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Archive for ‘Non-Fiction Comics’


…and Speaking of Google

As long as I had the privilege of helping to announce the original launch, I’d be remiss in not passing along the news that Google Chrome is now in Beta for Linux and Mac users (among which are probably 75% of the cartoonists I know).

Give it a try and see what you think.


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.


Just Your Average Danish Super-Harbor Comic

Kyle Latino in Tuesday’s comments section alerted us to this comics-style architectural pitch for a the construction of a Danish Super-Harbor. Just click on the opening image to read.


Interview with a Mensch

Steve Lieber interviewed by and adapted into comics by Mike Russell (with inks and colors by Bill Mudron). [via Tom]

Whenever Steve Lieber’s name comes up in the comics circles I frequent, someone will always add something about liking Steve, or that Steve is a “good guy.” Happens every time. It’s like how when someone mentions Amy Winehouse, you know that at least one person will lower their head and slowly shake it from side to side.

Haven’t seen the movie yet. Like Will Eisner and many other smart cartoonists before him, Steve doesn’t get too emotionally invested in Hollywood or confuse a movie’s successes or failures with his own. (Will’s attitude was that if they optioned The Spirit every year for the rest of his life and never made a movie he’d be okay with that).

***

In other news, I’m off to San Francisco tomorrow for UXWeek and my lecture Wednesday. Just a quick trip (only 28 hours in transit), then back to making comics.


That’d be 63 Years in Internet Time.

The Webcomic Overlook takes a look back at a 9-year-old list I wrote of 10 suggestions for beginning webcartoonists. Won’t quibble with the article’s conclusions (whether I agree or not, they’re reasonable points) but it’s a brief, funny look back at a very different time — literally the Web’s first decade (post-Mosaic).

[via Journalista]

In other news: OMG, even his bees are winning awards now.


Misunderstanding Markup

Yeah, there are some things I’m kind of obligated to mention here.


14 Years Ago Tonight…

Some of you may have caught Neil’s post yesterday:

“The central conceit in the Alfred story in the first part of WHTTCC was something that Kurt and I spun and grew thirteen [fourteen] years ago, almost to the day, during a drive from San Diego to Thousand Oaks to go and be there as Winter McCloud was born (we didn’t know that was what we were going to Thousand Oaks for. I thought I was just going to be taking Scott and a very-pregnant Ivy out to dinner, and it wasn’t until the point of the dinner where she grabbed my arm and had me start timing contractions that the evening got unusual).”

As of this morning, “almost to the day” has become to the day exactly. The night of July 31st was the legendary dinner that led to the birth of daughter #2. Ivy’s wonderful retelling of the story can be found here.

BUT, hold any birthday wishes another day because our girl was born after midnight.

Tomorrow, August 1st is Winter’s official birthday.

Sadly, both girls seem to have the post-Con flu right now, so this weekend’s celebration may be a bit muted, but sick or not, another family milestone is about to pass.

In other news, Maira Kalman has posted another delightful webcomic to the New York Times website; this time a giddy little homage to Ben Franklin and inventors everywhere. (Thanks to Jonny Goldstein and Dean Meyers for the heads-up).


Iconic Identification Examined

Neil Cohn sends news of a Korean neuroscience study testing the iconic identification theory from Understanding Comics Chapter Two. (Does everyone get emails like this or is it just me?). Peculiar but interesting reading.

Meanwhile, a bit closer to my old stomping grounds in Medford, Massachusetts, Neil himself has been hard at work with theories, essays, and studies of his own for some time, all of which can be found at his extensive site. He’s even posted a reaction to the Korean study here.


Two Scrollers

Courtesy of the New York Times this week, Maira Kalman’s And the Pursuit of Happiness is an enjoyable meditation on laws and those who preside over them.

And since Kalman’s comic is presented in one big scroll, it gives me a hook to also link to Dash Shaw’s gargantuan scrolling Bodyworld webcomic (completed earlier this year) which I’ve been meaning to blog about for awhile.

In principle, I always liked the idea of putting comics all together on one page; the idea being that readers could just hit a button or touch their scroll wheel and just use that one method to move all the way from beginning to end. I used the format myself a lot in my early webcomics.

It saddens me, though, to note that the big drawback of scrolling in the early days still hasn’t gone away after all these years. Most browsers still update images every few pixels while scrolling so that the entire page flickers and jitters all the way down until it stops. Dude, it’s 2009! Why does scrolling still hurt my eyes?

Ah, well. Still holding out for multi-touch laptops that scroll like iPhones. We’ll see…


Prezi + Webcomics = ?


The online presentation tool Prezi goes into public beta this week. It’s a zooming interface designed for presentations which caught the eye of a few of us in the lunatic fringe as having potential applications for you know what.

Neal Von Flue posted an in-depth look at the comics implications of this new tool on his Facebook page when a few of us got advanced notice of the private beta in February. Unpack the comments thread for input from Krisztián Kristóf, a cartoonist and developer on the Prezi team who is also considering these issues.

Together with developments like Microsoft’s embryonic Infinite Canvas Alpha and the likelihood of multi-touch netbooks in the near future, Prezi may be part of a general trend toward continuous-space navigation in communication and the arts. If that’s the case, I hope comics will be a part of that trend.