Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
I started working there because I had no idea what I was doing and needed structure. honestly before I did I did not even know what the concept of a gesture was
Well, gesture and structure are definitely good things to learn, don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing the book or you for working from it, so much as the idea that by itself it's going to take you 'zero to hero', you know? Or that any one single source of information would do so, really. It's like if you were writing an essay on something for school- your teacher is gonna dock your grade if your bibliography only has one source in it, even if it's a very good source. You gotta look at a bunch of shit to make sure you're hitting all the angles.
That's why most of the artists I know (or at least, the really good ones) are voracious about buying art books, and have extensive bookshelves full of them. Even dudes that don't have any reason to need more art books considering how good they are already, I'll see them- sight unseen- plonking down $200 on an 80 page drawing manual that they can't even read from some Russian academy, in the hopes of picking up just one little new thing they could use.
That doesn't mean you should scattershot around and pursue things randomly- you can still choose one or two things for your primary source of study at any given time, as to not be overwhelmed. The bigger point is to have a sense of the broader context of what's out there. I mean, Natural Way to Draw is still a good book and it's something I'd recommend people look at- but it has it's shortcomings, which you had no reason to be aware of, or any way of picking up on. You could have easily have picked up say, a Christopher Hart book (which are generally full of terrible drawings and fairly thin on useful instruction) and also have no clue why it's not a good thing to study from, without being told. Taking in as much as you can from a variety of sources helps give an idea of what's solid information- because if it is, it'll probably show up again and again across multiple sources, even if it's taught in different ways- information that shows up only once may be useful, or it could be an iffy thing that only applies to one particular style, and not particularly worth studying extensively. There's also stuff that only makes sense after you look at something else, and all of a sudden the pieces will fall into place in your head- you'll slap your forehead and go 'ohhhhhhhhHHHHhhhhhhh! I get it now!'.
So if you want to finish off Natural Way before moving on to other things, there's certainly value to be had from doing that, I would never say, 'no, don't do that'- I just don't think taking it as the one and only gospel is necessarily better than working on different things at the same time. But, if you're going to use it as a single source of study for the time being, I would suggest being prepared ahead of time with a step 2, what you're study after you're done with it. Maybe start looking at some other sources now, and use them to plan out your own lesson plan schedule in advance, so you can continue the same structure and continuity that The Natural Way provides.
For modern cartoon design, the name Steven Silver springs to mind: http://www.silvertoonsstore.com/Books_c3.htm
I can't vouch for the prose- I've just flipped through friend's copies quickly rather than poring over them, but there's plenty of good drawings in there. He's also got some other teaching-ish stuff up there, podcasts and an online class. (Well, if you're rich. I know he's a world-class talent and all, but $500-1000 for an online class is pretty steep IMO) http://www.silvertoons.com/podcast.html
When I met a guy who refused to donate blood because he believed intensely that blood "belongs in the body"
That's...the point? Blood belongs in the body, and some people have had a lot of their blood taken OUT of their body, and to go on living they need more blood put in their body.
Hence, donating blood makes sure that everybody's bodies have enough blood to continue to work.