Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cardboard Sketches

I've been busy with many things lately, and have had less time to blog than I'd like. And I've realized that there's a lot of drawing that I do that I often don't get around to putting online, and maybe should? So in place of anything of actual substance to report, here are some random doodles done on comic backing boards while at my "day job."



One more on my flickr. The sketches on the latter page here are mostly inspired by a book of paintings by artist Lucian Freud. His portraits are such an amazing mix of the beautiful and the grotesque, it really gets my juices flowing in interesting ways.

I wanted to point out as well a recent series of interviews that the Comics Journal podcast did with some Center for Cartoon Studies alumn. I've been mentioning CCS a lot over the past few blog posts, mainly because I've been putting up comics from that period, but also because going there was a fairly significant experience for me. And I feel like these interviews - particularly the parts with Melissa Mendes, who was in my class, and Joe Lambert, who was part of the community while I was around - paint a fairly accurate picture of what being there was like. So, you know, consider giving it a listen. And consider checking out Joe and Melissa's blogs as well, because both of them just happen to be ridiculously talented people.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ophestios, 1890

And after a brief break, we're back again with another addition to the still-growing comics section (which I'm already starting to consider trimming down a little bit. We'll see, we'll see). I realize that all of the comics I've added so far have been on the slightly lengthier side. Well let me tell ya, this one is the worst of the bunch. Good thing it's also probably the one I'm most proud of.

"Ophestios" is the comic I produced at the end of my first year at the Center for Cartoon Studies. I had a lot on my mind at the time, principally some ambitious thoughts on "comics as literature" coupled with a mild obsession with the works and philosophy of Bertolt Brecht. Suddenly, I wanted to do a "period piece." And I wanted it to have substance to it, and I wanted it to feel like all that great, depressing Russian and German literature that I'd learned to love in undergrad, oh so long ago. This was the result.

This story was originally intended as the start of a much larger piece, which I eventually set aside, but I think it still functions fairly well on its own. The Comics Journal's Rob Clough had some very nice things to say about it upon its initial release, as did Rich Kreiner more recently. Reading the reviews now makes me almost regret having decided to put this project on hold. But oh well. I'm convinced that the project I'm working on right now, in place of this, is pretty swank too. And there's still quite a few ideas behind the world of "Ophestios" that I still like, so maybe I'll return to it someday.

In the meanwhile, there are hard copies of the book still available for purchase through I Know Joe Kimpel, or through me when I appear at conventions. I wasn't sure if I had much of a desire to pump out another print run once this current batch runs out though, so I thought maybe a second life online might be the best way to keep the piece alive. At the end of the day, it's a story that I still like quite a bit. And hey, maybe you will too. (Be warned though, the comic contains both adult language and situations. Potentially NSFW)