Friday, July 30, 2010

"Everybody Poops" Trailer

After his success with Where The Wild Things Are, director Spike Jonze tackles the beloved children's book Everybody Poops.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

That's Life

This song is dedicated to everyone who keeps jumping those hurdles Life throws at us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GET GEEKY-TEETHIFIED!

See what happens when an eleven-year-old with Photoshop starts a new blog called Geekyteethified. Nothing and nobody is safe...
Geeky Teekee-Winky

Monday, July 26, 2010

Captain America: The First Avenger

Edit: Well, I fell for it. This trailer was a hoax. 


It was obvious that the trailer included footage from Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, but I didn't think that would be unheard of in a pre-production trailer, one that was leading up to an Avengers movie. But I didn't catch the clips from Hellboy and whatever else that Bleeding Fool caught. What fooled me was the "WWII Captain America." I have no idea where that footage came from.


I first saw this on YouTube as a "clean" trailer and suspected it was a fake. The next day, it was gone and what remained was the "Comicon" trailer. Somebody did a good job in AfterEffects to make it look like a camcorder capture in a screening room. That was convincing for me, even if the trailer itself wasn't. Got me! I'm a sucker.

A sneak peek of the forthcoming Captain America movie was shown at Comicon in San Diego. It'll star Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies.


The flick will at least partly take place during WWII, staying true to Jacob Kurtzberg's and Joseph Simon's original wartime stories.



The comicon trailer looked promising except for one little thing:



By no stretch of the imagination is Stan Lee associated with the creation of Captain America.

I'm certain Marvel currently has an entire team of lawyers devoted to keeping Jack Kirby's heirs from having the same success as those of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. They're just prolonging the inevitable.
This newspaper cartoon from the 1870s is by comics pioneer Frederick Opper, best known for his long-running strip Happy Hooligan (1900-1932). Yes, this cartoon is 140 years old.
Click to Supersize

Friday, July 23, 2010

In Freedom's Cause

A panel by Reed Crandall (pencils) and George Evans (inks) from Classics Illustrated #168. (1969)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Steve Rude ebay Store

Steve Rude (Nexus) has an ebay store where you can buy/commission original art.



Not surprisingly, he has a 100% feedback rating.

Blondie - Welfare Director

Blondie was Welfare Director for a railroad company? Gosh, I remember it made the Front Page when Blondie started doing crossword puzzles instead of knitting.

Click to Supersize

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Copyright Dilemma

A stray Google search brought me to Cartoon Stock, a stock art service. I admit I'm not fan of stock art agencies, but I was puzzled by this "vintage" cartoon, for which Cartoon Stock claims to own the reproduction rights. Below the cartoon is the statement, "Copyright in this image is owned by the original artist." The cartoonist is John Leech, and he died in 1864. This can't possibly be correct, as any copyright would have run out.

What reproduction rights does Cartoon Stock actually own? This cartoon should be in the public domain. Or do they have the rights to their scan of the cartoon? Many museums that forbid photography do something similar. While they can't copyright the works of art, they can copyright the photographs. This allows museum control of the image reproduction of otherwise public works of art.

I find it disheartening that whatever I draw, write or paint today could be sold for a couple of bucks to anybody and his dog tomorrow. How well are ever-changing Copyright laws protecting the interests of creators?

While many countries still permit Work for Hire, which removes a writer or artist's authorship, other countries enforce what they call Moral Rights. Moral rights protect the creator's right of attribution to and integrity of her work. Some go further; France reverts all rights and ownership of a work to the creator after a certain period of time. Is the US taking a step backward by introducing legislation that, rather than automatically protecting a copyright holder, will put the onus on the artist rather than the unauthorized user?

Things have improved since Charles Dickens toured the US, speaking out about the importance of international copyright recognition. Said Dickens in a letter to a friend,


I spoke, as you know, of international copyright, at Boston; and I spoke of it again at Hartford. My friends were paralysed with wonder at such audacious daring. The notion that I, a man alone by himself, in America, should venture to suggest to the Americans that there was one point on which they were neither just to their own countrymen nor to us, actually struck the boldest dumb! Washington Irving, Prescott, Hoffman, Bryant, Halleck, Dana, Washington Allston -- every man who writes in this country is devoted to the question, and not one of them dares to raise his voice and complain of the atrocious state of the law. It is nothing that of all men living I am the greatest loser by it. It is nothing that I have a claim to speak and be heard. The wonder is that a breathing man can be found with temerity enough to suggest to the Americans the possibility of their having done wrong. I wish you could have seen the faces that I saw, down both sides of the table at Hartford, when I began to talk about Scott...


