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The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Bolland is best known to US readers for his ground-breaking work with writer Alan Moore on the one-shot Batman: Killing Joke graphic novel. Kevin O'Neill Along with fellow 2000 AD alumni Pat Mills, O'Neill cocreated the cult hero Marshall Law and had even more success when he teamed up with Alan Moore to illustrate The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - which was adapted into a big budget Hollywood movie starring Sean Connery. Simon Bisley's highly dynamic artwork made his two major series in the Galaxy's Greatest Comic - A.B.C. Warriors: The Black Hole and Slaine: The Horned God - hugely popular, as they remain to date. He also illustrated the hugely successful first Batman/Judge Dredd crossover story, Judgement on Gotham. Steve Dillon is a fan-favourite 2000 AD writer and artist, and the creator of both Hap Hazzard and the Irish Judge Joyce. Together with 2000 AD writer Garth Ennis, Steve co-created the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Preacher for DC Comics' imprint, Vertigo.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I have seen other artists use programs such as Manga Studio, Corel Painter, and Adobe Illustrator to draw their comics. These are all fine choices, but Adobe Photoshop is the primary program I use when digitally illustrating comic books, and it's the program I use in this book. Although I go in-depth in this book about how to create comics digitally, this is not a how-to or step-by-step book on the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop itself. Instead, this book is targeted at intermediate to advanced users of Photoshop, so if you are unfamiliar with it or any other computer programs I refer to, I highly recommend that you look on line for in-depth tutorials, purchase one of the many books on the subject, or even take an introductory course in using Photoshop.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823099237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823099238
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was excited when I first learned about this book coming out because it's difficult for me to set up a normal artist's station in my house. Not knowing who this Freddie Williams guy was, I ended up going to his website and checking him out. It was here that I first became dismayed.

His website has a section labeled "DigiArt Quick Tools," in which one can find several Photoshop tools Freddie has available. These include several variations of his MasterPage file, which tend to cost a little bit of money (the bundle pack that gives you all the Master Pages runs I think about $125). I also noticed a blurb in which Freddie mentions that an entire section of the upcoming book is devoted to the Master Page. I immediately started thinking that the book was going to end up being a $15 commercial for the various tools he has to offer.

Never have I been so glad to be so dead wrong.

The section on Master Pages walks you through the process of making your own Master Page, and while he mentions his website, he never tells the reader to go buy anything. Instead, he teaches you how to do it yourself. In fact, there's only one thing that Freddie tells the reader to download, and that's the perspective tool that he created... and its free (as is a generic version of the Master Page, if you don't want to make your own or pay money for a company-specific Page).

As far as the rest of the book goes, it was a massive wake-up call in regards to realizing how powerful and how fast creating sequential artwork on the computer is. In fact, it seems that Freddie's main goal is to get the reader to create better artwork, faster, and he constantly discusses ways to make your work faster and more streamlined.

Be warned, though... this is NOT a "how to draw" book.
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Format: Paperback
I am reviewing this as a working comics creator who has read almost every comics how-to book under the sun...
Buzzboy Trouble in ParadiseBuzzboy Volume 2: Monsters, Dreams, & Milkshakes

I've grown up reading how-to books for comics since the age old "How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way"-- whichas a twelve year old, blew my mind. "Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud brought the unique concepts behind comics to the forefront, and as I prepared to launch my professional career in comics, it helped give me a set of mental tools to focus on storytelling that I still use to this day. But Freddie E Williams II has written and illustrated The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics as a book that focuses on the draftsmanship and technical tools that will help define comics through the 21st century.

Written in a friendly, easy-to-understand style, Mr. Williams leaves the basic discussions on HOW TO DRAW, and assumes the reader already has enough books on that. This book really focuses on creating comics in either a completely digital way, or (addressing most traditional artists' fears) creating comics as a hybrid between the computer and the hand drawn comics in a variety of ways that can cater to one's strengths. I have always been a writer/penciller, and can only describe my own inking as though I inked with a chocolate bar instead of a brush.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who's been creating comics digitally for a few years now, I'm always curious to see how my peers do it. It's nice to have means of comparison and new reference.

Freddie's DC Comics-endorsed book presumes a few things: 1. That you have a kick-ass computer with a big monitor and 2. That you have a full, newer version of Adobe Photoshop. He addresses this, of course, but the fact is, this book won't do you much good if you don't have the means to drop a few thousand $ on good digital production gear. Oh, it also presumes YOU CAN DRAW. This is not an art instruction book, kids. It's really designed for the working or hobbyist illustrator who wants to step up their game to the next (digital) level.

That being said, his obsessively detailed workflow -- from filing schemes to Photoshop layering to making backups of backups -- is covered in very clear and concise detail, setting somewhat of a high bar from which the reader can scale back to their preference.

Freddie covers a lot of ground on all aspects of creating comic book line art, and even as a journeyman myself, I found myself having a lot of lightbulb-turning-on moments. The book even addresses hybrid digital-traditional workflows for penciling and inking.

The point at which it stops is coloring, so if that's something you're into, I'm guessing there's a DC Guide to Digitally Coloring Comics as well. If not, there should be.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read if you've never drawn comics digitally. I've been drawing them digitally for years now and I've developed a lot of my own techniques. For me this book was only partially helpful. It did give me some good tips to improve my current way of doing things and some insight into the way it's done by a professional working for one of the biggest comic companies. It's a better source of information on the subject than most websites so I DO NOT regret the purchase. Just be aware that if you've been doing comics this way for a while you may not be learning a whole lot of new information. If you've never done comics digitally before this is the book for you.
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