My friend Sean Knickerbocker has just put out a new 3-color risograph 28 page comics ‘zine! It’s called AWESOME SOUND. This is the beginning of a beautiful, beautiful thing.
If you’d like to pick up a copy, hop on over to Sean’s online shop. They’re just $5!
Chinese opera character drawn by a child (Chen Keyan) for this 1935 cover.
In a more historical vein, I’d like to share with you an amazing cartooning resource that I came across recently, Modern Sketch. I recommend you take a moment to acquaint yourself with this classic Chinese cartooning and illustration magazine!
Published in Shanghai monthly from January 1934 to June 1937, Modern Sketch conveyed a range of political and social commentary through lively and sophisticated graphics. Topics included eroticized women, foreign aggression—particularly the rise of fascism in Europe and militarized Japan, domestic politics and exploitation, and modernity-at-large as envisioned through both the cosmopolitan “Modern Girl/Modern Boy” and the modernist grotesque.
I urge you to take a moment out of your day to read John A. Crespi’s essay “China’s Modern Sketch: The Golden Era of Cartoon Art, 1934-1937” at MIT Visualizing Cultures. There’s a lot to soak up.
Every issue can be seen in high resolution at Colgate Digital Collections. What a treat!
Hu Kao, “Swimsuits of 1934” (issue 7, July 1934)
Crespi highlights a few comics of the era. Be sure to have a look!
Jin Mo “Smoking,” “Quitting,” “After Quitting”
Liao Bingxiong “A Wise Man” January 1936
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.
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.
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.
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.
As you may know, I do illustrations for Carnegie Mellon University’s newspaper, the Tartan. I like the weekly illustration challenge as I improve my drawing chops, especially because I get to see the images go to print.
Here’s a peak at my most recent contribution. It was for a Forum Article regarding the recent (and seemingly ineffective) facelift that a campus food vendor got.
The article is on the Tartan’s site.
Unknown to most anglophones (and even many Spaniards), Laura Pérez Vernetti is a spanish illustrator from Barcelona that contributed regularly to the underground Spanish comics magazine, el Víbora, from 1981 until 1991. Her work is distanced from standard aesthetics and conventional narratives, focusing primarily on comics that deal head on with themes of erotica, experimental forms, and socio-politcal commentary(the Spanish Civil War in particular). Additionally, she has adapted the works of Maupassant, De Quicey, Jung and Kafka to comics.
A more comprehensive bio can be found on the Lambiek Comiclopedia.
Most recently she put out an homage to the Portuguese poet, Pessoa. A biography and adaptation of his poems and prose, she published ‘Pessoa & Cia‘ in December 2011 through Luces de Gálibo. Those spanish speakers among you, interested in learning more about this book, which she both wrote and illustrated can check out the short that RTVE aired in January of 2012, along with the article written by Jésus Jiménez.
Here’s a taste of her style: