WEEKEND REPORT :: The Frogs, The Jams, The Patterns, The Gays

DHARBIN NEWS DEPARTMENT: If you don't follow my Tumblr, I posted a Batman thing yesterday that people seem to dig. I have to say, I really like drawing my fussy version of Batman. Does DC Comics have a sense of humor these days? They seem like maybe they don't. I bet I could make some fun comics for people who don't really read Batman that much. The silent majority! In a funny twist of fate, this was a gift to John Struan of the popular Superpunch site, who's been very supportive of my stuff the last couple of years, and who I wanted to thank--then Peter Nidzgorski, Nevver on Tumblr, reblogged it and it's getting passed around now. Does this mean I should send Nevver a drawing too? At what point does a singularity form? GORGEOUS DEPARTMENT: Speaking of Superpunch and Nevver, I started following Nevver and he reblogged this amazing Graham Annable painting. When I clicked through, it went to the Superpunch site! What are you kidding me?? Turns out it's part of a new show at Gallery Nucleus. You can see Graham's other pieces at that link. Get ready for sorrow though--that Gonzo is a killer. As long as we're talking about Muppets--I have yet to hear a single bad thing about that new Muppet Movie. Which frankly I thought looked terrible from the trailers, and tried to stay respectfully silent about it, as everyone I know online has been gibbering about it for the last year. My girlfriend saw it and she said it was pretty much perfect. She made it sound like maybe I should bring a lot of water when I see it, as I'll probably dehydrate from all the crying. She knows me well. Also, lo and behold, check out these great strips Laura Park just posted on her Flickr. Man, she is the best. I'd kind of like to do something for The Believer, although I'm not sure McSweeney's is the best payer in the world. I guess it wouldn't hurt to get some of those McSweeney's eyeballs though. Although what if the McSweeney's eyeballs don't pay much either? HOW TO DO THAT DEPARTMENT: I could go on all day about how much I like the Draw This Dress blog, which is essentially Vera Brosgol and Emily Carroll showing off how great they are at drawing women and clothes. But this Livestream of Vera drawing one of her pieces digitally just made me swoon. Amazing! Also amazing is seeing how Julia Rothman creates a repeating pattern--note that she does it with paper, which obviously has its limitations, but in my experience figuring out how to do something "for real"--for instance, printmaking, or laying out signatures and pagination for a book--makes you understand the process a million times better than just doing it digitally. And even better, informs how you do it digitally. I can't wait to try this out. Andrew Schick already did. Ditto this post by Norwegian cartoonist Jason, about sketching from life for backgrounds in his comics. This is something I need to do BAD--I always just make something up, or try to draw a memory, and it's always bad. Having a real image to work from lets you not only "see" the image properly, but allows you to select elements and details that work or don't work within a given composition--of course when you're making a comic, you're not just trying to draw a badass drawing room or something--you're telling a story. Jason is one of my faves. He makes it look so easy, but he packs a maximum of information and subtext into a page while saying as little as possible. Poetry! THINGS TO BUY YOUR FRIENDS DEPARTMENT: Are you kidding me with these things? Little bound editions of classic short stories, with illustrations by Meg Hunt, Zack Soto, Gemma Correll, Aaron Renier, and a bunch of other awesome illustrators? Man, if someone doesn't buy this for me by the end of the year, I'm going to PITCH A FIT. Here's a thing you should buy your friends, and also buy yourself! Don't buy it for me, I already have it. SF #1 by Ryan Cecil Smith is shockingly, surprisingly great. Not that you wouldn't expect it to be great. But it was just top to bottom different than I expected. Risograph printed on some kind of soft Japanese paper, a genre story with a million nested references to its own genre (just watch out for things with S.F. as initials, for instance), and an overall chummy silliness that makes everything light enough to actually engage with--Ryan Cecil Smith has turned into a mack cartoonist over the last few years, and I cannot wait for the next issue to come out. Best new comic of 2011? If you really like your friends, holy cow, they will explode when you buy them these Mattias Adolfsson originals. This guy is bananas. SWEET JAMS DEPARTMENT: I happened across this via Twitter somehow, but I can't remember who first mentioned it now, maybe Sean T. Collins? But I'm listening to it now and it's pretty great--lots of new music here if you like that: Matthew Perpetua's 10-disc sampler of 2011 music. I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to new music lately, so it's nice to have a curated little mixtape--remember those? That was how I got all my new music back in high school--friends with tape decks. Friends with tape decks has been replaced with "the internet" now I guess. Sound quality's better, I guess! Also, I got on that new ThisIsMyJam site, although I'm not sure exactly how to use it just right yet. But it's another way to discover some new music. See earlier "friends replaced by internet" thought. Regardless, it's still in beta, so if you're hunting an invitation and we know each other "in real life" so to speak, hit me up. And if you're on there, just hunt me up. I like sad songs. WHOA THE NEWS IS CRAZY DEPARTMENT: Last up this weekend, via Jess Fink's Tumblr, this news item where a Baptist church in North Carolina has stopped performing marriages until they can legally marry gay couples. What?? I grew up in a Baptist church in North Carolina, so this makes my brain explode. But in the good way! Christians standing up for love makes perfect sense, don't even play! Although if you check out the note preceding the post, where they've disabled comments because of "numerous violations of our comment policy." Kudos to people doing unpopular things because they believe in them! (my comment) Okay, on that gay note, have an awesome weekend!

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