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Introduction
This book is for every boy and girl, every man and woman, who ever wanted to illustrate his or
her very own comic strip. Whether your goal is to do it only for your own enjoyment or to publish it
yourself or to work for a real publisher, large or small, great things are in this book for you to enjoy
and experience.

Drawing. Think about it. It has different from every other art form indeed, focused on the youth market,
been with us as far back as the in existence. And yet, why do some and after a certain age, readers in
caveman era. In fact, those early people still have the misconception the USA went on to other things.
cave paintings relating man’s primi- that comics are just for kids? Well, let’s It’s not that way in other countries.
tive adventures likely qualify as examine that a little bit, shall we? In Asia, comics known as manga
the world’s first comic strips. The Art isn’t just for kids, is it? Look at and manhwa are read by guys and
most beautiful thing is how they all those museums over our beautiful gals from ages eight to eighty (or
prove that anyone can draw! Yes, ball of a world, proudly displaying younger and older!) because of the
even if you think that you can’t all those masterpieces of paintings wide range of stories and subjects for
draw especially well, everyone and sketches and drawings—from everyone. Europe boasts a phenom-
has a sense of imagination. Some your city’s own museum to the artist enal, sophisticated grown-up market
totally talented titans have created down the street who wins third place for graphic novels. When I travel
and published well-received comic in the local art show. This isn’t for abroad and see the smartly dressed
strips and comic books from stick children alone, is it? How about those businesswoman or the blue-collar
figures. Others have latched on to multimillion-dollar masterpieces in man alike reading comics wherever
such computer programs as Poser the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the I go, I couldn’t be more pleased. So
and Sketchup to create characters Louvre? Hardly kids’ stuff, wouldn’t I continue to spread the good word
and entire worlds without ever you say? Those stunning statues in the about comics—to the United States of
worrying about a ruler and a Vatican, those panoramic paintings on America and to the world at large.
straight line. cathedral ceilings can’t be merely for Also, keep in mind that comic
There are no limits! Drawing bouncing babies in diapers, can they? books are not just about superhe
comes from your imagination, and And then there are stories. Are sto- roes. I know, sacrilege coming from
imagination is inspired by every- ries only for youngsters? Hamlet and the cocreator of Fantastic Four and
thing around you. Every sight, Othello? The Godfather? Schindler’s The Avengers, right? Not really.
sound, smell, taste, touch, thought, List? Tales for tots? Hardly. How Comics are a medium, not a genre.
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and intuition becomes part of your about the works of Stephen King or Remember that. As such, comic
imagination, and it is boundless. John Updike or Elmore Leonard? Not books can offer any and all kinds of
So stand tall! Through this book, exactly “Disney-fied” fairy tales for stories—adventure, anthropomor-
inspiring that limitless imagination, tykes, right? So why is it, in some phic, educational, exotica, fantasy,
you may reach the peak and pluck folks’ minds, the moment you put historical, humor, horror, political,
the proudest prize: knowledge. art and stories together, it becomes religious, romance, science fiction,
Hang loose! As a no-fear, all- a medium that’s just for kids? urban, western, and, yes, super-
fun zone, this book opens up to you I don’t quite get it, either. For a hero—and in combinations: super-
the joy, the thrill, the passion of long time, I wrote comic books with hero westerns! Urban science fiction!
putting pencil to paper, weaving college-age adults in mind, and of Historical horror! The mind reels.
wondrous worlds and calamitous course, it worked. Marvel attracted a All this, of course, is my typi-
characters. In other words, welcome lot of readers who might’ve thought cally long-winded way of saying
to this universe of imagination comics—some called ’em “fun- comic books can stack up against
that we love called comic books. nybooks” then—were kids’ stuff the best of short stories, novels,
One of the reasons I love comic before they tried it our way. Perhaps films, TV shows, video games, or
books so much is that they are it’s because a lot of comics were, any other story mediums. But that’s

10 Stan LEe’s How to Draw Comics

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not all. What distinguishes a comic characters they feel are part of their memories anew of some of the great-
book from other mediums? What lives. It’s more than just a memory; it’s est adventures with your favorite
makes our much-loved sequential the sight, the smell, the feel of hold- friends. It’s a unique, amazing art form
stories stand out from all the rest? ing it. You can reopen a comic book that you want to be a part of . . . these
It’s the specific kind of control the ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years thrilling things called comic books.
writer and artist have over the comic later, and a single glance at the cover We know how to read ’em. Now
book story they set out to tell. and the splash page can bring back let’s learn how to make ’em!
Think of it this way:
Short stories and novels give you
page after page of location descrip-
tions, but only a comic book can
conjure up those locations in front of
you and hold those images for you to
gaze at, for as long as you desire.
Movies give you big-budget action
and explosive excitement, but only
a comic book can bring the same
billion-dollar visual imagination to
the printed page with only one or two
people at the helm, their ideas undi-
luted by a thousand other contributors.
Television gives you serialized sto-
ries, but only a comic book can bring
you the innermost thoughts of its char-
acters without some cheesy voice-over.
Comic strips give you a sem-
blance of sequential art in a confined
space, but only a comic book can
expand and breathe and explode the
sequential experience into double-
page, triple-page, and quadruple-
page spreads—and beyond!
Video games give you a handheld,
pulse-pounding, action-packed adven-

