Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 New York Comic Con: February 6th - 8th

A reminder to you all, January 2nd is the last day to register and have your tickets mailed to you. After that you will have to pick them up at the Jacob Javitz convention center. Have you bought your tickets yet?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Seam Carving/Liquid Resize

Mentioned WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in the second post on this blog, the program Seam Carving (a tool for photo manipulation) has been picked up by onOne Software for development and renamed Liquid Resize. onOne has produced a couple of handy Photoshop plugins, like Genuine Fractals for up-rezzing low resolution images. They do quality work, so I have high expectations for when it's released.

Salon Quickie Tip #3: Matt Groening on Character Design



Matt Groening: The secret of designing cartoon characters — and I’m giving away this secret now to all of you out there — is: you make a character that you can tell who it is in silhouette. I learned this from watching Mickey Mouse as a kid. You can tell Mickey Mouse from a mile away…those two big ears. Same thing with Popeye, same thing with Batman. And so, if you look at the Simpsons, they’re all identifiable in silhouette. Bart with the picket fence hair, Marge with the beehive, and Homer with the two little hairs, and all the rest. So…I think about hair quite a lot.
Good advice, I think the principle of silhouettes in character design can be expanded a bit more though. But that's for the next article...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inkscape

Via Lifehacker, via gHacks:


"Inkscape is a free, open-source and cross-platform vector editor. Whilst it will no doubt lack behind Illustrator in certain aspects, in my opinion it suffices the requirements of any non-professional graphic designer."

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks pretty snazzy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 Best Graphic Novels List


Lines and colors has compiled a list of lists of the best graphics novels (or comic related publications) of 2008.

It's not just indie stuff, there's a good mix of mainstream and some manga on the lists. There are even some art book suggestions.

Maybe you would like to share your Best of 2008?

One of the books I recommend that is on the list is Tekkonkinkreet by Matsumoto Taiyo. I read the Japanese version years ago. I don't know if the translated version is as good, but it's a weird and brilliant piece worth checking out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Parka Blogs: Art Book Lists


I love art books but one can't go buying them willy nilly or else you end up with a bookshelf overflowing with them. I usually like to spend a day at the bookstore carefully flipping through them before I make the decision to add it to my permanent collection. Unfortunately, time is scarce and it's been weeks? No, months since I've been in a bookstore. Booo.

Enter Parka Blogs. Parka, real name Teoh Yi Chie, reviews art books. Not only does he review the content of the book and the quality of the printing he accompanies the review with clear, well shot photos and sometimes even a quick video flip through which really shows how much bang you'll be getting for your buck. Above is a video flip through of the Will Eisner's Expressive Anatomy for Comics.

If you like his reviews and are thinking of buying one of the books he covered, try to buy it through his site (it links to Amazon.com) where he gets a commision.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dark Phoenix Rising



Look she's all mad and flamey. Man, I'm tired. Trying to figure out how to paint fire realistically was a b***h.

So I need help deciding which is better. 'Motion Blur' or 'No Motion Blur' version?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Interesting Pencil

Found through Lifehacker:

The Uni-ball Kuru Toga rotates the pencil lead as you draw, maintaining an even point.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Win a James Jean Art Book from Juxtapoz


If you sign up for an email newsletter for Juxtapoz magazine you are eligible to win the new James Jean Fables art book!

Anyone who's a fan or just like to win free stuff should sign up!

He is also having a solo exhibition at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York opening on January 10th.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Salon Quickie Tip #2: Cleaning Up Line Work in Photoshop

I'm a little proud of this little technique as I came up with it myself.

When cleaning up scanned black and white line work in Photoshop sometimes you miss small spots and gradients that you wouldn't see on the screen but show up when printed. Here's what you can do so you don't miss any spots.

First, you need to separate the black lines from the white background. Do this by going into Channels. It doesn't matter if it's CMYK, RGB or Grayscale (I prefer Grayscale) Just hold Ctrl and click the very first channel. You have now selected everything that is white so the next step is Select-Inverse (Shift-Ctrl-I). Now you've selected everything that is black.

Now create a new layer and fill the selection with black. You now have a layer with only black lines. At this point if you were in Grayscale please convert to CMYK or RGB color.

This is where the neat trick comes in. Add Layer Properties-Stroke. (The little fx symbol on the Layers palette)


Any little flecks or scratches you missed now have a red blob around them which makes them much easier to spot. Just erase them and now you have much cleaner art.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Upcoming Sequential Salon Meeting: January 31st

The next Sequential Salon meeting will be held January 31st, Saturday at 12:00 noon. Same place as usual.

You know the drill, bring in any cool work n' stuff you want to share. I have been told that some of you were a little wary of uploading you're work to show others. If you'd rather email your scripts privately to one another that's fine. I still suggest you send each other your scripts as early as possible though. Personally, I like to read y'all's stuff in a quiet room with enough time to give a thorough critique.

I'm sure you all already know from my email but we may have a special guest from Indie Spinner Rack coming to interview us. Woo hoo recognition!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So, you wanna make comics, eh? Part 3: WHY

Note: Wow, it's been over a year since I started this batch of essays. Time flies when you're going insane.

