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Fantasy! Cartooning Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Paperback, June 1, 2005
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 1190L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402716125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402716126
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-10–In a refreshing change from what has come to be the norm, Caldwell does not teach readers how to draw manga-style characters. Instead, his drawing style is more a blend of modern Disney (Hercules, Mulan), Don Bluth (Dragon's Lair), and the Cartoon Network (Powderpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars). Unfortunately, only Caldwell's sketches are included, and not his colored and finished drawings. Although the rough lines are dynamic and eye-catching, a whole book of unfinished art is enough to try the most generous reader's patience. Still, Caldwell shows original thinking, and his technique is exciting, modern, and unique.–Steev Baker, Kewaskum Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ben Caldwell has created action figures based on characters from The Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, and the X-Men movies. He is currently redesigning the look of the popular Wonder Woman character for DC Comics. He is author of "Action! Cartooning" (0806987391).

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Also, the book mainly focuses on character design and props.
Brian Huff
Cartooning for how it tells you what makes a drawing look the way you want it to without telling you exactly how you have to move your pencil.
Nathaniel T. Savant
Along with his drawings, Ben provides annecdotes about the mythos of fantasy and heroes,and just what makes them all so appealing.
Wayne Cash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 0:15 Mins
This book is incredibly fun if you're into fantasy cartooning.

Ben Caldwell has filled the pages with sketches and tips to drawing all sorts of fantasy characters, ranging from heroes, villains, fairies to beasts. The tips given are not just on drawing, but also on developing characteristics and personality into them. That's character design. He talks about everything, from the hair, eye shadows, wrinkles, costumes, postures, smiles and basically anything that you can see.

There's a companion website to the book called Action Cartooning. You can find more art, comics and a community forum.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. O'neil on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantasy! Cartooning is simply one of the best books of its kind. I own many books on illustration and cartooning and am the creator of Blue Line Comics. I am constantly looking for new ideas and techniques and have found many fresh ideas in Ben Caldwell's books. One of the best things about his books is that he breaks things down step by step, but doesn't fully complete the drawings... that's your job. Most drawing books will show you the completed work, fully inked and often colored. Mr. Caldwell sets the stage on your sketchbook, it's up to you to decide how it is going to end. Not only is he teaching you the basics in drawing, he's also helping spark your imagination.

Whether you've never picked up a pencil in your life, or if you're a grizzled veteran... you're going to love this book. I also recommend his Action! Cartooning book (available at Amazon). These two companions can make a difference in your work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Lung on August 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good follow-up book that expands on the foundation set in Action Cartooning. The 2-3 step drawing process of beautifully rendered cartoon drawings of fantasy heroes, villains, and animals/beasts is effectively supported and enhanced with many design tips on how to portray specific traits/moods/archetypes along with concise explanations of their cultural/historical/mythological backgrounds. This book is suitable for beginner and intermediate budding artists as a foundation for self-study and a good source of inspiration for more advanced artists that may find Ben's cartooning approach refreshing and fun as they experiment on their own sketchbooks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Cash on August 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ben Caldwell loves to draw! And he loves to tell about how he loves to draw. His new book, Fantasy! Cartooning is a delightful and entertaining look at how to draw heroes, creatures, rogues and maidens.

Ben's style of art is reminiscent of the current(and popular)animated style, and he gives step-by-step instruction on how to construct characters. Along with his drawings, Ben provides annecdotes about the mythos of fantasy and heroes,and just what makes them all so appealing.

It is fun to first flip through the entire book, and drink in Ben's artwork, and imagine how much fun he had putting this book together. It makes you believe that its as easy to draw these illustrations as it is to watch them!

Ben is a master teacher, and takes the time to explain the steps in easy to understand terms, and gives tons of useful content that will benefit the professional and the beginner alike. I give it my highest reccommendation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Huff on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Any inspiring cartoonist will benefit from this book. Ben has mastered and combined styles from Disney and Don Bluth, as well as a few other influences tossed in. The renderings are beautiful, and Ben inspires the artists with interesting and different concepts on mythological and fantasy themes. This book is not intended to be a comprehensive volume on cartooning. Fantasy Cartooning is best used in combination with his previous work, Action Cartooning. Also, the book mainly focuses on character design and props. Unfortunately, there's very little on stage and background design.

Fantasy Cartooning is just great to look at, even if you don't intend to learn drawing.

Ben regularly uses Shane Glines' forum. If you want to see more of his sketches and recent work, I recommend stopping by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel T. Savant on March 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Action! Cartooning teaches you how to draw the human figure pretty thoroughly, so there's not much left for Fantasy! Cartooning. Instead, Fantasy! Cartooning expands on the lessons by offering different suggestions of what "Feel" to give your drawings to make them more fantasy-like. From how to draw an old and powerful wizard to how to draw hordes of tiny goblins. Fantasy! Cartooning also covers how to draw other races of fantasy, giving instructions on how to draw everything from a noble steed to a fanged dragon. Fantasy! Cartooning does all this EXTREMELY well. I loved Action! Cartooning for how it tells you what makes a drawing look the way you want it to without telling you exactly how you have to move your pencil. Fantasy! Cartooning expands on this formula and is a perfect place to go after Action! Cartooning. Definitely recommended for anyone wanting to expand on their lessons from Action! Cartooning.
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I've spent the better half of a year coveting this book. After reading the great reviews, I finally splurged and purchased it. I do not regret this purchase.

Fantasy Cartooning is split into four parts: Cartoon Magic; Heroes and Villians; The Fair Folk; and Ancient Beasts.

The examples are presented in pencil drawings, which I personally prefer over the finalized inked versions so many "How to Draw" books present. What I like best about Mr. Caldwell's book is that he doesn't just draw the character, and leave you to assume what he did. With each drawing are notes around said drawing with tips from Mr. Caldwell on how to draw this feature or that feature.

I wouldn't consider this a classic "How to Draw" book. More of an examples book, with tips for the artist who has some experience drawing.

If you are the type who is frustrated by drawing books that show a circle and a rectangle, than a more defined circle and rectangle with hints of a mouth, eyes, and nose, followed by a finished pencil sketch, this might not be the book for you. Especially if you are just wanting to learn how to draw.

This isn't to say I wouldn't purchase this for a child or pre teen, just a child or pre teen that has some training in drawing already. (Be it a formal class or a How to Draw book.)

If you have some drawing experience under your belt and are looking for a fun book to help expand your fantasy style, I highly recommend this book.
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