If your media-savvy child has ever expressed an interest in cartooning, here’s a book he or she will love — “Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today’s Popular Cartoons” (Watson-Gultill, $21.99), which is due out in March.
It’s not just the look of this book that is contemporary; it’s the approach it takes to cartooning. Author Christopher Hart stresses the shape of the head as popular cartoons such as “Johnny Test” and “The Fairly OddParent" do. The colorfully illustrated and humorously written book provides step-by-step instruction through easy-to-follow pictures and words on how not only to draw different types of the head, but also eyes, noses, mouths, hair and faces.
My 9-year-old son, Harrison, an avid cartoon viewer, has sampled several cartooning books to assist in my work, but this one he seemed to enjoy the most. He found the section on adding “extreme visual effects” most helpful. Hart shows how to make a character shout, hold back years and give someone the cold shoulder, for instance.
Here's a sample of the child's practice.