phoo action

the lightning's bad but at least it's not loud

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Just a catch up
phoo action
d_morris
So the big news in comics last month is that Wizard Magazine is ending publication.  I've read plenty of places where people are pretty much going "Ding Dong the witch is dead".  I'm not going to disagree with those sentiments.  The management apparently didn't tell anyone that they were ending the print publication to move to web operations.  I worked for a certain comic book store whose convention they tried on numerous occasions to put out of business.  This all goes without talking about a lot of the frat boy attitudes and negative stereotypes that the magazine had perpetuated.

Yet I will say that if it weren't for Wizard, I wouldn't be the creator I am today.  I learned a lot about the history of the industry from the magazine.  It was more skewed towards Superhero publishing history with occasional nods to underground comics and newspaper books but it got me interested in the history of the medium.  I can also safely say that my interest in alternative comics and books from publishers like Dark Horse and Slave Labor came from reading Wizard.  In the early years, there was a section called Palmer's Picks which featured a spotlight on a  particular alternative and small press book each month.  When it came time to do my high school senior project, my years of reading Palmer's Picks became invaluable writing that classic gem of the early millenium "Comics aren't for Kids and why!" type paper.  It exposed me to Jason Lutes' Jar of Fools, the work of the Hernandez Brothers, and many others. It also helped that I had a great local store in Heroes Aren't Hard to Find but I was fortunate in that respect.  Wizard also had a really well written anime and manga section for a few years written by former Carl Gustav Horn, who has worked for both Viz and Dark Horse's manga departments, as well as other individuals.  I discovered a lot of great manga through this column including one of my all time favorite comics, Katsuhiro Otomo's Domu.  If it wasn't for this section, I would never have watched Evangelion, Giant Robo, and even some shoujo stuff when I was younger.  Like I said, it if wasn't for Wizard I don't think I would have ever discovered this kind of stuff.

Yeah Wizard was a pretty awful magazine and it's been a blight on the comics industry for awhile.  Yet I can safely say that despite it's efforts to do so, I became a pretty well rounded comic book reader because of it.

In more positive news, I'm currently working on something with my friend Laur Uy (psychoe ).  I am not drawing anything for it but I am doing the writing.  However, I'm making suggestions for some of the visuals and storytelling.  Still I trust Laur as a storyteller and I'm leaving the lion's share of those decisions to her.  I'm not going to say much because well I am sure we'll post something soon but know that I'm really excited for it.

As for projects I'm doing solo, things are going slowly.  Like I said last entry, December and January were tough months for me confidence wise.  I put down my pencil and pens just to figure things out.  I haven't entirely sorted things out but I'm a lot more confident than I was then.  I'm doing a lot of writing and trying to come up with shorter pieces to do so I can get my confidence back up.  I have something I'm thinking of right now but I want to write it out so I can get the feel while doing character designs.  I remember a quote by Kim Dietch and I know I'm paraphrasing here where he talks about how if you can write, you can make great comics.  I agree with this sentiment.  There are a lot of empty comics that have slick visuals but I think the best comics are ones that clearly were well thought out at the writing stage. 

Of course this doesn't mean I don't think visuals are unimportant in a comic.  If anything my current attitude has only reinforced my opinion that visuals need to reinforce the story.  It's been really reinforced by watching the movies I've been watching lately.  I'm trying to take some inspiration from them not so much in trying to make my comics more "film like" which I think is a bad idea, but seeing if there are visual ideas and techniques I can try to translate into comics.  Comics is it's own medium and trying to make comics more like a movie or any other medium isn't what cartoonists should be aspiring to towards.

I promise next post, I'll have some sketch book stuff.

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