C and C Weekly #11

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Deviation Actions

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By Majnouna
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COMMUNITY NEWS

What's new in Comics & Cartoons

:pointr:  Independent Comic Artist Feature vol. VII - Penril
:pointr: Almost DDs Vol. III
:pointr: Spicy tips for critiques and your own works!


y2jenn and jaster0001 are running a volunteer project for a future graphic novel published under their comic studio, Torn. The full details are here but here's a glimpse:
The Idea: One massive graphic novel, written and drawn by volunteers. I'll start the book with 5 pages, from there I'll pass it to the first volunteer and they add the next 5 moving forward the story however they see fit. The result (hopefully) will be a unique one of a kind graphic novel. The finished product (if all goes well) will be released by Torn Comics. ... Please understand that this is not some money making scheme, if anything it's more like a science project.
Volunteers are wanted both for the script and for the art (5 pages at a time).

COMIC NEWS

Happenings in comics worldwide

:pointr: Molotiu on Fantagraphics' "Abstract Comics": "In June, Fantagraphics will present a collection of such works in "Abstract Comics," an anthology edited by Andrei Molotiu. The book includes short strips by R. Crumb, Gary Panter, and Lewis Trondheim, and original pieces by James Kochalka and others, and is complemented by a blog, which features new work and experiments by anthology contributors. CBR News spoke with editor Andrei Molotiu about the book and blog, the traits of an abstract comic, and the dynamic elements of superhero comics."
:pointr: Unbelievably long and juicy interview of Seth by Tom Spurgeon
:pointr: Toronto folk harken! Paul Rivoche will be teaching an 8-week course in Imaginative Drawing for Comics and Animation at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop, starting July 4th.
:pointr: Scott Mccloud's lecture on TED – not about comics, but a fun personal insight.
Suggested by pietzsche
:pointr: The Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels features Regards Croisés de la Bande Dessinée Belge (Belgian Comics: Frames of Reference) until the end of June. Review here.
:pointr: Bart Beaty on the recently opened Hergé Museum.
:pointr: Le PPPIFBDM (Plus Petit et Plus Informel Festival de BD du Monde) S'est tenu ce week-end: le journal, première et deuxième parties.
:pointr: On the occasion of the publication of Captain America #600, Timothy Callahan offers us a restrospective of the character.

RESOURCES

Links to refine your craft

No resources this time :sniff: Send me some, will ya?

SPOTLIGHT

A closer look at one author, series, graphic novel or theme

This week's spotlight is on Hall of Best Knowledge by Ray Fenwick.

What is a typographic work doing in this section? Actually, HoBK falls all the way to one end of the "graphic novel" spectrum, and a is a beautiful example of how the medium can be pushed in that direction – not images accompanied by words but words becoming images. "Graphic", it certainly is, every page composed, freehand, in a visual theme reminiscent of the over-the-top designs of early poster printing techniques. A "novel" it is also, though that may not be obvious at first. The book features a series of themes (Genius, Conversation,...), each page discussing one. It quickly becomes evident that the narrator is bestowing upon us infinite wisdom he believes to possess, in terms so outrageously narcissistic as to become highly entertaining. The skill and imagination of the author in designing, let alone writing, each page is admirable, all the more so when you read it through and detect the narration in the subtext, leading up to a en ending that explains everything. Not a complex plot, but it threads all the themes together in a buildup rather than being content with making a random collection of funny entries.
This little book certainly made me think of new ways to combine text and image with the intent of making the text the center of interest!

i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/…

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 WEEK

Storytelling devices and how to use or NOT use them

Language mistreatment

Comics may be primarily visual, but they are rarely wordless. It's rather amazing how the text, when not granted sufficient attention, can break the impact of a good story by exasperating readers or, worse, making them giggle. Today we'll look at misuse of language, and in the next edition we'll focus on badly presented language!

:bulletred: Vaguely foreign language: If you have foreign pieces of dialogue in your comic, have someone fluent or better, native in that language do the translation for you – you don't even have to look outside dA nowadays, Found-in-Translation is just one group where you can find volunteers to help you. Using Google Translate is grounds for being banned from the writer community (well, it should be). The character Gambit is one example that drives me insane, though I can't really tell if the people who write his dialogue suck that way of if Louisiana French has actually moved away from the original language so much.
Note that this is particularly important when using foreign slang, as no dictionary can inform you in the subtle nuances of when and by whom slang terms are used. Infamous is the use of the word "bugger", which is harmless in the US but refers to sodomy in the UK. Also some American writers have used "cojones" as a euphemism for "balls", seemingly unaware that it is offensive in Spanish (or maybe the censors were unaware of it and the writers took advantage of that). Don't even get me started on the way some sprinkle "le" in ridiculous places to create a supposedly French accent. By the way, this also goes for writing for a demographic that's different than yours! Older writers writing for a teenage audience sometimes produce laughable stuff.

