Monday, December 04, 2006

12/04/06 - Scott McCloud Making Comics Book Tour

UPDATE (1/15/07): Looks like it will be this fall for our chance to host Mr. McCloud. Still need help pulling this off - we need to be working now to make this fall a reality!

Sequential Narrative Guru, Scott McCloud, is making a 50-State tour to promote his latest book: Making Comics. Visit his site to see his itinerary. McCloud is responsible for coining the term "24-Hour Comic" and has been a vocal proponent of the web comic.

He is scheduled to be passing through our region in March/April; I am working fervently to find a local host/venue for him to talk or even possibly instruct.

Please contact me if you have any ideas or can offer any assistance.

12/04/06 - Way Early Notice: OSU Festival of Cartoon Art



The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library will be hosting a major comics event in October 2007. The 2007 Fesitval of Cartoon Art "will celebrate the centennial of the birth of Milton Caniff, whose papers formed the founding collection of The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library." Curator Jenny Robb from the library served as the moderator for the 2006 UK Womens Writers Conference Graphic Novel Quorem back in April.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

11/26/06 Digital Illustration Links & Events

J. Gilpin, Copyright 2006, Painter IX.5 & Photoshop
Guys, here's a little doodle to get you in the Christmas Spirit (women visitors are encouraged to post a link for their hot Santa).

Did not get to go to MOC (see previous post), home sick today ;-(

But here are some links some of you may find interesting. I have talked about the Gnomon Workshop videos before, they are based out in California and really work to support the movie and television production industry out there. Well I have found some other folks in that same market who have some nice sites with really good tutorials (no videos or DVDs yet). Conceptart.org is hosting the Insomania workshop and seem to be physically centered in the San Francisco area. I know of at least one CCG member who is a big Jason Chan (lately of Imagine FX magazine fame) fan, he seems to be a prominent member in this online community. Some great content there, but hard to navigate all the forum posts to know what's happening! Massive Black is a large studio for concept artists and they apparently are on the brink of releasing some video instruction and also have info about a workshop they host/hosted in June (I checked my calendar and think this is a past event - but they were too cool to put the year anywhere on their site!).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

11/22/06 - Mid-Ohio Con This Weekend!


In case you didn't know there will be a fairly large comic convention this weekend 11/25 to 11/26/06 in Columbus Ohio. There will be some fairly big name creators there: Adam Hughes, Ron Garney, Matt Haley, Herb Trimpe, Beau Smith (frequent contributor to Sketch Magazine) and Don Rosa (UK graduate and famous Disney comic artist). Here is a link to the con site. This event has been up on the CCG calendar for several days - so you might want to remember to check that link on the blog sidebar!

I hope to make the trek to attend this, if anyone local is interested in joining me (and helping with some of the expenses) please send me an email ASAP!

11/22/06 - What is the CCG about?

Hey everyone! Please read and comment on this post - I have lined out what I think is the CCG's reason for being. Have I done so accurately? Here is an excerpt from an email exchange with an artist who is just finding out about our group:


Hi Jonathan,

Sorry for the late reply. What all do you do in the comic meetings?




Our meetings follow this basic pattern:
  • Announcements: local events of interest, group business, etc.,
  • Round Table Review: where we bring in recent work (finished or WIP) and let everyone comment, with writers I am asking that they bring copies of their scripts for everyone to take home and read thoroughly before making comments. Visual artists work is usually easier to scan and comment on.
  • Closing: I try to get anyone new added to email list and maybe some other last minute announcements.
Our meetings are pretty short, 1 hour - 1.5 hours. (Update: As of May 2007 we have gone to a once monthly frequency but meet for 3 hours - added a hands on workshop for the second and third hour.) We did have a special meeting back in October to work at a local library. We had a mini 24-hour comic event. Three of us met and worked on spontaneously creating a 4-6 page comic story. I would like to meet like this again for an Artist's Jam or maybe some Digital Painting workshops. We also have tentative plans to produce a print anthology comic to get our work in print and help promote the group in the local arts community.

