Monday, April 7, 2014

Summer Courses at SVA


This summer 2014, T. Motley is teaching two Continuing Education courses at the School of Visual Arts. Figure Drawing for Cartoonists runs Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., June 4 through August 6. His Cartooning Basics course runs Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., June 5 to August 14. Each course is 10 sessions long.
He’d love to teach you essential tricks of the comicking trade.

student artwork by Earl Barrett-Holloway

Monday, February 24, 2014

Poetry Corner

You work hard. You've earned this poetry break.

Friday, February 14, 2014

From the Archive: The Drawing Stick, 1983

This is one of the first comic stories I ever completed. It was drawn with a pointed balsa wood stick dipped in very thick ink.











Not long after, a photography student I dated made this portrait setting me in one of the comic panels.

photo © Cynthia E Jones 1986

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Rumpus


I'm the subject of a substantial interview on The Rumpus.net this week. Please have a look, read about my influences and projects and stuff. Warm thanks to Andrea Tsurumi for the complimentary questions.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Holy Grail of Forceful Cartooning


The Harvey Kurtzman exhibit last spring at the Society of Illustrators was amazing in every way, but for me the coolest thing in there was this fight sequence from Help #1. They had separated Will Elder's finished drawings from the Kurtzman marker roughs they'd been rubber cemented to, and displayed both versions together.





Marveling at these images in my drunken fog at the opening, I saw in a flash what a helpful warmup exercise they would make. Sketching freely in ink, I  try to reproduce as much as possible of the energy and vitality of Kurtzman's roughs, incorporating something of the wit and precision of Elder's finishes, while retaining the freedom to be playful and inject something of my own.

Kurtzman's
Elder's


Mine, take 1

Mine, take 2























Having toyed with this exercise for awhile, I've begun assigning it to advanced students in my figure drawing class. Speaking of which, the Illustration and Cartooning info session is coming up Tuesday evening at SVA. Come talk to me about cartooning. Cartooning is fun.



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Draw Two Panels

In the months before launching Cartozia Tales, Isaac Cates invented a card game for cartoonists, Draw Two Panels, and got me playing it. One deals oneself random comic panels from an ever changing deck, and then draws new panels to make sense of the juxtapositions.

This is the starter deck I created following Isaac's rules, which include quoting from books, songs, Facebook status updates, and comics, drawing from life, doodling, and more:



Here are the strips I made so far. Some include cards drawn by Isaac, that he retired from his own deck:







The Cartozia project has distracted us both from playing this, but I hope to make time for it again. I was inspired to create a spinoff game that I'm calling The Deckless Wonder. I'll post examples from that one sometime. Cartooning games are fun.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Brooklyn Rail comic and Web Exclusives

As we all order food over the holiday, here's a strip to celebrate:


But also, please have a look at The Brooklyn Rail website. For a few months now, we've been running exclusive, web-only comics from France, translated into English for the first time. Check out these great comics by top cartoonists:

And we occasionally run work in color on the web that was black and white in print, such as these by 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

La Posada Calavera

This recent strip appears in the new issue, #45, of the comic anthology, World War 3 Illustrated. Many thanks to Peter Kuper for including my piece.



It's an homage to the Calavera broadsheets of Jose Guadalupe Posada. It ran in The Brooklyn Rail in time for Dia de los Muertos this year. Now it's in the "death issue" of WWIII.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Upcoming Art Auction

I donated these two drawings I made at Prospect Park to an art auction for my daughter's school.


The live event is this Wednesday, October 23, at Brooklyn Commune, 601 Greenwood Avenue, from 6 to 8 pm. Bidding online ends at 8 pm also.
The auction got coverage in the New York Times because they're auctioning a piece by Jeff Koons. Isn't that special?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Viva Cartozia!

These are images I contributed to a booklet on Cartozian magic published as a bonus to accompany  Cartozia Tales #2

An incantor named Hroner who specializes in finding lost objects, sometimes even ones that weren't really lost after all. Kudos to all who get the allusion. Be the first to call it in the comments below.

"Long exposure to harsh, strange, and potent materials sometimes makes older alchemists a bit peculiar."


I'm sipping champagne (okay, why pretend? It's Negro Modelo) in celebration of  the successful Kickstarter campaign for Cartozia Tales. Here are highlights from the copious press we received on the project, including one reviewer who loved everything about it except for me (Ouch!):



Scientific American, USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, podcasts, interviews with the artists, endorsements by a stuffed bull and some blog in France,... Margaret Atwood, Alison Bechdel, and Neil Gaiman tweeted about it (what's past tense of "tweet"? "tweeted"? "twat"?)... such enthusiasm all around. Holy smokes!

I've worked on a great many structuralist comic collaborations, including several launched by Cartozia's mastermind, Isaac Cates (I'll blog more about these hence). It's SO gratifying to see one capture the public's imagination.

The Kickstarter and its rewards are finito, but you can still subscribe via the Cartozia website.

Thanks y'all! 'S time to draw more episodes...