Out of this three part series of essays, this one is probably the most important.

Q: Why?

Because it deals with your motivations as an artist, as a writer, cartoonist, storyteller. Make no mistake, that is the ultimate goal of what we do. We tell stories.

Q: Why?

Because telling stories is what bonds people together. Every family, tribe, community, nation and religion has its story, and often stories within them. We tell stories to entertain, to comfort, to inspire, to warn, to anger, to arouse, to teach. Comics, the roots of which stretch back millennia, is still relatively unexplored as a medium for storytelling.

Q: Why?

Because a lot of people in America still think of comics as campy Batman ZAP BANG POW, juvenile, violent, hyper-sexual, stupid, homosexuality-inducing garbage.

Q: Why?

Because stupid stereotypes that play on the fears of the ignorant take a very long time to dispel. It doesn't help when a particular program is re-run for thirty years.

Q: Why?

Because humanity seems to define their reality through misery; we tend to remember the bad times easier than the good times.

Q: Why?

I'm afraid I don't know.

Q: Why?

Because I'm not a neuroscientist.

Q: Why?

Because I was too busy daydreaming about being a cartoonist when I should have been paying attention in biology class.

Q: Why?

Because telling stories is way more interesting to me than being a scientist.

Q: Why?

Because with comics, you can find ways to communicate ideas and connect with your audience like no other media.

Q: Why?

Because it's like Show & Tell in one easily distributed package.

Q: Why?

You're kidding, right?

Q: Why?

This has got to be some kind of joke.

Q: Why?

All right, who let this doofus in here?

Q: Why?

You're beginning to piss me off.

Q: Why?

Because you won't stop asking that question!

Q: Why?

I don't know; why do you keep asking "why"?

Q: Why?

Because we're not having a real conversation!

Q: Why?

A conversation isn't just questions and answers! It's a discussion and relation of ideas and/or events.

Q: Why?

Because that's the way humans relate to each other and feel less lonely in the world.

Q: Why?

Because that's just how we are!

Q: Why?

We can't be something we're not.

Q: Why?

Because some things are and some things are not!

Q: Why?

Things that are not can't be.

Q: Why?

Because then nothing wouldn't be! You can't have fucking nothing isn't/everything is!

Q: Why?

Because if nothing wasn't, there'd be fucking all kinds of shit we don't like: giant ants with top hats dancing around! There's no room for all that shit!

Q: Why?

Oh fuck you, eat your french fries you little shit goddamn it!

Where was I?

Why do you want to tell the story?

Why use the medium of comics?

Why are you using that style?

Why are you using that media/tool?

Why are you using that line/sentence/panel (how does it serve the story)?

Why does that line/sentence/panel work/not work?

This is the most introspective aspect of creation. I'm sure you'll come up with a few questions on your own as you progress. You don't necessarily have to answer those questions, but it helps to think about them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Salon Quickie Tip #1: Photoshop New Window

I'm planning to make Quickie Tips a regular series. Whether it's Photoshop, Illustrator, or traditional art techniques feel free to contribute any neat or helpful tricks you've learned over the years.

Here's something I use frequently in Photoshop, New Window.
Tired of zooming in and out while you're painting in Photoshop? Just open another duplicate window resized to show the entire image.

Go to: Window-Arrange-New Window for yourfilename.psd























Tuck this new second window in the corner. You now have two simultaneous views of your work. While you paint in the main window the second window will show the changes too!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Free Peanuts

Universal Syndicate's Comics.com has recently revamped their website. Along with a new look and navigation system, they now offer 50 years worth of free Peanuts cartoons!

Great news for people who don't want to schlep $29 (or $19 if you're buying it from Amazon.com) for those fancy Fantagraphic books.

The new Comics.com site also offers years of archives of other great comics such as Get Fuzzy, Liberty Meadows, Alley Oop and my personal favorite Pearls Before Swine. Another new feature is the ability to customize your own personal RSS feed or homepage to get only the comics you want see.

Snoopy.com, the official Peanuts site is also in the process of being revamped. Another thing to look forward to!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Advice from Dave Roman

Dave Roman, is a cartoonist/illustrator/editor who works at Nickelodeon Magazine. For those who used to take Klaus Janson's class at SVA, do you remember him coming by and giving us advice? Below is a link on his website which summarizes what he spoke that day.

It's always good to get a refresher on these kind of things.

Advice for building a career as a freelance artist and/or paid cartoonist by Dave Roman.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Travis Charest Step by Step

I am a BiiiiG Travis Charest fan, and I can't believe I haven't shared this article with you guys yet. It's a short tutorial on how he does one of his beautiful sequential panels. I have to warn you though, he uses good ol' ink and airbrushes, no computers!

To see more of his art check out the extensive Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery.

I also recommend you check out his Space Girl series.

All good stuff, all good stuff.

Friday, November 21, 2008

ILoveSketch: Sketching System for 3D Curve Models


ILoveSketch from Seok-Hyung Bae on Vimeo.

