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Archive for ‘The Sculptor’


Designing for the Device

The hardcover edition of The Sculptor will finally be on sale February 3, 2015. But already, I can see I’ll have a frequently-asked question: “Will there be a digital version?”

It’s a reasonable question, and the short answer is Yes. As far as I know, there’ll be versions available for tablets and other devices. I’m grateful to First Second for standing by me during those five long years while we busted ass to make this the best book we could, and anything that helps them break even sooner is okay by me. Also, if readers are hoping for a more affordable option, I realize that digital sometimes has its advantages.

But on a creative level, I frankly couldn’t care less about any digital repurposing of this one. This book is designed for print and as far as I’m concerned, the paper and ink version will always be the “real” version.

I believe passionately in designing for the device, and in this case, the device was a BOOK. If I was designing for digital, as I have in the past, I would have been just as passionate about taking full advantage of that environment—and just as apathetic about any lazily repurposed print version.

The idea of any artist in any medium feeling they have to castrate their work to suit multiple formats makes me kinda sick. I hated it when newspaper editors/syndicated started requiring strip cartoonists to make an entire third of their Sunday comics disposable. I hated it when movie makers starting avoiding any local idioms or a strong sense-of-place for international markets. I hate it when webcomics embrace shitty online formats for the sake of future print collection—or vice versa.

I spent years talking about the limitations of print. With The Sculptor, I was able to finally work within those limitations knowingly and create something I hope benefitted from that tension and strained against those limits in a creative and interesting way. In only 6 weeks, I hope my readers find that struggle worthwhile, and I hope they’ll have that experience with a book in their hands.


Kansas State: November 2

kansas state logo

Attention, Kansans!

Be sure to join me Sunday November 2 at Kansas State University for a Free Public Lecture.

And check out the sidebar for some more travels, including China and Chile in the next several weeks.

I’m staying home in January (well, maybe) but then things really heat up February 3 when The Sculptor comes out and Ivy and I go back on the road big time.

Look for a ton of U.S. appearances in February and multiple events in at least six European countries in March and April.

2015 is going to be amazing. Look for more news shortly.


Notes from Hibernation #3

Still working hard on the graphic novel through this fall, so this blog will continue to be pretty quiet for a while. Panel at left from a recent page (yeah, I know, not much to go on!).

If you’re curious about the GN, here are the posts that’ve mentioned it so far (scroll to the bottom to read in order—it’ll look like nothing’s happened at first, but that’s just ’cause this post is one of them). Feel free to laugh at me for my original guesses at the completion date. (It’s taken, um… a bit longer.)

I’ve updated the sidebar regarding some upcoming trips. Norway, Comic-Con, Belgium, Ball State, and Mount Holyoke, all in the sights for summer and fall; with more to come in the spring.

Missed between updates was a fun visit to Blizzard Entertainment, just last week. Thanks to the whole gang there for a great pair of events.

As always, I’ll be posting random thoughts and links mostly via Twitter. Follow me, and you can be annoyed on a more regular basis.

Have a great spring/summer/fall. I’ll have plenty to say when I crawl back out from the shadows later this year!


Alberta and Beyond

The Galt Gardens from the Lethbridge, Alberta homepage - www.lethbridge.ca

Still toiling away at the graphic novel, so this blog will remain quiet a few months longer, but I do have a tight cluster of trips coming up, so here’s a bit more info on each, starting with an important opportunity coming up next month.

The Two Day Making Comics Workshop comes to Alberta!

On March 21-23, I’ll be bringing the lecture and full 2-Day Workshop to the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, Alberta. SIGN-UP for one of the limited workshop seats, and get your advance tickets for the lecture starting on Feb 22.

This is the first time the 2-day workshop has come to Canada, and this and the Los Angeles workshop (see last post) are the only ones currently planned for 2013, so don’t miss this chance to learn two full days worth of comics-making strategies and techniques.

Out and About

Somehow, after a quiet autumn, I wound up with six trips in seven weeks. I’m not sure what happened there, but I plan to make the most of it. See sidebar at right for the full list.

Nashville’s Tapestry Conference is invitation-only, and we don’t have all the details on my visit to Vermont’s legendary Center for Cartoon Studies and Dartmouth College yet, but if you’re anywhere near Berlin or Santa Barbara on those dates, please come out to say hi.

In Berlin, on Friday March 15, I’ll be giving my lecture twice(!). Once in the morning at 10:00 am, to students, and then at 6 pm to the general public. Both are part of the Berlin International Literature Festival. Come with smelling salts, it’ll be awesome.

And finally, I’ll be rounding up this miniature trip-a-palooza with a very special Regents Lecture at nearby University of California Santa Barbara on April 10, at 8 pm. It’ll be in UCSB’s Campbell Hall which is a big room, so if you’re in Southern California, please tell your friends. I’ll be telling mine!

Anyway, that’s the schedule as it stands now. You can bet I’ll be drawing every day that I’m not traveling. And if all goes well, I’ll have a nice fat 480 page graphic novel done by the end of the year, and an equally exciting book underway after that.


Notes from Hibernation #2

This blog is going to be pretty quiet this year while I continue work on the graphic novel, but wanted to pass along a couple of links.

Congratulations to Spike and Diana Nock for a successful Kickstarter for Poorcraft, and to Jeff Parker and Erika Moen for the recently completed Bucko, both of which will be out soon in book form.

Also recently completed is Kane Lynch’s The Relics and if you have an Android phone, be sure to put some Merlin in it.

Two artists in trouble this month: S. Clay Wilson and Tony DeZuniga. Help if you can.

