Thursday, December 27, 2007

What Does Superman Do?

Nathan's favorite toy from Christmas is his Superman action figure. He also insists on wearing his Superman jammies whenever he sees them, whether it's time for bed or not. He doesn't call him by name, though. All superheroes are called "B", but this one goes "Whish!" when he flies.

Above: the age old question -- "Marvel or DC?" Nathan seems to prefer DC characters so far. He will be having some discussions in the future with his old man about this!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Moleskine Mondays

For Christmas I received a gift certificate at Barnes & Noble. I knew just what to get! A Moleskine sketchbook! If you don't know what that is, here's a blurb from their website.

MOLESKINE is the legendary notebook that has held the inspirations and ideas of everyone from Van Gogh, Picasso and Hemingway to famed author, Bruce Chatwin. Artists, authors, and geniuses of all variety have long appreciated the simplicity and superior functionality of these notebooks.

Originally these books were produced by small French bookbinders who supplied the Parisian stationery shops frequented by the international avant-garde. However, In 1986, the last manufacturer of Moleskine, a family operation in Tours, closed and Moleskines were gone – but not forgotten. As a result of their previous popularity and demand, they did return. In 1998, a small Milanese publisher brought these books back for writers, artists, travelers and all free-thinkers around the globe.

It looks like I'm in good company! I tried it out tonight while I was waiting at the mall. It is very nice paper and a nice sturdy but flexible sketchbook. I'm thinking Mondays will be Moleskine Mondays, and I'll post a recent sketch from the sketchbook. My New Year's resolution is to try to make better use of the time I spend just waiting (at the doctor's office, etc.) and I'm going to try to keep this baby with me!

It's very popular with a lot of artists, who share ideas on how they use theirs at the Moleskinerie.

Superman Finds New Fans Among Reading Instructors

There's an article in the New York Times today about schools currently using comics in education. It's a really good article called Superman Finds New Fans Among Reading Instructors. Here's a quote from it, but if you are interested, read the whole article here.

Some parents and teachers regard comics, with their sentences jammed into bubbles and their low word-to-picture ratio, as part of the problem when it comes to low reading scores and the much-lamented decline in reading for pleasure. But a growing cadre of educators is looking to comics as part of the solution.

"It's very much a teacher-led kind of movement in that teachers are looking for ways to engage their children, and they're finding some of that in comic books," said Michael Bitz, who founded the Comic Book Project as a graduate student and is now its director. "For kids who may be struggling and for kids who may be new to the English language, that visual sequence is a very powerful tool."
This is no news to me and to many others who learned to read by reading comics, but it's great to see the Establishment coming around.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just for Fun Comics: The Magnificent Manchester

A friend of mine went on a kayaking trip in the everglades. To commemorate his departure and return I created these pseudo comic cover sketches.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Challenge #14: Irregular Panel Borders Comic

I'm behind on the 52 Challenges, but trying to catch up! Here was our assignment:

Think outside of the box and get your mind out of the gutter!

Homework for Artists and Writers: Draw a 1 - 2 page comic with irregular panel borders. Avoid working on a grid, avoid right angles, and absolutely no squares or rectangles!

Extra Credit: Think about how a round panel affects the overall effect of your comic. Jagged shaped panels? Wavy Cloud panels? Make a note of what works so you can use them later amongst a sea of squares for contrast panels.

I like participating in the 52 Challenges, but this week I couldn't make time to do experimental comics for the sake of experiment. Not when I had a comic due that I could get some money for! I thought, whey not kill two birds with one stone? This comic is the next episode for Girl Power Science Squad, a comic strip I write and draw for Hopscotch magazine.

I found the experience very educational. I discovered about myself that I almost always use squares and rectangles in my comics. For inspiration in thinking outside the box, I studied some classic Jack Kirby Challengers of the Unknown comics. Wow! Did he use a lot of different shaped panels in that comic. I always thought his best work came later, but these comics strips are darn good. The different shaped panels really adds to the mechanical, futuristic mood.

I tried to achieve similar effects in mine, and I also found that when I let the desert landscape come outside the panel it changed the mood to a more desolate, wild feel.

Anyway, enough talk about it, here is the comic!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Dinosaurs that ate my Life

If you check this blog from time to time, you've probably noticed I haven't posted any comics work for a long time. That's because my time has been consumed with a really big project at school -- a Family Fun Night & Art Show I organize. It was finally held on November 30. I'm just beginning to get my life back! Here's one picture of a big dinosaur we made and one of our guests, but if you want to see a whole bunch of pictures, visit the Dino Daze Blog.