Announcing our new online store, where you can buy comics from myself, Liz Suburbia, Matt Czap, the PUPPYTEETH anthology and more to come. Woo!
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Here’s the scoop numero uno – I’m going to be at CAKE in sunny Chicago this weekend. This exciting first-time event is open to the public and stacked with an all-star roster. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Even more reason to be there is because I forced myself to make a brand new, 12 page mini comic which I called “Need More.” It’s about Tumblr (kind of) so it’s sure to be a hit with the kids, especially since it’s got a shiny color cover. The folks at CAKE were super nice and featured the info on their blog. I will also have all 6 months worth of Trigger, which includes a brand new one to debut at the show as well. The deal will be, the brand new one, which looks like this:
will be free to everyone, and then back-issue bundles will be a dollar each. So that’s issues 1, 2 and 3 for a buck and/or 4 and 5 (plus #6 as well, of course) for another buck. And then we’ll also have the rest of the peanut gallery, including Birthday Surprise, PUPPYTEETH 2, “Waffle,” all the Liz Suburbia stuff and Matt Czap’s “Mia Protasi.” Lots to choose from!
Did you know I’ve got a new webcomic? What O’Malley said was true, everything changes when you’re drawing a book. Gotta keep workin’
There’s probably more to talk about but I can’t remember. This is all the important stuff right here.
Oh yeah, PUPPYTEETH 3 is coming soon. As is a webstore and other site updates.
Been a non-stop busy year and I am loving it so much. Miss getting on this old blog, though. Haven’t even had much/any time to write for the Comix Cube. Thankfully, I’ve got some good reasons why.
Hey kids and kats.
This blog post keeps getting away from me, so there’s nothing to do for that but to just sit down and start writing. How are you guys feeling? Me? I’ve been pretty busy, as usual. A few weekends ago, you may remember, I got the chance to go on my favorite radio program, Stonecold Bikini. It was really such a great time. Had a blast. Didn’t get a chance to catch it? Well look here, I’ve got the audio. I come in at about the 25-30 minute mark.
But don’t let me just go on about that. Let’s talk about the now, let’s talk about the future.
My friends, my friends.
Here we are again, with a State of the Encyclopedia Address, where I unload all the news I’ve been saving up over the past month.
Hey everybody! How you doing? I’ve been busy, you know how it is.
Most important of all, the image above is a screenshot of the new landing page for PUPPYTEETH, where you can buy or PREORDER both issues of our little anthology. That’s right, the second issue of PUPPYTEETH is all ready to debut at TCAF this year, and in the meantime you are more than welcome, encouraged even, to preorder a copy of your own. This issue is considerably bigger than the first, with more artists and larger physical dimensions, and in full color! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Hey cats and dogs,
Lots of stuff going on with me. 2011 is proving to be as exciting and substantial a year as I always knew it could be. I hope you’ve been keeping up with my posts over at the Comix Cube, because when I’m not here I am there.
I’ve also been making a lot of pictures and comics, here are a couple of those things
I’ve written about Ashley Brooke Toussant here on this blog before, and I’m still a big fan. She’s been working hard on a new album that’s guaranteed to be outstanding. Anyway, I was very touched when Ashley asked me to draw up a new poster for her, which you can see above. Since I’m such a big fan of hers, I didn’t want to disappoint, and I hope I did the music justice.
Speaking of her new album, she’s hard at work doing all the things that go into making one, and you can give her a hand by contributing to her IndieGoGo fundraiser. One of the perks of that there campaign is, if you donate $50 or more, you can get a big print of my poster above! She’ll also be selling it at her shows, so there’s no excuse not to support this great artist. Her website is here, in case you wanted to see when she’s playing. You can also do the facebook thing.
I submitted the above comic to appear in the newest edition of the newsprint collection Magic Bullet, put together by the DC Conspiracy and features a lot of great stuff, including a page by Jim Rugg! You can pick it up for free at the best comic shops near you.
Riding the large newsprint collection wave, I made another comic for another thing. This one did not get in, so I guess I can show it to you here. I was trying to make more abstract, cartoony figures and I think it came out pretty well.
I also trucked on down to Columbus for SPACE, which you remember I blabbed about going to last year. This year I had a table waiting there for me and overall I had a really swell time. I roomed with the real-life siblings of Siblings Inc., Kerry and Dan who are responsible for Cupcakes and Comics (we also shared a room with Joe Medwid). Lots of laffs were had all over the Ramada. I helped to put sprinkles on the cupcakes, which is my proudest moment of the year so far. I wrote a whole bunch more about this show over at the Comix Cube.
Anyway, I put together a new mini for the show, which you can see a sample page from below. The book is called “Peace Signs” and I’ll be selling it at shows throughout the year.
One of the exciting things to come out of my SPACE experience (and there were so many) was I get mentioned in an article on The Beat!. Wow.
Here’s a crazy video those Tallarico kids made about the show.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
I’ve got some more exciting stuff to talk about and show you, but I will need to wait a little longer. Hope you guys haven’t forgotten about PUPPYTEETH 2, because I’ve got a lot of exciting stuff in that regard for the near future.
