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COMMUNITY NEWSWhat's new in Comics & Cartoons
Independent Comic Artist Feature vol. IV - ginmau
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
Independent Comic Artist Feature vol. V - misskittyoooo
Now More Than Ever We Need Cartoons - Issue 2
COMIC NEWSHappenings in comics worldwide
The Eisner Awards 2009 nominees, a big fat hyperlinked list that should keep you busy for a while!
Musings on the power of political cartoons
French: Bruxelles BD 2009 : L'exposition « Regards croisés de la bande dessinée belge » ouvre ses portes. (March 26- June 28)
Sampling the Polish comic scene
Suggested by LeBlah
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
RESOURCESLinks to refine your craft
Sound advice for breaking into the mainstream comic industry no magical formula as there are none, but realistic points we all need to address.
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
LeBlah sends this life-saving link to Photoshop shortcuts that can be downloaded and printed as cheat sheets, for all PS versions.
SPOTLIGHTA 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.
TROPE OF THE WEEKStorytelling 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.
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.
Penance (new alter ego of Speedball after he causes many deaths in Civil War) is as bad as the name suggests.
Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels.
Harry Potter frequently takes teenage angst to the point of caricature.
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!
BOOKMARKBlogs and stuff to keep an eye on
Can comics be abstract? Oh yes they can.
Bearskinrug: I won't attempt to describe this one!
My Cardboard Life: Like it says, a webcomic made entirely of paper cut-outs!
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: :thumb117333479: :thumb118740601: :thumb103136096: :thumb118396121:
What is she going to come up with this time?
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,
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