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Category Archives: Comics

Bunnies, Comic #3

A new Two Bunnies and a Duck installment has been published, and this time we see the appearance of a third character. Is it the duck? Check it out.

More Bunnies

Posted another installment of Two Bunnies and a Duck today. This new one was done in ink. The lines are darker, making the words easier to read — but I don’t like drawing in ink as much, and the results came out wobbly looking. Back to pencil for the next one. I have several weeks’ worth of comics planned (but not yet drawn).

Two Bunnies and a Duck

The s.o. has been hounding me for the last few weeks to get a comic strip going. Voilà: Two Bunnies and a Duck will be updated every two weeks. Doing a comic strip is harder than it looks. How the #@%≈$ do comic strip artists keep the characters looking the same in every panel? I keep drawing bunny after bunny and they always come out different. Anyways, enjoy the first installment.

Two Bunnies and a Duck

Book Review: Art Out of Time

Art Out Of Time book coverDan Nadel’s Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969 arrived as a Christmas gift from my s.o., who bought it off my Amazon wish list after I blindly put it on there a few years back. Something about the cover design and the concept of trolling through old newspapers for comic obscurities appealed to me. For once a stab in the dark paid off, for this is a beautifully produced book chock full of eye-popping images — not only from the world of newsprint but from short-lived standalone comics as well.

The various comics collected here mainly tell me that the word “visionary” in the book’s title carries a wide definition. In some cases it might be a series that never caught on, while a few pages later a popular and long-running newspaper strip which wound up getting lost over time might be showcased. Some (like Gene Deitch’s Midcentury Modern Terr’ble Thompson) contain brilliant visuals supporting rather dull stories, while others crackle with subversive wit but are ordinarily drawn. A few others, like the work of Rory Hayes and Fletcher Hanks (who recently got his own anthology published by Fantagraphics), are so singularly bizarre they could have only come from one mind. Whatever their origins, all of the included comics are at the very least fascinating glimpses into the times they came from. Dan Nadel arranged the comics non-chronologically in loosely thematic groupings, so paging through them gives the reader an eclectic experience. Nice touch.

On another note, I want to point out how gorgeous some of those early, pre-WWII newspaper Sunday strips were. Being able to lay out a strip on an entire full page must have been a luxury that some artists undoubtedly used to full advantage — and you get to see a lot of lovely examples of this in the book. It’s especially heartening when looking at today’s pathetically scaled-down newspaper comics.

Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969 is available now from Harry N. Abrams. Buy at Amazon here.

Art Out of Time book spread

Teach Me Tiger

The commentary on 25 great Calvin and Hobbes strips encapsulates why this was perhaps the greatest daily newspaper comic strip ever (via Pop Culture Junk Mail). My absolulety favorite time was the c.1990 series when Calvin was making snowmen and explaining his creations the way a fine artist would (i.e. full of hifalutin’ bullshit). Maybe it sprung from the fact that I was studying fine art at the time, but those particular strips really struck a nerve with me.

Drooly Bunny-Chan

Drooly BunnyWe like to do the occasional jaunt to the Japanese-owned dollar store near our neighborhood. Today I was looking at the kids’ items and I spotted the item at right. It’s the packaging for a tiny rubber stamp (not pictured), with the stamp’s impression below. This beady-eyed bunny apparently loves strawberry shortcake so much, it makes him drool. I don’t know Japanese, so what he’s saying on the stamp is a mystery to me — but I kinda like it that way. It has that “goofy/cute/enigmatic” aura that makes Japanese pop culture so appealing.

It embarrasses me to say this, but much of the time when I’m designing manga books for VIZ I can’t tell what the hell is happening with the story and characters. Currently I’m in the middle of desiging two titles for them. Hunter X Hunter is an action-filled tale typical of their Shonen Jump Advanced titles, with saucer-eyed kids racing after monsters and stuff. The other one I’m doing, Reborn!, is quite different. It’s about a middle school kid who is tutored by a baby mobster. It’s my understanding that some of the characters start out as bulbous, Pokemon-like creatures who eventually “grow” into relatively normal looking children. It also sports a saucy infant/adult romantic storyline, which is probably why the books are rated “T+” for older teens. Those Japanese kids get all the cool stuff, don’t they?