How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

by Stan Lee, John Buscema


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671530778
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 09/14/1984
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,248
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Stan Lee was the former head writer, editorial and art director, publisher, and chairman of Marvel Comics, where he created or co-created enduring characters including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and many others. As the defining editorial voice for Marvel he introduced a generation to a new, more humanized approach to superheroes.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1



Since very few of us draw with just our fingernails, let's start off with what you'll need. Then we're got to make sure we're all speaking the same language. This part's the easiest.

Here we go! On these two pages you'll find just about everything you'll need to get you started. One of the nice things about being a comicbook artist is the fact that your equipment is no big deal. Let's just give the various items a fast once-over...

Pencil. Some artists prefer a soft lead, some like the finer hard lead. It's up to you.

Pen. A simple drawing pen with a thin point, for inking and bordering.

Brush. Also for inking. A sable hair #3 is your best bet.

Erasers. One art gum and one smooth kneaded eraser -- which is cleaner to use.

India ink. Any good brand of black india ink is okay.

White opaquing paint. Invaluable for covering errors in inking.

A glass Jar. This holds the water for cleaning your brushes.

Pushpins. Handy for keeping your illustration paper from slipping off the drawing board.

Triangle. A must for drawing right angles and working in perspective.

T square. Invaluable for drawing borders and keeping lines parallel.

Ruler. For everyone who says "1 can't draw a straight line without a ruler." Now you've no excuse!

Illustration paper. We use 2-ply Bristol board, large enough to accommodate artwork 10" x 15".

Drawing board. This can be a drawing table or merely a flat board which you hold on your lap. Either way, you always need some such thing upon which to rest your sheet of illustration paper.

Rag. This plain ol' hunk of any kind of cloth is used to wipe your pen points, brushes, and whatever. The sloppier you are, the more you'll need it.

Ink compass. Well, how else are you gonna draw circles? While you're at it, you might as well get a pencil compass, too-even though Johnny forgot to draw one for you.

Of course, there are some things we omitted, like a chair to sit on and a light so that you can see what you're doing in case you work in the dark. Also, it's a good idea to have a room to work in-otherwise your pages can get all messy in the rain. But we figured you'd know all this.

And now, onward!

Just to make sure we all use the same language and there's no misunderstanding when we refer to things, let's review the various names for many of the elements that make up a typical comicbook page.

A. The first page of a story, with a large introductory illustration, is called the splash page.

B: Letters drawn in outline, with space for color to be added, are called open letters.

C: Copy which relates to a title is called a blurb.

D: The name of the story is, of course, the title.

E: An outline around lettering done in this jagged shape is called a splash balloon.

F: A single illustration on a page is called a panel.

G: The space between panels is called the gutter.

H: You won't be surprised to know that this "ZAT" is a sound effect.

I: Copy which represents what a character is thinking is a thought balloon.

J: The little connecting circles on thought balloons are called bubbles. (We'd feel silly calling them "squares"!)

K: The regular speech indicators are called dialogue balloons.

L: The connecting "arrows" on dialogue balloons, showing who is speaking, are called pointers.

M: The words in balloons which are lettered heavier than the other words are referred to as bold words, or bold lettering.

N: This is my favorite part-where the names are. We call it the credits, just like in the movies.

O: All this little technical stuff, showing who publishes the mag and when and where, usually found on the bottom of the first page, is the indicia (pronounced in-deeé -shah).

P: Copy in which someone is talking to the reader, but which is not within dialogue balloons, is called a caption.

Chances are we left out a few other things, but this is all we can think of right now. However, not to worry; we'll fill you in on anything else that comes up as we keep zooming along.

Movin' right along, we now introduce you to one of Marvel's many widely heralded close-ups, so called because the "camera" (meaning the reader's eye) has moved in about as close as possible.

This type of panel, in which the reader's view of the scene is from farther away, enabling him to see the figures from head to toe, is called a medium shot.

And here we have a long shot. In fact, since it shows such an extreme wide-angle scene, you might even call it a panoramic long shot without anyone getting angry at you.

When you're up above the scene, looking down at it, as in this panel, what else could you possibly call it but a bird's-eye view?

On the other hand, when you're below the scene of action, as in this panel, where your eye, level is somewhere near Spidey's heel, we're inclined to refer to it as a worm's-eye view.

A drawing in which the details are obscured by solid black (or any other single tone or color) is called a silhouette. And now that we agree upon the language, let's get back to drawing the pictures...

Copyright © 1978 by Stan Lee and John Buscema

Table of Contents



One The Tools -- and the Talk -- of the Trade!

Two The Secrets of -- Form! Making an Object Look Real

Three The Power of -- Perspective!

Four Let's Study -- The Figure!

Five Let's Draw the Figure!

Six The Name of the Game is -- Action!

Seven Foreshortening! The Knack of Drawing the Figure in Perspective!

Eight Drawing the Human Head!

Nine Composition!

Ten Draw Your Own Comicbook Page!

Eleven The Comicbook Cover!

Twelve The Art of Inking!



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How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the very best of its kind ever published. John Buscema is one of the greatest comic artists ever, and he breaks his drawing techniques down to the simplest form. This book is designed for the beginner artist to understand and advanced artists can learn from it as well. Many current comic artists should study this book so they can learn how to draw the human figure correctly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books money can buy when it comes to drawing the figure. It not only shows you how to draw it but it shows you to different ways, ball and cone, and scribbling. I can't believe how well written the book is along with great illustrations. This book is the starting point for all types of styles you want to start to draw such as Manga, Marvel, and just plain cartoons. This book is much better then the How to Draw Manga series. In the How to Draw Manga series the most they do is give you ideas to draw instead of showing you how it's done. But like I said before, this is a book that will teach you how to draw humans, both male and female, no buildings. This book touches on objects and perspective but the primary focus is on the figure. I highly recommend this book for all who want to learn to draw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
big_james More than 1 year ago
Book is great for a more skilled drawer but if you are a begginer content is on the hard side.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great way to learn how to draw. i especially like drawing the marvel comic way. Great for beginners and for experts the same. I love it!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My art teacher has this book and he says its great. In class, we also got to draw some of the comics!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am 18 and have been drawing since i was born and i still learn something new everytime i read this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have owned this book for 18 years and it is still one of the best book for drawing the figure that I have ever seen. If you are just starting to draw or have been drawing for years this book is a must.
Guest More than 1 year ago
its an awsome book for beginers, but only beginers, otherwise its just another rip off project book like the rest of em.... i would not recomend this book to anybody who does not have arms or eyes, otherwise they mind find it difficult to grasp the tecniques needed.