OUT OF STOCK!
The first thing you should know about this book is that, while it is indeed a how-to-draw art book, it's NOT for people who want to learn how to be Artists, or how to "express themselves." This IS a book for those who are looking to learn the ins and outs of cartooning, who are interested in becoming professionals, who want a career -- especially those who need some encouragement and could use some common sense advice. The sound, solid and simple premise upon which this book is based is that if someone is or was successful then their work is worth studying, and their opinions are worth listening to. Anytime Jack Kirby, Will Eisner and Frank Miller do or say something, it is, ipso facto, worth paying attention to -- your investment of time and energy will be rewarded with personal improvement and career advancement. Kyle Baker is successful, therefore you should pay attention to what he has to offer if you too are interested in being successful. How to Draw Stupid is a potential supplement to Abel & Madden's Drawing Words, Writing Pictures listed above. Where DW, WP takes the programmatic approach of traditional pedagogy, HtDS take the personal approach of the master-apprentice relationship. Also, and importantly, whereas DW, WP takes a broad overview of the entire field of combining words and pictures to tell stories, HtDS is specifically directed at the narrow focus region of humorous cartooning. If you are interested in being a successful, professional cartoonist, and, especially if you like, enjoy and/or admire Kyle Baker's work, then getting a hold of a copy of this book should move right to the top of your to-do list. The book is written in an intimate, personal tone (it is also funny). Reading this book really feels like sitting across from Kyle as he works at his drawing table (or as you both share a booth at the local tavern, to which he has brought his portfolio and sketchbook). We felt like he was right there, talking us through his method, telling us his opinions (of which he has many and is not shy in sharing them), intermittently leafing through his portfolio and now and then whipping off a quick sketch to illustrate a point. Sometimes, you might feel like he's holding onto his opinions a little too firmly -- as we did when he insisted only one of fifteen different drawings of eyes was "truly" stupid (we could be wrong, but we'd be hard pressed to imagine that the "correct" answer would be chosen by a majority) -- but that's part of the charm: he's not holding back, he's not trying to conform to any preconceived notion of "correctness", he's just being himself, a straight-shootin' cartoonist sharing the secrets of success, and makin' a buck doing it -- which is exactly what he'd recommend you do, should the opportunity present itself.