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Every Which Way…


Charmed this morning by To Be Continued, a collaboration between Italian writer/artist Lorenzo Ghetti of delebile and German web designer Carlo Trimarchi.

After all these years, I guess we’re still in the early stages of test-driving different navigational modes for webcomics. I like how this one plays with different modes from chapter to chapter. Probably confusing for new viewers, but the thing feels so crisp and user friendly, and the storytelling is so sharp, I could see readers staying on board for the long haul.

I took a really long break from webcomics to work on The Book. Fun stuff like this makes me want to dive back in.

[Thanks to gio for the heads-up]


Designing for the Device

The hardcover edition of The Sculptor will finally be on sale February 3, 2015. But already, I can see I’ll have a frequently-asked question: “Will there be a digital version?”

It’s a reasonable question, and the short answer is Yes. As far as I know, there’ll be versions available for tablets and other devices. I’m grateful to First Second for standing by me during those five long years while we busted ass to make this the best book we could, and anything that helps them break even sooner is okay by me. Also, if readers are hoping for a more affordable option, I realize that digital sometimes has its advantages.

But on a creative level, I frankly couldn’t care less about any digital repurposing of this one. This book is designed for print and as far as I’m concerned, the paper and ink version will always be the “real” version.

I believe passionately in designing for the device, and in this case, the device was a BOOK. If I was designing for digital, as I have in the past, I would have been just as passionate about taking full advantage of that environment—and just as apathetic about any lazily repurposed print version.

The idea of any artist in any medium feeling they have to castrate their work to suit multiple formats makes me kinda sick. I hated it when newspaper editors/syndicated started requiring strip cartoonists to make an entire third of their Sunday comics disposable. I hated it when movie makers starting avoiding any local idioms or a strong sense-of-place for international markets. I hate it when webcomics embrace shitty online formats for the sake of future print collection—or vice versa.

I spent years talking about the limitations of print. With The Sculptor, I was able to finally work within those limitations knowingly and create something I hope benefitted from that tension and strained against those limits in a creative and interesting way. In only 6 weeks, I hope my readers find that struggle worthwhile, and I hope they’ll have that experience with a book in their hands.


Kansas State: November 2

kansas state logo

Attention, Kansans!

Be sure to join me Sunday November 2 at Kansas State University for a Free Public Lecture.

And check out the sidebar for some more travels, including China and Chile in the next several weeks.

I’m staying home in January (well, maybe) but then things really heat up February 3 when The Sculptor comes out and Ivy and I go back on the road big time.

Look for a ton of U.S. appearances in February and multiple events in at least six European countries in March and April.

2015 is going to be amazing. Look for more news shortly.


Attn: Southern California

Los Angeles Workshop

This August, I’ll be bringing the Two-Day Making Comics Workshop back to The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art for a fourth year.

14 hours of everything I can teach you through lectures and hands-on exercises. An intense look at the art of telling stories visually. More info on my seminars here.

The workshops welcome everyone from experienced artists to stick figure beginners. We have a great time every year, and everybody learns a lot, including me.

I just wrapped up two months teaching an expanded workshop at Clarksville Tennessee’s Austin Peay State University so I’ll have lots of new stuff to share. Wish me luck cramming it all in.

Here’s the link to SIGN UP. As always, availability is limited. See you in August!

***

Oh! And see the sidebar for more upcoming events. Now that I’m finally back from my long hibernation—and YES, done with the book—look for a big blog post soon with a round-up of recent and upcoming developments. It’s going to be a very interesting year.


Notes from Hibernation #3

Still working hard on the graphic novel through this fall, so this blog will continue to be pretty quiet for a while. Panel at left from a recent page (yeah, I know, not much to go on!).

If you’re curious about the GN, here are the posts that’ve mentioned it so far (scroll to the bottom to read in order—it’ll look like nothing’s happened at first, but that’s just ’cause this post is one of them). Feel free to laugh at me for my original guesses at the completion date. (It’s taken, um… a bit longer.)

I’ve updated the sidebar regarding some upcoming trips. Norway, Comic-Con, Belgium, Ball State, and Mount Holyoke, all in the sights for summer and fall; with more to come in the spring.

Missed between updates was a fun visit to Blizzard Entertainment, just last week. Thanks to the whole gang there for a great pair of events.

As always, I’ll be posting random thoughts and links mostly via Twitter. Follow me, and you can be annoyed on a more regular basis.

Have a great spring/summer/fall. I’ll have plenty to say when I crawl back out from the shadows later this year!


