Sunday, December 16, 2012

What DC wants in an editor

Link courtesy of Bleeding Cool. Good comics news site to follow on Twitter-- as you probably kmow!

Hope everybody's having a good holiday season (It it crazy clammy and gloomy in San Fran.).


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello Again, Bitchula!

I am going through old artwork and papers, trying to figure out what to do with it all. I came across this c.'97 drawing of my character Bitchula, drawn with more realistic proportions than usual. I like it! Especially the inking. Hope you will too.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Do Editors Do, Anyway?

Mainly editors work at getting stories assigned and done on time. Often they say encouraging things to members of their creative teams, especially when one is terribly green. Sometimes they request changes.

My first two regular gigs at Marvel, now long ago, were with editor Mike Rockwitz. He gave me some of that early encouragement, telling me I was getting better every month. More generous than accurate, but very good for me to hear at that point.

Like, I think,  most comic book artists, I experienced few instances of actually being directed to change my work over the years, and only one that originated with Mike. He was doing what any artist would want an editor to do: He kept me from looking like a idiot. Which I will now undo.

Here's the cliffhanger splash I drew to end one issue, a couple months into my run on Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD. This scene was written by SHIELD scribe Greg Wright to be a surprisingly tense confrontation between Fury and Captain America. I don't need to tell you the reasons Mike had me redraw it, do I? You do have to give me some credit for managing to be both stiff and limp at the same time. Not many could.

(This wince-inducing and once blissfully forgotten fragment of my artistic history came sailing back to me from Marvel Art Returns just a year or so ago, two decades after the fact.)

So how did I redraw it? A lot better, with an uncredited assist from the Law of Averages. It was further enhanced by the excellent inking of Don Hudson.

Thought you might enjoy this little behind-the-scenes.

Thanks, Mike. And Greg, for the many times you steered me away from terminal dullness on SHIELD. Or tried to!

P.S.: Also recovered, an equally weak 2nd try, which
I can't even bring myself to scan!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Siri Series

What Japanese cartoonists visualize when their iPhones talk to them. There's an incredibly wide range of abilities (and degrees of misogyny) here, but since it's Japanese, we can all be comforted by the lack of distinct individual styles. Sigh...
Siri sounds like the word for butt in Japanese, which partially explains some of these.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Two VERY different Offerings

Courtesy of my good pal Ronn Sutton, an unmissable link for Kubert fans that reminds how close examination of Kubert's work, appreciative or analytical, is an encounter with the depth and breadth of his ability. I can only think of a handful of other artists whose every line was infused with such emotionality--and none other who balanced that with such formal and storytelling smarts and deep drawing knowledge.

I wouldn't be shocked if this link didn't stay up so, git ta downloadin', chillun!

Second, from the worthy comics newsite bleedingcool, a trailer for a digital comic that heralds the coming of a new open-source digital comics platform, supposedly, but comes off like middle-aged Limp Bizkit paired with an advertising storyboard, rather than a comic. (I've never heard of the similarly titled work that this one is inspired by.)

I give you former Marvel President Bill Jemas, and his new opus, "Get the F#ck Up"
Watch it with someone you love.

Friday, August 24, 2012

POD People

Thanks to AAU grad Sara Wooley, here is an interesting article on Print-on-Demand publishing.
I'm not enough acquainted with the economics to judge the articles' credibility, but the fact that it's Publisher's Weekly says a lot for it.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Comics and Comics

Patton Oswalt, who--along with Dana Gould--is my favorite standup comic, delivered the following barn-burner of a speech at the beginning of the recent Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival. It's meant for standup comics and people in the comedy business, but I think it can apply to us. Quoting Doug Stanhope's tweet:

Comics - Please re-post over and over in every optimum time zone. For days and weeks and years.

We have an analogous situation in comics (that is, ugh, "sequential art narrative," or what-have-you). The gatekeepers (publishers) are much less important, or should be. We haven't had, that I'm aware of, a DIY breakthrough like Louis C.K.'s self-produced hit comedy CD and DVD "Hilarious." Entirely possible with commonly available technology, though. It's coming...


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Here a talented fellow from the other side of the globe lays down some principles of character design in a way that's clear, practical and inspiring. Ladies and gents, Tim Gibson.

Not only will such choices make your characters different from each other (which may up their chances of feeling real and human), it will help you keep the characters internally consistent, something I struggle with, or should.

Maybe it goes without saying, but this is not just for animation and video game design...


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

These Panels Will Come to Order!

I like for students, when breaking down pages into panels, to make the reading order unambiguous.

But here's an case of a dangerous panel division actually being pulled off, I think. See if you agree.

In theory, when the reader finishes panel 3, he has two competing choices of which panel to read next: the one to the right, or the one below. Just the sort of momentary confusion that can be easily avoided and should be.

Except here I think the artist (a young Alex Kotzky, perhaps) has already finessed the situation. He has used a stack of three panels of equal width to make it fairly clear that readers are to read down. There's no balloon in the upper part of the tall panel to the right to lure our eye away. Indeed the upper part has almost nothing to draw our eye away--not the way a face or figure might.

It works, or so say I. Even the identical treatment of the captions atop panels 3 and 4 whispers gently, "read down."


Friday, February 17, 2012

OK, This Is Interesting!

A firm called Graphicly aims to smooth the way for digital comics self-publisher. You won't believe how low the cost is currently.

I, and most everybody at ye olde Acad, thinks that soon the primary means for first contact between readers and a new comic has to be digital, and that a revolution is coming in the business, with technology lowering prices and printed comics being mainly limited to collections of established hits.

Graphicly might be the outfit to facilitate this change.