It’s a special unscheduled Comics Are Great! discussion with Ryan Estrada, who just happened to be in town during the winter break. He sat down with me for a talk on the various kinds of drama that pop up in comics circles and together we explore why it is that we’re sometimes so eager to pick a fight online. Is there a time and place for arguing with peers or readers, or is it an opportunity to turn them into a superfan?
We also talk about the benefits of taking risks (both creatively and in our daily lives), using Ryan’s adventure travels and his “Not My Thing” challenge he takes on from time to time.
As we close out the 2011 season of shows, I’m thrilled to have Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier on to talk about their recent experience at the Quai des Bulles Saint Malo Comics Festival. While watching some video and slideshows from their trip, Raina shares her reflections on how tabling at a French comics festival differs from ones in the United States, and Dave shares his observations about how the festival felt different for the person walking the aisles.
After a failed attempt at some digital painting, I enlisted the help of Brandon Dayton, celebrated cartoonist behind Green Monk and concept designer for EA Games, for a discussion and demonstration on how to paint with pixels. Lots of great material in the video this time as Brandon shares some terrific tips and tricks!
WARNING: If you wish to avoid spoilers or opinions on The Muppets movie, I suggest that you save this episode until after you’ve seen the film.
In this special audio-only episode of Comics Are Great! I’m joined by Dave Roman for a talk about the new Muppets film. We discuss some of the unique storytelling tricks used in the film, revisit some of our thoughts on the Mary Sue character (which we first broached in Comics Are Great! episode 03), and examine some of the special considerations one encounters when approaching storytelling with characters like the Muppets. Throughout our discussion we tackle complicated topics such as author intent, whether or not a franchised intellectual property must be frozen in time, and interpreting the mind of a brilliant creator.
This week we’re joined by Paul Storrie and Tony Cliff for a talk on doing your research when making a comic placed in a specific place or time–that is, when Paul and I aren’t too busy gushing over Tony’s Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant.
We start off with some talk on creating a premise for your story. How do you create a situation that propels your characters forward? We then kick into some discussion on research methods for creating a plausible sense of place and time for a comic story. But how deep into the reference materials or special collections should you dive? Is there a middle ground between verisimilitude and accuracy?
This week we address the time-honored topic of ideas and how a storyteller turns them into something useful. If ideas are a dime a dozen, then how do you know a good one from a bad one? If execution is everything, how do you execute? We’re joined by Norwegian cartoonist Kim Holm and local artist Jono Balliett, who share some insights on how they’ve combined non-trivial time restraints and a spirit of play to take crummy ideas and turn them into gold.
We’ve got two super cartoonists in the studio this week for a discussion on digital vs analog tools, with a demonstration on how to draw with what might be the program that perplexes the most cartoonists–Adobe Illustrator!
Together we talk a bit about Ryan’s recent adventures in South America and finding out he was a Google Plus star upon his return home. After revisiting some talk on social networking we started in Comics Are Great! episode 17, we move on to some drawing demos from Ryan and Jannie.
If you’ve ever wondered about “analog” inking techniques and tools, this is the episode for you! I’m joined this week by Michigan cartoonists Joe Foo and Mike Roll for a talk on why and how they use the brush to ink their comics. You might want to watch the video of this week’s episode, as Joe and Mike lead some really terrific demos of how they do what they do so well.
It’s a discussion on the positive power of fantasy stories on this week’s Comics Are Great! podcast, as I’m joined by Joamette Gil and Brian Denham for a discussion on their new comic, Exile. Gil and Denham’s story features a transgender protagonist who faces cosmic challenges while also dealing with her own gender identity. But this raises a question–why deal with these issues in a fantasy tale, rather than a memoir or slice-of-life story? How does a fantasy story change one’s approach in dealing with these issues?
We’re joined at the end by Sharon Iverson of the Ann Arbor District Library, who shares some terrific book recommendations with us.
It’s a bit of a silly episode with a special surprise topic at the end. I’m joined by Paul Storrie, Alice Hunt, and Tracy Williams for a discussion on the physical hazards of making comics, the Captain America movie, My Little Pony, and finally some talk on writing. Thankfully Eli Neiburger joins us at the end to tie some of our randomness into some kind of usable thoughts, along with some more great book recommendations.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):
Description: Detroit native Paul Storrie has written comics such as DC’s Justice Leauge Unlimited and Gotham Girls, Star Trek: Alien Spotlight, and many more. You can find some of his latest work at AADL and his complete bibilography on his website.
Appearing regularly on Comics Are Great!