Monday, April 21, 2014

it's funny cuz it's true

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

how to draw a pentagon



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pompeii process post

Pompeii started as me wanting to tell this story about working for Francesco Clemente. But that was too complicated. Too many modern details. Dash had been telling me I should make a romance and I had always wanted to do a riff on the genre. So I mashed up my classical influences - many learned from Clemente - and set the whole thing in Pompeii at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Working for Clemente had that feeling of going into another world - so it felt right. Plus I could play out the narrative without explaining too much. Pompeii is like a genre in itself - like stories set around the sinking of the Titanic.

Publishing history - Pompeii was originally going to be four 32 page books. But we scrapped that idea when the first book sold out quickly and the response was good. Dan and I just wanted to take the momentum and present the book as complete instead of as issues.

riso edition on left (below) was a little too dark - it washed out a lot of detail:

                           New edition right (below) is closer to the original drawings:

new edition on top - riso on bottom (below)

original drawing on top - new edition in the middle - riso edition on the bottom (below)

origiginal drawing on left - new edition on right (below)

original drawing on top - new edition on bottom - I'm very pleased with the reproduction

I want to address drawing - make drawing the subject matter. I made an artist who makes portraits my focus. I could play around with representation. This is the back cover of the completed edition (below)

I drew the back cover on tracing paper - the pencil flows across the paper because it is so smooth (below)

I want to make comics that look good at the scale they are made - this spread (below) was drawn the same size it is printed here in the book. This would be a small drawing - 11 x 17 inches total for the two pages

The original drawing for the spread (below) - drawn the same size as it was reproduced

I want my narrative to read very easily, almost effortlessly - I'm going for openess and clarity here:

I maintain a basic timing device and I never give up the center of the page

The drawing changes - the feeling of the scene is reflected in the drawing

Some spreads have thick lines and washes

Some spreads have thin pencil lines and little or no wash

They look really different when you put a thin line pages next to thick line pages:

I'm trying to frontload the making, the drawing has to have life -
and I'm changing scale and tools in order to create a tension between the different approaches

original drawing on left - printed page on right

mostly I am thinking about scale, about value and about tone - about drawing


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back at TCJ

I'm doing my weekly column again over at TCJ (The Comics Journal)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pencil Fight 8

Working at Copacetic Comics today in Pittsburgh. Bill has an impressive selection of mini-comics and zines from the last 20 years or so on sale. What's amazing to me is how many of these folks are no longer making work. I mean, it takes so much effort *just* to draw a comic book - let alone publish it - and then push it along so that it finds it's way to this store. Some of the folks in the small press section are still making work - some very successfully - but most are not doing any work at all anymore. The ratio must be about 100 to 1. It's kind of depressing. What's more depressing is the other day this woman came in who works for a big newspaper in town. "I'm doing a story on so and so who does the mini-comic called such and such", she said "and I want to talk to people who have read it." She explained to me that this person was a friend of hers and that she wanted to write about this friend's work for the paper. A big local newspaper. I told her that no one has bought that particular small press endeavor. Zero sales. She seemed surprised. I said "do you know who Shia LaBeouf is? Young Indiana Jones? Well, he makes comic books and they don't sell either. Just saying."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pencil Fight 7

My current favorite "forward thinking" cartoonists. This list is by no means complete - just thinking out loud.

Connor Willumsen
Joe Kessler
Warren Craghead
Angie Wang
Jocelyn Gravot
Michael Olivo
Dash Shaw
Andrew White
Bill Boichel
Derik Badman
Oliver East
Simon Moreton
Blaise Larmee
Jason Overby
Aidan Koch
Julie DelPorte
Lala Albert

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pencil Fight 6

Tired of rebel origin stories - the beats - the hippies - hollywood in early 70s - punk rock in america in early 80s - comic books aren't for kids anymore mid 80s - small press revolution in comics in 90s - fort thunder/kramers paradigm shift in 00s - let's stop celebrating the same touchdown over and over again - "we were young and now we're old"  - Tell me a new story -