Have a good April, y’all!
Preachin’ and Teachin’
I started teaching my class, The Art of Comics, again this past Saturday and it looks like it’s going to another demon joy-ride. Above is the smattering of books I bring in on the first day to be like “THIS is comics!!!” My goal is to make this a bigger pile each time, as I get more comics. I love all the different sizes and shapes that they come in. I know some people are irritated when their comics aren’t all the same format, but I thrive on it. If I see you at a show, the weirder your format is, the more likely I am to pick it up. Call me shallow, it just makes my brain sweat.
Speaking of things I like, I wrote another post at Comix Cube, this time taking on balls-to-the-walls humor. I start with the height of Busta Rhymes’ career, then pass through Looney Toons so I can get to talking about KC Green, who’s doing great things in comics. Give it a read, why don’t you?
Other things I think are good: Little Thunder’s Kylooe, Andrew Hussie’s Homestuck, Liz Valasco‘s work in progress which is going to be so killer, Liz Suburbia’s Sacred Heart, Brandon Graham‘s King City, Dr. Seuss’s The Seven Lady Godivas (Dr. Seuss drawing naked ladies of all sizes running around in public!), Taiyo Matsumoto’s Gogo Monster, Marian Churchland’s The Crossing (a proposed online game), and KC Green’s Gunshow, which I managed to read all of over the past couple days.
But yeah, besides that, been doing a lot of other work that I can’t show you yet. Your homework is to read everything I just listed above, depending on availability.
A World Not Comics
Last night I went to an artist’s lecture with Nick Cave (not that one). The forms he creates with his suits was really inspiring, made me think a lot about cartooning. Particularly the big furry version of Kylooe from Little Thunder’s amazing book (thanks to Harvey James for… everything). It’s always interesting what obscuring the human form does to our perception. It’s like dreams walking around in day light.
Here is the second installment of my talking about things that move me to make. In my first go-round, I was talking about Noby Noby Boy, No. 5 and Japanese calm silliness. I was talking a lot about concepts and design aesthetics, and with this post I’ll talk more directly about drawing style. An in-depth look at my actual drawing style was conspicuously absent from my thesis presentation, but I’ve had a couple of years to think about it since then, so let’s see how we do.
The above work is Paul Gauguin’s In the Waves or Ondine, from 1889 (“another summer…”). Even though I was a painting major, I’m mostly lukewarm to Painting in general. My interest in art really picks up at the turn of the century, at the point when folks really started to break away from painting and took art making into (I think) much more exciting and relevant directions (Duchamp, Dada, Constructivism, Assemblage, Fluxus, Performance, etc.). I get much more excited by more marginal art forms, I suppose, ones with less institutional baggage (hey, like comics).
Anyways, that being admitted, I’ll say that I’ve really taken to that painting up there. Actually, I only recently took much notice of it — it was used as a centerpiece for the CMA‘s Gauguin exhibit last year, so its image was all over University Circle. Maybe it was just the right moment, when I had begun to consider color more seriously as well as trying to figure out what was useful to me in cartooning.
Mannerism, as I was taught to understand it in school, was a kind of informal period of art that played more with the depiction of human figures, dramatically stretching them out. Necks and curves elongated in poses that flowed with the composition. Basically, as the name implies, adding some style to more analytical naturalistic representation. For whatever reason (maybe since I’m a Taurus) I’m drawn to this kind of depiction, and I think the Gauguin painting epitomizes most if not all of the qualities I find appealing. There’s movement and grace, but there’s also a kind of clumsy reality — Ondine’s gesture is less informed by Classical mathematics than by a more practical observation of human beings learning how to move through space. I love the big round up-turned nose, there’s a lot of character in that nose.
The colors are great too. There’s an Impressionistic sketchiness to the marks that combines nicely with the kind of flat modeling (look at that hair!) carried over from Japanese woodblocks and Manet. All in all, it seems clear to me why a painting like this would appeal to a cartoonist, especially one who’s root influence include the likes of
I’d be surprised if folks who read Spoilers don’t see a resemblance. Dr. Seuss is pure cartooning, I see it as a further extension of the principles we see in In the Waves, gone through the machine of mechanical reproduction (darker outlines, flatter colors). Everything is fluffy in a Dr. Seuss world, and all the characters wear one-piece suits with the gloves and footies woven in. It’s a world of fur and fabric, where every joint shows a bunching of material. Again, these are all things that I’ve more or less replicated in my drawing style.
I can’t ignore content with this one, though. Clearly, I’ve chosen images from The Lorax for a reason, one that may or may not be apparent to you Spoilers readers. My favorite story, The Lorax has Geisel’s progressive worldview showing through to draw our attention to what is perhaps one of the most important morals in our current situation — our unrestrained “lust for life” is fucking ruining us. I know I’m a sentimental fool, but The Lorax is to me Seuss’ projectile to the hearts of new generations to fucking wake up and get us out of this before it’s too late (it might be). Unless
Bringing it Back Around
If my intentions have played out, you should be able to follow the logic of my choices here. Bringing it back to comics, I’ll end with talking a bit about Nick Bertozzi’s fantastic webcomic, Persimmon Cup. Essentially a story of unrequited love where you would do anything for the girl of your dreams but that only makes things worse and worse. As other folks have noted, there is a clear similarity to Dr. Seuss’ work in this comic, but Bertozzi is not telling stories to children. So we get a much less hopeful (and currently unresolved) narrative that’s brutal at times.
