Archive for ‘Webcomics’

Friday Odds and Ends

A couple of new angles on navigation this week. On the Web side, a nicely-rendered side-scroller by Cody Coltharp, and on the mobile side, a tilting viewer by Karrie Fransman & Jonathan Plackett.

[Via comments: The javascript for the side-scroller viewer was written by Jean-Nicolas Jolivet, originally as a panoramic photo viewer.]

From Mexico, a well-told silent comic by Edgar Delgado, using some extended page sizes and storytelling tricks practically designed to make me happy (and maybe you too).

Finally, a moving good bye from Satoshi Kon, a creative giant of Japanese animation whose work I was still in the process of exploring when I heard the news of his death from cancer. I look forward to finishing my journey through his stories. I regret there won’t be any more.

Tokyo Godfathers arrived in the mail yesterday.

Works for Me. Does it Work for You?

Here’s a great short comic about drinking by Montreal-based cartoonist Vincent Giard. Lots of other terrific short subjects can be found in the BD Section of his site.

Giard uses simple animated gifs to get his effects. I sometimes get misquoted as saying that adding animation to comics somehow instantly disqualifies them as comics at all (in fact, I read it as recently as two days ago). Not true.

While I do think that fully-animated monstrosities like the Watchmen Motion Comic stretch the term to the breaking point, I’ve seen examples of looping animation that work going all the way back to some of the earliest Magic Inkwell strips (#23, for example) by Cat Garza.

The best way I’ve come up with to explain it is that looping animation (and sound, for that matter) still communicate a static span of time. If panel 2 clearly comes after panel 1 and before panel 3, it still feels like comics, even if panel 2 is a short loop of some sort.

The point isn’t whether or not we want to give it a particular label or not, but whether a given comic works as storytelling. Does it feel whole? Can we lose ourselves in the reality of the strip? And in this case, I’d say yes.

What do you think?

[via Randy Oest]

London’s Hypercomics Home

If you love creative, cutting edge comics and can be in London anytime from today until September 26, don’t miss the Hypercomics exhibit The Shapes of Comics to Come at the Pump House Gallery in London’s Battersea Park. It sounds (and looks) like a fascinating, site-specific exploration of comics’ outer boundaries. Admission is Free.

Curated by “The Man at the Crossroads” himself, Paul Gravett, and featuring the prodigious brains of artists like Dave McKean and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

(And one that I’ll miss, dammit, so somebody take lots of pictures if you can!)

The exhibit is part of the Comica Festival. I stopped by and caught a bit of last year’s and had a great time. Check out their main site for more details on upcoming events.

Drawing your Attention to Drawing your Attention

Great post by Aaron Diaz on Focal Points.

[via several people, including Kate Beaton, but I think the first was an email from Spencer Greenwood]

“The Future of Comics” is on MySpace?

Well, okay, probably not.

But Dark Horse has a new Bee comic by Jason Little so off to MySpace we go!

Want to Make a 3D Comic?

Matthew Bogart writes with news of a simple 3D comic he made the old fashioned way: two frames which viewers can merge by crossing their eyes.

Not everyone can see the effect, but when I was a kid I loved making 3D pictures this way using colored pencils and small-grid graph paper, so this made me smile.

These days, the most efficient way to get this effect might be using layers in a program like Photoshop or Illustrator, but anyone, using even the simplest tools, can pull this same trick with a little planning.

Anyone else want to try?

Friday Odds and Ends

Not comics, but everybody keeps sending me I am Sitting in a Video Room (be sure to watch the other 999!) and this recent news piece on “the writer who couldn’t read” on the assumption that I’d find them interesting—which I did, so here they are.

Via Spurge, his annual Comic-Con Survival Guide and an awesome Jack Kirby Quote.

Finally, here are some nice immersive comics pages from concept artist Justin coro Kaufman.

So, yeah… truly random, but there you go. Go back to playing Angry Birds and enjoy the weekend!

Scenes from a Multiverse

I didn’t know this would be New Site Week when I started, but here we go with another and it’s a big one.

Jon Rosenberg of Goats fame has launched his brand new Scenes from a Multiverse and (after a few hiccups) it’s up and running smoothly. Check it out today, click back to last Monday and read it from the beginning!

The Spiders Return

True to his word, Patrick Farley has begun posting new pages at electricsheepcomix.com: A new prologue for his epic, SF, alternate history gulf war comic “The Spiders.”

Mr. F. writes:

“‘The Spiders’ will update WEEKLY, from now until the story concludes. Also in the works: the site redesign (I’m *going* to make it work on the iPad if it kills me) as well as the reboot of ‘Apocamon’ and ‘Delta Thrives,’  both of which will appear later this summer.

Thank you thank you THANK YOU for allowing me this opportunity!  You’ve made me a very happy primate. “

Regarding the iPad mention, this is a decision a lot of cartoonists and other artists are making this year: abandoning Flash for the uncharted territory of HTML 5′s equivalent offerings.

Flash was a key ingredient for experimental webcomics artists like Farley and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey. It’s not clear yet how easy the transition is going to be, but Farley at least has decided it’s a necessary one in the long run, and I tend to agree with him.

“95% True”

Been reading and enjoying two very different autobiographical comics; Tracy White’s memoir GN How I Made It to Eighteen and Lea Hernadez’s Near-Life Experience entries at LJ.

White’s book delivers literally on the title, detailing her recovery from mid-teen traumas, and how treatment helped her to not die before becoming the successful and accomplished adult she is today. And like her webcomics at traced.com, How I Made It to Eighteen is “guaranteed 95% true.” She’s changed names and details, but you know you’re getting the facts that matter.

Hernandez’s NLEx also struggles with those 5% quandries, in her case because she’s not writing about events and friends from decades ago, she’s writing about stuff that happened Tuesday, and about a family that might be in the next room. You can feel the inner struggle as she writes about how much she’s willing to write about her son’s ongoing struggles to fit in to society’s limited expectations of him.

It’s a real open question whether any autobiography can ever be more than 95% true. Mark Twain stipulated that his memoir not be published until 100 years after his death (this year!), presumably so that he could be 100% honest—a full implementation of the Mystery Quote—but from what I’ve heard, the old guy doesn’t come across as particularly objective while ranting about his many late-in-life grudges.

Emotional honesty and factual accuracy aren’t the same thing after all. Twain may have thought he was hitting 100%, but maybe nobody can ever get past 95%. And maybe saying so upfront, as White and Hernandez both do in their own fashion, is the most honest way to start.