Today’s class was mainly me moving from table to table and looking over people’s progress, trying to solve drawing problems, making sure everything reads smoothly, and looking ahead to inking. I did a very quick demo of nibs and brushes toward the end of class but I would have liked to have had much more time to talk about inking before everyone dives into it. Most students are well into their pencils and will be ready to ink this evening or tomorrow morning and a couple (as you’ll see below) have already gotten started. All the stories are really shaping up, though. Let’s take a look, it’s time to start whetting your appetites for this weekend:
Here you can see one of Jack’s pages with the thumbnails taped for reference to the top of the drawing board. His story is a kind of fable about a character on a two-seater bicycle who is looking for the right person to sit on his second seat. It will be laid out horizontally–oddly, two students out of eight in the class have chosen this atypical format.
Yating’s story is a riff on the hysteria over swine flu. In her comic, the disease is contracted by kissing pigs and the main symptom is that when you kiss someone, their noses turn into pig snouts. As you can see, her pencils are very confident and polished. This led to a discussion of how many comics are now printed in pencils, with no inks at all. We looked at some slides of Amanda Vähämäki and CF. The class talked about it and decided that “Man Flu” might be a more mellifluous title.
Brian is working on a comic about a guy who becomes so stressed out with his life that he develops migraines and shingles. He therefore decides that he needs a girlfriend to make him relaxed again. Sound a little ass-backward? Read the comic and find out! Above you can see Brian’s extensive revisions, which include dialogue written out in script format, numerous passes of thumbnails drawn in lined notebooks, and pencils/inks which he is drawing on office paper. He had a nice description of the art style he is aiming for: “somewhere between stick figures and Calvin and Hobbes.”
Kelly is doing a story about two sisters teasing their mom about how over-protective she was, only to reveal (to the reader, NOT the mother) the kinds of outrageous behavior the two have enacted over the years. You can see here that Kelly is taking advantage of tracing paper and the big light box we have in the classroom to trace photos and refine her drawings.
Lisa is the one student who has already done some comics before, having taken classes with me, Tom Hart, and Lauren Weinstein at SVA. She’s using this class as a way to produce a new comic quickly and it’s coming along wonderfully. This one’s about a guy she met in Japan who would regularly have sex with lonely housewives–a “wife hunter”. Lisa’s style is non-linear in every sense of that word (I was teasing her the other day about her constitutional inability to draw a straight line) so the inking and especially her increasingly bold use of black go a long way towards guiding the reader’s eye through the story.
Lisa was thinking about a full black bleed for her minicomic but I suggested a 1/2″ black border for now since bleeds are a real pain in the butt to deal with when you’re dealing with photocopies. With minicomics, it’s good to keep it simple.
I should point out that not everyone is using nibs and fancy brushes. Several students are inking with Microns or other more disposable tools, and that’s fine. When you are making a mini, time and efficiency are important, so do what works. However, our larger ambition for this class is that students will produce whatever kind of mini they can come up with given the time constraints while at the same time taking a first pass through all the basic skills you should know to bekome a Klassik Kartoonist.
And tomorrow, we’ve got none other than KIM DEITCH coming in to share his wisdom! I’m very excited about it.
Boy, this is a long post. If any of my more blog-savvy readers want to explain to me how to do that “after the jump” stuff, I’d appreciate it.