Not Brand Echh #12 (Story 9)


It’s another Marie Severin short. This one lampoons those “We’re looking for people who like to draw” ads but, again, seems strangely reminiscent of some Mag Magazine parodies.

Story 'Drawing Lessons'

  Not Brand Echh #12 (Story 9)
Summary: Spider-Man Parody (Spidey-Man) Appears
Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Marie Severin
Pencils: Marie Severin
Inker: John Tartaglione

This little four-pager purports to give lessons in drawing Marble super-heroes in 7 easy lessons.

Lesson #1: The Head (Located in General Area of Tail of Dialogue Balloon) is very much like those Mad bits where the drawing goes from circles and lines to full-blown artwork in one or two steps. Here, we have instructions to draw an egg shape, then to divide it into parts labeled, “hair line, eyebrow, eye line, end of nose, mouth.” By the third drawing labeled, “Rough in features,” a fully-realized face appears. Then it jumps right to the fourth drawing; a grumpy-looking Thing.

The bottom tier of the lesson shows a side-view of a head but by the time we get to the end of the line, we have a drawing of Spidey’s head (one of two appearances here that allow this little feature to get its own review) and of the Hulk, who is, at least, shown in side-view.

Lesson #2: The Eyes (Located on Either Side of Nose) (with an asterisk to a footnote reading, “One on Each Side!”) shows a front view and side view of eyes. It finishes with “always remember to keep two front or two side views together!”

Lesson #3: The Nose, Mouth, Ear, and Feet footnotes to “hoofs, claws, wings, mechanical appendages, and/or ethereal additions or substitutes to your figures, must come from your own fertile imagination…or maybe you could trace from your collection of old comics!” It shows the differences between a “good guy” and a “bad guy,” with the bad guy having a wart on his nose and missing a tooth. The final “foot” image shows the good guy’s foot next to a flower while the bad guy’s gnarled foot has a fly circling it.

Lesson #4: The Hand is footnoted with, “when heroes and villains have hands, there is no difference between good guy and bad guy! Hands are clenched or surprised 90% of the time! Bystanders are limp! 50% heroes and 83% villains wear gloves! This is good, because then you don’t have to draw fingernails…think ahead!”

Lesson #5: Sound Effects has this footnote, “Every comic book artist and writer should be aware of the advantages of sound effects…if you plan well, leaving enough room, you may get away with whole areas of hardly drawing or writing anything at all!” Her examples of “Kerumphff!,” “Gack!” and “Boom!” filling their panels demonstrate this nicely.

Lesson #6: How to Tell a Story with the Least Amount of Trouble! (Or…What Not to Put in Panels!) features Spidey again. In “Fight Scenes,” Spidey is chasing the Green Goblin who hits him with his finger sparkle. “Gotcha, web-head!” he says. But this is the “wrong” panel. The “right” one shows a closeup of Gobby’s hand as he literally blows Spidey apart with most of the panel filled with the yellow burst of the blast. “Gotcha, web-head!” he says. “Crowd Scenes” shows a horde of attacking barbarians. The one in the lead yells, “Attack!” But, that’s the “wrong” way. The “right” shows an intense closeup of the barbarian yelling “Attack!” All the rest are barely shown shadows in the background. The “wrong” for “Cars or Machinery” shows a man watching his car sail over a cliff. The “right” shows his food and a closeup of one of the car’s tires. (The car’s license plate, by the way, is “Echh12.”)

And so, “the knowledge gained in lessons one thru six has prepared you to draw your very own comic mag…except for the most important lesson of all…” Lesson #7: Figure Drawing shows how a “super-hero or villain in disguise” becomes 1 ½ heads higher when he dresses in his costume and goes from slim to hugely muscular.. “Note: Avoid drawing girls, as they have no muscles and distract the serious reader!” And then finally, “The Figure in Motion,” as the drawing goes from stick-figure to fully-draw “Mighty Sore” in three steps. But, as Marie tells us at the end, “Professional Time: 2 ½ min. Beginners: 27yrs. 4 mo., and 10 days!”

General Comments

In Alter Ego #95, July 2010, Roy Thomas says of this little feature, “A delicious little parody by ‘Sev’ of those how-to-draw-comics things which weren’t nearly as prevalent in 1968 as they’ve become since. Truly ingenious, especially since she emphasized ways that artists could fake it and do a minimum of drawing.”

Overall Rating

I like the “minimum of drawing” gags, too, but the rest of it seems strained to me. And not particularly funny. One and a half webs.


Next: Finally, the cover story. “Frankenstein Sicksty-Nine!” The last story in the issue. You’ll find it at Not Brand Echh #12 (Story 10).