Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to be an Action Hero

The illustrations I picked are from a book called, “The Action Hero's Handbook”. The book is filled with dozens of skills that action heroes use in TV shows and movies. Each page of illustrations show how-to visuals with a short description below. The three skills are how to tell if someone is lying, how to dust for fingerprints, and how to catch a great white shark. Like many instructional illustrations, these images can be confusing with the context, but once the context is known, the images explain themselves.

For the, “How to dust for fingerprints,” page, the illustrator broke it down into four simple steps. The panels are made up of grinding pencil lead into fine powder, sprinkle powder onto surface, lightly dust surface to reveal print, and finally, use tape to transfer print. In the “how to tell if someone is lying”, the illustrator again, created four separate panels. The four scenes show the women shifting uncomfortably, looking away, scratching, and sweating.

Both pages are fellow the rule of giving a lot with a little. The illustrator uses line drawings instead of photographs. A photograph would overwhelm the reader with unless details, but the line drawings give just the right about of information. For example, the panel that shows the women sweating is made up of a nose, lips and little beads of sweat. There are no personal details that are unique to each face. To show movement, the illustrator simply used little lines around the moving part to simulate motion.

When I first read this book many years ago, I thought the drawing and diagrams were cooler to look at compared to just reading about it, but I look at the book again and my view changes completely. The visual and the reading make a great mixture that teaches the skills very well.


1 comment:

  1. I'm curious, does the inside of the book list who the illustrator was? I can't imagine there would be no credit listed.