Archive | March, 2011

The Magic of Design

7 Mar
by L. Nichols

In English, the word design is both a noun and a verb (which tells one a lot about the nature of the English language). As a noun, it means – among other things – ‘intention’, ‘plan’, ‘intent’, ‘aim’, ‘scheme’, ‘plot’, ‘motif’, ‘basic structure’, all these (and other meanings) being connected with ‘cunning’ and ‘deception’. As a verb (‘to design’), meanings include ‘to concoct something’, ‘to simulate’, ‘to draft’, ‘to sketch’, ‘to fashion’, ‘to have designs on something’. 1

When I first read Flusser’s essay about the nature of the word design (About the Word Design 1), I was simultaneously floored and also a little angry.

A designer is a cunning plotter laying his traps. 1

As someone who studied engineering, as someone who works as a graphic designer, as an artist, I felt attacked , accused of blatant deception. But the more I thought about what he was getting at, the more I realized that there was a definite basis of truth to the claim of designer as a trickster/deceiver. Maybe being a deceiver isn’t such a bad thing.

I always hear comics people talking about design. Page design/layout. Character design. Book design. Website design. Etc. etc. etc. But what does this really mean? If we agree that design is about deception and manipulation, is tricking/being tricked really such a bad thing?

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Dramatic Entrance 05 — The End

4 Mar
By Darryl Ayo

Okay, I’m going to switch my style up a little bit. The page above is  NOT the first page of Ran Brown’s webcomic THE END. It’s actually the fifth page.

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Looking Funny

2 Mar
by Kevin Czap

drawings by Vincent Giard

A while ago, the ever-inspiring Frank Santoro wrote up a little soapbox on Comics Comics about drawing style. His position seemed to be a yearning for artists who were mean with a pencil in that representational way Noel Sickles, Alex Toth and Jaime Hernandez (his examples) were known for. Frank was wondering where all the naturalism had gone, seeing a trend away from this style of observational drawing in alt comics. What there tends to be a lot of is what Frank terms as mannerism, or affected drawing.
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