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Archive for June, 2009


Thank you, The Internet!


So, no sooner do I post about my search for some Shawn Cheng comics you could read online, when Shawn contacts me and graciously offers to put all of his great mini The Would-Be Bridegrooms online in a great click-through format. Read it, thank him, buy things. All is right with the world.

And as long as I’m following up on earlier posts, y’gotta love this miniature masterpiece by Mr. Turner. Though y’gotta read it TWICE to know why.

Oh, and Bryan Lee O’Malley is offering his full third Kupek album for free. (I thought it was great, but don’t tell him; we don’t want him to stop making comics.)

So, yeah. Good stuff this week! Way to go, The Internet.


Pixxicato

Can’t. Stop. Playing.

[link via our friend Alice]


Want to Read a Story?


Since the last couple of posts were about searching for fragments of a cartoonist’s work online, here’s a cartoonist who’s been putting up whole stories for a while: Kris Dresen.

Dresen recently uploaded a brand new story She’s in the Trees, her first in color. It’s a beautiful short, wordless tone poem you could probably squeeze in before the boss comes back from the bathroom.

And if you have a bit more time to spend, I can highly recommend Dresen’s earlier story Grace, also available online (some nudity and adult themes). It’s a full-fledged story (with words even) I enjoyed when it was being serialized, but I’m glad to link to now that it’s finally complete.

Good stories, good storytelling, and smart, easy-to-read formats. And you can even order the print versions here if you like.

Thank you, Ms. Dresen.


Searching for Shawn Cheng

One of the cooler mini-comics I got at TCAF last month was The Would-Be Bridegrooms by Shawn Cheng. Looking at it this morning, I noticed a url on the back page and thought maybe I could link to an online version. But the link was to PartykaUSA.com which redirected to a “Daily Drawings” page which featured a number of artists including Shawn, and which, if I clicked at top could get me to a page where I could order Shawn’s mini-comics and the mini-comics of other interesting artists.

Okay. Partially useful.

Still, I wanted to show you guys some of Shawn’s comics, so I found a link to shawncheng.com in a sidebar on Partyka. Unfortunately, when I visited Shawn’s page, all the links seem to be to stand-alone images. Nothing to read, but at least it’ll give you some idea of Cheng’s visionary style.

Oh, and this might be Shawn’s Facebook page. nope.

Some cartoonists excel at promoting themselves online, providing one-stop portals with complete stories and tons of information. Some are more modest (or less comfortable making websites) and require a little more digging. And some may prefer to be elusive and cryptic for reasons they’re unlikely to ever explain.

I guess it takes all kinds, but as a part-time blogger, that first group sure makes my life easier.


Why isn’t Sean Bieri King?

One of the most naturally funny cartoonists I’ve encountered in my travels is Sean Bieri, yet I’m betting most of my readers aren’t familiar with his work. He’s a bit scattered across the Web, here and here and maybe elsewhere, but really deserves a more conspicuous showcase. Here’s my bid to bump him up a notch.

[Note that the illo above is from years ago. I've seen others use the gag since, but I'm pretty sure Sean came up with it on his own. Click on the image for more of Sean's great "Meatbeaters."]


I’m a Year Older

So I’m taking the day off.

Scott Glossary:

“Taking the day off” = Only drawing for about 5 hours, and not dealing with any other errands. 

“Vacation” = A nice long walk between drawing.

“Retirement” = Getting to draw all the time.

Have I mentioned that I love my job?


LHS!

So, no sooner does Amanda Palmer (Lexington High School alumn) put together a Neutral Milk Hotel inspired production at my old high school, and no sooner do we see my old pal Brian Dewan (Lexington High School alumn) performing in LA (and also doing something related to Neutral Milk Hotel lately, oddly enough) when suddenly, our friend Sally is linking to Eugene Merman (Lexington High School alumn) giving this year’s LHS commencement speech a day or two ago.

In fact, Eugene even went to Diamond Junior High, where Kurt Busiek and I first started hanging out, playing chess, role-playing games, quoting Monty Python, and talking about why I had no interest whatsoever in Kurt’s latest hobby: comic books… while Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn sat in a Howard Johnson’s 3 miles away, sketching out the TCP/IP protocol on napkins.

Most common question from our friends who didn’t grow up in Lexington, MA: “What did they put in the water?”


Entire Nation Endorses Cartoonist

It somehow slipped my mind that America has its own website, but if a nation of 300 million wanted to pick a cartoonist to profile, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy than Gene.

[Link via Dirk]


Know any Italian?

I saw some great new work in Barcelona that was published in Spanish, but hadn’t been translated into English yet (don’t have those books at hand at the moment, so I’ll save them for another post). 

Meanwhile, though, one small press comic that caught my eye while in Spain was actually from an Italian cartoonist living and studying in Barcelona named Giulia Sagramola. It was called Riunione di Famiglia and if you know any Italian, you can tell me if the story is any good, but I liked the art and storytelling.

Turns out there’s more at her site, including intriguing short subjects in varying styles, with tantalizing descriptions in English. The story Perchè non ballate? sports the following note (I’ve repaired the syntax a bit):

Graduation project: a study about comics storytelling.

“Why don’t you dance?” is a beautiful Raymond Carver novel I’ve asked to 4 friends to read and to summarize ìn their own ways. Then I’ve anaylized the texts and used them to draw my comics. The results are 4 versions of the same story drawn and composed in 4 different ways.

The project wants to analyze the grammar and composition of comics pages. I collected the 4 exercises in a book that I designed and structured with a written part introducing comics history and its language evolution. 

This project is looking for a publisher, if you are interested in please contact me! 

You heard her.

Milk and Mint also looks really cool, though if she had any in Barcelona, I don’t recall. Hmm. Time to look through the bags…

Fortunately, for us language-impaired Angloids, you can read her short diary comic Cosas Raras in English at grandpapier.org.


A Freebie from Harper

Barry Deutsch notes that HarperCollins is now offering the first 100 pages of our recent 576 page Zot! Collection for free online. This is a good thing.

There was a time, not that long ago, when publishers were reluctant to offer any significant amount of published work online for free. Clearly though, it can help spread the word about good stories and art. Check out the comments from yesterday’s post regarding Carol Tyler’s 10-page preview for a demonstration. 

I remember when Understanding Comics was first published in 1993 and Kitchen Sink sent me to a trade show to promote it. We’d sent out mailings, we’d taken out ads, but the best promotion for the book we ever did was simply handing out a thousand copies to retailers.

Covers sell comics. Ads sell comics. But nothing sells comics better than the comics themselves.