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I joined Darryl at the House of Twelve Comic Jam tonight, and it was a pretty awesome time. I brought a brand new box of Crayola 64 crayons (with built-in sharpener!) and we went a little nuts.

This is what happens when you let me and Darryl have the crayons: )
This is what happens when we let the other delinquents at the jam have the crayons:  )


Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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I got my Industry City Distillery business cards this week.

FINALLY! This has been a work in progress for a while because we went back and forth a lot on what the right titles to put on my card would be.

This is what I ended up with:

Yes, you read that right (if it is large enough to read). The last thing on my card says “comics.” Which, to be fair, I have drawn a couple of comics about the distillery. Still, it begged the question:

To be fair, Dave spends the most time around me separate from everyone else, so he’s getting victimized in comic form so far, but I’m running into the difficulty that when all the people you draw are little circles with eyes, and you work with five bearded gents, I need to make them look dissimilar enough that people can follow what is going on. I’m working on it! I have several pages in my sketchbook full of doodles right now.

Yup, I’m not going to have fun with this or anything.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Sometimes, I will be sitting around chit-chatting with people and maybe [info]liret will say to me, “Hey, Tea, that comics tribute thing you’ve been working on is on the front page of CNN

And then I forget that I have not been telling you all enough about my life lately, mostly because I’ve been so busy, doing things like building a site, where, tomorrow at midnight EST, I’ll be posting the work of close to 100 syndicated newspaper cartoonists who were part of our project to pay tribute to the 10th anniversary of 9/11

I am really proud of this as a New Yorker and as someone whose life was profoundly affected by the events of that day, both emotionally and physically.

If you pick up a paper that carries comics on Sunday anywhere in the US, you will see cartoonists from all over the world recalling their memories of that day, thanking our firefighters and police and military men and women for their service, paying respects to those who died, and contemplating how we have changed and grown since that day. The variety of voices and messages is pretty astounding– it’s almost a hundred different people who volunteered to take part.

I spent the past few weeks working on this project, and I’ve seen every comic in the collection. A lot of them made me cry.

On the website, there are also links to the five museums who will be showing exhibits of some of the work from this project. You should try to catch it one of the shows if you are in NYC, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh or San Francisco, or pick up a newspaper this Sunday, even if you’re not in the habit.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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For those of you in the New York area, on Thursday night, I’ll be moderating a panel at MoCCA, called “The Humor Behind Six Chix

You can read more about it here!

Joining me will be Rina Piccolo, whom you know from our jam comics if not from her other awesome amazing comics, Isabella Bannerman, and Anne Gibbons, who, together, make up three of the Six Chix.

They will be talking about the syndicated comic they create together (one cartoonist per day of the week, with Sundays alternating). They are three awesome ladies, and you should definitely stop by.

The event will start at 7pm on Thursday. If you are a MoCCA member, it is free. It is $5 for non-members. Do drop in!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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So this weekend, Rina and I will be at MoCCA Fest and it will be glorious!

If you stop by, you can find us here:

That is Table G10! Just like the Countries participating in the GAB.

Rina is going to have an all-new Velia, Dear book. I am going to have my new Tarot Deck, plus two new minis and assorted not-new minis. And I will be doing Tarot readings, too!

Please stop by! I will be happy to see you!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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So, on Thursday night, Rina and I did our comic jam thing.

We decided that we were going to do one jam where we could do whatever we please, as usual, and one where we WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DEVIATE FROM REALITY. That meant, like, no talking severed heads or things like that because that doesn’t happen in real life (they tell me).

Here they are for your perusal! Can you guess which is which?

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Hey, everybody! Guess what I did?

I made a new blog for Bizarro!. It is just like the old blog, except it is a new blog!

Hooray! Everyone go there right now.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Hey, everybody! The awesome comic, Oh, Brother!, is partnering with Role Mommy to run a contest where a kid will be drawn into the Oh, Brother! comic strip. You’ll be able to see it in print and on line!

To enter, your child needs to draw a picture of him or herself, and then you can go here to enter the contest. (Parents have to enter for their kids, of course!)

If you have an artistically-inclined kid, or a kid who would like to be a cartoon character, make sure to send in an entry for them!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Eek, I have been failing so bad at posting! I am busy busy with so many things lately. Rina and I did another jam comic session a while back, and we did these awesome comics. The rule for these ones was just that we started with titles and had to keep on the theme of the title!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Hey, everybody!

We have a (sort-of) new comic launching today! Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog, which has been a popular webcomic on GoComics for four years, is rebooting with KFS today!

Starting today, Bleeker will be on www.bleekercomics.com where you will be able to read it for free every day!

