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Eisner: Expressive Anatomy For Comics

Eisner: Expressive Anatomy For Comics back

Will Eisner


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Third and final volume in Will's highly instructive series (COMICS AND SEQUENTIAL ART and GRAPHIC STORYTELLING AND VISUAL NARRATIVE also back in print and in stock), it may look old-fashioned on the surface to those just wanting to be shown superheroes flexing their muscles, but it's the WIZARD BEST OF BASIC TRAINING books which are comparatively superficial. The clue's in the word "Narrative", for here Will goes beyond single snap-shots to show you how the body reacts, whilst detailing the reasoning behind these reactions based on, oooh, six decades of research, experience and putting it all into pioneering practice. Here's Fear, for example:

"A reaction to the imminence of bodily harm causes a sudden alteration of posture. The body is positioned for defence, flight, resistance, surrender or to intercept a blow. Physique (fat or thin) can influence posture by inhibiting or enabling the fluidity of movement. While an athletic body will poise for a fight, a weak one will shrink or seek the nearest shelter. Under threat of disappointment or anticipation of bad news, the muscles tighten and the body becomes rigid. The face exhibits various reactions to a physical threat. Eyes widen in an animalistic effort to see the source of danger, or other enemies, and find an avenue of escape. In emotional threat, the eyes narrow or close to shut out the bad news."

Personally I wouldn't even attempt to start drawing comics now without having first read all three of Eisner's books and Scott McCloud's UNDERSTANDING COMICS and MAKING COMICS. Why be ignorant when you can start out informed?
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