15 July, 2008

Watch More TV

Gene Fama's website is worth browsing, just for his sketchbook, but the detailed section outlining his process of working up pages for The Spirit is fantastic.

"When I find myself spacing out in front of the TV, I grab my sketchbook. By quickly sketching thumbnails of the shot compositions on the screen, I solve future layout problems and develop my design skills.

Cartoonists have the huge burden of drawing from imagination all the time. These TV sketches add a lot of depth to future panels by adding elements — shadows, fixtures, framing — that you could never just `make up.´ It's especially difficult to show two people talking for panel after panel. Movies deal with this problem all the time.

The Ford and Welles type pictures with moody, lingering shots (so you have time to draw them) are best. So put down that beer and pick up that pencil!"