These are less about individual artists, more about art styles, subjects and genres. I will post more, but here we begin with what’s on my shelf.

(You can hover over some book covers for additional info.)


Favorite pictures of all kinds.

Media, Method, etc.

Books about art, including the technical side. I have many more under my RECOMMENDATIONS menu.

Keys to Art
John Canaday
I learned a lot from John Canaday about art. Opinionated, but informative and never boring.
Techniques of the World’s Great Painters
Waldemar Januszczak
If you’re a painter and you care about technical information, this is a motherlode. Full of information and “callouts”.
The Artists Handbook of Materials & Technique
Ralph Mayer
Everything About Art Supplies in One Book

Comics & Cartoons

I love cartoons. I love comics.

I Shall Destroy all the Civilized Planets
Fletcher Hanks (Author, Artist), Paul Karasik (Editor)
Unbelievably funny comics from the 1930’s. So extraordinarily bad as to be great. Inspiring!
You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation
Fletcher Hanks (Author, Artist), Paul Karasik (Editor)
If you like these comics, tell me. I think they are astonishingly funny without intending to be. First published almost a century ago, they are some of the best camp I know.
Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks
Fletcher Hanks (Author, Artist), Paul Karasik (Editor)
This combines the previous two books, with extras.
The Comics Before 1945
Brian Walker
True to the name. Historical collection smartly chosen.
The Comics Since 1945
Brian Walker
Good overview to start with, but there is so much that can’t fit in a book!
100 Years of Comic Strips
Bil Dale Crain, James Vance
Remember that it’s Strips, not Books. But what remarkable and varied work in a century!
Masters of American Comics
Multiple Authors
Must-have if you care about the subject. It was accompanied by a two-part show in LA that I wish you could have seen.
The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics
Bill Blackbeard, Martin Williams, John Canaday
I bought three copies because it is a dense collection worth sharing around.
The International Book of Comics
Denis Gifford
Another collection worth having if you love comic art.
How to Read Nancy
Paul Karasik
Haven’t read it yet but hung out in it and was very impressed. We’ll use it in a cartooning class.
Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice
Ivan Brunetti
Thoughtful ideas, very good exercises. This is the book that includes The Eight-Minute Draw challenge.
The Naked Cartoonist
Bob Mankoff
Practical, mind-bending, humbling, inspiring, and funny. Great book on creativity. Highly recommended for all who create any thing.
New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons
Arranged by subject, not by decade. Weighs less than a thousand pounds, but not much less.
New Yorker Complete Cartoons
The Book is not complete… it would be too big; but the CD’s with it are. CD’s…. hahaha.


I love to learn about how people do their best work.

Writing the Natural Way
Gabriele Lusser Rico
The most practical creativity book I know. Highest recommendation.
The Naked Cartoonist
Bob Mankoff
Practical, mind-bending, humbling, inspiring, and funny. Great book on creativity. Highly recommended for all who create any thing.
How to Be More Creative
David D. Edwards
One of the least impressive books on creativity you’ll ever find, and one of the best. I hope to use it as a core text in a course.
The Courage to Create
Rollo May
Rollo May – a kindly man who encouraged creativity. In my twenties, his writing and lectures helped me feel good about pursuing creativity as a life profession.
Creativity, Road to Self Discovery
Erwin Cyan
I read this at 20, learned a bit about stages in the creative process, and more about the fact that scientists were studying creativity.

Pen & Ink

One of my two favorite media.

Rendering in Pen & Ink
Arthur Guptill & Susan Meyer
The Best Book on Pen & Ink Technique. Susan Meyer updated it very well.
Ink Drawing Techniques
Henry C Pitz
Mediocre Examples, Great Advice
Treasury of American Pen & Ink Illustration
Fridolf Johnson
Classic Collection of Notables
Dynamic Black & White
Leslie Cabarga
Diverse Collection of 20th Century Line Art. Excellent choices!


The other of my two favorite media.

Complete Guide to Watercolor
Ray Smith
About the history as well as the how-to.
All About Watercolor
True to its name. Good handbook.

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