Doot Doot Garden: The Blog of Craig Thompson
Doot Doot Garden: The blog of graphic novelist Craig Thompson
glacial flour July 30th, 2010

Thanks for your patience! It’s almost impossible to experience things (jump over rocks) and post in the same day.
Yesterday, Fabio & I & editor Sierra Hahn & painter Dan Attoe hiked through the surreal terrain carved by Mt. St. Helens’ eruption.

Above, the interior view. Check Fabio’s blog for the grand landscape!
And wait… there’s more! A drawn tribute by Dan Attoe. Click back to Fabio’s for a CLOSE-UP VIEW.

crossover event of the summer July 28th, 2010

“BLOG WAR” might not be the best title. More like a “blog crossover”. Brazilian cartoonist Fábio Moon is visiting Portland, and we’ll try to
document some of our activities in a back-and-forth dialog between the two blogs — blending our sketches, inking each others’ drawings, etc.
Yesterday, after consuming much coffee, we attended the in-store album debut for Menomena MINES. Our evening continues at Fábio’s blog… HERE.

each fallen robin September 23rd, 2008

Two days ago was Leonard Cohen’s birthday. He started his musical career at age 33. And two days ago I turned 33!
Here’s something I jotted in my sketchbook that morning – from Javier Marías.

quick scribble July 17th, 2008

I took a couple of days off when my buddy Alessandro visited from Italy. Here’s a doodle from a front porch conversation:

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And here’s a little jumble of chapter five progress. It’s coming along!

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Thanks, as usual, for the blog comments. And on that last round, lots of useful self-preservation tips.
For those in Portland, I’ll be at my friend Danny’s LACKTHEREOF cd release party at Holocene tonight.

comics vs sketchbook June 11th, 2008

Quick follow-up to that last entry. Peter asked how big the sketchbook pages are. They’re 9″ x 12″.
Here’s another sketch with today’s page of HABIBI laid behind it. The HABIBI pages are drawn within
an 8.75″ x 12.5″ live area, but you can see how detailed they are compared to the sketchbook.

kathleen.jpg

Because the sketches are drawn from life with plenty of space on the page, it’s easy to dash them off with pocketbrush.
But the comics compositions are ridiculously worked over – generating heaps of eraser shavings. And they’re inked with
these sable watercolor brushes (I’ve graduated to the Winsor Newton series seven!)
(That’s my hand posing to give a sense of the page size.)

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Anyways, this HABIBI page was drawn today. And the sketch above is of my friend Kathleen at Benoît Peeter’s apartment in Paris.

papier à dessin June 2nd, 2008

There’s dozens and dozens of figure drawing sketchbooks on my shelves, so I’d thought I’d occasionally post a drawing. Almost all of them are executed with those Pentel pocketbrush pens straight to paper with no pencils or erasers or fussing like my comics pages. And the subjects are admittedly almost always pretty girls/women. Occasionally I also draw trees. Here’s a couple drawings – one of Gabrielle and one of Miriam.

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old phone doodles May 17th, 2008

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It seems a lot of artists prefer the drawings that come from their pens when they aren’t thinking or paying attention.

je suis en retard February 7th, 2008

pardon my lag… distracted with side projects lately, including this collaboration
with poster-king Mike King for the upcoming Stumptown Comics Fest.

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Stumptown is a bit like camp reunion when many of my cartoonist friends roll into town.
Here some sketch portraits of one said reunion last year — Gabrielle Bell…

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– and Trevor Alixopulos

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– and Julia Wertz, Mari Naomi

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Leaving in a day for LA where the Menomena boys and I will attend the Grammy’s. Wish us luck!

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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.

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And here’s a sketch of E on the stairwell of my old apartment.

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euro influences July 26th, 2007

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Joba and Vanessa asked about what European cartoonists inspired me. When I was first went to Paris in 1995 for a community college art scholarship, I scoured the bande dessinée shops and was disappointed to find that France had a glut of science fiction and fantasy books like the US has superheroes. Then I stumbled upon a series of 24 page pamphlets published by Cornelius, including David B.’s Le Nain Jaune. I constantly poured over David’s work, and included it (along with Dylan Horrocks and Tom Hart) in Chunky’s sacred stash. His epic Epileptic is translated into English and may be my favorite graphic novels ever.
The first French cartoonist whose work I was able to appreciate in English was the inspired Lewis Trondheim. We met during his US tour in 2000 and he was generous enough to invite me to visit him in Montpellier in early 2001. Here’s a sketch of his studio then. Of course, you’ll see more of him in the pages of my Carnet.

lewistudio2001.jpg

Also seen in Carnet is Blutch. I am a slobbering fanboy for his virtuoso drawing. My work has been criticized for ripping off his style; and while the influence may be apparent, I am an amateur in the shadow of this master. Unfortunately, only short pieces of his have been translated to English in the Drawn & Quarterly anthology.

Another master is Baudoin. We met at the Haarlem comics festival outside of Amsterdam. He was vibrant and full of energy, dancing and sketching everywhere. Watching the lines flow from his brush is fairly heartbreaking. We had an enthusiastic and clumsy conversation in our foreign tongues, and Baudoin drew this doodle on the left side of my sketchbook to describe the experience of moving away from his hometown of Nice. On the right, I scribbled out my own story that brought me to France.

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I’ve spent enough time in Paris now that I’ll randomly run into people I know in the streets. This happened once with Charles Berberian on his birthday along the canal. Charles always impresses me with his kindness and pure “well-adjustedness”, in contrast to us neurotic American cartoonists. Lucky for all us monolingual Americans, his and Philippe Dupuy’s work has been published in two pretty volumes from Drawn and Quarterly: Get a Life and Maybe Later. Here’s Charles (right) and my Dutch publisher “Uncle” Hansje (middle) in the Netherlands.

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One French cartoonist I’ll never have the chance to meet is Aristophane who tragically died at age 37. His “heaven” book Les Soeurs Zabîme and “hell” book Conte Démoniaque give me the shivers.

Other Frenchy favorites: Sfar, Christophe Blain, Nicolas De Crécy, Nina (Une par une), Capucine, Guy Delisle, Frederik Peeters (Swiss)
In Italy: Igort, Mattotti, Gipi ~ In Spain: Munoz, Max ~ In Germany: Martin Tom Dieck, Anke Feuchetenberger… and definitely seek out this book: Cargo/comics journalism Israel-Germany