Archive for February, 2011

Congratulations, Shaun Tan!

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tan briefly in New York in 2009, not long after The Arrival was released.

Tan famously realized only halfway through The Arrival that he was working on a graphic novel. Fortunately, so did the rest of us, and it’s won many well-deserved honors since. Congratulations to Tan for racking up another great honor, this time in the field of animation.

Tan’s personal site is here. More on the film here.

I Have Nothing Interesting to Say Today

So here’s a picture of Archduke Franz Ferdinand:

And yes, I’m still kind of upset about Sarajevo.


You’ve probably seen this already, but just in case…

(Hi Mom. This is probably one of those links you don’t really need to click on. Sorry!)

In other news, yeah, I was thinking a while back that I could kinda-sorta take credit for envisioning an iPad-like device in 2000. Guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

And finally, here’s a kickstarter for a cool-looking graphic novel project from Jesse Ian Rubenfeld. Give it a look!

Life’s Reminders

Drawing of Dwayne McDuffie by Denys Cowan

News of the untimely death, from surgical complications, of comics and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie burned through the news wires yesterday. A real shock (he was only in his late forties) and the loss of a strong and unique voice in the comics community.

This has been a week filled with reminders of how fragile life is, and the many ways the “real world” can intrude on our cozy, screen-filled worlds. Emails arrived from Iran and Egypt that helped put a face on conditions/recent events there (one on new business, one on old). I remembered talking to Dylan Horrocks just last week about his conversations with people in the thick of it, thinking how disconnected I was.

And, as many of you heard, there was another serious quake in Christchurch, New Zealand right after we left the country. If you’d like to contribute to efforts there, here are some details. Jason Webley was there for a concert and Amanda Palmer was on her way to Christchurch, so it was a little harder to keep it all at arms-length, having just seen them both.

Us nerds like to escape from the world through stories. But, inevitably, the rest of the world is going to come knocking. And, as McDuffie made clear for decades, any story can be richer when we throw the doors open and let the whole world in.

Under the Weather

I seem to have picked up some hitchiking microbes on my way back from New Zealand Sunday, so I’m taking it easy this morning.

Back to blogging tomorrow.

The Plot Thickens…

Okay, it’s a bit short on details, but why do I get the feeling that things are about to get very interesting out there?

Back home from our first-ever visit to New Zealand and the family (Ivy, Sky, and I, with the role of Winter being played by Sky’s friend Kendra) had a fantastic time.

Webstock was top notch. Hung out with and loved performances by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, met great brains like David McCandless, Peter Sunde, and Tom Coates, played Werewolf for the first time (Go, Villagers!), and had lots of good food and good conversations.

Wellington is a beautiful city. We’re so adding it to The List (our friends will know what I mean).

Big shout out to the 40 or so wonderful cartoonists we met this weekend in both Wellington and Auckland. You guys rock.

And thanks of course to Dylan Horrocks, ambassador for the Kiwi comics nation, our host in Auckland with his adorable family, and one of our favorite people in all of comics.

Back to the drawing board!

[video link via @modernlovecomic]

Headin’ South

Off this week while we fly south of the equator for the first time to visit New Zealand, speak at Webstock, and meet some great Kiwi cartoonists, as well as our old friend, the mighty Dylan Horrocks.

Back to blogging next Monday!

The Scale of the Universe

Here’s a great z-axis zoom-through of the universe [link via Kris Lachowski] showing the vast range of scales from the sub-atomic level to the outer reaches of the known universe.

When I was a kid, I read an illustrated book from 1957 called The Universe in 40 Jumps that pulled a similar trick in a succession of 10x steps; a predecessor to films like Powers of Ten (and partial inspiration for The Right Number).

Looking at this latest effort to make the incomprehensible comprehensible, all I can think is that the universe has gotten A LOT bigger, since I was a lot smaller.

Have a great weekend…

…you tiny, insignificant specks.


Funny, disturbing, beautiful. I liked this a lot.

Heidi already mentioned the Chris Ware similarities, and I’d throw in Al Columbia, but on the whole, OReilly still has plenty of his own vision to run on.

[Not safe for work. Barely safe anywhere.]

[Also note: An HD version of External World can be downloaded at OReilly's shop, and yes, apparently, he's dropped the apostrophe.]

More than One Way to Skin a Cat

Having trouble with perspective? Lucky for you, David Chelsea has a great book on the subject (in comics form no less) that explains everything you need to know about drawing 3-D scenes in Flatland.

But if you still feel out of your depth with full western perspective, David points out in a recent blog post, that there’s a simpler alternative — the isometric approach — that can help create the illusion of depth by following a few simple rules.

Part One is here, with more examples in Part Two, including my photo from the CN tower with it’s Sims-like isometric composition.