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ture experience, but only a comic book
can do it without batteries, without
electronics, and without screens. (Try
rolling up your PS3 or PSP and stuff-
ing it into your back pocket some-
time, and you’ll know what I mean.)
What’s more, comic books bring
with them a love, a feeling of camara-
derie, and a collectibility missing from
most other mediums. Few folks collect
DVDs or novels or video games and
organize them lovingly and passion-
ately into long white boxes, reopening
them to savor the amazing artwork,
scintillating story lines, and chaotic
Original cover art showing Vince Colletta’s
inking over Jack Kirby’s pencils for Thor #132
(Thor vs. the Colonizers of Rigel).

Introduction 11

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Contributing writer: David Campiti Paperback Edition: 978-0-8230-0083-8


Hardcover Excelsior Edition: 978-0-8230-0085-2
Contributing artists: Neal Adams, Erica Awano, Dan Borgones, Nick
Bradshaw, Ariel Burgess, Aaron Campbell, Chris Caniano, Eman Special thanks to POW! Entertainment, Inc., Gil Champion, Michael
Casallos, John Cassaday, Frank Cho, Vince Colletta, Bong Dazo, Mike Kelleher, Arthur Lieberman, Luke Lieberman, Mike Kelly, Roy Thomas,
Deodato, Jr., Steve Ditko, Tina Francisco, Ken Haeser, Tabitha Haeser, John Romita, Glass House Graphics, Heritage Auctions, Peter Sanderson,
Bob Kane, Gil Kane, Michael Kelleher, Jack Kirby, Fabio Laguna, Michael Lovitz, Digikore, Carol Pinkus, Dave Althoff, Ryan Potter, Nick
Jonathan Lau, Jae Lee, Jim Lee, Jun Lofamia, Gemma Magno, Jezreel Barrucci, Juan Collado, Josh Johnson, and Josh Green.
Morales, Earl Norem, Ariel Padilla, Cliff Richards, Al Rio, John Romita,
Stan Lee, Excelsior, Stan Lee Presents™ and © 2010 Stan Lee and POW!
Alex Ross, Mel Rubi, Steve Sadowski, Gaspar Saladino, Edgar Salazar,
Entertainment, Inc.
Mel Joy San Juan, Alejandro Sicat, Joe Sinnott, Anthony Tan, Wilson
How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way © 1979 Stan Lee & John Buscema
Tortosa, Michael Turner
Silver Surfer Graphic Novel © 2010 Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Paperback edition cover artists: John Romita; color by Dean White Sherlock Holmes & Complete Alice in Wonderland ™ & © 2010 Savage
Tales Entertainment, LLC
Excelsior limited edition cover artist: Francesco Francavilla
Bring the Thunder ™ & © 2010 Savage Tales Entertainment, LLC & State
Street Films
Copyright © 2010 by Dynamite Entertainment
Black Terror®, Death Defying Devil®, Green Lama ® & Project
Superpowers ™ & © 2010 Super Power Heroes, LLC
All rights reserved.
Zorro ™ & © 2010 Zorro Productions, Inc.
Published in the United States by Watson-Guptill Publications
Red Sonja ® & © 2010 Red Sonja, LLC
an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group
Jungle Girl ® & © 2010 Jungle Girl, LLC
a division of Random House, Inc., New York
Totally Tina ™ & © 2010 Tina Francisco
www.crownpublishing.com
Buck Rogers ™ 2010 Dille Family Trust
www.watsonguptill.com
Single image from Awakenings by Phil Miller © 2010 Len Mihalovich
WATSON-GUPTILL is a registered trademark and the WG and Horse Vampirella ® & © 2010 DFI
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designs are trademarks of Random House, Inc. Re-Animator ® & © 2010 Re-Animator, LLC
Dynamite Entertainment ® 2010 DFI. All Rights Reserved.
Produced in association with Dynamite Entertainment
Marvel, and all related character names and their distinctive
likenesses: ™ & © 2010 Marvel Entertainment, LLC and its subsidiaries.
All rights reserved.
Images and likenesses of DC Comics characters ™ and © 2010 DC
www.dynamiteentertainment.com Comics.
Design by Ellen Nygaard
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lee, Stan, 1922– Printed in China
Stan Lee’s How to draw comics : from the legendary co-creator of Spider- First Edition
Man, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Iron Man / Stan
Lee. — 1st ed. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-0-8230-0083-8 (pbk.)
1. Comic books, strips, etc.—Technique. 2. Drawing—Technique. I.
Title. II. Title: How to draw comics.
NC1764.L44 2010
741.5’1--dc22
2010005781

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