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 Gr├╝nwald, 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?