From their website:
A 3D curve sketching system that captures some of the affordances of pen and paper for professional designers, allowing them to iterate directly on concept 3D curve models. The system coherently integrates existing techniques of sketch-based interaction with a number of novel and enhanced features. Novel contributions of the system include automatic view rotation to improve curve sketchability, an axis widget for sketch surface selection, and implicitly inferred changes between sketching techniques. We also improve on a number of existing ideas such as a virtual sketchbook, simplified 2D and 3D view navigation, multi-stroke NURBS curve creation, and a cohesive gesture vocabulary.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hulk Smash Puny Rain!

So this is the first time I used the Cintiq to ink the lines. Previously I always scanned in pencil work and then colored it. A pain to clean up in Photoshop.

I was able to create nice thick & thin lines but next time I think I'll use thin neutral lines. I know people have already heard me say this but THE CINTIQ IS AWESOME!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brian Bolland Tutorial

After being inactive for what seemed like forever, Brian Bolland's website is back online. Other than being able to view all his wonderful cover art, he has a 'Lessons' link which shares his process on creating a cover. The most interesting is the Gotham Knights cover, where he goes in depth about his choices and techniques. He mentions using Photoshop 5.5 so I'm assuming this is a fairly old article, but it's still very educational. Check it out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Samurai Champloo Art

Samurai Champloo is just one of the long list of tv shows (it's on my Netflix list!) I've been meaning to watch. Created by the same director of Cowboy Bebop, it's a wild and energetic comedy/action/samurai/historical(?) anime, infused with hip-hop and rap.

For any who's interested you can view production art from this fansite and this french fansite. Not only do they have some neat rough key animation art, there are model sheets of characters and their weapons too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Early Star Wars Storyboards

Some rare Star Wars storyboards. Just love the composition on some of these shots.

Monday, November 10, 2008

John Romita Jr.'s Cover Sketches


Coverbrowser.com has posted several of John Romita Junior's rough cover sketches along with the final product.

If you want to browse comic covers, this site is a great resource. They have art from Action Comics #1 to the most recent comic publications.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Emmanuel Guibert: Cool Inking Technique


Check out this cool way Emmanuel Guibert inked his graphic novel, Alan's War.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gorilla Artfare


Gorilla Artfare is a collective art blog of a 100 professional artists. The art consists mostly of illustration, concept art, character and environment designs.

It's a great source of inspiration, especially for character designs. I highly recommend checking it out regularly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Concrete Jungle Art Contest


An upcoming film, titled 'Concrete Jungle' is holding an art contest for urban artwork. The prizes are an opportunity to feature your art in the film, $3000 cash, Mimobot USB Drives, etc.

Entries can be a concept piece of art, or a fully designed piece. Contest ends November 21st.

I skimmed through the entries gallery. We can definitely do better!

SVA Event: David Mazzucchelli & Graphic Novels from Europe

Graphic Novels from Europe
Wednesday, November 19, 6:30pm
209 East 23 Street, Amphitheater

BFA Illustration and Cartooning faculty member and comic book artist David Mazzucchelli will moderate a discussion with preeminent European graphic novelists. A book signing will follow.

The SVA website doesn't give much information on who these European artists are going to be but from what little info I was able to Google, French cartoonists David B. (EPILEPTIC, NOCTURNAL CONSPIRACIES) and Nicolas De Crécy (GLACIAL PERIOD) will be there.

They will also be at MoCCa.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Free Model Drawing Sessions

Lynne, Bowie, (not sure if Carlos was there that day- it might have bee his B-day), and I were talking about taking some model drawing classes again.

Lynne knew of something that was like $60 a month (I'm not sure if I could front that right now, or if my work schedule will even allow me to go- work sucks!)

But for SVA Alumni there are FREE Model Drawing Sessions at the GW on 23rd every Tuesday (except Nov. 25th) until Dec 2nd (I just found this out today) - NOTE: I am unsure the time it did not say, it just said Tuesdays.

It might not be much but it's something.

You must have your Alumni card and a Photo ID to go.

Just thought some might be interested in this especially Lynne.

Wow my first Blog ( I think, at least), anyway, hopefully I'll jump on this more

Friday, October 17, 2008

Syllabus Update

Johanna Draper Carlson over at Comics Worth Reading has reviewed Writing for Comics with Peter David.

She notes:

"There is one caveat, that perhaps goes without saying: David focuses on the kinds of comics he writes, fantasy adventure titles with heroes and villains. The solo writer/artist may find other books more useful — although anyone will find something of value here — as may the writer of more subtle genres. Still, I am thrilled to see a comic writing book that actually analyzes story types and themes as well as covering how sound effects work."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Illustrators 51: Society of Illustrators Competiton


For the first time, Illustrators 51, the Society of Illustrators' annual competition is accepting submissions online.

They have a 'Sequential' category (yay!) and the deadline is November 7th. There is an entry fee of $35. For more details click here.

I know many of us don't feel ready to enter a competition (or shelling out $35). Myself, I haven't entered a competition since college, 8 years ago! But it may worth trying, just to have a goal. If this year is impossible maybe next year?