I probably need to add a mission statement to the CCG blog: but basically my goals for the group are:
  1. Community - Build a community for the comic creators, illustrators, animators, caricature artists in the area so we can have one place to go to share and find out what's going on in the area - this is accomplished through the blog posts and announcements by email or at the meetings.
  2. Education - Share knowledge between members; use one another for critiques and advise. Teach basic to intermediate skills in seminars or workshops. Share and or review instructional books and videos. Promote the medium to community at large, try to increase readership.
  3. Networking - Serve as a "matchmaker" of sorts - to join creators in creative teams. Also to serve as referral service for those wishing to contract the services of our members.


I do want to formalize our goals and purpose as a group. Please send me your feedback!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

11/18/06 - Using the Computer for Drawing and Reference



I found this post over at Newsarama.com, it is an interview with Brandon Peterson. He has worked with using 3D design software for comics since he was the art director for CrossGen Comics (sigh, I miss that company!). I found out about Google's SketchUp (WOW! A free 3D program that's easy to use and learn!) from reading this piece and find it touches on some timely issues: use of photo references and TRACING! SketchUp looks like a great way to work out perspective for interior or exterior comic scenes...but I will still be working on my hand drawing skills for drawing perspective scenes, interior and exterior. Ask me about the great tutorial DVD I purchased from Gnomon Workshop by Scott Robertson on sketching by hand various 3D objects. Over at eatpoo.com (Yum! what an inventive name!) they have a post by Scott showing his special perspective skills if you are interested.

Just keep saying this mantra: "The computer is just a TOOL, The computer is just a TOOL...". By the way the images above are by moi, they were drawn freehand with a Intuous 3 tablet and SketchBook Pro 2. If anyone has samples they have created in SketchUp I would be interested in seeing it - I will post something once I have gotten through the tutorial!

Friday, November 17, 2006

11/17/06 - Children's Literature Conference in March & DMAG

UK is hosting a Children's Literature Conference in March 2007 here in Lexington. Loren Long who I met a this years Bluegrass Festival of Books will be a speaker. Loren grew up in Lexington and graduated from UK. He gained national attention as the illustrator for one of Madonna's childrens books (Mr. Peabody's Apples). There is a cost to atttend, see website for specifics - I don't know if there is a discount for students?

I just found out about a neat group that meets once a month here in Lexington. DMAG (Digital Media Artists Group) appears to essentially be an Adobe Users Group (but with the aquistion of Macromedia by Adobe there is a lot to cover under Adobe's banner!). Thanks to Loren Elks for organizing a cool and much needed group!

Friday, October 06, 2006

10/06/06 - Joel Pett Lecture at UK October 9th

Here is a chance to hear and possibly meet and talk with the Herald Leader's Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist. An interesting aspect of his work is that he does it all digitally. I plan to attend and hope many of you will too.

