Archive | February, 2011

Between the Sheets – Time manipulation and Sacco

28 Feb
by L. Nichols

Let’s consider time and time manipulation as an important component of what comics are about. Sequentiality alone is a little stuffy for me. Manipulation of the reading/understanding of time may be a little closer to the truth. But again, also maybe not quite hitting the nail on the head either.

I imagine that this is a topic I’ll talk about a bit in the future in various ways and with various examples, but for the time being I thought I would continue from the Sacco + words discussion and start by analyzing a passage from Joe Sacco’s Palestine. (Just as a warning, this is about an interrogation).

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Dramatic Entrance 04 — Batman and Robin

25 Feb
By Darryl Ayo

First panel of the first page of the first issue of BATMAN AND ROBIN. That’s what I’m about! That’s how you open up, you DO IT BIG!

And you’re probably thinking about the long tradition in American comic books of opening up issues with a large full-page splash panel. You know, those start stories about as big as you can get. Right? WRONGO!

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Look Around You – Reading Images

23 Feb
by Kevin Czap

Ilya Kabakov The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment

Above is an photo of Russian artist Ilya Kabakov’s 1984 installation, The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment. The installation consists of a small apartment that you enter and explore, consisting of about three rooms. The third room, shown above, is closed off, the doorway boarded up making it possible only to peer in at the scene from the outside. This decision, by keeping the viewer from entering into the space and really exploring, makes the piece more of an image. There’s a very limited – frontal – point of view with which to see the work, and so the artist is able to control what we see and how.
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Influences and Process – Tricks of My Trade

21 Feb
by L. Nichols

As a follow-up to my post about Rilke and work ethic, I thought I would talk a bit about various work strategies and some of the ways I implement them into my practice.

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Dramatic Entrance 03 –Preacher

18 Feb
By Darryl Ayo

Page one of PREACHER #8, or page one of the collection UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD.

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Break Yo Neck – Wild Styles

16 Feb
by Kevin Czap

Busta Rhymes Woo Hah

I love work where I can just feel the energy coming off of it. There are a lot of different kinds of this mental energy, though. I’ll probably talk about the various forms from time to time here, but today I wanted to talk specifically about funny energy. I’m talking the unrestrained madcap insanity that sets some funny things apart from others.

One of my favorite rappers is a good example of this kind of crazy energy, so we’ll start by talking about Busta Rhymes. At one point, towards the beginning of his career, Busta was one of the most remarkable artists in hip hop culture. His style was relentless, his flow was unbeatable and my first encounters with him were pretty indelible. I’m pretty sure this assessment of his early work is uncontroversial – he was given his rap name by Chuck D, after all. It took him a while to reach his peak intensity, and unfortunately it wasn’t too much longer after that he mellowed out and gave up on his singular delivery all together.
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Between the Sheets – Joe Sacco’s word placement

14 Feb
by L. Nichols

Back in college, I took a class on comics with the Comparative Media Studies department. This was the first time I really read comics and the first time I fell in love with them. It was also the time when I started drawing comics of my own. Many of our assignments for that class involved page/panel analysis, and I really loved doing this for my own sake. I wanted to figure out tricks. I wanted to know the nuts and bolts. I wanted to understand comics. Now that I have decided be more serious about writing with Comix Cube, I thought I should go back to this practice. Here is the first of many Between the Sheets.


Joe Sacco & his word placement

One thing that always stands out to me in Joe Sacco’s work is his use of word placement to influence page flow/page reading. I have selected two pages each from Palestine and The Fixer (the two books of his that I actually own and have readily at hand) to talk about. I’m not talking about the stories that these pages are taken from, but rather the actual design of the page and how the layout affects the reading of the page.

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Dramatic Entrance 02 — Octopus Pie

11 Feb
by Darryl Ayo

Picking up where we left off last week, here is part two of the Dramatic Entrance” series. Today, I want to talk about common knowledge, assumptions and the value of taking things for granted.

Taking for granted

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We Need to Place Value – Three Thoughts

9 Feb
by Kevin Czap

Fugazi Instrument Dischord Jem Cohen

Let’s talk numbers. I had taken a break from doing these influence talks inadvertently over the past several weeks. Luckily, L has been picking up the slack with her great posts. One that I particularly was excited to read was her riff on mathematics, partly because that was a topic I had thought about a lot and was gearing up to write on myself.

Of course, L and I have different backgrounds when it comes to math – I took the strictly (fine) art route and it’s been nearly a decade since I’ve taken any math courses. However, I can’t help but be fascinated by the subject, at least in terms of its application to areas that interest me more directly. I’ve been told off in the past (or at least disagreed with firmly) by a smarter CASE student when I said this before, but I see mathematics as an intricate language system that is a remarkable tool for helping human beings better understand this world. Numbers are the greatest system designed by men, a declaration supported by the fact that just about every other form of design rely on numbers and math to exist. I fascinated by how well the system works, it’s really beautiful even in its simplest applications.
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Influences and Process – Rainer Maria Rilke

7 Feb
by L. Nichols

The other day, one of my friends said “oh my god give me your work ethic,” and while I can’t do that, what I can do is tell you my thoughts and influences that got me to the place I’m at, particularly Rilke. Or maybe just give it my best shot to at least get you thinking about your work process and how to make it what you want it to be.

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