There aren't many competitions geared for the sequential artist and Society of Illustrators is pretty prestigious, so y'know, consider it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CGtextures.com: Free High Quality Textures


CGtextures.com offers a wealth of well organized stock images for FREE. They not only have a wide selection of textures such as metal, stone, grunge, etc. but also great images of animals, landscapes, buildings and various objects.

My favorite finds so far are the watercolor grunge textures and the metal textures.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sequential Salon Rescheduled to October 18th!

Hey peoples!

The next salon meeting is October 18th, Saturday 12:00 PM.

Again, bring your work or any cool things you might want to share. Writers upload your work early so we can have plenty of time to read it and doodlers print those pretty pictures up for everyone to see!

The Sequential Salon Challenge is still in effect too! 

The meeting will be at the same place as last time. For newbies who would like to attend e-mail me at sequentialsalon(at)gmail.com for the address and directions.

As a side note, the Sequential Salon blog was rated an 8.2 on Blogged.com.
They're apparently a new site so you can't fault them for being so misguided.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sequential Salon Meeting Postponed

Due to scheduling conflicts the August meeting will be postponed, most likely until September. Will keep you updated when a new date is decided.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Next Sequential Salon Meeting, August 30th!

Hiya peoples,

The next meeting will be on August 30th, Saturday at 12:00PM. Same place as last time!

Wow, 3 months really pass by quickly doesn't it? Well, we have 3 more weeks to finish that Sequential Salon Challenge that was posted a while ago. I... haven't even started yet, but that's what Red Bull and coffee was invented for. Looking forward to that.

For the writers, I suggest you upload a word or pdf document of your work, to the blog, two or three days before the meeting. It takes a while for everybody to finish reading one script and we lose time for critiques. Besides, I think it always takes multiple readings to get a good analysis of the work before you can start critiquing it.

If August 30th is an inconvenient time for most of you we can always reschedule. Email me at the sequentialsalon(at)gmail.com.

For the regulars, once I confirm that everybody can attend I'll send an email with the meeting address and time later.

For first timers who want to attend the meeting, also email me at sequentialsalon(at)gmail.com for info.

See ya there!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Art from back in the days

I’ve scanned in my old art but it takes too long to view it here on the blog, so I’ve put them up on my Deviant Art page:

HERE

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bartleby.com


Want to read some H.G. Wells? Check up some Greek mythology? Need to brush up on Sophocles? Look no further than Bartleby.com.

From encyclopedias to fairy tales, Bartleby.com has a staggering amount of literature you can access in full, for FREE!

Since there is so much, it will take a while to navigate through the site thoroughly, but I guarantee that there is little something for everyone here.

Here's a few links to get you started:

Ghost Stories

Bulfinch's Mythology

Leo Tolstoy Collection

Gray's Anatomy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Excellent Read: Darth Vader's Blog


I highly recommend reading this faux blog by Darth Vader written by a Cheeseburger Brown. It chronicles Vader's day to day activities from New Hope to Return of the Jedi.

Extremely funny, well written and even touching, I suggest that you choose to read the blog chronologically as the writer added more entries.

I think this is a wonderful example of writing a story from a different character's point of view.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Drawing Day 2008!


What is Drawing Day? Here's the blurb on the website.
Drawing Day is a worldwide drawing event encouraging everyone to drop everything and draw for the sake of art. The internet is an open canvas. Help us create 1 million drawings online this day and boost online art communities.
Basically, it's an event to increase awareness of art on the web and to celebrate art itself. It was started by Mick Gow, who created RateMyDrawings.com. Check out the blog, I found it most informative.

The event is this coming Saturday, the same day MoCCa starts, so I might not have much time to draw, but to support the event, I will finally create that deviantART account, I've been putting off all those years, and finally upload some of my drawings.

You can also so support the event by just spreading the word, via blogs, forums, or putting up a banner on your website.

Whether it's Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, deviantART or MySpace, upload your drawings! Oh, and link those posts on the Sequential Salon too!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Sequential Salon Challenge!

Hiya Folks,

Just wanted to say thanks for coming to the recent salon meeting on Saturday. For those of you who could not grace us with your presence (you know who you are) here's what you missed.

One of the topics discussed was trying to get more productivity. Whether it's the usual unmotivated 'meh' feeling, busy everyday life or just feelings of 'I suck!, I suck ass, somebody chop off my hands and strike me blind!' These obstacles prevent us from finishing or even starting projects. We need to feel excited about art again, but how?

Well, here's one possible solution, a Sequential Salon Challenge! It's not mandatory, nobody is twisting your arm, but I thought it might be something fun to do and hopefully it may get those creative juices flowing.

The challenge is this:

For the doodlers, pick any movie or TV show that wasn't a comic first (no Sin City, Spider-Man, Batman, 300, etc). Take one scene and translate into a a single comic page. It doesn't have to be a super tight and finished page, just enough so you can distinguish the characters and read the dialogue (yes ,need those word balloons people!).

For writers, again, pick a scene from any movie or TV show that wasn't a comic first. Write a short scene that was not in the movie or write an short adaptation of it from a different character's vantage point (thank you Mike for the suggestion.) I don't know what would be an appropriate length for this would be 3-4 pages?

