Adventures in Cartooning

James Sturm, Author, Andrew Arnold, Author, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Author
James Sturm, Author, Andrew Arnold, Author, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Author . Roaring Brook/First Second $12.95 (109p) ISBN 978-1-59643-369-4
Reviewed on: 04/13/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Prebound-Glued - 109 pages - 978-0-606-15148-1
Prebound-Glued - 61 pages - 978-0-606-32306-2
Show other formats
FORMATS

Created by the Center for Cartoon Studies' director and two of his former students, this how-to-make-comics book for young readers takes a couple of unusual tacks. For one thing, it skips the usual rudiments of how to draw in favor of explaining the formal characteristics of comics: panels, balloons, lettering and so on. For another, it doubles as a story—about a knight on a quest for a bubblegum–chewing dragon, and the magic elf who teaches the knight all about the joy of cartooning. It's a cute premise, and the art's simple, bold brushstrokes and flat colors are zippy and fun. Sturm and company even sneak in a few comics in-jokes (when several characters fall into water, the elf exclaims “I guess this would be called a SPLASH panel!”). Unfortunately, the plot and the tutorial material repeatedly stumble over each other: the goofy twists in the story occasionally have a bit of instruction shoehorned in, but more often don't serve any educational purpose—or simply seem like the result of stream-of-consciousness jam cartooning. And kids looking for cartooning guidance may be frustrated to find that the book takes its readers' ability to draw expressively for granted. (Apr.)

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X