Two recent passings that struck a chord: The great Moebius, who had a huge influence on me (and most of my generation probably). Also very sad to hear of the loss of Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre fame. I had the pleasure of spending time with Peter at a conference in Colorado about 15 years ago and was able to tell him how much his work had shaped my teen years. Moebius, I met only once (at Comic-Con). I told him he changed my life and he just laughed and said “I’m so sorry!”

That’s all for now. Back to the Cintiq. Many pages yet to draw, so you won’t hear from me much for a while, but I hope it’ll be worth the wait.

You can also find me on both Twitter and Google+ (where I pop-up a little more often than here).

[Image from the cool webcomic Poppa Bears found via Spurge]


Outfoxed by Dylan Meconis


What a great little story by Dylan Meconis of Family Man fame. Also out since my last post is the beginnings of a new Emily Carroll story, so don’t miss that either.

Oh, and I hope you’ve all bought Craig Thompson’s monumental Habibi by now. If not, what are you waiting for?! (Yes, it’s as beautiful and moving as everyone says).

And of course, congratulations to everyone who made it through 24-Hour Comics Day 2011 this year!

Still working furiously on the graphic novel, so I won’t be posting too much to the blog until further notice, but if anything important comes along, I’ll let you know.


Want to be in a Graphic Novel?

ATTENTION CALIFORNIANS!

Do you live in LA, Ventura, Santa Barbara or Kern County? Willing to drive to Thousand Oaks, CA this Sunday afternoon (Aug 14)?

I’ve got a difficult page coming up that requires an unusual crowd shot and I’ve decided I need photo reference. Aiming for 2-3pm. If you’d like to participate, please email me and I’ll send more details.

Thanks and hope to see you this weekend!


Friday Odds and Ends

Here’s a cool idea: Rene Engström and Rasmus Gran have a long distance relationship and have decided to chronicle it in parallel diary comics (I would say it’s a unique idea, but I’ve actually seen at least one other!).

From the site:

“Every Tuesday, since the 16th of March, Rasmus Gran and myself have documented our lives in the form of autobiographical comic strips. We have quite the buffer now so we feel pretty good about finally launching the comic. Our hopes are to give a little glimpse into the lives of a modern family spread out over the Swedish landscape, from downtown Östersund to Möllevången in Malmö. Sometimes we do things together but a large part of the time we have to live our lives apart.”

In other news, my host in Barcelona, David Macho Gomez, is launching Spanish comics site spanishinq.com.

For those of you who enjoyed Choose Your Own Carl (back in the Jurassic era), here’s another crossword-style comic.

And finally, on the work front, I’ve now finished the second rough draft of my graphic novel (working title The Sculptor). Next step: Beginning many months of finished art (and probably going back to make some more changes to the roughs, but that’s to be expected.) Wish me luck!


I Don’t Know about You, but THIS is the Superhero Movie I’VE been Waiting for

I’m even okay with the ’60s Batman-style sound effects! Thanks, everyone I’ve ever known for telling me about this as soon as I got home.

Oh, and hey, as long as it’s Random Friday, I’ve got a question: I’m dying to find a reeeeeally old music video from the ’80s—maybe even pre-MTV. It had a funky, electronic song (possibly no words) with black and white, photocopy-style animation. There was a recurring assembly line motif with hamburgers and hands and that creepy masonic eye/pyramid thing. Really cool and jerky, almost like it was made by a robot Terry Gilliam. Does anyone remember this video? I’d love to find it out there somewhere but I don’t know anything about the director or even the musician(s) involved.

UPDATE: It was the experimental film “Machine Song” by Chel White. Thanks to music video master Alex de Campi for the answer!

As some of you might have guessed, based on past blog entries, music is very important to our whole family. Sky is going to Coachella this year with a friend of ours and I’m envious, but after Italy, I’m going to be too eager to get back to work on the book, so I’ve got to miss it yet again.

I love that my daughter has been listening to bands like Passion Pit, Hot Chip, and Vampire Weekend* (all at Coachella) while simultaneously getting into Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, on LP no less—and that I had nothing to do with those last two. Well, any of them technically, (though I did discover Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros before her).

I used music constantly while working on the first draft of the layouts for the new book. I had several different playlists for different kinds of scenes and I’d go for long walks trying to imagine sequences, while letting the music sustain the mood I was going for.

Recently though, I mentioned this to my Mom over the phone and she said she hoped I took the headphones off once in a while to listen to the sounds around me too. (Which is both reasonable, and exactly the kind of thing you count on a Mom to say.)

Funny thing is, though, I’ve discovered that music actually distracts me during those walks now that I’ve entered the rewriting stage of the layouts. Keeping a sustained mood through music actually makes it harder to step back and consider the structure of a scene or set of scenes in my head, and how to change them for the better, or to implement the suggestions of my panel of “kibitzers.”

That trance I needed to put myself in while conceiving sequences would now prevent me from evaluating those scenes objectively. More proof, if any was needed, that we need to appeal to different aspects of our creative personality at different stages of the creative process.

Hm. This post is like a Simpsons episode. One thing leads to another and…

Uh.

See you Monday!

*Pop Quiz: If I added Peter Gabriel’s name to those three band names and asked you which of the four was not like the others, which would you pick and why?


New Yorkers: Where do You Live? And Why?

As I’ve been working on my Manhattan and Brooklyn-based story from far away, I’ve been building a mental map of life in the city today, but it still has plenty of holes in it and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve lived there myself.

For anyone out there living in working in Manhattan and Brooklyn especially, I’d be curious to hear about the neighborhoods you live in and why you chose to live there.

[Note: No disrespect intended to Queens and the other boroughs (see first comment), the story just happens to take place mostly in those two. That said, I'd be curious to hear from all five boroughs just for the perspective.]