This event is open to the public. Pulitzer Prize Cartoonist Joel Pett Kicks-off Archives Week at UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2006) − In celebration of Archives Week in Kentucky, University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections and Digital Programs will present a lecture by Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist, Joel Pett, at noon Monday, Oct. 9, in the Great Hall at the M.I. King Building. The lecture will highlight Pett's work and the historical significance of editorial cartoons. A reception and open house celebrating 50 years of archiving Kentucky's newspapers at UK Libraries will follow the presentation. Monday's festivities, which honors Kentucky├é’s journalistic legacy, will give insight into Pett's career and the influences on his career. Pett was the 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning, and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious journalism award in 1989 and 1998. Pett joined the Lexington Herald-Leader after a number of years as a freelancer. He started his career at the Bloomington Herald Telephone in his native Bloomington, Ind. The open house following Pett's lecture at M. I. King will feature exhibits of the many projects Special Collections and Digital Programs is undertaking to save the history of Kentucky as documented in the state's newspapers, including archives developed as part of national preservation projects. In 1956, the UK College of Journalism (now the College of Communications and Information Studies), the Kentucky Press Association and the University Libraries joined forces to centralize the microfilming of Kentucky newspapers at M. I. King Library. After 50 years, the Preservation Reformatting Center (PRC) continues to collect and microfilm more than 170 Kentucky newspapers earning them repeated national recognition for their work archiving the state's newspapers. From 1983 to 1991, UK Libraries participated in the United States Newspaper Project to locate, collect, inventory and preserve historic Kentucky newspapers. More than 500 repositories were visited, 5,000 titles were cataloged, and 1.5 million pages were microfilmed. Today, the PRC continues microfilming as it explores future preservation options including providing digital access to the archives. The UK Libraries is also participating in a two-year project to contribute to the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), an effort supported by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As one of only six projects selected for this national program's test-phase, the UK team digitized 100,000 pages of Kentucky newspapers from the period 1900 to 1910. The papers archived for this 10-year period were selected by an advisory board of scholars and librarians for their representation of the state's history and diversity during a tumultuous and fascinating time in the state. The work is part of a long-term effort to digitize the nation's historic newspapers from 1836 to 1923. UK's contribution to the NDNP will allow anyone to access issues of the selected newspapers online, to view images of original newspaper pages, and to search a newspaper for items of interest. With funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), Special Collections and Digital Programs is also processing over 97,000 acetate photographic negatives given to UK Libraries by the Lexington Herald-Leader. This work includes separating the images from acidic paper materials, re-housing negatives in protective archival sleeves, and providing access through a searchable database. The project will make mid-20th century photojournalism widely available for research and scholarly use. The resulting database can be searched online at http://kdl.kyvl.org/. In addition to Monday's events for Archives Week, Special Collections and Digital Programs will present an exhibit of antebellum Bluegrass imprints and a printing demonstration at the King Library Press from at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. The King Library Press event is part of the 2006 Bale Boone Symposium History Hop. Archives Week is part of a national effort that hopes to educate the public and resource providers about archivists' work and the importance of their service. For more information on Archives Week events in Kentucky, visit the state's Web site online at http://archives.week.ky.gov

Lisa R. Carter
Director of Archives
Special Collections and Digital Programs
123 M.I. KingLexington, KY 40506-0039
Phone: (859) 257-9672Fax: (859) 257-6311
E-mail: LisaC@uky.eduwww.uky.edu/Libraries/Special/

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

09/28/06 - Explorium: Comic Convention

NEWS RELEASE

Family Comic Book Convention
at Explorium of Lexington October 28


Contact: Deanna McDaniel, Marketing Director
(859) 258-3253 x19
mcdaniel@explorium.com

Explorium of Lexington is hosting the Bluegrass’ first Family Comic Book Convention,
Explor-A-Con, Oct. 28th from 10 am to 6 pm. a family-friendly version of the huge comic book conventions in Chicago and San Diego, the convention features an amateur comic book art show for artists under the age of 21. It will open up a whole avenue of creativity for young artists. Central Kentucky’s young people can sculpt an action figure, paint a super hero portrait, draw a 9-panel comic page or use their favorite graphic software to create a cover design – anything that they can imagine drawing inspiration from manga, graphic novels or comic books.

Essential convention programming takes an interesting twist at Explor-A-Con. In addition to the art show, there will be workshops in creature illustration, an “artists’ alley” with artists offering original artwork for sale, a demonstration on designing a web comic and a panel discussion with local comic industry professionals. “Every aspect of the programming ties in with literacy, art, technology and encouraging people of all ages to explore their own creativity,” said Deanna McDaniel, Marketing Director of Explorium. “Comic books are valid literary tools. Besides that, they’re fun.”

Explorium is hosting this convention not only to promote young artists, but also to encourage the learning that comes with exploring new territory. “Comics are not just illustrations. Graphic Novels work with words to tell the story. Great for reluctant readers,” said Jan Isenhour, Executive Director, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. The first 100 people will receive exclusive grab bags full of prizes including PETA comics and Explorium freebies.

