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People and Poses
posted April 25, 2006


Creators: Buddy Scalera and Various
Publishing Information: Impact Books, w/CD ROM of additional images, 144 pages, 2006, $24.99
Ordering Numbers: 1581807589 (ISBN)

There's something a little weird and a lot weird about the photo reference book People and Poses. The little weird thing is that it's written by author Buddy Scalera with a great deal of personality, which comes across as odd -- at least to me -- in a book that serves a very specific function. We get some jokes at Scalera's expense, and the models introduce themselves via word balloons in the first few poses. That feels odd because I'm not sure what purpose it serves to find out the model's name or what they do or if they think they have a nice smile or not. I found it kind of creepy, actually, like they're explaining why they're there.

The big weird thing about People and Poses is I'm not exactly sure for whom the book is intended. Very young cartoonists might benefit the guest lecturers like Paul Chadwick on various subjects and having a small storehouse of images from which to practice anatomical drawing. I'm no artist, but I would assume that the position of the light source has a great deal to do with whether or not the photo reference could be useful beyond practice sessions. I'm also not certain it wouldn't behoove an artist that much more to go out and take their own photos, or assemble a personal clip library, or use the Internet to find exactly what they want from a database service. There's also the presumption that most comics are filled with people flexing and using swords, but of course, that part is probably true. In the end, I suppose a book like this can't hurt, but only if you're that narrow range of people that would most benefit.