This comic served as a turning point in my thoughts about style, and I began to embrace the fluid, manneristic cartoony and imaginitive rather than necessarily trying to recreate or re-present reality. Two dimensions just can’t ever hope to beat the three dimensional world at its game, so I’m an advocate for drawing to explore its own inherent qualities, because there’s a whole lot of amazing things that you can do with graphic imagery that shouldn’t exist in our physical space. Obviously, my work and the work presented here are all still more than knee deep in representation. I’m pointed in another direction though, and I want to see how far I can stretch my legs in between here and there.
Soon after I discovered Persimmon Cup is when I first noticed that Gauguin painting. And it clicked.
Til Next Time!
Hi guys, big things have been happening!
So so much, I will have a couple of real posts for you all in the next week or so with actual content!
In the mean time, check out the beautiful photography of my man, Richard Cline. (Richard is the other half of Sean Malloy Pictures, first-rate filmmakers from sunny northern Virginia. Their new short film, The Gains and Losses of Porter Harmon is set to be released very soon.)
See you in a few, sportsfans!
So much is going on around me! Let’s take a moment to pay attention to the state of this community of movers and shakers, shall we?
Where have you been?
I’ve been teaching a class about comics, man, and it is the best. Andy Silva may be going to weddings with every musician we came-of-age to, but I’m leaving my own kind of dream right here in Cleveland.
I’ve been pretty busy with all that for the past week or two, so I don’t have much else to write about here. I’ve been running a blog for the class that has some things that might interest a comics fan, so check that out when you have the time. Also, Liz Suburbia is still putting up new pages of her comic, Sacred Heart
I’ve been considering doing some reader participation week here, which would be a half-cover for me just wanting people to comment more. I’m also genuinely interested in other people, so it wouldn’t be a total ego thing. I’m thinking of doing polls like “What do you believe in?” or “What do you look forward to in the day?” How does that idea sound? (that could be another one of the survey questions)
Love you guys!
I debated how to handle to aftermath of the best weekend this blog has ever seen, and I think I should just keep cool and proceed as normal. Thanks to everyone who stopped over to check out the things I wrote about some pretty smart, talented and nice people. I think I underestimated the internet a little seeing how surprised I was that everyone knew what I had said about them before I had made any announcement or anything. I think at the end of the day, even more than the unprecedented number of visitors, I’d say the highlight was Lauren Albert’s comment, saying that my simple observations had inspired her to make more comics.
I’ve been doing a lot of things besides updating Spoilers, my beloved webcomic project that is not far from my mind or heart at any moment. Those things include: working on the house; getting ready to teach my Art of Comics class in a couple of weeks; making christmas presents; and lastly drawing a lot of pictures, usually in relation to the previous activity.
I plan on putting an illustration section onto my site again sometime in the future, but for now I’ll give you all a preview of some things I’ve done in the past couple of months.
Here’s some news:
The Art of Comics
So today I received the official word (more or less) that enough students have enrolled to take The Art of Comics that it’s actually going to happen! Holy bones, I am very excited. Very big thanks to every one who has signed up already and anyone else who wants to enroll, follow the link (http://cia.edu/continuinged) — we’ll be happy to have you.
My buddies over at Sean Malloy Productions have really been moving! They’ve got a new site and a beautiful logo and they shot a new short picture over the weekend. Looking forward to checking that out when they are ready.
All this updating and I didn’t tell you guys that I went to Cleveland’s best comic book convention!
Fine establishment Astound! Comics held the first annual Genghis Con in the twilight of ’09 and I was lucky enough to attend. It’s been a couple months past now, but man, that was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Not only did I get to meet some local comic makers, but I got to stand around and talk to the internetionally-known critic Abhay Kholsa. Shit can this man write, and it was a great time to share some words with him. I insisted that I was his biggest fan at the show and he insisted he was never tabling at a convention again.
I will always have fond memories of my first, but I’m already looking forward to next year. See you there.
We’ve made great progress with out house! The hardwood floors are all cleaned up and the main living area has shed its wallpaper and been fixed up all proper. We’re in the final stages of Phase One, and when that’s done, we can probably start letting people see it, so you should expect pictures.
In an act of appeasement, we got a television set so that we can now play our video game systems. This is good news for the Wii and PS2 that have been sitting in the basement all disconnected for almost a year. While my wallet can’t keep up with the dreams awakened by this purchase, I’m looking forward to the stateside release of Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon in March.
(Things are really happening in the next couple of months! Joanna Newsom’s new record, Have One on Me also comes out!!!!!! wow)
Till next time, when I will tell you some things that might be of interest to you