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Archive for ‘Cartoonists’


Forever Catching Up: Ulli Lust

Yet another interesting artist I’m just now catching up to…

Parts 1-4 of German cartoonist Ulli Lust’s travelogue comic “Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life” is available in English as a PDF download here and here. It has a warmth and playfulness I like.

Last month, TCJ ran an article by Matthias Wivel on Lust and her recent collection (w/second color) of the comic in German. Let’s hope someone puts out a similar English edition soon.

And, because I’m a format nerd, I just want to point out how well formatted Lust’s screen-fitting PDF’s are. Go full screen for a seamless click through.


Two More to Watch Out For

Two more artists coming onto the radar this week: Hellen Jo and Liz Suburbia.

Hellen Jo has a great-looking piece at Jordan Crane’s What Things Do which might not be new, but it’s new to me, so it might be to you.

Hellen Jo’s artwork is all pretty new to me actually. Haven’t read a lot yet, but I like what I’ve seen. (link via Tom)

Meanwhile, Liz Suburbia has a cool comic running on both her LJ and at her new site.

According to Wood on Friday’s comment thread, I linked to a page of Liz’s several years ago but her stuff has grown by leaps and bounds since then.

Again, because time is short this week, I’ve just begun to read it all, but I like what I’ve seen so far.

Not sure why I’m lumping these two together, except that they’re both relatively new to me, both good, and both of them draw in a way that vaguely reminds me of Brandon Graham for some reason.

Also there’s a lot of great new talent out there and once in a while, I have to double up.

[Edit to Add: Stupid me, there's actually a date on Hellen's piece. 2008]


Portraits, Pop-Ups, Prognosticators, and a Proof of Concept

Well it turns out that if you want to make a photocomic, being a great photographer doesn’t hurt. Who knew?

Seth Kushner’s Culture Pop (not to be confused with CulturePulp by Mike Russell) features photocomics of real life characters. Click on the chapter numbers to surf from person to person. It’s pretty cool.

This being Friday, a few odds and ends:

A couple of cool not-comics books in the mailbox this week. I’ve just started diving into Kevin Kelly’s new book What Technology Wants but it’s a fascinating read already. And Andrew Farago’s first book is out, a handsome new Loony Tunes Treasury, with all sorts of fun sproingy extras in it.

Finally, Mike Leung offers a little proof-of-concept experiment mixing words and pictures:

An adaptation of Swift’s Modest Proposal that gives the reader control of the story progress via common-sense scrolling, can be as light as you can make your image files. and needs no commercial tools to publish other than what it takes to post digitize artwork online.”

Have a great weekend!


Are You Reading The Meek?

You should be. It’s good.

(Not safe for work if you start from the beginning, but nothing too extreme).


AHOY, NEW ZEALAND…

…the whole family is coming your way in February for Webstock! I’m assured it’s the mostest bestest scientifically proven amazingest conference ever, so if you’re in the web design field or anything like it, convince your boss to let you to register today.

We’ll have more details on our trip in the coming weeks, but rest assured, we’re already slated to visit one of New Zealand’s greatest tourist attractions, the mighty Dylan Horrocks, before heading home.

As for the near future (and a slightly nearer destination) I’m off to NYC Saturday for next week’s Education Nation Summit. Back to Blogging next Friday. Have a great weekend!


Hey, It’s Out!

Delighted to realize yesterday that Jen Wang‘s eagerly anticipated first graphic novel Koko Be Good came out just last week.

Fortunately, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can still catch the LA release party at Secret Headquarters this Friday at 7:30pm, and be one of the first to buy a copy.

(And if you’re not, there’s always the Interwubz.)

Been salivating for this one ever since this effective little video hit earlier this year. Can’t wait to get my hands on the real thing!


Friday Odds and Ends

Way, way back in the deep recesses of the horrifying guilt-mountain that is my Inbox, I found an old email from one Michelangelo Cicerone forwarding the news of a very cool Historic Tale Construction Kit, which is essentially a Create Your Own Bayeux Tapestry tool. Give it a try if you’re so inclined.

On the night table: Top Shelf’s excellent alternative manga collection AX; Mario and Gilbert Hernandez’s good-old-fashioned twisted comic book adventure Citizen Rex; and Moto Hagio’s lyrical Drunken Dream from Fantagraphics.

To satisfy your weekly Greek webcomic quota, check out the handsomely-drawn Mused by Kostas Kiriakakis.

And finally, here’s an insidious video that’ll burrow its way into your skull forever, courtesy of Warren Ellis. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Have a great weekend.


Friday Odds and Ends

A couple of new angles on navigation this week. On the Web side, a nicely-rendered side-scroller by Cody Coltharp, and on the mobile side, a tilting viewer by Karrie Fransman & Jonathan Plackett.

[Via comments: The javascript for the side-scroller viewer was written by Jean-Nicolas Jolivet, originally as a panoramic photo viewer.]

From Mexico, a well-told silent comic by Edgar Delgado, using some extended page sizes and storytelling tricks practically designed to make me happy (and maybe you too).

Finally, a moving good bye from Satoshi Kon, a creative giant of Japanese animation whose work I was still in the process of exploring when I heard the news of his death from cancer. I look forward to finishing my journey through his stories. I regret there won’t be any more.

Tokyo Godfathers arrived in the mail yesterday.


I Remember this Comic!

When I was reviewing small press and mini-comics in the late ’80s, I was excited by what I saw as the closest thing (pre-Internet) to absolute freedom in comics.

By going completely outside any traditional markets, and often sold only through the mail and at local cons, these photocopied comics could go in any direction their artists wanted them to, not just what the market would allow.

None of the artists expected to get rich, but we readers knew that whatever showed up in our mailbox was going to be exactly what the artist really wanted to it to be.

Some artists stuck with light gag comics. Some produced one or two minis and vanished. Some went on to mainstream(?) success like Chester Brown. Some like Matt Feazell, John Porcellino, and Steve Willis became mini-comics legends and inspired others to make their own homemade comics.

And then there was Armageddonquest by Ronald Russell Roach.

Warren Ellis said it best:

ARMAGEDDONQUEST squirms and thrashes in a crawlspace it dug out with its bare talons, partway between the early graphic novel and classic “outsider” art. It’s the comics version of the demon-haunted work of the young Daniel Johnston, raw, passionate, demented, electric.

I really enjoyed Ron Roach’s crazy, wonderful comic when it came out, but I never expected to see it again. 900 pages is a massive hurdle for something as idiosyncratic as this. But then along came Kickstarter.

I was delighted to be the first donor. This is a worthwhile project. Please consider joining in the effort.


Works for Me. Does it Work for You?

Here’s a great short comic about drinking by Montreal-based cartoonist Vincent Giard. Lots of other terrific short subjects can be found in the BD Section of his site.

Giard uses simple animated gifs to get his effects. I sometimes get misquoted as saying that adding animation to comics somehow instantly disqualifies them as comics at all (in fact, I read it as recently as two days ago). Not true.

While I do think that fully-animated monstrosities like the Watchmen Motion Comic stretch the term to the breaking point, I’ve seen examples of looping animation that work going all the way back to some of the earliest Magic Inkwell strips (#23, for example) by Cat Garza.

The best way I’ve come up with to explain it is that looping animation (and sound, for that matter) still communicate a static span of time. If panel 2 clearly comes after panel 1 and before panel 3, it still feels like comics, even if panel 2 is a short loop of some sort.

The point isn’t whether or not we want to give it a particular label or not, but whether a given comic works as storytelling. Does it feel whole? Can we lose ourselves in the reality of the strip? And in this case, I’d say yes.

What do you think?

[via Randy Oest]