Archive | January, 2011

Influences and Process – Dino Buzzati’s Poem Strip

31 Jan
by L. Nichols

Jeet Heer’s recent post over at Comics Comics about Dino Buzzati’s Poem Strip reminded me that I’d been meaning to write about this book. I would say that between Jeet Heer and Valentina Zanca I can’t really add anything more into the discussion of its history and historical/artistic importance. What I can discuss, however, is its influence on my own work.

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So many things

28 Jan
by Darryl Ayo








I’m the Ultimate.

@darrylayo

Marvel, Garth Ennis + Steve Dillon, Juan Díaz Canales + Juanjo Guarnido, Chris Roberson + Mike Allred, Darryl Ayo

A Ramayana Review

27 Jan
by L. Nichols

The scene where Perseus fought Medusa and the Gorgons in the old Clash of the Titans film always horrified me as a kid. Yet I still felt compelled to watch Clash of the Titans every chance I could get, refusing to look away even though I knew I was going to be scared. I knew that our hero would prevail, but that didn’t lessen the tension I felt while watching his battles. This is the same feeling I had with The Ramayana, even though the story is far less familiar to me. The baddies are out to get our hero! There’s no way he can win! But he’s the hero, so of course he is going to win.

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Influences and Process – Mathematics

27 Jan
by L. Nichols

Ok ok ok. I know… as soon as I mention math, people’s eyes glaze over. That, or they think I’m talking about adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing. But that’s arithmetic, not math. I am talking about MATH. Math and its crazy abstractions and logic. Math with its symbols. Bear with me.

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Drink Deep

26 Jan
by Kevin Czap

Let’s talk! Enough of this TL:DR culture. Enough of shallowness and gimmicks. Let’s talk shop. Let’s talk craft. Let’s be honest.

And that’s the truth, Ruth. The above quote comes from L. Nichols (emphasis mine), one of the talented and super-friendly comics folk I met at SPX the other weekend. L has been posting examples of some of the influences on her work, notably ones that fall outside of what we normally might consider comics. I recommend checking them out, I’m sure you will learn something (she was inspired to start this practice because of similar posts over at Darryl Ayo’s and the ever useful livejournal de Brandon Graham).

Back to the start, I agree one hundred percent with her calls for more discourse in comics, more serious talking, and so I’ve been inspired to take my own whack at it. I’ve typically thought and talked about works that have influenced me in the past, but I think I’ll use this space to talk about stuff that I look to at present for guidance and inspiration. I’ve got a couple groupings in mind that we’ll take one at a time. Following in L’s step, I’ll try to include a majority of non-comics material, but I still want to bring it back to comics because, frankly, there is so much great stuff that I can only even start to pick at the surface.

So, without further yappin’, the first installment of this series will take us eastward.

NOBY NOBY BOY

Noby Noby Boy
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Influences and Process – Alexander Calder

26 Jan
by L. Nichols

I still remember clearly the day when I first encountered Calder’s Cow at the museum in Boston. Of all the things I had seen there, it struck some kind of chord with me. It was whimsical, yet simple. Plus, it was made out of wire, which is a material that I have always loved working with.

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Influences and Process – Natalia Goncharova

25 Jan
by L. Nichols

I went to San Diego last spring for a friend’s wedding. My wife and I decided that since we were traveling across the country, we might as well make a vacation of it, so we took an entire week and went to Los Angeles as well. While in LA, we went to the Getty for the afternoon. We were lucky enough to be there at the same time the Getty research dept. had this exhibit up on books done by the Russian Futurists. This was the first exhibit I went into, and I think this was the only thing I really saw (other than the gardens) all afternoon.

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Influences and Process – Jason Sho Green

24 Jan
by L. Nichols

I’ve been mulling over talking about my own influences and process a bit more for some time now, but the car ride back from SPX with my good buddy Mr. Darryl Ayo got me thinking about it a little more concretely. I never really read comics growing up, so while I appreciate Darryl’s enthusiasm for X-Force and New Avengers and whatever new he’s talking about (He’s been making some great blog posts about comics lately!), I always feel like it’s not really something I can really claim for myself. I have no emotional attachment to these characters or these stories or these styles. So we were talking about this in the car and I came to the conclusion that I should write about what I DO have attachments to, the things that work their ways into my process.

Today I am talking about a certain illustrator, Jason Sho Green, who was really influential to me back when I first started getting serious about drawing, back in 2004-2005 or so. I figure picking a topic would make things a little easier on my end and maybe a little more coherent on yours.

I discovered Jason Sho Green via a friend while I was in college and his work greatly shaped my way of thinking about lines and line thicknesses and contours and the like at the time and continues to this day, though hopefully less obviously so.

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WATCH MY FRIENDS HURT YOUR FRIENDS WITH ME

21 Jan
by Darryl Ayo

NEW MUTANTS, volume 3, number 18.

The New Mutants versus the Inferno Babies! The Inferno Babies have grown up in hell and are currently mopping the floor with our heroes. This is the part of the issue that I really liked–where Doug Ramsey, the man who can speak every language meets a woman who controls people’s minds through language:

“WATCH MY FRIENDS HURT YOUR FRIENDS WITH ME.”

In the middle of people hacking away at each other with weapons, setting each other on fire and so on, this woman invites her victim to just sit with her. The contrast of tone is enough to throw a person for a loop. It’s equal parts creepy and cute.

So let’s get power nerdy. This woman (who, like most of the characters, both good guys and bad guys isn’t referred to by name) controls people by talking to them. Doug Ramsey has the power to understand, and communicate in any language. That goes for spoken languages, written languages, computer code, body language and so on. I feel that somehow one of their powers has to override the other. But for now, Ramsey seems to be under the thrall of the backwards-talking lady. My guess is that we’ll find out that Ramsey is playing along and isn’t really being controlled at all–but if so, that’s a story for a future issue. For now, here’s this creepy image. It’s almost romantic:

All images (C) 2010, Marvel Characters, Inc.

NEW MUTANTS: FALL OF THE NEW MUTANTS PART 4 written by Zeb Wells, drawn by Leonard Kirk

@darrylayo

Colonists, Be Safe

15 Jan
by Kevin Czap

Nurse Nurse no. 5

Y’all remember when I told you about Beegirl, right? I told you guys to keep your eyes on its author, Katie Skelly, remember? While it seems Beegirl has been put on a school-induced hiatus, Ms. Skelly has been massively busy all the same. This post concerns her other work-in-progress, the further developed Nurse Nurse, which I recently had the pleasure of reading finally. Let me lay it down:
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