“Many of today’s comics rely heavily on allusion, satire, irony, and parody to make a point. Students discover they might actually need to know such terms for reasons other than analyzing a Dickinson poem. Making this connection has strengthened their understanding of terms,” Sharon F. Webster, English literacy coach at Narragansett High School in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

And of course, there’s the fun! Children in costume will receive a dollar discount off regular admission. In addition to the typical programs Explor-A-Con will also feature a live action battle between Super Heroes and Villains performed by the Known World Players. The workshop that follows will be of particular interest to people who aren’t quite ready for Halloween - a costume specialist will demonstrate how to make your own costumes based on comic book characters. Clay Held of Kid Twisted Comics will lead a workshop on creating your own web comic.

“Go experience it. Comic stores and comics have evolved. Comics and graphic novels incorporate all genres for all different kinds of people," said Elissa Lynch of Diamond Comics. Fans of classic literature will even have the chance to meet the author and artist from the Frankenstein comic book offered by Dead Dog Comics, R.D. Hall and Mark Kidwell.

For a full schedule check out www.explorium.com or www.myspace.com/explorium

Monday, August 28, 2006

08/28/06 - Tomorrow's CCG Meeting

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL EVERYONE!
8/29/06 - I have updated this post with some links...
At our next meeting (Tuesday, August 29th) we will be discussing PERSPECTIVE. If you have any favorite methods of constucting 1-point, 2-point, 3-point or beyond please bring the explanation with you or be prepared to demonstrate the method. Bring your reference material if you need it for constructing perspective guidelines.
Other topics to discuss:
  • 24-hour comic day in October: what do we want to do? We could do a mini version, perhaps a 4-6 hour comic... (see next item)
  • I have been thinking we should have a quarterly (4 times a year) "jam session" one day on a weekend somewhere with enough room for everyone to work. Send me your thoughts; best as a comment to this post or you can email me if you're too shy to comment.
  • Developing a group library with donated books, audio tapes and videos. For video ideas see: http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/bka01.html - look around under 2D dvds. I have ordered one of Scott Robertson's DVDs (perspective).
  • Start/support a figure drawing workshop targeted to Illustrators, similar to this: http://www.thedrawingclub.com/home.asp

Friday, August 04, 2006

the Experts #1 in September's Diamond Previews


This is an exciting time for myself and penciller-co-creator, Clarence Pruitt. "the Experts #1" has made it into Diamond Distribution's September issue of "Previews." So, if you have any interest in the book or would just like to lend a hand in supporting your fellow, struggling, independent comic book creators... then bug the tar out of your favorite comic book retailer and tell them that they need to check out the September issue of Previews and order as many copies of "the Experts #1" as they can.

I know Clarence and I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance,
Kenn Minter
http://expertscomic.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Some useful portfolio tips

Okay, so this isn't PRECISELY comic related, but the same standards hold true for any portfolio and prospective employer. And to avoid John's chiding for my not blogging (as I generally e-mail him these things), I'll share what I found in my insomniac hours. Of course, views of Drawn! have already seen it, no doubt.

http://igallo.blogspot.com/2006/07/in-response-to-old-question-what-do-i.html

Saturday, July 08, 2006

07/08/06 - Tuesday CCG meeting a GO!


Hungry Like the WOLF-

Thanks to Wolf (founder of the CCG) for volunteering to shepard the upcoming meeting (Tuesday July 11th, 6:30 PM at A+Comics). Here's a great chance to meet and talk with the guy who was brave enough to start this endeavor! Despite great personal sacrifice (Tuesday is his BIRTHDAY!) Wolf will be running the meeting - so make sure and show up with your latest and greatest comic works and make his long drive into town WORTHWHILE!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Weekend Finds...

