A post from my old Marvel blog concerning the book How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way and one example therein.
Picking up on some of the thinking we were doing a week or so ago, following on the last Klaus Janson class, brought to mind one of the seminal examples John Buscema illustrated for his and Stan Lee’s book HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY.
I remember when this book first came out towards the end of the 1970s, and what a revelation it was. It’s still a pretty good book, albeit one that can’t always go as deep into the subjects of anatomy or perspective as one might like.
However, this one example makes up for a lot. It’s the same page of story plot, drawn two ways: on the left is the “standard” way of doing it–there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a bit lifeless and unexciting. The version on the right is the “Marvel” way, where maximum attention is paid towards making the page exciting and engaging, even though it’s just a scene of two guys in some room talking.
There’s a similar example showing a page with the Avengers attacking a monster that’s even more on-the-money, but I find this example a bit more interesting (especially these days, when it’s more and more likely that an artist is going to have to draw a page with two guys talking in a room.)
There’s a somewhat-famous quote from Stan Lee from some old editorial meeting, in which he was looking at some upcoming covers: “We can’t expect the readers to get excited if the characters don’t seem to be excited!” That’s the Marvel approach in a nutshell right there–not that we always pull it off 100%.