Drawing and Comics
Recently i had some curiosity about learning to draw.
I loved drawing when i was a teen, and drew a lot. I was quite good at it. However, i have not even doodled since after teen, for some reason. (am 38 now)
If you ask me to draw something today, i'd be absolutely embarrassed by the very act, for some reason. But nevertheless, drawing still fascinated me. Almost all kinds of drawings. From cartoons to technical drawings to caricatures to illustrations. I also like paintings, but to a lesser degree. I don't think i like photo-realistic paintings much. I absolutely and positively hate modern “abstract” art, or any of the “post-modernism” fuck.
To me, one of the most fascinating power of the ability to draw is the ability to do illustrations, broadly speaking. From drawing human figures to drawing the blueprint of mechanical devices. They say, that a picture is worth a thousand words. From this, we see that, drawing is a essential tool in human communication, even precedes writing, or even precedes developed language. For example, when you land in a foreign land, the easiest way to communicate is to draw on a piece of paper, together with gestures, if you don't speak a single of their words.
Drawings, in a sense, is a universal language. As far as metaphors go, it is more universal than the so-called Mathematics or Music, for the latter two take quite some time to develop a appreciation for. So, suppose if you are a expert illustrator, whose pen is able to lightingly create from human anatomy to facial expressions to the most intricate mechanics of a watch, that would be a expressive power no writers can ever compete.
The other type of drawing that fascinates me, is cartoons, or those seen in comic books, in particular Japanese comic books (aka magna). The fascination about cartoons is that they are able to do away with all information, and showing only pure human expression. In a few lines, the whole gamut of human expression, the pain and the happiness, the desires and wantings, can be thoroughly shown with cartoonish characters. From a mathematician's point of view, this is almost a magical compression.
Recently, i happened to read about who Scott McCloud is. (he is a popular comics book artist, and considered a comics scholar) I learned that he wrote a book called Understanding Comics, which details and discuss comics in a scholarly way. I went to the library and borrowed this book today. While browsing, i spend a short 15 min and picked up a few other books related to drawing. The following is a list, along with their cover and link to amazon.com. I'm adding comment as i have read them.
It turns out, they are all well rated books according to amazon.com reviews, possibly with the exception of the last two.