Saturday, September 13, 2008

Put Down Your Joysticks and Read!

This is for an upcoming issue of Fun for Kids magazine. The whole issue will have the theme of "Reading Fun" and my assignment was to create a comic strip with that theme. I really think it's the best thing I've ever done for them.

My lettering will never be great, but I think this is my best lettering ever and I owe it to the voice of Joey Weiser that was ringing in my ear: "Draw those words, dont' write them." Son of a gun, that really does help.

One of the thing I like about working for Fun for Kids is that they buy one-time use and I retain rights of my work. I will also put it in a future Eclectic comic. But the traditional size format is bigger! I stole a trick from the old newspaper comics and the top panels on every page are expendable. I like what they add, but the comic works without them.


Dave H said...

Don't beat yourself up on the lettering. It flows well, tells the story and has a little personality. I like the mix of upper and lower case.

Marek Bennett said...

Yeah, nice! I am a fan of lettering that looks HUMAN. (I assume it was written by a human... right?)

Now, I'm wondering about this: In video games, the player is always choosing from pre-programmed scenarios and options (or dynamically generated combinations of such), and in reading you're also following a pre-programmed (written) line of thought, with even fewer narrative options than a video game (hypertext perhaps excluded)... so why is reading so much more imaginative? Does it have to do with the (sometimes hard) work of visualization and imagination itself?

Ben Villarreal said...

You took the words right out of my mouth, Marek. Studies are increasingly finding a correlation between kids who enjoy playing video game AND reading--which I like because it means I wasn't such a freak after all. And more and more video game companies are hiring game designers (not to mention writers) with BAs in English Literature.

But I too really like the lettering! And well done making Treasure Island readable ;-) Sorry, I dislike that book to the degree that I'd rather watch the Muppet version :-)

Marek Bennett said...

Just to clarify, Ben -- I really DO think reading is infinitely MORE imaginative than responding reflexively to a buncha goldang blinking lights... (thumps cane on floor to emphasize)... and creating comics is even MORE so!

But I wonder about the connections here; why do our brains initially gravitate towards blinking lights, while with education and discipline they learn to value the more personal rewards and challenges of comics?

(Okay, okay, I admit, I used to play lots of Nintendo as a kid, AND I'm working on a comic about this kind of stuff.)

Unknown said...

I know one thing -- the Muppet
Treasure Island movie is awesome! The Wizard of Oz is as well, but the greatest of the muppet movies was the Muppet Christmas Carol.