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December 13th, 2011

A New Direction for my Comics

I’m by myself at the house drinking coffee in the early afternoon on a Saturday, trying to burn through some Google Reader items, getting ready to work on some comics, my mind is really buzzing, and I just need to list it all out somehow so I’m posting about it here.

Here’re my inputs:

Blaise Larmee
A representation of some panels from Blaise Larmee’s 2001.

Matt Seneca’s Weeklong Interview with Blaise Larmee – I’m reading this and trying to understand specifically what Larmee is saying. It’s difficult because he can be obtuse but he drops a lot of nuggets in there like “Cartoonists need to be willing to abandon comics.”

Ryan Lauderdale Mashup
A mashup of three different pieces by Ryan Lauderdale that look like abstract comics to me.

Ryan Lauderdale’s Show, Bed Bath and Beyond, at Nudashank – My friend Ryan is getting his MFA is Brooklyn right now and has a show up at the Nudashank art space in Baltimore. This week we talked about how important form, color, and spirituality are to our work, about reacting against postmodernism with a revived modernism (or something else), about color field painting, all these things that I’m into that I sometimes forget about when I sit down to draw comics.

Frank Santoro Geometry Exercise
A geometry exercise from Frank Santoro’s course. We had to figure out the geometry behind a page of Tintin.

Frank Santoro’s Comics Correspondence Course – I’m taking Frank Santoro’s course. It’s a lot of work but I’m learning a lot of things. His geometry stuff is really interesting – it’s the scaffolding of comics or it’s abstract comics when you look at it on its own. Frank’s pushing me to be more creative with my mark making, which is good for me.

Yuichi Yokoyama Page from Color Engineering
A page from Yuichi Yokoyama’s book Color Engineering.

Yokoyama’s Color Engineering and an Interview with Yokoyama by Seneca – Man, Seneca has been on an interview roll lately! And they all get my brain boiling. He’s one of one of the best writers about comics because he focuses so much on the visual. Also his enthusiasm is infectious. I’ve posted about Yokoyama before – his work is a big inspiration for me. I think it’s interesting that both he and Larmee say in their interviews with Seneca that they don’t read anyone else’s comics. Personally I find it really important and invigorating to read all of the great comics that are being published these days but I do have to space it out a bit because if I read too many comics, the work that I make it influenced too strongly by them. So mostly I read sff books.

Screenshot from ____ by Terry Cavanagh
A screenshot from the indie video game ____ (A.K.A. Four-Letter Word) by Terry Cavanagh.

____ by distractionware – Reading Wiley Wiggin’s post about ____ and then seeing the screenshots made me really excited about this game, and just the idea of an incredibly abstract and difficult-to-play game in general. I don’t post about it very much on here but interactive art is something I’m really interested in and from the looks of it, this game gets me excited about it again.

My output from all of these inputs is still brewing. Hopefully it’ll bubble out over the next few months and years. Right now I’m just thinking, as Darryl Ayo reminded me in this Comix Cube post, that it’s important for me to look at my aesthetic interests outside of comics and bring those in. Break out a bit from the Fort Thunder influence that’s so evident in my work and find some mashup of color field painting, expressive mark making, net art, and sff that’s more my own.

December 9th, 2011

Josh Burggraf Secret Project

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: — William Cardini @ 7:58 am

What is my man JB up to?

Josh Burggraf The Illuminated Grafeldd
The Illuminated Grafeldd

Looks cool.

Josh Burggraf Possible Inside Front Cover
Caption from Burggraf: “Inside cover maybe for a book with no title that has no set date for publication.” You can see Floyd in there if you look closely.

I’m stoked. Follow the Josh Burggraf tumblr for more, maybe.

October 31st, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: , , — William Cardini @ 7:36 am

Glade and I dressed up for the Monster Show opening as a goth and a nerd, respectively. Here’s a pic we took before we went out:

Hensel Halloween 2011
I’m never shaving my beard again. Thanks to Jason Poland for loaning me his Powerglove!

