As the week draws to a close, I thought I'd wrap my guest blogging stint up with some assorted things I've learned over the years, that didn't quite fit into the other articles. Maybe you'll find them useful, too. Continue Reading
Once you've finished toiling away on your first few comics, and you've produced a work of staggering greatness (or, at least, a couple of pretty good fart jokes), your next step is to create a home for them. Now, there are places that will offer to do all the work for you; Webcomics Nation is one respectable example. But, if you're in it for the long haul, eventually you'll want to set up your own web site. And the first step is selecting a domain name.
There's a well-known (in certain circles …) doodle by Bill Watterson wherein he shares his writing process, which pretty much consists of staring blankly into space, waiting for inspiration. I imagine this holds true for a lot of cartoonists – it does for me, at least. Which makes writing about Writing a bit of a challenge, as I can't give a simple set of directions and send you on your merry way. I think the most I can manage is some random observations, which I'll try to tie together as best I can.
Cartoonists (and artists in general, I suppose) love to argue. Or, at least, we have strong opinions on things; spend all your free time cloistered and toiling, you're bound to ruminate. One favored topic is the ol' “Art vs. Writing” debate, which usually seems to degenerate into “I think I'm good at X, and know that I'm terrible at Y, but that's okay, because isn't X more important, anyway?"
Truth is, if your goal is to make quality comics, Art and Writing are equally important. Intertwined. Yin and Yang. If one falls short, the other suffers. Which can be discouraging, because people tend to think that they're gifted with certain talents and not others, and thus it shall ever be. But Art and Writing are skills, not talents, and like all skills, you can improve your proficiency over time.
In another installment of Neil Cohn's continuing series Comic Theory 101, Cohn puts word balloons, thoughts balloons and panels under the microscope and concludes that they're all essentially the same animal — one that has the function of encapsulating other information.
This month Neil Cohn presents another essay in his series of features on comics as visual language. This article delves into the notion of "what is poetic" in visual language. Poems reflect the language they are written in. If we conceive of comics as a language then there should be particular poetic "forms" that innately reflect comics as visual language. What is Visual Language's answer to English's sonnet? Read on for Cohn's answer.
In his latest exploration of visual language, Neil Cohn sketches in rhyme. Can two comic panels "rhyme"? Can we translate the notion of rhyming into an effective part of the visual language used by comic creators?
I finally got a chance to listen to the podcast of Joey Manley and Joe Zabel chatting about webcomics. A little bit about Zabel’s Introvert/Extrovert article, serialization, pacing and different genres of stories. Interesting stuff (about 30 minutes long) from two knowledgeable, opinionated guys.
How is that your brain can receive two identical signals in the same context yet identify them as two different things? It's not science fiction! Neil Cohn examines the linguistic "Problem of Two" as applied in the context of comics.