Tag Archives: red pencil

A little bit, a little late.

26 Feb

Yikes! Sorry this update is late, guys! I have a big crit coming up on Tuesday, so I spent last night sending all my files off so that people’d have time to read them. I’ll have a lot of good stuff to post during this upcoming week as a result–I have some prep work for Perfectly Fitting that turned out well, plus I’ll have the poster I’m designing for the next Dr. Sketchy’s event.

But first, here’s this week’s visiting artist sketch!

Joe Sacco

This week, Joe Sacco gave a talk to us as well as some of the Dartmouth students about comics and journalism. As the author of PalestineFootnotes in Gaza, and several other journalistic graphic novels, it’s pretty clear that he knows what he’s talking about. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read any of his work, but I like his style and enjoyed what he had to say. Since the Dartmouth lecture was aimed at a more general audience, he had to spend more time than usual explaining the basic nature of comics and how or why they might be used for journalism. It was still a good talk–I particularly liked hearing him discuss his process and how he defines journalistic integrity (telling the “intrinsic truth” rather than the “literal truth” in some cases)–but I wish I’d been able to make it to his CCS-only talk earlier that day. I’m definitely adding Footnotes in Gaza to my reading list for next week.

Water, water everywhere…

23 Dec

So, hey, San Diego seems to be flooding. Don’t get me wrong: I love rain, and this is a nice change of pace from California’s habit of catching on fire every summer, but rain to the point of the roof leaking, hotels being evacuated, and the train tracks being flooded seems a tad excessive. Luckily, the worst of it seems to be over. The sun totally came out for, like, two hours today (which is about the same amount of sunlight we get in Vermont some days), so maybe things’ll start to dry off soon.

In the meantime, though, I’ve got another Keeley sketch for you:

Keeley ties his shoes.I tell ya what, this guy is way too much fun to draw. I love his freckles and lanky limbs! (His pants are always just a little too short because he’s so tall, which means I get to practice drawing bony ankles and cool socks, too.) I’m pretty pleased with how this sketch came out, unfinished hands aside. I think the folds in his clothes came out well, and I feel like I’m getting a better sense for how he moves. I still need to work on drawing shoes, though–the proportions on these are a little off. Does that mean I’ll have to spend the next few days looking up dapper 1920s outfits? OH WOE IS ME.

I think that’s it for me tonight…the cat had me up at 6:00 am, plus my body has no idea what time zone I’m in at this point, so I’m gonna get some sleep. See you guys on Friday!

Me? Awake on a Monday? What a novel idea!

25 Oct

Woof. What a weekend! Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to have a weekend that wasn’t spent (a) frantically trying to finish 16 pages to my satisfaction or (b) driving all night. On the other hand, though, it was kind of a bummer to spend the whole weekend in quarantine. I was feeling kind of sick–everyone at CCS has had the sniffles or worse these past few weeks–so I spent the weekend hanging out with Paul (who was feeling way worse than I was, poor guy), taking naps, and watching Boardwalk Empire. It’s a fun show (although, man, did some episodes get way grosser and more violent than I expected!), and it’s great costume porn. I love me some period pieces, especially if they involve pinstripes, cool dresses, and excellent hats. KIND OF LIKE THESE ONES:

Boardwalk Hats

These are actually sketches from a few weeks ago when we watched the first episode; I wasn’t up for much drawing this weekend. I still like how they turned out, though; I drew them in a simpler style that was kind of influenced by the Professor Layton games. (I’ve only just managed to kick a serious addiction to those games, but I doubt it’ll last for long since the third one just came out.) I’d like to do something with these guys (or with characters who look something like them), but I don’t have any specific story ideas for that era other than “draw hats”.

