C and C Weekly

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Deviation Actions

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COMMUNITY NEWS

What's new in Comics & Cartoons

:pointr: Not Comics, but this handy journal details all the categories in the deviantART Related gallery.
:pointr: Mario Gonzàlez aka Zorgia interviewed on the show "Revolver" on Bizarro Radio! Listen to a recording of the show (in Spanish)
:pointr: January DDs for the Comics & Cartoons gallery

COMIC NEWS

Happenings in comics worldwide

:pointr: The big recent event is the 36th Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, which took place from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1. The Festival has an English site where you can catch up with everything that happened during these few exciting days (francophones, allez tout droit au site français). Here I'll mention that the grand prize this year went to Blutch, designated "the Mozart of the bande dessinée nouvelle".
:pointr: Feb. 6-8 will see the New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz Center, NYC. Keep posted here.
:pointr:The New York Times on the challenges of translating Watchmen to the screen

SPOTLIGHT

A closer look at one deviant, author, comic series or graphic novel

Today's focus is on a Belgian series: SODA, by Philippe Tome (writer) and Bruno Gazzotti (artist), a prime example of art and writing of the type associated with Spirou magazine.

David Solomon, aka "Soda", left his small town of Providence to  move to New York, where he joins the NYPD. He never told his mother, however, as her heart is delicate and she already lost Soda's father in the line of duty. He let her believe he was the pastor of a small parish in the Big Apple. Things get complicated when "Mam" follows him and moves in with him. Soda now leads a double life, leaving home every morning in his pastor garb and changing into police attire in the elevator. Such is the backdrop of the police adventures that make up this series, a successful interweaving of hardboiled plots and poking fun – at the plot itself, at the characters, at the authors even (a timid-looking photographer, representing the author himself as he prowls NY gathering research, can be found in each album, usually suffering some kind of misadventure).

The art is a major strength of the series. Gazzotti proffers a very pronounced style that is also completely unhesitant, and although the style is cartoonish, it is built on clear volumes that I for one envy immensely. It takes me entirely too long to read any of the albums in this series, and then I have to go and read it again because I was so busy taking in all the details that I forgot to pay attention to the plot. There is nothing generic in Gazzotti's drawings: everything down to the knuckles of each character has its own identity. The background of the action is alive with details and indeed "extra plots" that are suggsted, and how else could it be in a city such as New York? Every individual on the street is different, and a number of stories are taking place around you at any given moment. This, the authors have rendered lovingly in every issue, as if the story was just a pretext to draw the city's mad diversity and diverse madness – not as a depressing social commentary, as seems to be too often the case these days, but because they are fun and endearing and you have to love it the way it is. Will Eisner would be thrilled.
If I had to pick one thing to be learned from this series, it is how much richer one can make one's comic when giving the background and secondary characters proper attention. Spending time endowing each element with its own personality, its own story, really pays in the end, and ensures your readers will enjoy revisiting each page more than once to step into the world you are creating. Enjoy a few sample pages below!

i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/… i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/…
The posting of these pages 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

Always Chaotic Evil

This is to when a story contains an entire race of bad guys. Not a case of relativity where each side thinks they are the good guys and the others are bad – no, these people know they are evil and may even brag about it. The whole culture somehow agreed to all serve the same evil purpose (because it's easy in real life to make a mass of people agree on one thing, right?).
This was seen so much in older days, in all media, and the trend has not quite disappeared, though nowadays [open] racism is decidedly out of favor, so the evil races tend to be alien and no longer human. One thing worse than having an entire evil race, is to have an entire evil race with one or two "good" exceptions. This is patronizing at best, and no way to create 3d characters!
Source: tvtropes.org

Examples: Marvel Comics's Brood, Star Trek's Klingons. When in doubt, Nazi Germany seems to still be a convenient nest of evil to use, as there is an unspoken consensus that this is noncontroversial to the vast majority (not that I agree or disagree with this, but from a storytelling perspective it's getting old).

In this day and age, with the world at our fingertips making us all much more aware of shades of grey, it is nearly impossible for any writer to get away with such a characterization unless it's framed in a convincing way. Without drifting into politico-social issues, the question that interests us is: How do we avoid Always Chaotic Evil when our story tends to head that way? The simple answer is also the answer, I think, to most writing-related questions: look at real life and historical examples. There are plenty of reasons why a human group can be perceived as, or seem to act as, a single-minded entity, without actually being one. These real-life situations may inspire you solutions to fit your story.
An example that deals with perception is that of the biased narrator: Any chronicler who ever wrote about his nation's enemies, from Julius Caesar to WW2 Russian columnists, has demonized them and so that it becomes impossible to think of them as fellow human beings. A story explicitly told from such a subjective point of view can get away with any amount of this, provided you make it very clear that this is a case of biased narrator. 300 makes use of this approach in its portrayal of the Persians.
Another example where a population can, as a whole, be unsafe to outsiders is that of a population under dictatorship. Such regimes come with secret services so that it is highly dangerous to speak against the regime or have any contact with its enemies (cf. Syria, Myanmar, Stalinian Russia). An outsider has to take care not to speak against the regime, and an "enemy", if found out, would be promptly "disappeared" – as would anyone they dealt with. This is a real-life situation where the danger has nothing to do with personal evil. Plenty of plot-driving tension can be derived from such a reference. Looking into religious taboos, caste systems, propaganda, tribal warfare etc can also yield different approaches.
These were just suggestions off the top of my head. The most important thing is to take a careful look at your story if you think you may have erred in this direction, and do what's appropriate for your plot!

