Colossal Collection of Action Poses
By Buddy Scalera
In his new book from Impact, Colossal Collection of Action Poses, Buddy Scalera once again takes the mundane and makes it magnificent. There are hundreds of pose books out there but it is the choice of poses and creator demonstrations that sets this book apart.
One of the most interesting style choices is the variety of models that Scalera provides the reader with. First he divides the models by gender, giving specific areas of the book to male and female models and at the end, bringing them together for appropriate poses. The bodies range from the slight and fit to the impressively muscular, and while Scalera does shy away from including extremes in body types, he offers a good range for the potential artist to choose from. Another aspect of the poses that makes this book a stand out is the choices of poses. Battle, flight, reeling from attack and the proper handling of various weapons are just a few of the poses that are important to the comic book artist. In addition to the action poses, there are several pages dedicated to expressions, something that most books gloss over or at best, make a cartoonish stab at trying to convey. These are real people giving real expressions, the slight nuance to a smile or a grimace will give the art work that little something special that will elevate it above the norm.
Another aspect of the book and the reason that I am particularly drawn to this book is the guest commentators that provide tutorials based on some of the models. And what makes this really special is the eclectic nature of the creators that Scalera chose. Wolverine artist Sean Chen explains how to use photo reference. Strangers in Paradise and Echo creator Terry Moore shows us all how to think in three dimensions. We learn how to draw a character in a background from the incomparable Paul Chadwick and how to work from studies by the irascible Billy Tucci. These are but a few of the stellar and informative instructions that accompany each section of the book.
Buddy Scalera manages to bring his years of experience as both a writer and an educator to bear once again in what I see as a must have in the library of any serious comic and graphic novel artist. It provides not only the visuals that will no doubt become indispensable to artists (especially when there are even more available as web content) but the lessons given avoid the "dumbing down" of language that many art instruction books are guilty of and gets straight down to creating. Buddy Scalera's Colossal Collection of Action Poses is a book that has it all. And in a world where so much of our information and instruction comes from a computer screen, it is nice to see a book that proves that print is not only viable but important.
John Wilson- John Wilson is Chief Creative Officer and Blog Master at Comic Related and Online Editor for Sketch Magazine. Additionally, he is returning to his own comics work with both writing and drawing for several different companies and does multimedia art. In his rare free time, he reads multiple magazines and torments his beautiful wife and their goofy dog.
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