Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: How to Draw (Parragon/Scholastic)

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This review was first published on: Sep 2013.

Background...

Parragon (in the UK) and Scholastic (in Australia/NZ) have been publishing a lot of activity books and sets over the past couple of years. It's no surprise at all that a Spider-Man "How to Draw" books is among them.

Included in a plastic pack on the front are six pencils, a sharpener, and an eraser.

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man: How to Draw (Parragon/Scholastic)
Sep 2012 : SM Title
Find ISBN 9781445477831
Publisher:  Parragon Book Service, Ltd., Scholastic Australia, Inc. (Australia - ISBN 9781742835143)
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Review

This isn't the only "How to Draw" book from Parragon. They have also published Marvel Super Heroes: How to Draw (Parragon/Scholastic), an Marvel Super Heroes how to draw book, half of which was also included in the Marvel Super Heroes: How To Draw Set (Parragon/Scholastic).

This Spider-Man How to Draw book is better than the Marvel one, because it focuses specifically on one single character and thus can offer much more detail. Yeah, the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus get a quick mention at the end, but they only get seven pages between them. The rest of the 48 pages are all dedicated to learning how to draw Spidey.

For each topic, a series of sketches transitions from a few simple lines to a completed figure. You'll learn how to draw Spider-Man in various poses. Instructions also cover drawing webbing, Spidey's mask, Peter's face, backpack, and then a couple of villains to finish off.

In General...

Learning to draw people (even super-people) isn't a quick process. You need to study shape, anatomy, and basic technique. Then you need to practice for weeks, months, years until your fingers are stained and your hands are weary. The danger that I perceive in most books like this is that they inevitably project the message that you can become a comic book artist by reading six pages and copying twelve drawings.

Having said that, at least this book is relatively substantial in comparison to the Marvel Super Heroes version. It does still have the feel of offering short-cuts, but 40 pages of Spidey is probably enough to qualify as a decent lesson. It's not a course, or even a subject. But it is at least a lesson. Five hundred more of those, and you might become an artist!

Overall Rating...

I liked this book. I think it did the very best it could within the page count and the target complexity level. I was almost tempted to take up a pencil and reconfirm my own ineptitude. Fortunately, realism prevailed over enthusiasm.

But my own lack of talent doesn't stop me from wanting to encourage others. And I would encourage you to consider this as a great gift for the aspiring young artist in your life. Or just get one for yourself.

Four webs.