I know these are not comic related... but I thought you might want to see these beauties. I am big collector of paperback novels from the 1930's to @ the early 1970's. Of course, I collect them for the beautiful illustration art on the covers. Nothing compares.

Sunday, my pal, James, and I went to Fairfield, Ohio to an Antique Mall named "the Brass Armadillo." There, I found these gems.

"the Brass Armadillo" is quite large... and is filled to the brim with many impressive antiques and retro kitsch. BUT... it's a little over-priced.

-Kenn



Tuesday, June 27, 2006

06/27/06 - Meeting Time or Location Changes

Tonights meeting has been cancelled for lack of an organizer. I am unable to attend and could not find a replacement.

Starting in July we will need to move our meeting day to stay at A+Comics OR change locations to stay with our Tuesday meeting day. All the promotional posters distributed to date give the meeting day and time as "Tuesday nights, 6:30-8pm" and refer them here to the blog for the meeting location. Because of this I am inclined to try changing locations - some options:
  1. Meeting room at a Lexington Public Library
  2. Private residence of group members
  3. Another comic shop
Please add your thoughts or suggestions as comment or a separate post (if you have a lot to say).

Due to a work commitment I will not be able to attend the July 11th meeting. If anyone is interested in organizing that meeting please contact me at lexkyccg@gmail.com
If no one steps up for that meeting it will have to be cancelled - stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

06/14/06 - Some "How To" Links: Perspective

Here is a nice process tutorial I found while looking for info for perspective grids and drawing comics: http://www.disraeli.plus.com/educatio/levdemo/
I'm definitely going to try the BLEND tool in Illustrator for making the perspective lines!

Scott McDaniel shows a bit of his perspective process on his site: http://www.scottmcdaniel.net/
He uses frames so I can't link you directly - go to DRAWING COMICS in upper left pane then click on PERSPECTIVE in the bottom left pane - he shows several examples...

Here's one from Will Terrell of Lucid Comics that keeps things pretty simple (don't forget to roll over the red buttons to see his drawings progress):
http://www.lucidcomics.com/creatingcomics_perspective.htm

Scott Reed shows (but doesn't really explain- hint, hint) his use of perspective grids in this link: http://www.websbestcomics.com/theprocess.htm

Here's a good all around comics how to resource: http://www.members.shaw.ca/creatingcomics/

And here is an overall how to resource for drawing: http://www.artshow.com/resources/drawing.html

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

OniPress Talent Search

I got this e-mail yesterday and it psyched me up pretty badly. I'm not sure if I've the time to put something together, but I thought I should post it for you all to see. Best of luck to anyone who enters!
--------

More information and scripts at: http://www.onipress.com/talentsearch

Following the rousing success of 2005's Oni Press Talent Search, the boys and girls here at W.H.O.O.P.s (World Headquarters Of Oni Press) are at it again with an all-new storytelling challenge! With Comic-Con International just around the corner, Oni Press is pleased to announce that we are once again giving artists an opportunity to show off their skills. In order to have your portfolio reviewed by an Oni Press editor at Comic-Con you will need to illustrate one or more of the three scripts found on this page. Realizing that different artists are geared towards different subject matter, four different professional writers have developed three different five-page scripts, each one using a different genre and showcasing a different personal scripting style.

The genres and authors are:
"Noir" by Jen Van Meter (JSA Classified, Hopeless Savages)"Romance" by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (Past Lies, New X-Men)"Comedy" by Jim Massey (Death Takes A Holiday)

Last year's Talent Search was a gi-normous success! With Oni Press examining hundreds of different artist samples, we were lucky to find several who were ready for a shot at comic book stardom. Joe Infurnari, resident of Brooklyn, NY and artist of the recently released graphic novella Borrowed Time, with writer Neal Shaffer, was one such artist who came to our attention through the talent search. Halifax, Nova Scotia's own Mike Holmes was another. He's collaborating with writer Ian Shaughnessy for a new graphic novel entitled Shenanigans, due out this Fall!

