News from the old site blog. Many links may be out of date.
I seem to be on the cover of Publisher's Weekly for Aug 7, along with a gaggle of other comics characters. Haven't read it yet, but it looks like another interesting issue.
08/07: The packing has begun! We'll be putting everything into storage in the next few weeks and hitting the road around August 27 to arrive in Manhattan for the September 5 Tour Launch. (Yes, we are still NOT on tour yet, no matter what you may have heard!)
This blog may be a bit quiet in the next 20 days, but expect the tour blog to heat up considerably once we hit the road. Friend it now and you'll get regular updates once the real tour begins. We'll also post specific tour dates for Autumn soon.
Meanwhile, check out some new site revamps from the PBF and Modern Tales; Hope Larson hits the New York Times Op/Ed page in a big way, an interview is up concerning my brief stints on Superman, my books get some kind words on the Sturgeon's Law podcast (thanks!), and Kathy Li finds a really old picture of Neil and me for your amusement.
07/25: Back from MCAD and Comic-Con. Look for a full report soon.
07/17: San Diego, here we come! No booth this year, but you can find me on the following two panels:
Saturday. 12:30-1:30 pm. Room 9. The Flight Anthology panel. I'll be on hand as a "special guest"(!) to discuss this groundbreaking anthology, now on it's third volume.
Once again, we're still not on tour (the official tour begins in September) but we are on the road right now, heading back from Minneapolis straight to Comic-Con. I'm writing this from Pueblo, Colorado but we'll be back in the car by the time most of you read this.
I hope to have news and photos from Minneapolis, our Dresden Dolls encounter and my fantastic students soon. Meanwhile, check out some Webcomics Tetris, while you're waiting.
We're still not on tour (the official tour begins in September) but yes, the family is travelling and in Minneapolis right now. Next stop San Diego and the McCloud Family panel, Friday 12:00-1:00 pm in Room 8.
And for those of you who are going to San Diego, Tom Spurgeon lists everything you need to know and then some in this astoundingly comprehensive guide.
MIT's Henry Jenkins has started blogging which is good news for all of us who value his perspective on the media landscape.
Gotta love this interview with Craig Thompson and Alison Bechdel, courtesy of Powells.
Saw the Calder exhibit yesterday. I was reminded of what a blessed goofball he was, as were so many of his peers in the early days. It helps to know that his friends called him "Sandy." We should all call him Sandy. If big museums starting hosting exhibits of Calder with names like "Sandy's goofy, gigantic spinning wire things," maybe everyone would get the point.
07/06: Two irresistible blog stories this week:
First, Nat alerts us that all-time Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings discussed the Story Machine in his July 2 entry in reference to writer's block and offers his own intriguing strategy.
Then evil genius David Hopkins, over at PopSyndicate, in his July 6 entry, has offered to plug me repeatedly in exchange for a game of chess! And, even though I'm wa-a-a-ay out of practice -- and wasn't that great to begin with despite my old obsession with the game -- I just can't resist. (1. ...e6).
07/03: Quote of last week:"It would appear that being 'first on the waiting list' for convention hotel rooms is about equal to being 'hitler's favorite gypsy.'" --R. Stevens
Sam Logan sends along this map of Web Alley which you may have seen. We don't have a booth this year, but don't miss the Making Comics panel with the whole family Friday, July 21 at Noon in Room 8.
Forgot to list this earlier, but Heidi linked to my family's various blogs and, oh, there's no turning back now...
The Big Triangle is getting a new life thanks to Tor Viktorsson. I especially like the RGB/255 angle.
Mr. O'Malley offers an Annotated Scott Pilgrim.
I'm still in Minneapolis between weeks of teaching. Saw the Gaimans over the weekend and had a grand time, but, as always, any summary of events would just sound wrong somehow. You might think that visiting Neil's clan would involve ghost stories in a wine cellar, exploring centuries-old mausoleums, or dining with visiting Lithuanian poets, but you'd be wrong. What, in reality, did we do to pass the time with western literature's reigning master of dark fantasy? We went to a local drive-in and saw Superman Returns and Over the Hedge!
06/26: Update on Getting Bill Wired:
06/23: Please read: Getting Bill Wired.
06/22 xtra: Funniest take on my Webcomics Examinar interview so far (courtesy of Kris Straub).
06/22: Should have mentioned this earlier, but The Webcomics Examiner has a sizeable interview with me in its new edition. Definitely check it out for some very interesting questions from Joe Zabel and predictably loopy answers by Yours Truly. Scott Kurtz offers some reactions to the interview on the PvP main page (scroll to June 20) and there's already a TCJ thread here (which, despite the usual bile, I find kind of interesting).
