I’ve been exploring animating comics. I’m above all in making comics that encourage the viewer to “read” animations. GIFs in comics tend to be a novelty, a background texture. These thoughts are rough. I’d love to hear what any one reading this has to say about the intersection of animation and comics.
Instead of seeing animations in that way in comics, I want people to see the arrranging of animations as a practice where the animation is an essential part how meaning arises from the sequence. As comics makers we get to be architects of time and space. I’m trying to figure out how this kind of sequencing fits into that architecture.
For example: Reading these sequences feel SIGNIFICANTLY different to me. (Click to enlarge for best experience).
My big concern is that I want people to be reading animations as “words”. (I hope to find a better way of describing this). The animations that I put together occupy a physical space on the screen and their physical relationship to each other affects the way that those “words” are read. In video there is an ever forward moving timeline. By juxtaposing looping video sequences you can embed those timelines into a larger timeline.
Embedding these animations in the grid frameworks conventionally used in comics, that larger timeline can be interacted with by a viewer along the conventionalized reading hierarchies of a given culture. That seems really cool and novel. It’s exciting to me and is the reason why I’ve been making these sequences.
I hope that these comics can expand the 1-dimensional timeline into a 2-dimensional plane where there are co-existing timelines.
(The idea of having gifs sitting side by side with unequal numbers of frames is an interesting idea to me when mixed with the idea of percieved timelines.)
These are my recent animation collage experiments. This is how I’ve been playing around with this. Some are way more successful than others at playing around with this time-space idea!
(my suggested reading practice for these comics is to move through them slowly.)
I’m now in Pittsburgh, coming up for air, finally able to look back to the wacky world of comics I’ve been knee-deep in for the past couple of months.
It’s been quite a spring. For now, the dailies are on hiatus, I’m teaching kids how to hone their comics making skills, working on some large screen prints, doodling daily and trying to wrangle some longer form stories.
It feels like we’re on the right track with Dog City, seeing as how some folks have even liked it enough to write about the first issue. Steve Bissette gave his detailed impressions on his blog and Jose Luis Olivares even named it his “book of convention” in his write-up of the Maine Comic Arts Festival just a few weeks ago!
Here’s a look at what you can find in this first issue.
This self-published magazine aims to curate a collection of minicomics of the highest calibre. We’re really excited by the work of all our contributors and we hope Dog City will help make their work more widely available to readers around the world.
This first issue contains the following stories:
Pigs Incorporated by Iris Yan, Landing by Ben Evans, Luke Healy, Josh Lees and Iris Yan, All Set by Simon Reinhardt, Visits by Luke Healy, Helene by Me!, Dead Bulb by Mathew New, Starship Booby-Prize by Eleri Mai Harris and Restricted by Ben Gowen.
Though we’re starting out small, we have high hopes for Dog City.
The first finished box.
Dog City has been a great project for honing my screen printing skills. With as many screen-printed objects as we included in the collection, it seemed inevitable that I’d become a proficient printer.
The decision to hand craft so many of these covers stems from the printing culture at the Center for Cartoon Studies. Self-publishing, both physically and digitally is a huge part of the ethos at CCS. You make a comic, you print a comic.
Instructors like Robyn Chapman and Jon Chad and graduates like Sean Knickerbocker provided invaluable support in making this potpourri of books a possibility. Countless thanks goes to them for their advice and support.
Working with Simon and Luke has been an invaluable experience given that the three of us are quite different. We think differently, we work differently, we read differently. Despite that, a shared love for quality cartooning and top-notch storytelling trumps these differences.
We provide great checks and balances to each other while trusting each other editorially. It’s very satisfying work.
If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Dog City Issue 1, hop on over to our shop!
Besides Dog City, this Spring saw me spend a lot of time crafting an 80 page full color book of 4 panel comics, but I can tell you about that another day!
A fellow CCS student and friend, Luke Healy, and I have started putting together a collection of Nancy gifs that channel our love for Bushmiller’s world. We’ve just started, but we hope to go far!
Here are some peeks at the animations that you can find at the Nancy Gif Experience.
Are there any panels of Nancy that you think are begging to be animated? Let us know and we’ll get on it. Until then, may your days be filled with Nancy!
(Big ups to the folks behind the Nancy is Happy tumblr. It brings me delight to no end! )