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Posts tagged "comics"

Aug 29, 2014
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Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

A young lady at Dragon’s Lair comics here in Austin talked me into buying the first volume, and when I got the whole stack from the library, another young lady at the checkout desk looked at the stack with approval and asked, “First time?”

It took me about two months to get through all ten volumes — read them only before bed, which did, unsurprisingly, have an effect on my dreams.

Sandman was a DC comics character that Gaiman resurrected for the series:

They said: make it your own. So I started thinking more mythic – let’s have someone who’s been around since the beginning of time, because that lets me play around with the whole of time and space. I inherited from mythology the idea that he was Morpheus, king of dreams: it’s a story about stories, and why we need them, all of them revolving in some way around Morpheus: we encounter a frustrated writer with an imprisoned muse; we attend a serial killer convention and the first performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; we even find out what cats dream about (and why we should be afraid).

I have to admit, one thing I find very disorienting about reading the series, especially reading it all in one big gulp, is the rotating cast of artists. I find that when reading comics made by a bunch of different artists (different penciler, inker, colorist, etc.) there’s a kind of lack of visual unity that just puts things off a little. Characters sometimes don’t look like themselves, and it can be hard to track visually what’s going on. (Which makes me appreciate collaborations like Saga and From Hell all the more.)

Dave McKean, who did all the covers, alludes to this:

Since the interior artists changed all the time, I was the only consistent visual element. I wanted the covers to be a filter, a window of slightly surreal, melancholy, thoughtful imagery to pass through… Some covers were painted, some drawn, but many of the first few were 5ft-high collage-type works made by me that we took to a high-res photography studio to shoot – this was all pre-computers.

McKean’s covers are really worth browsing through (here are some of his favorites and a dedicated volume).

I actually wish there was a way (other than owning the original comics) to replicate the serialized experience of reading the individual issues. I’d like a series that was just the original comics, with ads and everything, bound together. These trade paperbacks I read had the covers, but everything was sort of squashed together, and it was hard to tell where one issue began and one ended. I suppose you could download the original scans on bittorrent or something.

It’s fun to swallow it all in one gulp, but I can only imagine how cool it was to read these individually, in their original context, back in the day. Saga is the first comic I’ve read for which I’ve actually gone to the comic book store to get new issues, and it’s a really fun experience.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

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Original pre-Photoshop assemblages Dave McKean made for The Sandman covers

neil-gaiman:

poisonousliasons:

Before Photoshop

I miss them still…

They really were that size: paintings and assemblages that Dave would take to get photographed, and send the transparency to DC Comics to use as a cover.

Here’s McKean:

Some covers were painted, some drawn, but many of the first few were 5ft-high collage-type works made by me that we took to a high-res photography studio to shoot – this was all pre-computers. I ended up wandering around London with Neil trying to find interesting bits and bobs to use as imagery. We liberated a fantastic-looking broken door from a skip, and found odds and ends in antique shops. People started donating things: I did a signing in London and someone gave me a lamb’s heart in a block of resin. It got used a few times.

Aug 08, 2014
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Anybody who’s been to a book signing can relate to this.

(Liana Finck for the New Yorker)

Anybody who’s been to a book signing can relate to this.

(Liana Finck for the New Yorker)

Aug 02, 2014
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ryanhamiltonwalsh:


Starting a new tradition with Ikea assemblies where I add the discussion had during the build into the instructions http://i.imgur.com/9LiM59y.jpg 


Filed under: captions

ryanhamiltonwalsh:

Starting a new tradition with Ikea assemblies where I add the discussion had during the build into the instructions

Filed under: captions

(via mlarson)

Aug 01, 2014
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Jul 27, 2014
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Yep. (Filed under: Saga)

Yep. (Filed under: Saga)

Jul 15, 2014
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John Porcellino’s The Hospital Suite

johnporcellino:

D+Q has posted a preview of The Hospital Suite! Check it out here.

This looks brutal, but I read everything of John P’s I can get my hands on. Pre-ordered.

