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Archive for November, 2008

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I’m reading a book I got from the Santa Monica Library (more like skimming it before bed) about the life of Winsor McCay: Winsor McCay: His Life And Art. It’s a stunning collection (which you can find at Amazon here). To be honest, I’ve always known of Winsor McCary, but didn’t really know much about him. Suffice to say, I’ll be doing my research, as I feel as if I’ve unearthed a treasure trove of amazing illustration and storytelling.

Just a quick scan through the book underlines a few points: McCay was a designer/illustrator on par with William Morris and Aubrey Beardsley; McCay worked tirelessly throughout his life; and McCay did things with a comic strip that transcended the genre. There’s a great quote from McCay in the book (and I paraphrase): “Animation should be an art form, not a trade (italics mine).”

I also found a great little quote online from Chuck Jones:

It is as though the first creature to emerge from the primeval slime was Albert Einstein; and the second was an amoeba, because after McCay’s animation, it took his followers nearly twenty years to find out how he did it.

Just a quick glance at McCay’s book suggests the influence on Maurice Sendak, Chris Ware, Alan Moore, countless others. Truly a giant in the field. I wholeheartedly suggest the book.

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…to Carl.

I’ll be doing my best to keep him honest about this stuff. I’m still considering whether or not to start coloring the panels, but i figure that’s just another distraction from doing the actual work of penciling. Procrastination is an evil, evil thing. This blog helps. If I declare (i.e. publish) to the world that I’m gonna finish, there’s a sort of odd accountability, even if no one checks out the blog.

It’s a sort of phantom-community: they may not exist yet, but potentially they do.

Bottom line: I finished two panels yesterday, scanned ’em, sent ’em off to Carl to ink. Took me all of two hours. I’m shooting for having two more finished before Thanksgiving. Hopefully we can get a vibe going where I just send ’em off, Carl inks ’em, posts ’em, and contributes to the blog on the process, if he has time.

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I’ve finally posted our first two panels. “‘Mazin’, innit?” I’ve sent Carl the WordPress site, and still nothing from him. His indifference is heartbreaking.

Despite that, I continue undaunted. You can access the panels through the tab at the top of the page, or via the page archive at right.

Here’s a great page with a live set by one of my favorite songwriters, Matthew Ryan. Go buy all his albums. You will not be disappointed. Unless you’re immune to Springsteen-esque beauty, you heartless pricks.

Seriously, I’ve been digging Matt since I saw his video for his first single, “Guilty,” way, way back when Mtv actually played videos. You know, before it became culturally irrelevant. And worse than that, vulgar and artless.

Beavis, we miss thee.

Come the pride, come the fall
We volunteered.

-Matthew Ryan, “American Dirt”

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We’re off.

Here’s the plan: I’ll be sending pencilled panels to Carl, which he will then hastily ink. He was concerned intitially that he wouldn’t either a. be able to ink fast/well enough, or b. be too sloppy. (I think those were his concerns; I paraphrase). I assured him that a. he’s a turd, and b. the point of the whole project is to just get it done. Obviously, we’d both like it done well. And I wouldn’t have asked Carl to work on it with me, unless he wasn’t already brilliant with pen ‘n’ ink.

I’ll be uploaded the first couple of panels in a couple of days. Await with baited breath, you vast audience of none.

Oh, and Joanna Newsome knocks me on my ass:

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