Sunday, October 25, 2015

Republican Pundits as "Bully Boils"-- Cartozia Tales #6

Here's my story, "Belligerents," from Cartozia Tales #6.
In an earlier episode, Lupi McGinty had revealed that the character, Iisha, was infected with bully boils who harass her in her sickbed. I decided to make them caricatures of right wing blowhards.

Meanwhile, in the previous issue, Corinne Mucha showed Reshii's attempt to return with Iisha's cure thwarted by the sudden appearance of a rock band, Rubble, which is where the present story begins.

(The character, Dr. Iilyx, is one of our Kickstarter funders, Alyx, who paid for a cameo appearance in the comic. So's the cat, Az.)

Now we have a new campaign to reprint issue #1, and the original art to this story is offered as a reward. Please subscribe and tell your friends, too. This is a fun comic and we hope to keep it going.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Modern Painters

Every now and then you find yourself working on a project that goes nowhere and you tell yourself, "at least I can put these sketches on my blog or something." Here are some images of abstract expressionist painters. I won't deprive you of the pleasure of identifying them for yourself.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fall courses are enrolling now!

Come see me this Wednesday evening at the SVA Illustration and Cartooning Info Session and learn more about my three classes, Cartooning Basics, Figure Drawing for Cartoonists, and Inking Comics. Continuing Education classes start in only a month. Sign up soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Kiwi Kite Cartozia Jam

We've just posted the final panel of a rhyming comic jam, Kiwi Kite's Song, on the Cartozia Tumblr.
It's the latest of many many innovative approaches to jam comics pioneered by our genius editor, Isaac Cates

This time, the governing rule was for the creators to play Tag. A player tags you. You draw the next panel. You tag another player. Simple and fun. In addition to Isaac and me, the main players were Shawn Cheng, Caitlin Lehman, Mike Wenthe, & Lupi McGinty (who was joined, entertainingly, by her daughter, Az). Other guests who popped in were John Chad, Joey Weiser, Lucy Bellwood, & Sarah Becan.

Another of Isaac's commands was that we not spend too much time on our panels. I addressed that by seeking ways to simplify my compositions and reduce the amount of story information. That's something I find it easier to preach than to practice. This challenge was most welcome and did me a world of good.

The printed minicomic will be sent as one of the fun bonuses for Cartozia subscribers. Subscribe here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cartozia Tales: The Song of War

No comic's complete without a spit take.

I'm growing impatient for our groundbreaking comic anthology, Cartozia Tales, to start getting the recognition it deserves. It's world creation as a creative game. It's so fun to make, it brings out the best in all its contributors, resulting in a really delightful product, packed with inventions, surprises, and fun features. If you haven't seen any of the issues yet, I have to tell you, you're really missing out.

I'd like to share with you one of the chapters I've contributed, this time for Issue 5, set in sector 7, the frozen southwest corner of our imaginary world. Every issue, editor Isaac Cates calculates and casts dice to assign each contributor the task of continuing the ongoing story in what's, for them, a new sector of the map.

In the first issue, cartoonist Jen Vaughn initiated the sector 7 story, "Vagabond." It introduced a girl, Sylvia, and her pet Jenks, who are traveling to the southern islands. Sylvia is known as a "war child" but her passion is for music and she wants to learn the Frost God's Song.

In issue 2, the cartooning team of Isaac Cates and Mike Wenthe have Sylvia acquire two traveling companions: incompetent magician Ibbacod, a bird person from the distant north who seeks employment from the Red Clan chieftain, and Voren, a sword fighting Phibbit who rarely speaks. Voren fends off an attack by a Mask Bear and the team acquire its enchanted mask.

In issue 3, Lupi McGinty has Voren don the mask and find the mysterious Library Stairs, guarded by singing Aria Sphinxes. The ancient librarian sends him away with a scroll containing The Song of War.

Shawn Cheng, in issue 4, has the team befriend Donar of the Red Clan, a Snow Devil prince, who leads them to the village he inhabits in the trunk of a Mother Tree in the hope that Voren, a master of ancient languages, can help treat his ailing father.

