Friday, December 30, 2011

Mere Anarchy

Here's one to ring (wring?) in the new year.
I'm pleased enough with this piece that I'm hoping to make a color version and post it again.
Happy 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Raunchy Limerick Favorites

When my strips run in The Brooklyn Rail they look nice in the actual paper, but on their website they're too small to read. So here's the current one. Maybe this will let you view it big enough.

Merry Christmas, world.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Golden Ass

t last, my new book is about to come out from David R. Godine, available Oct 31, according to Amazon.

The Golden Ass is a classic story from ancient Rome whose influence can be seen throughout the subsequent history of western literature in books as diverse as Don Quijote, Pinocchio, and The Midsummer Night's Dream. This adaptation, by classicist/children's author, M. D. Usher, is aimed at children ages 9 and up.

I festooned it with full page illustrations, decorated initials, and graphic dingbats, and packed the images with little gags and visual allusions. Quoth the publisher, "Motley's lively, thoroughly contemporary drawings capture the boisterous, see-sawing plot, while wittily quoting any number of graphic predecessors. Here is illustration at its best, at once illuminating and expanding a text while bringing it squarely into a new century."

It's a beautifully printed book, and fun to read and look at. Pick it up and/or check it out, if you please.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Fall Courses at SVA

Cartoon character style treatments (c) by Vernon Williams

This Tuesday evening, September 6, I'll be presenting slideshows for my upcoming Continuing Ed classes, Cartooning Basics and Figure Drawing for Graphic Novelists, at the School of Visual Art's Illustration and Cartooning information session.

Life drawings, comic figure studies, and comic page (c) by Barrett Holloway

In Cartooning Basics, we survey all the topics one has to address to produce a comic story-- from concepts and designs to writing and visual storytelling, composition, figure drawing, inking, lettering, printing, and publishing-- culminating in the creation by each student of a printed minicomic. It's a whirlwind of information but intensely fun work.

Figure Drawing for Graphic Novelists similarly surveys a list of problems one has to address to successfully draw comic book figures. Topics here include figure structure, foreshortening, feature wrapping, action, staging, body language, clothing and drapery, character design, style treatments, ink rendering, and more! Classes alternate between life drawing from the model and figure construction from imagination, in an effort to coordinate the two experiences. More intense hard fun. Come check it out.

Chibi Brando (c) by John Soister

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ballet Sketches

This past spring and summer, my daughter, Molly Palmer, performed in a ballet, Circus Polka, in workshop performances for the School of American Ballet.

Circus Polka was originally choreographed by George Balanchine for elephants at the Ringling Brothers Circus, to music composed for the occasion by Igor Stravinsky. Jerome Robbins later choreographed the present version for little girls, which became part of the SAB repertory.

Molly performed the dance at SAB´s spring showcase in June and then again at their summer residency in Saratoga Springs, New York. During my turns escorting her to rehearsals, I managed a few sketches of the dancers and their families, which I made into a souvenir booklet to share with the kids and instructors. They all seemed pretty pleased with it.

These students and their teachers work unbelievably hard and the result was truly amazing. Backing them up are whole families bending over backwards to make it all happen. They have my gratitude and respect.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Convention Sketches

For me, the highlight of last month's Big Apple Comic Con was that on Saturday I was seated next to the table of a lovely model named Marissa Jade. On Sunday, I had to content myself sketching the crowd.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Convention Appearance This Weekend.

If you're in Manhattan this weekend, May 21-22, 2011, come see me at the Big Apple Comic Con, lest I feel lonely.

I'm out teaching on Saturday morning, but plan to be at my convention table by 2 pm Saturday and staying 'til they close at seven, and all day Sunday (10 to 5).

I'll have some misc, comics and artwork for sale. Mostly I plan on sitting and making sketches of goofy monsters and/or sexy girls until somebody decides to talk to me. Do swing by and say hello.

Penn Plaza Pavilion, 401 7 Ave @ 33rd St. Table #1008.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dr. Sketchy's Sketches

I've been uploading my drawings from Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School along with other life drawings to my Deviant Art site, then submitting them to Dr. Sketchy's Tumblr blog and reblogging them to my own Tumblr site. Confused? No less than me. Next, I guess I'll announce this post on Facebook. Oy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Figure Drawing for Graphic Novelists

This summer, in addition to my long running Thursday night Cartooning Basics course, I'm debuting a new continuing education course at the School of Visual Arts titled Figure Drawing for Graphic Novelists, Wednesdays, 6:00 t0 9:30, June 8 through August 10.

We'll alternate between life drawing from models and figure construction from imagination, to refine techniques for staging expressive figure drawings in the comic book context. Beyond the usual figure study issues like proportions and muscle groups, we'll be exploring some concepts that might sound esoteric but are actually important for comic artists to grasp: tactility, congruence of forces, shape integrity, joint breaks, feature wrapping, and more. We'll try out some different drawing styles and get characters moving through comic story situations.

I'll present a slide show about it tomorrow night (May 9, 2011, 6:30-8:30 pm) at SVA's Cartooning and Illustration Information Session.

This will be enlightening and fun. Come sign up. Tell your friends. Thanks a bunch!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Demons on the Subway

Okay, maybe I've been hallucinating, but this time I don't think so. Has anyone else been spotting these characters on the trains late at night? If you sight one, please send me a cell phone photo so I can feel vindicated.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doodle Diary

What's with all the birds, doctor? How come none of them are flying?