Comics: Philosophy and Practice

poster by Chris WareI’ll be at the University of Chicago this weekend for this absolutely insane comics event. I mean, please don’t let there be a terrorist attack on the NATO conference (also in Chicago this weekend!), because we’d lose the entire top tier of American cartoonists. Continue reading

me at MoCCA 2012

The MoCCA Art Festival is likely to be the only show I go to this year until January in Angoulême. Matt and I will have a table (B3) and are running a workshop/discussion on Saturday at 1:15. Come see us! I’ll have printouts from my new scifi epic Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars to show off, new postcards from my Kickstarter, and lots of books for sale. Matt will have a new minicomic of Tic Tac Toe comics!

The big news for the show is that, although it’s not officially “out” yet, we will have copies of Mastering Comics to peruse (but not buy, unfortunately). Since that’s just too much of a tease, Matt and I put together a little giveaway contest for two lucky entrants. Make a Doodle Comic and bring it to us by Sunday at 2 to win! See the full details here, and stop by out table on Saturday for a handout/starter doodles will be available at our table. (MC will be officially released at TCAF in Toronto next week—Matt will be there.) Continue reading

Bookends, or, 40s are the new awesome.

First of all: a big announcement: Matt and I, and our kids, Aldara and Jasper, are picking up and moving to France in September, for a year. I have no idea how we’re technically going to achieve this feat, but one way or another, come next fall, we’re all going to be speaking French and eating pain au chocolat every morning (because it’s probably the only way we convince Aldara to come along with us). We’ve long had European ties, and I’ve tried for years to get my brain around how we could possibly move ourselves there for a stretch. I still do not have that particular answer. But we were afforded a kick in the ass by the fact that, after teaching ten years there, SVA has awarded us a sabbatical leave (rarely available outside the tenure system). We’re incredibly grateful for it, both for the vote of confidence it shows, and for the small stipend it will mean while we’re away (we’ll earn half our (not high, definitely part-time) salary while on leave).

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Michigan this week

Anyone in the central Michigan area this coming week, I hope you’ll come out to see me at the MSU Comics Forum. I’ll be giving a talk on Friday night and then “tabling” as the comickers call it, on Saturday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Keynote Address 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday February 4, 2012

Artists Alley from 11-5

MSU Comics Forum
Michigan State University
Snyder/Phillips Hall

East Lansing, MI

This is the 1%…

OK, I’m no genius, but if you replace “genius” with “art,” Edison was right when he said, “genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

Case in point: Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars, my graphic novel-in-progress. How did I come up with this epic space opera? Well, back in 2006, I drew these illustrations for Chapter 10 (“Getting Into Character”) of the first comics textbook Matt and I wrote together, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures.

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A España.

This is gonna totally screw with GraNoDraMo, and I’m only going for like 3 days, but I’m psyched anyway.

My bags are packed for the first International Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, to be held November 9 – 12 at the Universidad de Alcalá, near Madrid.

“The main objective of the conference is to bring together the highest number of specialists and researchers on comics (graphic novels, manga, BD, etc) in order to reflect  the study of this area. The theme is ‘Sites of visual and textual innovation’ and it welcomes papers on (but not limited to): the origins of comics, avant-garde and experimental narration and biography and autobiography.” Continue reading

Girls on wheels—kickstart me!

OK: I’ve written about my new graphic novel, Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Marsand about how out of practice I feel as a cartoonist. I need to be doing some serious preparatory drawing.  My goal is to draw a complete figure sketch every day that I’m in my studio (and to be in my studio a LOT).

Would you do me a favor and hold me accountable?

I’m serious. I’ll send you art. And my old clothes! I know it sounds wacky, but take a look at my Kickstarter video. I promise it almost makes sense.

You get: art and a bit of weird ephemera, and I get: a real drawing workout. Continue reading

5-day intensive at Split Rock in July

I’ll be teaching an intensive comics course at the U of Minnesota St Paul campus this summer. College credit is available, housing is available, major head-cramming comix learning IS AVAILABLE.

the deets:

July 11-15
9:00am 4:00pm

University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus
1985 Buford Ave St Paul, MN

Noncredit Tuition: $650 ($555 + $40 fee + $55 registration fee)
Credit Tuition: Add $199 (undergraduate) or $405 (graduate)

Comics is a complex medium that requires a grasp of drawing and storytelling, as well as the tools and technology required to prepare artwork for print. Great cartoonists wield a variety of skills in the service of creating engaging and memorable narrative art, and this workshop is ideal for beginners who want to jump off the deep end and learn the basics in one week.

To LEARN MORE or REGISTER for this workshop, please visit Split Rock

Contact Split Rock Arts Program
Phone: 612-625-1976

Cartoon HOTHOUSE! May 31-Aug 2

Take a full-credit class with me, Tom Hart of the Sequential Artists Workshop, and Keith Mayerson this summer at SVA.

May 31-Aug 2 (10 weeks)
12-6, but we’re likely to shift it to 11-5.
310 East 22 Street
New York NY

• experienced teachers
• intense critiques at the panel, page, and story-arc level
• finish a 12-page story in 10 weeks
• full, transferrable college credit (ask your college to make sure)
• the only undergrad credit cartooning course SVA offers to the general public
• pretty much your last chance to take a class with Tom Hart in NYC before he moves to Gainesville to found his own school!

Fasten your seat belts for the cartooning ride of your life. This is a rare opportunity for the advanced art student to “think-tank” your pictorial narrative to new levels of experimentation. Through the research and practice of different comic forms, we will explore the infinite possibilities of how to produce meaning by the sequence of images and words. You will be encouraged to construct stories in whatever genre, style and medium you like, and critically engage in the process to achieve your own ambitious artistic goals. NOTE: Studio space is available for the ten-week session.

Register here

Facebook event

Comics Day in Helsinki

I’ll be speaking on an all-star program of comics faculty (oh, and Scott McCloud) at a two-day conference on comics teaching at Sarjakuvakeskus (yes, I did cut and paste that, thank you).

It’s either called “Comics Day” or “International Comics Seminar” or “Comics Teaching”–put put all those together and you get what they’re talking about. Some info follows. Full info on their site.

WHO FOR: Comics professionals, teachers, students and researchers

WHEN: 24th – 25th March 2011, 10am – 5pm

WHERE: Heltech Auditorium, Muotoilijankatu 3, 00560 Helsinki, Finland.

ENTRY: 120 €

BOOKING: Email, see more below. Seats are limited.


The programme consists of lectures and panels. Main talks feature Scott McCloud (USA), Jessica Abel (USA), Markus Huber (Germany), Thierry Van Hasselt (Ecole supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc Bruxelles, Belgium) and Dan Berry (Glyndwr University, UK).

Seminar themes include:

-The Language of Comics
-Comics Teaching and Use in Education

Also: State of Comics Education in Nordic Countries from Folk High Schools to MAs – Introductions to Nordic comics schools and other education, including adaptive use of comics in different contexts