C and C Weekly #3

9 min read

Deviation Actions

Majnouna's avatar
By Majnouna
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What's new in Comics & Cartoons

:pointr: C&C Forum thread: What would you ask the pros? (This is a for a series of features in preparation)


Happenings in comics worldwide

:pointr: Interview with David Polonsky about the adaptation of Waltz with Bachir into a graphic novel, in French. I couldn't find an equivalent English interview but TomDispatch releases two long extracts from the book.
:pointr: Comics to Africa
:pointr: A Deconstructing Comics podcast discussing the adaptation of the novel City of Glass to the comic medium. This is about an hour long and it takes them a while to start discussing adaptation issues per se, but it's particularly interesting because the novel is said to be unfilmable, and the only medium it can be adapted to is comics.
:pointr: 2009 Eisner Awards: Eisner Hall of Fame Nominees Announced, with biographies.


:new:Links to refine your craft

:pointr: "What the heck makes a good character?" A brilliant rundown.
:pointr:  Cartoonists talk about their brushes. Interviewed here: Erika Moen, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Craig Thompson (he also has his own Tool Talk here) and Hope Larson.
:pointr: The job of Comic Book Editor, post 1 and post 2.


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

This week: Flood! A novel in pictures by Eric Drooker
Flood! is the graphic novel par excellence (although it predates the popularization of the term): it is completely silent, truly telling a story in pictures alone*. It is also unique in that it is entirely made in scratchboard, so each page was achieved not by adding ink to paper but by removing black from the page. The result is expressive in a raw, unforgiving way. This limiting medium makes Drooker resort to sequential devices that are simple but somehow gain new interest from their application here: for instance the claustrophobic multiplication of frames as the character sinks into despair (up to 256 thumbnail-sized panels on a page) and sudden appearance of a single color at one point, bearing a meaning made quite clear by the narrative. There is no lack of surreal scenes that suggest, without words, the identity of the narrator – not an impersonal observer but the main character himself, expressing his story in emotional and personal imagery. Flood! is actually the publication of three stories (Home, L, and Flood itself) and also includes an extensive interview of the artist. It is a story to read, but also very much an art book to look at, especially if you're a lover of linocuts, woodblock prints and other black-and-white mediums.
*The only text belongs to a comic inside the comic!

CoverAnimated preview
The posting of these pages for review purposes falls under Fair Use – please do not use them or repost them for other purposes.


Storytelling devices and how to use or NOT use them


Ever feel like you're being hit over the head with something in a story? Like a point is made or a moral is drawn so unsubtly it's like the writer dropping an anvil? That's what is called the anvilicious effect.
Source: tvtropes.org

:bulletred: Every plot in Spiderman seems to be a new rumination on the fact being a superhero is a painful personal dilemma, not to mention the "With great power comes great responsibility" mantra...
:bulletred: Marvel's Civil War. I can't even get myself to write it up, so I'll refer those of you who aren't familiar with the storyline to the Wikipedia article.
:bulletred: As a matter of fact, Marvel's whole portrayal of mutant rejection by "normal" people, a metaphor of the latter's mistreatment of "anyone different", has long stopped being thought-provoking and is now plain heavy.
:bulletred: This episode of the Twilight Zone.

It's almost understandable for this to happen in long-running series like Marvel's, because with a constant stream of new readers, you have to make sure that they pick up the essentials of the series from wherever they start reading. Hence repeating certain things every few issues. Less consciously, if you're working on a comic over a long period of time, you may repeat key points of your story frequently without being aware of it, simply because the work process doesn't allow you to have an overall perspective of the comic. To prevent this, it really helps to go over what you've done so far every time you start a new work session. Better yet, if you're able to prepare your full script before starting worl on the comic, make sure to set it aside for a few days (or weeks even), then pick it up and read it in one go. You'll have the fresh mind of a first-time reader then, and any heavy-handedness or redundancy will jump at you.

