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Archive for January, 2011


Cartoonist Sighting

Natasha Allegri is like the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker* of comics artists. You have to camp out in her old natural habitat (LiveJournal apparently) for weeks to catch a glimpse, but it’s always worth it. Funny, wonderfully-drawn stuff.

There was a time when LiveJournal spread all the way from Venezuela to the northern tip of Uruguay, and Allegri was the talk of the rainforest. Literally the #2 account in terms of popularity at one point.

But her presence — like LJ itself — has dwindled due to… I dunno, actually. Day job, I assume.**

Now she’s joined the ranks of the many great cartoonists that deserves a much more solid web presentation.

Maybe, if we’re lucky, she has a big project on the way, and hasn’t just been struck by that humility virus that’s been going around. [see update below]

Keep your binoculars ready.

*[UPDATE #1: I have been informed that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is a bit more than rare. It may actually be EXTINCT. Clearly Natasha Allegri is not extinct. Sorry for any confusion. I just meant her Livejournal comics are rare and beloved.]

**[UPDATE #2: Yup. Allegri's day job is working on Adventure Time. So yeah, gainfully employed, etc, etc... but I want more comics, dammit!]

[UPDATE #3: Fun fact: Pen Ward, creator of Adventure Time, took my original comics workshop at MCAD several years ago.]

[UPDATE #4: Okay, you can also follow her on Twitter, which links to her Tumblr, which seems to be updated a bit more often.]

[UPDATE #5: I am wrong about everything.]


My Ames is True

I’m off to Ames, Iowa this afternoon for my Thursday night lecture at Iowa State University. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll make the drive down to say Hi.

The family and I had a strange, magical evening in Ames during the 50 State Tour in 2007. Looking forward to visiting again.

Back to blogging Monday. Have a great week & weekend.


Not a Dream! Not an Imaginary Story!

Congratulations to James Kochalka Superstar who has been named Cartoonist Laureate of the State of Vermont; the first time a cartoonist has held such a position.

[Correction: See Comment by Pat Race. It seems that Alaska beat Vermont to the punch.]

Anyone want to try to create such a position in one of the other 49? Imagine the competition in Oregon!

[News via Tom. Photo via Robot 6, I think.]


Doodle 4 Google

Many of you may have already heard the news last week about Doodle 4 Google, and one of the best-known companies on Earth hardly needs me to herald their press releases (well, maybe that once), but this looks like such a fun contest I want to make sure you all get the details—especially if you have kids.

I’ll be one of nine guest judges (along with Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Davis, Jeff Kinney, Beverly Cleary, and some other truly cool people) and there’ll be an exhibit of the 40 finalists at the Whitney this spring.

I love kid’s art. DC had me help judge a cereal box competition many years ago and it was one of my fondest memories from that period. I can’t wait to see what America’s kids have in store this time.


300+ Pages and She’s Just Getting Warmed Up

The Amazing Jenn Manley Lee recently completed Book One of her massive Dicebox story and started Book Two. And now you can order Book One in a swanky new print edition, with a zillion extras, directly from the artist.

When I think of all the rich, multilayered, meticulous full-color legend-spinning that went into Book One, the idea that she’s planning three more books makes my own hands shrivel up with shame. Be sure to help her get there today with your pre-orders.

Have a great weekend!


Jury Duty!

See you tomorrow.


Well, That’s Just Gorgeous

The Twitterverse was all abuzz yesterday for this wonderful guide to facial expressions by Lackadaisy creator Tracy J. Butler. More than just a tutorial, the thing is a practically a work of art on its own (and should probably be a poster).

And naturally, if you like the tutorial and haven’t read the comic, now is as good a time as any.

And YES, let’s have fewer “Smarm Brows” out there, okay?


I Want to See More of Shel

Koren Shadmi has started serializing a great-looking new webcomic called The Abaddon. Just a few pages so far, so now’s a good time to grab a front row seat.

I enjoyed the Israel-American Shadmi’s 2009 collection In the Flesh. Shadmi’s stories are strange and bleak, and they feature some dark sexual politics, but they’re compelling and memorable.

Also: Love that crazy palette. And the web-friendly page format, of course.

Geez… too many quality webcomics to keep track of this month. Slow down, The Internet!


Go with the Flow

Here’s a great flowchart comic about link sharing from H Coldwell Tanner and Roscott.

There should be more flowchart comics! These things are cool.

[link via shidoshi & wohali]


Friday Odds and Ends

Congratulations to Jim Woodring for actually building and using that big-ass pen I told you about a while back! Some pictures via Bart Beaty here and a video here (links via twelve zillion people, but I think I read about it on Comics Reporter and the Beat first).

Another notable new webcomic to check out: Doug Tennapel’s Ratfist (thanks to Corey Mcdaniel for the heads-up). Also realized that Kris Dresen’s She Said is gathering steam. Hop on board before its done.

And via Snail Mail, two books about comics:

The comics-format To Teach: The Journey in Comics by Bill Ayers (yes, that Bill Ayers apparently) and Ryan Alexander-Tanner, which looks intriguing, and The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts, which I have an interview in, but looks plenty interesting anyway.

Finally, congratulations to Sarah Oleksyk on the publication of the collected Ivy. I’ve read them all, but I’m happy for the excuse to read them again.

Have a great weekend!