Archive for November, 2008

Nov 22 2008


Published by under odyssey,reviews,Uncategorized

People often ask me which stage of the book creation process I enjoy the most. I have to answer that each stage has its own joys and difficulties. The design stage is the most creatively unfettered, but it’s very abstract, and sometimes I can’t nail down the designs I want until I get into the next stage, which is layout. Layout is where the comic medium really comes into play, as I make the million small decisions about which moments to show in each panel, how to compose those shots, how to arrange them on the page, and how they relate to the text.

When all that is done, it’s time to paint all the finished art. This is less creative, but more relaxing, as most of the big problems have been solved. This stage is the longest, and when I’m painting the verbal part of my brain is idle, so I often listen to audio books. All day. Five days a week. It’s when I get caught up on all the reading I haven’t been doing.

So here’s what I’ve been listening to in the last few months. You may notice that the list skews a bit YA, for which I blame/credit Alison.

Skin Hunger – Not too bad, but it has no ending, just cuts off in the middle of–

The Aeneid – Didn’t like it. Guess I can cross that off the list of classics to adapt.

Angela’s Ashes – Awesome. Depressing but funny.

The Glass Castle – Much like Angela’s ashes, but with quirkier characters who have less excuse for their predicament.

Airman – Didn’t like it.

Airborn – Story a bit lame, but great characters.

SlaughterHouse Five – Liked it a lot. Also interesting from a Zen perspective.

Little Brother – Cory Doctorow tells kids everything they need to know to be cool and subvert the Department of Homeland Security. Pretty good.

Sophie’s World – I already read this, and liked it enough to listen to it again, so obviously I think it’s good. It’s a novel which tells the history of philosophy (in a mostly fun and digestible way).

Cued up: Frankenstein, The Ranger’s Apprentice, The White Darkness, The Bell Jar.

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Nov 21 2008

ASP’s Merchant of Venice

Published by under reviews,shakespeare,sketchbook

As usual, Actors Shakespeare Project did a great job with their Merchant of Venice. You should go see it — it’s up until December 7th. I particularly enjoyed the over-the-top performances of Jeremiah Kissel as Shylock and Michael Forden Walker as Gratiano.
I did a few sketches and started on an animated micro-version of the play, like the one I did for Love’s Labours Lost. But my schedule for The Odyssey is so tight at the moment that I’m not sure when I’ll be able to finish it. So here, at least, is the first shot.

Opening scene of ASPThe Merchant of Venice

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Nov 15 2008


Published by under appearances,travel

We did our presentation at the Center for Cartoon Studies a few days ago, and it was great! It’s a lot of fun to talk to folks who want to know about all the nuts and bolts. We discovered that 2 hours was not nearly enough time for both of us to share all the info we wanted to. They are already talking about bringing us back next year, and giving us two hours each.

Here’s the CCS front window:

CSS front window

Here’s Alison doing her talk. If some of the students look zoned, that’s because I already talked to them for an hour and a quarter. Plus they’re all cartoonists, so they can’t not doodle.

Alison presents at CCS

Here’s me in front of the CCS museum/library with Alec Longstreth, who organized the visit. The reason he has a huge beard is that he decided not to shave until he finishes his 200-page graphic novel. And apparently this is only 3 months of growth!

Me and Alec at the CCS library/museum

Next week I’ll be presenting at the NH Creative Club, open to the public (with a $15 cover charge, I believe, to cover the cost of the venue). For more details see my Facebook page.

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Nov 06 2008

Wedding or Odyssey?

Published by under odyssey,sketchbook

It’s interesting to be planning a wedding and drawing The Odyssey at the same time. There’s potentially some weird symbolic juxtaposition, but that’s not really on my radar. I’m talking about more concrete things, like how I have no time for the wedding planning, and how I keep my wedding notes in MS OneNote next to my Odyssey notes, so sometimes when I open OneNote to check my Odyssey reference, I see wedding rings, and when I open it to paste in links to possible reception sites I see photos of fat guys I got from the internet for reference.

And yesterday I started making a seating chart for the suitors:

A rough in-progress seating chart for Penelope’s suitors

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