Overview: A collection of some of the finest artists in comics share some of the secrets to their craft.
Analysis: When my editor asked me if I could review this book I thought, “Okay, well at least this will be informative.” But after taking a look at the book, what I found myself doing, however, was pouring over every single page.
What Masters of Comics does, is confirm that there is no one way to make comics. Whether you are an artist or a writer, an avid reader or just mildly interested in comics – this book does an amazing job of informing you of the artistic process that goes into making still images come to life.
The book is fairly large. A nice size for your bookshelf, or more likely your coffee table, in both dimensions and in page count as it sits at almost two hundred pages. The cover is striking. The use of color, a sunset yellow-orange, the mate finish paired with the gloss lettering, topped with the collage of comic art from the book’s interior pages lets you know exactly what this book is about – visual storytelling.
The pages are pretty thick, more like card-stock than typical paper. Because of this, you know this will hold up for quite some time. The only downside, and this is minor, is that you’ll often feel like you are turning two pages instead of just one.
Each section features a standalone interview with an artist, which could have been a very boring read if this was phoned-in. Repeatedly seeing the same questions answered would do that. Although each opening question is usually the same, it is actually very informative as you get a wide range of responses to the same question. The interviewer allows the artists to dictate where the conversation goes from there. This keeps you, as the reader, engaged throughout with every single interview. You learn a lot about their processes, their work schedule, and their workspace.
Now, you might think, “Great. They found a way to take a book about art & turn it into words instead.” But, like the very medium this book wants you to understand, it is overlayed with photographs of each artists’ workspace, the artist themselves, and the art that you’ve come to know from them. I wasn’t just excited to read about the artists that I knew before, but also people I have never even heard of. I mean even people whose art I was never even a fan of, I now appreciate because I know about the work that they put into their craft. It is those little things they do that I never noticed. I was also blown away by how many of them primarily use traditional methods in our current age. How can someone be so talented as to make something that perfectly symmetrical without using a computer?!
Final Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book. My only complaint is that I believe I found a handful of grammar mistakes that slipped through the cracks, but who knows. Maybe it’s correct and I’m an idiot. Overall, if you love the artistic process and want to understand it more, get this book. You’ll love it.
Editor’s Note: Insight Editions provided TBU with a review copy of this title. You can purchase your own copy by heading over to Amazon.