Speaking of dudes in hats, here’s my latest visiting artist sketch:

Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft, who draws the newspaper strip Mama’s Boyz, came to talk to us this week. He was funny, engaging, and generally a great speaker. He had some interesting things to say about his experience in the newspaper industry, self-publishing, and how having a multicultural cast has influenced the reception of his work. It’s ridiculous that some people will still look at a comic and say, “Oh, this comic has black characters? It’s just like [other comic also featuring black characters],” even if race is the only thing those characters have in common. That concept is just really strange to me. I feel like multiculturalism is an important part of comics–I want my worlds to reflect a variety of diverse characters, not just to feature Generic White Protagonist #8,502. That’s not to say that it’s wrong to have a white protagonist or that creators who have them should feel bad; it’s just that I want that to be a conscious decision that I make instead of what I default to without thinking, y’know? I guess it’s just strange to me–even though, sadly, it probably shouldn’t be–that some people are still weirded out by multiculturalism and willing to write it off as all being interchangeable.

*shrugs* Welp, that’s my two cents for this week. I’ll be back on Wednesday with some more arts. If you need somethin’ to read in the meantime, why not check out the Comics Journal’s review of Tales from San Papel, an anthology that I contributed to back in the day (by which I mean during winter break last year). Rob Clough referred to my contribution, It Never Snows in San Papel, as one of the standouts. I am super flattered! :)

Riddle me this, Vermont.

22 Oct

Why is it already snowing here? It is still October. Not. Cool.

Anyway, to keep warm, I have been drawing a lot. Here’s my visiting artist sketch from last week:

rockin' that plaid

Last week, Aaron Renier came to talk to us! He’s the creator of Spiral Bound: Top Secret Summer and The Unsinkable Walker Bean, both of which were pretty much fantastic. He’s my thesis advisor, so I may have a slightly biased opinion, but I also thought that both books were fantastic before he was confirmed as my advisor, so whatever. He gave a really great talk and showed us a lot of interesting early work in which he used the main Spiral Bound characters before they were, well, the Spiral Bound characters. We also got a sneak peek at the first few pages of Walker Bean vol. 2, which was super exciting! It was really cool to see his originals. He does a lot of doodling in the margins of his pages to get the excess ink off his brush, and it was fun to see those.

I also got to meet with Aaron before his talk so that we could discuss the work I’ve done for my thesis so far. I feel really good about having him as my advisor. I admire his work a hell of a lot, but on top of that he’s also able to give really excellent feedback–a nice balance of talking about what works well, what doesn’t, and how or why this is the case and how it can be improved. I feel really lucky to be paired with him this year. It’s on his advice that I tried doing all of yesterday’s art with a brush and ink (well, Aaron’s advice as well as being out of refills for my Pocket Brush). I think they turned out okay, but I’m still not very confident with a regular brush. I feel like I can control the amount of ink in the Pocket Brush better than a regular one, but maybe that’s just because I haven’t used a brush and ink very much at all. Besides, whenever I use ink, this is what happens:

ink everywhere

Ah well. I suppose if there’s any place where being covered in ink and paint is acceptable (and maybe even encouraged), it’s cartoon school. :P

Check back on Monday for another visiting artist sketch and additional doodles! Also, if Wednesday’s PIX recap wasn’t enough for you, try checking out the con reports at Cupcakes and Comics and Kevin Czapiewski’s blog.

I guess it’s monsoon season in WRJ.

1 Oct

It’s been raining on and off all week, but it’s also been really warm. Crazy! Luckily, rainy weather means that there are no petty distractions such as “sunshine” to remind us what the outside world looks like when we should be inside drawing comics, so I have been fairly productive these past few days. Lots of drawing has been happening, although there’s still a lot more that needs to be done!

Speaking of which, here’s the visiting artist drawing I promised you guys:

lookit that majestic brow

This week Scott Dikkers (of The Onion and Pretty Good Jim fame) came to talk to us. We were delighted to find that not only is he hilarious in person as well as in print but he can also give some pretty great advice on writing (particularly on writing humor).  He’s currently starting his own animation company that is turning out some pretty great stuff–I recommend their short Bright Lights, Big Steam.

All right, now it’s back to sketching robot babies. See you all on Monday!

That’s a lollipop stick, not a cigarette.

27 Sep

Yeesh, I keep updating super late these days. IT IS LIKE I AM ONLY UP AT NIGHT OR SOMETHING, I DUNNO.

