Comic Artist’s Essential Photo Reference: People & Poses Book

Comic Artist's Essential Photo Reference: People & Poses book cover image
Cover to Comic Artist’s Essential Photo Reference: People & Poses book. Art by Matt Haley. Photos by Buddy Scalera. Model Loukas Papas.

Book #6 in the Comic Book School Library of photo reference and tutorials for artists is now available in comic shops,,, and many Barnes & Noble retail locations.

Comic Artist’s Essential Photo Reference: People & Poses” by Buddy Scalera is a 128-page print book by Impact Books that features 500+  photographs that will inspire and challenge illustrators to take their creative storytelling to the next level.

The book features four professional actors of different body types in a variety of classic superhero poses, including jumping, kicking, flying, falling, and fighting.

Book #6 is based on the original People & Poses book (Book #1), which has been out of print since 2006. The updated edition is completely redesigned and includes many never-before-seen photos from the archives of author/photographer Buddy Scalera.

“The original print run sold out a long time ago, so many of the creators working today didn’t even know these books existed,” says Buddy Scalera, the author of this book and four other photo reference books for comic book artists. He is also the founder of the educational website and a storytelling educator at national comic book conventions. “We removed the CD-ROM, added images, and got the cover price down from $24.99 to $19.99. We wanted this to be an affordable resource for everyone who dreams of making comics as a career.”

The cover is by celebrated illustrator and painter Matt Haley, who has created comic book art for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, and Valiant.  The cover and interior also features Loukas Papas, a television and movie actor.

The interior pages feature four actors/models in a variety of photos that are appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Benefits of Using Photo Reference

The book makes an affordable, but memorable gift idea for illustrators, painters, animators, and traditional comic artists of all ages. Instead of wasting time trying to Google for poses, artist spend time making art.

The new edition includes a step-by-step art tutorial section by world-famous comic artist Sean Chen, who has created comics for Marvel, DC, Valiant, and many others. Educational sections like this make it easy for young artists to understand how to properly use photo reference resources.

This book will help artists to:

  • Waste less time searching for photo reference and more time actually drawing
  • Understand proper anatomy of the human figure and the expressions of movement
  • Improve technical art skills including foreshortening, motion, and perspective
  • Challenge themselves to make their sketches more dynamic and realistic
  • Access top-quality photos of attractive models in superheroic poses

Many professional comic book illustrator use photo reference as a tool for nailing the perfect pose or expression. Like the original edition, the revised edition includes photos of four different models of different body types and ethnicities in a broad range of action poses. Based on feedback from creators, the new edition streamlined the design layout, which made room for additional photos that did not appear in the original book.

The book debuted at New York Comicon 2016. Check out our readers and fans photo gallery.

Original Editor: Amy Jeynes

Editors: Mona Clough & Beth Erikson

Reader’s Photo Gallery

Other educational resources available from the Comic Book School Library:

Visual Reference for Comic Artists: Vol. 1 – CD-ROM (2001)

Visual Reference for Comic Artists: Vol. 2 – CD-ROM (2002)

Visual Reference for Comic Artists: Vol. 3 – CD-ROM (2003)

Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: People & Poses (2006)

Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: Women & Girls  (2008)

Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: Men & Boys (2008)

Creating Comics from Start to Finish (2011)

Colossal Collection of Action Poses (2011)

Comic Artist’s Essential Photo Reference: People & Poses (2016)


Reviews for other books in this series:

Author copies of books
Author comp copies of Buddy Scalera’s new book Essential Comic Artist’s Photo Reference

About Buddy Scalera

Scalera has a long history with comic books and comic book education. He started his career as a freelance journalist covering the comic book industry. In 1995, he joined Wizard Entertainment to launch the original Wizard World Online presence on AOL and then the web. While at Wizard, he created educational resources for aspiring comic book creators, some of whom when on to become pros. Later, he self-published CD-ROMs with photo reference, which he sold at conventions and through retail comic shops.

His first published book was “Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: People and Poses” with IMPACT Books in 2006. He would go on to release three more photo reference books and one book about the complete process of creating comics from start to finish, also through IMPACT Books. He is currently very active in the #makecomics community online and tweets at @ComicBookSchool.

Scalera is also an active comic book writer with many published credits with Marvel Comics, including Deadpool, Agent X, and others.  He’s also written many different licensed properties, including Richie Rich, Elvira, and many other titles.


For more information on the publisher Impact Books, visit:

For more information on Buddy Scalera, to schedule an interview, or get sample images, contact For more publications, check out Buddy Scalera’s Author Page on Amazon and the complete list of published comic book writing.

Support your local retailer. Print out the image below from the February 2016 Diamond Comics catalogue and ask them to order it for you!

Ask your local retailer to order a copy from you through Diamond Comics Distribution.
Ask your local retailer to order a copy of the book from you through Diamond Comics Distribution.

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