Archive for ‘Press’

Friday Odds and Ends

This article by Austin Kleon offers some good solid advice. I don’t agree with everything, but it’s an inspiring list he offers, and almost anyone with creative aspirations will find something useful. [link via Cat Garza]

Meanwhile, thanks to writer Matt Cohen for an unexpected shoutout in HuffPost Business earlier this week (and hey, while we’re at it, thanks to another Huffington Post Writer, Kate Kelly, for another shoutout at the beginning of the month). Comics readers are everywhere!

Some of you may have seen the Newsarama report that I helped design the six variant covers for Marvel’s limited series X-Men: First Class adaptation this fall. That was obviously a typo. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I hardly needed help.

And finally, THESE KIDS are clearly ten kinds of wonderful, as are their teacher and her very cool site. Consider swinging by their Kickstarter page and lending your support to make their dream of a printed collection a reality.

Off to Maryland in a couple of days (check out the travel sidebar at right for the updated list of my busy spring schedule). Enjoy the weekend!

Happy Birthday, Will Eisner—Google-Style!

Google is celebrating the birthday of the late, great Will Eisner today with a terrific Eisneresque Google Doodle, and I had the pleasure of contributing a guest blog post to help celebrate the occasion as well.

Thanks to everybody at the Big G for honoring a truly important cartoonist, and a great friend to a century’s worth of comics-lovers.

Fondly remembered. Sorely missed. And now celebrated across the internet. Happy birthday, Will.

[Please note: Some news outlets are reporting that I drew the finished art for the Doodle. Not true. I was involved in early design discussions, but the final version was by artist Mike Dutton]

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…


…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!

Doodle 4 Google

Many of you may have already heard the news last week about Doodle 4 Google, and one of the best-known companies on Earth hardly needs me to herald their press releases (well, maybe that once), but this looks like such a fun contest I want to make sure you all get the details—especially if you have kids.

I’ll be one of nine guest judges (along with Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Davis, Jeff Kinney, Beverly Cleary, and some other truly cool people) and there’ll be an exhibit of the 40 finalists at the Whitney this spring.

I love kid’s art. DC had me help judge a cereal box competition many years ago and it was one of my fondest memories from that period. I can’t wait to see what America’s kids have in store this time.

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!

Technical Difficulties…

Having some problems uploading new images this morning for the post I was planning, so instead, I might as well link to this curiosity: a rare video of me that doesn’t make me cringe (filmed at last year’s Barcelona convention).

I Couldn’t do it, Could You?

For those who didn’t follow the link in Friday’s post, James Sturm has quit the internet for four months and is writing about it at Slate.

It’s not exactly Thoreau territory. He’s still using his phone (now more than ever!) and still part of the electronic landscape in other ways. He’s even talked to ABC about itBut his observations on the process are illuminating and his illustrations for the article are a delight.

James and I have had some vigorous debates about the value of information technology over the years. It’s no secret that I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. But a part of me wouldn’t mind following him for a while.

I’m increasingly aware of my own addictions. After answering as many emails as I can in the morning (never enough!), I’ll sometimes close my laptop and put it away to avoid the temptation of checking for new mails until I get at least a few hours of drawing done on the main machine (yeah, I use a local client for email—not living up to my surname yet). Sooner or later, I may have to start unplugging the modem for part of the day too.

If James inspires you to try something similar, go for it. But you might want to wait until his Slate reports are done, since those are available only on…


Spiegelman was Right! (again)

Running late this morning, so just time for a quick one.

Paul Laroquod points to an interesting Scientific American article about the history, influence, and value of simplified line art and its relatives. Along the way, they point out a correlation between great line artists and lazy eyes.

Art Spiegelman has been saying for years that his own impaired vision in one eye probably influenced his own 2-D world of comics and art, but I doubt he ever expected science to back him up.

I’m Much Closer to Los Angeles than to San Diego…

…but I have no desire whatsoever to see Comic-Con move there.

[link via Heidi]

That Hand on Your Shoulder

Interesting article by Joe McCulloch at Comics Comics regarding the scarcity of old-fashioned thought balloons in todays genre comics and elsewhere (via The Beat).

McCulloch pulls out a few examples of legitimate uses for the bulgy Edsel of comics iconography like Mazzucchelli’s picto-bubbles in Asterios Polyp, but he’s most enthusiastic for its streamlined descendent, the caption-style interior narration—especially the floating word bursts found in some manga.

McCulloch does a good job of enumerating the perceived advantages of thought captions (with or without borders) over balloons, but I’d like to toss out one more possibility.

The question I find most interesting is why do traditional word balloons seem more patronizing by their very nature? In Ware or Mazzuccelli’s hands, that quality is ironically re-channeled, but I think it’s still there. In the Shirow Miwa example that McCulloch offers, I think it’s there too.

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that any thought caption made into a thought balloon is going to take on that patronizing quality, even if the phrasing is identical. It isn’t just the hokey word choices like in the above Ditko Dr. Strange panel, it’s the graphic device itself.

I don’t even think it’s the shape. The Shirow example McCulloch offers is just a jagged little slab—nothing goofy—but it still carries that spoon-feeding connotation for me. Even if it was a caption-like rectangle with square bubbles pointing to the character, I think the effect would be similar.

The important difference for me is that a thought caption—with or without borders—embodies each thought in a way that encourages us to assume ownership of it as we read. We literally bring each sentiment into existence as a thought, creating an instant bond with the character.

The thought balloon, regardless of shape or style, just by virtue of its pointer, brings a third party into the relationship: the author, gently putting his/her hand on our shoulder and pointing to the face of the thinker with the words “he thought.” Maybe thoughts are just too private for that kind of parental intrusion.

The fact that McCulloch reserves his most enthusiastic endorsement for modern Manga’s floating thought bursts feels right to me. If there’s one thing Manga has been doing right for years, it’s creating in readers a sense of participation in the lives of its protagonists. Participation in their innermost thoughts is a logical next step.