The foreword by the author of the book
It's an odd life being a cartoonist. On first hearing that you earn your living drawing pictures, people usually react with a mixture of disbelief and reverence. So, after you've established that there's no "proper" job you do besides cartooning, you'll often get sort of confession that goes something like, "Of course, I can't draw". Take my word for it, everyone can draw.
The same set of ideas that makes it so out of keeping for an everyday person to do something as mysterious and magical as drawing for a living also makes it seem unachievable. But the simple fact is that we have our sights set too high. We're taught that, as "art", drawing is a highly specialized skill that no one but an expert can - or should - practise. But if you can put an idea or an observation across in a drawing - no matter how simple it is - then you are a cartoonist. Expecting every cartoon to be smooth and accomplished is as nonsensical as saying that all handwriting has to be neat.
So a cartoon is, simply put, a drawing that says something. This is not the way the word was always understood. Originally a cartoon was a full-sized preparatory drawing for a wall painting, a tapestry or occasionally a mosaic. The word comes from "cartone", the paste board the Italians used for such drawings in the 14th and 15th centuries. It wasn't until about 250 years ago that satirical drawings and humorous caricatures began to be called cartoons. Advances in popular printing made sure of their continued acceptance in newspapers and pamphlets. By the end of the 19th century the illustrated narrative had evolved into the strip cartoon - a story where the words became part of each picture. Despite all the upheaval of this century, the simple cartoon is still with us. In newspapers, magazines, advertisements and T-shirts the need to make a picture that has something to say continues.
The purpose of this book is to provide as comprehensive a selec¨tion of ways and means to cartoon as possible. The encyclopaedia is divided into three sections.
Whether your interest lies in being professional or amateur, be prepared for that semi-amazed look you'll get from people when you tell them what you do. It really is a funny old life being a cartoonist. Have fun!
- The first section gives a comprehensive analysis of drawing materials available to the cartoonist.
- The second section, Techniques, provides in-depth coverage of cartooning techniques and basic principles. This section is divided alphabetically by technique and cross-refers, where appropriate, to other related techniques. Included here is an entry on presentation and publication - for those of you who want to have a stab at earning some money.
- Section three, Themes, comprises a gallery of professional drawings arranged in five genres: satire and comment, caricature, humour, strips and cartoon illustration with a critical com¨mentary on each drawing.
A comprehensive A-Z directory covering all aspects of the cartoonist's art.
Includes practical advice for every aspiring cartoonist, from choosing the correct materials and improving drawing skills, to finding inspiration and capturing humour
In the A-Z of techniques, specially commissioned artwork and step-by-step demonstrations show how to use pen and brush drawing, tonal shading and colour in a variety of expressive ways
Explores people and animals, backgrounds, and compositional considerations, as well as clever 'shorthand' devices and the specialized elements of caricature
A fascinating gallery of professional artwork demonstrates the techniques in context and the various genres of cartooning
1st edition 2002, Pb, 176pp, full colour throughout, 22.3 x 22.3 cm