wally wood’s 22 panels

OK, if you aren’t comics-geeky enough to have read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, this probably won’t be all that distracting.

OTOH, if you are comics-geeky enough to know and care about McCloud’s magnum opus, the following may keep you away from useful work for hours.

So, you know, it all balances out.

Anyway, back to the point.

Wally Wood had many claims to fame, including witzend, a forerunner to the whole underground comix movement in the United States; the infamous Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster; and some of the most admired science-fiction art published by EC Comics.

Amongst professional (and aspiring) artists, however, almost more important was Wood’s oft-photocopied 22 Panels That Always Work.

The sub-title (which, like the title, was written by Larry Hama, not Wood) sums up its purpose nicely:

some interesting ways to get some variety into those boring panels where some dumb writer has a bunch of lame characters sitting around and talking for page after page!

Low-resolution versions of this sheet have floated around offices and the internet for years. As of 18th August 2006, however, high-resolution scans of the original sheet — put together by Larry Hama and (most likely) Paul Kirchner — along with an article detailing the provenance of said scans can be had as an Unlimited Edition from Joel Johnson.

Understated and overstated in the same breath, this sheet is typical of Wood at his best, and well worth your time, even if you’ll never draw a single panel of comic art.

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