It’s not really comics, but it’s still too cool not to share. Picture Book Report is a new blog where 15 illustrators create and post scenes from their favorite children’s books, like The Hobbit or Alice in Wonderland, as rendered above by Meg Hunt. Anyone with an interest in illustration and/or children’s books should definitely have this site in their RSS feed. (via)
Like the Magnetic Fields? Well, even if you don’t, or if, like, me, you’ve never heard a Magnetic Fields song in your life before (I’m deprived, I know) you’ll still want to check out this art blog, created by a group of London artists dedicated to making comics based on every song from the Magnetic Fields’ 3-disc 69 Love Songs. (via)
Girls Drawing Girls is a (I think) relatively new art blog featuring female animators and artists doing girlie pin-ups. Though far from explicit, there is some nudity, so it’s a bit NSFW, but if you’ like good girl art, or just good cartoon art in general, it’s worth checking out. They’re also doing a charity art sale to help the people of Haiti right now, if you’re so inclined.
Chris Samnee, Mike Hawthorne, Andy Kuhn, Mitch Breitweiser and several other artists have united to form Comic Twart, an art blog where every week the group will draw a different character. This week’s character, if you couldn’t guess, is Zorro.
It sounds like a paradox: Webcomics.com is a how-to site explaining how you can make money as the creator of a free webcomic.
But you will have to pay to see it.
The standard model for creator-owned webcomics is to put the comic up for free and make money via ads and the sale of books, T-shirts, and other merchandise. And one of the most influential guides to that model is How to Make Webcomics, authored by the four members of the Halfpixel collective: Brad Guigar (Evil, Inc.), Dave Kellett (Sheldon), Scott Kurtz (PvP), and Kris Straub (Starslip).
In late 2008, Halfpixel took over the domain webcomics.com (previously owned by T Campbell) and reconfigured it as a how-to site for webcomics creators, providing advice on everything from how to draw word balloons to how to build an audience. Guigar is the editor-in-chief and writes most of the articles, with Kurtz and occasionally the others also providing content.
On January 3, literally overnight, Guigar put all the content behind a pay wall and announced that henceforth, readers must pay a $30 annual subscription fee to access it. The internets swelled with outrage, but Guigar pointed out that the site is a professional tool, not a webcomic, and thus of monetary value to creators.
I interviewed Guigar via e-mail about his reasons for the change and his reaction to the criticism that followed.
My earliest Halloween memories involve a Superman costume and a Batman costume my brother and I, respectively, wore one year. I kept the costume for years after that, wearing it around the house as long as it would fit, then eventually passing it down to my youngest brother. I had one of those cheap plastic Batman masks that obscured my vision and was probably some sort of fire hazard, while my brother got to go maskless … because unlike the kid in the above picture, we knew Superman didn’t wear a mask.
Ah, memories … if you have similar ones, you may enjoy checking out Growing Up Heroes, a blog that features kids dressed as various superheroes between 1960 and 1990. Everyone from Batman, Spider-Man and the Hulk to various Star Wars and Star Trek characters are represented, as are various costumes, shirts and, of course, Underoos.
I haven’t done this in awhile, so let’s highlight some of the more interesting posts from the past week or so — or at least what was intersting to me:
• The folks at the Hooded Utilitarian recently wrapped up a lengthy roundtable discussion on Dan Clowes’ Ghost World.
• Tom Spurgeon continues his great holiday interview series with notable critics about the great comics of the closing decade. In backwards order: Kristy Valenti on Little Nemo: So Many Splendid Sundays; Bart Beaty on Persepolis; Frank Santoro on Multiforce and our own Sean Collins on Blankets.
• Tucker Stone examines the brouhaha surrounding the announcement of Marvel’s Girl’s Comics series and wonders what lies behind it: “When the Big Two companies make a fuss about something, and that fuss can in any way be perceived as a movement towards correcting a problem, the initial responses are certain to contain a healthy slice of contempt.”
We’ll be taking a break from talking about comics next Sunday, as it’s a holiday weekend and all, but for now, click on the link to find out what we’re currently reading.
Jeet Heer has an interesting post up at Sans Everything where, in response to an some odd right-wing tirade about how awful it is that openly gay people show up in modern comics these days, he looks at how homosexuals have been portrayed in the comics books and strips of yesteryear and provides plenty of examples from works like Little Orphan Annie, Wash Tubbs, Gasoline Alley, The Spirit and, yes, Mickey Mouse. The results are … well, let’s just call them politically incorrect and leave it at that, OK?
I’m a little late to the party with this, but I’m opting to forge ahead anyway …
OK, we all know that people on the Internet like to complain. A lot. And we all know that the chasm between what comics bloggers profess to love/hate and what actually gets bought and read is wide enough to comfortably fit the Grand Canyon with room to spare.
That being said, I find myself rather surprised at the amount of invective and cynicism people have hurled towards DC’s big publishing announcements this week, especially their upcoming line of Year One graphic novels (not to mention their big Superman and Batman plans). Enough so to make me wonder if — contrary to my initial beliefs — that so-called “event fatigue” actually exists, or whether there’s a general and growing distrust with the powers-that-be at Time Warner that extends to all superhero comics in general.
But first, let’s do a quick run-down of reactions, shall we?
For Tim Lane’s next collection of short stories, Folktales, he’s including a cut-out diorama of his favorite classic Motown group, The Temptations. Lane delves into the details about the creation of the diorama over on his blog here, here and here, and offers 2-D versions of the group that you can print out and stand up at home in case you’re the impatient sort who can’t wait for the book.
Papercraft dolls seem to be all the rage these days, a supposition the great Toy-A-Day blog upholds by creating this great Mr. Natural papercraft doll that you can download as a .pdf and put together yourself. Can Devil Girl and Snoid dolls be far behind? (via)
Here’s a little something for all the scholars in the audience: The blog My Confined Space has found vintage brochure and promotional material about the Comics Code Authority designed to explain to parents and educators what the Code was about and how the self-regulating society was keeping innocent young tots from the pernicious influence of all those ugly crime and horror books. (via)
This isn’t exactly comics, but it’s pretty cool so I’m posting it here anyway. Using classic Japanese monster movie posters as his guide, children’s book illustrator Dan Santat turned out a really rocking cover for his latest project Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World). He blogs about putting the whole thing together here,
The best part? The cover folds out to become a poster kids can hang on their wall. (via)