I had no sooner made that second speech than such an outcry began (for the purpose of deterring me from doing the like in this city) as an Englishman can form no notion of. Anonymous letters; verbal dissuasions; newspaper attacks making Colt (a murderer who is attracting great attention here) an angel by comparison with me; assertions that I was no gentleman, but a mere mercenary scoundrel....

Are we back to square one, with publishers not having to pay Dickens a dime?

Should we protect the rights of those who came before us? I have to wonder if that has an effect on how we choose to protect the work of living creators. If so, how do we define the limits of protection, respect, and moral responsibility?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tom Richmond Can Make a MAN Out of YOU!

Cartoonist Tom Richmond answers his mailbag and offers some good advice on nutrition and working out. If there was a cartoonist Charles Atlas ad, I would be the Before guy, while Tom is the After. Staying fit is something we all struggle with, and good info like this can lead us in the right direction.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Billy and the dino skulls.


This was an attempt at a back endpaper for the book. It didn't get in, but it was fun to sketch.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not every day...


...You get to draw a book written by the coolest cat on the planet.
Out in March of next year I think. (I'm holding a color proof here)

It's just great writing.

-W.

Thinking 'Bout Somethin'

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dave Eggers: Print Is Not Dead

From The Huffington Post:
Dave Eggers wants publishers and editors to get realistic about print.
Speaking at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in Manhattan on Wednesday night, the author and editor of McSweeney's was bullish about the future of newspapers and books, so long as their creators don't expect them to fund a media empire.
"The numbers can work out where you're not going to lose your shirt, but that's if you don't automatically buy a building or sports team," said Eggers. "Just be a little cautious and work within reasonable expectations, and people who are in it to make money can probably make money--as a lot of people still are."
Eggers outlined how print publishing could be artistically and financially rewarding as part of a discussion of San Francisco Panorama, the Sunday newspaper-sized issue of McSweeney's that came out in December. The 320-page issue is printed in broadsheet format and separated into traditional newspaper sections including news, sports and art as well as a book review and Panorama Magazine insert. Eggers was joined by Salon.com co-founder Laura Miller and McSweeney's staff editor and designer Chris Ying.


Eggers emphasized that newspapers could succeed by having a more independent mindset. While he acknowledged this may sound unrealistic in an age of massive media conglomerates, He pointed out that just a few years ago and certainly a few decades ago, independent papers were numerous and successful.
"But now they let people who are manufacturing widgets and other things determine newsroom budgets and what gets reported, so they are not necessarily looking at what's best for the media or the art of journalism," said Eggers.
Bringing in the talents of authors and artists, and several newspaper professionals who had recently lost their jobs, Panorama was done as an homage to the traditional newspaper and a demonstration of the potential that the form holds for creativity and compelling storytelling.
Panorama's initial print run of 20,000 copies sold out in its first day at newsstands (for $5) and bookstores (for $16) and a second printing hit the streets several weeks after, some copies of which are still available at The Strand and other independent bookstores in New York.
Eggers acknowledged that such independent papers could not compete with the Internet for breaking news, but that the printed format offers...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Little Orphan Annie Banquet

If you're a fan of Little Orphan Annie and/or Harold Gray, you might want to check out Jeff Overturf's blog. He has posted pages and pages of Annie-related content from an old comiczine, Nemo: the Classic Comics Library. Issue #8 was all about Little Orphan Annie and its creator Harold Gray.


Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Color Sketch

Color sketch for a book cover.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spooner Comic Strip Collections On Sale


During the month of July, I'm knocking 50% off the price of all the Spooner books. These three books collect all the dailies and Sunday newspaper strips. The books must be purchased through the CreateSpace store (not Amazon.com), and you must use the discount code.

(Pitch:) That means you won't pay $999.00 (it's true; look here & scroll down), $89.00, or even $35.00! Just one easy payment of... well, half of what it normally would be. And wait! There's more!...

Oh... no, I guess that's it.