In order to have your portfolio reviewed, you must illustrate at least one of the above stories. In addition to presenting the original art at the review session, interested parties must also bring with them photocopies of both pencilled art and inked art for Oni Press to keep as reference. Each photocopied page should include the artist's name, phone number, and e-mail address and measure 8 ½"x11". The samples should be submitted in a manila envelope that also includes the artist's name and contact information. Illustrating one of these stories and following the above guidelines guarantees you an appointment time to meet with an Oni editor at Comic-Con during the convention's posted hours.

Not attending Comic-Con? While Oni Press does not usually accept unsolicited submissions, this is a special event and non-attending artists can submit their packet, following the guidelines above. If all guidelines are followed, submitters will get an e-mail response from Oni Press in three to six months. We realize this may seem like a long time frame, but after receiving hundreds, if not thousands of submissions last year, we feel that this is a realistic estimate given our editors\' already busy schedules. The written critique may not be as valuable as a good person-to-person critique at San Diego, but thems the breaks. Packets must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2006.

Packets must be sent to:
ONI PRESS TALENT SEARCH 20061305 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.Suite APortland, OR 97214

While Oni Press will not be reviewing portfolios for individuals who have not followed the above guidelines, we will be accepting project proposals at the convention (but due to legal and time restrictions, not by mail). Project proposals should include all pertinent contact info and include an overview of the project, sample script, and sample sequential art if it\'s available (writers can still submit without art). Proposals will not be reviewed on site, but will be taken back to the World Headquarters of Oni Press (W.H.O.O.P.s!) for review as time permits.

If you have any questions concerning your submission before you send it, you can mail thisbetterbegood@onipress.com and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.Thank you for your interest and good luck!

More information and scripts at: http://www.onipress.com/talentsearch
James Lucas JonesEditor in ChiefOni Press

Monday, June 05, 2006

They don't make 'em like they use to.

As I said to Jon (and for the sake of laziness, I'll just copy/paste it), I re-read my TPB of the collected Dark Phoenix Saga, and I feel just as happy as I did in 5th grade when I read the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas and watched the cartoon episodes based on them. Marvel just doesn't write stories like that anymore! They just rehash the cash cow muties and super powers in convoluted harlequin-esque stories. I use to love Wolverine, but I am SOOO freakin sick of him now. But Phoenix is and shall always be my favorite Marvel character. A primal cosmic entity that was love, life, evil, and death all in one; but above all, she was passion itself. And she just wanted to be free to enjoy it.

"Mainstream" comics today have just lost that kind of storytelling quality they use to have. I turned to Japanese comics because, like Ken said, they have stories from and for all walks of life. As for American comics, I stick to indie titles, like Blue Monday, Hopeless Savages, and mostly OniPress and Slave Labor titles because they're different. I think that's kind of sad given how much I use to adore the X-Men titles. I tried reading some newer issues and I had no idea what was going on. Everything was so convoluted. All the characters I did manage to recognize when referred by name were so different that I just found it distasteful. I know change is good in alot of aspects, but sometimes that change gets skewed in favor of making money, you know..? It's kind of sad, really.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

An Interview with me (Kenn Minter)


A local paper (the Wildcat Weekly) here in Lexington, Ky., recently conducted an interview with me about my comic book series, "the Experts," and comics in general. It was conducted via email. Here's the unedited version:

> How old are you?

I am 36 years old. I was born in 1970.

> What was the first comic piece of yours that was
> printed? What was it called and what was it about?

The first comic strip I did professionally was called
"the Doggy Bag." That and other comics of mine ran in
UK's Kentucky Kernel from 1990 to 1995. I had several
characters who popped up every now and then... but the
comic was mostly socially satirical... whatever I felt
like pointing out and ridiculing.


> Describe the challenges that you face on a daily
> basis in the comic art world.

My biggest challenge is managing time. I work a forty
hour work week as an Art Director for the University
of Kentucky. Finding the time and energy to get my
"extracurricular" comic work done is tricky. I try to
do a little bit every day or every other day.

