Wednesday, 14 January 2015



If I remember correctly after all this time, I ordered my
from a mail- order company called MAYA MERCHANDISING
towards the end of 1979.  You can imagine my disappointment when
I eventually received a note saying they were currently out of stock,
but would send one on when they received more copies.  It was some-
time in early 1980 when a card through my letterbox informed me of
a parcel awaiting collection from my town centre main post office,
and I well-recall the surge of excitement when I finally held
that brown paper-covered package in my hands.

The book was a 5th printing, but that didn't bother me
back then.  (And anyway, I eventually acquired a first edition
many years after, when my collector's desire for such things had in-
creased a tad.)  11 years later (although it seems much longer looking
back), STAN 'The MAN' LEE personally autographed my copy, as
well as a handful of other books.  (That was 23-odd years ago and, con-
versely, seems much shorter in retrospect.  Odd, that.)  Personally, I
think it's a brilliant book, and it inspired me to draw a SUPERMAN
versus HULK page (which I'll post when I find the ruddy thing)
shortly after reading it.  Stan's snappy patter is a delight, and
elevates the tome far above other, similar volumes.

Curiously, the TITAN BOOKS soft-cover edition omits
the first half of Stan's dedication at the front of the book, and
both it and the SIMON & SCHUSTER/FIRESIDE volume ap-
pear to have printed page 68 upside down.  Whether this was done
deliberately to make it more interesting (and challenging) is always a
possibility, I suppose, but I wouldn't bet my shirt on it.  Other comic
art instruction manuals have been issued over the years, but few of
them are as inspirational as Stan's and JOHN BUSCEMA's
original 'How to draw comics' book, in my view.

Don't have a copy on your bookshelf?  It's still readily
available so why not rectify that right away?

Stan's autograph

The Titan Books soft-cover edition omits
everything before "Dedicated to every..."

Does anyone ever really stand with their legs so far apart?
In Glasgow, that's just begging for a boot in the nuts!

"Okay, who's nicked my clothes?  I left them right here!"

If this is what you see looking out at you from the mirror,
then you sure are one ugly buggah, yes sirree


John Pitt said...

Yeah, you'll have to show us your Supes vs. Hulk pic. I remember being so surprised in the second DC/Marvel treasury when the Hulk punched Supes and actually knocked him up into the stratosphere!

Kid said...

Somewhere on my blog is a CGI Superman versus Hulk battle, JP. Seek it out - it's a belter!

Gerry said...

There's a fella uploading all the original art to this over at CAF

Kid said...

Oo-er - what's CAF stand for again?

Colin Jones said...

When I was a kid I loved drawing and I used to copy the art from my Marvel comics - how is that so different from this book ? I don't really see why you'd need a special book which explained how to draw when the comics had endless examples to copy.

Kid said...

If you saw the book, you'd know why it was so different, CJ - you'd just know. (Smiles to himself with the air of an enlightened one.)

Gerry said...

heres the link to his gallery at CAF, Comic Art Fans :)

Kid said...

Thanks for that, Gerry - interesting stuff.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I recall a friend getting a copy way back, I think it was through a fan organisation, maybe Foom. Anyway I was a bit envious because it was nowhere to be seen otherwise. Being a kid a the time, I rather naively thought: Ah now he has the insider secrets on learning to draw. True enough he bought his first putty rubber some time after. He did let me get a look, on the odd occasion before I got my own copy, a decade or so later. The artwork is fantastic, some of the methods are a bit: complex, all those boxes 'n' stuff they told you to do. By the time I picked up my copy, I considered some of the contents interesting but a teeny bit contrived to pad it out. Later I picked up three of the Burne Hogarth books, absolutely sumptuous books but I didn't even use those for tutoring really. I had one book I used for cribbing anatomy: Living Anatomy by R.D. Lockhart, invaluable before the days of Google and picture searches.

I only quite recently discovered they did a video version, VHS i think. I caught on Youtube, very entertaining.

Kid said...

The boxes and cylinders are pretty standard stuff, really. You see that in most art books. I got an ancient one in a jumble sale back in the early '70s and it's the same sort of stuff. However I loved the art and the visual storytelling philosophy in Stan and John's book and it made me want to try harder. I saw the video version advertised a good few years ago, but have never seen it. Maybe I'll look it uo on YouTube, although I'd prefer a DVD of it.

Arfon Jones said...

What an amazing coincidence! I was dusting/ rearranging some of my books today and this was one of them. It’s a gorgeous book, one that I bought back in 1993- Books on how to draw comics come and go but this one is an absolute classic!

Kid said...

Indeed, AJ. Just looking at it makes me want to p-p-pick up a pencil. (Hey, there's a slogan in there, somewhere.)

moonmando said...

I remember you getting that book Kid,and feeling somewhat awed by the fact that the ability to create artwork of that calibre might be accessible to the untutored such as myself.
Although I did not go on to develop any skills the book had to offer,I'm sure it must have been a tremendous inspiration to others who did.

Kid said...

It's a classic of it's kind, Moony. Course, I didn't really need it as I'm an artistic genius. (As everybody knows - right?)

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