Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Garfield's Comic Boom

Garfield's Comic Boom

Spring 2012 Software
Ages: 8 & Up
Price: $29.00
Platform: Windows

Garfield creator Jim Davis instructs users step-by-step in sketching cartoons, including images of the world's most famous, animated, orange cat himself, using Toon Boom's digital cartooning studio.

In this latest addition to the Parents' Choice award-winning Toon Boom animation series, budding cartoon artists can use the instinctive Toon Boom interface to create their own comics, ranging from simple three-panel strips to a complete comic book. Tools enable users to import personal photos and images or borrow from the Toon Boom library.

The Jim Davis tutorial actually teaches users how to start drawing their own cartoons. He outlines what it takes to become a cartoonist and his plot-twist-plot-and-payoff three-panel approach. Meanwhile, the Garfield-themed toolbox lets users add layers of artistry, draw background layers, and more. This complete cartoonist studio includes six basic tools, plus a library of different shapes, and it teaches concepts such as panels, layers, story progression, and more. It gives the basics of becoming a cartoonist, while interjecting Garfield just enough to keep it fun.

A built-in recording mode lets you add in your own voice or sound effects to your comics. And, when you're done, you can share your creations with friends online via email, Facebook, YouTube, etc. For an aspiring young (or not so young) cartoonist, or just a kid who likes to draw, this program is an easy and instructive place to start.

Don Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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