Archive for May, 2009

“The Intricacies of the Art of the Bullet”

Ah, Translation Software…

Sounds from Texas, Sites from Spain

Quick follow-up to an earlier thread: Dan Goldman checks in to let us know that the audio from March’s SXSW panel on mobile webcomics is finally online here.

Settling in here in Barcelona today. Enjoyed chatting with Mark Waid on the flight over, and seeing/meeting other pros at our pre-show meals, including Mike Mignola, Jeffrey Brown, Todd Nauck, C.B. Cebulski, and one of my earliest important influences as a comics fan, Mr. Jim Starlin.

Also took in the Museum (getting inspired by certain sculptures regarding a certain graphic novel) and saw some cool graffiti. Dinner in 15 minutes, then sleep and more of the city tomorrow, though I suspect I’ll mostly be looking at name badges and screens.

Barcelona Bound

I’m flying out of LAX this morning to Barcelona’s 27th Annual Comic Convention.

If you plan to attend, here’s a rough schedule:


Signing at the FICOMIC booth, 4:30-5:45 pm.

Conference for Teachers, Conference Hall, 6:30-7:45 pm.


Signing at the FICOMIC booth, 12:30-1:45 pm.

Lecture, Conference Hall, 5:45-7:15 pm.

Signing at the Astiberri booth, 7:30-9:00 pm.


Signing at the Astiberri booth, 12:30-2:00 pm.

Signing at the Astiberri booth, 6:00-7:30 pm.

Check at both the Astiberri and FICOMIC booths for updates in case there are changes.

As usual, updates to the blog may be spotty while I’m abroad, but things should be back to normal by Tuesday morning (he says optimistically).

Sondheim nerds can now commence to asking “Where Ya Goin’?” I’ll respond appropriately.

On the Creative Process

Beaver and Steve creator James Turner offers his take on the creative process and yeah, sometimes that’s just how it is. 

[Thanks to Dirk Deppey at Journalista for the link (crediting Xaviar Xerexes).]

Iconic Identification Examined

Neil Cohn sends news of a Korean neuroscience study testing the iconic identification theory from Understanding Comics Chapter Two. (Does everyone get emails like this or is it just me?). Peculiar but interesting reading.

Meanwhile, a bit closer to my old stomping grounds in Medford, Massachusetts, Neil himself has been hard at work with theories, essays, and studies of his own for some time, all of which can be found at his extensive site. He’s even posted a reaction to the Korean study here.

Random Music Thoughts

Been enjoying a relatively new band called The Mummers, especially the songs “March of the Dawn” and “Lorca and the Orange Tree,” though it’s a guilty pleasure since they’re pretty much just pushing my musical buttons over and over. The lead singer, Raissa Khan-Panni, sounds maybe a bit too Björk-y on some tracks, but she has a great voice nonetheless and the arrangements are huge and rich and irresistible (to me, at least). Good speakers recommended for those wonderful bass notes.

Maybe I’m imagining things, but I think there’s something going on inside of a bunch of the songs I’ve been listening to lately with female lead vocalists. The arrangements behind them are getting increasingly robust and deep, while the voices up front are becoming more elfin and/or breathy, and maybe because of the syncopation, there’s less a sense of back-up than of counterpoint, which sets up a pretty dramatic masculine/feminine interplay (or Butch/Femme if you prefer) that’s practically NSFW. The Bird and the Bee‘s incredible song “Man” is the purest example I’ve found, but I hear traces of it in The Ting Tings, JemBat for Lashes (“Horse and I”), Bitter:Sweet (“The Mating Game”), and Anya Marina (“Miss Halfway”).

I remember feeling like I was hearing something new the first time I heard The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” Maybe it was this.

Thanks to kbeilz for recommending The Mummers after hearing I was enjoying Jesca Hoop‘s “Seed of Wonder.” Feel free to recommend some of your favorites, similar or not.

I promise, back to comics on Monday. I just really, really love music.

Flash Forward

Salgood Sam pointed me (via Twitter) to Manmachine by Martin Hekker, which uses a simple Flash-based side-scrolling thingey that doubles the cursor speed for fairly seamless navigation once its all loaded  (“programming by Mike Angstadt” so I assume this was Mike’s doing).

[Correction!: The audio is Flash-based, but the scroll-thingey is Javascript-based. Thanks to Andrew in the comments section for the heads-up. (Way to ruin a good pun, Universe).]

Speaking of Neal Von Flue…

this collaboration with writer Alexander Danner from 2005 is five kinds of wonderful if you’ve never read it. Reading it again yesterday, I was reminded of Neil Gaiman at his most dry (and most succinct—it’s a quick read). 

Neal Von Flue used the original “infinite canvas” application developed at Vienna’s University of Technology by Markus Müller under the supervision of Peter Purgathofer in 2003-2004 (not to be confused with Microsoft Live Lab’s recent experiment). The app isn’t being actively developed anymore, but a few artists gave it a try with some cool results. The implementation on Alexander and Neal’s story is simple, but I think it adds a lot to the reading experience.

Tymothi Godek’s “!”

Tymothi Godek offers a gargantuan sidescroller simply called “!” that I enjoyed— it’s just a “rough draft” but an entertaining and brain-bending read nonetheless.

Thanks to the Neal Von Flue (no slouch in this department himself) for pointing us to “!” in the comments section of the XKCD post from Friday. Tymothi’s experiment, like the much shorter XKCD strip is playing with parallel narratives, but ramping it up with more characters and some great intersections. Despite the crazed fantasy storyline, Tym is mapping the sort of intersecting, branching, and colliding paths that people in real life take all the time, but that only comics can make visible. Very cool.

I am a Crazy, Drunken Sailor

Audio of the TCAF panels here. I sound really crazy.

Note: Scott occasionally uses foul language, but very politely.”

(Politely or not, you might want to skip this one, Mom!)