|ps…||December 25th, 2007|
…it just started snowing in Portland!
|“and the bells were ringing out…”s||December 25th, 2007|
As a meager gift to you readers, here’s a few goodies scavenged from the piles of scrap paper that litter the studio. Thank you, endlessly,
1) mindless doodles, circa 1999. One day, the “flaming meanies” will be resurrected.
2) The scribbly rough of page 56 in Chunky Rice
3) The penciled version of page 442 of Blankets ~ July 1st, 2002
4) The photo that became the cover of Carnet de Voyage. 2ème arrondissement, rue des Moulins, Marseilles —
Peace on earth!
|the universal struggle!||December 13th, 2007|
Jordi, thanks for the reminder of the month-long lapse. I’ve been wrestling to stay on top of things,
Wendelin asks for “some advice or pointers on how to get started in the field of art and cartooning.”
Zacheus (that little orange critter) answers: Draw all the time. Make sure to draw from life — especially human figures, sexy trees, mundane details of chairs and buildings and telephone wires — as much as you draw from imagination. Don’t neglect either. Also read real books without any pictures. My opinion is that a solid education at a state university will probably serve you as well or better than art school. Craig’s a dropout, but he would have definitely benefited from learning a second language and other brain exercises. Like any art, don’t think too much about money. Material possessions are for those on a different path. But keep your defenses up against the exploitative “Man” — every industry is crawling with them. Draw your own mini-comics and put them up on the ol’ internet or print them out on a laser printer or make a friend at kinko’s and trade those suckers and meet other cartoonists – they’re a friendly, humble crowd. Is that enough to get started on?
J.T. asks, “Does it come natural for you to work consistently at drawing and creating stories,
It’s like they always say — 90% perspiration. Or as my fine art buddy Dan Attoe says, “Painting is like mowing the lawn.” Slow, tedious work. You feel like a leper – crumbling over your little drawing desk – while life passes you by. But life passes by no matter what, and at the end of a day, or a month, or a year — you have something to show for it. Like the Velvet Underground says, “You’re gonna reap just what you sow.” (Or is that from the Bible?) My main barrier in the past was starvation. Now it’s hand pain and business crap and self doubt and blahblahblah. We’re not alone in the struggle!
Okay. And now since this is supposed to be a visual blog, here’s a sample of the construction of a single HABIBI page.
|swiping Cohen||November 13th, 2007|
We’re past due for a blog update, so I thought I’d mention the release of the Traditional Chinese edition of BLANKETS.
And here’s my preface.
It reads: “The closest that the rural Wisconsin town I grew up in got to China was the ginseng crops we exported — the principal agriculture of the region. During the years toiling in the fields, digging up the strangely humanoid ginseng roots, I dreamt of a day I could live as an artist rather than a farmhand. While drawing BLANKETS between 2000 and 2003, my main fear was that readers wouldn’t relate to this insular story of an isolated upbringing in the middle of America. Instead, the book has extended my boundaries — brought this awkward outcast a community across the world. Today it boggles my mind to see this work being translated into Chinese. I’m reminded of Leonard Cohen’s forward to the Chinese edition of BEAUTIFUL LOSERS. He acknowledges the great Chinese poets and zen teachers. To that, I add that China was the womb from which printmaking was born. Cohen says, ‘Dear Reader, please forgive me if I have wasted your time.’ With humility and honor, I echo that sentiment to you.”
|dueling pencils||October 30th, 2007|
Apologies for slow updates since returning from Europe. Believe me, I’ve been focused on HABIBI.
It’s sort of a comic book tradition for cartoonists to depict each other’s characters, but this time it’s for a book in progress.
And here’s dueling portraits — Jen’s drawing of me drawing — and my drawing of Jen drawing (drawing me drawing?)
Thank you again, everyone, for blog comments. For those in the States, watch for MENOMENA on tour — though I won’t be with them for this round.
|escargot||October 17th, 2007|
Home from the tour! Here’s a quiet domestic scene from Lyon — Alanis, Laëtitia, Koupaïa, Samuel, Frédéric …
… and here’s one last rocknroll image — the song “twenty cell revolt” performed in Barcelona. (stolen from “elchicodelaleche” ~ lots more on FLICKR)
Big thanks to my dear Menomena buddies Danny, Brent, and Justin ~ and to Sascha and Severin for managing this adventure.
Check out Danny’s satisfyingly detailed tour log at LOCALCUT. Now back to serious work. Cousin Brianna, please e-mail!
|give it to us||October 6th, 2007|
My first chance to update while on the road — my apologies to all neglected emails!
(Danny on drums, Brent on keyboards/guitar, Justin on bass/sax,
|the magic of threes||September 21st, 2007|
Today’s Yom Kippur, autumnal equinox (almost) and my birthday (and eRiQ’s from NZ) (and Leonard Cohen’s). 21 = 2 + 1 = 3.
|menomenandme||September 10th, 2007|
Portlanders, I’ll be missing the Stumptown Comics Fest event, because I’m joining my
If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be scrawling huge drawings on stage while Menomena rocks.
We’re not promoting myself on the upcoming Menomena bills, because I’ve no clue of the layout
Here’s world-renown illustrator Carson Ellis and Danny from Menomena backstage at
C U n the E U
|similar hunger||September 4th, 2007|
Big gratitude to all of you for your sweet words and good wishes and patience! It means lots that you still care during these long lapses in books. Your blog comments are such a comfort that I feel guilty for not updating more regularly. The third chapter of HABIBI is nearing completion. I’ll post a couple images upon celebration. There are all sorts of things I’d like to share with you, but the internet makes me secretive. For tonight, here’s a couple of pages from my journal with doodles and excerpts from Henry Miller and Karen Armstrong.
And here’s a sketch of E on the stairwell of my old apartment.