webcomics
print
inventions
presentations
consulting

Archive for ‘Events’


Next Week: The NBC Education Nation Summit

I’m heading back to New York next week for NBC’s Education Nation Summit, a broadcast public forum on a variety of issues surrounding education in the 21st Century, held in Rockefeller Plaza.

I was actually invited a while ago, but was holding off a bit on an announcement until I had a better idea of what I’d be doing there. As it turns out, I’ll probably be doing little or no talking and a whole lot of listening (which is a nice change of pace, actually) but it should be an interesting couple of days, nevertheless.

It starts a week from today. I encourage everyone to listen in, since big chunks of the event will be broadcast or at least webcast by NBC in its various incarnations.

And in case you’re wondering why me, most of the invitees (roughly 300 of us) are directly involved with education (MIT’s president Susan Hockfield, for example), but they’ve also cast a wide net that includes other fields like politics, sports, music, and apparently comics.

Life is strange… but increasingly interesting.


Attention, Southern California:

This is the full 2-Day Workshop (given most recently at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan). 16 full hours of everything I can teach you through lectures and hands-on exercises.

An intense look at the art of telling stories visually.

Here’s the link to SIGN UP. As always, availability is limited. See you in December!


Labor Day = Sick Day

A bit under the weather, so real blogging will resume tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a thought experiment that crossed my mind this morning: If Walt Disney had been a much better animator, would he have gone on to be a cog in someone else’s machine?


London’s Hypercomics Home

If you love creative, cutting edge comics and can be in London anytime from today until September 26, don’t miss the Hypercomics exhibit The Shapes of Comics to Come at the Pump House Gallery in London’s Battersea Park. It sounds (and looks) like a fascinating, site-specific exploration of comics’ outer boundaries. Admission is Free.

Curated by “The Man at the Crossroads” himself, Paul Gravett, and featuring the prodigious brains of artists like Dave McKean and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

(And one that I’ll miss, dammit, so somebody take lots of pictures if you can!)

The exhibit is part of the Comica Festival. I stopped by and caught a bit of last year’s and had a great time. Check out their main site for more details on upcoming events.


Understanding | Making | Teaching

Haven’t listened again myself yet, so there’s a chance I made a fool of myself, but I enjoyed talking with James Sturm on our Friday Comic-Con panel and I think some interesting points were raised.

Courtesy of TCJ, here’s the audio of the panel (and photo by Kristy Valenti).


15 Years and a Day

Yesterday, Winter celebrated her 15th Birthday with her friends, and today with the family so I won’t be posting much.

Ivy’s retelling of Winter’s legendary birth from last year is here, but if you’re short on time, the night was nicely summed up yesterday in two tweets.

Happy birthday, Winter!


Athens, Georgia and Mr. Weing

One of the comics I read on my way home was Drew Weing’s Set to Sea. I’d been seeing pages of it on Drew’s website for awhile but reading it in book form was a delight. Highly recommended.

If you’re in Athens, Georgia tonight (Friday), you can get a copy from the author himself at the release party from 5-8pm.

Funny thing is, when I thought to make a remark on how Athens is landlocked and checked Google maps to see if Athens was indeed landlocked, I discovered that there is no label in Google Maps for Athens!

See for yourself.

WTF, Google Maps??

[UPDATE: There actually is an explanation—and it's not what you might expect.]


The House that Patience Built

Back home from Comic-Con!

It felt like a very forward-looking Con to me, despite all the worries about impending doom in various markets.

Both Sky and Winter were among the thousand or so led by Edgar Wright out of Hall H on Thursday to see one of the first public screenings of you-know-what. Have yet to meet anyone who didn’t love it.

The four panels I was on went off without a hitch. After the fourth on Saturday, I talked for a long time to two teams of iPad comics creators about the challenges of that new platform, and was reminded of how young the mobile space still is.

Speaking of young, Ivy and I got to meet Juni Kibuishi for the first time (above—and yes, Ivy’s hair is purple again!). I watched his eyes watching everything and was reminded how unpredictable each generation of creative minds can be.

Raina Telgemeier’s terrific all-ages Smile sold out at the show. We talked at the First Second dinner about the dozen other subjects that deserved the comics treatment and what a difference Raina’s personal touch and wise storytelling choices made.

Of the hundred thousand plus who descended on San Diego last week, maybe a few hundred were aspiring young artists or writers making the journey for the first time.

It’s easy for a dedicated young artist to believe that if their work is good enough, it’ll rise and rise until they’re the ones at the Hall H microphones (or at least Ballroom 20) and it’s their characters being painted on the side of the Bayfront Hilton.

It’s also easy, after a few years of frustration, for even the best young cartoonists to believe that the system is rigged, and no matter how hard they work, there’ll be enormous obstacles put in their way that have nothing to do with the quality of their stories and art.

Both are true, of course. Good work will rise to its level AND the system is rigged. Which is why, if you want to find a common denominator among the success stories at San Diego, it’s patience.

For example, bookstore buyers don’t always understand Telgemeier’s Smile. The children’s comics market in bookstores is still immature and the obstacles for new authors are numerous and frustrating. But as soon as kids actually got their hands on the book (often through book fairs), it became a big hit. The book itself made all the difference.

One of the iPad hopefuls I talked to was Robert Berry whose Ulysses adaptation was originally rejected by Apple for nudity. It’s a smart, well-designed work that was nearly killed in the cradle, but its future actually looks pretty bright now that Apple was embarrassed into reversing their decision. Joyce’s legacy may deserve part credit for the reversal, but the quality of the work will carry it from here on.

And Scott Pilgrim for YEARS couldn’t get shelved in one of the biggest book chains in America. The “system” was truly rigged against it. Yet here we are.

Will Eisner insisted again and again that CONTENT would always drive the industry and the art form. No matter what happened at the retail, publishing, or distribution levels; it was what happened on the page and in the panels that would make all the difference.

I believe it more every year.


Hello, Desk.

Home from Con.

Failed to get a post up today, but look for a big post with lots of rambling, sentimental thoughts tomorrow.


See you at COMIC-CON!

We’re off!

Those panels again:

Thursday 11:30-12:30
Spotlight on Kurt Busiek— I moderate a panel with my old pal Kurt, the guy who got me into comics in Middle School. Room 8

Thursday 1:30-2:30
Beanworld and the Leguminous Life of Larry Marder!— I moderate another great panel with another great friend and artist. Room 4

Friday 4:00-5:00
James Sturm and Scott McCloud, A Center for Cartoon Studies Conversation: Understanding, Making, and Teaching Comics— I join James Sturm for… Well, I guess the title tells it all! Room 7AB

Saturday 11:30-12:30
Will Eisner, The Dreamer— Several of us take the stage to talk about the life and work of one of the greatest comics artists of all. Room 4

More detailed descriptions here.

Back to regular blogging Tuesday, July 27. Have a great week, Everybody.