We didn’t come up with our costumes on our own, though. Glade had the idea that we should base our costumes this year off the drawings in a zine called Hot Topik. We picked these two:

Hot Topik

The zine is filled with similar characters. Sam Gaskin wrote all of the t-shirt slogans and then Matt Furie did the drawings. I definitely recommend getting a copy if you see one. If any of y’all are still going out tonite, have fun!

October 18th, 2011

James Jarvis: Pure, Unfettered Cartooning; including Steadman, Alechinsky, and my Monster Show Ink Drawz

The James Jarvis drawings that Dan Nadel posted this past week on the Picturebox blog are a revelation.

James Jarvis homage of Goya
An homage to Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monster” from Day 1 of the James Jarvis posts.

James Jarvis colored drawing
A colored page from Day 4 of the James Jarvis posts. These posts on the Picturebox blog are promotion for a full-color book that Jarvis has out, De Profundis.

Pure, unfettered cartooning. The impulsive, inky scratching of them reminds me of Ralph Steadman …

Ralph Steadman “The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters”
This is Steadman’s homage to that same Goya etching. I posted it so large because I stitched it together from two scans I did of Gonzo: The Art, a Steadman art book.

… mixed with a little bit of Maurice Sendak and of course, Pierre Alechinsky.

Alechinsky, “Alvéoles”
Alechinsky, “Alvéoles.”

Alechinsky, “Volcan ensorcelé”
Alechinsky, “Volcan ensorcelé.” Both of these paintings are from the website of the Alechinsky retrospective at the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. Check out this Alechinsky post by Derik A Badman or my previous Alechinsky post for more examples of his comic-like work.

Steadman was one of my biggest early influences and I love Alechinsky so Jarvis’s work really speaks to me. I’ve been experimenting with modifying my wanna-be Moebius-and-Brinkman hybrid style to something more spontaneous and cartoony. I like working in MangaStudio but sometimes I just want to get away from glowing computer screens and put nib to paper.

Here are two examples of me doing just that, in these drawings that I did for Monster Show 6 at Domy Books in Austin:

Cardini Quirky Miniboss Squad
I was thinking about the TV Tropes entry on the Quirky Miniboss Squad when I drew this (warning: TV Tropes is a link-infested time suck).

Cardini Fuck You Monster
This drawing is dedicated to my buddy Grant Davis.

Disclaimer: these drawings may or may not be in the Monster Show 6. I’m going to have something in there but I don’t know what yet. Come to the opening from 7-9pm on October 29th (costume encouraged) to see tons of monster drawings by all sorts of amazing artists. If you’re in Houston, there’s also a Monster Show there.

September 30th, 2011

Kid Space Heater at Domy Austin

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: , , , — William Cardini @ 7:24 am

I recently dropped off Kid Space Heater, a masterful comic by fellow GCPM member and my sometimes collaborator Josh Burggraf, at Domy Books in Austin. Here you can see it on the zine table:

From Domy’s dope Tumblr

Here’s a close-up of the cover so y’all don’t have to squint:

From Josh’s Tumblr

Kid Space Heater is twenty legal-sized pages of grayscale space opera madness packed with Burggraf’s unmistakable high-tech Kirby-esque machinery and cityscapes. But don’t take my word that it’s awesome, take these guys’ words:

  • Kid Spaceheater is a high speed cartoony adventure that blends Kirby mechgeometry with Meathaus grotesqueries. I really like how there‚Äôs a layered flatness to the images, as if the figures were cut from paper and placed on the background image. The compositions are tight and the grayscale is really effective.” – Kevin Czap from this post
  • “I saw an advance copy of kid space heater, and i must say, not only is it the best work he’s ever done but it might be the best new work ive seen ALL YEAR. like serious.” – Pat Ausilio from this post

Here’s a sample panel:

The panel looks a little screwy because of interference/moiré from the scanner

Buy Kid Space Heater from Domy for $5. You won’t regret it.