Meanwhile, I'm happy to report that Barry Deutsch's Hereville is updating again.
Note: I might have screwed up the rss feed the other day by mis-dating the last entry. Sorry for any multiple posts that may have resulted.
Neil Cohn offers a new essay on "Visual Rhyming" at Comixpedia. While in Eugene recently, I heard what might be an even better term for the phenomenon: "Eye Rhymes." Can't remember the exact context, but it struck me as a particularly cool term.
78 days to go until the official tour begins, but we aren't exactly sitting still in the meantime. Today, the whole family starts driving to Minneapolis for the MCAD Seminars June 26-30 and July 10-14. Then we'll head straight down to San Diego for Comicon where the whole family will join me onstage for the Making Comics panel, Friday 12:00-1:00 pm in Room 8! After that, we have 5 weeks to put everything in storage and drive from LA to NYC in time for the launch. Wish us luck!
06/13: Thanks to graphic designer Jay Brown for writing with some smart critiques of the rough cover to Making Comics that I posted here originally and which influenced the final version seen at left. I'm sure it could still be improved but... um, too late!
Comic Book Resources offers an interview with me today plus some sample pages from Making Comics.
Meanwhile Kris Dresen has launched her gorgeous (though NSFW!) new series Grace.
And boy, do I wish I could have been at MoCCA... *sigh*
06/11: Various links:
Shooting War by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman looks to be an ambitious online graphic novel.
And Dylan Meconis' stunning new series Family Man has a new front page and new updates. Also very long noses.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday. Back to the old drawing b-- uh, tablet.
06/09: This is not a drill:
Click to find out in less than a minute how to Call your Senator and support Net Neutrality.
06/08: Portland in 2006 is sooo Seattle in 1996a great comics town getting better all the time. My photos may not mean much if you don't already know these guys, but I'm too lazy to label them so...
Didn't get nearly enough pictures of my visit to the University of Oregon (and what I did snap would require too much work to explain) but thanks to everyone who came out for both events, to my hosts/guides Lisa and Ken, and a shout out to the brilliant Craig Hickman (inventor of KidPix!) and his family who I had the pleasure of spending time with as well.
Meanwhile, from Dutch video jockey Daan Nolen comes this demo reel that uses comics panels in a comics/video hybrid that isn't nearly as choppy as such things usually are.
05/30: TOUR UPDATE: The Northeast leg is filling up fast but it's a bit lopsided right now with some states getting more attention than others. We're not ready to stop booking dates in any one state (I'm looking at you, NY) but we'd like to hear a bit more noise from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania to balance the ticket -- particularly Universities in those states that might want to host a lecture or seminar (not looking for store signings just yet, that'll be next).
Synchronism by Reva Sharp is an odd but compelling little comic that experiments with form in some cool ways. Check it out.
05/29: Just a reminder that I'll be at the University of Oregon, June 2-3 (this Friday and Saturday).
Comics artists everywhere were saddened last week by the passing of Alex Toth. Tom Spurgeon has a good round-up of reactions and reflections here.
A cool new online comic from Tracy White is up, and two new printed comics I can't wait to read are out: Scott Pilgrim 3 (at least in some stores, grrr...) and Fun Home. There's a lot of good stuff out right now and more on the way. I don't know how the business is going to fare, but comics artists are definitely stepping up to the plate this year.
Tour planning continues, with over 100 possible hosts checking in so far. If your school or organization would be interested in hosting a seminar or speaking engagement -- especially in the Northeastern leg from September to December -- let me know.
05/21: It's Official: We really are this crazy.
The Comics Seminars return to Minneapolis!
June 26-30, July 10-14
sign up now
This is the 5-Day seminar/workshop "Comics: Theory and Practice" (developed for MCAD in 2002) plus the 5-Day Advanced Seminar (introduced in 2004). These classes have a small class limit and a history of selling out, so act fast if you'd like to join us this June and July to experience a massive immersion into the art of creating comics.
05/14: As long as she reads my blog, Happy Mothers Day! So nice to know you're on high ground (Mom lives in New England -- they've had a wet weekend).
And of course, Happy Mothers Day also to Ivy! Thank you, with love, for all you do for all three of your kids every day.
05/12: This made me sad. Have things really gotten so cold out there that a webcomic linking to another webcomic can become a frickin' news item? Made me determined to get this blog up and running more regularly. (Update: Eric Burns just dropped a line to say he thought the above could be misinterpreted, so let me clarify: I certainly don't mean to imply that Scott Kurtz's plug wasn't a nice thing to do (it was) or that the Fabricari post to Comixpedia wasn't right in calling it a positive trend (it is). I'm just depressed that such plugs have been so scarce in recent years.)
