Archive for December, 2010

Winter Break

This blog will be taking a break until January 10 to make up for my health-related lost time and holiday craziness (and a 50th birthday cruise for Ivy).

I’m actually pretty healthy overall. This whole episode was probably the result of nothing more than a little calcium build-up, resulting in a kidney stone which led to pain, which led to blood pressure spikes, which (most likely) led to the dissection of my celiac artery.

This week we finally put in (and took out—OUCH) a stent for the kidney stone, and today, a small but permanent stent goes in for the artery.

With luck that’ll be it, and I’ll be back to 100% shortly.

Like a lot of guys my age, I need to lose about 30 pounds, but unlike most guys my age, my blood pressure has been pretty low over the years. ”I love my job,” I’d tell them whenever they’d take my readings, and it’s true.

I’ll be working 10 hours a day, seven days a week again soon. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.

One last link before the break: Here’s an anthology worth getting for the cover alone. Will 2011 be the year that mobile comics start sucking less? We’ll see.

Enjoy Christmas and the New Year!


Sick day.

Don’t even ask.

In the meantime, though, go read Mike Dawson’s great Troop 142. Now online in its entirety [via Tom].

See Mike Draw

I probably shouldn’t be looking at comics this funny while still recovering from Monday’s stent placement—some of these jokes could kill me—but you guys can safely browse the archive if you’re in good health.

In other news, looks like I’ll be heading to Iowa State University next month! Details shortly.

[link via Kelly Thompson at CBR]

Monkey Business

Thanks to all the great students who came out for this weekend’s workshop at LAAFA! You guys were a joy to work with.

A couple of benefit comics out there this week: Panels for Primates (promoting primaterescue.org) and this call for submissions for an anthology to help promote anti-bullying awareness.

I like this handy round-up of UK artists. Anyone want to attempt it with other countries and create single portal?

This is medical wrap-up week, with two or three procedures planned to hopefully put both my kidney stone and arterial fall-out to rest. Wish me luck.

Life Drawing

While getting ready for this weekend’s Los Angeles workshop, I came across this elegant rotoscope-based video (via Jim & Misty) that reminded me how beautiful the human form is—and how far I still have to go, after all these years, to capture it on paper.

There are no shortcuts. Yes, comics is about much more than figure drawing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time to practice, practice, practice.

Do the hard work long enough, and maybe, someday, you can make it look easy.

[Edit to add: For those attending this weekend's workshop, though, don't worry! Figure drawing won't be the focus, and even stick figures will be most welcome. We'll be focusing on the art of "writing with pictures," not drawing virtuosity. :-]

Tic Tac Toe Jam

Matt Madden sends word of his latest invention, the Tic Tac Toe Jam!

Anyone want to try it out and post links here?

Wanna be a Guinea Pig?

Neil Cohn is looking for volunteers to, well… look at comics. You guys can do that, right?

He’s even offering a drawing for a prize, so go for it.

And while you’re at it, check out Neil’s other studies and essays at his Visual Linguist blog.

[link via Journalista]

Someday, All Comics Will Look like This:

Rebels of the Pacific Northwest

Something about this three-part interview with Vancouver cartoonist Colin Upton made me very happy.

It’s encouraging to see a mini-comics rebel from my small press excursion days holding forth on a dozen topics and looking relatively healthy after recent bouts with diabetes and other challenges.

Upton’s interview reminded me of another recent YouTube find; a video interview with minicomics legend Steve Willis from Washington State. Both videos communicate an air of stubborn resistance to anything slick or mass-produced which makes me smile.

As I’ve mentioned here before, one of the things I loved about the small press scene of the ’80s and early ’90s was the freedom it gave cartoonists to pursue their own path regardless what the marketplace might have wanted from them.

A version of that freedom migrated to the Web, but even a technophile like me knows it’s not the same, and can still enjoy listening to a cartoonist explain his craft with a pencil in hand, sitting at a slanted table, surrounded by books, and hearing the sound of a northwest rain falling outside his window.

Oh, Wait! Here’s Something Important After All…


Next Weekend (December 11-12) is my Comics: Theory and Practice Two-Day Workshop at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art.

Due to a site update glitch, the workshop was listed as “Sold Out” for a week. That’s actually wrong. It’s ALMOST sold out, but if you’d still like to participate, there are just a few seats left. Sorry for the confusion.

In two very full days, it’ll be my pleasure to teach you everything I know about making comics. Now’s your last chance to sign up to join us.