Great Books for Cartoonists

shelved under Expert Opinions and Hobbies

If you want to be a good cartoonist, there are lots of books out there to help you along the way. These are a few of my favorites.


Cartoon Animation

by Preston Blair

There's a reason Preston Blair's instructional books have been in print in some form for nearly 60 years: if you study them, you will be a better cartoonist. He teaches the fundamentals of construction, layout, character types, appeal, and so much more. Whether you're a CGI animator or a comic strip cartoonist, absorb the concepts in this book and you'll have a strong foundation.


Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics

edited by Bill Blackbeard

Not only is this book huge, it's beautifully put together. It's the kind of book you'll want to preserve for your grandchildren. It contains a cross-section of comic strip history from the turn-of-the-20th Century through the 1970s. Gaze in wonder upon the gorgeous work of Winsor McCay, George Herriman, and many more. On a side note, anytime you see the name Bill Blackbeard on a book, you can bet it's worth a read. Hopefully someday his essays on comics will be collected in one place.


Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels

by Scott McCloud

McCloud's other books on comics are great, too, but this one gets into the nitty-gritty of actually creating sequential art and stories.


Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist

by Will Eisner

Will Eisner's influence on comic books cannot be overstated. He makes it all look so easy in this book, but once you begin to apply his lessons, you'll see how much hard work and brain power is involved in drawing a comprehensible story.


Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1951-1952

by Hank Ketcham

Composition, appeal, and style. Ketcham was a master at all three, as evidenced here.