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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dr. fox and the old man’s cabbage

After a bit of a hiatus to move from one home to the next, I returned to comics with an adaptation of “The Fox Physician” from Aleksandr Afanasyev’s Russian Fairy Tales. The format echoes that of Rodolphe Töpffer, one of the first documented comic strip artists. I chose a loose, quick style so that I could create and release the complete comic ongoing within a relatively small time frame (nine days). My adaptation of the story itself is, for the most part, direct; I adjusted a few words here and there for clarity, and I added the final line to help tie the tale together. The visuals, of course, are all my own.

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

Square MarketDr. Fox and the Old Man’s Cabbage
$3.00 + tax and shipping
8.5′ x 11′
16 pages
Grayscale
2014

Buy the comic!

 

Continue reading “dr. fox and the old man’s cabbage”

sketchbook: silhouette-style samples

Flat / Color Samples: Etoch, Gren-Louis, Kiddig
Ink + Digital, 2014

Such a busy, busy time! But I couldn’t help myself – I miss these characters and haven’t done anything with them in months!

I love silhouettes and wanted to try something rooted in that aesthetic. Once I did, it just seemed right to color them, which I tried with a similar silhouette-like sensibility.

I’m sure someone else has already figured out how to do this better than I have (and I’d love to see their work), but it’s great fun to experiment with!

mecaf comics covers

Feels like it’s been forever since I posted here last! Spring is such a busy, busy time.

To help make up for it, here are the covers of my first three self-published comics! They’ll be available for the first time at this year’s Maine Comic Arts Festival (MeCAF) in May. They’re off at the printer’s for now — I can’t wait to see how they come out!Continue reading “mecaf comics covers”

wattersmith part 3: comparing watterson and smith

To add one more layer of reflection to my environmental recreations from Bill Watterson and Jeff Smith, I attempted a Calvin & Hobbes drawing in a Bone-like style and vice versa. This really helped bring to light the physical and psychological differences when drawing from each artist. Read on for reflections on the work.

Continue reading “wattersmith part 3: comparing watterson and smith”

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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wattersmith part 1: reflections on drawing bill watterson

Starting back in December of 2013, I began a daily drawing practice focused on environments by some of my favorite comic artists. By now I’ve accumulated a sketchbook on Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) and Jeff Smith (Bone). Taking on the tools, working processes, and styles of two other artists has been a challenge, but it’s also taught me some things. Here I’ll begin sharing my notes on the experience.

BILL WATTERSON, CALVIN & HOBBES

Tools and Process (gleaned from The Calvin & Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book):

  1. Little to no penciling save for more complex compositions or items (mechanical equipment, for example)
  2. Red sable brush and India ink; I went with a “standard” #6
  3. Pen nib for a handful of small details (Calvin’s shirt stripes, for example)

Reflections:
There’s incredible vivacity and animation possible with the red sable brush. It can be hard to contain at times, but what life! Up until drawing Watterson I had only used synthetic, and I never imagined how much of a difference there could be between the two!

Despite leaving Calvin and Hobbes out of these drawings, there’s still an amazing amount of movement and energy to Watterson’s environments—especially ones from wagon-race strips.

Watterson: Decision Hill
Watterson: Decision Hill

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