If you're in a mad rush to get your pre-Christmas plans sorted, I'll sum up this review in seven words: If you like comics, buy this book!
Here's a slightly more in-depth analysis for those of you already roasting your chestnuts by an open fire...
How Comics Work is an 192 page softback book by Dave Gibbons and Tim Pilcher detailing the whole process of comics creation in a very relaxed and absorbing way. Under lesser hands, such a book could be tedious and dry, but Dave and Tim are articulate and affable chaps whose personalities shine through to make this a very accessible read for all.
Dave Gibbons has always been an all-rounder in comics, having mastered all the skills such as writing, pencilling, inking, colouring, and lettering, and he takes us through each process with helpful tips and anecdotes. A great advantage is that Dave has saved so much material over the years that he's able to illustrate each chapter with numerous previously-unseen sketches, roughs, page breakdowns etc, and a good helping of finished art too.
There are also chapters on the creators who inspired Dave, and those whose techniques he respects, to aid in the demonstrations of comics creation.
Tim Pilcher, a writer and editor of long standing, also knows his stuff, and supplies his own commentary alongside Dave's teachings. This approach works considerably well, and adds to the enjoyment of the book.
This is a book that should be an essential read for everyone working in comics, or with ambitions to be a comics creator, and also for any fan with an interest in the behind-the-scenes nuts and bolts of comics. Even if you might not use all the techniques yourself, it's important to know what goes into constructing the finished product.
An absolutely fantastic book that everyone reading this blog needs on their bookshelf. Click here to order a copy.