Sep 16, 2018

SPX 2018

I was in Bethesda, Maryland yesterday for the annual Small Press Expo. The last time I was there I was selling comics with the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society. That was many years ago, so I was glad to find fellow PCS members Chris Patchell and Melissa Lomax with a table, selling their wares, representing the home team.

SPX is an ideal place to find unique comics by independent creators. One of the highlights of my day was talking to Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau at Pow Pow Press about hand lettering versus computer lettering. I find computer lettering distracting unless it's done very carefully, whereas hand lettering by the artist matches the style of the art perfectly.

Pow Pow's bilingual French artists translate their own graphic novels into English and re-letter them by hand in English. Pow Pow pays the artists for this extra effort and it's worth it. The lettering matches the art and I'd never guess they'd been translated from another language.

Silver Sprocket was there. Youneek studios was there. I met Evan Dahm, who does beautifully intricate drawings of landscapes and boats, Sophie Goldstein, who wrote sci-fi comic The OvenCam del Rosario who uses an elegant combination of consistent lines with flat colors, and discussed treating the entire book as a work of art with Beth Hetland, who's books stood out for their uniquely cut cover designs.

Sep 14, 2018

Keystone con

The Keystone Comic Con is happening now at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Brave New Worlds is selling tickets.

Here's a shout out to friends and fellow members of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society who will be selling their wares: Jamar Nicholas, creator of Leon: Protector of the Playground, and Dave Perillo, pop art illustrator!

Animation Nation

Wanna watch some cartoons? An inspiring collection of shorts was shown at the Animation Nation festival on Chestnut Street, Wednesday night. Since I've been into rotoscoping lately, I was stunned by this one:

Ralf Hildenbeutel - Disco, by Boris Seewald

According to the festival's curator, this piece was cleaner before Boris Seewald's 3-year old daughter was caught drawing on it. He saw her contribution as an improvement and the short became a collaboration between them.

Here are some others from the festival, posted online in their entirely:

Adam, claymation by Evelyn Jane Ross

Dahlia, painted animation on glass by Ana Mouyis

Pearl Twirl, stop motion animation by local artist Olive Couri

My very favorites in the show only have trailers online, but it's worth a look at these contributors:

Sara Litzenberger; trailer for Undiscovered
Explains why no one can get a good photo of Bigfoot

Polder Animation; trailer for Scrambled
Video game vs. Rubix cube

Maki Yoshikura; trailer for Billie
A puppy is relocated to a new family

Irina Patkanian; trailer for Little Fiel
A documentary on Mozambican 'gun artist' Fiel dos Santos

Sep 8, 2018

Free software

Since the advent of the digital era, all you need to be a photographer, film maker, animator, and/or self-publisher is some free time and a little money. I'm finding that with a lot of the software, you don't even need the money.

I recently downloaded Blender, a 3D modeling/animation program available for free, here. I've been watching Blender tutorials on YouTube, available for free, here.

3D modeling is what PIXAR does. It's using geometry to sculpt characters in the computer. I like digitally drawing my animation by hand, but there's a computer-y visual effect I need to create that defies my drawing skills.

I thought I'd have to start paying monthly rent for After Effects until I read that Eoin Duffy animated The Missing Scarf with Blender.

There are a lot of other animation programs available for free. I'm not familiar with them because I'm already hooked on TVPaint, but the programs I use to assemble my animations are very free.

The video editing software I use is called HitFilm.
That's available for free, here.

For editing audio, I use Audacity.
That's available for free, here.

For converting video file formats, I use HandBrake.
That's available for free, here.

I learned to edit video with Adobe Premiere Pro in a class I took at PhillyCAM. Fortunately, the few editing programs I've seen all share the same basic layout. Some have more functions, but once you learn one of them, you can figure out the others with a little free help from the internet.

Sep 7, 2018


Making progress with this segment.

Sep 6, 2018

New paintings

Three to five of my paintings sell per year. Not bad, I figure, since they only turn up in Plastic Club gallery shows. This one sold last month.

Here's two more from recent figure drawing sessions at the club. You can see on the right, how the clips that hold the paper in place get in the way. I'll fix that later.

I'm often asked what kind of paint I use. It's gouache. I like how flexible it is. Used with water, it's like watercolor. Used dry, it's like acrylic. I use a variety of wet and dry with each painting. The lines are compressed charcoal and the paper is what I call 18 x 24" Green Boots paper. Durable stuff.

Aug 29, 2018