“Drawing Words & Writing Pictures” by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden book review.

[Book cover of graphic novel “Drawing Words and Writing Pictures” by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (2008) – comic review from comics recommendation list]Next, let’s take a look at two books written by the husband-and-wife team of Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. The first book was released in 2008, and is calledDrawing Words and Writing Pictures. And then they released a sequel four years later, in 2012, titledMastering Comics. These are both hefty books, that have about 600 pages of content across both of the books. And they’re designed to be a crash-course into making comics. In fact, the authors say that they wrote the books to serve as a textbook that could be used to teach classes on comics at art schools. One thing that I really like about these books is how they really tell you step-by-step how to do things that a lot of experienced artists sometimes take for granted. Sometimes experienced artists forget that beginners often don’t know how to do basic things. For example, the first book has instructions for using nib pens, for using a brush and ink, and for doing the lettering of comics. I like that they illustrate these how-to guides with plenty of visual examples that makes these “dos” and the “don’ts” really clear to understand. Now, I must say that the first book basically ignores the possibility of creating comics digitally with a graphics tablet. The first book is very much geared towards creating comics with pen and ink, and then scanning into a computer afterwards. But the second book does include a guide for those who want to create digitally with a stylus and graphics tablet. So, these books are a worthwhile investment, because they really feel like comprehensive “how-to” guides. I especially like all of the artwork examples that are dotted throughout the book. A lot of these are drawn by the authors Jessica and Matt themselves, but they also highlight examples from comics drawn by other cartoonists that they like. So it’s good to see the variety of possibilities that can be achieved with different styles. So check out the two booksDrawing Words and Writing Pictures, as well asMastering Comics– both by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden.[title music: “Bridge Over Nothing” by Screamfeeder]

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