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The Simpsons Handbook: Secret Tips from the Pros [Hardcover]

Matt Groening
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 49.50
Price: CDN$ 31.04 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

May 31 2007 Simpsons (Harper)

Here is a rare homage to the art of classic 2–D animation and the time–honored method of hand–drawing characters that come alive on the silver screen. The creator of "The Simpsons" and "Futurama," reveals the art of brilliant character design, backgrounds, and prop art in this lavishly detailed handbook that unveils the complex secrets behind the deceptively simple and universally loved Simpsons characters. With creative insights, artists' sketches, helpful insider hints, and step–by–step instructions, enter the imagination of "master doodler" Matt Groening and receive some professional "how–to" advice from many of the animators and directors who have made "The Simpsons" the longest–running animated show and situation comedy in television history. In our technological era when animation has become increasingly digitalized, this unique handbook records the genesis of some of the most extraordinary examples of the art of hand–drawn animated characters.


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Product Description

About the Author

Matt Groening, the creator and executive producer of the Emmy® Award-winning series The Simpsons, as well as creator of the cartoon strip "Life in Hell" and the animated FOX television series Futurama, is the man responsible for bringing animation back to primetime and creating an immortal nuclear family. In addition, Groening formed Bongo Comics Group in 1993 and currently serves as publisher of The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, Simpsons Episode Guides, Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson Comics, Radioactive Man Comics, Simpsons Comics Treasure Trove, the annual Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, Futurama Comics and more than 36 comic compilations, as well as many instant classics including Bart Simpsons Guide to Life, The Simpsons Handbook and The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album.


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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Feb. 13 2012
By Shmen
Format:Hardcover
The book was incredibly intact for a used one. The shipping was all right and I don't know what to say more darn 20 words'too long for a book review
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4.0 out of 5 stars We need more of these books Sept. 21 2010
Format:Hardcover
I think if there's one thing we could teach some of the computer-centric illustrators today is to ditch the computer and get a firm grasp of the basics first. This book is a fun read and really opens your eyes to how the animators at The Simpsons construct their characters. It might not be the ideal resource for an animation student, but it has a lot of good examples of the fundamentals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Under the hood (and hair) of The Simpsons Dec 19 2007
Format:Hardcover
Here it is, the big-ticket item for those misguided tots who think you can actually make a living drawing poorly proportioned caricatures all day. Ah, youth. But as Matt Groening reminisces in the introduction to this how-to doorstopper, world domination takes practice: "Eventually, those crude grade-school scribbles grew more polished and refined, resulting in that crude grown-up cartoon powerhouse we all love and worship, 'The Simpsons.'" Many secondary characters from the world of The Simpsons are here in diagrammatic splendour, with the first half devoted to the many moods and bulging-eyeball variations of the family itself. It's instructive about how to render the Simpsons in a dozen easy steps, but proceed with caution: some things, once seen, can't be unseen: Marge's sisters Patty and Selma without their hair on add up to a profoundly disturbing experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book! Two yellow thumbs up! June 22 2007
By Rayne R
Format:Hardcover
I am very pleased with this book. It outlines all the same "rules" (and there a lot of them!) for drawing the Simpsons' characters that all the Simpsons' animators and comic illustrators have to use to keep the look consistent. There are step by step instructions on how to draw practically every character in the show (32 of them anyway), including some cool transparency overlays of the main characters. Expressions, hands, body positions, props and backgrounds are also covered.

The book itself is a very nice bound hard cover book and every page will stay open on its own, which is a real plus when you want your hands free for drawing!

As simple as the characters may look on the show, it definitely takes skill to get them to look that way, and it turns out they are more complicated than you may think. This book, by the makers of the Simpsons, demonstrates how to do that perfectly.

Now if they would just put out a similar book for the very underrated Futurama, I could die happy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing June 22 2007
By Daniel Shive - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is something I've always wanted: a definitive, professional guide for drawing the Simpsons. It's amazing how complicated drawing these deceptively simplistic characters can be.

The book starts out with detailed guides for the five main characters, the Simpsons family. At the end of each main character's section is a page full of notes and sketches with a transparent sheet that overlaps with an "inked" version of the main character.

The book also has basic guidelines for many other characters, but not nearly as in-depth as the main cast. These secondary characters sometimes have pages that fold out and have additional tips by Simpsons artists. I would have liked more characters and more in-depth information for these secondary characters, but most of the more popular characters are there, and the book would have to be massive to go more in depth and/or add more characters. It's already considerably huge as it is.

The main characters are addressed once again with various outfits, though only single images are shown and not detailed alternate angles and such.

Select environments from the show are also shown, with notes given to perspective. This book won't really teach you drawing with perspective, but it will give some insights into both it and the terminology for it.

All in all, if you've ever wanted to draw The Simpsons "correctly" or simply love behind the scenes stuff, I highly recommend this book for you. I myself am a cartoonist and an art student, and I believe it was worth every penny (though I did order it from here for the discounted price).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book! Two yellow thumbs up! July 21 2007
By Rayne R - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am very pleased with this book. It outlines all the same "rules" (and there a lot of them!) for drawing the Simpsons' characters that all the Simpsons' animators and comic illustrators have to use to keep the look consistent. There are step by step instructions on how to draw practically every character in the show (32 of them anyway), including some cool transparency overlays of the main characters. Expressions, hands, body positions, props and backgrounds are also covered.

The book itself is a very nice bound hard cover book and every page will stay open on its own, which is a real plus when you want your hands free for drawing!

As simple as the characters may look on the show, it definitely takes skill to get them to look that way, and it turns out they are more complicated than you may think. This book, by the makers of the Simpsons, demonstrates how to do that perfectly.

Now if they would just put out a similar book for the very underrated Futurama, I could die happy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpsons Handbook for Artists May 29 2011
By John W. Wilder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the best quality handbook on any subject I have ever seen. It is a must for any aspiring artist. The professionals at the studio which produces The Simpsons have devulged their secrets learned over many years. (Purchased through Amazon.com)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have Sept. 27 2010
By pitayon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Definitely a must have artbook,sketches, art, tips, everything to know about for drawing this characters
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for kids/tweens Aug. 3 2009
By J-Sav - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 9-year old and he absolutely loves it. He has been drawing pictures every day (using it) and I'm very impressed with how good the pictures look. He actually brings it with us in whenever we have to go out - even though the book is quite large. I'm hoping to find other books similar to this one (with different characters/comics)
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