Starting Daily Robbins

Frank Robbins is no Jack Kirby

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I started doing daily copies of Jack Kirby’s work to learn how his art worked. Not stories, characters or powers, but how he set up panels, used sequences, space and 2d and 3-d composition.Daily Kirby taught me some of Jacks thought process.


It came to an end as I finished working on Julius Caesar. Eventually I was able to redraw Jack not just as a loose copy but to integrate my play with value and form from life drawing.I needed a break after a 200 page adaption of Julius Caesar and some other artist to go in my head.

Today starts my Daily Robbins, a month or two of drawing from Frank Robbins pages. Learning the hand of the artist by drawing the comics not just looking. Writing makes you think about the pages more than drawing. Kirby grew out of the strip tradition of Caniff and Alex Raymond as did Robbins.

It takes time to understand what I’m drawing and doing the first couple of pages in pencil bothered me. Robins inked his own work so it’s a different process for creating the drawing. Even less than Kirby Robbins wasn’t concerned with straight anatomy and gesture, least interesting work. Drawing other artists work makes you look at something closer, analyze it and transform it into your own hand. Part of me wants to turn Robbins into Kirby by bringing that redrawing Robbins with my value and space oriented approach that I was working on with Kirby.

Not sure if it’s working in thinking about Robbin’s work.


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Teaching of course is great for learning what you want to do. I created Just Draw to lay out the lessons for myself when I get lost. It’s how to get back onto the path of making comics and not being grumpy. It’s available on Amazon here or you can check out the preview. If you’re interested in a class in comics I”m working on an eight-week one to take place in San Francisco at Mission Comics. There will be an online version too for people who are outside of the Bay Area. if you’re interested please sign up for the mailing list to be informed when the class launches.

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