I am very excited to have built the new Bleeker website! Jonathan Mahood, the cartoonist behind Bleeker is an awesome guy and budding beer connoisseur (which earns him extra points with me) and you should go read it right now!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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I fail so much! Last week, Rina and I had a drawing night and we did two jam comics. She remembered to post them; I didn’t! I blame the fact that by Friday evening, I had done something horrible to my neck and was in abject pain all weekend. Fail!

Anyway, here they are. The first one is a normal jam. The other one is a tic-tac-toe jam. Tom Hart sent me a couple tic-tac-toes that he and Matt Madden did, so we decided to try it! Rina was Os and I was Xes

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Rina and I haven’t had a Draw Nite in a few weeks, and we finally had one again last night!

Apart from having really good Chinese takeout and Sazeracs, and chatting a lot about drawing and writing, we drew this:

The Ambulance

Poor Toto!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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I can finally tell you all about an awesome project I’ve been working on at work the past several weeks.

Comics Go Pink!

Next Sunday, 56 of the King Features comics will be printed in pink (or mostly pink, or use pink as a significant color in the strip) in EVERY NEWSPAPER that they appear in. We are also raising money for breast cancer research, either through donations or by bidding on our auction for an original piece of artwork by Dan Piraro.

I designed the website, and today it was featured in the New York Times!

More importantly, I imagine almost everyone reading this has been affected by breast cancer in some way. I know a lot of different activities and events take place in October, and I just wanted to say that I hope that beyond any money we raise, you know that we are all behind you 100% and support you and your loved ones. Next Sunday, we’ll be posting all the comics that “went pink” for the event so that you can take a look at them all even if your local newspaper doesn’t carry them.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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This weekend, I spent some time sorting and packing up books that have been living at my parents’, so they can take the trek from Connecticut to my apartment that actually has space for books in Queens.

While doing this, I found a diary from 1984. Let’s just get this straight. In 1984, I was 6 years old.

There were only two pages in the entire diary filled out. I scanned them in so you could see.

Those are the only pages I filled in the entire book. Draw what conclusions you will.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

On Drawing

Sep. 19th, 2010 12:11 am
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Rina posted a link to this article on Friday, and I have been thinking about it and about my own art experiences as they apply.

The article doesn’t really say anything new– in fact, it sounds an awful lot like the intro-to-drawing class that I took my sophomore year of college. But it made me think about it again.

I have a lot of friends who fall into the “I can’t draw!” category. I can even pinpoint about when it happened, age-wise, because it was sometime in middle school. I was always the kid who wanted to draw with my friends. But sometime around ten or eleven, that’s when the other kids didn’t want to draw, were embarrassed to show their drawings, especially if they felt the other artists in the group were the “better” ones.

When I was very young, around seven, I think, I wasn’t the best artist in the class. I was probably fair-to-middling. But I wanted to be a good artist. There were so many other things I wasn’t so good at but that I tried a couple of times and promptly ignored, because I didn’t see myself liking them enough to put a lot of effort into getting good. But I ached to be a good artist. And I started working at it, the only way a seven-year-old knows how, by copying images I saw elsewhere, until I understood how they were constructed. I copied comics and pictures from coloring books and picture books. I drew eyes and noses to look like the ones the little cartoon people in our CSMP workbooks. I copied the way my older neighbor drew hair, and then found my own way to draw hair, when I realized that you don’t have to draw every line of an object but that a basic shape will suffice.

And by middle school, I could draw. I was the kid who did the drawings on the front of various school publications and flyers and handbooks. I illustrated articles in the school newspaper. And I loved it. But the more I loved it, the more I excelled at it, the more the kids around me hated it. I remember in sixth or seventh grade, having an assignment where we had to draw our shoe in pencil, much like the illustration accompanying the article I linked to. I not only drew my shoe, but the shoes of two other girls in my class, because they simply couldn’t bear to do the assignment– not because the didn’t understand it, not because they didn’t know how, but because they were ashamed to have to hang up their own work. I don’t even think it was a question of a grade; we got graded in art based on participation, not quality of work. It was a question of having something nice to give to their parents.

Then I moved on to high school, and my art education ended abruptly. My high school had an art program, but due to state requirements and scheduling constraints, it was impossible to take both art and music. And I was in the band, and unwilling to drop band for the intro art class which mainly involved more craft-type projects than the kind of intensive art education I so craved.

I studied on my own, buying books of famous artwork and copying them, the secondhand version of setting up an easel in a museum to duplicate a masterwork. I copied illustrations in picture books, too, and frames of Disney movies and anime. I copied photographs.

