humor and exaggeration. This fully illustrated reference contains over 3,000 step-by-step diagrams and illustrations and is structured into sixteen carefully organized sections that cover the basic and not so basic principles of cartooning.
It includes general topics like caricatures, cartooning styles and techniques, the head and face, the standing, walking and running figure, different positions for the figure, and emotions and facial expressions (the alphabetized catalog of 150 emotions and expressions alone is worth the price of this book). He also goes into specific topics like hands, feet and clothing, pretty girls, babies and children, and sports cartoons. As an added bonus he includes additional topics such as Advertising Applications for Cartoons and Special Problems which cover specific characters like hobos, tramps and the military, and conversations, special attires and crowds, among others.
By studying this book as if it were a textbook on a course, doing all the exercises and reviewing each section afterwards, my cartoons have come to life in a very, very short time.
The invaluable and practical advice in this book is essential for any artist's reference library and can be particularly useful for beginners, cartoonists, animators, characters designers, and comic book artists. It also serves as a great source book for ideas.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
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on September 7, 2004
I own most of Mr. Hamm's books now and all of them are excellent.

Some caution though for comic book artists wannabes, this book

doesn't teach you action oriented cartoons. Get "Action!

Cartooning" by Ben Caldwell instead.

However, Mr. Hamm's book is a classic because it's not just a

how-to book but rather a book founded on good art principles

considering Mr. Hamm isn't just a "cartoonist" but a true


Get this book! You won't be disappointed.
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on December 13, 2006
"Cartooning the Head & Figure" --by Jack Hamm

Artist and Christian minister Jack Hamm passed from this world at the age of 81. He illustrated the notable cartoon strip characters "BUGS BUNNY" and "ALLEY OOP" early in his career as an artist. He wrote and illustrated over 25 books on drawing. He pioneered an early TV show on drawing instruction in the Dallas/Houston Texas area.

I admit I am not an expert on fine art, but after reviewing many books which teach beginners HOW-TO-DRAW, it is my sincere opinion that Jack Hamm is the finest instructor America ever produced. Hamm almost never composed text, or used wordy explanations about drawing something. Hamm drew you a picture or series of pictures and showed how it might be done. He did not do this ..."sometimes" in his books. Hamm did this ALL THE TIME, whether it was cartoon figures, seascapes, landscapes, or drawing the human figure.

That is why any effort to list all the contents of his book, "CARTOONING THE HEAD & FIGURE" staggers the human imagination. I might be sitting at the computer for several hours, just listing the contents. Hamm shows how to draw every possible human emotion. Pages 22 & 23 alone are specific instructions in how to draw particular parts of the face to yield a human feeling.

The amazing thing is, Hamm is offering a book not only that adults can use; rather, Hamm is offering a book that CHILDREN can use. This book is in a class by itself, just as is Hamm's classic on drawing the human figure. Hamm's books are one of the richest treasures ever produced on American soil.
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on February 26, 2004
This book is full from beginning to end of illustrations and examples of the art it teaches. Jack Hamm tends to have a more realistic cartooning style than some, but the book has a lot to offer.
With such categories as: The face and hands. the pretty girl, the caricature, the figure in different positions, the walking figure, the running figure, the hands, the feet, the clothing, the advertising application--Newspapers, Magazines, Television, Etc., the baby and child, the sport cartoon, and special problems, not tel mention tons of sub-categories, this book will give you a healthy dose of cartooning experience for a very reasonable price. I would recommend this!
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on October 19, 1999
The catalog of 150 emotions and expressions in this book is worth the price in itself. It not only teaches cartooning but also protraying emotion and life into a figure. Cartoonists, animators, illustrators, comic book artists, and even character designers could really benifit from this book. Tons of drawings, (a few thousand - plus)!, and very clear, understandable instructions. I can't begin with that it covers... I'd need a book just to cover all it's topics.
If drawing semi-cartoon, or realistic people / funny animals is your fancy,... don't pass this book up!, it can be a HUGE help even still. Look for his "Drawing the Head and Figure" book as well, another 5-stars on that title.
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on August 9, 2003
What keeps me coming back to Hamm's books is the vast amount of RELEVANT drawing advice he gives. Each page is crammed with innumerable examples and variations, snippets of practical advice, and a touch of paternal wisdom. I can think of no other drawing manuals that are so consistently good.
This volume focuses on cartooning, not realistic drawing. Exaggeration and humor are emphasized, and it's ideal for begginers, intermediate, or advanced artists. Everyone can learn something from these books and I consider them essential to my reference library.
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on January 2, 2000
I'm a frustrated cartoonist, and an endless doodler....I've had this book for years and still break it out for insturction! People marvel at my cartoon abilities...which I learned from this book!
It's designed for the novice AND professional alike! Anyone can become a cartoonist after mastering these techniques! HAVE FUN!
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on September 16, 2004
Learning to cartoon and draw caricatures can be a daunting task, but the late Jack Hamm makes it all come together. From dozens and dozens of facial expressions and basic anatomy, animation and advertising, even political and editorial cartoons, the artist takes you step by step the world of drawing "funny pictures". Regardless of style or genre there is plenty to learn here.
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on November 24, 1997
The greatest thing about this book is the fact that it's suitable for both the expert and the beginner. With over 127 side view noses, 73 frontal view, 135 eyes, 46 brows, 156 mouths, 122 ears, 105 hairstyles, 33 hats, and MORE -- it's not only excellent for learning new styles, it's also a great 'source' book for ideas! Definitely a 'must have' if you're looking for fresh ideas or want to learn cartooning.
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on January 7, 2013
I've purchased many sketching books and I've never been disappointed with any of Jack Hamm's books. He provides more information in his books than a great many other authors and his work is really wonderful. In fact, he is the only author that I would purchase just because it was him. Clear and concise. There have been some of his works that I was hesitant about, but as soon as I had the chance to look through them, I new I didn't need to be. This was one of those books.
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