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Create comic & manga art in Photoshop, Manga Studio 5, SketchUp and more!


hours of

Manga Skills Use layer techniques to



colour your manga art

Custom brushes hi-res psds And more

learn to‌ Create amazing comic environments Give your comic heroines personality Use perspective in your manga art Design a hero with a strong silhouette

Character Art Master the pro techniques to paint a Marvel heroine, with manga artist Stanley Lau!

Dynamic Poses Draw heroes that swing off the page!



Comic Rules Sharpen up on foreshortening

WELCOME… Creating comic and manga art is a fantastic way to hone your digital art skills. Whether you want to learn how to draw anatomy, ink manga characters, compose environments or paint expressive figures, mastering the fundamentals of comic art will improve your techniques and skills as an artist. Inside this special issue of ImagineFX you will discover how to refine your line art with expert artists including Stanley Lau, colour and ink using the latest digital software with Chester Ocampo and learn how to mix 3D software techniques with 2D in order to plan your comic page environments with 2000 AD’s Dylan Teague. If you want more inspiration, then we take a look at DC’s two most iconic characters, Wonder Woman and Superman. We catch up with artists past and present to discover why the designs of these comic legends are as relevant today as they have always been. From inspirational art to insightful tutorials, Comic Artist is your ultimate art resource!

Ian Dean, Editor 4

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| Editor’s Letter |

Comic Artist is a special edition of ImagineFX, the only magazine dedicated to fantasy and sci-fi art. Our aim is to help artists to improve both their traditional and digital art skills. ore! find out m to m o .c fx .imagine Visit www


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he secret to Simone’s success is plain old hard work. Simone focuses a huge amount of energy on the subtleties of the shading in his panels. In true Italian style, the Tuscany-based illustrator is all about chiaroscuro. “Occasionally, I also use pencils but 80 to 90 per cent of the time I use watercolour or acrylic, and I add a lot of water to the acrylics to use them as though they were watercolours,” he says in impeccable English, but with a strong Italian accent and a lot of passion. “Only seldom do I redefine, or clean up my shading with pencil. I’ll use a very soft pencil such as a 3, 4 or 5B.” Simone has worked exclusively with Marvel since 2006, predominantly as a

“After a day’s work, I wash, and all those colours drip from my hands. It just feels great.”

cover artist, including various regular titles and mini-series starring the likes of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil, the X-Men and Iron Man. He even co-created Romulus, a new villain for Wolverine to face. However, his first break in US comics came after he went to New York to find work. Living in Brooklyn, Simone took the subway to Manhattan day after day

ARTIST INSIGHT GET INSPIRED “One of the artists whose work really inspired me a lot in trying to come up with my vision of Asgard was Antoni Gaudi, the Spanish architect. His buildings were a major inspiration for me in coming up with my own vision of Asgard.”

to show comic editors his portfolio. Just days before returning to Italy, his efforts were rewarded and he landed the gig on Grant Morrison’s Shining Knight miniseries for DC. “I think that was – and still is – the key moment in my entire career,” says Simone. “It gave me the chance to work with one of the best writers, if not the best right now, in the comic book industry, from day one,” he continues. “That was a big challenge, but the biggest challenge back then was to be able to meet deadlines – that crazy fast pace that the American comic book market requires you to do.”


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| Simone Bianchi |


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HOW TO USE FORESHORTENING IN YOUR ART Covering basic concepts in posing, foreshortening and finishes, ALVIN LEE shows you how he draws and paints a dynamic comic book character

© Marvel. © Udon. © Capcom


reating a dynamic and engaging character pose can seem either really easy or very complicated depending on how you choose to see it. For me, it’s quite simple once I’ve broken it down into a process of steps. There are an infinite amount of poses you can use for your character and it may seem impossible to settle on just one. However, look for a deeper understanding of the character’s personality and how this may affect their body language. I try to imagine what the motivation is for the pose, and how I can enrich that story. Sometimes it’s something as subtle as

ON THE DISC Watch Alvin paint plus find his process images and final artwork.

changing the direction of the eyes, or altering the expression of their hands. The devil’s in the details, and every aspect will strengthen your case. Before getting started, I need to consider the dimensions of the image I’m working with. Being portrait or landscape greatly affects the overall pose. General guidelines in photography such as the ‘Rule of thirds’ also play a part in where the head may be in my layout.

During the initial layouts, I have a series of cues I try to hit for each thumbnail that will help in creating my final pose. For example, twisting the torso will usually convey movement. In this workshop, I’ll be drawing a portrait of Marvel’s X-23 using some of these dynamic cues and executing them in a simple step-by-step process. Alvin made his mark in the world of comics creating art for Marvel, DC, Image and Udon Comics. He’s since moved into illustration for video games and multimedia, and teaches for Gnomon Workshop and Schoolism.

Turn over to see how Alvin uses foreshortening in a dynamic pose…


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Š Marvel 2013. All rights reserved.