But no one ever taught me how to draw from life, to look at a thing and render it on paper. I tried; God knows I tried, but no matter how many times people asked me to draw them, I did a much better job copying a photograph than I could ever do drawing them from life. My life-drawings looked distorted, features the wrong shape where I substituted in the semiotic language I knew for the shape I was not looking at as skillfully as I should have. I never got to take a drawing course; later, after I dropped band to continue in physics, I spoke to the art teacher about picking up art. I showed her my sketchbooks, filled to the gills with drawings that were quite good for someone with no formal education (and still look quite good to me in that context, even when I see them today), and she told me I would have to start n the intro art class, the one that was not all drawing. I was heartbroken– I was going to be a senior; I saw no point in taking that course. Maybe she thought I needed fundamentals, but I have a feeling that this was more a case of having a strict rule about prerequisites that was totally inflexible, even when a student was going to graduate without getting to take the class she desperately wanted to take.

I got to college, and couldn’t get into a drawing class my freshman year, so I started in basic drawing my sophmore year. It was one of the hardest, most challenging classes I had ever taken. At first, I hated my professor, didn’t understand the lessons he was trying to impart; thought he was teaching me the wrong things. All he wanted to do was teach us how to see things, not to do the things that I thought of as basics or fundamentals, like how to control a piece of charcoal. And he wouldn’t let me use the materials I was most comfortable with, like pencil. There was one girl, who had been taking art classes for years and years and years, whose assignments were always the ones he held up as the paragon of whatever lesson we were meant to have learned. I lamented to him, publicly, in front of the whole class, that I couldn’t draw what I was seeing because I didn’t know how to use the materials to get the effect I wanted to communicate. And that it was unfair to expect someone like me, with no training, to be able to use materials as adeptly as someone like her. I really thought the only difference was in how facile we each were with the materials.

And he spent an entire class teaching us how to hold our charcoal and how to erase and how to control it so that something was darker or lighter.

This teacher wouldn’t let me copy from a photograph, and wouldn’t let me use my imagination. One class, he set up this huge, towering sculpture of cardboard boxes, and challenged us all to “draw what you see.” I was still of the basic, naive belief that when someone says “draw what you see,” they mean “draw what you imagine when you look at this.” A Rorschach test, of sorts. I never in a million years imagined he meant it literally.

It was a hard year, in that class. At the end of the semester, I transferred into another class, claiming scheduling grief when in reality I thought that he simply didn’t understand what I was trying to get out of the class. I felt like a failure in his class, when there were so many students who literally had not drawn before they’d taken it who got better critiques than I did, no matter how hard I worked. So I switched.

And when I switched, something happened. I’m not sure what, exactly, but with my new teacher, I started to grasp the things my first teacher had been trying to teach me. I started to realize that he had been right.

Within a few weeks, my second teacher had to stop teaching due to the cancer that would eventually take her life. My teacher from my first class stepped in to teach this one. And suddenly, I understood everything he said. I could follow his instructions. And I could see the world the way he had been trying to teach me to see all along. I understood the importance of the tools he was trying to give me. And suddenly, when he would choose pieces to show to the entire class as examples of how the assignment was to be done properly, my work was included as often as the work of the students who had been taking formal art lessons for years and years.

It was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Literally and figuratively. And though I may still never understand how to draw in perspective, or how foreshortening is supposed to work, or any of those basic things that are supposed to make a person a good artist, that was the year I learned how to see.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Last night, Rina came over to play! And by play, I mean draw.

When I was a little kid, my favorite game would be to sit with my friends and both draw the same thing at the same time.

None of my friends liked this game. They would usually get bored after the first one. I have a sketchbook from when I was a kid, where I used to have “theme pages.” There was a clown page and a cheerleader page and some other pages, but those are the ones I remember. I would ask my friends to add their doodles of clowns or cheerleaders or whatever to the appropriate page. Some of them humored me. Some of them didn’t even go that far.

But tonight, Rina came over and we drew things!

Rina has been doing this neato series of comic versions of tweets, and she worked on some of those. Then I did some, too, but mostly, I drew pictures of Rina drawing! And here I will reveal the secret, centuries-old process by which her comic tweets are made! It has been passed down for generations and protected by a secret order of sworn guardians.

Rina is freaking awesome, y’all. It’s so cool to be able to draw with someone who has so much talent and skill and is willing to talk about her art and pass on advice and knowledge so openly. Plus, she is just generally fabulous. Go check out our comic tweets on her blog!

Here they are!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.


Aug. 16th, 2010 12:19 am
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The first time I spoke to [info]boxbrown was in the spring of 2008. I was doing a series of interviews that were intended to be featured articles about many of the creators who were posting their comics on WebComicsNation/ComicSpace at the time.

Box was my second interview. The first interview I did was with Shaenon and Jeffrey of Skin Horse, mostly because I knew [info]shaenon well and felt like I could use her for practice, without being intimidated by the idea of talking to strangers on the phone. (I’m kinda terrified of phones, let me just say!)

