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Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative is one of the three Will Eisner instructional books. The other two are Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative and Comics and Sequential Art.

I bought the book to learn how to pose characters properly and create strong silhouettes. I'm glad to say that this book provides tons of examples selected from Will Eisner's years of comics.

Will Eisner started the book but unfortunately passed away in 2005 before he could finish it. Enter Peter Poplaski, an artist who have worked long time beside him. Peter Poplaski was engaged to add the finishing touches for the book with some additional drawings. The majority of art work is still from Will Eisner's archive.

The first few chapters explain the anatomy and how it affects movement. It offers a basic introduction to the latter chapters and is definitely not a substitute for an anatomy book.

The core concept of the book is actually this: human actions come from reflex and emotions.

The bulk of the book is devoted to showing examples of how certain feelings are express through body language and gesture. Each example is clearly explained and exceptionally easy to understand. Even if speech balloons are taken away from the example comic panels, readers will still know how the characters are feeling. Such is the power of a strong silhouette.

Included are also many other techniques to help breath life into characters, such as staging, composition, positioning of characters etc.

This book is very useful for any artists who wants to create believable characters people can relate to.

I think I'll also be getting the other two books.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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on 26 April 2010
This book was the one of the three that was perhaps most eagerly anticipated. Eisner showing us how he creates those fantastically expressive characters. As it turned out he died before he could do many drawings for this volume. Exploiting the curiosity of fans and followers (and the desire to have the complete trilogy) the publishers cobbled a version together using some ancient structural poses from the famous early 20th century drawing manuals by Bridgeman and one of Eisner's more proficient acolytes to fill the book with drawings. Most artists interested in Eisner will already own the Bridgeman books and the other Eisneresque drawings are just rather cold apeing of the long earned fluid style of the master. A bit of a disappointment but if you really must complete your collection (and what comic fan doesn't feel that urge?) do buy. This is a pretty flower in the garden of his work, don't expect a mass of blossoms.
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on 17 July 2012
What a fantastic book.It is the kind of book that any artist would appreciate.You don't have to be into comics and graphic novels,although that is where it is pitched.Mr Eisner was one of the greats.This was his third and final work and as others have pointed out probably the best one.Sadly he passed away just before completion,but the book delivers in every way.
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on 25 September 2013
Almost all of his comics and books about comics are a must-read for anyone who wants to do some drawing or some story for comic.
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on 10 November 2015
Master of animation, must have if an artist. No excuses.
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on 29 March 2015
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on 30 May 2013
I read this through once then donated it to Oxfam, so my review is based on that short, disappointing experience. Save your money for anything Eisner published while he was still with us and creating great comics. If you want to know about anatomy and you want to draw cartoons, I would suggest purchasing Scott McClouds Making Comics.
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