Cartoon Learning

It's a new week.

Yesterday Frank Santoro announced the beginning of a cartooning correspondence course. He says:

There are a lot of cartooning courses and classes available right now. CCS, SVA, and SCAD – but I want to do it differently: a one-on-one 8-week correspondence course over phone, e-mail and snail mail. I’d like to use the work and development for a book about making comics. I’m going to focus specifically on advancing your understanding of layouts, color, contour line drawing, and printmaking for producing comic books. The 8-week class is $500. This class is limited: only ten students will be accepted.

I would apply just to learn from the maestro, but he'd never take me. Anyhow, Frank's also posting some beautiful drawings on his own site, like this one.

And today we bring you the latest from R.C. Harvey, this time exploring a curious byway of comics history and education via the story of Max Eastman. Harv begins:

Whilst wandering lonely as a cloud in a foreign clime some years ago, I toured a couple nifty dusty old bookstores (the dust was a big part of the nift) and chanced upon a tome called Enjoyment of Laughter, a 1936 opus by Max Eastman. It was the author’s name that stopped me. Wasn’t Max Eastman, I asked myself, the editor of the rabble-rousing socialist magazine, The Masses, back in the 19-teens?

And elsewhere:

-Tom Spurgeon's moving, thorough obituary of Dylan Williams.

-Via Eddie Campbell, an excellent essay about the cartoonist Glenn Dakin by Rich Baez.

-Daniel Best explains why the team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito was important.

-Not comics: This long piece about Alex Katz is a good look at an aging artist, manly competition, and the way one atmosphere of the art world functions. It pertains here mostly because of how it applied to artists in any medium, and because Katz remains, in many ways, an artist whose sense of line and figure is applicable to cartoon drawing.


Long Week

This morning, we bring you a new installment of Sean T. Collins's column on up-and-coming cartoonists, this time featuring L. Nichols.

We also plan to continue adding new remembrances to our collection of tributes to Dylan Williams as they come in.


Alan Gardner comes out in favor of the newspapers who have pulled Garry Trudeau's recent Doonesbury strips previewing material from the new Sarah Palin biography, but I have a hard time understanding why, based on the strips published so far. This is pretty tame stuff.

Rich Baez writes a long post about the often overlooked Glenn Dakin. (via Eddie Campbell.)

Finally, you might have seen the photo comic made by a very young Kim Thompson that is currently making the rounds online. Or maybe you've been reading his most recent dream journals. What I want to know is if this is the same Kim Thompson whose heretical letter was published in Captain America 194 in 1976?

(Thanks, Sean Howe.)


Strange World

Today we're giving the site over to Dylan Williams. We are posting the first handful of a series of tributes we hope to continue, as well as an unpublished 2008 interview with Dylan about his relationship to punk rock. We want to thank everyone who contributed, and especially Chris Cilla, an author whose masterpiece-to-date, The Heavy Hand, was recently published by Sparkplug, for turning around a wonderful portrait of his friend and publisher in record time. And I speak for Tim when I extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family.


Zak Sally has written a lengthy and very moving piece about Dylan at The Comics Reporter, where Tom continues to collect links to other tributes and remembrances.

Most other links would seem rather silly, so instead I'll offer two by artists that Dylan  completely schooled me on:

Here's a wonderful page of original art by H.G. Peter (it was Dylan who was responsible for Peter being in my book Art in Time) translated into Spanish.

And here's a link to a trove of great Mort Meskin stories -- ditto the above.

Thank you, Dylan.


Exit, Pursued By a Bear

This morning sees the debut of another episode of TCJ Talkies, this time featuring Mike Dawson's interview with the cartoonist and podcaster Alex Robinson. It was recorded at last weekend's SPX.

We also have another review of Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill's latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume, this time by Sean T. Collins. It was written before Charles Hatfield had turned in his review, and so shouldn't be viewed as a direct response.

As far as other links go, I believe we neglected to mention that the winners of this year's Ignatz Awards have been announced.

Gabrielle Bell gives an interview with Comic Books Resources regarding her recent month of webcomics and her work on Mome, among other things.

Frank Young takes a look at John Stanley's use of violence.