Photoshop | Use foreshortening in your art


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Photoshop | Design a male manga hero


DESIGN A MALE MANGA HERO Leading comic and manga artist CHESTER OCAMPO reveals how he painted this hi-tech, special effects-laden action hero pin-up


everal types of male characters populate the anime and manga universe. They range from the archetypal males seen in mainstream works to the more complex and nuanced males of cult hits. One way to think about creating a male manga character is: imagine he has a masculinity-femininity slider (similar to Character Creation in a JRPG) not only for physical appearance, but personality too. Traditional male manga physical features such as ‘defined musculature’ can be combined with traditional female

personality traits like ‘nurturing’; the more unlikely the combination, the more atypical the character. As for sci-fi elements, this is indicated through the character’s technology – is he a mecha pilot, a time-travelling warrior, a cyborg chef? Gadgets, powers, and special effects express the kind of science fiction story the character is involved in. Unlike a full-length story that shows how a character behaves, speaks, thinks, and grows, the character’s heroism in a standalone pin-up illustration is implied through his facial expression, pose,

ON THE DISC Watch Chester as he paints his sci-fi hero on the video, plus find his custom brushes and art on the disc.

costume design, and colour palette. For this illustration, I decide to go with an early-20s futuristic swordsman who can summon a holographic battle aura for his special attacks. He’s slim yet muscular, young but well-trained, and a little cocky. I have a rough back story for him in my head, and that’s enough to get started... Chester Ocampo is a freelance illustrator based in Manila. True to his zodiac sign, he is quite the hermit crab, albeit with a multimedia entertainment shell. He wishes to rejoin civilization one of these days!

Turn over to see how Chester paints a futuristic hero… 71

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DRAWING DYNAMIC POSES ON THE DISC Watch Dave as he creates his image of Spider-Man and find his brushes and process images on your disc.


reating a dynamic pose for your characters is essential for breathing life into your illustrations. We all have our own unique way of standing, sitting, walking, running and jumping. The characters you draw are no different. The way a character moves and acts on the page can tell us everything we need to know about them with just a few lines. It’s

imperative that those lines look fluid, loose and natural. Each and every character that you draw has their own thoughts and feelings, and those emotions should be implied not just by the expression on their face but by their body language as well. This is why being able to create an interesting pose is important for drawing strong characters on the page.

Turn over to see how Dave creates an energetic image…

In this workshop I will show you how to think through a pose making it exciting, and create an energetic illustration of Spider-Man. Dave is a freelance illustrator, comic book and storyboard artist. His work has featured on many comic and pop culture websites. He has also done storyboarding work for television and music videos.

© Marvel 2013. All rights reserved.

Wanting a dynamic and expressive image of Spider-Man, DAVE BARDIN creates a pose where the fun and feeling of Spidey’s character explodes off the page


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Photoshop | Drawing dynamic poses


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| Disc contents |

ON YOUR DISC To support our tutorials, your disc includes a wealth of resources to aid your creative process. From how-to videos to step-by-step tutorial images, you’ll find this disc essential



Video tutorials Follow artists’ tutorials with their video walkthroughs, including Stanley Lau showing you how to improve your workflow, Paco Rico Torres revealing how to create an original superhero and PJ Holden sharing his techniques for creating a greywash comic splash page.

Process images Every tutorial in the issue is backed by the artists’ original tutorial images, sketches, WIPs and process images.

Final artwork Each tutorial’s final art is collected on the disc to study and explore. There’s no better way to uncover how an artist works than examining their work.

Custom brushes Emulate the style of our artists and develop your art using these brushes.

Your CD has been thoroughly scanned and tested at all stages of its production, but we still recommend you run a virus checker and have an up-to-date backup of your hard disk.

EDITORIAL IAN DEAN EDITOR PAUL TYSALL ART EDITOR CATHERINE HOOD PRODUCTION EDITOR SIMON ARBLASTER CD EDITOR CONTRIBUTIONS Stanley Lau, Alvin Lee, PJ Holden, Tim Mcburnie, Chester Ocampo, Saejin Oh, James Ghio, Dave Bardin, Dylan Teague, Kris Anka, Cris Delara, Paco Rico Torres, Simone Bianchi, Xephonia, Olivia, Mark Schultz, Mike Mayhew, Genzoman, Elsevilla, Patipat Asavasena, Dan Vincent, Richard Hood, Darren Phillips CONTACT US POST ImagineFX Presents, Future Publishing Ltd, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2BW, UK PHONE +44 (0) 1225 442244 EMAIL WEB TWITTER: @imaginefx FACEBOOK: CD PROBLEMS +44 (0) 1225 822743


SENIOR CREATIVES DAN OLIVER editor-in-chief, digital design PAUL NEWMAN senior editor STEVE GOTOBED group art director – creative & tech ROBIN ABBOTT creative director JIM DOUGLAS editorial director

Future Publishing does not accept

ADVERTISING +44 (0) 207 0424124 CHARLIE SAID advertising sales director JAS RAI sales manager

responsibility for any disruption, damage and/ or loss to your data or computer system that may occur while using this disc or the programs and data on it. In the unlikely event

MARKETING PHILIPPA NEWMAN group marketing manager philippa.newman@futurenet,com CIRCULATION JANINE GRAHAM trade marketing executive RICHARD JEFFERIES international account manager PRINT & PRODUCTION STEPHANIE SMITH production co-ordinator MARK CONSTANCE production manager NOLA COKELY ad production manager NATHAN DREWETT ad production co-ordinator MICHELLE ROGERS operational purchasing manager LICENSING REGINA ERAK senior licensing & syndication manager FUTURE PUBLISHING LIMITED DECLAN GOUGH publisher NIAL FERGUSON group publishing director MARK WOOD chief executive Printed in the UK by William Gibbons Distributed by Seymour Distribution Ltd +44 (0) 207 429 4000

of your disc being defective, please email our support team at for further assistance. If you would prefer to talk to a member of our reader support team in © 2013 Future Publishing Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Future Publishing Limited is at Beauford Court, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/ services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.

person you are invited to call +44 (0) 1225 822743. If you have any comments about the software we include, or you have suggestions for software you would like to see in the future, please email Scott Ewart at scott.

We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


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Comic sampler