Lessons in Perspective

Perspective for Comic Book Artists

Ralph Contreras has set up a wonderful web page specifically dedicated to the up and coming comic book artist interested in perspective. Check it out. I highly recommend it.

Perspective isn’t the easiest of subjects. Some cartoonists can fake it somewhat, hiding discrepancies in solid design. Here’s an example from the early days of comic books. Just try to find a single vanishing point for all the buildings in the background. Ha! No way. Still, you get the idea of place. You see the tops of the buildings so you know the action is taking place high above the city. The parallel lines converge someplace fairly close on the horizon line so it isn’t overly confusing. Really, all that matters is the idea that Batman is soaring over the city. As long as it’s got enough “almost perspective”, it works. But even then, the artist has to at least have a vague idea that lines have to converge in order for buildings to look three dimensional. My guess this most probably came from observing and copying drawings by artists who actually knew what they were doing.

You can read the whole comic here

Bob Kane drew this. The story is by Bill Finger. If you’re into comics, this is your history. You must learn these names. They invented Batman. Sure it’s pretty primitive work compared to today’s comic book professionals. What do you expect when the entire comic book costs a dime?