Review: Monstrously Funny Cartoons
When one thinks of monsters, vampires or zombies, big and scary are usually the words used to describe them. But that isn’t always the case. They can also be silly and funny. Christopher Hart, a well known author of drawing and cartoon books, takes on the ghouls and ghosts to scare up some laughs for the beginner to experienced cartoonist.
Review: Monstrously Funny Cartoons
By Christopher Hart
Watson-Guptill Publications, October 2014, ISBN: 978-0823007165
152 pgs., $19.99USD
Monstrously Funny Cartoons is a how-to-draw art book that takes the monsters from our nightmares, zombies, vampires, monsters, aliens, and mummies, and turns them into humorous caricatures. He takes a step-by-step approach, starting from the basic shapes the characters are made from, and builds on them to a finished example. Each creature gets its own chapter, and within each chapter are different examples of that same creature. The last chapter gives examples of layouts, so the monsters can be rendered in a scene for a more complete picture.
I’ve seen a lot of how-to-draw books, with two aspiring artist daughters, and I would definitely put this book up at the top. Hart uses a simple, clean approach to showing his examples. It’s easy to see the steps, and the finished example doesn’t look wildly different from the start. There are notes for each step, sometimes several, giving tips on how to get a certain look or shape. There are separate sections for doing certain details such as Ghoulish eyes, and Mummy feet, as well as hints and lists for a greater variation in the characters, such head shapes and mummy wrappings. He also includes some of his original sketches for the character examples, and gives some insight on how he came up with them. My oldest daughter, who is working to be an art major, thought the book would be really good for anyone wanting to get into cartooning. She liked how it emphasised the exaggerated expressions and poses.
The text in the book is light, since the emphasis in on the art technique, but it is written concisely and with a very humorous bent. There are quips and jokes about the monsters mixed in with the instructions. Because these are meant to be for funny cartoons, there is nothing gory or gruesome, not even with the zombies. There is no flesh coming off or bones sticking out. Hart keeps everything on the simple and silly side.
Hart’s easy to follow instructions makes Monstrously Funny Cartoons a fun and straightforward way to draw. This guide to layouts at the end is a great finish to the book, putting the character is fun and something absurd scenes to get the most out the work. This is a fantastic book for beginners who are looking to start cartooning, and for the more experienced artist who need more practice or wants to expand into cartooning more. Check out a video of Hart drawing one of the characters from this book here.
Review copy provided by publisher.
Filed under: Reviews
About Lori Henderson
Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!
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