Here's an example of a movie that was adapted into a comic. This is the famous 'The first rule of Fight Club...' scene from, well, Fight Club. Drawn by Humberto Ramos for fun.



If this particular challenge isn't to your taste, here's another one.

Take a song and interpret that song into a single illustration or write a short story /poem based on it. It can be as literal or as abstract an interpretation as you want it to be.

I don't have any examples for this one but I think it will be quite challenging.

P.S. This is something that is supposed to be quick and fun so don't obsess too much over it!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

MOCCA!



http://www.moccany.org/artfest-main.html


The annual Art Fest is (as usual) held at the Puck Building, 293 Lafayette Street & Houston (a whole two blocks from my office). Take the NRW (or whatever yellow train is running that weekend) to Prince Street, and whatever else that stops at Houston.

Hours are 11 AM to 6 PM each day. A weekend pass is $15, or $10 for each day. The program guide is here. Panels of interest include:

SATURDAY

12:15 - 1:15 pm
David Hajdu on The Great Comic Book Scare

David Hajdu is the music critic for The New Republic and the author of Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn and Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña. He will be talking about his latest book, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America.

2:30 - 3:30 pm
Rebecca Donner and Brian Wood in conversation

Rebecca Donner’s essays have appeared in Bookforum, The Believer, and People; she is the author of the forthcoming graphic novel Burnout (Minx/DC). Brian Wood is the creator of DMZ, as well as Demo, The Tourist, Supermarket, Northlanders, and The New York Four.

SUNDAY

3:40 - 4:55 pm
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: A Workshop
Matt Madden and Jessica Abel

Matt Madden and Jessica Abel are the coauthors of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics from Manga to Graphic Novels (FirstSecond), an important new how-to book on creating comics. Matt Madden’s books include Odds Off, Black Candy, and 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. Jessica Abel’s books include Soundtrack, Mirror/Window, and La Perdida.

The book will be available for sale at the First Second table. My friend Gina will most likely be working the :01 table all weekend long. They tend to have a Buy Two, get One Free deal at conventions, and I can guarantee every dollar you spend there will be worth while.

If you have attended Salon meetings and do not show up for this, I will light many fires under your ass.

Carlos has special dispensation; it's his wedding anniversary.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feeling Sketchy Pt. 7


We had a Salon meeting today and I sketched this while we hung out. It started with a few sketches of my character Zandalee, then I drew Kain and then the Fear Crow, and finally my rendition of a lobstrosity (Read about these nasty and terrifying creatures in Stephen King's The Dark Tower Book Two: Drawing of the Three).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blender

http://www.blender.org/

I can't possibly imagine that no one would be interested in a FREE 3D rendering program capable of competing with 3D Studio Max and Maya.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Upcoming Sequential Salon Meeting, May 31st!

The next Sequential Salon meeting will be on May 31st Saturday 12:00 PM!

If you're interested in coming and would like to know where to meet email me at sequentialsalon(at)gmail.com.

Again, bring in your works in progress or anything of interest (books, dvds, etc).

Also this is a support group of sorts. I know many of us have been in that motivational slump we're all too familiar with. So everybody think of any solutions on how we can get those creative juices flowing. Let's come up with some ideas, peoples!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Son of Syllabus!

Because you can never have enough good books on art, writing, comics, and creativity. I don't have any of these yet.

Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics from Manga to Graphic Novels

Coming in from First Second books (a fantastic company, by the way), by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, instructors at SVA. They've created a 15-week curriculum for cartoonists. I caught a sneak peak at NYCC. If you can only get one of these books, get this one. It will be on sale at the MOCCA Art Festival; it's official release date is June 10th.

Exercises in Style

We are not nearly as limited in techniques as storytellers as we may think. Raymond Queneau explores 99 ways to tell a story (just with words).

99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style

Matt Madden takes Queneau's book and applies its theories to comics.

Art Models: Life Nudes for Drawing Painting and Sculpting
Art Models 2: Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts
The Nude Female Figure: A Visual Reference for the Artist

Healthy naked people. What more do you want?

(Don't answer that.)

Working Methods: Comic Creators Detail Their Storytelling And Artistic Processes

Another gem from TwoMorrows (who gave us Panel Discussions last time around) about the creative process. A bunch of artists work to interpret written scripts to the illustrated page.

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean

This serves as both introduction to and criticism of comics. Analyzing superhero and 'indie' comics, what makes them similar and different, and presents what he finds to the newcomer to comics.

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

A historical study of Frederic Wertham's effect on the comics industry.

Kirby: King of Comics

For a long time, comics art was generally stiff, stale, and distant. The reader was just an observer. Kirby was working in comics long before he teamed up with Stan Lee and decided, "guess what - comics are going this way now!" He put the readers in the story. Mark Evanier tells us about the life of a man who created myths.

How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling

Make your black and white art graphic and moody.

Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up

This book covers curvilinear perspective, something you won't find anywhere else, not even in Sal's class.

The Education Of A Comics Artist

Essays and interviews with tons of cartoonists, about the art, history, business, and teaching of comics. Just check out that list of contributors. Jee-zuz!

