There is a lot to know about drawing a good comic book character. Superheroes and Beyond will show you how to draw male and female heroes and villains, lay out panels, plan backgrounds, place speech bubbles, and create dynamic poses and splash pages.
There are three to five steps to follow when drawing characters like the Teen Superhero, the Savage Starship Commander, and the Sci-Fi Alien Queen (seen in a ĺ view). Author and illustrator Christopher Hart delivers costume tips for characters such as the Basic Superhero and the Vampire Chick, and he outlines foreshortening techniques both visually and textually for all of the characters in chapter three. Hart also provides information on how to add excitement to boring panel sequences and draws examples of what might be seen in locations such as City Hall, a ballroom, a prison visiting room, and a police precinct. The best feature of this book has to be when the author points out mistakes - common mistakes beginners make when drawing features such as eyebrows or foreheads. He also shows examples of poor layout and incorrect speech balloon and caption placement; when he writes about panel sequencing, he compares a beginnerís approach to a proís approach.
Although the black-and-white and color illustrations are fascinating to see, some inexperienced artist might find a few of the characters difficult to draw because of the shading techniques and the details seen on the bodies and faces. Illustration labels and sidebar information do add extra value to the book, though, as do the reference pages on skeletal and muscular structure.
Hart has written art instruction books about manga, cartooning, comics and anatomy. Over the years, his books have been recognized by the Young Adult Library Services Association and the American Library Association.