Monday, May 29, 2017

Student Spotlight: Jeremy Fuscaldo

Inking Comics student, Jeremy Fuscaldo, is on fire lately with his comics, animation, and fan art. Jeremy let us use images from his Amelia Enmity comic for our promotions in The Comics Journal. A gorgeous drawing of his was featured recently on Disney XD.

It's a  thrill watching my students develop their styles and make connections in the field. Stay tuned for more examples.

Continuing Education courses are an affordable way to build an arts education "a la carte," on one's own schedule. Summer classes are enrolling now: Inking Comics on Tuesdays, Figure Drawing for Cartoonists on Wednesdays, Cartooning Basics on Thursdays. Join the fun!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cartooning from the Model

As the name indicates, my Figure Drawing for Cartoonists course at SVA alternates between three subjects. Some days we focus on the figure-- the skeleton, muscle groups, feature spacing, forces, dynamism,... Other days it's about the rules of drawing-- creating illusions of depth and form in perspective, effective staging of poses,... And some days are for cartoonists-- methods of figure construction, cartooning styles, body language, costumes, and the comic format.

My favorite session is the one where we have a costumed model perform with props while the students improvise a comic short story. We begin with a close look at the work of Alex Toth, who mastered the art of integrating inventive panel compositions with speech balloons and other graphic elements. Students are given five minutes per panel to format their life drawings into comic pages with impromptu dialog, captions, motion lines and sounds.

I usually carve out time to take part in this exercise for the reason that it's really, really fun. This latest example doesn't quite cohere, but it's still a pleasure to try matching snappy dialogue to effective camera angles.

Come say hi at the SVA info session this Thursday. Figure Drawing for Cartoonists runs on Wednesdays starting June 7. There's also Inking Comics on Tuesdays and Cartooning Basics on Thursdays.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cartooning Basics Comic Jams

This jam began in last semester's undergraduate Short Form Comics class and was completed in Cartooning Basics this spring.

Jam comics have long been a way for cartoonists to have fun together and ameliorate the solitude that accompanies this kind of work. Working with my Hector gang in the 1990s, I helped develop rule-governed jams to make the games more interesting. By the early 2000s, Matt Madden and I worked out a master list of 13 simple jam rules to share with our classes. These can be found on page 13 of his Drawing Words and Writing Pictures. Matt has more to say about it on his DW-WP blog.

I keep a pile of unfinished jams in my locker @ SVA. On the last day of the Cartooning Basics course, a publishing session followed by fun and games, one of the activities we often get into is circulating the jams, nudging them forward, and launching new ones. 

One reads the list of rules, takes a six-panel page, writes a chosen rule in the margin (or invents a new, self-explanatory rule and writes that), and creates the first panel.

Students find themselves interacting with other cartoonists, often across a span of years.

These kind of activities stimulate the imagination and test one's skills. As they say in the Oulipo, constraints are liberating!

Summer classes are enrolling now. Inking Comics runs Tuesdays, beginning June 6. Figure Drawing for Cartoonists runs Wednesdays, beginning June 7. Cartooning Basics runs Thursdays, beginning June 8. Come to the Information Session on Thursday May 18 to learn more: 6:30-8:30 pm, 209 East 23D St., Room 311, 3D floor.

Come play!