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MemberDecember 5, 2021 at 4:45 am
Knowledge is power, and personally I love getting books.
I was going to suggest Nate Piekos book on lettering, but @andresbriano beat me to it.
I’m a sucker for How To Draw books myself, so “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” by John Buscema and Stan Lee would be great for any aspiring artist. There’s also a great book titled “How To Draw” by Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling that I would recommend for more advanced artists (I certainly wished I’d found it sooner), or the “Framed Ink” books by Marcos Mateu-Mestre too. A fun one I picked up a couple months back that would make a good stocking stuffer (it’s that small) is the Charlton Comics “Comic Book Guide for the Artist-Writer-Letterer” By Nicola Cuti.
Of course Impact Books “Comic Artist Photo Reference: People and Poses” (by some guy) really transformed my art after getting a copy back around 2007 or so. My copy’s even signed by the author! I would get that for anyone looking to up their game, and/or also the Colossal Collection of Action Poses (by the same publisher). There’s a great CD series available, too.
If you get enough lead time, I would also recommend the “Real Action Pose” 01 and 02 from Japan, as well as the “New Pose Catalogue”, I think both from Tankobon books. It took a couple months for my copies to ship all the way to the States, so that might have to wait for a later holiday, like St. Patrick’s Day or something. Many of the images for these books can be found on Pinterest or elsewhere on the interwebs, but there’s really no substitute for having a book you can flip through quickly. Plus I’m a firm believer in supporting the actual publishers and authors.
On the educational side, Will Eisener’s “Comics and Sequential Art” is a mainstay, as well as Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”. Chances are, though, if they’re serious about making comics they may already have these.
On the non-book side, those Body-Kun figures look pretty cool, but then again many of the Marvel Legends figures will substitute in a pinch. High-quality sculpts are more common than ever, and I don’t know many artists who will turn down having an action figure handy for figuring out poses, lighting, angles or even just simple inspiration.
A buddy of mine was very excited to get a Japanese “King Jim DM100” for writing, which I saw billed as a “distraction free writing implement”, which is to say, it’s what we would have called a word-processor back in the day. It’s strange to me that a keyboard NOT connecting to the internet is considered a feature now, but there you have it.
When all else fails, an 11″X17″ pad of Strathmore Bristol and/or a crowquill with a bottle of ink and/or a common drawing set will usually not go unappreciated, either. Copic sets are quite nice, too, as well as new sketchbooks.