While comedy writers are responsible for creating clever scripts, comedic animators have a much more complicated problem to solve: What makes a physical character funny? Comedy for Animators breaks down the answer by exploring the techniques of those who have used their bodies to make others laugh. Drawing from traditions such as commedia dell’arte, pantomime, Vaudeville, the circus, and silent and modern film, animators will learn not only to create funny characters, but also how to execute gags, create a comic climate, and use environment as a character. Whether you’re creating a comic villain or a bumbling sidekick, this is the one and only guide you need to get your audience laughing!

    • Explanation of comedic archetypes and devices will both inspire and inform your creative choices
    • Exploration of various modes of storytelling allows you to give the right context for your story and characters
    • Tips for creating worlds, scenarios, and casts for your characters to flourish in
    • Companion website includes example videos and further resources to expand your skillset--check it out at www.comedyforanimators.com!

Jonathan Lyons delivers simple, fun, illustrated lessons that teach readers to apply the principles of history’s greatest physical comedians to their animated characters. This isn’t stand-up comedy—it’s the falling down and jumping around sort!

chapter 1|6 pages


chapter 2|12 pages

The Dirt Floor

chapter 3|20 pages

Palatial Theaters

chapter 4|18 pages

Shadow and Light

chapter 5|24 pages

Essential Characters

chapter 6|20 pages

Comedy Teams

chapter 7|10 pages


chapter 8|18 pages

Structure, Style, and Theme

chapter 9|22 pages

Gags and Comic Events

chapter 10|16 pages


chapter 11|16 pages

Comic Acting

chapter 12|14 pages

The Impossible