Archive for ‘Press’

Random Friday Stuff

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Uh-oh! Trevor Dodge is very kind, but this is the kind of thing that always gets me into trouble.

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Still haven’t gotten any word from Comic-Con regarding our hotel choices, so I assume there will be no choices. Hm. Guess we’re keeping our just-in-case reservations again this year at full price.

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Perhaps I should just link to a Kate Beaton comic every time I do a miscellaneous Friday post.

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Can anyone recommend a brand of ice tray that doesn’t suck?

Would you Buy a Theory from this Man?

I get the Graphic NYC treatment!: interviewed by Christopher Irving and photographed by Seth Kushner during my reference-taking mission in January.

Seth and Christopher were great hosts and also shared their impressions of Brooklyn with me. It was a pleasure speaking with and providing a subject for both of these talented thinkers.

Ego-Surfing is a Double-Edged Sword

Blogger Curt Purcell takes issue with some of Understanding Comics’ speculations about the way readers stitch together individual panels into a sense of continuous experience. Two entries so far: 1 | 2.

Although he takes the above panel’s analogy more literally than I’d intended (as the first comment by “Doruk” suggests) it still offers interesting reading and makes me wish I had a more time to dig into these debates.

Unrelated: Whoah.

Moving with the Beat

Heidi MacDonald’s comics news site The Beat has jumped to its own domain comicsbeat.com after 3 and 1/2 years under the Publishers Weekly umbrella.

The Beat is one of three comics news sites that I’d take to a desert island with me (you know that desert island with wifi and electricity, but a strange way of limiting which IP addresses you can… okay, maybe that metaphor doesn’t work anymore).

Of those three, no one’s coverage is more comprehensive than Dirk’s and no one takes a deeper look at the scene than Tom, but somehow Heidi’s style of coverage managed to embody the tone of the last ten years as—against all odds—comics and geek culture not only joined the mainstream, but in some moments nearly became the mainstream.

Looking forward to her take on the next ten.

That Trick Never Works

Dan Abram’s Geekosystem pinged me this morning, telling me I’d made some Top 30 Geeky Writers list, so I’m guessing the brand new site sent out a bunch of these emails in hopes that a lot of people on the list would link back to them.

Won’t work on me, though. I’m on to them.

Oh, wait…

(Actually, they put me next to Chabon and Mignola, so I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth; that list would make one hell of a dinner party.)

David Lloyd Sums it Up

Yeah, I’m going to follow Kurt’s lead here:

David Lloyd sums up the last ten years beautifully with the above image at the Beat’s year end survey.

I never cared much if my comics were made into movies in the past. Someday it might happen and I’ll buy something big, and go straight back to the drawing board, but I never viewed movies as a “step up” like some.

Still, it’s been encouraging to see the increasing deference our medium has earned as nerds of all types have clawed higher and higher in popular culture. And it’s refreshing to see at least a few comics benefit directly from the increased attention (Watchmen, 300, etc); reversing a long trend of comics movies selling movie tickets, but very few comics.

Waiting for progress in comics is like waiting for the hour hand on a clock. At any given time, it can feel like we’re standing still, but we’ve actually moved a lot in a fairly short time.

Or does that metaphor mean we’re just going in circles? Hm.

Notes from Home

Back from Portland where I saw about a dozen cartoonists (comprising about 1% of the Portland cartooning hordes) and had a great time with the bright creative students at Reed College.

Just a couple of links as I settle back into the studio:

Shaenon Garrity offers an incisive review of our recent Zot! B & W omnibus collection.

And, as linked to by dozens of tweets and news stories, Lucy Knisley has an interesting take on a technological generation gap between her and some of her cartooning heroes.

The gap’s been around for years, of course, but Lucy’s thoughts are interesting since she namechecks some of the more open-minded—and in many ways, forward-looking—cartoonists out there, and she clearly feels a kinship with many of them, even as she embraces new tools they’re wary of.

This sort of inter-generational moat-digging has been around since before Will Eisner met Rube Goldberg, but Knisley’s yearning feels different to me from a lot of the fractious father-killing that usually grows out of such gaps. Compare Knisley’s reflections to the recent grudge-matches between web and newspaper cartoonists for example.

You can tell that Knisley wants more of her heroes to join her across the river, but there are plenty of burning bridges downstream. It’ll be interesting to see how many find a way to cross in the long run.

The Letterers

The celebrated letterer Todd Klein was interviewed last week. Some find hand lettering tedious and prefer using fonts, but there’s no question that Todd’s hand lettering was a thing of beauty no font will ever match (though even Todd himself is working increasingly in the digital realm).

Still, after reading how he got started, I had to laugh at the thought of Todd on the job at DC for the first time (doing the sort of correction and paste-up in the production department that I would later do in the desk next to Todd’s in 1982) thinking to himself: ”Boy, this sure beats putting together instruction manuals for air conditioners!”

Todd lettered Zot! #1 and did the final version of the Zot logo. All but two of my subsequent comics, through Understanding Comics, were lettered by the great Bob Lappan. Since then, it’s been all fonts for this control freak, but I still consider the approach a work in progress, and there’s always a chance I might hand letter a (probably short) comic in the future.

I do still hand letter my rough layouts and try to make them readable for my editors. Even on the Cintiq tablet, zoomed in at 800 dpi to save my wrists, my technique is still the similar to what Todd taught me all those years ago.

(link via Dirk)

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.

Gotta Love that Music

Recorded in Barcelona in May.

Note that I don’t always talk that way. When getting translated in real time overseas, I enunciate a bit more and avoid too many exotic terms. Still I guess it adds a bit to the wonky atmosphere.