:bulletred: Expressing accent: Accents are not conveyed in writing, so writers sometimes resort to making the spelling reflect the idiomatic pronunciation of certain characters. Rogue of the X-men is a prime example, and not always a good one. This is a trope that should be used with caution. You don't want to respell all of a character's speech to reflect his or her accent, unless comical unintelligibility is your intention, beause readers will have to stop and decipher the text, especially if they're not familiar with the dialect (as is my case with Rogue, for instance). If you really want to attract attention on the character's difference, go ahead and alter the speech, preferrably in places where it won't challenge comprehension (turning "the" into "de" for instance is harmless because context always makes it clear it is an article). However, if it is more important for the text to come across clearly, you may want to drop this device altogether and use choice words ("lad" and such) rather than respelling.

:bulletred: Foreign Looking Font : Making a character's speech look like it's in a foreign language by using a font made to look like that language's script. A well-used example is rendering Russian by inverting N's and R's (never mind that those particular letters should be read "y" and "ya", not N and R). While this is perfectly appropriate for a satirical or silly setting (Asterix goes to town stereotyping every single nationality this way), using it straight may be offensive at worst and cause rolling eyes at best. Nowadays it's best to use the actual script and find a way to translate it to the reader.

:bulletred: Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Writing a character whose English is odd because it's not their native tongue can provide witty comedy fuel, as is the case with Natalya, a Russian character in Y: The Last Man: "Stay frozen! One small step, and I am executing both your faces!" "Be screwing yourself! I am not letting the only son of Russia grow up to be a homosexualist!"
However, unless your work is explicitly poking fun at stereotypes, if you don't want native speakers to think you didn't do the research, you still have to use that character's native language patterns. You can't make a French character say "It was a faux trail" because the French word for "trail", "piste", is feminine in gender and therefore "faux" would have to take its feminine form "fausse". Similarly, if you're writing your comic in a language that differentiates between a familiar you (French "tu") and a formal you ("vous"), it is absurd to make a speaker of a language devoid of this feature (English, Arabic, ...) use the formal "you" in your language. In real life, an Arab whose French is just sufficient will say "tu" to everyone. On the other hand, Italian uses the 3rd person (feminine) instead of a formal you, and is likely to do so when speaking English.
Another thing is that people will tend to translate language tics from their native language into those they are learning. Arabic speakers may answer the question "How are you?" with "Praise to God!" because that's a common way of answering it in Arabic. Italians do frequently prefix statements with "Ma..." Japanese will continue to use the euphemisms that characterize their language, rather than straight answers like "No." Of course, if you are working with an obscure language you can't expect readers to get the reference, so be wise about this!

:bulletred: Period-appropriate language: Language needs to be appropriate to the period where the story takes place. This doesn't mean your characters should speak exactly as they used to do back then, which would make them incomprehensible to today's readers, but the fact they speak a modern language should not attract attention to itself. For one thing, eliminate all language borrowings that would not intuitively make sense for the time. Medieval England nobility for instance used a lot of French words, and so did Russian upper classes as late as the 19th century; however, to hear a Spanish word in an 13th century English mouth would be extremely odd. So would words and expressions such as "awesome", "gears clicking", "approximation", sound completely out of place, whereas "idiot", which is a relatively modern word, doesn't broadcast that fact so much. This also goes for concepts that should not have been known to characters of a certain place and time. In one volume of Eddings' Belgariad, the description "he had arms like a gorilla" amazed me, but not in a good way. This is a fantasy story where nothing remotely African is ever evoked, what is the word "gorilla" doing there? As another example of things to look out for: whereas gunpowder was known well before guns were invented, obviously it was not known by that name. Mind your language!

:bulletred: Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Because comics are a printed medium, it is very easy to forget oneself and write character dialogues like one would write prose. Sentences are too long and too well formed, the syntax is too careful, the grammar is so perfect as to sound like Spock. If read out loud, the dialogues sound completely unnatural. Yet the other extreme is no better: when we speak we hesitate, stutter, leave sentences unfinished and so on. Putting this on paper just as it is would make it unreadable by anyone else. A compromise is needed: be articulate, but divide sentences into smaller units, favor regular words over their verbose synonyms ("guts" instead of "temerity", unless you're Alan Shore), contract words that you'd contract in speech ("don't", "can't", "plane"). And above all: read your dialogues out loud to yourself, or have someone else read them to you, to check both on how well they get them and how natural they sound.
Bonus: If your characters speak in a natural way, throwing in an excessively eloquent one will make his or her oddity stand out just as it would in real life.

