Archive for ‘Travel’

Hey, It’s Still There!

Long ago, reader/cartoonist Greg Stephens created a forum for the Morning Improv. The forum, like the Improv, is dormant at the moment, but one of the cool outcomes was the creation of a goofy thread called “What Else Does Scott Understand?” which included a lot of cool fan art.

I recently found the archive Greg put together and thought you guys might enjoy it.

(Also, I figured it would distract people from the fact that I haven’t even begun to organize my pictures from Spain and with a trip to Boston tonight, my prospects of getting to that in the next couple of days are dwindling).

Having a Wonderful Time…

Ah! So THIS is what a vacation feels like.

I’ll have a long plane ride Sunday to organize my pictures and thoughts on our enchanted visit to A Coruna, but right now I’m afraid we’re having too much fun with good friends and amazing food to blog much.

Here’s a blog-worthy item though while you’re waiting. Kurt has been posting some crazy-old art on his news page including several pages of “Once More With Feeling” a short subject he wrote and I drew in the summer between high school and college. It’s kind of wonderful and kind of terrible. Enjoy.

Spain Part Two!

Yes I know I was only in Barcelona a few months ago, but it’s back to Spain again this week, with Ivy, for Viñetas Desde O Atlántico.

As usual, updates may be spotty while I’m on the road, but we can hopefully offer some cool pictures and memories before we’re done.

While you’re waiting, be sure to check out Ng Suat Tong’s lengthy round-up of peoples’ reactions to Asterios Polyp, my favorite GN of the year (in case you hadn’t already guessed from my relentless plugging).

Pre Comic-Con Round-Up

We’re heading down to Comic-Con early Wednesday morning, and frantically getting ready tomorrow, so blog updates will be spotty at best starting tomorrow. Here are a few distractions in the meantime:

Merlin has a new hypercomic up, The Four Derangements. Gorgeous, inventive stuff as always.

Johanna Draper Carlson offers some in-depth thoughts on our recent Zot! Collection.

The gang at the Human Creativity Project sent along an adorable gift for our family in the mail, possibly in response to our recent discussion of see-through comics. (Thanks, HCP people!)

Our family’s in-depth review of 500 Days of Summer: We liked it. It was good.

Larry Marder has his own convention schedule up. Gotta see Larry!

And of course, for those of you going to Comic-Con you can find me Thursday at Noon interviewing Bryan Lee O’Malley on stage, and otherwise relaxing with the family this year. (Yay! Off years = no pressure). If anything else does come up, I’ll try to post it here, or for more timely updates, you can follow me on Twitter.

See-Through Comics

Here’s a cool idea I haven’t seen before. Pat Race, one of our gracious hosts when we visited Juneau during the 50 state tour, has posted a “see-through” comic on his site.

As Pat explains it, you can download and print a 2-sided pdf, read the front page, then hold it up to the light so that the backside shows through and literally see the comic in “a new light.” There’s a flash version too, though the effect is a bit different.

It’s a nice trick, giving a new dimension to a charming, if melancholy, short subject.


They’ve announced it, so I will too.

On Thursday, July 23, at Noon, Comic-Con will be featuring one of North America’s funniest and most innovative cartoonists, Bryan Lee O’Malley for an hour of conversation, and I have the best seat in the house—right on stage with him. Cue up early at Room 5AB to make sure you get a seat.

BTW: The whole family and I will be at Con as usual, but this might be my only official appearance, since I’ll mostly just enjoying the sights. I’ll let you know if anything else comes up.

Friday Round-Up: Cattoos and a Sandy Eggo

Cat Garza has kicked off “Flash Fridays” with a loving, adorable take on a classic Tattoo motif. Cat’s offering line files for anyone who might want to wear his designs. Keep a watch for more tatoos in the coming weeks.

Cat always called the San Diego Comic-Con “Sandy Eggo,” Larry Marder called it “The Gathering of the Tribes,” and Heidi MacDonald and others have been calling it “Nerd Prom,” but whatever you call it, the greatest of all American comics conventions is drawing near.

We’ll be there, as we have for all but one of the last 21 years, but taking it easy this time around. Mostly just relaxing and seeing friends (though I am a small part of at least one cool panel event I’ll be telling you about soon).

Con passes are — incredibly — sold out already, but if you want them and can’t get them, you may want to follow the Con’s Twitter account where they’ve been announcing official auctions regularly for the few passes they still have.

Oh, and as always, don’t miss Tom Spurgeon’s fantastic, insanely comprehensive 2009 Comic-Con Guide.

Writing with Pictures

One of the comics I picked up in Barcelona last month was Arrugas by Paco Roca, a story about an old man’s encounter with Alzheimer’s Disease. I don’t read Spanish, but visually “reading” it panel to panel at the airport still provided a coherent and sometimes moving experience. Here’s a scan of some early pages to give you a sense of the storytelling. Looking forward to seeing an English edition, it’s clearly a good book.

When I worked at DC Comics in the production department in 1982 (my first job out of college), I spent many lunch hours flipping through the huge collection of untranslated manga at the nearby Kinokuniya, Manhattan’s largest Japanese bookstore. I admired how many could be understood on the strength of their visual storytelling alone. It was refreshing to experience that again.

I met or was introduced to the work of a number of talented artists in Barcelona (many through Astiberri) including Alberto Vazquez, Fermin Solis, David Rubin, Felix Diaz and Tony Sandoval. Most haunting, though, might have been the album I found by French artist Ivan Brun called No Comment, a silent, funny and extremely dark look at modern society.

Writing with pictures (or screaming with pictures, in Brun’s case) in the language of comics.

Know any Italian?

I saw some great new work in Barcelona that was published in Spanish, but hadn’t been translated into English yet (don’t have those books at hand at the moment, so I’ll save them for another post). 

Meanwhile, though, one small press comic that caught my eye while in Spain was actually from an Italian cartoonist living and studying in Barcelona named Giulia Sagramola. It was called Riunione di Famiglia and if you know any Italian, you can tell me if the story is any good, but I liked the art and storytelling.

Turns out there’s more at her site, including intriguing short subjects in varying styles, with tantalizing descriptions in English. The story Perchè non ballate? sports the following note (I’ve repaired the syntax a bit):

Graduation project: a study about comics storytelling.

“Why don’t you dance?” is a beautiful Raymond Carver novel I’ve asked to 4 friends to read and to summarize ìn their own ways. Then I’ve anaylized the texts and used them to draw my comics. The results are 4 versions of the same story drawn and composed in 4 different ways.

The project wants to analyze the grammar and composition of comics pages. I collected the 4 exercises in a book that I designed and structured with a written part introducing comics history and its language evolution. 

This project is looking for a publisher, if you are interested in please contact me! 

You heard her.

Milk and Mint also looks really cool, though if she had any in Barcelona, I don’t recall. Hmm. Time to look through the bags…

Fortunately, for us language-impaired Angloids, you can read her short diary comic Cosas Raras in English at grandpapier.org.

Notes from Home

Back from Barcelona with just a few minutes before I return to drawing, but wanted to reiterate my thanks for a great visit to my gracious hosts and all the cool artists and writers I hung out with.

Despite seven hours of signing, we never ran out of fans until the very end which was really cool (though my lines move slower in Europe for various reasons). Didn’t run out of reporters either — good news for my excellent Spanish publisher Astiberri.

Will look forward to heading back to Spain in August with Ivy this time. Watching the mesmerizing John Adams on the airplane, I really felt for John and Abigail as Mr. A went to Europe alone, then years later with Abigail. Got a bit teary-eyed, though that was probably the extra oxygen as usual.

[Photo from Sunday night's postcard-perfect sunset]