Archive for August, 2009


Just a footnote really, but it reminded me how much the Web has enabled us to find patterns in the world that surely would have gone unnoticed just a few years ago…

Some of you might remember this post where I compare and contrast comics by Lisa Hanawalt and Laurie Sandell. I just found out a parallel between the two authors that I couldn’t have known at the time: both authors have parents from Argentina.

How do I know? ‘Cause Lisa’s Mom just emailed me.

And this after going for a walk yesterday and being told via Twitter that someone else’s Mom has been talking to author Bill McKibben about going to Sunday school with me almost 40 years ago.

How many years, I wonder, before the Great Internet Coincidence Database hits critical mass?


Last night, the family and I ate at a new burger place and I noticed that it was next to the cemetery where Jack and Rosalind Kirby are buried. This morning, Tom reminds us that Jack Kirby would have been Ninety-Two today.

I sometimes go for mid-day walks in that neighborhood and occasionally stop to pay my respects. And I always think of this story.


“And as you can see, it actually knows how to read the comic for you.”

Not the first nor the last to employ this strategy for getting around printed comics on mobile devices, but they certainly win the award for most chilling tagline.

Has anyone tried the various mobile readers out there and compared them yet? I’d be curious to hear others’ reactions.

With Great Power…

There’s an interesting conversation between Dash Shaw and Hope Larson about editing that’s been making the rounds. Hope likes editorial feedback, but I’ve heard other young cartoonists railing against editors.

I came from a generation of independent/alternative cartoonists that largely believed that “editorial freedom” meant “freedom from editors,” but I’ve always believed in the value of getting honest, in-depth feedback.

For most of my career, I’ve had tremendous freedom in putting together my stories and art, but I’ve also turned to friends to tell me when I’m going off the rails. When working on Understanding Comics in the early ’90s, I turned to my panel of “kibitzers” (Kurt Busiek, Neil Gaiman, Larry Marder, Steve Bissette, Jenn Manley Lee, and Ivy) to rip apart my layouts and rip they did.

The very fact that I could have ignored their advice gave me the confidence to follow it. Whole chapters got the axe and new ones were created. I had the power to ignore them, but I also knew what Spidey said about “great power” and — like the spelling of invulnerable — it was a lesson I learned from reading superhero comics that I’ve never forgotten.


While reading the latest “hey-they’re-making-comics-on-the-web-apparently” article (found via DD) I stumbled on yet another interesting comic that’s been running for a while, but which I stupidly missed: Kinokofry by Rebecca Clements. Weird but pretty. Check it out.

The Serendipity of the Web was a selling point in the mid ’90s when most of us starting hopping on. Now, I have a nagging anxiety that for every cool comic I stumble upon, there are another 1,000 I would have liked but will never see.

I love working on the graphic novel, but it’s meant less surfing and less involvement in the webcomics scene. Hoping to jump back in more after the last page is drawn in a couple of years.

Tastes Like Chicken

Ivy and I took way too many photos in Spain, some of which I’m still trying to wrangle after coming back from Woods Hole, but here’s something I had to share right away.

The festival guests at Vinetas desde O Atantico were frequently treated to “Pulpo a la gallega,” the region’s iconic octopus dish, but the strangest occasion had to be during our visit to A Coruna’s aquarium — in full view of real, living examples of the species. I got a cool video of one of them so here it is.

In other video news, Bert Hernandez’s magnificently insane kid’s show The Naked Cosmos is available again. Get it while you can.

More on Longbox

A pre-launch screencast on the much-anticipated Longbox (via Dirk).

It’s not on the sidebar, but I’m actually on muggy but beautiful Cape Cod at the moment (I left barely 24 hours after we landed in L.A. from Spain) doing a government thingey (unrelated to Obama’s visit, though I realized tonight that he’s reeeeely close to here), so blogging continues to be a bit irregular. Hope to return to regular updates Monday.

If it was the Only Movie Out this Year…

…it would still be a pretty good year for movies.

Hey, It’s Still There!

Long ago, reader/cartoonist Greg Stephens created a forum for the Morning Improv. The forum, like the Improv, is dormant at the moment, but one of the cool outcomes was the creation of a goofy thread called “What Else Does Scott Understand?” which included a lot of cool fan art.

I recently found the archive Greg put together and thought you guys might enjoy it.

(Also, I figured it would distract people from the fact that I haven’t even begun to organize my pictures from Spain and with a trip to Boston tonight, my prospects of getting to that in the next couple of days are dwindling).

Having a Wonderful Time…

Ah! So THIS is what a vacation feels like.

I’ll have a long plane ride Sunday to organize my pictures and thoughts on our enchanted visit to A Coruna, but right now I’m afraid we’re having too much fun with good friends and amazing food to blog much.

Here’s a blog-worthy item though while you’re waiting. Kurt has been posting some crazy-old art on his news page including several pages of “Once More With Feeling” a short subject he wrote and I drew in the summer between high school and college. It’s kind of wonderful and kind of terrible. Enjoy.