Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District
Pantheon Books, 2000
The Jew of New York
Pantheon Books, 1998
The central joke in "The Beauty Supply District" is neatly summed up by this gem from Carol Lay‘s old Frequently Asked Questions page:
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: I buy them in enormous rolls from Hammacher Schlemmer.
The Beauty Supply District—another picturesque corner of Ben Katchor's New York-like city—is a little warren of shops where art and design ideas are sold over the counter. Towering geniuses of the art world make furtive visits to punch up their paintings, atonal compositions, and what have you. Commercial manufacturers stride in with less trepidation, aiming to put a new gloss on their line of olive products.
“Write What You Know” is probably the most common advice writers receive, so much so that it is accepted wisdom; and yet this is quite possibly the worst advice ever given to a writer. Here is what I understand this advice to mean: writers should be lazy and ignorant, and we should never, ever challenge ourselves to try to understand people who aren’t ourselves.
One of the standard bits of advice that gets trotted out for writers, whether in writing workshops, or seminars, or just at author Q&As, in response to the inevitable “what advice would you give a young writer” question is this: write very day. Set aside a particular block of time each day, during which you will write. Even if you have no ideas, you will write. Even if every sentence you type is worse than the last, you will write. Treat it like it’s your job, because it is, and if you give into letting yourself off the hook because you don’t have an idea one day, you will inevitably do the same the next, and the day after that, and so on, ad infinitum.
Thanks to our current sponsors: the webcomic Please Rewind, and the Learn to Draw the Human Figure video series. More sponsorships available – CHEAP!
The June issue continues here at ComixTalk: an Interview with the creator of SPQR Blues — Carol "Klio" Burrell; an interview with Faith Erin Hicks who just won the Joe Shuster award for Canada's Favorite Comic Book Creator, an interview with Dylan Meconis, the creator of Family Man; and Dr. Haus reviews Gun Baby.
Digital Strips blogs about the release of Jerry Stephens' new webcomic management system – BitArtist. If anyone gets a chance to test this out please let us know what you think of it.
Howard Tayler's podcast Writing Excuses covers plot twists.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Jim Zub has written a story for the Pop Gun 2 anthology with artwork by Chris Stevens. It looks awesome!
Could it be? Is Caleb coming back to webcomics?
Funny — Webcomic Warrior Action Figures!
THAT'S HOLLYWOOD JAKE
Lots of superhero movie casting rumors at Blog@Newsarama including this interesting bit that Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to star in DreamWorks/Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens, based on the Platinum Studios graphic novel by by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, from an idea by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.
Years ago I was looking at how much cartooning — writing, pencilling, inking, and coloring — was required to keep Schlock Mercenary going each day, and I asked myself how I could possibly be doing it. Because without knowing how, I WAS doing it. And while thinking along these lines I began to wonder whether discovering how it was done would have some sort of quasi-quantum effect, wherein I find that I can either know how its done, or do it, but not both.
Don't let your characters fall flat! Making 2-dimensional characters 3-dimensional.
Characterization is one of those bugaboos of writing that is especially easy to overlook on a comics project where the majority of time and effort is usually spent designing visual elements. In prose, it's hard to sell a reader on a poorly developed character. By its very nature, prose takes us into the mind of a character very quickly. In comics, it's far easier to end up with a character who is all visual flash, and not even realize it until the project has hit the shelves. How many mangas have you read featuring the adventures of a quietly sweet, inoffensive girl, with such varied interests as snacking and being nice to freshmen? Or American comics about tough, brooding anti-heros? Stop me if you've heard the one about the Silent But Deadly Warrior Woman with a Tragic Past(TM) and a penchant for wandering around her apartment in Victoria's Secret undergarments.
A script that never got made: Superman by Kevin "Clerks" Smith.
I read part of it – a lot more use of existing villians/characters than probably most superhero movie adaptions jam into one movie.Ã‚ Some of the early scenes I read were a nice twist on expectations though – like Superman/Kent meeting up with Lois late at the Daily Whatever office.
Jim Zubkavich, original Comixpedia columnist and creator of early popular and praised webcomic, Makeshift Miracle, is posting art again on his live journal.
Jim has updated a list of his writings on comics — in addition to his earlier writing for Comixpedia, he's been writing recently for Newsarama. His latest column at Newsarama is on social skills and networking in the comics industry.