Saturday, December 22, 2018

Winter/Spring Cartooning Courses at SVA

Classes for the new semester are enrolling now:
Treat yourself. Sign up soon. Classes make a good holiday gift. Help a loved one pursue their dream of making comics. Come say Hi at the info session January 10!

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Unica Factor

Well friends, are you looking for an oddball obligatory gift to easily send someone this holiday?

If you order something from my shop at Society 6, I can virtually guarantee it will be the only one of its kind in existence. They don't make these things unless somebody orders one, and who would do that? So that's an angle? Right?

So you could get somebody this phone case or this pattern of monsters printed on a shirt or backpack or, I dunno, pillow,...

There's coffee mugs & travel mugs, and stuff like that.

Hell, I could take requests if there's some image from one of my websites you'd like printed on some object they offer. Message me.

Place an order on my birthday: Sunday Nov. 25th, or the following Cyber Monday, the 26th, using their code CMSHIP, and get deep discounts: 50% to 30% off, depending on the item, and free shipping on most stuff.

And have a happy holiday!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bringing Characters to Life

My fall classes start next week at SVA. Please help spread the word. 
Cartooning Basics begins Thursday Sept. 20, Inking Comics begins Friday Sept. 21, and Figure Drawing for Cartoonists begins Wednesday Sept. 26.

Carl Kent's exercise of skeletons in the park.
In the figure class, we start with the skeleton and proceed to discuss muscle groups, shapes, forces, rhythms, staging, foreshortening, performing, composition, visual storytelling, cartoon styles, and more, including the popular exercise composing comics from a live model.

Page one from Mary Rhoads' live model comic.
Mary Rhoads' chibi interpretation of her characters.

In the inking class, we get comfortable with media as we study rendering, value organization, light and shadow design, and storytelling strategies.

Here's Kyle Rose's color version of his ink study from within the classroom.

And in Basics, we go over the whole shebang and then make minicomics.

Come join the fun!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Student Spotlight: Earl Holloway

Having taught at SVA for over a decade, I've had the joy of watching many of my former students achieve amazing successes-- talents as varied as (off the top of my head) Matt Lubchansky, Andrea Tsurumi, Alex Rothman, & Van Hong, begin a long list. Though I can't claim credit for anyone's awesomeness, I get to pat myself on the back for having been there to nudge them forward early in their careers.

Today, I want to catch you up on the recent work of Earl Holloway, about whom I've written many times already.  Since self publishing The Squid, Earl has become the exclusive label illustrator for Kings County Brewers Collective in Bushwick.

Here are some of my favorite examples:



Crazy, eh? So here's an idea: why don't you come out this Thursday, Sept 6th, to the SVA Illustration and Cartooning Information Session from 6:30-8:30pm, 209 E 23d St Room 311, learn about our fall classes, and then follow me to the KCBC anniversary party, 381 Troutman Street in Brooklyn, to collect some beer cans and see the debut of Ninja Kitties? Should be a good time.

As you may infer, part of the fun of these classes is in the fellow students you're liable to meet. 

Fall courses are enrolling now and start soon: Cartooning Basics Thursdays beginning Sept. 20, Inking Comics Fridays beginning Sept. 21, and Figure Drawing for Cartoonists, Wednesdays beginning Sept. 26.

Says Earl, "Insightful feedback and criticism on your own work is invaluable. Tom's critiques and evaluation both in and outside of the classroom have pushed me to do better work and think about my process in different ways. Having a wide range of knowledge and experience in the industry makes Tom a great teacher and I wouldn't be the artist I am today without his help."

Thursday, August 23, 2018

the first six "Highlights from the Life of Raymond Roussel"

This serialized comic is about half done. Here's what I have so far:

A strange story, no?
Check for further episodes.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Oulipo Canada Dry

Here's the latest in my series of permutations of The Insult that Made a Man Out of "Mac." This one is an attempt to create a Canada Dry. According to The Oulipo Compendium, a Canada Dry is fake constrained writing-- a work that seems like the product of a constraint, when it actually isn't.

You'll have to let me know if I pulled it off. For comparison, here again is an actual constrained comic from 2010, an N+7. Every major word and image was replaced by the seventh word of the same type (noun, verb, adverb, adjective) following it in a dictionary.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Student Spotlight: Inking Comics

A kaleidoscopic two page spread from Kyle Rose's final Inking Comics project.

Inking is an essential skill for comic artists. We use variations in contrast to direct the readers' attention and guide them through the comic story. I can attest that this is a difficult medium to figure out on one's own, but not hard to learn competently if someone will explain it.

This spring, I was blessed with a particularly strong group of students for Inking Comics. By the end of the course, they weren't only inking effectively, they were offering solutions to tricky passages in each other's projects and discerning among professional inkers which ones were doing their job and which merely showboating with fancy techniques.

A page made of shots from within the classroom.

Kyle Rose has taken some of my classes more than once and swears by them. For me, it's a thrill watching him continually refine his skills and produce ever more impressive comics.

A figure study with a single light source by Howell Murray

Howell's ink and dry brush impression of the model dancing with death.

A page from Howell's comic project.

Howell Murray is, I think, new to the comics medium. He took to it like a duck to water, producing pages and images that are reliably expressive, entertaining, and clear.

Project pages from Felix Quinonez.

Felix Quinonez is another recurring student who just keeps getting better and better. Organizing all those details is a daunting challenge, but Felix is up to it. Together, Felix and Kyle edit a comic anthology, Emanata.

Britina's first version of her comic was really good...

...but look at it now!

Britina Cheng amazed us all when she took her already ambitious minicomic from fall's Cartooning Basics project and redrew the whole thing in an enlarged and expanded version, in time to sell out her first printing at a zine fair. With her kind of drive, Britina picks up skills at an accelerated pace.

Cartooning is ultimately a writer's medium. The best comics are, like Britina's, driven by strong writing. But it's the ink that draws the readers in to the story. The ink has to sell it.

Summer classes run Tuesdays beginning next week. Come get your hands dirty!