Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The resource I mentioned in class as being especially valuable for perspective has many other valuable insights into drawing in general. Allow several minutes for download.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Ellipses: The "Implied Cylinder"

You guys, here's a set of very short videos I made just recently to explain how to orient ellipses properly, over on the blog for my graduate Drawing from the Imagination sections.
If you haven't already, please read the announcement following this post.

Comics Workshop is in flux

Stay tuned for news re time and location of Dan Cooney's Comics Workshop. Up in the air at the moment.


P.S.: I am tracking down the Comics Club. Please leave a comment if you know anything.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

After the First Meeting

Hi, Y'all,
Here's the first, verbal part of the handout, as well as the instructions for the head exercise, now no longer worded as notes to myself!


Comics 2 - ILL 292
John Heebink
Credits: Take the Book off the Shelf, Doll and Creature (Image), Vampirella Quarterly (Harris), Killer Stunts (Alias), Elvira (Claypool), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Hamilton), Nick Fury, Quasar (Marvel), Action Planet Comics

PHONE 415 887-
BLOG ill193.blogspot.com
EMAIL penciler@

Category Weights:

Participation (Helpful crits, adding to discussions, readiness to draw)    20%
Homework                                                                                                 35
In-class Assignments, Quizzes                                                                  20
Final Project (pitch pack)                                                                          25

Attendance is required.
Two unexcused lates will count as an unexcused absence.
Arriving five minutes or more after class begins or leaving fifteen minutes or more before class ends will be considered a late.
Three unexcused absences will lower final grade one full letter (B to C, etc.)
Three consecutive unexcused absences will result in a final grade of F.
Four unexcused absences will result in an F.
Excuses for absences and tardinesses must be written and verifiable by phone.

Late work is given an “0” without a written excuse with contact info so I can verify (see Student Handbook for what constitutes a valid excuse--it’s limited). However you may re-do up to four on-time assignments. So your incentive is to turn in work, good or bad, on time, and later re-do the ones you’re unhappy with. Work must be turned in (or emailed to me if you can’t make class) 20 min before the end of the class session in which it is due. Re-dos are due in the 14th week of class.

FOOD IS NOT PERMITTED. Seriously. We have a student lunchroom. Drinks are okay.

DIFFICULTIES. Please see syllabus for available services for when you are in difficulty or have special needs. ARC in particular is helpful: They have motivated, helpful counselors, content tutors and language tutors, and they put on subject-specific workshops. They have a special office for accommodating the needs of students with disabilities (Classroom Services).

Everybody goes through rough patches, periods of adjustment. Please see ARC early if a problem arises that interferes with your work. If your grades drop to D or F, I am required to talk to you about it and  urge you to see ARC. Working with friendly, eager ARC counselors earlier may prevent things getting to that point.

INDUSTRY PRACTICE. This class is modeled on industry practice. Though comic-book deadlines are often somewhat elastic, the career risks of lateness make my no-late-work policy a good practice. Real cartoonists often have coffee and soda in their work area, so it's allowed in this class, etc.

ALL ABOUT THE WORK Most of our aims in this class will be in service of producing a high-quality final product.  Please ask questions.

GENERAL-TO-SPECIFIC. The best way to produce professional work is to move, in our work,  from  big issues to small, from soft to hard, general to specific, taking no more time at any stage than is necessary. Working with blue pencils is key to this, as is breaking out of comfortable bad habits.

THE GOAL of this class is to produce a professional quality comics pitch: Cover, character sketches and 6 pages of inked story art. (Some students may want to design logos and write the verbal component of the pitch, but these are not required and will not affect grade). Lettering directly on the boards is strongly discouraged.

I stand ready to assist you with any problem areas in your work. You can call me at the number above. I highly encourage you to scan and email me your work in progress, so I may give helpful feedback that can save you time and heartache. There may be comics and perspective workshops that can be helpful and fun. I believe they start after the third week of the semester.

Teaching Methods:
Lectures (limited), demos, handouts, homework, class critiques, quizzes, in-class assignments, one-on-one advice from teacher.

Updated Supply list
Pencils, of your preferred hardnesses
Sanford Col-erase Blue or Light blue Pencils . ALWAYS bring to class.
Strathmore 400 or 500 Series bristol board, smooth finish. (Trim down to 11" x 17")
Kneaded and Pink Pearl or synthetic erasers (e.g., Staedtler-Mars White)
30/60/90 triangle--the bigger the better. Look for one with a raised straightedge for inking
Raphael 8404 Series Kolinsky sable brush, size #2 or #3 or #4 , (or the less expensive Escoda 1212 series, size #2 or #3 or #4) available at Pearl Paint and Jerry's Artarama. OR,  alternatively, an excellent brush pen: Brush pens can be found at the Kinokuniya Stationery Store , 1581 Webster, Japantown, on the 38 Geary bus line.
Pen nibs and holders (I'd suggest Hunt 102 and an assortment of others. I really like the Deleter nibs and holders from Japan. They are sometimes available at the Kinokuniya  BOOKSTORE in Japantown, but  it's difficult to find out because a lot of their clerks don't know they carry them. Deleter makes it own holder that fits both styles of Deleter nibs.)
Pelikan Waterproof  or Speedball Super Black India Ink (Higgins Black Magic is a passable second choice.)
Pentel Presto or Pro White or Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White or Pilot Correction pen or other correction pen
Micron Pigma black pigment liners, sizes 03, 05 and 08, two of each
Drafting  tape or dots
Optional but recommended: drawing board with parallel rule or T-square; stick-style or pencil-style eraser; architecture-style lead holder, leads and special sharpener; sanding paddle for making chisel points on pencils; electric eraser (for erasing ink); French curve, flexible curves, ellipse templates; compass; 2H or 3H pencil (or lead and lead holder) for doing side-of-the-pencil shading and fills of black areas; a 6" metal ruler for ruling backgrounds; light box, tone screens.

Carrying a sketchbook is a good idea.

Always bring blue pencil, black pencil, erasers, paper and a ruler to class!