Book Review – Simplified Anatomy for the Comic Book Artist

Overall Score: 2/5
Ease of Use: 3/5
Clarity: 4/5
Usefulness: 5/5

Overall Review (in brief)

Simplified Anatomy for the Comic Book Artist is good, solid book for artists even if it is a bit… simplified. That is the point, after all, and Christopher Hart Seems to accomplish it well. This is a simple ‘breakdown’ of anatomy. Rather than get too terribly specific about the details of each sinew of a muscle, he teaches the basic shape. In a world of deadlines and concept art sketch work, this seems a nearly mandatory book to have in your collection – even if you’ll only use it ‘once in a while’.

Book’s Best Feature(s)

Muscle Maps by Character Role – I think that this is brilliant. I plan to do a bunch of my own for my personal reference.

Muscle Groups – One at a Time – Here too, the book shines, though I think slightly less than with the muscle maps. This region feels a little more ‘common’ to the broad spectrum of other how to books out there, but Chris does do what this book intends – he simplifies things for us.

I usually worry a bit when I see Chris Hart‘s name associated with a book. I mean no offense to Chris – he simply seems to be aiming for a different audience than what I consider myself to be. Since I’m looking to get a feel for the full range of books out there, I thought that I would give this one a try anyway. I’m very glad that I did.

I’m really not trying to bust stones here, but the first sixty or so pages just struck me as filler. Maybe I’m too cocky for my own good and I think that I have a better grasp on the head/neck than I do, but it seemed like there were an awful lot of ‘blow up’ shots and they paid more attention to these than was really needed.

Where I really started feeling the value of the book was at page sixty-five where Chris begins looking at Body Types by Character Roles. The ‘muscle maps’ (as he calls them) of ‘standardized characters seemed very insightful to me. It seems a great way to start zeroing in on what you want your viewers to see or think about your characters without hanging a neon sign on your characters’ chests.