REVIEW: How to Make Awesome Comics
How to Make Awesome Comics
By Neill Cameron
David Fickling Books/Scholastic, 64 pages, $8.99
Aimed at 7-10 year olds, this book attempts to explain how to create comics when it merely scratches the surface and suggests mash-ups are the only way to design characters. Neill Cameron should know better considering his background with YA graphic novels and his role as artist in residence at Oxford’s The Story Museum. This collection is culled from weekly installments that first saw print in England’s The Phoenix.
Narrated by Professor Panels and Art Monkey, they breezily and cheekily tour the most basic aspects of telling a story, creating heroes and villains, and putting them all together to form a visual narrative. Every chapter tells you how to do something awesomely but it’s too much in too few pages.
There are some basics early on that are age appropriate for the readers but once he tells you awesome ideas are to take one from column A and one from column B and your done does the budding comics creator a major disservice. This mix and match approach is carried on throughout the book which suggests to readers there is just this one way to tell a story or creator interesting characters.
Cameron should have dropped some of the silliness in favor of elements like making sure each panel leads the reader’s eye in the proper direction. How to place balloons, captions, and sound effects to aid in the reading. There’s nothing on anatomy, perspective, or page design which might seem too sophisticated for the age range, but these are essentials for good comics literacy.
I would warn well-meaning parents away from giving this to their budding talents and instead find other sources (or courses) that would do a better job training them.