Comic Sketchbooks

Steven Heller, author and editor of several books on art, design and popular culture including; Menu Design in America, Advertising from the Mad Men Era and Typography Sketchbooks, presents this new peek into the minds and working processes of contemporary comic book artists in; Comic Sketchbooks – The Unseen World of Today’s Most Creative Talents.

Over 80 artists are featured including the stand-out names Jim Steranko, (whose pencil work is amazing), Robert Crumb and Rian Hughes, along with some lesser known artists offering a valuable insight into their techniques, influences and honest discussion about experimental work that might not otherwise see print. Indeed, that’s exactly what a sketchbook is for and it’s fair to consider that some might be a little coy about showing in public quick doodles and ideas that would otherwise be confined to a closed book. I suspect there may be one or two in here being a little disingenuous about the sketchbook origins of some pieces with some looking maybe a little too finished to be considered a true sketch. It actually poses an interesting question about what is/should be considered a sketch, particularly in the world of vector illustrations.

The quality and style of the work on show does vary quite a bit, but there are great little nuggets of information that anyone who has ever attempted to draw a comic book will relate to. I particularly liked Charles Burns obsession with the way Johnny Craig drew his women in the classic EC Comics. Something that I can totally relate to and might match my own well documented obsession with Dave Stevens. It’s the notes such as these along with plenty of great work that make this a fascinating book to sit down and look through for a couple of hours. Well worth a look.

Comic Sketchbooks – The Unseen World of Today’s Most Creative Talents
Thames & Hudson
Paperback 325 pages
21.3 x 3.3 x 29.5 cm