Archive for March, 2012

Great Craig Thompson Habibi Talk on Video

23 March 2012

Panel from Craig Thompson's Habibi

I found a series of Craig Thompson youtube videos that document a talk he delivered last year, right after Habibi was released. Looks like the talk is from October 2011, delivered at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design.)

Thompson discusses his process for creating Habibi, which included plenty of blocks and turns. The talk includes slides of his drawing studies, early thumbnails, sketchbooks and more. (A few of his preliminaries are online here, but it’s great to hear him walk us through the process.) The video production values aren’t great, but I found it a revealing window into the processes used by a creator who I think is phenomenal.  (more…)

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Some of My Comic Book Cover Sketches

22 March 2012

Jury Duty comics cover, from Sketchbook No. 44, 2001

In this blog, I’ve been exploring some of the vernacular language of comics – or “sequential art” as Scott McCloud and Will Eisner call them. Ways that stories are told from panel to panel fascinate me. For this post, though, I am going to toss out that sequential storytelling and, instead, dwell on the comic book cover.

The cover isn’t generally sequential the way comics’ interiors are… but I think that comic book covers pack a lot of punch. I think that, when done well, covers (of almost anything – books, dvds, etc.) have a certain iconography and power. Not that mine are done all that well.

I mentioned it in this earlier post about Mike Mignola: comic covers are an example of a metonym – or maybe synecdoche (I get those two fancy English Lit words mixed up a bit – and they overlap.) More vernacularly put: the cover is a single image that stands in for an entire story. So the cover sort of crystalizes the story down to a single moment. It tends to need a lot of energy, a lot of punch.  (more…)

Slideshow: My Second Thirty Sketchbooks

20 March 2012

Woman from Sketchbook No. 44

A couple weeks ago, I posted a slide show of two pages from each of my first 30 sketchbooks, dated 1984-1995.

Today it’s the sequel: Sketchbooks number 31-60, dated 1995-2012.

The slide show below includes the first page of the sketchbook, where I generally somewhat-elaborately hand-letter recording the sketchbook number and the dates. After the first page, I’ve selected one image from the body of each book. Each of the selected images is among the better drawings in each book… but maybe not the very best… sometimes I went with variety, sometimes I picked stuff that reminds me of the that time in my life and what I was interested in drawing.  (more…)

Sharing My Birthdate with Jack Kirby

19 March 2012

Not Jack Kirby's greatest work, but a pretty Kirbyesque Kirby panel from Marvel Comics' Machine Man No. 3, 1978

For a long I have been happy to let folks know that I was born the very same day that Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech: August 28th 1963.

I was recently watching a documentary online, and learned that I share my birthdate with Jack Kirby – arguably the most important and most influential comic book artist of all time.

Jack Kirby was born Jacob Kurtzberg on August 28, 1917 and passed away February 6, 1994.

(more…)

Slideshow: My First Thirty Sketchbooks

10 March 2012

Still life with newly organized sketch books, 12 August 1989, colored pencil on paper in Sketchbook No. 16

I have this other blog, my art blog, called Handmade Ransom Notes. I mostly use it to post new artwork – so it functions as a motivational tool to finish more art… and it’s true that I look forward to finishing and posting there, and I’ve kept it up ok… but it seems like nearly nobody finds my art there.

In addition to piles of artwork on paper, letters, and fliers, I have two long shelves of sketchbooks. I think my sketchbooks contain a lot of my favorite work (work by me, that is.) A lot of the pieces are pretty finished for sketches.

A friend of mine did a piece at Metro’s blog about sketching I’d done on transit. For that piece, I was looking through some old sketchbooks, and I thought that I really should scan and post more of my old sketchbook work… because some of it is really good.

I’ve posted some earlier sketches here and there on the Older Work page of my art blog… but that doesn’t get a lot of views either. So I came on the idea of posting a slide show that would walk through each book.  (more…)