I picked Box to go second partly by luck of the draw, but also because I contacted the people whose comics I had already read first. I wasn’t reading Bellen! every day or anything like that, but Bellen! was one of the comics I had picked to experiment with when my previous job had asked me to find some comics that looked good on mobile devices.

So I called this dude, Box, and I admittedly was pretty awkward with the whole interviewing thing. (Although not as awkward as I was when I interviewed [info]quirkybird, who went third). Still, I think I asked him some pretty incisive questions, like whether he’d ever had Ben’s really bad haircut from the beginning of the strip (the answer was yes). And I was pretty pleased overall with the interview. Plus, he didn’t seem to think I was psycho. Mastly we just chatted, and it was cool. Box told me about things like the class he had taken with Tom Hart, and how he’d been exprimenting with color in Bellen!

I got better at doing interviews, and better at making phone calls, and I added Box to my LJ friends. I added a lot of the cartoonists I interviewed to my LJ friends, but Box was one of the few who actually added me back.

And I actually started reading his comics regularly instead of just in chunks now and then.

I’m telling this story because Box recently announced the end of Bellen!, which is the comic that introduced me to his work. Bellen! is freaking adorable, let me tell you, and I think that he could probably keep doing it more or less forever if he wanted to. At its most basic, Bellen! is a relationship comic, about a guy named Ben and a girl named Ellen.

It’s sort of autobiographical, but sort of not– in many ways, it strikes me as sort of internally autobiographical: Ben and Ellen seem more like two sides of the same personality. They developed as characters as Box’s art developed in style (You should go back and look at the earliest Bellen! strips, because they look nothing like Bellen! today. While the original Bellen! was cute, Box has become a much more sophisticated artist since the strip began). Ben is half that self-doubts, the half that sees the glass half empty, but also the half that likes being crotchety for crotchetiness’ sake, sort of like a younger, more idealistic Oscar the Grouch. Ellen is the one who keeps her chin up, who always sees the brighter side and pulls Ben up out of the muck. It’s a relationship comic, but it feels more like it’s about internal relationships, the way different parts of our personalities balance each other out.

Box has started doing some other really neat stuff. He’s been working on a series of books called “Everything Dies” which are about faith and religion and meaphysical questions as they are answered by different religions around the world. He also drew a narwhal. I know this, because I bought it and hung it on my wall. I like narwhals. I am hoping he continues to do neat stuff. In the meantime, if you don’t know Bellen!, you should take the time to read it, and to read the little completely-autobiographical comic Box is currently writing, which chronicles the creation of Bellen! and the way his life has changed since he began it. It is really kind of neat, to see the story of how a comic came to be, in comic form.

Nice stuff, Box! I know you are going to just keep on doing more and more awesome stuff.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Guys, I am so completely stoked to announce that the site I built for work launches today.

This site is for Oh, Brother!, a new comic by Bob Weber, Jr. and Jay Stephens about a sibling duo.  Lily is the responsible older sister; Bud is the mischievous younger brother.  There’s also Bud’s best-friend-down-the-block, Bradford, and Bud and Lily’s dog, Buster.

Oh, Brother!

It is freaking adorable and you should read it!

Also, the site has Flash games and a neat gallery where kids can post their own art (and where everyone can post photos of their pets)

Go there now!

Sample 1 Sample 2

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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So, I don’t normally do this, but I want to start getting into the habit of posting more about the comics I read and enjoy. I have a lot of comic-savvy friends reading, and you might already know about the comics I’m going to talk about here, but I also have a lot of friends who want to learn more about comics, and I thought it would be good to do some promoting of some of my favorites.

Today, I will tell you about a wonderful comic called Herman the Manatee, by Jason Viola.

Last year at MoCCA, [info]quirkybird told me I just had to go read this wonderful comic. So, [info]cacophonesque and I went to meet Jason and purchase his comic and his Shrinky Dinks. Seriously, how awesome is Shrinky Dinks?

Herman The Manatee is about a manatee named Herman who gets hit by a speedboat. Over and over and over again, and then some more. Very much in the spirit of Charlie Brown going for the football every time, he gets hit by the speedboat in all kinds of different scenarios in a sort of fatalistic existentialist dance of speedboat-thunking.

There are three Herman the Manatee books, of which I own two, and I highly recommend purchasing these fine comics or simply reading the strip online (new strips come out on Wednesday).

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Hey, all!

If you’re in the NYC area, next Saturday, I am going to have a table at Pete’s Mini Zine Fest, an event organized in part by the awesome Marguerite Dabaie and Andria Alefhi, whom I don’t know, but who I am sure is equally awesome.

It is at Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St in Brooklyn, from 3pm to 7 pm. I will have comics to sell! There will be live music! You should come!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.


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