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Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I recently drew page 181 from Yoshihiro Tatsumi's The Push Man and Other Stories.  I know a lot of cartoonists grow up doing this sort of thing, but I never really have, until recently.  It's kind of amazing the details and insights you can pick up from the practice.

Here's my version of the page:

And the original:

Things I learned:

-- At first glance, the page appears to be split into two equal panels, but actually the top panel is a few millimeters taller than the bottom, and the margin between them is drawn at a slightly sloping angle.

-- Look at all that "Tatsumi Crackle" in panel one!  (The round, ambiguous white shapes that serve only to modify the composition/relate visually to the expressionistic depiction of the moon/sun.)

-- Of course the telephone pole is leaning (as almost all of them do in real life), but this is something that only an astute observer would remember to draw.

-- Sometimes one point perspective is a very nice thing (panel two).  Compare this tighter, more realistic perspective to the wild perspective of panel one, where the buildings are claustrophobically falling in on the street.

-- Love the way the handlebars of the scooter are tilted to the side. (Of course I forgot to draw them this way...)

--  Haha-- that first guy from the left in panel one-- I barely had to alter things to draw him in my own style!


  1. brilliant! I should try this too sometime.

  2. Thats a neat exercise! you should do more of these, it's interesting hearing the different stuff you spot out

  3. That's weird, I've had Abandon the Old in Tokyo open on my drawing table the whole time I've been working on these Andre the Giant comics. I love the way he has really simplistic characters juxtaposed with super-rendered backgrounds. I know this is common in manga but it reminds me of Dave Sim/Gerhard a little. Anyway, cool!

  4. oh oh, also the layouts are amazing in these comics. They're never boring.

  5. I think maybe the right-tilted telephone pole in the bottom panel is meant to balance out the left-tilted thin row of lights on the W building in the top panel and sort of unify the two panels.

  6. This is a great excersice! My copy of a drifting life should be arriving in the mail soon, so i should try doing something like this.