A light-hearted interactive guide to comics and cartoon-making that uses an activity book format and creatively stimulating prompts to teach the fundamentals of cartooning in a fun and easy-to-follow fashion.
From a working cartoonist and comic book making instructor, this all-ages activity book uses humorous and informative one-page comics and exercise prompts to guide young readers (and readers who are young at heart) through easy-to-master lessons on the skills needed to make comics. The activities cover a range of essential comics-making tasks from creating expressions for characters to filling in blank panels to creating original characters and placing them in adventures of their own. Each exercise can stand on its own or work together with others in the book to stimulate creativity via the comics medium. In the end, readers who complete the activities inside the book itself will have created several comics of their own, and will have generated many ideas for more sequential art creations.
Praise for Let’s Make Comics!
“At once playful and complex, this book is a perfect introduction to cartooning, as well as a lovely (and lovingly crafted) tribute to the comics form and a timely reminder that artmaking can be fun.”—Roman Muradov, creator of Vanishing Act and On Doing Nothing
“Let’s Make Comics is a book I wish I had when I was 9, but 29 works too! It’s so fun and brilliant and packed with oodles of awesome activities. Great book for learning to make comics or for a seasoned cartoonist to find some new inspiration.”—Ben Clanton, creator of the Narwhal and Jelly books
“It’s fantastic! This book will make you a better writer and a better artist and show you how to think like a comic star.”—Charise Harper, creator of the Fashion Kitty and Crafty Cat books
“Warning! This book will make you make comics, and it will be fun!”—Greg Pizzoli, creator of The Watermelon Seed, Number One Sam, and The Book Hog
“If only we'd had this book! Our comics would be much better.”—Elizabeth Pich and Jonathan Kunz, creators of War and Peas
About the Author
JESS SMART SMILEY makes rad pictures with his bare hands. Selected clients include Disney Pixar, Cartoon Network, Provo City, and Top Shelf Publishing.
“Let's Make Comics will help you master the secrets of a powerful ancient art—using words and pictures in boxes to tell stories. What better way to learn comics than through fun exercises from an enthusiastic bear and turtle? Now if you'll excuse me, I'm headed back in time to give this book to my childhood self.”—Grant Snider, creator of The Shape of Ideas and Incidental Comics
“Let's Make Comics! breaks the wall between reader and creator, and is just the sort of book I wish I had around when I was 10. Back then, I knew I wanted to make comics, but struggled with the language. Sometimes I even wondered if comics was something I could do. Jess generously shares his knowledge and talent with young readers here, and when it finds its way into the right pair of small hands, it will change their world.”—Aaron Renier, creator of The Unsinkable Walker Bean
“Packed full of learning potential and guaranteed hours of absorbed child activity; not only is this crammed full of comic-making ideas, it also gives an insight into how some picture book artists work. A thoroughly enjoyable and totally brilliant activity book: I envisage fights ensuing over my copy!”—Red Reading Hub
“This book claims to be aimed at 7-10 year olds but I think it would be fun for kids of all ages. There is so much to learn and do on every page. Forget loads of boring text, your lessons on how to make your own comic are mostly presented in comic format. There are other lessons which involve puzzles and learning to draw, but each is simple and fun. But just because you are having fun doesn’t mean that you are not learning skills and this book has a ton of them to learn. All three of my kids have found this book fun and useful. They are aged, 8, 11 and 13 years and all love drawing. The two eldest love making comics and already have many creations. This book has helped them to tone up on their skills, both in writing and drawing. The lessons are well presented and funny and each page has something interactive so the learning never stops. Neither does the fun.”—Raisie Bay “Smiley uses the likeable cartoon duo of Peanut the Turtle and Bramble the Bear to humorously relate clear instructions which break down comics making and storytelling into its various components of drawing, basic plotting, inking, and lettering. His reassuring and gentle proceed at your own pace approach encourages practice and exploration using one’s imagination and observation of the real world and how to play with different vantage points for emphasis and visual interest. . . . [Let’s Make Comics' s] skill building structure and clarity will guide anyone with curiosity regardless of age through the process. Adults and children doing these activities together could make for a memorable bonding experience or possibly rekindle a long ago interest in art or comics.”—Gay League
“A fun, well-designed and kid-friendly workbook which, if the instructions are carefully followed, will crank up and start the engine of comics in the mind and heart of anyone who’s ever wanted to try their hand at making friends on paper.”—Chris Ware, author of Building Stories
"Smiley leads readers through a roller-coaster ride of 90 jam-packed activity pages that offers a foundation for any budding cartoonist."—llustoria Mag
"Let’s Make Comics reminds me of a juvenile version of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and in a logical world may someday be considered just as important as stepping stone for the creators of the future."—Forces of Geek