Various news sites are reporting that Clickwheel is offering comics on iTunes. So far, they just seem to be using the same movie format employed by music videos and tv shows -- with mixed results -- but everyone seems to be holding their breath, waiting to see how comics fare on mobile devices. I'm on the sidelines for this one (small screens and giant middlemen aren't my personal focus) but they have some cool artists involved and I wish them luck.
Raina Telgemeier's adorable graphic novel adaptation of The Babysitter's Club apparently encountered a few bumps in the road on its way to comics stores, but it's out now. The direct market doesn't always know how to handle GNs from the big book publishers, but let's hope they get their act together soon, because artists like Raina have a lot to contribute toward the next generation of readers, and it'd be sad if bookstores were their only viable market.
05/04: More on Abilene: Getting ready for my talk tonight (Thursday) at ACU at 7:00 pm (see 4/21 below), but I also wanted to mention that I'll be hitting Comics and Collectibles at 2606 S.14th St. here in Abilene, Texas for an informal meet and greet at about 2pm on Friday. C & C is the workplace of Abilene's own Michelle Finley, who's been a tireless crusader for comics in the area, and who single-handedly spearheaded the effort to get me to visit ACU, so stop by and give her a round of applause (and one for store owner Larry Sabin too, who's been my gracious co-host while in town).
05/02: Almost done! Thanks to everyone who came out for Montreal, Maryland and my many Michigan appearances! Next and last stop will be Abilene -- breaking my string of "M" place names, but I'm sure it'll be every bit as much fun. And no, none of this counts toward the 50 state tour which doesn't even begin until September when Making Comics comes out! More details on that soon.
On the personal front, love and congratulations to Winter (still 10 until August) who blew 'em all away in a school wide talent competion doing a beautiful and haunting rendition of Neil Gaiman's short story "Instructions." I was in Michigan during the school-wide, but I got to see an earlier performance for friends, and now that she's won, I'll get to see her do her encore performance later this month with other winners from the county. We're all very proud.
I'll have a lot to write about soon, but first I have some sleep and a plane to catch.
04/23: Texans take note: More details on my May 4, Abilene, Texas stop (see 4/21 below): It'll be May 4 at ACU's Cullen Auditorium at 7:00pm and open to the public.
04/21: Attention, Maryland: I'll be speaking Tuesday May 2 at the University of Maryland's Susquehanna Hall at 3:30pm.
Directions here. Campus Map here. Stop by and say Hi if you're not, y'know... employed or anything.
And then, only two days later, on May 4, I'll be speaking in Abilene, Texas at Abilene Christian University (on the subject of comics, not religion, obviously!). 7:00 pm in Cullen Auditorium.
04/19: Drew Weing and Eleanor Davis are making a serious bid for most talented cartoonist couple -- despite some extremely fierce competition. I've been aware of both for awhile, but Eleanor's site has made impressive strides when I wasn't looking, and I'm told by a reliable authority that their new mini-comics are to die for.
04/13: It's official. As of yesterday, I'm the father of a teenager. Sky turned 13 (Happy late birthday!) here in Michigan with the whole family. And where did she want to go? Why, the Apple store, of course!
04/10: Ryan Armand is definitely another new talent to watch out for. Minus is the centerpiece so far on his site, but there's plenty of other cool stuff including Ryan's 168 hour comic (inspired by yet another Ryan you may have heard of on this page) and some well-done long form work.
Armand is still a student at SCAD. Sometimes I wonder how comics can even begin to absorb all the talent that's headed our way in the next few years when the best of today are just jostling each other like a thousand sperm trying to get into an egg. Fortunately, the solution -- creating more readers -- is already underway.
04/09: Yes, I'm still alive! Sorry for the long silence. Life's been pretty hectic here in Michigan, with seven full day seminars, two teachers' workshops, a public talk (see below), kids workshops and over a dozen class visits -- not to mention visiting with old friends like Matt Feazell and Bill Messner Loebs.
Ivy and I are starting to plan the tour and hope to have some announcements soon. Looks like we'll be starting with the Northeast in the fall and early winter (with a couple of stops in the U.K.) so if you're in the Northeast and would like me to speak or teach at your school or orginization while I'm in town, let me know.
