Archive for May 2012
MCAD: Mad PaulWe'd gotten through to the mid-term of our Intro to Comics class at MCAD and my students knew where they stood. They had their grades-to-date and knew where I thought could improve, what they could work on certain areas and weaknesses for the latter half. Spring Break was a week or two later, and I figured they return for the last push refreshed, but they were exhausted! Within a week or two everyone was on track, with renewed energy for their Final Comic.
One young lady, Chan once again decided to challenge herself by doing a 20-page comic (only 4-6 pages were required). My reaction?
Somewhat skeptical, a little scared for her, a little scared of her (she'd no doubt pull it off, with panache). But she was taking a risk she'd crash and burn.
This exchange apparently kicked off a weekly cartoon she called Mad Paul Mondays, tracking the last few weeks of the semester...
Well, Chan kicked that comic's ass. Behold: Moviegoer!
I still can't believe she was unfamiliar with the work of Jaime Hernandez. Great job, Chan! Everyone did a nice job on their finals, actually.
And now, as of yesterday, it appears Mad Paul may be a series:
What, was she peeking in the window at our house last night?! Mad Paul may be a joke to Chan and her fellow students, but unfortunately for my wife and daughters he all-too-often makes an appearance here at home!
Anyway, they must miss me. I miss them, and it's only been a few weeks since the last class! Not Mad Paul - Sad Paul. = (
There are more cartoons of me, but I gotta get this scanner up and working or replace it ASAP - then I'll post the rest.
TothPix: Johnny Hazard coversIn the mid-'80s, Toth did a handful of covers for collections/reprints of Frank Robbins' Johnny Hazard. The first is particularly clever, in regards to concept, composition and color.
I blew out the color and most tone for the cover to #2. The colors did absolutely nothing for me, detracting from a decent action cover.
The colors for the third are better, though faulty. Cool composition and angle by Toth here.
Another action cover for the 4th. Bright, primary colors in the main, with a nice use of white and umber shadows.
All in all, Toth did justice in tribute to one of his comic strip heroes. The first volume of a new series collecting Johnny Hazard dailies is now available.
TothPix: The Fox
You're kiddin' me, yeah? What a great sketch! I'd never seen this one before. Man, so good!
Not much for me to add, except: superb composition, positive/negative space, what balance - you can feel the hero's weight and weightlessness. Every line is in its place, just a smidge of rimlighting here and there, sometimes clean, sometimes with a rough edge. Clever: the space in the "O" is the Fox logo.
I love that The Fox's eyes are different sizes/shapes.
MCAD: Intro to Comics ClassOn our last day of class, we took a few group pictures, so here's the crew from my first foray with higher-level instruction: our MCAD Introduction to Comics class, Spring, 2012:
Back row, left to right: Amber, Caroline, Professor Paul, Brandon, Aaron, Leigh. Middle row: Olivia, Rachel, Thomas, Tanner. Front row: Jei, Chan, Alice & Nicole.
I had a great group of students with a palpable passion for their art and/or comics. They impressed me, coming into the class with more drawing and storytelling chops than I'd expected. I just read all their course evaluations, and while I'm pleased they all liked the class, their constructive comments will help me focus more on where I can improve if I get the chance to teach again. I hope they learned a lot, but here's...What I learned:
• If you ask me talk about Comics for hours straight, I can do it. In fact, it's tough to shut me up.
• My Corpus Callosum Dominant condition is a perfect fit for teaching an art class. Relying strongly on both sides of the brain is a big help to handle the aesthetic nature of art class as well as the organizational and structural necessary to keep me and the students on track.
• Regardless of one's age, we can all pursue our passion or bliss, make dreams come alive through action, and have personal challenges, situations and stresses to overcome.
• While grounding ourselves in traditional, tried-and-true methods of art-making, we must also embrace and encourage the use of digital tools and technology. As long as principles of drawing, storytelling, composition, design and clarity are followed and adhered to, it doesn't matter what tools we use.
• Comics makers are a weird, idiosyncratic, smart and sharp, wonderful group of people.
• The future of Comics is in good hands. You'll be buying and reading comics, watching cartoons made by these young people shortly.
Just for grins, our Justice League pose - heroes all!
TothPix - Casebook: AlcoholismLooks like Toth did this stand-alone Casebook: Alcoholism page for the military, probably sometime in the late '70s. Kind of a comics PSA (Public Service Announcement). It's dated - the black character is in a position of authority, but still says "Dig?" But Toth's drawing is assured and sensitive, spotting black areas with usual panache, employing a grease pencil (from the looks of it) for tone and texture.
I'm such a believer in line variation - the thick and thin of brushwork to create weight, depth and interest - I'm still surprised Toth created such great work with a "dead line." There are subtleties in his initial marker drawings (expressions, hands, the hair and ear, the 3D treatment of the "US" on Jake's button/pin) which is buttressed by beefing up some lines and blackspotting.
More great stuff in the 2nd panel: expressions, cropping, details of hands and clothing folds. These guys could all look the same, but their faces and noses are different shapes. I'd need reference to really capture the tilt of the head of Jake shaving, but no doubt pulled it off right outta his head.
Check this bit of copy from below the comic! Sounds like recruitment: "Know any would-be alcoholics?" - LOL! Alcoholism is obviously dangerous and destructive - I know - and it's great it was tried to reach people with this PSA, but I'm guessing were it done now that text would include how to deal with such a situation without insinuating one should rat out a fellow soldier! Or am I reading too much into it...?