Alberta and Beyond

The Galt Gardens from the Lethbridge, Alberta homepage - www.lethbridge.ca

Still toiling away at the graphic novel, so this blog will remain quiet a few months longer, but I do have a tight cluster of trips coming up, so here’s a bit more info on each, starting with an important opportunity coming up next month.

The Two Day Making Comics Workshop comes to Alberta!

On March 21-23, I’ll be bringing the lecture and full 2-Day Workshop to the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, Alberta. SIGN-UP for one of the limited workshop seats, and get your advance tickets for the lecture starting on Feb 22.

This is the first time the 2-day workshop has come to Canada, and this and the Los Angeles workshop (see last post) are the only ones currently planned for 2013, so don’t miss this chance to learn two full days worth of comics-making strategies and techniques.

Out and About

Somehow, after a quiet autumn, I wound up with six trips in seven weeks. I’m not sure what happened there, but I plan to make the most of it. See sidebar at right for the full list.

Nashville’s Tapestry Conference is invitation-only, and we don’t have all the details on my visit to Vermont’s legendary Center for Cartoon Studies and Dartmouth College yet, but if you’re anywhere near Berlin or Santa Barbara on those dates, please come out to say hi.

In Berlin, on Friday March 15, I’ll be giving my lecture twice(!). Once in the morning at 10:00 am, to students, and then at 6 pm to the general public. Both are part of the Berlin International Literature Festival. Come with smelling salts, it’ll be awesome.

And finally, I’ll be rounding up this miniature trip-a-palooza with a very special Regents Lecture at nearby University of California Santa Barbara on April 10, at 8 pm. It’ll be in UCSB’s Campbell Hall which is a big room, so if you’re in Southern California, please tell your friends. I’ll be telling mine!

Anyway, that’s the schedule as it stands now. You can bet I’ll be drawing every day that I’m not traveling. And if all goes well, I’ll have a nice fat 480 page graphic novel done by the end of the year, and an equally exciting book underway after that.


Attention: Southern California

This February, I’ll be bringing the Two Day Making Comics Workshop back to The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art for a third year.

14 hours of everything I can teach you through lectures and hands-on exercises. An intense look at the art of telling stories visually. More info on my seminars here.

My students and I always have a lot of fun in these classes. Last year’s workshop even got a write-up in Fast Company by author Matthew May.

Here’s the link to SIGN UP. As always, availability is limited. See you in February!

***

And see sidebar for more on my very busy spring including stops in Nashville, Berlin, Alberta, Santa Barbara, and White River Junction, VT—a total of six trips in seven weeks!


Notes from Hibernation #2

This blog is going to be pretty quiet this year while I continue work on the graphic novel, but wanted to pass along a couple of links.

Congratulations to Spike and Diana Nock for a successful Kickstarter for Poorcraft, and to Jeff Parker and Erika Moen for the recently completed Bucko, both of which will be out soon in book form.

Also recently completed is Kane Lynch’s The Relics and if you have an Android phone, be sure to put some Merlin in it.

Two artists in trouble this month: S. Clay Wilson and Tony DeZuniga. Help if you can.

Two recent passings that struck a chord: The great Moebius, who had a huge influence on me (and most of my generation probably). Also very sad to hear of the loss of Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre fame. I had the pleasure of spending time with Peter at a conference in Colorado about 15 years ago and was able to tell him how much his work had shaped my teen years. Moebius, I met only once (at Comic-Con). I told him he changed my life and he just laughed and said “I’m so sorry!”

That’s all for now. Back to the Cintiq. Many pages yet to draw, so you won’t hear from me much for a while, but I hope it’ll be worth the wait.

You can also find me on both Twitter and Google+ (where I pop-up a little more often than here).

[Image from the cool webcomic Poppa Bears found via Spurge]


Attention Montreal!

The Making Comics 2-Day Workshop heads north to beautiful Montreal, May 28-29.

Sixteen hours of everything I can teach you through lectures and hands-on exercises. An intense look at the art of telling stories visually.

Here’s the link to SIGN UP. Availability is limited as usual.

Need another excuse to visit Montreal in the spring? How about the fact that it’s Montreal in the spring!


Attention: Norfolk, VA!

Join me this Monday night (April 2) at 7pm for a Free Public Lecture at Tidewater Community College, in the Roper Performing Arts Center (Norfolk Campus).

If you’re in the Tidewater Region, don’t miss it. I have lots of cool pictures and stuff!