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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.

June 3rd, 2011

Three Kewl Local Kickstarter Projects

Hey guys, I just donated to some kewl local(ish) Kickstarter projects that friends of mine who do good work are involved in and I thought I’d let you know about them:

Click here to read more about these three kewl local Kickstarter projects