Influences: comics part 4

Below is the final of four installments on my favorite print-based visual storytelling work, where I provide choice images and cleaned-up notes on why I love these works so much. Read the first installment along with the story of how I did this, the second installment, or the third one. I encourage you to consider where you come from creatively by revisiting and reflecting on your favorite and most foundational influences.

Note: The rights of these works belong to the creators and their publishers; blemishes in the image quality of the shots below are meant to acknowledge and respect that. If you want a better look at any of these works, go out and buy them! ;-)


Bone

Jeff Smith

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Influences: comics, part 3

Below is the third of four installments on my favorite print-based visual storytelling work, where I provide choice images and cleaned-up notes on why I love these works so much. Read the first installment along with the story of how I did this, or read the second installment. I encourage you to consider where you come from creatively by revisiting and reflecting on your favorite and most foundational influences.

Note: The rights of these works belong to the creators and their publishers; blemishes in the image quality of the shots below are meant to acknowledge and respect that. If you want a better look at any of these works, go out and buy them! ;-)


1980’s-Era Legend of Zelda

Various (Uncredited?) Artists

I tried searching for the names of the artists responsible for this work, but it appears to have been for-hire and simply became property of Nintendo. :-( Continue reading

Influences: comics, part 2

Below is the second of four installments on my favorite print-based visual storytelling work, where I provide choice images and cleaned-up notes on why I love these works so much. Read the first installment along with the story of how I did this. I encourage you to consider where you come from creatively by revisiting and reflecting on your favorite and most foundational influences.

Note: The rights of these works belong to the creators and their publishers; blemishes in the image quality of the shots below are meant to acknowledge and respect that. If you want a better look at any of these works, go out and buy them! ;-)


Moonshadow

Jon J. Muth (Art) | Marc DeMatteis (Story)

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Influences: comics, top 3… +1

In a strange moment of creative darkness and confusion this past December, I became convinced that I couldn’t continue making comics or illustrations without first developing My Visual Style—that is, the distinctive and unique means of visual communication that I would employ for the rest of my life, thereby ensuring the world could identify and cherish my unparallelled work.

In a curious lapse into childhood problem-solving, I decided that, like a videogame, I would simply grind my way toward a solution. I simply had to figure out the work to be done and then bang it out. A couple of solid workdays seemed like enough time. Continue reading

lewburn: a zine about Lewiston Auburn, Maine

I’m excited to share a recent indie publication I was part of with some artist and musician friends in the Lewiston Auburn, Maine area. It’s a quarterly zine we’re calling lewburn that will document the old neighboring mill cities through the lenses of art and music. This first issue is a summer retrospective focused on cultivation. Take a look:

My contributions include an interview with an Auburn-based permaculturist, the zine’s final layout, and helping with overall development (theme, etc.). Follow lewburn happenings and experience additional content on Facebook @lewburn.

watterson, crumb, and conversations of 1

This comics essay recaps reflections I made during my graduate program about cartoonists and audience, including an unexpected connection between cartoonists I had never held in the same light. I chose a straightforward layout, partly to account for the essay format’s consistent narration, but also as an additional reference to the work of R. Crumb.

Update: The comic is now published and available for sale!

Square MarketWatterson, Crumb, and Conversations of 1
$2.00 + tax and shipping
8.875′ x 8.5′
8 pages
Grayscale
2014

Buy the comic!

 

 

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wattersmith part 2: reflections on drawing jeff smith

Next in my reflections on drawing environments in the working style of some of my favorite cartoonists: Jeff Smith and his classic Bone. (Read my Bill Watterson reflections in case you missed them.)

JEFF SMITH, BONE

Tools and Process (gleaned from an interview of Jeff Smith by Sardinian Connection)

  1. Really loose or sparse penciling, more for laying out composition of the ink-based drawings
  2. #1 “horse hair” brush and India ink; couldn’t find exactly what this translated to in standard brush-speak, but I assumed it meant red sable
  3. Not stated but seems to be the case in Bone: pen nib for occasional cross-hatching / blending work — but, I could be wrong!

Reflections
My drawing process here felt extremely tight and tense. Smith’s style is clearly cartoon, full of fluid lines, rounded shapes, and simplified forms. But it can get dense with tiny tic marks and carefully overlapping shapes. For some drawings I got the same sensation as when typing up quotes from a book — looking incessantly back and forth between my drawing and the original, tracking all the little visual details in an attempt to get my translation as accurate as possible.

Smith: Gulp.
Smith: Gulp.

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