Filed under: John Porcellino

Jul 03, 2014
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Bob Mankoff, How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons

Booklist got it right:


  In a witty mix of memoir and New Yorker cartoon history exuberantly illustrated with New Yorker cartoons past and present, Mankoff discusses his mother’s complicated influence (“Humor thrives on conflict”), how his psychology background helps him understand what makes cartoons funny or thought-provoking, and why he created the Cartoon Bank, which transformed the profession. He also unveils the magazine’s cartoon selection process under editors William Shawn, Tina Brown, and David Remnick and describes his own rigorous assessment of 1,000 cartoons a week. Other cartoonists describe their working methods, and Mankoff even offers inside information on the New Yorker’s devilishly difficult Cartoon Caption Contest, which the late great movie critic Roger Ebert won in 2011 “after 107 tries.” A cartoon lover’s feast.


I particularly liked the bits where Bob talks about how the humor in cartoons works, and how the cartoonists themselves work:


  In cartooning, as in life, nine out of ten things don’t work out… 
  To get good ideas in any field, the best method is to generate lots of ideas and throw out the bad ones.


He then points to something that I’d always suspected: that there are writing-first cartoonists and drawing-first cartoonists:


  Different cartoonists have different was of getting quality from quantity. One division is between the doodle firsters and the word firsters. The doodle firsters doodle away until a drawing inspires something funny, while the words first people write, write, and write some more until something clicks.


(For a great example of the process of a word-firster, check out my friend Matt Diffee’s TED talk.)

The other thing I love about this book is how informed it seems to be by Mankoff’s blogging — it reads like a really lean, well-edited blog post, with cartoons tossed in the stream at any point they need to be to illustrate the point. It’s fast reading that also rewards re-reading, which is a hard thing to pull off.

If you’re at all interested in The New Yorker, cartooning, or how humor works, this is a really great read.

Recommended.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Bob Mankoff, How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons

Booklist got it right:

In a witty mix of memoir and New Yorker cartoon history exuberantly illustrated with New Yorker cartoons past and present, Mankoff discusses his mother’s complicated influence (“Humor thrives on conflict”), how his psychology background helps him understand what makes cartoons funny or thought-provoking, and why he created the Cartoon Bank, which transformed the profession. He also unveils the magazine’s cartoon selection process under editors William Shawn, Tina Brown, and David Remnick and describes his own rigorous assessment of 1,000 cartoons a week. Other cartoonists describe their working methods, and Mankoff even offers inside information on the New Yorker’s devilishly difficult Cartoon Caption Contest, which the late great movie critic Roger Ebert won in 2011 “after 107 tries.” A cartoon lover’s feast.

I particularly liked the bits where Bob talks about how the humor in cartoons works, and how the cartoonists themselves work:

In cartooning, as in life, nine out of ten things don’t work out… To get good ideas in any field, the best method is to generate lots of ideas and throw out the bad ones.

He then points to something that I’d always suspected: that there are writing-first cartoonists and drawing-first cartoonists:

Different cartoonists have different was of getting quality from quantity. One division is between the doodle firsters and the word firsters. The doodle firsters doodle away until a drawing inspires something funny, while the words first people write, write, and write some more until something clicks.

(For a great example of the process of a word-firster, check out my friend Matt Diffee’s TED talk.)

The other thing I love about this book is how informed it seems to be by Mankoff’s blogging — it reads like a really lean, well-edited blog post, with cartoons tossed in the stream at any point they need to be to illustrate the point. It’s fast reading that also rewards re-reading, which is a hard thing to pull off.

If you’re at all interested in The New Yorker, cartooning, or how humor works, this is a really great read.

Recommended.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Jul 02, 2014
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austinkleon:

Out of the way, you swine! A cartoonist is coming!

Cartoon by B. Kliban via @comicsreporter. Filed under: pity the poor cartoonist

EVERY time I see this cartoon it makes me laugh.

austinkleon:

Out of the way, you swine! A cartoonist is coming!

Cartoon by B. Kliban via @comicsreporter. Filed under: pity the poor cartoonist

EVERY time I see this cartoon it makes me laugh.

Jun 30, 2014
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Hawkeye: My Life As A Weapon & Hawkeye: Little Hits

I’ve never seen/read The Avengers, so I didn’t get what the deal really was with this Hawkeye dude, or why I should care. Nice art, though, and clever sendup of Chris Ware in the second volume.

Sometimes I ask comic fans for new stuff to read, they rave about something, then I read it, and I think, “This is it?”

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