03/24: Thanks to everyone who came out for Monday's talk. As you can probably guess from the infrequent updates, I've been keeping pretty busy here in Eastern Michigan since then. I've also been catching up with old friends and local comics stars, like Jim Ottaviani, Jane Irwin and the legendary Matt Feazell. And just last night I caught up with old friend Thomas Blue whose site and livejournal comic are looking very sharp indeed.
03/13: Here's more information on my Eastern Michigan University talk (Scroll down to March 20). Hope you'll join me there!
03/07: ON THE ROAD:
Starting Thursday, I'll be spending 7 weeks at Eastern Michigan University teaching a weekly seminar, teachers' workshops and various other activities. There'll be a public talk on the 20th which I'll try to post details about soon.
At the tail end of Michigan, I'll also be visiting Montreal for CHI 2006 (April 27), then University of Maryland (May 2), Abilene Christian University (May 4) and probably University of California San Diego on (May 11). Beyond that, we're looking at Oregon, Minneapolis, Seattle, New York and London...
And I'm not even on tour yet!
Look for more details on all of these and more soon.
03/03: Here's a new side-scrolling comic by U.K. artist Neil McTaggart called Refuge. A little rough around the edges, but not bad in the storytelling department -- and there's a lot of it; three chapters so far.
Webcomics writer T Campbell is getting raked over the coals this week because he's written a history of webcomics and didn't ask permission until the last minute to use some images of webcomics characters on the cover (including me). Well, he did ask on Tuesday, apologizing for the oversight, and I gave him my permission. No big deal. Everybody makes mistakes.
Since my name got dragged in by others as one of the supposedly injured parties, I just want to say for the record that I have no reason to think it was anything other than an honest mistake, and there are no hard feelings on this end.
03/02: Whoa! A new Dylan Meconis graphic novel has started serialization online. Unexpected, but very welcome news.
The latest mutation of the 24 hour meme: Art Crash 214 is now complete.
02/24: Starting yesterday afternoon, I've been having email troubles. Hopefully I'll have it fixed by the end of the day, but if you've had any mail bounced back, just try again later today or tomorrow. Thanks. Fixed -- for now.
02/22: Joanna Estep discusses the manipulation of time in sequential art at Newsarama. Right up my alley, obviously.
02/21: Kyle Baker is, like, a one-man genre these days. Great stuff.
02/20: I haven't commented on the Danish Cartoon protests, mostly because I find the whole thing almost unbearably depressing, but here's an interesting take on it from two better cartoonists than me: Art Spiegelman and Joe Sacco (link via Tom, who's been an invaluable source of links on this story)
02/17: Had a great time with Kazu and Amy last night at the signing, and got my very own copy of Amy's gorgeous S & S which is now top of my reading pile as soon as the final corrections on Making Comics are out the door (soon! soon!). It was only Amy's second store appearance but she handled it like a pro and the event drew a smart, cool bunch of fans.
Meanwhile, if you're a comics professional, be sure to download the Harvey nominating ballot which now has a webcomics category (and which I can tell you about without any fear of conflict of interest since I didn't do any webcomics work in 2005. ;-)
02/15: Hey, if you live in L.A. or Ventura County like me, be sure to stop by the Barnes and Noble in Thousand Oaks for Amy Kim Ganter's Thursday 7pm appearance and the release of Sorcerers and Secretaries. Get yours signed
tonight and you can brag 30 years from now that you were there at the beginning of a brilliant carreer (well, "beginning" if you don't count the 3 year old 250 page hit webcomic and all those other projects).
What's that? Looking for Danish experimental webcomics? Funny you should mention it...
Oh, yeah... and Happy Valentine's Day!
Check out Nick Bertozzi's Parfum, now in, well... just comics form I guess (it used to make noise and move and stuff).
02/11: Busted Wonder is up to page 11. Doesn't update often, but it's worth waiting for.
New comics by Erika too. Not work safe, but it's Saturday, so what the hey...
02/09: Raina Telgemeier on Baby-Sitter's Club has to be the best match since they cast Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl. In a perfect world, that is what people would call "mainstream" comics.
02/08: If you can get it to load, this is a cool bit of cgi from France (link via William Ansley).
You're all still reading PBF, right? The last three (Cupid Mistake, Punch Bout and Goodbye Stanley) have been real gems.
Okay, that's funny (see panel 5).
02/06: With creators like Crane, Kelso and Ralph on board, I'll definitely be checking New Bodega daily.
02/04: Scott Cristian Sava has put his 200+ page Dreamland Chronicles online. Nice looking stuff. Check it out.
Rich Johnston is, I am sure, taking comfort in the fact that the Pope doesn't do the whole fatwa thing.