September 27th, 2011

Labor Day in Louisville Part 2: LVL1 Hackerspace

While I was in Louisville hanging out with Jeff Hipsher and Chuch, Jeff’s friend (and the Catch Up web master) Nick Sturtzel took us by LVL1, a hackerspace in Louisville.

LVL1 entrance
LVL1 is in a warehouse district by downtown Louisville. The entrance is in an alley.

Anyone can go to LVL1, tinker with tech, and make things; but what makes it really special is that the members pool funds to purchase special maker equipment, such as this laser cutter:

laser cutter
Nick offered to cut one of my drawings out and mail it to me. What should I get cut out?

Click here to see the rest of their equipment

September 13th, 2011

“Please Save Maria Kondratiev” Art Show with Music by Katie Mullins and Zine Library

This Saturday, starting at 7pm, my friend Alison Kuo is hosting an art show at her space in Brooklyn called “Please Save Maria Kondratiev” with music and a zine library. The artist is Maria Kondratiev, here’s a drawing of hers from 2008:

Maria Kondratiev sketch
“We Can Use Him” sketch by Kondratiev from her blog.

The musician is Katie Mullins.

Because the show coincides with the Brooklyn Book Fest, Kuo is also organizing a zine library with chapbooks by James Yeh, illustrated by Andrew Bulger; interview and other booklets by Temporary Services; prints by Rand Renfrow; and comics by yours truly, Jak Cardini, Josh Burggraf, and Mike Miles of the Gold County Paper Mill; and others. I wanted to have a new zine but I didn’t finish it in time, so I sent a bunch of my old stuff, including the last issue of Catch Up.

Come check it out! There’ll be drinks and food, but please BYOB and bring your friends. The space, Darling House, is located at the corner of Broadway and Union – Lorimer JMZ, Broadway G, or a ten minute walk from the Lorimer L. Look for the glass door, ring top buzzer.

August 30th, 2011

Flower Hypercastle by Glade Hensel and Ads in Secret Prison #5

Hey y’all, sorry I made a mistake with my blogging and released an incomplete post early on Monday instead of today. Here’s the post that I intended to publish this morning:

Here’s a print that Glade made for our show at Austin Books (Speaking of our show, if any of y’all want to see our prints at Austin Books and haven’t yet, this week is your last chance! Tomorrow is the last day.):

Flower Hypercastle by Glade Hensel

This print is called “Flower Hypercastle.” It’s a digital print of a gouache painting. This past Saturday Glade and I just hung out at home, painted, and watched Mad Men. I spend so much time working on comics on the computer that I forget how relaxing and visceral painting can be. I’m going to try to make painting more a part of my regular art routine.

Something I’m excited about but haven’t mentioned on here yet is that I’m the co-featured artist for Secret Prison #5. It’s especially exciting because I love the work of the featured artist, Tom Scioli. Gødland is one of my favorite comics. I’m bringing it up now because it’s debuting at SPX in a week and a half and they’re looking for people to buy ad space before this Sunday, Sept 3rd. Here’s an information sheet (with a small preview of Scioli’s dope cover):

Secret Prison Ad Sheet

If any of y’all want me to draw your ad for you just drop me a line at mark p hensel /at/ g mail /dot/ com.

August 23rd, 2011

Welcome to the Hypercastle by Glade Hensel

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: , , , , , — William Cardini @ 7:09 am

Here’s a print that Glade made for our show at Austin Books:

Welcome to the Hypercastle by Glade Hensel

This print is called “Welcome to the Hypercastle.” It’s a digital print of a gouache painting. I love Glade’s text treatment. You can see a similar design that she did for a Happy Birthday card here.

August 16th, 2011

Hyperhut by Glade Hensel

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: , , , , , — William Cardini @ 7:50 am

Here’s the first print that Glade made for our show at Austin Books:

Hyperhut by Glade Hensel

This print is called “Hyperhut.” It’s a digital print of a cut-paper design except for the roof of the hut, which is patterned tape made by the Japanese company MT that Glade found.

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