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COMMUNITY NEWSWhat's new in Comics & Cartoons
is open for commissions details here.
Lest ye forget, so is right here
COMIC NEWSHappenings in comics worldwide
Bolzano Comics 2009 calls for entries in a No Words contest. Deadline: August 15.
Interview with JIm Ottaviani from GT Labs, award-winning writer of comics about scientists.
The 2009 Russ Manning Award Nominees.
London Movies Comics Manga Expo took place on May 23-24.
In this Nicola Scott appreciation post, J. Caleb Mozocco takes a subjective but interesting look at one of the superhero industry's rare female comic artists. I highlight it because the way Caleb looks closely at the work and notes what makes its strength is exactly the way aspiring comic artists can learn from their rolemodels in the field.
Ecolobulles: Europe Écologie est un rassemblement de citoyen-nes né d'une ambition : celle de fédérer le « peuple écologiste » en vue des élections européennes du 7 juin 2009. Vous êtes dessinateur de BD, BD-blogger, savez manier un crayon ou votre logiciel de dessin favori ? Envoyez-nous vos planches, dessins et esquisses à firstname.lastname@example.org et nous les publierons ici !
The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival 2009 is on June 6-7 in NYC.
This insane post will be really helpful to anyone planning on attending San Diego Comic Con International in July (yes, start planning now!): 100 Tips For Attending San Diego's CCI 2009!
RESOURCESLinks to refine your craft
Very sound Tips for organizing your FTP for webcomickers with their own website!
This is a wonderful and thought-provoking roundtable discussion about Thought Balloons, and Other Abandoned Storytelling Techniquesbringing up many points about speech bubbles and lettering that should not be taken for granted.
And while we're at it, here's a useful glossary of lettering terms.
wants to help you! "We're a resource to help people who want to get into comics to help them by giving advice, critiques, and pointing them in the right direction when they want to make contacts in the comic book business. We also plan on posting tutorials on coloring for comics and other tutorials that will be helpful to those who want to get into the comic book business."
SPOTLIGHTA closer look at one author, series, graphic novel or theme
This week's spotlight is on The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell and Dan Best.
I ordered this book based solely on a preview of the first 3 pages. I had not read any of Campbell's work, though I was aware he was a household name among comic critics for some reason. It turned out to be one of my most exciting discoveries in this field, a graphic novel that is not so much about the story being told but about the way a graphic novel tells a story. In that sense this is one of the "truest" graphic novels out there, one that could never be translated into any other medium. The margins, for instance, are used in ways that increasingly interact with the story, and the characters have a certain awareness that they are part of a story being told, and keep referring to "the next episode". Saying more on this matter would spoil the joy of the discovery. As for the story itself, it follows a troupe of circus artists through history and geography, from the French-Prussian war to the sinking of the Titanic. Monsieur Leotard actually passes away at the very beginning, leaving his nephew Etienne to replace him and pretend he is the legendary Leotard. This just to give a feel of the "color" of the story, as, again, all the interest and the pleasure is in the humorous and smart ways in which it is told. All this in wonderful watercolors that tighten up or unravel as needed, keeping the visuals in a sort of artistic blur that befits the ever-mobile world of the circus stage.
For anyone seeking insights into what makes the comic medium unique, this volume is an education unto itself.
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The posting of the pages above for review purposes falls under Fair Use please do not use them or repost them for other purposes.
TROPE OF THE WEEKStorytelling devices and how to use or NOT use them
Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny
If you've been a regular reader of this newsletter, you know that the tropes section focuses on instances of poor or problematic writing, the goal being to make writers (both young and seasoned) aware of such pitfalls and whether their own writing may fall into them. What I'd like to emphasize today is that it is almost always possible to turn a "bad writing" trope into something that works, provided you know what you're doing (and are willing to take a chance). In particular, every time you see me write "Don't do this", keep in mind the 2 major exceptions: the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny.