:bulletred: Finally, this should go without saying, but... Don't use a word the meaning of which you're not sure of. Here's a list of commonly misused words, anything there ring a bell? ;)

Inspired by tvtropes.org

BOOKMARK

Blogs and stuff to keep an eye on

:pointr: When I am King is not new, I first read it just 10 years ago, but it remains one of the longest wordless comics out there and an outstanding, humorous use of the web's infinite canvas and animation potential.

ALMOST-DDs


Deviations that didn't make it as DDs, but are still worth a look!
cet apres-midi by Aquafeles Eskimo Dave : The Poster by tyrannus Princess Diana by Franchesco :thumb106329963: Zamrud Pancasona-Page 03 by zamzami vakantie by Ewwiej WW2: The fear of Europe by Phobs Witchblade Trinity by AdmiraWijaya Color Script by Tonywashingtonart MX issue 1 Preview: Page 3 by Tentopet :thumb119391992: Red beauty Vitrum vitamins by Dookartsy

WILD CARD


What is she going to come up with this time?

:pointr: Comics Are Art. Just Funnier. Ad campaign for the Comics Museum in Lucca :D
:pointr: Zip A Tone homage

............................................................................................................

See you next week!
Your C&C Gallery Moderators,
:iconmajnouna: :iconthiefoworld:

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Comments22
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Rose-Rayne's avatar
jeriweaver's avatar
Awesome trope this week =D
Vueiy-Visarelli's avatar
Ah s';pose uh Suthern twang is a lil' difficult fa' most people ta' read...but I always enjoyed Rogue's dialogue, as well as Bunny Rabbot's (Sonic comics). But, then again, I'm from Texas, where that accent certainly isn't unheard of (although I'd say most people don't sound like that). One of the hardest ones to read, though (IMO), is black slaves--and later freemen--(from America, circa 1800s). Not only is it difficult to write, every time I read it (even in novels written during that time period), it makes my brain hurt.
Majnouna's avatar
That first sentence alone made my brain hurt! :lol: dayum!
evafortuna's avatar
Another sweet C&C weekly! Thanks for your continued efforts! One minor note, the link for "dev : foundintranslation" didn't work, and I couldn't get it to work using the: foundintranslation (dot) deviantart (dot) com either.
Majnouna's avatar
Oops, it should have been ~Found-in-Translation :S
evafortuna's avatar
LeBlah's avatar
Teensy nitpick: I'm not sure that 'diction' is the right word to use up there - I'm fairly certain that it only applies enunciation, and not style.

Actually, I just looked it up and it said that, "its original and primary meaning was choice of wording ... the second, more common meaning, relates to enunciation". So there you go. It does bring up the interesting question of the difference between what works on a page, and what doesn't, but also elegantly segues into this interesting link, which is a criticism and further link to another criticism on unrealistic dialogue in webcomics. Tada! It's quite an interesting read.
Majnouna's avatar
It's the title of a trope, not my usage :) Thanks for the link!
Pretty-Angel's avatar
Is it just me or did you forgot to insert the link to Scott Mccloud's lecture on TED?
Majnouna's avatar
It's just you ;) read the whole thing, will you?
Pretty-Angel's avatar
I read the whole thing. Still don't get a link to that particular thing. When I click on it I just get a redirect to http:// with no address. Everything else works fine. O_o
Majnouna's avatar
Oh that's what you meant! Bloody hell :shakefist: It should work now :)
Pretty-Angel's avatar
What else should I mean? :lol:
Majnouna's avatar
That it's just not there!
Pretty-Angel's avatar
Na, wouldn't make much sense. How should I've known you wanted to include it? XD
Majnouna's avatar
Well for a moment I thought you were the person who sent me the link, monitoring whether I included it :XD:
View all replies
Birdee-Blake's avatar
Augh now I'm going to be stuck on TVTropes for hours!

But, that's okay 8D.
TheOnlyWarman's avatar
just want to add one thing a perfect example of accents in regualr speech would be Don Rosa's scrooge mcduck and the whole mcduck clan in scotland, also throughout his book the life and times of scrooge he did great accent representation but that's expectable since he researches meticioulously anyhting before starting, and also the english version of asterix did that along with fonting the different languages.
Elixia-Dragmire's avatar
another selection of awesome almost DD's
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