Anyway, here’s a quick character design sketch for an upcoming comic:

lickin' a lollipop

I don’t know what her name is yet (surprise, surprise). I’ve been thinking “Caroline” but that may be just because (a) I want a kind of everyday-sounding name (no offense to the Carolines out there) and (b) I have been dying to watch Coraline lately. *shrugs* We’ll see how things go. No matter what, she’s going in a comic for our thesis seminar class that has to be based in part on a dream of ours from the past few weeks. I’ve been working on the cover, so hopefully I’ll post a sneak preview of that later this week.

See you guys on Wednesday!

This may be the earliest in the day I’ve ever updated.

24 Sep

Holy cow, a daytime update! MADNESS.

Here’s the next installment in the visiting artist series:

This week Diana Schutz came to talk to us. She’s an editor at Dark Horse Comics and had some great advice about editing and the publishing side of comics. She also gave portfolio reviews, which is awesome, and she had some really insightful comments and questions about writing. I really like getting portfolio reviews–I mean, getting crit always stings a little (’cause I’m a total wimp, haha!), but I am a firm believer in the idea that you can’t improve unless you hear lots of opinions on what you’re doing well and what you’re doing poorly, so I always jump on whatever portfolio reviews I can get. :)

In other news, here’s another sketch of The Girl with the Really Thick Eyebrows (which sounds like a Stieg Larsson novel):

I told you I’d be drawing her again–although apparently she always poses with a hand over her eyes. We all have our little quirks, I guess.

Who’s got two thumbs and occasionally updates her blog on time? THIS GUY.

17 Sep

One of the many cool things about CCS is the fact that we have a visiting artist lecture every week. Basically, cool people come to White River Jct. every week and spend about two hours telling us what they do and how they do it and why that is awesome. Last year, David Yoder sketched each visiting artist, wrote down some of the interesting things they said, and made a cool mini out of it. I thought was a really neat project, and I could really use some practice drawing people’s likenesses, so I’m going to follow in his footsteps this year. I don’t know if I’ll collect them at the end of the year the way he did, but at the very least it should result in some interesting drawings for the blog. :) Speaking of which, here are the two we’ve had so far!

Last week we had Steve Bissette of Tyrant, Swamp Thing, and like a million other excellent comics. He’s one of our professors here at CCS and is a great lecturer as well as teacher. Also, he has an amazing beard.

This week, Kate Beaton came to talk to us. She draws a hilarious comic called Hark! A Vagrant and was equally hilarious in person. She was very articulate and said some interesting things about writing humor. I like making people laugh with my comics, and she mentioned some good guidelines for doing it (some of which you can read above). Also, how is it that every indie comics girl has such impeccable fashion sense? I need to step up my game, you guys.

Okay, it’s back to work now–this weekend I have to start a dream-based 4-pager, finish my official business cards, letterhead, and envelopes, and ink and color an illustration for a super excellent pin-up calendar of some of the White River Junction cartooning gals. Fun times! :)

Hooray for thick eyebrows!

13 Sep

Busy day today! It was my first day as TA for the first-year figure drawing class, which is hectic but super fun. It’s awesome to get a chance to see the new class work and get to know them a little better. They’re all talented, and they’ve been very tolerant of my tendency to talk their ears off about chamois cloths, brush pens, and the anterior superior iliac spines. I AM A HUGE ANATOMY NERD YOU GUYS. WHO KNEW. I didn’t have a lot of time to draw today, but hopefully I’ll be able to get a little sketching in during next week’s class.

And hey, speaking of sketches, I have some actual content for you guys! I started doodling during a lecture in our thesis seminar class today and came up with this girl:

check out those sweet threads

I have no idea what her name is or what in the world she’s wearing; I just thought that this image James Sturm showed us of old baseball uniforms looked cool and ran with the memory of that. I think she’s a keeper, though, especially since she looks so different from the rest of my female characters. She’ll probably show up in a comic before too long. Here she is again:

what the heck is that, anyway?

I am so disproportionally proud of that hand, you guys. :D Also, I am all about drawing wrinkled noses lately. Go figure.

That’s about all I’ve got for today. Now it’s back to designing business cards and listening to the Paprika soundtrack on repeat. See you Wednesday!

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