I was a teen drawing comics with a Bic pen on notebook paper when I walked into a Half-Price Book Store and saw a page of original comic on the wall for sale. I didn’t know the artist or story but it was professional, old-school stuff for a horror story like a 1970’s Creepy magazine. It was hanging at eye level and I could stand right up to it and study a pro page for the first time. I must have stood there for 15 minutes with my nose 12 inches from the page studying it from corner to corner. It was the first time I’d ever been able to see how a pro uses a brush and pen on paper, the skillful draftsmanship, the extensive use of white-out for corrections and effects, the blue pencil ruled lettering, the paste-on’s… even the size of the page was something I’d never seen before, a proper 11 x 17 inch bristol page. I studied that page and thought, “I get it. I could do this. I WANT to do this.” It sort of changed my life. Looking at original art close up is WAAAAAAY different than looking at what is in print. A lot of what I know was learned by studying the originals of other artists.That’s what they mean by standing on the shoulders of those who came before you. So try to stand on the shoulders of the best, the giants. They seem to be in another league when you first look, but the more you look the more you see and then you get that break-through, the “Aha” moment.
So, I thought I’d post some close-ups from Motor Girl 3 for any young artists out there interested in the craft of comics. Look closely and you’ll see, “it’s just lines on paper” (R. Crumb). You can do this.
Click on the 3 art selections below to open them in their own page, then click again on the art to enlarge it fully.