Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Millidge, Gary Spencer. Comic Book Design

Millidge, Gary Spencer. Comic Book Design
Watson-Guptill (see Random) 2009 160p 24.95 978-0-8230-9796-8 ms/hs
This how to book by award winning designer, Gary Spencer Millidge explains the need to know techniques, rules , and tips for designing your own comic book. Gary S. Millidge,award winning creator of Strangehaven comics, guides the reader through the steps necessary for successful attention grabbing comic book design.
The forward by Dave Gibbons tells the reader that the comic book medium deals with larger than life characters and scenes. At the same time it is a medium constrained by space. It is this restriction of space that makes it necessary for comics to grab attention quickly and become miniature masterpieces with strong storylines or narratives. It is the simplicity of line and informality found in the comics that allows readers to connect with comics. In the introduction the author defines design to be all about communication and presentation to express messages. He also states that “comics are a unique synthesis of words and pictures.....Comics are more than the sum of their parts; they’re not just a sequence of images over a number of consecutive pages.”
The most important factor about this book is the beautifully formatted pages that present the informative text accompanied by colored graphics that highlight comics, in-depth information, and how to tips. Also usability in added with the addition of an index, picture credits, and acknowledgments.

Each chapter is formatted to include: an introduction, how to tips and informative tips accompanied with detailed annotated comic examples. At the end of each chapter there is a designer highlighted with examples of his/her work. The chapters are: Creating story line concepts and original designs, Designing characters and creating background locations, Drawing in pencil and ink or digitally, Page layout and grid structure, Lettering word balloons and color, Covers and publication design.
Although this is a paperback, it is jammed packed with pertinent information and how to dos for the comic book collectors. You might also say it is worth it’s weight in gold to anyone interested in comic books. LM

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