Sally here to bid farewell to Bernie Wrightson, cheer on Al Jaffee, and watch Patrick Kyle reinvent web comics (again!) – no lazy cartoonists to be seen here. May the rest of us scramble to keep up!
Patrick Kyle cracked the code for Instagram comics last week. As the platform has developed, cartoonists have constantly experimented with what will work on Instagram, collectively settling on the 4 panel square as the ideal form and sparking something of a revival for 4 panel gag strip comics. When Instagram added a gallery view to the app, it only took Patrick Kyle a few days to figure out that you could finally make longer comics in one post using the gallery view. He then made a GREAT comic which is ideal for this platform – he maintained the 4 panel gag so the gallery view becomes the “page turn”, if you will, and the size, colors, and level of detail in the comic are perfect. See it on Instagram HERE.
I look forward to seeing more cartoonists catch on to this! The evolution continues.
Bernie Wrightson passed away this weekend. He is a beloved comics artist, best known for creating the character Swamp Thing for DC Comics with writer Len Wein, as well as Destiny, which Neil Gaiman later wrote into The Sandman series. The 50 pen illustrations he made for an edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein were a 7-year labor of love. He considered them to be among his most personal work, and they are widely viewed as one of the greatest achievements by any artist in the comics industry. Rest in peace Bernie – fans around the world will be curling up with their copies of Swamp Thing in the next few days and missing your spirit.
Read a message from Bernie’s widow, Liz Wrightson, HERE.
The shortlist for the 5th annual Cartoonist Studio Prize has been announced. The prize is given by the Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies. The two categories are best print and web comics and the winner receives $1,000. There are some great comics represented here – read more about the prize and check out the shortlist HERE. Last year’s winners were Carol Tyler for Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father and Boulet for I Want to Believe.
The Comics Alliance digs into Michael DeForge‘s new book, Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero (get a copy from Copacetic Comics HERE). In this black and white and PINK comic strip-turned-graphic novel, “DeForge has created an entire working ecosystem that gets teased out, explored, and mined for comic potential…“
“By the end of the book, everyone has changed, some quite drastically, others only slightly. No one has changed less between the first and final strips than Sticks Angelica herself, however, and her change is simply superficial: She gets a new hairstyle. The celebrity, the hero might be at the center of everything, but in DeForge’s comic, as in real life, the real story is what happens to everyone else.“
Al Jaffee holds the Guinness World Record for the “longest-running cartoonist of all time.” Now 96 years old, he has drawn every single Fold-In featured in Mad magazine – that’s 52 years of Fold-Ins.
“Whatever your last experience with Mad, you probably did the Fold-In on the back cover. Nobody reads a Mad without starting with the Fold-In. For the uninitiated—and if you’ve never heard of the Fold-In, your childhood must have been very bleak—it’s essentially a sight gag. It starts with a drawing and a question; something like, “Who conducted the most exhaustive Washington probe recently?” But then you fold the page together and a different image appears, along with a punch line that defies your expectations, something like “the president’s doctors.” ” – Vanity Fair
Eric Spitznagel of Vanity Fair sat down with Al Jaffee to discover how he has kept going all these years, and what he’s learned about the process.
“After 73 years of doing this, have you successfully proved the moral unreliability of adults?
Well, I don’t think I’ve proved anything. I’m not an educator or a preacher. I think the important thing, in my line of work anyway, is that you’re helping the reader to think for himself.
It’s not just about getting a chuckle from them. When you expose hypocrisy or nonsense or plain ol’ stupidity, you want to do it in a way that makes the reader connect the dots. Don’t tell the joke, just hint at the joke. If you over-explain it, it’s no good.“
- Fabian Rangel, Jr. and Warwick Johnson Cadwell sat down to talk about their new comic Helena Crash, coming from IDW on Wednesday of this week. The story involves a world where coffee has been outlawed – a horror scenario that is just the beginning. More HERE.
- Check out a collection of punk music fliers made by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez over on Dangerous Minds.
- The I’m Drawn This Way: Cartoonists on Cartooning panel (recorded March 13th, 2017) is now available online to view in full – HERE.
- The Comics Journal remembers Skip Williamson (1944-2017).
- The latest Inkstuds podcast features Anna Haifisch in conversation with Rob McConnell – listen HERE.
- Street Angel gets invited to a birthday party – new comic by Jim Rugg up on Tapastic!
- What Things Do got an overhaul and there is a new Crickets 6 from Sammy Harkham and a Ganges 6 from Kevin Huizenga available for pre-order – shipping April 10th!
Bring new energy to your comics game, see panels and color in a new way, discover the music in the structure of comics – check out thee Santoro School Handbook – 16 pages of comics-making gold!
Blinkers – 3-20-2017 – by Jack Brougham
Suzy and Cecil – 3-20-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 3-20-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio