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The Cartoonist's Workbook Drawing, Writing Gags, Selling Paperback – June 30, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These are two of the most comprehensive and entertaining cartooning books available. Duane Barnhart, a highly successful teacher, syndicated cartoonist, and illustrator, provides interesting bits on cartoon history and step-by-step lessons on human characters, animals, and imaginary beings. The book attempts to engage the student by having cartoon characters do the teaching. This is alternately whimsical and tedious. Hall's book manages to pack far more material in a cleaner format, while still making the reader laugh on every page. Thus, one learns that of 6000 submissions to King Features Syndicate, only three are accepted, and one learns how to make snacks while preparing one of those submissions. Two fine books, but Hall has the edge.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (June 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806996730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806996738
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book took me from stick figures to cartoon characters in a matter of minutes. (My students will be thrilled with the difference!) I have no artistic talent, but now feel comfortable drawing cartoon characters in all moods and types of clothing. I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback
Most books on cartooning show you how to copy the AUTHOR'S cartoon style, which in my opinion is a pretty pointless exercise. The Cartoonist' s Workbook is very different. It gives you the means to develop your OWN
unique style and there are even thousands of drawings of useful poses and gag situations that you can easily adapt after you have found that style. But the BEST part is the chapter on writing gags. Hall gives the reader a
'complete method' for writing gags for spot cartoons AND cartoon strips, and it REALLY works. I thought twice about recommending this book because I wondered should I keep it all for myself. I also recently purchased Hall's new book Cartoonists' And Illustrators' Trade Secrets and was equally impressed - it is absolutely PACKED with invaluable advice. I reckon these two books are all you really need to make it as a cartoonist. Thank you Mr Hall!
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By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Cartoonist's Workbook is a very helpful reference for people who are good or bad at cartooning. It teaches you fun and easy ways to draw, helps you write the cartoon, and helps you sell it.
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A Kid's Review on April 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book comprehensive and inspirational, covering need-to-know ground. It helped me (and I can draw more advanced things than cartoons) to get to know cartoon bodies. I'm used to more realistic bodies.... Anywho, about the book. The book started with basic body formation-how to draw "Ken"-, and most importantly in that section told you to practice it over and over. Than it goes on to show you some basic what-to-does and what not-to-does. It shows you how shadows work, how to balance your character, how to show motion and tons and tons of useful poses for cartoons. It show you how to draw more advanced characters, but that isn't as in depth as the information on Ken. It show you different types of lips, hair, noses, eyes, accessories, etc... This book was written for people who don't have natural talent in drawing. So, wether or not you think you can draw, this part of the book is very useful. Then there is the gag writing section, snicker snicker. This section, to, was very helpful. It showes you the building blocks of writing jokes, like potentially funny situations, developing your characters and branching out your ideas. And finally,the last section gives you information on how to hire yourself out in the industry.

1 last note: I like this guy's drawing style. It is loose, not to scribbly, and still looks nice. It is not perfectionist, you can tell he didn't meditate over every line. In short, he makes drawing cartoons seem easy without intimidating the reader.
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Format: Paperback
This book starts off with the absolute basics, which is just what I needed(my stick figures even looked bad). In just the first pages you get what I think is the most valuable lesson in drawing - practice. Practice until you can do it easily, one step at a time.
I highly recommend that you don't underestimate what this book can do for a novice artist. I find myself refering back to this book especially when I get stuck on some of the more advanced manga books.
Remember this is a workbook, not a reading book.
Good luck.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent all round instruction manuel on the craft of cartooning and one that should be in every serious cartoonist's or would-be cartoonist's book shelf. The thing that stands this book head and shoulders above others I've read is that it teaches gag writing as well as cartooning technique, answering questions like - Where does a gag come from? What makes it funny? How can I refine it and make it better? This is the only book I've bought that answers all these questions. The book also has great drawing technique instruction and is a good reference book to have to hand as there are pages of gag situations that just reading can get your mind into gear, particularly if your having a day when your running short of ideas. Packed with info, techniques, reference, addresses, and stuff on how to sell your finished product, The Cartoonist's Workbook is a must have for anyone serious about cartooning.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've owned half a dozen copies of this book, I keep giving them away. Anyone can learn to cartoon with this book and lots of practice. Lots and lots of practice, that's the hard part. After reading this book the first time, I started my own webcomic and had a whale of a good time.
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Format: Paperback
Cartooning is an art of economy. The cartoonist has to be able to express motion, emotion, depth, and action with a minimum of lines. Robin Hall's book shows you how to do just that. The non-artist will quickly learn how to draw expressive faces and figures. The experienced artist will learn how to pare away distracting detail and create a pure minimalist drawing that tells a story. All readers will learn what makes a drawing and a caption funny, and will be creating their own cartoons in no time.
Hall's "Keyhole Ken" character is a simple figure that anyone can draw, but with repeated practice, the cartoonist's own style will take hold and transform this figure into something unique. I recommend this book for everyone interested in becoming either a professional cartoonist or an admired amateur doodler.
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