Whether you are interested in Marvel or not, Todd McFarlane’s interview is useful to everyone who wants to draw comics or illustrate stories because he gives very great advises.
The full interview is divided into 5 parts, please visit Youtube to see the following sections among the suggestions.
A few of McFarlane’s thoughts in my own words:
- don’t compare yourself to comic artists you like and admire. In order to break into the field you need confidence and an amount of cockiness. Everyone can name at least one comic artists they dislike and think they don’t deserve the fame they get - concentrate on beating this one guy/gal. You don’t like him/her because you think you can do it better, grab a pencil and show that you can do it better.
Good art forms your taste and shows the proper elements of comics; bad art triggers you to create something better and practice.
- don’t be boring even if the scene itself is boring. Visual story telling has the advantage to create excitement where there is none. Try to be creative when presenting a scene.
Additional wisdom of Scott McCloud: just don’t overdo it, try to find a good balance between exciting and “boring” panels. Too much of both hurts the story.
- show it with body language. Your character shouldn’t just stand there, his pose should reflect his whole persona. When he moves, he should move excitingly and exaggeratedly.
My personal note: body language should ALWAYS fit the scene. If your characters are in a battle, they should battle and not pose like some pinup girl or body builder on the cover of a magazine…
If your character is sexy/muscular already, there is no need to make it even more obvious - with that you could just draw an arrow pointing at him/her and write “Hey, look! It’s my character, isn’t he/she perfect? Isn’t he/she?”…
- you don’t have to draw like Michelangelo. Some of the BEST and worldwide known comic strips aren’t masterpieces of fine art ( Garfield and Peanuts are probably the most known ).
McFarlane will not show you how awesome he draws but techniques that will benefit you. So watch the video, if you haven’t already, and then grab the books of Scott McCloud ( if you’re at it also Will Eisner’s ) :)
( I choked on the “Hm.” in the last video…It was hilarious lol You’ll understand if you watch it ^__^ )