BOOKMARK

Blogs and portals to keep an eye on

:pointr: Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog. "Drawn! is a collaborative weblog for illustrators, artists, cartoonists, and anyone who likes to draw. Visit us daily for a dose of links and creative inspiration."

ALMOST-DDs

Deviations that didn't make it as DDs, but are still worth a look!

StupidFox - 7 by eychanchan Bike Messengers by Schoonz

Mature Content

mer page 3 by 0-4


WILD CARD

What is she going to come up with this time?

:pointr: For inking geeks, here's some Nib Talk!

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

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Comments34
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ShepherdCartography's avatar
I've always had a problem with the RPG morality scale (from which 'Chaotic Evil' is derived)--no one thinks of themselves as evil, or intends to be evil. From a philosophical standpoint, it's an entirely relative term. In terms of storytelling, one should try to delve deeper than that into the motivations of your antagonists; they may be sadistic, ambitious, greedy, or just have a skewed perspective, but the blanket statement of 'evil' does not make for compelling characters.
Majnouna's avatar
Yes, that is very true. I think it may have arisen from a botched transition from the traditional, allegorical storytelling where characters stand for broad notions and not for individuals, to the modern western kind influenced by naturalism and the birth of psychology where developing the characters is important.
CLGCArt's avatar
Love the section on 'Chaotic Evil'.

Will be keeping an eye on this, Cedar. Thanks for forwarding me here. =)

<3
Trevor-Nielson's avatar
youll have to do a ink link with brushes... im always looking to improve the ole brushwork!
Majnouna's avatar
Feel free to submit one ;)
Trevor-Nielson's avatar
but then how will i pick up the tips?

i am going to do a "how to create a comic " on our local show here and hope to do a whole segment of those twisted individuals that choose the brush... love it myself, but it never ceases to be a challenge.

love the column btw.

trevor
Majnouna's avatar
You're in luck! Guess what I just found ;)
Trevor-Nielson's avatar
boo-yah! as more and more turn to wacom the subtle art of the brush has slowly been lost....
Majnouna's avatar
I don't believe that :shrug:
Trevor-Nielson's avatar
i would like to not believe it.....but.....
mechangel2002's avatar
Great article, good to see stuff like this :)
LeBlah's avatar
Damn! I just missed somehow being able to go to Angoulême - I was in Frnce auntil the 26th, then had to go to England... Ah well. I wasn't anywhere near Angoulême anyway.

Also, being unable to remember the name didn't help.

Looking forward to next week!
perkelate's avatar
Great! Thanks for the link to the NYTimes article on Watchmen and to the Drawn! blog.
Vueiy-Visarelli's avatar
I really liked your section on "Trope of the Week." I remember reading a book about drow were every character was "Always Chaotic Evil," which resulted in me not really rooting for anyone. Only one character was slightly less evil than the others, in such a way that she might become a "good guy" one or two novels down the line...but when I'd finished that book, I felt no sense of triumph like you do when there's a real "good guy." The book was well-written and all, but whenever there was a fight, I kinda hoped all involved combatants would die. ^^;

I think I'm really going to enjoy these C&C Weeklies. :)
Thiefoworld's avatar
Awesome! :#1:
I want to hear to zorgia's interview :giggle: *downloads*
HenrikeDijkstra's avatar
Nice! All that info is much welcomed! And nice features too. :)

I`ve read Soda. I don`t like it as much as the other serie Gazzotti involved in (Soda is a bit too dark for me I guess) It`s called `Seuls` in French. In Dutch the title of the series can be translated as `Alone` It`s written by Vehlmann. I like the story, it reminds me of the LOST series. On a random day all the people on earth have disappeared. There is a group of children left who must find a way of surviving and finding out what happened. The atmosphere is mysterious (all those empty streets and wild animals wandering around) and of course it`s beautifully drawn.
The series has three issues for now. Look at dupuis.com for more info. The comic is worth a look!
Majnouna's avatar
Sounds worth a look :)
Elixia-Dragmire's avatar
oh wow! how informative, glad you liked that bike deviantion and thanks for all the tips too!

shame i missed that con in anglomeme, my dad has a villa near there, i could of hijacked it for the visit!
Majnouna's avatar
Of COURSE, I fudged up a link :roll:
oak's avatar
BIG WARNING!!!! DRAWN JUST GOT VIRUSIFIED! I highly suggest you make sure people know before they click, something harmful has happened to that wonderful site. :(
Majnouna's avatar
Can you tell me what's wrong exactly? Is it a risk to click the link at all?
oak's avatar
I'm not sure at the moment, when I open it in chome crazyness happens. And some nokiasystems.cn pops up saying that there is malware and they want me to click a suspicious link. However why I posted a second time was that on Opera I wasn't getting the same crazyness at all. I've run various scans since and have found only "tracking cookies", but I'm still worried. I'm not sure what to do about it, but I thought I should warn you since I noticed this link up.
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