Neal Adams and Heath Ledger and Weird

Neal Adams swipe by me, with Heath Ledgers head

This is a drawing for the Kid’s school auction, confronted with the “kids these days don’t think batman is cool”, heck kids these days don’t read American comics and feeling my hip cartoonist self fading off into irrelevancy I asked The Kid what to do for the auction. He suggested the Joker from the movie, not the comics Joker, certainly not the real Joker, Cesar Romero.

So I used his suggestion as a chance to swipe an old Neal Adams cover Detective ? at url. Neal was the first artist I recognized as cool, the first artist I started looking for his work on the racks. he had a very graceful feel to his figures, did well etched muscles, ad had hands clenching things with the best knuckles. I never could swipe his knuckles very well.

So I tacked Heath Ledger’s head on top of the cover and redo everything else within the context of my world. Over on Facebook Stephen DeStefano was quizzing Walt Simonson about the coolest Batman comic ever that Walt did. We had a little discussion about what make Walt’s Batman weird and mine weirder.

Neal’s drawing grew out of strip art and commercial illustration of that time, he figured out how to put some Kirby dynamics under that traditional rendering and made something feel new but recognizable. Walt who’s work is totally based in Kirby overlayed by a sure design sense, trained by art school (before they taught comics in art school) with a line that feels fresh and bouncy, with all sorts of weird visual art history references thrown, came out of left field. So he’s seen by the traditionalists as weird.

My art school training pushed me even further afield, I was even less concerned with the iconic or traditional styles and drawing was that gestural physical act for me. I wasn’t interested in referencing Steadman or Baron Storey or any other illustrators that were considered appropriate, I really thought you should draw your own way, so comics people look at me as totally from “another fucking planet” as Mr. Chaykin said.

These days it’s easier to go “Yup, my drawing is from another planet”.

Read More

Teaching about Data

One of the Learning Goals of the Advanced Flash class is teaching data as a different way of thinking for artists.

We’re no longer just making images one by one by one, but relating to a structure that we pour content into. the approach of master pages, templates and styles of InDesign and Quark is being transferrred over to everything.

For the advanced Flash class at the Academy of Art over the summer, artist advanced not Computer Science advanced, an introduction to classes and OOP. I need to reveal that classes and OOP is how styles and templates is built, a metaphor no one ever talks about, why I wonder.

So the two threads to hang things on

A history of one person, famous, family or fictional, a negative or positive view.
A study of ten years or a story project, because god knows I don’t want to do an info project as a demo.

Both will be made with the same set of classes we build, so each weeks assignment will be two separate designs due, start by changing the xml of a simple slide show, as we add button classes they will have to pull in seperate assets but always using the same classes by changing the xml and parameters we should be able to produce two different designs.

It would be cool if I could figure out a structure for doing a game in this context.

They’ll get to pick, or work on their thesis for the final five weeks of course.

Read More

Teaching about Data

One of the Learning Goals of the Advanced Flash class is teaching data as a different way of thinking for artists.

We’re no longer just making images one by one by one, but relating to a structure that we pour content into. the approach of master pages, templates and styles of InDesign and Quark is being transferrred over to everything.

For the advanced Flash class at the Academy of Art over the summer, artist advanced not Computer Science advanced, an introduction to classes and OOP. I need to reveal that classes and OOP is how styles and templates is built, a metaphor no one ever talks about, why I wonder.

So the two threads to hang things on

A history of one person, famous, family or fictional, a negative or positive view.
A study of ten years or a story project, because god knows I don’t want to do an info project as a demo.

Both will be made with the same set of classes we build, so each weeks assignment will be two separate designs due, start by changing the xml of a simple slide show, as we add button classes they will have to pull in seperate assets but always using the same classes by changing the xml and parameters we should be able to produce two different designs.

It would be cool if I could figure out a structure for doing a game in this context.

They’ll get to pick, or work on their thesis for the final five weeks of course.

Read More