The Language of Comics: Word and Image

Multiple essays discussing the history of the combination of words and pictures, and how they're related. Contributors of note: NC Christopher Couch, and Robert C Harvey.

Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature
The Aesthetics of Comics
The System of Comics
Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels: A History Of Comic Art
Arguing Comics: Literary Masters On A Popular Medium

I'll do more proper write-ups on the rest of these books (and probably add more) when I can get my head into it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Upcoming Events

Next Saturday is Free Comic Book Day.

While we take time to convalesce from the ordeal of NYCC, now is a good time to warn & prepare for the OTHER big deal in comics for New York City.

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is holding their annual Art Festival on June 7th & 8th.

Stuff currently brewing in my head:

Additions to the Syllabus.

Finishing So, you wanna make comics, eh? Part 3: Why.

Thoughts on the industry and various publishers.

Critical Voices from various blogs.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New York Comic Con

The full schedule has been released. Download the PDF here (right-click & save as...).

Let's try to treat the convention as a research project instead of, well, fan-wankery. Sure, there will be plenty of time for that, but our priorities should be clear. Obviously some lectures overlap, so we'll have to separate. Bring your voice recorders and take notes. Take a look at the program, and decide what you'd like to see the most. Come up with a strategy.

Panels of interest:

FRIDAY:

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Room 1E03
STEVE RUDE ART CLASS
Watch and observe Steve Rude’ acrylic demo/workshop as he teaches a group of ten students. He will be teaching fundamental techniques that you can take home and use, taught at each student’s skill level.

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Room 1E10-1E11
WILL EISNER: PORTRAIT OF A SEQUENTIAL ARTIST
As any comic book connoisseur knows, Will Eisner may very well be the greatest innovator in the history of the art form. From the beginning in the 1930s and through six revolutionary decades, he stretched the boundaries and advocated more sophisticated storytelling techniques, and then reinvented himself as the architect of the graphic novel format. Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist provides us with an intimate look at the man who has been labeled "the godfather of the American comic." Though he wasn't exactly responsible for traditional comic superheroes like Superman or Batman, his character of The Spirit, which followed crime fighter Denny Colt, lasted for twelve years and appeared in various publications. Through interviews with writers, artists, and legends like Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Chabon, Frank Miller, Jack Kirby, Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman, and many more, Eisner's undeniable pioneering influence on the comic book, graphic novel, and creative freedom in America comes out in rich detail. This is one exhilarating journey you won’t want to miss.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Professional
Room 1E02
COMICS, CONCEPTS & COPYRIGHTS
This session will help comic book creators learn how to legally protect their comic book ideas and creations. We will unpack key copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property (IP) issues that control how comic book properties are sold. Panelists will include: Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., Ivan A. Saperstein, Esq. and Sheafe B. Walker, Esq.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Room 1E10-1E11
WILL EISNER TRIBUTE PANEL
A discussion with some of Will Eisner’s peers and the creators who have been influenced by his work.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Professional
Room 1E15
COMICS TO ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS--EDITORS SHIFTING GEARS
Comic book companies and trade book publishers both produce sequential art, but the reader demographics, talent pools, commercial market sensibilities, visual aesthetics, and perceptions of how the material is even read are so different that editors have to open a completely different rule book for what is and is not appropriate for each market. Yes, there’s a rule book: it’s the organic kind editors keep locked in their heads, right next to Sensibility, Craft, and Scheduling, and they’ll be opening it up just for you.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Room 1E02
CAG - OPEN CALL FOR MEMBERS
The Comicbook Artists Guild: An Open Call for Members Nationwide— Trying to break into the comics industry? Need an outlet for telling interesting stories with words and pictures? Join Keith Murphey, the founder of the Comicbook Artists Guild (otherwise known as CAG), along with industry veteran Mark Mazz and a panel of members representing the East coast, invites all aspiring creators to take part in an enlightening discussion of how CAG can unite talent together for projects of their choosing and how talented people like you can benefit from membership! Never been published? Need to find your own “voice”? Want to start a CAG chapter in your own hometown? Come find out how!"

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Room 1E03
COMICS EXPERIENCE: BUILDING YOUR ART PORTFOLIO
Want to draw comics for a living? Well, you need a portfolio to show off your stuff! Join Comics Experience founder, Andy Schmidt, and a host of guests to discuss how to get the most bang—and by “bang” we mean jobs—for your portfolio buck! These helpful tips are invaluable for every budding artist.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Teen
Room 1E02
USING COMPUTERS TO DRAW COMICS
As comics enter the twenty-first century, digital production has become a larger part of creating comics. New technologies allow creators to draw digitally and opportunities arise to push the boundaries of how comics are created. Meet some pioneers of digital comics artwork and learn the way their processes converge and diverge between traditional and digital means.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room 1E03
COMICS EXPERIENCE: HOW TO WRITE A PITCH
We all know it sucks, but if you're a writer, you've also got to know how to sell. A mighty cast of comic industry heavy hitters gives you top secrets on how to write a successful pitch! Join us to learn the keys to positioning your pitch for approval!

