Grey Vampires and Green Cowboys

Gus and His Gang by Christophe Blain
First Second

Vampire Loves by Joann Sfar
First Second

This is a quick examination of some color, drawing and design techniques used in two great bandes dessinées. I've kept Vampire Loves close to my drawing table for some time now, trying to glean some ideas and inspiration from Sfar's art. More recently I picked up Gus and His Gang and that's also been both enjoyable to read and to look over, saying "How did Blain do that …?" Both artists have versatile, energetic, and very "cartoony" art styles, in the best sense of using all the tools of caricature, exaggeration, and symbolism that are available to cartoonists. They are Big Guns and worth close study. Some other artists in this vein that I enjoy, but didn't have time to fold into this post, are Kerascoet and Emile Bravo, both of whom have some work available in English (and probably a much vaster amount in French.) I hope you'll look them up!

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Goats Drops Premium Membership, Redesigns Website

Jon and Phillip have redone the Goats website.  I really like the evolution of the look and the new layout scheme.  It’s the kind of thing I’d do if I had any talent for writing code and doing design.

Jon also talks about dropping the Premium membership feature he’s had for the last couple of years.  Paraphrasing a bit, what Jon wrote sounds like he’s very excited about the new direction he’s taking Goats in and wants to invest more time in it.  Time he’ll no longer have to spend on the Patent Pending and other Sunday strips he did for his Premium members. 

A tip of the hat to Jon for being upfront with his fans and striving to do the right thing for them.

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E-merl Turns 5, Violence Ensues

In a belated celebration of its fifth year on the web, has just undergone a Doctor-Who-style regeneration. The old design was worried about getting type cast and has gone off to pursue other roles, leaving the imaginatively titled E-merl 5.0 to take it’s place. Five Point Oh is looking to impress viewers straight off the bat by delivering a brand new weekly webcomic series right to the front page of E-merl. The new series, Brain Fist, is already two episodes deep and will continue to update every Tuesday at a merciless pace until someone forces it to stop. Continue Reading

Help with Color Theory: Make Your Website Purty!

Use of color is discussed in a helpful way by this page from Webpage Design for Designers:

For most people, colour is something taken for granted. It is all around us. Yet, when we come to use colour, in paintings, in design, in our furnishings and clothes we often make mistakes because we don’t understand what is going on. Some people will say that this colour goes with that colour and that “blue and green should never be seen.” They will even try to make up complex tables and formulae for combining colours in pleasing ways. I’m not going to do that! Continue Reading

Trading Webspaces

Seen the show Trading Spaces? Well, if you would be interested in Trading Web-Spaces with another webcomic, send me a personal message with your name, url, and we will hook you up with another designer for a front page makeover. The new design doesn’t have to be something you will keep, nor something with active scripts (unless you want), we’re talking just design purposes here.

We can only choose a few people to feature so get a message to me soon if you would like to take a shot. Please don’t enter if you are new to web design, as this article will be instructional for those just starting out. Continue Reading