22 June 2010

The Ultimate Guide For Comic Book Artists Sets Me Straight

I've been flipping through a lot of comic book illustration/instruction texts lately, and they all have a section in them that I just love.  It's the 'body types' page.   Here's a few caps from 'The Ultimate Guide For Comic Book Artists' by Christopher Hart, which is is so far my favourite.

This part is about drawing men.  You should know they come in five types: Regular Joe, Fat Guy, Evil Genius, Hero and Villain.  Let's start with "Regular Joe".

He's a useless s**t:.

It must be good to know, if you out there happen to be a Regular Joe, that you'll never really help someone out in your entire lifetime, but that you're a heck of a "confidant".  We know what that means.  Enjoy your life of lonely masturbation, strangely high-nippled Regular Joe!

Still, I have a  question.  Why is the Regular Joe "taller than average"?  Shouldn't he be exactly average in height?  He's "Regular Joe", for crying out loud!

Take heart, all you Fat Guys.  Not "jolly"?  Don't be down on yourself.  Now you have a place in the world!  Go kill someone!  And if you really want to take the "killer fat guy" thing to the limit, eat them as well.

I don't know exactly why small, defined muscles would give somebody a "crafty look", but then I think of Ben Stiller and I kinda get where this is coming from.

Still, "Evil Genius"?  This guy look's kinda nice.  At least, he's doesn't have that "innocent but recklessly dumb" gob that "Regular Joe"  and "Fat Guy" have.  "Regular Joe" looks like he's accidentally run over a hooker, and "Fat Guy" has certainly squished him a mouse of two out of over zealous affection.  On the bright side, they have excellent posture.

Needed for heroism: a V shaped body.  A comb not so much.  Also, nothing reassures me like relying on men who are "proud and showy".


You know what makes for great drama?  If the villain's slightly more powerfully built than the hero.  You know, like Richard III. 

Also, we seem to be working off the idea that the true source of his evil is not being "graceful" enough.  Take a good look at that trouser bulge (or lack thereof) in comparison to the hero's and you'll realize the true story of evil.

Hey, I hear you say, what about the women?  

Well, Christopher Hart tells  "Villainesses are much more attractive in cutting-edge comics", whatever that means.  I like to blurt it out at parties and see what the reaction is.

Mr. Hart also suggests that drawing "brutish" women is right out of the question.  "Therefore, rely less on body types and more on pose, costume and attitude."  In other words, if you can't draw a rousing set of melons, enjoy the greeting card business.

There's no female "Hero", apparently.  There is, however, a "Fighter".  This reads like pretty creepy code to me, as if Hart is warning his male readers, "Don't try anything in the car with this one--she's a fighter." 

She apparently doesn't rescue people or stop crime or anything.  She's just angry.  And she has a "sturdy stance".  Cause, yknow, she's a "Fighter."  Nope, no code here.

Ah, boobies! Vulnerable, vulnerable boobies! 

Look at this pleasantly vacant love doll.  If she gets in your car, everything's good to go.  Unless, of course, she has a power, or, for that matter, an identity.  One or the other is enough to terrify your average comic book-reading male. 

And do not doubt: this is really the only kind of chick you'll be drawing in your comic book career.  But the guys got a full page, so the ladies get a full page.

"The Innocent", my butt. 

As the girl next door, you should know that bold statements are out.  In fact, Chris Hart would like to know, why don't you just keep your yap shut entirely?  There's a good girl.

Realize please, your entire existence is defined by who you live next to.  It says so right there in your name.  Also, please look over that depiction, all you Girls Next Door types, and remember: "there's nothing out of proportion" about it whatsoever. 

So, yes girls, your suspicions have been confirmed.  You are all stumpy, stumpy freaks.

The "Regular Joe" is taller than average, but apparently the female "Athlete" is a freaking lawn dwarf.  The only thing athletic about this anorexic basket-case is apparently that racing stripe and her haircut.  (And doesn't this haircut really belong on the "Fighter", if you know what I mean?)

The Athlete "often has the superpower of speed" despite the fact that I cannot name one diminutive female speedster in any mainstream comics.

The "Villainess" has a sceptical demeanor and  a  plausible body type.  Defiant, intelligent, sceptical girls are even worse than "Fighters".  In fact, they're pure evil. 

Remember that, kids.

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