Discount code: Offer has ended
Spooner Sundays: $19.99 $10.00
Spooner Dailies Vol. 1: $7.95 $3.97
Spooner Dailies Vol. 2: $7.95 $3.97
Wild Blue: $9.95 $4.98

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Raptor Clans

My eight-year-old daughter has written her first novel, The Raptor Clans: Life of Leaf Clan. We'll be publishing it through Dawson Publishing, and I promised to paint a cover for it. This is the first rough.

Interview with Patricia MacLachlan

Publishers Weekly interviewed author Patricia MacLachlan (Sarah, Plain and Tall) about writing and her new book for children, Word After Word After Word.

I have great respect for children. And I have great respect for their ability as writers. And I so enjoy the process of developing characters, But when I started to develop these characters, what was frustrating was that initially their writing, their poems, all sounded the same. So I really had to delve into their characters to create a unique voice for each of them. 


LINK


That is a beautiful cover illustration, by the way. I need to find out who the artist is.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rick Riordan's "The Red Pyramid"

Rick Riordan, awesome author of The Lightning Thief and the rest of the Percy Jackson series, has released the first of a new series entitled The Red Pyramid. Here's Rick talking about his new novel, which is now on the book shelves.

Google Doodle - Rube Goldberg

In case you missed the July 4 Google Doodle commemorating Rube Goldberg's birthday.



And here are the other Google Doodles that have celebrated comics, cartoonists and illustrators over the years.


























Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Illustrator Daniela Volpari

I really like the illustration art of Daniela Volpari. It just grabs me. If you have a few minutes, her blog is well worth a look-see. She just posted a few pages from a new book she has illustrated, The Roll-Away Pumpkin.

Monday, July 5, 2010

When telling a story about some creepy hole in a rock during a campout...


Don't let the uncle who has photoshop take the picture for the kids to see later.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wondering About Wonder Woman

When I was painting a pic of Wonder Woman a couple days ago, after reading about DC's plan to redesign her costume once again, I had a thought. Maybe there's nothing wrong with Wonder Woman's costume. Maybe what's wrong is the way it's drawn.

Is this how Wonder Woman should be drawn?

This is basically the same costume. What's different?


The way Wonder Woman is drawn in comic books has changed drastically since comic books aren't bought by kids anymore. All I know is, if my wife was Wonder Woman (and she's pretty close), she wouldn't be posing for covers like this:


And if there wasn't some Grand Conspiracy to keep comic books away from places where kids can actually buy them, maybe even this would be an improvement:


Wonder Woman is one of those characters who has always had enormous potential, but who has never quite achieved it. Is it because she's basically wearing a strapless bathing suit? Is it because male writers and artists don't know what to do with a female superhero? Is she simply a token female superhero? Or maybe Wonder Woman simply provides a buff cheesecake fantasy-fest for male comic book readers. I don't know.

J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Changeling) will be the writer in charge of "reinventing" Wonder Woman. He's a great writer, and he did an awesome job with Spider-man, pulling me back into reading comics for a while after several years. Maybe he can do something with Wonder Woman. I hope that's the intent, rather than it being a shallow attempt to build up strength for the movie. (I think if They could figure out a way to dump the comics and just do the movies, They would.)

I'm sure I had a point in there somewhere. I reckon I'm just a disgruntled grown-up who misses the comic book spinner racks. When we did my Spooner comic book five or six years ago, I actually called the Sea Monkeys people and the Charles Atlas people so I could put their ads in my comics. And I tried to talk publisher Scott Sava (Dreamland Chronicles) into printing them on cheap newsprint, but he wouldn't. And now I'm digressing. And drawing Archie's Veronica as Wonder Woman. I should probably go roast some hot dogs or something.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Used To Be A Spy...

I found it humorous the way a recent news article played up the Mystery and Intrigue of how the alleged Russian spies sent secret messages encoded in photographs posted publicly online.

The alleged Russian spies recently arrested by the FBI are accused of encoding messages into otherwise innocuous pictures, marking the first confirmed use of this high-tech form of data concealment in real life, experts say...


Although computer scientists have theorized about the existence of this communication technique for over a decade, this is the first publicly acknowledged use of the technique.

Programmers do stuff like this just for fun, and you can learn how at Ben Nadel's blog.


And spies probably do, too. (Drawn in ArtRage2 with drybrush and grain filters added in Photoshop. That gave it kind of a nice watercolor look.)