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Drawing Crime Noir: For Comics and Graphic Novels Paperback – July 1, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Hart is the world's best-selling author of drawing and cartooning books. His titles have sold more than two and a half million copies worldwide and have been translated into seventeen languages
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1st edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823023990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823023998
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Honestly, that's what it is - a book full of nice examples of comic art, specifically dealing with noir atmosphere.

Same problem affects all books, written by Mr. Hart - they're amazing, if you will look at them as just coffee table books. Unfortunately, they're marketed as books that are supposed to teach you how to draw and it won't happen, judging by the fact that there are very few comments related to drawing process itself.

So 1 star for marketing, 4 (or 5) stars for pictures.

My advice is this - borrow it from the library, but don't spend 20 dollars on it, unless you want a coffee table book.
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Format: Paperback
The author has finnaly created a sophisticated art book that can stand on its own. Every page is full of stunning information. All illustraions are done in black and white which is really helpfull if your into learning how to ink for your own graphic novel.The best chapter is on creating and understanding shades and shadow so that you can create really stunning art work of your own after you master the basic tactics taught in this book. And trust me you will after learning from these great contributing artists. I also love the chapters on clothing folds,character accessories and behavior patterns of all the characters.. helpfull advice on creating your own dark city scenes full of silhoutte and detail.You even get a little section on how to draw teeth for both male and female!Plus you get lessons dedicated to drawing acurate variations of noses and mouths. There really is NO fluff or repetion in this masterpeace like there is in other Hart's books. Pick this one up if you have basic drawing skills down. I would not recommend this for a complete begginner.. unless they are highly ambitious ofcourse.I praise it because I read them all when I was starting out,practiced non stop everyday and soon i will be breaking into to comic book bussines and you will too with deication. In the mean time add this one to your library. Its like no other
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Format: Paperback
I recently had the pleasure of meeting legendary comic book artist Jim Steranko, and spending about 30 minutes with him talking comic art as he showed me several pages from a new project he is working on, very much a crime noir style book. Now, reading Christopher Hart's "Drawing Crime Noir" won't turn you into Jim Steranko, but it does give a lot of wonderful instruction and advice on this ever-growing genre of comics. Gritty, crime dramas like Sin City and even books like Batman are perfect examples of modern day crime noir.

Hart begins the book with advice on drawing male and female faces and getting that tough, chiseled jaw and piercing eyes of the strong male character, and the pouty, shiny lips of the female characters. Next up is the full figure itself and the clothes and getting the wrinkles and folds in clothes to make them match the particular pose of the character.

One of the key elements of noir art is the use of shadow and this is something that Steranko covered in great detail when we spoke. The lighting, shading, angles of view and perspective is something he lays out like a movie director in his work. Hart shows readers the difference in drawing shadows correctly, and drawing them for dramatic effect. You'll be amazed at how much difference this subtle change can make in the art. You'll also see how to correctly draw shadows on different surfaces such as cobblestone streets or when in water.

Chapter three covers "Sinful Women" and it will certainly be perhaps the most popular chapter in the book, Guys love drawing gorgeous, dangerous women. Hart presents several different female archetypes with the usual characteristics. Tough women, "working gals", nightclub singers, etc. Getting those women just right can make or break an artist.
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Format: Paperback
I've purchased a number of Christopher Hart's books on drawing certain genres and facets of comic books; as a self-taught artist, I'm always looking out for the next book to help me out. Paging through "Drawing Crime Noir" I was initially impressed, and decided to pick it up.

This book offers a number of interesting sections: discussions of character, clothing and accessories, drawing composition, and, of course, the all-important chiaroscuro shading. However, nice to look at as all of this is, little of it is really "teachable" - in other words, this book talks a good game, but frequently doesn't really "show" you, step-by-step, how to develop principles in creating your own scenes. Probably the most useful section is on drawing costumes for femme fatale characters - it will help a great deal those who are having difficulty drawing the more "cutting edge" fashions. Most disappointing is what one might think would be the most important section, the one on shading. It shows you some different shading options, but doesn't really delve helpfully in how to apply these principles across the board.

Overall, this is a well illustrated book, but it lacks a really hands-on, helpful tutorial style. Definitely for artists of the intermediate skill level and above.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great read and a great instructional aide both. The art and narrative were witty, in genre and easily informed to the point. I am glad I got this book, and it gave me insight into my own design for my Lone Comic brand comic book.

Thanks for writing this book, Mr. Hart.

Sincerely,
The Lone Comic TM
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