> What about you (personality, training) has prepared
> you for the comic business?

I don't think you ever stop preparing when it comes to
business... no matter what business it is. I'm always
working on something... if my hands aren't occupied
with drawing, writing, or inking... then my mind is
occupied with creating story ideas or promoting the
comic somehow. I'm rarely bored... because I can
always find something to work on.

> Where do you work from?

I mainly work from home. I have an art studio upstairs
where I do most of my drawing and inking. I have an
office downstairs with a computer and scanner. I do
all the toning, coloring, and lettering on the
computer.


> Many see the comic book world as a dying art. Do you
> agree?

I do not agree that comics are dying as an art form.
Maybe comics are dying as a product... they get so
much more expensive each year due to paper costs. The
mainstream public seems to view comics as kids'
stuff... but the average lowest age of comic book
readers is probably around 30. Comics have such
amazing story-telling possibilities. There's no limit
that one can achieve in comics. They deserve a larger
part in the mainstream's entertainment menu.


> Why comics?

Honestly, it's what I do best and what I love to do
the most. Plus, as long as I have a sketchbook and a
pencil... I can literaly work anywhere.


> How long did it take for you to finish "the
> Experts?"

Clarence and I are currently working on the third
issue of "the Experts." We would be probably further
along with the series, but we've taken some production
breaks while pitching the series to various
publishers. I'd say we've been at this series off and
on for about four years or so. It wasn't until I
decided to simply start my own publishing company,
"Near Mint Press," that we really got the ball
rolling.

> What, if anything at all, was your inspirational or
> purpose for bringing this series to life?

I love superheroes. I'm shameless about it. I knew I
had some good, zany superhero stories rattling around
my skull. I had written the script for the first issue
and was attempting to pencil and ink the series
myself. Being a big fan of 1960's Silver Age DC
Comics... I had a definite look in mind... and I just
wasn't achieving it on my own. That's when I came
across Clarence Pruitt's comics work on an internet
chat-forum for cartoonists. He has a very distinctive
style that is very inspired by 1950's and 1960's
comics. It was just the style I was looking for. I had
begun commenting on the forum about his work and he
commented on mine. I quickly told him about the
scripts I had written and asked if he'd be interested
in pencilling them... with me inking and lettering
over his pencils. We tried a few pages at first, and
quickly discovered that we made a pretty good comics
team.

> Clarence Pruit is the illustartor of your comics,
> but he lives in California. Explian the process of
> developing a comic peice with an illustrator that
> lives so far away.

Well, Clarence is very easy to work with... we have a
simple system. I write the scripts, design the
characters... and e-mail it all to him. He, in turn,
pencils the pages, mails them to me (via the US Postal
System) , then I ink them, scan them and letter them
on the computer. We do most of our discussions via
e-mail and occasionally over the phone. We've probably
known each for over fours years now... and have still
never actually met in person. I love seeing those big
packages of pencilled pages sitting by my back door.

> "the Experts" plays on the woman super hero and uses
> hilarious subjects as "mind controlling" as a basis
> of the woman's ability to control men. While there
> are some men, like Naked Man, the dominant figures
> are women. This is something that we don't see very
> often. Why did you choose this route?

Women make much more interesting characters. Women are
strong and perservering... and they can also be very
petty, catty, and over-emotional. They are much more
fun to write for. And Clarence loves drawing women
too.


>
> Were you a big comic fan as a kid?

I have always read comics. I come from a big family of
mostly boys. Comic books were in the house when I
"showed up." There has never been a time in my life
when there wasn't stacks or boxes of comics somewhere
in the home. To this day, I still spend way too much
of my expendable income on comic books.

>
> In your opinion, do you believe that Lexington is
> supportive of the comic book business? What more can
> be done to bring comic books back to the mainstream?