Patrick Marfort reviews The Comics Journal #301.

I hadn't realized that novelist Ishmael Reed actually took classes in cartooning to help with his most recent book, much less that he'd since become a regularly published cartoonist himself.

Finally, Tom Spurgeon continues to collect links to online stories and remembrances of Dylan Williams, well worth reading. Stay tuned for our own coverage as the week continues.


It’s Tuesday!

On the site today:

Shaenon Garrity relates her own experiences with Kickstarter.

A couple of months ago, I needed $10,000 to self-publish a big omnibus collection of my webcomic Narbonic. By way of explanation, I am not one of your big-name webcartoonists. At this point people are vaguely familiar with my work, but I’m not one of those folks with half a million page views and people queuing up to buy t-shirts with my characters’ hip and witty comments printed on them. I have a moderate but very devoted (and very entertaining) audience, and I am in no danger whatsoever of making a living from my comics.

Joe McCulloch, who, this weekend, via SPX, finally stayed long enough in one place to really get talking, brings us the week in comics.

And Rob Clough brings us a review of Lewis Trondheim's book Little Nothings Vol. 4.

More later, people. Forgive the short entry.



We just returned from SPX, which was the first convention of its kind I ever attended, and which still seems to me to be the one I always have the most fun at. (I still have never gone to TCAF, though. And the Brooklyn festival probably has a higher percentage of comics & art that I am interested in and wouldn't be able to find elsewhere. But I live near NYC, so that doesn't have the same out-of-town event feeling.) Anyway, though I missed seeing Frank Santoro and various other people who didn't make it, this was one of the most fun and successful-seeming SPX shows that I can remember. We will have further and fuller coverage of the event in the near future.

News of the death of longtime show fixture Dylan Williams could not help but cast a pall on things. He was an inspirational figure to many, and a champion of deserving work that was often almost impossibly uncommercial. Chris Mautner at Robot 6 has gathered some of the online tributes from people in the comics world who knew him (here is another), and I expect there will be many more coming. [Tom Spurgeon is collecting links about Williams here.]

Today on the website, we bring Steven Brower's examination of the dream comics of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, and Mort Meskin.


Amazon's Omnivoracious reviews the latest issue of The Comics Journal.

Stephen Bissette shares how he responds when people ask him to draw their graphic novels.

Maurice Sendak talked to the Paris Review in advance of his upcoming book.

Mike Rhode at Washington's City Paper interviewed many of this weekend's exhibitors, including Craig Thompson, Keith Knight, etc.

Last week, Kevin Huizenga did a brief but good online q&a with the Fantagraphics website.


Dylan Williams, R.I.P.

Dylan Williams, cartoonist, writer, and publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books, reportedly passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was one of the defining figures of the contemporary independent comics world, and beloved within it. He will be greatly missed.

A benefit art auction to help pay for his medical costs is ongoing.


SPX Bound

We're packing up the two-door sedan and heading down to SPX. You'll see me at the PictureBox booth with Matthew Thurber. Our official SPX correspondent, Nicholas Gazin, will be wandering the halls for two solid days in search of good stories. That's right, while I loll around behind the table and Tim bobs in and out, Gazin will be assembling the "real" story. I'll also be presenting an Ignatz Award with Brian Ralph, who tells me I'm to play his "straight man."

Anyhooooo, Rob Clough has a handy list of 10 Cartoonists to Seek Out at SPX. Me, if I wasn't grumpily selling books all day I'd be attending some killer sounding panels and talks. I mean, there's solo panels with Roz Chast, Diane Noomin, Jim Woodring, and Johnny Ryan, not to mention a lecture by Kim Thompson on Jacques Tardi. Damn.

That said, if you cannot fulfill all your comic book dreams this weekend in suburban Maryland, be sure to read Kim Deitch's latest installment of his memoir, in which he discusses research, booze, SF, and Portland.

And, as we're prone to say, elsewhere online:

-I missed this: Abhay Khosla and Mark Sable discuss Mat Brinkman's Multiforce. It's a surprising read.

-You can never have enough Jack Cole.

-And the NY Times on the late, great George Kuchar.