02/03: Artist Seth Fisher has died. Fisher was young, extremely talented and just starting to get broader recognition by the comics community in the last few years. I ran across his gorgeous work on a table at San Diego, stopped to talk to him, tell him how impressed I was and walked away thinking "we'll hear more from this guy."
Take a moment to look at Seth's work.
02/01: Act-i-vate is live. Looks pretty cool. I've suspected we'd see more a lot more action in that space, ever since Natasha Allegri started her lj comics for the Daily Grind. For now, it seems to be comics' answer to podcasting.
01/31: John Campbell has been doing an hourly stick figure journal comic throughout January. Now he's decided to spawn his own variation of the 24 Hour meme, by declaring February 1st "Hourly Comics Day" and recruiting some talented friends to join him.
01/27: Here's a solid strip: Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell. Reader Diana Marsh says it's been running since August, so shame on me for not catching up with it sooner, despite apparent plugs in Comixpedia and Websnark.
Hope Larson's She's from Away has started its weekly run at Halifax's weekly paper, The Coast. Great stuff.
01/26: Attention, Veronica Mars/Lost fans: Sky noticed the numbers, did you?
Awww. Why can't more parents be like Raina's parents?
01/24: Hey, if you liked that Copper strip, Kazu has uploaded a detailed photo tutorial on how it was done.
01/23: New Copper!
01/21: Whoa. Nice front page, Drew.
01/18: Winter won a local D.A.R.E. medal for Student of the Year last night. We were really proud and she was incredibly cute bopping up on stage and hugging everybody in that 10-going-on-6 thing that she does so well (we are tiny, tiny people). Winter asked great questions in class we're told (no surprise) and the cool deputy that gave her the award made sure to mention that she likes "Angel, Buffy and Veronica Mars" which would probably disqualify you in some communities but hey, this is California.
Heidi covers the Devil's Panties dilemma this week.
01/13: Apparently, it's all about Batgirl. I gave it five minutes and failed, but about a gazillion other artists (with much more time on their hands, apparently) have done a great job. If I worked at DC, I'd just offer to buy the lot and publish a little book. (In fact, that probably says a lot about why I shouldn't work at DC, but...)
01/12: I'm sure you were all wondering how Holland's political online multimedia community was getting along this morning, so here you go.
Perhaps you were also thinking as you ate breakfast: "Gee, I'd sure like to participate in a tokyo-based interactive comics blog right about now..." and, hey! There it is.
See? I know just what's on your mind.
01/11: Here's a must-read: Heidi MacDonald's round-up on recent discussions regarding sexual harassment in the comics industry. Follow all the links for some bracing reading.
NetComics launches today with a huge catalog of translated Korean comics on its way soon (and apparently heading for store shelves as well). Near the top of the page are links to two free down-scrolling webcomics (click on "view" to see the web versions). It'll be interesting to see if "Manhwa" (Korean comics) can make as much of a splash as Manga has. Looks like they'll be giving it their best shot.
Neil Cohn sent a link to this little at:
(paste url to avoid irritating redirecting)
...which reminded my strongly of Hexstatic's classic Deadly Media.
01/10: The Webcomics Examiner goes to a weekly schedule. Considering it's previous quarterly status, this is big news. I'll be reading it regularly and I hope that anyone looking for serious discussions of serious webcomics will too.
Tom points to this photo tour of the Center for Cartoon Studies, which looks really cool. A lot of us pros are betting that this little comics school in White River Junction, Vermont (the brainchild of Graphic Novelist James Sturm) will only be growing in the coming years. I plan to visit next year and I'm not the only one.
Ben Adams offers his first "Misfit's Journey." It's an Autobiographical 3-D Comic which, as you might expect, is a bit of an odd reading experience (it's real -- but it isn't -- but it is -- but...).
01/06: New serialized story by Derek Kirk Kim! Considering what a masterful comic the last one became, I'm definitely there.
01/04: Dylan unveils a site redesign and portfolio pieces this week. She's between jobs and available for commissions, but probably not for long so act fast.
Meanwhile, nature is laughing.
01/03: Did it!
I made yesterday's deadline with a few hours to spare [happy dance]. In celebration, I'll be cutting down to a mere 9 hours a day, 7 days a week (it was 11) until all corrections, additions, etc. are done in mid-February.
One consequence of the last week's crush of holidays + deadline was that I forgot to wish Ivy a happy birthday on the 29th; so love Happy Belated B-Day to you, Ivy, and thank you for putting up with this year's insane schedule and for helping with a million little things and a few very big ones.
01/01: Happy 2006!