Monday, August 22, 2011

THE COMIC FIX _ While I was gone

Just got back from a paradise vacation of beaches and scuba diving (see my sea turtle video HERE) and did my best to totally unplug and ignore social media. But, I'm new to Twitter ( @m_lapinski ) and most of my feed is filled with comic pros and updates that are a fix for the often addictive personality that comic fans like myself exhibit. I've wanted to start including more of the work of others on this blog and figured I'd use the occasion to kick it off with news of books that hit the Twitterverse while I was gone.


There isn't a single book that I'm more excited about than the FALL 2011 release of the Graphic Novel adaptation of A TALE OF SAND, an unpublished screenplay by Jim Henson and collaborator Jerry Juhl. Jim and his works have been a great influence on my creativity and personality, recently rekindled by the exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Published by Archaia Entertainment, our publisher for FEEDING GROUND, this book and much of the Henson library is under the great curatorial care and vision of Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. As illustrated by cartoonist Ramón Pérez, the story is conveyed with an elastic realism that evokes both a dream logic and earthy performances like those that populate the works of Will Eisner.

You can see an interview with Stephen about the project HERE.

Last week, Stephen continued to elaborate on the care and attention to detail being brought to this book in the following Tweets:
For TALE OF SAND we are going through old films that Jim Henson made in the 1960s and pulling colors from the footage to inform our coloring

The font that we're creating for TALE OF SAND is based on Jim Henson's handwriting, so the book will look like Jim lettered it himself!

You know a book is going to be crazy when you have to send 12 reference photos to printers to show them what it should look like
And, check out an interview with Ramón about the book HERE as well as a look at a fun earlier comic KUKUBURI.


As far as comic process blogs go, THE SELF-ABSORBING MAN by Marvel artist Paolo Rivera is a must-read resource for tips, tricks, tools and an overall appreciation of what it takes to be a professional artist working at the top of his game.  Paolo is smart about his work and, whether it is his fully painted art or pencil and ink cartoons, there is a plan and playfulness under his polished execution.  He is currently a part of the genre re-defining run on the Marvel superhero comic DAREDEVIL and I can, and will, dedicate an entire post on what makes that book tick. But, the first thing that ever caught my attention about Paolo was how, on top of photo reference, he has often sculpted reference maquettes of his lead characters in clay prior to illustrating a book.

More recently, Paolo discovered the free CG sculpting program SCULPTRIS and Tweeted the results:
I think this is gonna be Matt Murdock:
That's more like it:
I was able to pick this program up immediately, and I'm already making digital maquettes for myself.

Yep. It's crazy easy to use. I downloaded it yesterday, but just started using it an hour ago.


ZEGAS by Michel Fiffe

OK, I missed the book launch party at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn but I read the strip when it first appeared on Act-i-vate and now the book is available on ETSY.  "Abstract" or "Surreal" don't do justice to describe a work in which every line and mark and color choice is as engrossing as a full narrative.

TROOP 142 by Mike Dawson

I WILL be in town for the book launch party of this one at Bergen Street comics on Sept 2.  I also followed this one when Mike was publishing it as an online comic and it has a supremely honest ear for the awkwardness and malevolence of boys and men trying to wear the too big suit of "masculinity."  His essential cartooning is punctuated by finely rendered moments of nature, a dichotomy often employed in the best of Manga.

Plus, a troop badge!

LOOSE ENDS written by Jason Latour, drawn by Chris Brunner, and color by Rico Renzi

I've been crowing about this book since I fist saw the preview for FREE COMIC DAY but it was Axel Alonso, the new Editor-in-Chief of Marvel who Tweeted:
Do yourself a favor & read "Loose Ends," by @jasonlatour, Chris Brunner & @whoisrico. What a page-turner! Updates at
The creative team seems to be working from a single mind and spirit and evokes a dangerous southern-fried world that is as fully-formed and specific as it is evocative as a work of art. Renzi's color is particularly exciting to me and is right in line with my own thoughts and approach to color. Check his blog HERE and more LOOSE ENDS art by the Comic Twarters HERE.

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