how-to Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

How not to draw manga: Some free advice

How to use how-to books

I’m sitting here looking at a stack of how-to-draw-manga books, and I’m feeling very guilty.

These books were sent to me as review copies, and I feel it’s my duty to review them. They are thoughtfully designed and beautifully produced, and they aren’t cheap. People think being a reviewer is all beer and skittles and free comics, but those comics aren’t free; they carry a serious responsibility with them, and I’m afraid that in the case of these books, I have failed miserably.

The problem is that I don’t believe in the basic mission of these books. I say this as someone who once had aspirations to being a fine artist and who later edited art-instruction books. Let me explain.

When I was in college, I loved the idea of being an artist, but I lacked talent. That didn’t stop me from soldiering through school — I have a BFA and an MFA in studio art — but when I got out into the real world and started trying to make my way as an artist, I realized I lacked both the knack and the spark I needed to be successful.

Nonetheless, I went from being a terrible draftsman to a better-than-mediocre draftsman during that time, and I didn’t do it by reading books. I did it by drawing. So here’s the advice I have for all aspiring comics artists everywhere: Draw from life. You’re better off using those how-to books in an interesting still-life setup and drawing that than copying the illustrations you will find inside.

Continue Reading »


Neill Cameron shows you how to make a giant robot

Who says you can’t learn anything during the summer? UK artist Neill Cameron, creator of the kids’ graphic novel Mo-Bot High, has put together a quick four-step guide to designing giant robots, and it’s available to view or download at his site. You don’t have to be a kid (but it helps to be a kid at heart) to enjoy learning how to convert humans and animals into giant killing machines.


Browse the Robot 6 Archives