Ryan Stegman is a rising star in my book. From his amazing art in SCARLET SPIDER to recent AVENGERS VS X-MEN variant covers and the current FANTASTIC FOUR issues by Jonathan Hickman, there's no question the man knows how to draw. If you've ever wondered how they do it and are dabbling with drawing yourself, there's a book you'll want to look into that's currently being funded through Kickstarter.
I Draw Comics is a sketchbook and reference guide that goes through some of the basics of comic book illustration, page design and the art of storytelling. The book was put together by Matt Morrocco and Ryan Stegman and looks to be a great tool for artists.
If you head over to their Kickstarter page, you might notice they have reached the goal and surpassed it. That doesn't mean you can ignore it and wish them luck. There is still a benefit to back ing this project. You can back the project and pre-order the book at the same time. That way if you plan on getting it, you're guaranteed to get a copy. It also helps to support and make the book more readily available for others.
That's not all you can get. If you can pledge higher amounts, there are more items you can get. If you're familiar with Kickstarter, the higher you pledge, the more extra items you can get as well. Check out the page to see what's available if you pledge $35, $50 or up to $1200 (where you'll get the original art to Ryan's "FIRST X-MEN #1" cover and all the other stuff. By pledging, you're not just giving them money for the project, you're also pre-ordering the book (at the $25 level or higher).
There is a video you can check out on the Kickstarter page but I asked Ryan a few questions to see what more he could tell us.
Comic Vine: Tell us a little about the book.
Ryan Stegman: I DRAW COMICS is essentially a workbook for learning to make comics. We provide you with lessons on how to do things and then we provide you with blue line templates to work over and practice the skills you've been taught. We go over proportions, perspective, composition, layout and storytelling. I think it can help out artists of any skill level, really.
CV: How did you get involved?
RS: Matt Marrocco and I have been friends since middle school. We were both into drawing and shared a lot of the same interests. I even remember when we created about 40 comic book covers in Print Shop with various character names on the covers. I vowed to draw all of the issues that we created covers for. But uh...I don't think I completed any.
Anyway, Matt had already produced a similar project with "I DRAW CARS" and run a successful kickstarter on that book. It was so successful that he wanted to do another in the same vein. And, since we were good friends, he thought that comics would be a good one to do.
At first I was a little wary. I get asked to do a lot of stuff that is more trouble than it's worth. But once I saw how passionate Matt was about it and how great of an idea it was, I was on board.
CV: What makes this different from other 'drawing' books?
RS: The workbook aspect. There are plenty of great books out there on drawing comics, but none of them provide you with a practical method to practice techniques. Here, we offer you the opportunity to draw within the book. And if you complete all the drawings in the book, I think you'll be a much better artist.
CV: How long did it take to actually reach the $10,000 goal?
RS: I think it was about 17 hours from the launch. Haha. That was tremendously gratifying. I kept trying to get Matt to lower the amount we asked for because I was afraid it would flop and I'd look like a fool. But 10k was the amount we needed to do it right so he couldn't go lower. Then, when the project went live it was just insane how fast it picked up.
CV: Why should people still continue to back the project if the goal has been met? (What other incentives are there?)
RS: We are going to be adding stretch goals soon, but I can't say what those are. But essentially, people should still pledge if they want the book. Because with every pledge tier past the $1 pledge, you are getting a book. And lots of other cool stuff. The 10k at the top was to ensure that we could print enough copies to get the thing going. But now, you can go on there and get your book or whatever else you want, be it original art, sketches, hoodies, etc.
I think there's a misconception that people are just pledging money. But really, you are buying something when you give money. It's hardly any different than going into an online store and purchasing something.
Don't get me wrong, you can also pledge extra though!
CV: Do you think there's more Kickstarter in your future?
RS: I think there's more Kickstarter in EVERYONE'S future. It's a really great site that allows you to be creative and try new things. I don't think that we've necessarily seen it's full potential yet. And I also don't think a lot of people use it correctly. But as we iron out the kinks it will be a very effective tool for everyone.
Head on over to their Kickstarter page to find out more.