C and C Weekly #7

13 min read

Deviation Actions

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By Majnouna
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What's new in Comics & Cartoons

:pointr: Independent Comic Artist Feature vol. IV - ginmau
:pointr: Featured chat with jeriweaver in <a  href="chat.deviantart.com/chat/CandC">#C&C</a>, Sunday April 19 at 20:30 GMT! Our former GM has dedicated herself fully to her comic, Daqueran, since she put down her hat, and it's time we discovered Miss Kitty the comic author. This will be your chance to interrogate ask questions and also participate in a trivia. A copy of Daqueran #1 will be given away to the winner :w00t: Read the interview below first:
:pointr: Independent Comic Artist Feature vol. V - misskittyoooo
:pointr: Now More Than Ever We Need Cartoons - Issue 2


Happenings in comics worldwide

:pointr: The Eisner Awards 2009 nominees, a big fat hyperlinked list that should keep you busy for a while!
:pointr: Musings on the power of political cartoons
:pointr: French: Bruxelles BD 2009 : L'exposition « Regards croisés de la bande dessinée belge » ouvre ses portes. (March 26- June 28)
:pointr: Sampling the Polish comic scene
Suggested by LeBlah
:pointr: A book review of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's autobiographical graphic novel provides a nice cross-cultural comparison between the manga and comic artists and work conditions of their respective artists. Comes with a free preview of parts of 14 pages of the book .
Suggested by perkelate


Links to refine your craft

:pointr: Sound advice for breaking into the mainstream comic industry – no magical formula as there are none, but realistic points we all need to address.
:pointr: The Submission Guidelines for every Comic and Manga Publisher in the Universe: The title is only a mild exaggeration, as this is a fantastic list of active publishers, briefly stating their submission requirements and linking straight to their submission pages. A must bookmark.
Spotted by JohnnyZito
:pointr: LeBlah sends this life-saving link to Photoshop shortcuts that can be downloaded and printed as cheat sheets, for all PS versions.


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

This week's spotlight is on a webcomic: The Lady's Murder by Eliza Frye. This is actually a mystery story in 32 pages, that first appeared in Narrative Magazine in Fall 2008 and has been nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award. As the title states, a lady has been murdered, and as that fact is too clear to bear repeating, the reader is brought straight into the investigation as if he or she was the investigator: a string of characters speak to us of the victim. In so doing, they reveal their relationship to her and brush a vivid portrait that ends up elucidating the resolution.  

Though web-based, The Lady's Murder is made in traditional media – watercolor and/or inks, it seems. The texture of the paper that peeks through the flat areas of color adds that much richness to the bold style chosen by Eliza. The work is very visually-oriented, with only minimal speech, at times moving away from the sequential narrative to present us with striking compositions. Most notable is the use of fully saturated primary and secondary colors – magenta, yellow, purple, blue – that set a theme for each of the characters, who stand out in stark black and white. Some could point out that the art style lacks consistency, but others might respond that it is a prime example of why consistency is overrated, so I'll leave it up to the individual reader. I for one delighted in it and was thrilled to see it was available in print ;)

To read the story, start here.


Storytelling devices and how to use or NOT use them

Angst vs. Wangst

There is angst, and there is wangst, a contraction of "whiny angst". Angst refers to the inner difficulties experienced by a character – grief, dilemma, self-doubt, etc – that provide opportunities for the character to grow and for the audience to relate to him or her. Wangst is angst gone wrong. It's when the character's response to inner conflict is so poorly written, you want to slap them and tell them to get a grip.
:bulletred: Spiderman was one of the first superheros to deal with serious angst, and generally that is played off well, but in the movies the balance is lost and by the third one, rather than having grown up, he's just wallowing in wangst.
:bulletred: Penance (new alter ego of Speedball after he causes many deaths in Civil War) is as bad as the name suggests.
:bulletred: Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels.
:bulletred: Harry Potter frequently takes teenage angst to the point of caricature.
Source: tvtropes.org

