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18 Tips for Comic Book Artists by Jean “Moebius” Giraud: #3

Perspective achieved by Moebius in an a combination organic and architectural environment.

3) Knowledge of perspective is of supreme importance. Its laws provide a good, positive way to manipulate or hypnotize your readers.

This low angle view by Gir emphasizes the drama and places the reader at audience level.
A nice bird's eye perspective by Gir for a Lieutenant Blueberry story serves to establish the geography of the story's setting for the reader.

It is better to work from reality and draw within real spaces, instead of attempting to create your perspective by copying from photographs.

Simple one point perspectives like Gir Blueberry panel this can be very effective. A favorite camera view of films from the 1930s, I use it in my storyboards all the time.

Jean Giraud was a master of perspective. Another master in this discipline is the Belgian comic book artist Hermann Huppen (known simply as “Hermann”). I especially like what Hermann did with perspective in his western series Comanche.

An effective opening splash panel by Hermann for his Comanche graphic novel series draws the reader right into the story.

Many of the panels in his Comanche books look like they’re in 3-D.

Hermann places his viewer right with the cowboys.

They draw you right into the world Hermann has created, involving you and making that world seem even more real.

Hermann uses perspective in this mostly organic setting to convey a real sense of space.

When you work from photographs you are working from a second hand distorted view. The camera has only one “eye”, so you’re not seeing in 3-D. There is also the distortion of the lens to take into consideration. It is nearly always better to draw from life, no matter whether it’s people, landscapes or architecture. Your work will always be better than if you had used a photo.

This high angle view by Hermann is incredibly three-dimensional.
Hermann uses perspective to make the reader feel the cattle is going to pass right under him.
A fine bird's eye view by Hermann.

An exception to this is when it is important to capture a likeness (as with movie posters or in depicting historical figures). Obviously, you can’t always get a movie star to pose for you at your studio. It’s harder still to revive the dead for that purpose (plus, there’s the smell and rot factors).

Depth here is this organic landscape is achieved by Hermann using perspective and values (dark and light systems).
A journey with Moebius is always an illuminating trip (in all meanings of the word).

5 thoughts on “18 Tips for Comic Book Artists by Jean “Moebius” Giraud: #3

  1. Bill- Love the new posts. Also, Hermann has been a fairly new vein for me to mine and I always purchase his books. Especially like his Jeremiah work or westerns. Fabulous stuff! Wish-to-God some one would reprint Moebius books state side. Looking forward to the rest of the rules.

  2. All wonderfully executed perspective shots…thanks!

  3. Let me just piggy back on what Jim said. To my knowledge there isn’t any big coffee table straining tome of Moebius art. Am I wrong about that? And if not is there a way that we could petition a publisher to make one?

  4. Please get the Moebius books from Graphitti designs ( They have big collection of Moebius(Jean Giraud). Hardcover/Color/Close to coffee table

  5. […] resources I found particularly helpful were these helpful  tips from Jean “Moebius” Giraud, this tutorial for basic perspective techniques by Will […]

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