Archive for February, 2009

More Infographic Terror

Everybody and his brother is linking to this great animation by Jonathan Jarvis about the credit crisis:

Credit Crisis Animation

Literally my brother in this case, who was blogging regularly about the housing collapse before it happened here.

Five-Card Flickr?

Another invention has been mutating while I’ve been hibernating (this time via Ms. Nancy).

5-Card Story

Check out 5-Card Story & 5-Card Flickr by way of the esteemed Alan Levine, aka CogDog, and add your own photos the pool.

Oh! And argue about whether it’s comics or not.

Information Wants to be Loved

Two videos. My daughter Sky showed me this last week:

And Cat Garza showed us this on his blog last week:

They’ve both been around for a while (2006 & 2002), but if you’ve never seen either I strongly recommend both.

Funny thing is, I love the first one because it’s all about pure information—spare, monochrome, one idea at a time—and I love the second one because it’s just the opposite: a cascading waterfall of mostly useless infographics. Maybe it’s just the sensation of being taught. Maybe it’s just porn for info-geeks like me. Either way I can’t take my eyes off them.

Making Faces

The Grimace Project is a freakishly cool facial expression generator that came out a few weeks ago in which you can mix and match any two of the six “emotional primaries” that I charted in Chapter 2 of Making Comics.

The project comes out of the Vienna University of Technology under the guidance of Peter Purgathofer. The team kindly acknowledges me, but credit is equally due to my own inspirations for the charts, artist Gary Faigin and researcher Paul Eckman — not to mention Mr. Darwin.

Facial expressions should be taught in every grade school. Just because kids can “write” and “read” them through instinct is no reason not to help them understand this powerful communicative tool we all carry around on the front of our heads. Widgets like the Grimace Project could be a great starting point.


Hello again. I’m back from  hibernation with a big site redesign. Take a look around and feel free to let me know what you think of the new look (including bug reports and typo alerts, of which I’m sure there’ll be plenty). Once I’m happy with the static content, I’ll be converting this page to a proper blog with comments, archives, rss, etc.

This site first launched in mid-1998, a bit over ten years ago (a lifetime in both internet years and dog years) so it was long overdue for a face-lift. When working on the redesign, I did a lot of clicking around for ideas, even visiting randomwebsite a couple of times, where I tripped over this video:


…which, just so you know, is exactly what it felt like to be making webcomics for those first few years: two parts exhilaration, one part crazy. I enjoyed it, but that’s how my personality breaks down most days anyway.

The last few years have been a different kind of exhilaration and a different kind of crazy for me. I wrote and drew Making Comics, our family went to all 50 States, I did a ton of appearances, put out a 576-page Zot! collection, did a comic book for Google, and now I’m officially beginning work on a massive graphic novel I’ve been secretly plotting out for over 20 years. But the site’s been pretty quiet and I’d like to change that now.

While working on the graphic novel, I’m hoping to finally return to both regular blogging and to gradually finishing up The Right Number as well as one or two more Morning Improvs. I may not be making webcomics full-time for a while, just an hour or two of web work each morning, but I’d like to at least keep a toe dipped in the water on a regular basis starting next week.

Be seeing you.