18 Tips for Comic Book Artists by Jean “Moebius” Giraud: #6

Not really a dead hose; more like an undead horse. This is one of my drawings, not Jean's.

6) Alejandro Jodorowsky says I don’t like drawing dead horses. Well, it is very difficult.

Maybe Jean doesn’t, but I do! Me love drawing dead things. Of course, this wasn’t really the point that Jean was making…

Beautifully executed Moebius pen and ink drawing from his book Angel Claw.

It’s also very difficult to draw a sleeping body or someone who has been abandoned, because in most comics it’s always action that is being studied. It’s much easier to draw people fighting — that’s why Americans nearly always draw superheroes. It’s much more difficult to draw people that are talking, because that’s a series of very small movements — small, yet with real significance.

Building to the action in this Jack Kirby "Mister Miracle" page.

I learned this in a big way from inking Jack Kirby — the king of America’s superhero artists. Jack’s work is famously known for the jaw-dropping power of his action scenes — but I learned that one of the keys to Jack’s making those scenes so powerful was the quiet moments that happened beforehand. It’s about the heightening of emotion using contrast. Plus, if you look at Jack’s work, you’ll see he mastered the difficult task of making those quiet scenes interesting. One of the ways he did that was by never forgetting the humanity of his characters and expressing that humanity in each panel.

Superhero battle jamboree drawn by the talented Leinil Francis Yu.

This counts for more because of our human need for love or the attention of others. It’s these little things that speak of personality, of life. Most superheroes don’t have any personality; they all use the same gestures and movements (at this point in the lecture, to the amusement of the audience, Moebius imitated gestures of ferocity, running and fighting).

I would have liked to have seen that!

Next: The Importance of Clothing

2 Responses to “18 Tips for Comic Book Artists by Jean “Moebius” Giraud: #6”

  1. Rick Catizone says:

    Maybe down the road you could share some of your thoughts on working with Kirby. His work was the first I responded to when I was about 8. I was really disappointed to find that many books had his wonderful covers, and rather weak interior art…but then its hard to match Jack’s work for sure.

  2. Rick Catizone says:

    I also love the perfect line work on the girl…..

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