Hubert the Magician: A preview

As I promised on Monday, my magician story is complete. Unfortunately, I’m not letting you read Hubert the Magician just yet. Forgive me for being shy, but it’s not ready for your discerning eyes!

In spite of my shyness, I’ll let you take a peek at a couple of the panels from the comic. (oh yeah, forgot to mention: I ENDED UP PENCILING. LIKE A WEAKLING.)

Let me know if you’d like any of the original panels. I’ll happily send them your way if you live in the U.S. or Canada.

And if you’re not interested in those tiny panels hogging up space in your home, why not simply add a new jam to your sonic repertoire? Try out If U Got It by Chris Malinchak. It’s got that french touch that I can’t resist. Sure, there isn’t much to phone home about on this track, but I can’t help but keep this on loop.

Chris Malinchak – If U Got It by FRENCH EXPRESS


hearty greetings to all!

You know the rules, first off, some updates, second some doodles and the like and finally some music.

My recent illustration gigs turned out well. Made some work I’m proud of, got some money for my and got to experiment with watercolors. The only thing I really lost out on was sleep. The following is for an illustration that I prepared for the Quechee Public Library’ s annual appeal. They wanted an attention-catching piece that would cause the viewer to think about how important libraries are. I’ve gotten so much out of the libraries that I’ve come across, that I thought it was due time to give back.

If you’re wondering what’s keeping me up nowadays, it’s my current story. Jason Lutes asked us to use Wally Wood’s 22 Panels that always work in conjunction with a randomly assorted selection of story elements to create a 3 tier, 4 page story. My story was to include a magician, self defense, a small vessel, start in a marketplace and be in the tradition of the fantasy genre. Given that mixed bag, I’ve chosen to tell the story of a boy magician who performs to a crowd that doesn’t seem too receptive to his act.

In this comic, I’m experimenting by not using any pencils. Panel descriptions are all that I am allowing myself to work with before I go straight to inking the page. The purpose of working in this fashion is to attempt the gap between my doodling brain and my story telling brain. Given that I’m going to botch some drawings, I’m drawing the panels individually on separate sheets of paper, that is to say, tiny little rectangles.

Come Wednesday, that should be done and ready for your eyes.

and now, for some blobby bits and garish gradients.

You have no idea how much I like the little guy above. To give you an idea of how he makes me feel,  here’s Yma Sumac with Malambo No. 1 to give a sweet, juicy tune full of bombast.

glib glob glab

holy mother of god, I’m exhausted.

I’ve got a deadline that I’ve got to meet tomorrow. I’m finally at the digital stage of the process, so after a couple hours of sleep I’ll be able to wrap that up. For now, it’s a little update and then to catch that teensy bit of rest.

I’m super proud of my first forays into watercolors. The results have been really satisfying.

Here’s a peek, followed by some recent doodles.

Mia Doi Todd has helped me make my way deep into the night with my comics and my recent illustration gigs. Her lyrics have an unparalleled resonance for me. The delivery of the following lines in the song Independence Day always guts me.

There's a man I just met
He hasn't kissed me yet
He reminds me of someone else, only better
But I'm made out of wax, so easy to impress
Am I melting too fast, dripping into your lips ?
Because all my heroes have turned human this year

She’s a truly amazing song writer.

Gearing up for BCGF

The eagerness of the sun to set nowadays is really hitting me hard. Given that the early dusk causes me to naturally feel down and generally drowsy, I’m fighting pretty hard to stay productive and on top of things. Slowly but surely things are getting done.

Just on the horizon, fueling my cartooning fires, is the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Tomorrow I’ll be putting these copies of On They Bicker Together so as to have something to hand out and trade with the nice folks that I come across. Being as particular as I am about my comics, I’m actually thinking of re-lettering the comic on velum on a rainy day, but that’s for another post.

There are so many folks on the exhibitors list that I’ve never heard of, but given that they’re in the company of Jordan Crane, Hellen Jo, Jon Vermilyea, Jen Tong and Jon Pham, I can’t express how excited I am to be in their company. I’ll be sure to document my experience there to share with you.

There are going to be panels galore and unlike SPX, I won’t have to miss a single one of them.

I’m also stoked to see what dw has been up to. dw does some truly rad cartooning. Cogent psychedoolia that is a visceral energy laden feast for the eyes. He has a book entitled, Abzernad, coming out through Hic & Hoc Publications. I caught glances of the last few pages that he was working on for the book this summer and boy are they juicy!

To accompany the panels, and gallery openings and meet-n-greets in shops and bars, there’re are going to be screenings of some truly awesome material.

