THE WEEKEND REPORT :: Sam Bosma, Roman Muradov, Jefferson's Bible
Good friday be unto you, friends! Let's jump right in to some delicious links for the weekend. Why delay?
DHARBIN NEWS DEPARTMENT:
Did I mention that you can now buy prints by me through the curated INPRNT site? I have three new prints up over there, including this Batman, this Antoinette, and this old print reworked in a better layout. All three are available in sizes from 12" x 16" and upwards, and they start at $20. I like this service and its model--it's curated, and seems very controlled and professional. Plus some friends of mine are also on their, including Kali Ciesemier and Roman Muradov. More about Roman below.
And of course I sell prints my own self, and for just a few days longer I'm running a holiday sale. Details at the link, but the short version is 4 prints that come with a second print free, free shipping over $75, and a free one-hour drawing for orders over $100. Those prints ship Priority Mail, so if you're in the US and you order by Monday, December 20, you should get it before the holidays!
Lastly in ME-centric news, this Sunday I'll be a guest at the Charlotte Comicon, a one-day show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel here in weirdly warm Charlotte, North Carolina. If you're in or near Charlotte, I'll be honoring my sale offer there as well, so you can save yourself some shipping!
Oh you know what? One more thing, I'm now on that This Is My Jam site. It's a little clunky so far, but it actually seems to reward following MORE people rather than less, insofar as you can just let it play through all your buddies's songs and have a high quality radio stream while you work. Which is the opposite of my usual social network style, which is to follow the fewest possible people in order to minimize life distraction. If you're on there, come find me--and if we're friends and you want to get in on the beta, I have 5 or so invitations!
AMAZING FRIENDS DEPARTMENT:
A couple of months ago my man Sam Bosma did an amazing print and as part of the offer, threw in an original drawing with each print sold. He's posting those drawings now, and unsurprisingly, they're amazing. The one above is from Princess Mononoke. Good lord Sam is good--I think he's using a weird mix of pencil, ink, and wash--I would love to see entire comics done in this style. I'm always drawn to high energy drawing, which I'm terrible at myself.
Comics Alliance linked to Sam's drawings earlier in the week, but they did it in that Comics Alliance-y way that drives me nuts, essentially including nearly every single drawing, at full-size in their blog post. Here's an example from last year, featuring an entire Flickr set of Graham Annable's, all in one CA post. I've complained about this before, because I'm a whiny little baby, but it still drives me bonkers. If you like an artist's work and want to link to them, link to them! But if you put every piece of art you're linking to in your actual post, is there still any reason to click through and learn more? Or are you done, right there? You can argue that there's still a clear benefit to Sam, because Comics Alliance is a big site and probably threw a lot of traffic to Sam's site that he might not have gotten otherwise. But taking the majority of the 20 drawings Sam's posted so far--they posted 11 out of the then 19--and posting them on your own blog is rude. It's content appropriation; it's a site looking to provide value to its readers by taking value from elsewhere, and presenting it as their own.
Sure, it's not stealing. And Caleb Goellner is a nice guy. So are all the Comics Alliance people. But it's a habit they have, and it's a rude one. I don't know if it's inscribed in some Ten Commandments Of The Internet somewhere, but it should be. Most blogs go out of their way to observe proper etiquette, even cropping large images so there's actually a reason to click through.
I know, I know, it's a dumb thing to worry about. But images mean something. You wouldn't quote the entire text of a person's blog post in your own post, right? Posting so many large images on the CA site, without even individually linking them to their original blog posts, is just.. rude. /rant
Speaking of people doing amazing sketches though: my friend Roman Muradov, esteemed cartoonist and occasional New Yorker illustrator, is doing timed drawings for ridiculously cheap. $20 gets you a 4.5" x 6" drawing, or $50 gets you a full 9" x 12" drawing. I think some of these might even be in color? Roman has a lush, graceful line--even the little rushed drawings he puts in the envelope when he sends me books are amazing--I can't imagine how great these drawings are going to be. Highly recommended!
Speaking of highly recommended, Tom Kaczynski just released his new Cartoon Dialectics Volume 2. Tom's comics are beautiful, intelligent, and confusing (I'm not very well-educated). And they're impeccably well-designed. I got to see his workspace when I was in Minneapolis recently, and was dismayed at how... regular his tools were. A beautiful book made with regular tools is a real indicator of strong, functional design. All of the books in Uncivilized's line, while they are the size and shape of minicomics, look like small, well-made little books. I can't wait to get Tom's new one.
HOW TO DO EVERYTHING DEPARTMENT:
This "beginner cartoonist's starter set" idea from the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures site is great. You could probably cut some corners by getting disposable pens instead of nibs, but part of that book is familiarizing yourself with certain groups of tools, even if you don't end up using them. I had the opportunity to teach an 8-week course using that book a couple of years ago, and was really impressed with how well-put together it was. I'm pretty sure I learned more than anyone in the class, who unfortunately were forced to sit through my rough, wordy interpretation of the source material :/
Also in smart-people news, Kevin Huizenga recently posted about the templates he makes to plan out the gridding of his comics. Kevin is maybe the smartest, most thoughtful cartoonist I know, so any time he starts talking about his approach to comics I am all ears. Templates and gridding are something I love more than actually making comics--last year I posted my own approach to page templates, although I've since streamlined things a good bit. Maybe next year I'll post the new style, when I get some time.
BEAUTIFUL THINGS OF BEAUTY DEPARTMENT:
I wish I could remember who posted the link to this originally (maybe Drawn?), because I want to thank them: a Flickr set of mid-century science and technology advertising. Gorgeous, impeccably designed, modernist art and cartooning and design, all in the service of science + technology + advertising, a joining of worlds that used to be amazing and inspiring. Of course now that union is incredibly depressing, and is mainly wrapped around selling Levitra. Although if they started doing modernist hard-on pill ads, I would probably start buying hard-on pills.
Via Austin Kleon's Tumblr comes this crazy thing which I've somehow never heard of, even though I love Thomas Jefferson and grew up super religious: Thomas Jefferson's edited Bible. It's fascinating, considering how we seem to presume extraordinary devoutness on the part of our "Founding Fathers" here in America, how dismissive Jefferson seems of most of the language in the Bible. Not so much the content, perhaps just what he perceived as having been added after the fact? Anyway, lots of food for thought there. Also, Austin Kleon's blog is a pretty regular source of good stuff lately; if you're not familiar with him, why not become more so?
I'll wrap up this week with this video, which I found via Chuck Groeninkt. If you're not already familiar with it, I won't say anything--I really enjoyed not knowing a single thing about it, from the creator to the musicians to anything. Watching the whole thing without any context was the high point of this week for me, and I suggest you do the same. Afterwards you can click through to the Vimeo page and all the credits are there. Have a beautiful weekend, everybody!