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Room 1E07
WOMEN IN COMICS
Gail Simone, Heidi MacDonald, Karen Green, Jennifer Grünwald, Jann Jones and Becky Cloonan will discuss the State of the industry from their perspective, plus insight into their exciting current projects, moderated by Abby Denson.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Room 1E16
COMIC ARTISTS TALK ABOUT DRAWING
How do they do it? Why do they love it? Join this stellar panel of artists as they provide the inside scoop! Moderated by Peter Sanderson.

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Room 1E02
BLACK AND WHITE: COMPOSITION AND DESIGN
Over the last century, stories of all mediums have tapped into the dynamic visual quality of “heavy blacks.” This workshop will focus on how to control the use of black and white shapes to create dynamic compositions, intriguing character designs, dramatic lighting effects, and complex staging. This will be a lecture-based workshop, filled with visual examples from the mediums masters of black and white comics. If you like Sin City, Hellboy, or 100 Bullets, this is the workshop for you!

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Room 1E07
THE BLACK PANEL - NYCC STYLE
Witness true black power—the power of black content in the entertainment marketplace. This lively panel will look at how black content is influencing entertainment and discuss how to increase its output in the mainstream.

SATURDAY:

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Room 1E16
COMIC WRITERS TALK ABOUT WRITING
An esteemed panel of writers will discuss their deep, dark thoughts and how they're able to bring their demons to the page, and still lead a normal life! Moderated by Danny Fingeroth.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room 1E09
TODAY'S VOICES IN GRAPHIC NOVELS
Many of today's hottest authors are doing amazing work in the Graphic Novel medium. Come here these voices as they discuss their thoughts on exploring this new medium.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room 1E16
SCOTT MCCLOUD AND DOUG RUSHKOFF
Join Scott McCloud and Douglas Rushkoff for an hour of debate, theory and commentary on the state of the industry.

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Room 1E09
COMICS EXPERIENCE: THE ART OF STORYTELLING
The greatest Comic book minds of our time divulge the greatest secrets of all time. Join our featured panelists for the top tips for telling a clear and great story in comics. These insights are not to be missed. How can any comic artist—or fan— afford to miss this panel? Presented by Comics Experience’s Andy Schmidt.

SUNDAY:


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Room 1E10-1E11
KIRBY: KING OF COMICS
Kirby: King of Comics— Author Mark Evanier talks about his new book, Kirby: King of Comics, celebrating the life and art of one of comics' most legendary creators, Jack Kirby. Joining Mark to discuss the Kirby influence and legacy are some amazing names!

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Teen
Room 2D02-03
COMIC S WORKSHOP 1: DRAWING (ADVANCED)
This 90-minute workshop about drawing is for high school students, with Warren Pleace, artist on HELLBLAZER, THE INVISIBLES and LIFE SUCKS.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Teen
Room 2D02-03
COMICS WORKSHOP 2: STORYTELLING (ADVANCED)
A 90-minute workshop about Storytelling for high school students with First Second Editorial Director Mark Siegel.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Teen
Room 2D08
MOCCA PRESENTS: A MINI-COMICS WORKSHOP
Mini-comics – small, photocopied, comics works – are gaining popularity as a cheap and simple way to tell stories and make beautiful artwork. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to make a minicomic from start to finish.

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Teen Room 2D02-03
COMICS WORKSHOP 3: THE FINAL PRODUCT (ADVANCED)
A 90-minute workshop about combining art and story into a final comic -- and what to do with your comic after that! Presented by Nick Bertozzi. (for high school students)

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Room 2D06-07
SELF-PUBLISHING YOUR WORK
How can you get started without a publisher?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shotophop

80 video Photoshop tutorials.

Includes comic book techniques for inking and coloring.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Books: Free and Legal

http://www.wowio.com

Download a book a day. It even has comics.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Demon Hunter Kain World: New Babylon


Blogging is new to me, so thanks for coming along for the ride and reading this. The next thing I want to talk about I want to talk about pertaining to my Demon Hunter Kain comic is the world where the story takes place: New Babylon.

New Babylon is situated on the east coast of the USA. Don’t ask me to point out exactly where, it’s a fictional state. Growing up on horror movies and TV shows like Scooby Doo and Clue Club I noticed that different locales added an air of suspense and eeriness to the film. So I had to create a world where all types of horrific events can take place among various backdrops: the small town that hides a dark secret from outsiders, The condemned building that sits silently on the city block during day but has weird events surrounding it at night, that lone stretch of highway where you drive down and are never heard from again, Werewolves prowl the valleys under a full moon, and winged creatures take flight under the cover of darkness. This is New Babylon, a place that anything that can happen, will happen.

Watching all those “mystery” cartoons I also gained respect for the back story of the villains and how they came to be. In fact I started to wonder how horror movie villains got their origins like: Why does Jason Vorhees stalk Camp Crystal Lake, unable to die? We know why he kills, but how did he come back from the dead with a big hulking body? Questions like these always puzzled me and no one tends to answer them. That’s why in my world all villains have to have some sort of history. Whether they were assholes or good people in life turned bad in death I will try to have an answer.