Angst, well dosed, is good. It's the salt on a story. You're not likely to find a good character who has achieved complete serenity in a leading role, because a perfect character, one who has nowhere to go in terms of growth or fulfillment, is uninteresting and sometimes downright annoying. Let's face it, even real people who can do no wrong sometimes grate. However, inner turmoil is not a simple recipe for good story tension, and too much of it will most definitely make the character just as disconnected from reality, which means readers won't engage with them. You want readers to feel "I know what that feels like..." not "Oh for God's sake GET A GRIP".
It's important to identify your audience in order to inject the right kind of angst. In a story directed to adults, the fears of a child faced with school difficulties won't elicit empathy because adults will have acquired a broader perspective on those early worries, and whatever they feel, it won't be sharing the character's anxiety. Inversely, the heartache of an old man who contemplates the last years of his life without having accomplished anything meaningful will seem very abstract to a young audience, for whom life appears inexhaustible. That is not to say a story has to identify a single target group and cater to it single-mindedly – it is a very rich story that allows readers from very different walks of life to identify through different characters.
It must be said here that young writers are at a disadvantage: life experience, and in particular encounters with lots of different people, are the source material from which insighftul creators derive great characterizations. It is difficult to acquire such a database while in school, where one tends to be exposed almost exclusively to one's peers and family. I am not pointing this out to rule out young writers, but to emphasize to them that this is an area they can't afford to overlook – looking closely at real people.
When an author has some really well written characters, it's not that they drew up a shopping list of personality traits they wanted them to have, and then assembled them like lego. It's that their eyes are really open to real life people, and this translates into characters with true depth. If you contemplate people you (think you) know well, you'll notice that each and everyone of them has some kind of story, of apparent contradiction, of motivation that, in a story context, would appear fresh and interesting. For instance, I don't have to cast very far around me to find: a lawyer who doesn't heat his employees' office but wears only white since the death of his baby daughter 25 years ago; a jewelry designer cornered by the crisis into taking up a job as a driver, his creative nature doomed to boredom for the foreseeable future; an older son amidst a gaggle of sisters who finds himself burdened with passing on the family name while he's never been able to get over being turned down by the one woman he wanted to marry; a girl with a disfiguring birth mark, and all the difficulties that implies, and so on and so forth. Everyone has a story. These stories, especially when they can be anyone's story, are what make characters compelling, and they don't have to be horrible tragedies. Ever noticed how everyone seems to be competing for the darkest, most horrible backstory these days? This is a very narrow take on the notion that we need angst in a story, and in my opinion, this doesn't call on the reader's ability to connect to character but on morbid fascination. Does it work? Sure, for a while, until someone with a more appalling past comes along... You get the idea. As writer, you'll know best what you want for your story – just make sure it's a conscious creative choice!


Blogs and stuff to keep an eye on

:pointr: Can comics be abstract? Oh yes they can.
:pointr: Bearskinrug: I won't attempt to describe this one!
:pointr: My Cardboard Life: Like it says, a webcomic made entirely of paper cut-outs!
:pointr: Today Nothing Happened, the blog of a student of sequential art –some of these may feel awfully familiar!
Suggested by LeBlah


Deviations that didn't make it as DDs, but are still worth a look!
:thumb110069411: Sheep you can actually see by MyNameIsMad :thumb117333479: Nightmare by Shearin :thumb118740601: :thumb103136096: Sheep you can actually see by MyNameIsMad Wrong cartoon by NickNP :thumb118396121: son of m 1 by SABOGSINTIDO fetus_page 2 and 3 by makulayangbuhay An Abstract Love Story by rcsi1


What is she going to come up with this time?

:pointr: Have you wanted to make a comic font with your own lettering? This site allows you to do this for free – at least until they hit the 250,000 fonts mark. Or you can go with Fontifier, which charges a very modest $9.


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

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Syrae-Universe's avatar
Finally, my partner gets a bit of recognition.

Awesome job, Mik. You earned to be noticed. <3
TheOnlyWarman's avatar
hey one of your almosts made it into a DD
Majnouna's avatar
What do you mean?
The-Mirrorball-Man's avatar
For some reason I keep forgetting that this newsletter exists.
Majnouna's avatar
Gasp! How can you?
The-Mirrorball-Man's avatar
I know. I'm not proud of it, trust me, but what can you do? :no:
abnormaltoonage's avatar
Wonderful, as usual
MuffinMachine's avatar
Thanks for this!

I really liked "Cardboard Life" and "Today Nothing happened", great recommendations.
Doublecrash's avatar
Absolutely precious advice on storytelling, J. :clap:

Many authors should print this poster-size and put it on the wall behind their PCs :)
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