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Archive for ‘Cartoonists’


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.]


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.]


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!


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!


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!


They’re Crawling Out of the Woodwork!

Well, it looks like this is turning into Promising New Talent Week!

Unsounded by Ashley Cope has a great mix of humor and drama, engaging characters, and the artwork gets better as it goes. Never heard of her, so yet another (presumably) young artist to keep our eyes on.

I’m consistently amazed by how many smart, talented new artists there are out there. It’s a shaky market and one might worry about how they’ll all make a living, but I’m encouraged that most seem to have the right skill set to not only cater to the readers we have now, but to create new readers, the way that Jeff Smith and others have over the years.

Unsounded seems to have begun about 5 months ago. I wonder what else I’m missing.

Any other suggestions?

[via Michael]


Nothing is Forgotten

Here’s another cool comic I became aware of (thanks, Julian) over the break.

Nothing is Forgotten by Ryan A. is a silent comic thrown up on Tumblr that has some pretty effective sequences (I especially like the way he uses windows).

Ryan takes his time building the mood of the story with a lot of small moments. More panels means more work, but he’s willing to take the time and effort to get his readers involved and the comic builds momentum as it goes.

Ryan offers some info on his process here.

Six days ago, when Ryan posted the final installment, the first comment he got was this:

“Dude, I’m Saudi guy who don’t speak English that well, and I really enjoyed the story..
Simple and deep… Art talks in global way…”

I agree.


Daniel Lieske, Wormworld, and the Sense of Place

By far, the most impressive comics event while I was on break was the debut of Daniel Lieske’s online graphic novel The Wormworld Saga.

Lieske works at a German computer and console games company, and he’s obviously had years to hone his craft, but he’s a brand new name to me, and I’m glad to make his virtual acquaintance.

Despite coming out on Christmas day, when most potential readers were presumably distracted, the comic has garnered upwards of 200,000 viewers in less than three weeks, and deservedly so. It features solid storytelling and some gorgeous painted artwork. It’s also the best use of extended canvas storytelling I’ve seen in years.

Most impressive is Lieske’s all-encompassing sense of place; that rare sensation of becoming engulfed in a fully-realized new world. This is partially due to Lieske’s skills as a painter, but also to his smart use of extended establishing shots that blend into the black background behind other panels.

Set aside some time to read the first chapter. You’ll be glad you did. And if you like what you see, you can support the comic here, or contact him for work or a possible appearance here.

Oh! And congratulations to Daniel and his wife on the birth of their son yesterday! A busy month for a great new comics talent.