The majority of Kain’s investigations and battles take place in New Babylon. From its inception as a small town in the colonial days to its status as a state, New Babylon has been a place of dark deeds, mysterious disappearances, paranormal and supernatural activity. However these frightening events have gone unnoticed over the centuries due to various secret groups, organizations and cults covering up the truth. New Babylon is separated into eleven counties:

Fenton
Essex
Wakefield
Haven Port
Hillford
Caldwell
Lauren
Forest Hill
Jacob Hills
Prospect
Norman Ridge

These counties are all connected by various roads, highways and forms of public transportation. Each county has its own disturbing and checkered past; conspiracies, serial murders, human sacrifices, devil worship, ghost sightings and other noteworthy activities.

Demon Hunter Kain Characters: Zandalee “Zee” Joseph



Zandalee “Zee” Joseph, is the first individual that Kain befriends at the beginning of the series. Zee has the ability to see and communicate with spiritual entities, although she doesn’t believe that what she sees are ghosts. Later on she gains other abilities. Kain meets Zee under unusual circumstances and reluctantly takes her under his wing and teaches her how to control her abilities.

I first envisioned Zee (The one in pink) as the plain girl next door. But later on I felt that she wouldn’t fit in with the other characters. I mean this is a young woman that’s been harassed by spirits for the better part of her life. Anyone in that situation would be antsy and antisocial, especially when said spirits tend to appear out of thin air and scare you, cause you to trip and fall and make a total fool of yourself in front of others. Having created these circumstances for the character, I conceived the design for the second Zee. She looks tired, her hair and clothing are a bit unkempt, she’s pale, and she has circles under her eyes. She’s the type of girl most people ignore or gossip about.

As with the Kain designs these are not etched in stone.

Demon Hunter Kain Characters: Kain Smith




Kain Smith is not your average 15 year-old. He comes from a long line of Demon Hunters and he’s taken on the duties of his predecessors to protect the weak and atone for a past sin. These are preliminary designs for Kain.

The first design (Kain in blue), was and early design done back in 2001! Yeah people this character has been with me that long, hell, longer than that

The second design was done back in 2005, I liked it so I didn’t mess with it until recently when the problem of how Kain is supposed to protect his identity arose.

In order to help conceal his identity, I came up with the third design. I gave him clothing that had distortion enchantments woven into the material. The enchantment has a field of influence (A radius of one mile). When standing outside this field an onlooker will see a man in a mask dressed all in black running around. However when within the enchantment’s field of influence onlookers will see different things, some might see just a man, others a child, it varies by individual and how the enchantment affects them.

Just so you know these designs are not set in stone and I am still revising them to this day. Hopefully sometime real soon I’ll have a Kain design that I’ll be truly happy with.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


You know, it recently dawned on me that I’ve never explained what Demon Hunter Kain is. This gives me a chance to keep uploading and blogging.

Demon Hunter Kain is a comic book I’ve been working on and off since college. It was inspired by films and TV shows such as The Goonies, Monster Squad, Friday the 13th, Hell Raiser, Night Breed, Dark Shadows and various other horror movies and television shows I grew up on. I’ve recently begun to get a feel for the characters and their world again, especially since I’ve decided to make the book a web comic instead. By making it a web comic it saves me trying to find a publisher and I get to work at my own pace to make sure the stories are just how I want them to be.

Demon Hunter Kain revolves around a 15 year-old demon hunter named Kain. He resides in Caldwell county in the state of New Babylon, reputed by ghost hunters as being the most haunted state in all of North America. Kain secretly helps protect the people of New Babylon from the evil things that lurk in the shadows. He goes through the day as a normal teen although he shuns the friendship of others. At night we wages war on the supernatural risking his life to make a difference while secretly trying to make up for a harrowing event from his past. His world, however, takes an unexpected flip when he reaches out to and befriends Zandalee Joseph.

NY Comic Con: Tomorrow Last Day for Mailed Tickets


Just a reminder to folks who haven't yet purchased their tickets for the New York Comic Con. March 13th, Thursday is the last day to have your tickets mailed to you. After that you have to pick them up yourself.

Click link below to register:
NY Comic-Con registration

Thursday, February 21, 2008

100 New Ways to Paint

Haven't posted anything as yet, so i figured i'd start with a good one, chock full of knowledge. Here is a link to a nice 18 page pdf filed with a lot of artists tips. Enjoy!

http://www.mediafire.com/?2mdsyyfgb5f

Monday, February 18, 2008

Salon #2

From Left to Right: Michael, Warren, Bowie, Lynne, Jeff


Carlos, Lynne, and the rest of us debate over what should be in her portfolio.


Further portfolio discussion...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Feeling Sketchy Pt. 6 - More Demon Hunter Kain Sketches





These are some older DHK sketches that I did but I felt they should be up here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Feeling Sketchy Pt. 5 - Demon Hunter Kain Prelude Thumbnails





These are the thumbnails for my Demon Hunter Kain Prelude. It's only four pages then it moves into the main story. I Finally got off my ass and did some work. Critique me!