Cartoonists Through the Lens: Sam Ball’s Portraits of Joann Sfar and Ben Katchor

The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival and Union Docs proudly present a special screening of Sam Ball’s documentary profiles about cartoonists. Joann Sfar Draws from Memory (2012), a lush 56-minute profile of the French comics auteur, will be screened along with Ball’s 16-minute documentary profile of Ben Katchor, Pleasures of Urban Decay (2000). Screenings will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Ball and Katchor in person, moderated by Benjamen Walker (WFMU). Support for this event is generously provided by the Film, TV and New Media Department of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Selections from the 2012 Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation
Curated by Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart

Originating in Chicago, Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation focuses on abstract animation and unconventional character animation. Now in its third year, the festival showcases outstanding contemporary and classic experimental animation of all sorts, with films created by hand-drawn, computer, and stop-motion techniques. This 80 minute program of selections from the Eyeworks Festival has been specially curated for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival.

Besides all of the comics festivities that I’ll be engaging in, I’ll be visiting two close friends of mine who I met in France, Tim who lit the flame of comics appreciation in my little heart and Katherine who helped developed my a sensitivity towards aesthetics. Be still my beating heart, for we shall eat blueberry pancakes and Scoobydoos in plentitude.

This is going to be one hell of a weekend.

In other news, the following is the sound of my November nights in Vermont. Enjoy and be kind.

skritchy skratchy skretches

Lots of ground to cover in this post.

For starters, why pay for a yearbook when you can make one yourself? Here’s a peek at the 2012 CCS yearbook.

Clockwise from upper left: Eleri Mai Harris, Sara Sarmiento, Luke Healy, Ben Gowen.

I’m pretty proud to have been part of the design team that sought to tie the whole yearbook together with the theme of “stereotypical indie cartoonist”. To evoke the theme, we turned the whole book into a flannel shirt with pocket and facsimile moleskine. I was responsible for preparing the little fold out notebook, which served as the table of contents.

I’m surrounded by talented and passionate dudes and dudettes here at CCS, why not check out how they’ve depicted themselves? (My work is the mythical blobs.) 

On the subject of passionate people, have you had a look at Oily Comics’ exploits over the past year? If not, you’d be advised to know that Oily is where it’s at. Earlier this week I got the crop of October comics. A solid bunch of robust little black and white minis. The slew of Oily Comics that have come out this year makes me proud to be an American cartoonist.

As a friend of Oily I feel it’s my duty to draw draw draw draw. As such, I’ve got to ask you, are you satisfied with your drawing practices? Need some inspiration? Well then, might I direct you to this little post by Darryl Ayo that highlights what’s so great about Joe Lambert’s process of image creation. The short story is that he gets better and better doesn’t stop.

In the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, I’ve been ripping through sketchbooks this week. Just put a close to one today and another yesterday. Here’s a peek and what’ll be sitting quietly in a drawer waiting for a day when I get nostalgic about my scribbles. Started a new one this evenin’.

Recently I’ve been exploring repetition, dedicating pages to variations on simple characters. Hope you like some of ’em.

Besides doodlin’ all over the place, I’ve been screen printing covers for On They Bicker. I’d like to have some copies to give away and trade at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest next Saturday. I’m nowhere near where I want to be in terms of my screen printing, nevertheless, slowly but surely I’m can see improvements in my work practices and my color separation technique.

I’m currently working on an 8 page comic that was arrived at through bibliomancy. Using a Robert Micro dictionary I arrived at the following prompts. Connaitre le monde: s’envoler: cahier. These prompts are to be the hinges of the narrative.

The story revolves around the following character, Helene, who longs to escape the grip of slow life in Nantes. Constantly devouring tomes on the world outside of France, her second home is the city’s travel bookstore. The story will be a vignette that tries to capture the essence of the multiple lives that we lead and the way that we find satisfaction in those lives.

I’ll be working on it extensively tomorrow while other CCS students try their hand at 24 hr comics. I’ll be inking in the style of Dupuy and Berberian, so I’m really excited. I hope to be able to submit this comic to the Andromeda Quarterly for its January issue.

Given that Dupuy and Berberian are across the Atlantic, I can’t say I’ve ever seen any of their original art in person, let alone  in scale with the human body. This video of Dupuy and Berberian exhibiting their artwork in Paris alongside Maja at the Galerie Petits Papiers satisfies those curiosities.

With the cartooning out of the way, here’s some music and some winter heating tips:

1. 3 ways to effectively stay warm and to keep your heating bill down this winter courtesy Paul Wheaton.

2. and  a solid little mix by my friend, SHRUBS: