Boundary by Emily Cowan

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Wow.  Emily Cowan, comic book artist, has just completed an extraordinary book:

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What a beautiful journey it has been to dive into Paige’s teenage life.  My cheeks prickle with familiarity– those hot-nosed, overly self-conscious struggles of a 15 year old.

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The book is deceptively gentle, masterfully rendered.

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DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS GORGEOUS BOOK!

LINK: BOUNDARY

Emily’s decision to create a webcomic has been a huge influence on my own work.

But the journey is not over!

In the words of Emily:

Thank you so much for reading, for sticking with me when I updated late, for encouraging me and supporting me.

I’m so glad I got to share this, my first full-length comic, with you, my sweet readers from the beginning and all the new ones who joined in along the way.  I can’t believe anyone read along at all, and the fact that so many of you did is something I can’t even believe.

The future of Boundary: I’m going to be Kickstarting a book, so keep watching this space for news about that! The archives will stay here, free to read any time.  And in the meantime you can follow new comic news at my twitter or instagram

If you like, you can support my Patreon, where I’ve been posting journal comics every day, and will be sharing sketches and plans for upcoming projects. 

Thank you all again.

And thank you especially to Julian, without whom I couldn’t have done this. – Emily Cowan

I can’t wait to PHYSICALLY hold that book in my hands.  

ABOUT EMILY:

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Hella cool queer brat who makes a comic about sad teens!

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SUPPORT EMILY COWAN ON PATREON:

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https://www.patreon.com/emilycowan

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VanCaf Reflections Part 6 of 6: Moen, Boumeries and take aways

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK

5. Inspector Pancakes BLOG LINK

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

The only problem with my visit to VanCaf was that my visit was too short and my budget too low.

But I learned so much from all the artists and my daughter and I made some great notes regarding tips around my own work and what I hope to be a future table at VanCaf.

TAKE AWAYS/ TIPS/ NOTES:

1. Point of purchase- clear signage

2. Cash/debit/visa

3. iPad email signup

4. Portrait offer (limited to 20)- then release some more offers

5. Secret code/password

6. Quality publication.  Tight presentation

7. Branding

8. Simplicity

9. Small broadsheet release as sneak peek

10. Multiple price points

11. Never leave booth empty

12. Elevator pitch

12. Engaging product

13. Thematic booth

14. Welcoming

15. Talk to people

16. Question whether or not to show original art work panels- leave something to mystery.

17. Not t-shirts or clothing

18. Get the right reps (the 6 second/13 second rule)

19. Not too much product

20. Have an “everything for $…” deal

21. Research/question ComicCon/Fan Expo attendees/friends- what draws you to a new artist?

And so, I end my VanCaf 2015 posts with two new favorites.

I was encouraged to search out Erica Moen and Boumeries by my son and his group of friends.  I am just getting to know the work of these two- so my post about them is limited- but from what I have seen so far, I am HOOKED!  They both share the ability to be transparent, honest and funny as hell.  Gorgeous slick artwork on both parts- filled with the raw joy of REAL LIFE.

ERIKA MOEN:

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BOUMERIES:

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The teddy bear!  My heart!

    

VanCaf Reflections Part 4 of 6: Jasmine Schuett, Queer Artist, Cartoonist, Space Club

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic

5. Inspector Pancakes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

4. JASMINE SCHUETT, QUEER ARTIST/ CARTOONIST, SPACE CLUB COMIC

 

It’s hard to find the right words to describe how much I adore Jasmine Schuett’s art and vision.  MUCHO, GRANDE, JÄTTE MYCKET, OTROLIGT, SO VIEL

Jasmine Schuett in front of her painting
Jasmine Schuett in front of her painting “Pack: Not All Wolves Run On Four Legs,” 2012

There is such humor, kindness, edge, humility, honesty, assuredness in Jasmine’s work.  She approaches her life as she does her art- with a cutting wit and alarming charm.

What I learn from Jasmine is how to stay INSPIRED by artists and life.  Inspired to keep at it, keep working, keep delivering.

I love following her various projects and was delighted to add to my collection of Jasmine-y things last Saturday!  Every project is a true delicious gem!

  

    

  

Check out Jasmine’s web comic, Space Club:

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SPACE CLUB is about ALICE, a human girl traveling through space with her new friends: some rando aliens she met while clubbing one night! Over time she comes to realize this wasn’t the best idea, for several reasons.

Space Club is also about exploring how relationships can change, queer identity and community, the unstoppable tragedy that is time, loneliness, coming to terms with your negative aspects, coming to terms with how you have hurt others in your life, and other fun and horrible things!

Space Club does not have violence or sex in it but it does have cuss words! Shh don’t tell your mom. 
– Jasmine

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And her art blog:

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 and GIRL DATE…

A common piece of creative advice is to make the work you want to read. All I want to read is comics about girls going on dates. So here it is: 10 short comics about girls going on dates. Nice dates, bad dates, first dates, last dates.

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Emily Cowan and Jasmine Schuett at their VanCaf 2015 table, C4:

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VanCaf reflections Part 3 of 6: Emily Cowan, comic artist

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic

5. Inspector Pancakes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

3.  EMILY COWAN, COMIC ARTIST, BOUNDARY COMIC

I adore this artist.  For so many reasons.  It has been such a joy getting to know her more and more this past year!

Emily has an impeccable eye for character study and environment.  Her comics also drip of authenticity.

I was elated to see her set up at her VanCaf booth (table C4), displaying her delicious product.

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I learn so much through my interactions with Emily and her art.  We are certainly soul-sisters when it comes to our desires to work fulltime on our art as hermits in our personal caves, riddled with anxiety and self-doubt, but driven nonetheless.

I do love that Emily demands honesty and exploration of identity in her own work.  Be it the gentle, masterful strokes of her pen, the quirky aspects of her characters, the conversation with environment or the metaphoric imagery of inner angst.

Indeed, she has inspired me to embrace and really explore my own identity.   Identifying as an asexual, pan-romantic, cis-woman artist at age 53 is fabulous and LIBERATING!  Bad ass, even!

    

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BOUNDARY is a long-form comic about being stuck, difficult families, changing friendships and the different kinds of boundaries in our lives.  Mostly though, it’s about adolescent frustration and the unbearable tragedy that is being fifteen.  

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The worst part of being fifteen is the monotony.  That’s what Paige thinks anyway.  Doing the same things, seeing the same faces, hearing the same opinions and going to the same places: day in, day out, forever – it’s driving her crazy!  Add a teacher’s strike that completely stalls the school year, friends who don’t seem to think monotony is a problem, and parents who think EVERYTHING is a problem and Paige feels ready to tear her hair out from the restlessness.  She can’t wait for a few more years to pass so she can finally DO SOMETHING – because after all, once you grow up you can finally make things happen for yourself.

…Right?

      

Check out Emily’s experience at VanCaf in her 365 Project:

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Space Club- a new comic by Jasmine Schuett

The other day, I let you know about Boundary, the new delicious comic by Emily Cowan.  Emily’s living quarters can hardly contain the creative genius it houses within.  Jeeeeezus.  It is BURSTING at the seams, for indeed, Emily’s roommate, Jasmine Schuett, has also released a GLORIOUS new comic: Space Club.  CHECK IT OUT!

I am so honored to know these two incredible artists and to witness them pursuing their passion!  I am SO INSPIRED and it kicks me right in the ass to keep going with my own dreams.

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SPACE CLUB is about ALICE, a human girl traveling through space with her new friends: some rando aliens she met while clubbing one night! Over time she comes to realize this wasn’t the best idea, for several reasons.

Space Club is also about exploring how relationships can change, queer identity and community, the unstoppable tragedy that is time, loneliness, coming to terms with your negative aspects, coming to terms with how you have hurt others in your life, and other fun and horrible things!

Space Club does not have violence or sex in it but it does have cuss words! Shh don’t tell your mom. 
– Jasmine

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THE SPACE CLUB CHARACTERS:

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Space Club updates on Mondays!

Waterlogged: new anthology from @CloudscapeComic!

I just purchased the latest beautiful anthology from:

during their launch at the Vancouver Maritime Museum [perfect setting] last night!

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It’s a delicious voyage to embark on!!!

You can purchase your copy at: STORE

Let’s take a peek at my copy!

Personalized!
Personalized!
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Navy Ink, Shannon Campbell (story), Lucy Bellwood (art)
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Blar Dyr, Amancay Nahuelpan

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To the End, Kathleen Gros

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Many Fish in the Sea, Pakorn Patarawutiporn

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Revenant Island, Christine Vivier

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Plunder Blunder, Paul Gill

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The Balcony of Endless Days, Jordan Stasuk

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Rhyme, Shannon Campbell (story), Sam Logan (art)

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Secret Ocean, Gabriel Frizzera

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Grandpa, Bevan Thomas (story), Reeta Linjama (art)

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The Selkie, Christine Eberle

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Deep Rule, Cameron Morris (story), Nina Matsumoto (art)

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In the Hall of the Octopus, Jonathon Dalton

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The Tea Pirates, Colin Upton

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Safe Harbour, Kate Ebensteiner

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Breath, Reetta Linjama

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The Keeper, Kevin Forbes

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Star Brothers, Oliver McTavish-Wisden

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Bombardier, Kris Sayer

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Sea of Sand, Seth Rutledge (story), Edison Yan (art)

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Free as the Sea, Bevan Thomas, Ksenia Kozhevnikova

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No, You Teach a Man to Fish! Brinny Langlois, Kevin Wilson, Jonathon Dalton

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The Ones in Love Taste the Best, Kinson Young

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Distant Shores, Angela Melick

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Into the Eastern Sun, Jeffrey Ellis

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The Cloudscape Comics Society is a community of comic creators in Vancouver, BC who together publish and distribute quality graphic novel anthologies, as well as host comic workshops and other related events. Here enterprising comic artists come together to network, develop their ideas, and help each other perfect their craft. Everyone is welcome to the weekly evening meet-ups on Wednesdays, starting at 7:30 PM in the back room of the Grind and Gallery Coffee Bar.

Cloudscape Comic artist community:

Cloudscape on FACEBOOK:

Cloudscape on TWITTER:

Dementia Dad: A story about the Caring Relationship by Hannah Miller

I was delighted to receive the mini-comic Dementia Dad by Hannah Miller in the post today. The book is a simple, heart-warming, insightful and empowering piece. With her profound illustrations and humorous text, Hannah manages to paint a portrait of the effects of dementia on daily life. A simple short story says SO MUCH.

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We see the absolute love between her parents, the difficulties and fears caused by dementia, and the gentle acceptance of circumstance and the healing power of humor.

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It’s absolutely wonderful and heartwarming and I encourage you to purchase a copy at Hannah’s ETSY shop:

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I also LOVE her mini comic: Chondromalacia Patella. Hannah shares her journey through knee pain and it’s amazing how she mixes pain with humor and honesty. I am a HUGE fan of confessional work and autobiographical work.

I can’t wait to see more of Hannah Miller’s work!

ALSO CHECK OUT: GRAPHIC MEDICINE

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“Graphic Medicine is a site that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. You’ll find a growing collection of comic reviews, articles, podcasts, links, and coverage of our international Comics and Medicine Conferences. We encourage participation by academics, health carers, authors, artists, fans, and anyone involved with comics and medicine.”

 

 

Naked Ladies Naked Ladies Naked Ladies, by Lynda Barry (Real Comet Press, 1984)

Recall my obsession with my superhero, Lynda Barry.  Well, the obsession rages on, fueled by the newest addition to my collection:

Real Comet Press, 1984

OMG.  It’s spectacular.  Each page is a full-page playing card  illustration of Lynda’s exploration of female body images.

Along the bottom of each page runs a classic Lynda Barry storyline.  Charming, funny, tragic.  It starts with:

When I was about five years old my cousin who was the same age came running around the corner from the back of the house and said did I want to see a boner.  I didn’t know what a boner was but I knew it was probably pretty good from the way he was running...

I will resist the temptation to color in it.  It’s just too amazing.  Copying from Lynda Barry is my personal art therapy anyways, so maybe I’ll color my own versions instead.  I’m definitely thinking wheatpaste!

18″ x 24″ china marker on newsprint.  Inspired by page 8.

This rare book was purchased via ETSY from the shop, DAME STYLE:

Art is a biological function. #LyndaBarry @ideaprogram

Two artists are my greatest influences: Frida Kahlo and Lynda Barry.  Both are tatooed on me.  It’s serious business.

Recall my post the other day: Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

Being able to attend Lynda’s lecture at IDEA, Capilano University Friday evening was a dream come true. And Lynda delivered.  WOW.  What an experience it was.

Her whole thesis resonated with me and the work that I do- my own art, my work with Dad, art therapy, crafts… whatever.

ART IS A BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION.

Unless we have this place, the image world, and we can work stuff out there, which is what part of our biological makeup gives to us, then I think that we’re fated to try to date them or marry them.

A scientist named V.S. Ramachandran has done some astonishing work with neurological problems he’s actually solved with a mirror. He had a patient who had lost his hand, but the patient’s experience was that the hand was still there, and not only there, but it was in a really tight fist — you know, painfully tight. This guy was miserable; he couldn’t get away from that feeling. Ramachandran made a box, tilted the mirror in there, and then he put a hole in the other side. He asked the guy to stick his hand in the hole, the fist that was still there, and look down. So what the guy saw was his fist and then the reflection of it, which was like his other hand. Then, he told him to open his hand, and what he saw was the reflection of his other hand opening, and it solved the problem.

That’s a perfect example of what images do. My feeling is that in the course of life there are certain things for us that are like phantom limb pain, like a horrible, horrible parent who dies before you ever work things out with them. And I think the only way that those things can be worked out is through something that’s akin to that mirror box — except it may be a fairy tale, or it may be a painting, or it may be a song you can remember from when you were 14 and you had to play the same song over and over and over again, like 400 times in a row. Yeah, what are you doing there? You’re opening your fist. You’re looking at a reflection.