The Rule of Cool states that "the limit of the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its degree of coolness." Basically, if it's awesome enough, nobody will mind that it's impossible/stretched to breaking point/implausible/etc. However, different people will have different definitions for what is cool enough to pass muster, so the writer has to really know who his or her audience is and what will make it tick. No matter what, this remains a gamble, so it's mostly done by well-known writers with thick skin who have little to lose from the occasional stunt. Bear in mind that no matter how cool you think something is, there will always be someone that makes fun of it. If the writing is overall poor, they'll be right. If on the other hand you've written a strong piece and are only stretching it in select points, you can safely tell yourself they just don't get it
The Rule of Funny is similar, invoking instead the degree of hilariousness: anything is fine if the result is funny enough. This may not work in every context. Only a story that is in itself funny can bear a moment THAT funny; in a drama or serious action story, it would most likely come across as nonsensical. The Rule of Funny works even better for spoofs and stories that break the fourth wall, because a story that pokes fun at itself or something outside itself is justified in using even the very worst tropes in the book. It will always come across as poking fun at the trope itself.
Don't go and think comedy or parody are the refuge of a poor writer for this reason, though: all this comic potential can very well fall flat if not skillfully crafted.
Inspired by tvtropes.org
BOOKMARKBlogs and stuff to keep an eye on
I am a fan of Les Madeleines de Mady, a comic blog (in French) named after the cakes made famous by Proust (a bit of them brought memories flooding back to him, that would fill pages and pages): the author tells random moments of her life in a lovely, light style. Funny and touching, inspires emulation!
Comicsresearch.org primarily covers book-length works about comic books and comic strips, from "fannish" histories to academic monographs, providing detailed information and guidance on further research.
Bloomerland the official C. Tyler website
Girl-wonder.org: "A collection of sites dedicated to female characters and creators in mainstream comics. Our goals are to foster an attentive, empowered audience community and to encourage respect and high-quality character depiction within the industry."
Deviations that didn't make it as DDs, but are still worth a look!
:thumb122884611: :thumb123510353: :thumb123875500: :thumb106329963:
What is she going to come up with this time?
ComicsML: A proposed simple markup language for online comics. Needless to say, this is for programming geeks.
See you next week!
Your C&C Gallery Moderators,
Feedback and suggestions can be sent to Majnouna
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Just Published! Inks and Paints of the Middle East
I hope everyone's well and keeping safe! Since January, and especially during the last 3 months of (ongoing) isolation, I have worked on this groundbreaking book: A handbook of materials and art technology used in early Islamic manuscripts, for artists and art lovers alike. This is a concise, approachable, illustrated manual examining the main materials used in manuscripts during the Abbasid period, their qualities, and when safe, how to prepare and use them. 126 pages in full colour, A5-sized and wirebound for maximum practicality, with all the necessary technical info (such as the difference between paint and ink, binders, other additives) and lots of historical recipes! It is largely based on medieval Arabic inkmaking treatises that have not been translated, let alone by someone experienced in the use of these materials, so this material is being brought to a general audience for the very first time. The book is now available from my shop, but please be patient with
Crowdcast Today/Tonight April 2nd
I'll be chatting with my fellow artist and host Shayla Maddox about creating while under lockdown, past experiences of same, and related topic. Everyone's welcome, join us here at 1pm PDT (that's 21:00 GMT): https://www.crowdcast.io/e/t42_joumana/register
Lebanese Homecooking book
Did I never post about this?? Weird! My Lebanese cookbook was published about a year ago. If you're interested in a nice selection of over 30 Lebanese recipes, all illustrated and easy to follow, with an introduction to ingredients and the merest whiff of snark sprinkled throughout, look no further! You can grab it in my Cedarseed shop, where there are also other random food-related items for stocking fillers.
Natural inks for Inktober
For Inktober I made... ink! As part of my return to natural materials, I started making my own calligraphy ink, based on ancient and durable recipes, and went on to experiment with what I could find while out foraging. I prepare them in small batches in my studio and they are completely environment-friendly. They are available in my shop and 20% off during the month of October, but let me tell you a little about them. OAK GALL INK or iron gall ink was the medium used to write on parchment since Antiquity (encompassing Bibles, Qur'ans, even the Magna Carta), before paper brought carbon inks to the fore. The main component is tannin, extracted