Paradise Systems; NYer at SOI; Desert Island; Dank Meme Machine


Bu Er Miao

Paradise Systems on publishing and distributing underground Chinese comics
Fei Liu spoke with R. Orion Martin about comics in China:

[Martin] says the biggest challenge with indie comics in China is the lack of a network of independent bookstores. To overcome that, many artists distribute their stories in the form of tiaoman 条漫(web based strip comics — which can sometimes be like fan works, not unlike doujinshi of Japanese manga that have amassed huge cult followings) — of which many comics Paradise Systems prints are reformatted in.

Tiaoman comics are popular on social media sites like Douban, a media site for youth culture that’s “a little like Tumblr but with Rotten Tomato’s review function” which allows for cult-like analysis and adoration. The comic artists Paradise Systems publishes are already Douban celebrities and now also have WeChat pages, which is China’s more mainstream social media network — though, finding indie comics on WeChat is often harder because you have to find and friend people already invested in the culture to see the content.

Yan Cong


Huguette Martel

Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now

July 24-October 13, 2018, The Society of Illustrators in NYC, curated by Liza Donnelly.

In art, when the standards for what is considered  good  are broadened to include more approaches, it leads to more diversity of thought and more creativity. That’s what happened under Lee Lorenz and Harold Ross’ editorship. In addition, the increase of women cartoonists under their editorships happened during times of positive cultural change in attitudes towards women. This is happening now. As the result of an effort led by senior editor David Remnick and newly hired cartoon editor, Emma Allen, The New Yorker now has a greater percentage of women cartoonists than ever.

This exhibition is a commemoration of some of the women who drew cartoons for The New Yorker past and present. It’s a celebration of their creativity and fortitude as they pushed past cultural stereotypes to create humor and offer the world laughter from all points of view.


Neighborhood Joint: The ‘Punk Rock’ Comic Book Shop

Beyond the meritocratic inventory system, Desert Island proselytizes offbeat creativity through its annual fall festival, Comic Arts Brooklyn, together with the Pratt Institute. It also publishes an all-illustration newspaper, which comes out a few times a year called “Smoke Signal,” now in its 29th issue. Copies of the publication, whose pages have carried works by Mad magazine legends alongside up-and-comers like Abby Jame, are free to customers.

An Rong Xu for The New York Times



Dank Learning: Generating Memes Using Deep Neural Networks
Via Abel L Peirson V and E Meltem Tolunay

We introduce a novel meme generation system, which given any image can produce a humorous and relevant caption. Furthermore, the system can be conditioned on not only an image but also a user-defined label relating to the meme template, giving a handle to the user on meme content. The system uses a pretrained Inception-v3 network to return an image embedding which is passed to an attention-based deep-layer LSTM model producing the caption – inspired by the widely recognised Show and Tell Model. We implement a modified beam search to encourage diversity in the captions. We evaluate the quality of our model using perplexity and human assessment on both the quality of memes generated and whether they can be differentiated from real ones. Our model produces original memes that cannot on the whole be differentiated from real ones.


Thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers Summer Session starts NOW! Floating start date!

Apply anytime between now and July 12th 2018 to join the summer course. Email santoroschoolATgmail for more details. Ask about the Fall Course if now is too busy for you!

The course is 8 weeks – 500 bux for 8 weeks plus access to Frank’s coaching for as long as you need. Payment plans are available. Put your summer to good use!


Vision Box – 6-19-2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 6-19-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

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