– LYNDA BARRY, source: kqued.org

Lynda gave us more than expected and I laughed and cried, applauded, nodded, and all that good stuff.  As she ran overtime, there was no time for meet and greet, but I managed to thrust a bag in her hands as she ran by me (fittingly, a Frida Kahlo sock monkey and Frida Kahlo street art… naturellement).

There she is!!! “No cameras allowed” was then announced. Sigh.

A signed copy of her latest book, EVERYTHING, is, well… EVERYTHING!!!

My current Lynda Barry collection:


This post is dedicated to my little brother, Fred.  We obsessed over Ernie Pook’s Comeek together and felt it illustrated our lives perfectly.

#LyndaBarry is in town! @ideaprogram

Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

I am a tad overwhelmed to say the least.  She is always my inspiration.  My idol.  My number one.  The greatest- PERIOD.

One of the most successful alternative American cartoonists, Lynda Barry has blazed many trails over her 30 year career. Best known for her Ernie Pook’s Comeek about family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls; Freddie, Arna and Marlys, the syndicated strip ran for two decades in non-mainstream weeklies. Barry is also a painter, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher. source

Lynda will be participating in several events on campus from Sept 24 to 28, culminating in a free public event on Friday Sept 28.

Details here: www.capilanou.ca/nscu/Lynda-Barry/

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Barry’s next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010’s Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

What It Is is based on “Writing the Unthinkable” which is based on a tried-and-true method creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. Lynda explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself. Barry currently offers her workshop “Writing the Unthinkable” all over the place. Source

My son just brought back this beautiful Lynda Barry Tote from Montreal!

Recommended Lynda Barry links:

WRITING TO REMEMBER AUDIO ON YOUTUBE IN SEVERAL PARTS

Creativity, imaginary friends, writing, memory, inspiration, mental health, the importance of play…

I’m actually digging menopause by the way…

At the centre of any artwork we do there is something alive…


DOODLE YOUR WAY OUT OF WRITER’S BLOCK RADIO INTERVIEW ON NPR

“When it comes to writer’s block, author Lynda Barry believes the key to unblocking your thoughts is right in your hands.”

Hands are the original digital devices run on biofuel.

PURCHASE LYNDA BARRY AT POWELL’S BOOKS!

HER SPECIAL DAY Video excerpt from Comic Book Confidential (1988)

Studio visit!  See PICTURE THIS originals!  VIDEO

Part 16 daily journal workshop. COMICS! Shameless copying. #artschool #arttherapy #LyndaBarry

Daily Journal Workshop:

Part 1 JUST WRITE

Part 2 DRAW OUT THE WORDS

Part 3 HEART

Part 4 SPILL OUT COLLAGE

Part 5 NAKED SCREAM

Part 6 INVITE ALTER STRETCH EXTEND

Part 7 ARISE AROSE IN 3’S

Part 8 SELF-PORTRAIT. HUMAN

Part 9 WORD CRAZY QUILT

Part 10 VINTAGE WORKOUT

Part 11 GESTURE DRAWING

Part 12 DEAR WORLD. SECRETS

Part 13 NEGATIVE – POSITIVE

Part 14 BE THE MAP

Part 15 GUEST SPEAKER

Today, I want you to copy/recreate a comic panel.  You can check in the funnies section of your local paper, find something online, or if you’re like me, dig in your comic book/ graphic novel collection.  I used to take my dog and my sketchbook and a bunch of Archies and Donald Duck comics into the forest when I was 14/15 and copy copy copy.  It was the best art school.

So grab a favorite panel from a favorite comic by a favorite artist and copy copy copy.  Be a kid again!

My greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is my inspiration today.

She is always my inspiration.  My idol.  My number one.  The greatest- PERIOD.

Self-portrait by Lynda Barry

Source:

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Barry’s next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010’s Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

What It Is is based on “Writing the Unthinkable” which is based on a tried-and-true method creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. Lynda explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself. Barry currently offers her workshop “Writing the Unthinkable” all over the place. 

The original:

My page:


Recommended Lynda Barry links:

COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL

WRITING TO REMEMBER AUDIO ON YOUTUBE IN SEVERAL PARTS

Creativity, imaginary friends, writing, memory, inspiration, mental health, the importance of play…

I’m actually digging menopause by the way…

At the centre of any artwork we do there is something alive…


DOODLE YOUR WAY OUT OF WRITER’S BLOCK RADIO INTERVIEW ON NPR

“When it comes to writer’s block, author Lynda Barry believes the key to unblocking your thoughts is right in your hands.”

Hands are the original digital devices run on biofuel.

PURCHASE LYNDA BARRY AT POWELL’S BOOKS!

HER SPECIAL DAY Video excerpt from Comic Book Confidential (1988)

Studio visit!  See PICTURE THIS originals!  VIDEO