Archive for ‘Community’

Are You Insured?

“It turns out though, that because most of my friends are cartoonists, they’re uninsured too…”

Julia Wertz on living with lupus and being uninsured. (link via Mike Lynch)

Ivy and I were uninsured for the first several years of our marriage. Then Winter swallowed a penny when she was two and it cost us seven hundred thousand pennies to get it out.

Getting health insurance is a really good idea (as is fixing the whole system, though that’s another topic). It’s sad that so few in this business—at least on the alternative/small press end—feel they can afford it.

[More on this topic from Evan Dorkin, plus (via Tom in the comments) here's some older, but still relevant info from Colleen Doran.]

I’d Add a Zero

Jen Wang put some originals up at Etsy for ridiculously cheap prices (some recently sold pieces here). Looking for that one-of-a-kind gift? Better act fast. Fellow Pants Pressers Erika Moen and Dylan Meconis also have Etsy stores up with some great original pieces at insanely low prices (Dylan is even using it to support her favorite charity this year).

The direct selling of originals (especially during the holidays) is a trend I could see growing, but I really hope that talented artists like Wang, Moen, and Meconis can start adding zeroes as soon as possible. If they don’t, I’m sure the comics collector market eventually will.

Two Videos

1. Seth Kushner’s 30 minute Act-I-Vate video courtesy of Newsarama.

2. Moebius drawing on a Cintiq at Angouleme 2009.

I like how the Act-i-Vate Collective has used technology on all fronts to get their message out from the beginning and Kushner’s cool docupromo thingey really kicks it up a notch.

It’s fascinating though, after seeing the barrage of ideas, words, and techniques flying out of NYC in every direction, to watch the aging Moebius silently, confidently, picking up his pen, putting it to the screen, and simply drawing.

(both via today’s Journalista)

Water Discovered on Earth

Last week London, this week Portland. Two damp and wonderful cities (note Portland’s actual 10-day forecast as of Sunday night at left).

Saw some great old friends in London (while briefly in town for a session with the good folks at Skype) including “The Man at the Crossroads” Paul Gravett, webcomics innovator Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, and my old pal Ted Dewan, and had the privilege of meeting Pat Mills, Sarah McIntyre and Woodrow Phoenix among others. Sarah got a great shot of Paul, Woodrow, and me on her blog.

Woodrow’s 2008 book Rumble Strip made for some intriguing plane reading. It’s all “word specific” (i.e., without pictures, the words would still form a coherent text), and uses only images of inanimate objects to make its points as it mounts an all-out assault on car culture. An unusual and interesting book.

Here in rainy Portland I’ll be doing an in-class workshop at Reed College (not open to the public—sorry!) and will probably see about one in ten of the hundreds of talented cartoonists living in this lovable soggy city, but I’m sure I’ll be back before long.

After these two back-to-back trips, it’s non-stop drawing from here to February as I wrap up layouts on the graphic novel. Always fun to visit two of my favorite cities, but looking forward to getting back to work.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Rudy Rucker writes to let us know that this Thursday, his daughter Isabel will debut “Unfurling,” a 400 foot long graphic novel drawn on a scroll of paper, at the SOMArts gallery in San Francisco. It’ll be on display through the 27th.

I didn’t see Rudy’s entry at first. Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing saw it and wrote about it Monday, but I didn’t see Cory’s entry right away either.

No, the reason I know that Cory Doctorow knows that Rudy Rucker’s daughter has a 400 foot long graphic novel scroll at a gallery in San Francisco is simply because the first comment on the BoingBoing thread (by “Shay Guy”) was “Somebody tell Scott McCloud.” And I was ego-surfing.

In the movie Beetlejuice, I always figured that the idea that you could summon the demon just by saying his name three times was meant to have a sort of childlike campfire ghost story quality to it. Ridiculous, but in a kid-logic, dreamtime way.

In Zot!, I played with the idea that all anyone had to do was type the proper name of my electric assassin 9-Jack-9 into any terminal anywhere in the world and he would appear. I figured that the unique quality of the name “J9AC9K” made the chance of anyone accidentally typing it infinitesimal, and therefore give it a certain weird credibility.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!


“Somebody tell Scott McCloud.”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

– Arthur C. Clarke


Kate Beaton sums up her experience at APE this year with a drawing of fifteen characters, cartoonists, and friends from the event plus URL’s. It’s a fantastic drawing that makes you want to see Ms. B draw everyone’s comic for a month (if you didn’t already), and a great way to commemorate the event.

I could see it being a little more than that though. I’m betting that in ten years or so, it’ll also serve as a snapshot of a moment in a comics community, frozen in time like that photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square.

People are always coming and going in comics. Communities are accidents that happen once in a while when a critical mass of like-minded artists stay in one physical or virtual place long enough to fall into each others’ orbits. They’re never permanent, but you can tell when they start generating the kinds of shared memories that will eventually earn that time and place a name—at least for those who were part of it.

This one doesn’t have a name yet, but it has a snapshot. Let’s just print it, put it in a envelope, mark it “Open in 2019″ and see how things shake out.

Dr. Jacques’ Six Year Check-Up

Jeph Jacques is offering some thoughts on how webcomics have changed in the last 6 years in his State of the Webcomics Union.

One particularly astute point:

“The idea of critical analysis of webcomics has largely died out. Sure, people still blog about webcomics and “review” them and stuff, but it’s become a tiny, tiny niche sector. I think this is mainly because there’s not a whole lot of point to reviewing something anybody can go look at for free and make up their own mind about! Is this a good thing? I have no idea.”

It’s a good read overall. Check in to read the post and the many comments.

Now THAT’S Collaboration

Link via Ivy.


While reading the latest “hey-they’re-making-comics-on-the-web-apparently” article (found via DD) I stumbled on yet another interesting comic that’s been running for a while, but which I stupidly missed: Kinokofry by Rebecca Clements. Weird but pretty. Check it out.

The Serendipity of the Web was a selling point in the mid ’90s when most of us starting hopping on. Now, I have a nagging anxiety that for every cool comic I stumble upon, there are another 1,000 I would have liked but will never see.

I love working on the graphic novel, but it’s meant less surfing and less involvement in the webcomics scene. Hoping to jump back in more after the last page is drawn in a couple of years.

The iGoogle Comics Themes

It seems almost redundant to link to something that had been featured with a direct link from the Google homepage, but it occurred to me that some of you, like me, may have been too busy with Comic-Con to do much surfing over the weekend and might have missed where that great Jim Lee logo was actually sending people.

Check out some of the very cool themes from indy comics and webcomics greats like Jim Woodring, Rich Stevens, Daniel Clowes, Jaime Hernandez, Gene Yang, Derek Kirk Kim, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, Lark Pien, Renee French, and many others.