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Archive for ‘Cartoonists’


Shoe #4 – About to Drop

More than a year and a half ago, I wrote about four upcoming books and promised to post updates as each became available.

Those books were David Small’s Stitches, David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, Hope Larson’s Mercury, and Vera Brosgol’s then-untitled graphic novel for First Second.

Well, the first three came out to well-deserved acclaim, and now at last that fourth one—quite possibly my favorite of the whole bunch—is finally available for pre-order. And it has a name!: Anya’s Ghost.

Brosgol points out on her blog that now’s the time to tell your local comics store to put in their orders through Diamond. I can very highly recommend this one (as does a rather famous Neil on that cover, above, in case you didn’t notice).

Vera Brosgol is the kind of cartoonist I want to be when I grow up, and I know several other cartoonists who feel the same way. Get a copy of Anya’s Ghost for yourself and find out why.


Happy Birthday, Will Eisner—Google-Style!

Google is celebrating the birthday of the late, great Will Eisner today with a terrific Eisneresque Google Doodle, and I had the pleasure of contributing a guest blog post to help celebrate the occasion as well.

Thanks to everybody at the Big G for honoring a truly important cartoonist, and a great friend to a century’s worth of comics-lovers.

Fondly remembered. Sorely missed. And now celebrated across the internet. Happy birthday, Will.

[Please note: Some news outlets are reporting that I drew the finished art for the Doodle. Not true. I was involved in early design discussions, but the final version was by artist Mike Dutton]


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.


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.


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!


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.


Gingerbread Girl

So, there’s this silly, adorable, sexy little comic (NSFW, but only barely so far) called Gingerbread Girl by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin running on Top Shelf’s ts2.0 section.

Like, I assume, all of the comics on ts2.0, Gingerbread Girl can be read online, but they’d really like you to actually buy the book. Which is reasonable, of course. They are a publisher.

Thing is, I really like the web presentation when you first get there. It’s clean, nicely designed. Colleen’s black and white artwork looks great online and they’ve thoughtfully broken the pages into two tiers each so they’ll fit on most screens.

Best of all, when I’m done reading Page One, I can just click and Page Two instantly loads. And when I’m done reading Page Two, I can just click and Page Three instantly loads. And when I’m…

Oh.

*sigh*

…which is not true, because there are five more parts online already that I can read.

At this point, if I want to keep reading, I can ignore the alert box, find the drop down menu at the top or bottom of the page (maybe with a bit of scrolling), see the options to remind myself which installment I’m on, based on which installment is missing from the context sensitive menu (sophisticated touch, that) and select the next installment.

And… back to reading!

Fortunately, I only have to do this every three pages so it’s not distracting. No, not at all.

Is this what we’ve come to? When even the best designers (again, I like the way ts2.0 is designed for the most part) have to degrade the reading experience online for fear of making the print version superfluous?

2011, People.

2011.


Nancy and… Bucko?

Well, this seems to be the week of jaw-dropping over-the-top tributes.

Gaming in Obscurity’s guide to Five Card Nancy features host Ryan McSwain’s own home-made Five Card Nancy deck (learn about the game here) and a complete explanation of the rules and origins of the game and, um… me.

And then, about seven and a half minutes in, um…

Uh…

…a thing happens.

I don’t know how to describe it. It’s wonderfully bizarre and funny, and — if you’re me — even more terrifying than yesterday’s infographic, but it’s kind of a must-see.

Meanwhile, back in Scott World Prime, Jeff Parker and Erika Moen have begun an adorable new webcomic called Bucko.

It’s off to a great start. I especially like the local, rainy, Portlandiness of it. Feels like a love letter to that wonderful, cartoonist-clogged city already. Definitely one to bookmark.

Have a great weekend!


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.]