One form of Anvilicious that is very common is delivering a point squarely through a character, making painfully and unnecessarily explicit something that should have been conveyed through the story. This is particularly grating when the character delivers a platitude. For instance, a rescue worker in post-Katrina New Orleans commenting: "Man is a wolf for man" or "We are insignificant in the face of nature's fury." No joke! Never mind that the writer is not putting him/herself in the worker's place when he makes him react so unnaturally, but was enlightening the reader with this statement the character's entire reason for existing? If the answer is yes, bin the character and put the reader in his place instead – make the reader see and feel things that would bring him or her to the same conclusion. Show, don't tell. But think carefully of what you want to show, as well. We don't need another story whose whole point is to refute something that shouldn't even be validated, such as "Gays are human too" or "Not all Arabs are terrorists." Trust me, the people who need such notions beaten into them are NOT going to get a change of heart from a comic, and those who already know this are going to wonder what kind of idiot the writer thinks they are. For the example above, it would be better writing, and potentially more compelling, to have an interesting story set in a context where homosexuality is matter-of-factly accepted (you're creating a world where the reader enters freely), than to make the story about the fact it should be accepted (you're telling the reader how s/he should think!) Make it a backdrop, not a lesson.


Blogs and stuff to keep an eye on

:pointr: More French blogs:Margaux Motin and Trop d'la Bulle made me giggle out loud in public.
:pointr: Deconstructing Comics is a podcast by and for comics creators — especially those who are want to hit the big time but haven't, yet. Whether you've got a comic going and you're trying to promote it, or you haven't even started yet and need some help getting rolling, we hope you'll come here for inspiration and tips.


Deviations that didn't make it as DDs, but are still worth a look!
the slave trader by ahmad-nady AIX commission by ebas

Mature Content

I FIGHT LIKE A GIRL by mister-bones
:thumb112024551: :thumb109107965:


What is she going to come up with this time?

:pointr: When Jud Meyers was a young boy, he snuck away from home and without his mother's knowledge or permission, ran off to visit the offices of DC Comics. Read his story here!.


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

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jeriweaver's avatar
Ah, I love your Trope of the week section, thats brilliant!
Trevor-Nielson's avatar
excellent as always! love the brush article...
LeBlah's avatar
Links and recommendations for next time! You may know some or all of these, but I feel they're worth mention.

Coco Wang's Comics - in particular, worth checking out the comics about the earthquakes in the Sichuan province last year.
Kate Beaton makes history fun!
I'm not sure if you knew about El Santo's actual webcomics blog, The Webcomic Overlook, but it's filled with reviews and interesting musings.
The Tomgeeks Collective is a collective for female webcomic creators, and has a strong forum community.
And lastly, a helpful webcomics blog by the name of Winged Wolf Studio, featuring lots of fantastic tutorials that explain things no-one else really does.
Majnouna's avatar
Brilliant, thank you for these! I'm looking at each of them for the next issue :D
Vueiy-Visarelli's avatar
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" was anvilicious. Still, I ignored the tree-hugger agenda and enjoyed the movie for its special effects, lol. When I talked to my parents about it later, they said that it was actually a remake of an older movie, but the moral in THAT one was something about violence against our fellow man. I've never seen it, but maybe it was always anvilicious. :shrug:
Majnouna's avatar
I didn't watch it, but so I heard :nod:
GoldeenHerself's avatar
Your Trope of the Week reminded me of something Ursula K. LeGuin (not a comics professional, but a brilliant story-teller) once said: "I am not an answering machine. I have no messages for you, only stories."

I felt it was a very strong refutation of the whole "message of the story" mantra that a lot of other writers have championed, and it's something I think about whenever I feel my stories are falling into the preachy zone.
Majnouna's avatar
I love Ursula LeGuin! And I think lesser writers don't realize that the concept of a story is not necessarily a message. The concept can be visual, for instance, or address an aspect of storytelling. Or it can be about "hot chicks and lots of action" like in Danger Girl :XD: Nothing wrong with that! Each is to be judged by its own merit :)
WhiteTreeFox's avatar
nice articles this week; thanks guys :)
Sorablue's avatar
I love these weeklies. And the Wild Card was absolutely amazing!
Majnouna's avatar
I'm glad you do :love:
Elixia-Dragmire's avatar
Thanks again for all the cool tips!
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