Which is where I took over and treated our heroes to a bit of dinner theater:

I like to work little artistic and literary allusions into my comics wherever possible. A special "no-prize" (ahem) will be due the first person in the comments to peg the inspiration for Donar's father.

These characters have had more adventures since. Issue 7 is just now coming out. Come see.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Madison Square Park

Photos by Alison Clemente

Weather in NYC this past July has been mostly hot, but frequently perfect.

A few Saturdays ago, the morning weather could not have been better when I was invited by the Madison Square Park Conservancy to conduct drop in cartooning activities on a lawn near the playground.

Ably abetted by their resident teaching artist, Alison Clemente (unseen here behind the camera), I helped children and their parents and caregivers create comic strips, panel sequences, pop-up pictures, and other images.

This girl had just come from the Minions movie.

A good time was, I believe, had by all, including me. Many thanks to Miriam Fodera, Family Programs Manager, for reaching out.
I love my job.

Here's the flyer I handed out that day, still true:

Adults eager to cartoon should check out my SVA Continuing Ed courses for fall, enrolling right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Private Moment

scene from "The Royal Tenenbaums" performed by Nancy Ellen Shore and Henry Packer

For the last several weeks there was a theatrical event in Central Park that made for an amazing and unusual sketching opportunity. Private Moment, directed by David Levine, consisted of performances of scenes from eight classic movies set in the precise locations where the scenes were originally filmed.

scene from "The Out-of-Towners" performed by Matthew Schneck and Autumn Dornfeld

Actors would perform their scenes over and over all day long for six hours a day twice a week, unannounced. Watching these, I couldn't help thinking of the story The Invention of Morel by Adolpho Bioy-Casares. Finding the performances was like some marvelous grown-up Easter egg hunt. There's a recurring art show in Williamsburg at Crest Hardware where all the art is made from hardware or about hardware and it's displayed in the aisles with the merchandise. You walk around looking at things & asking yourself "is this art or hardware?" After awhile it doesn't matter because you see that the hardware is beautiful. This was like that-- searching the park for actual theatre, studying people, wondering if I found it yet, pretty soon it's all theatre, all imbued with that dignity and majesty. But the actual scenes and performances were terrific. The dedication and hard work of these actors was amazing to behold. 

scene from "Bullets Over Broadway" performed by Caroline Hewitt and Mickey Solis

I managed to see all but one of the performances and managed to sketch four of them. How I wish there'd been time to really delve into this! 

scene from "Cruel Intentions" performed by Xandra Clark and Camara McLaughlin
I sold a couple of these drawings to the director for $75 apiece. The rest are available on a first come basis, as are most of the sketches on my Tumblr (tiny drawings are cheaper). Direct all inquiries through my website.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cartozia Sneak Peek

My specialty.

I'm relieved to have finally worked the joke below into one of my comics. Maybe now I won't be haunted by it every time I make a quesadilla.

These are from my contribution to Cartozia Tales #7, coming soon from

These comics are really fun and feature an amazing array of cartooning talent. It's fantasy world building treated as a game. Trust me, you'll want to subscribe and get all the issues and extras.
Editor Isaac Cates has posted gobs of fun samples on the Cartozia Tumblr.

Here's one where he calls me the "mad scientist of comics."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Student Spotlight: Links and News

Continuing my roundup of student work,...

First, please have a look at Van Hong's beautiful and detailed post about the Inking Comics course on her Wednesday Drawing blog.
Here are two happy people who’ve taken Inking Comics

In other news, Bryan Douglas had his wild and hilarious work on display in SVA's hallway gallery at 209 E 23d St, not long ago.

And here are comic and links by Figure Drawing for Cartoonists students,

Peter Batista

Kendra Allenby

Kyle Rose

and Cartooning Basics student Anna Laytham.

Classes are beginning this week. It's the last chance to enroll until we resume in the summer.
Thanks, everyone, and have a great spring!