By the Books: How to Make Comics

There are a handful of good books that will help the motivated student succeed at becoming a cartoonist. Drawing Words and Writing Pictures may be the best of the lot. This is an ideal text for a 15-week class in comics. It also has guidance for starting an informal collective class. It includes DIY suggestions forContinue reading “By the Books: How to Make Comics”

Comics MFA? There is an alternative… No Joke.

Back in the ’80’s, when I told my pal Putka I was getting an MFA in illustration, he laughed, “What’s next?  -a Phd in Wallpaper Hanging?” What’s Next? Looks like the answer is Advanced Comics… Stanford is a great university with one respected graphic novel class. But suddenly, universities across the country are offering completeContinue reading “Comics MFA? There is an alternative… No Joke.”

funny things art spiegelman said about the funnies

“I’ve been called the father of the graphic novel, but I demand a paternity test!” -art spiegelman. I caught art spiegelman’s “What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?” at Lehigh University. One of the most influential artists of our time, I knew him before he won the Pulitzer for his graphic novel, Maus. Even though we areContinue reading “funny things art spiegelman said about the funnies”

When Museums Cohabitate.

I was sorry to hear of MoCCA’s near-death experience. I’ve met some interesting people at the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art in lower Manhattan. I ran into Prof. Bill Foster there, the expert on the portrayal of African-Americans in comics. He came to Kutztown to share his presentation, “Looking for a Face Like Mine.” Last summer MoCCA went broke andContinue reading “When Museums Cohabitate.”

Nate’s New Graphic Novel is Free, but You Can Buy It!

Pittsburgh cartoonist Nate McDonough’s graphic novel Don’t Come Back is quite interesting. It is nightmarish and convoluted in a good way. There are falling angels, dogs peeing in a cemetery, and one screaming chicken demon in the pizza box. There is death and resurrection. Don’t worry about me spoiling the ending. I’m not sure IContinue reading “Nate’s New Graphic Novel is Free, but You Can Buy It!”

Mr. Fish Will Not Get Tenure

Mr. Fish recently came to the Kutztown University’s Rohrbach Library. He also visited my illustration class. Students are lucky to have visiting artists like Mr. Fish in the classroom. His topical artwork savages our social system. Biting social satire is not the sort of thing a tenured professor (like myself) is likely to get awayContinue reading “Mr. Fish Will Not Get Tenure”

5 questions about illustration for Matt Phelan

Matt Phelan is coming to Kutztown this weekend for the 2012 Children’s Literature Conference. Even if you can’t make the conference you might go to the KU bookstore to pick up his books at a discount. He is a prolific and popular illustrator. He writes as well. A piece of Matt’s original artwork from hisContinue reading “5 questions about illustration for Matt Phelan”

Chip Kidd Plays Covers

“Majoring in Art at the state university appealed to me because I have always hated Art, and I had a hunch if any school would treat the subject with the proper disdain it would be one run by the government. Of course I was right.”      – Chip Kidd, The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel inContinue reading “Chip Kidd Plays Covers”

An Illustrator’s Mind Explored

Loni Sue Johnson is an an illustrator who has had enormous success. Her whimsical watercolor illustrations graced the pages of the NY Times and six memorable New Yorker covers. Then one day in 2007 she fell ill with viral encephalitis, a rare condition, sometimes carried by mosquitos and ticks. She survived the virus, but largeContinue reading “An Illustrator’s Mind Explored”

He’s Got a Million of them –7 Great Designs by Greg Christman

Greg Christman is one of the most prolific illustrator/designers to come out of Kutztown’s C.D. Dept. His work is frequently seen on the hippest design blogs. He was recently featured in a spread in a new French design publication called the Book of Creation. I asked Greg to explain a few of his inventive imagesContinue reading “He’s Got a Million of them –7 Great Designs by Greg Christman”