Comic Strip Artist’s Kit, and more

In the “tools for comic making with some thought behind it” category comes this blog, Temple of the Seven Golden Camels, by storyboarder Mark Kennedy. He’s been posting several good entries of advice for cartooning and comic creation. Much of his thoughts come from Disney animators, as that seems to be where he works (or did work… not entirely sure).

Of particular interest was this Comic Strip Artist’s Kit by famous Disney artist Carson Can Osten, which reminded me of Wally Woods 22 Panels that Always Work.

Like 22 Panels…, these pages contain tips for creation, described as being “created to help beginning comic artists deal with perspective problems and other drawing difficulties.” It also seems to have been an industry meme that eventually had some parts end up in the book The Illusion of Life. Over seven pages he identifies several common problems that creators face in framing and representation, and then offers solutions and tips all around. Kindly, the pages are all downloadable in large printable sizes.

Other notable posts include these: One, Two, on Composition by illustrator Rowland B. Wilson. These also are downloadable and have some good advice in them, though they are less theoretical in my opinion than the Osten pages.

He also has a whole series on Design and Drawing. One of his comments stood out at me, because it contrasts with the opening sentiments of McCloud’s chapter on character design in Making Comics. Kennedy advises in drawings to avoid symmetry, saying ,” The human eye doesn’t like symmetry. It’s lifeless and boring.” Contrast this to McCloud who calls symmetry “Life’s Calling Card.”

In other places, he and McCloud share opinions, like with proportions in frames, to which they both advise against symmetry and placing the focal action right in the center (though McCloud notes its uses as well).

As this post might intimate, the site is full of interesting posts and one can easily take up quite a lot of time reading it. Go: Read!

Update 9/22: It’s been pointed out to me that Josh Farkas has created PDF downloads of many of Kennedy’s writings and posted items. Lots easier than downloading all those jpgs at the blog, but still recommended to read the original posts too.


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