There are four or five comic book stores in Lexington.
That's not bad for a town this size. I do wish there
were more avenues and opportunities for cartoonists in
Lexington to find freelance work... but, regrettably
there aren't. All of my freelance illustration work
comes from out-of-state.

The Japanese create comic books for every
walk-of-life. There are comics catered to housewives,
businessmen, children, sci-fans, romance lovers... and
many comics are presented in inexpensive, phone-book
sized volumes. In the states, If more publishers took
more chances with their products, and more retail
environments pushed the comic as a viable
entertainment product in the U.S.A., comics might
stand a chance.


> Where can one get a copy of "the Experts" and see
> the comic strip "I'm Not Here"?

In Lexington, "the Experts" are available at Sqecial
Media on S. Limestone, Collectibles Etc on Richmond
Rd., and A+ Comics on Southland Drive. Copies of "the
Experts" are also available for purchase online at:
http://www.comixpress.com

My somewhat embellished autobiographical comic, "I'm
not from here," can be viewed online at:
http://www.kennminter.com

Monday, May 29, 2006

05/29/06 - In Memorium: Alex Toth 1928-2006


How sadly appropriate for Memorial Day. Alex Toth is a name many of the younger readers of this blog won't recognize...that is a shame because his lean, illustrative, almost journalistic art style has influenced countless numbers of current "fan favorites". Mr. Toth passed away early Saturday morning, apparently working at his drawing table (an admirable work ethic for a man of 77 or 78!). Two of my favorite blogs have posts about the man and his art:
http://www.linesandcolors.com/2006/05/28/alex-toth/
http://drawn.ca/2006/05/28/alex-toth-1928-2006/

I encourage those of you who aren't familiar with him to study the work of an expert, if not master, of the comic art form. Regrettably, I never had the pleasure to meet and talk with him and feel saddened by the lost opportunity. Something to consider next time you go to a comic con and rush to stand in line to talk with today's "hot" artist while ignoring some of the industry's historic figures.

If anyone out there has any personal stories or just thoughts on how Alex Toth has affected their work; I for one, would love to read them....

Friday, May 12, 2006

Comic & Pop Culture Expo (CAPE) '06

Hey folks! I spent last weekend down in Dallas, TX as a guest at the 2nd annual Comic and Pop Culture Expo or 'CAPE' sponsored by Zeus Comics (www.zeuscomics.com/cape). They have it every year on Free Comic Book Day under a giant tent in their parking lot. This was my first show as a 'professional', so I was nervous and excited.

I drove 5 hours to St. Louis to hook up with my buddy Jeff Elden (www.exit126comic.com, www.velvetgoat.com) and the next morning we got up at 7 a.m. to make the 9-hour drive down to Dallas. Once there, we got situated and unloaded our stuff at the house of David Hopkins (www.antiherocomics.com) where he graciously hosted us. Christian Beranek (www.silentdevil.com) also crashed with us at casa de Hopkins

The show itself was on Saturday and it's estimated that around 6,000 folks showed up. I did some sketches in people's sketchbooks, which was pretty surreal, but cool at the same time. I had some posters of various 'Popped Culture' (www.poppedculture.net) comics printed, so I was selling those and some copies of Apex (www.apexdigest.com). I did okay and it was cool to hang out. Turns out the crazy-talented Bryan Hitch, artist on Marvel's 'Ultimates', sat right behind Jeff and I, so it was cool getting to hear him tell stories all day.

But the real fun was Saturday night at the Live Art Show. At The Metro Grill in Dallas, in the bar area, there were three plywood boards standing up on end and propped against the windows. The three featured artists, Jim Lujan (www.jimlujan.com), Andy Lee (www.findandy.com) and Brock Rizy (www.beeow.com) set up their stuff there and started to go to work as a local DJ spinned. Also set up were three small easels and a few sketchpads set up on a tarp-covered pool table where any other artists that happened to come in could go do their thing.

It was cool because at one point I was drawing on one of the pads and looked up and across from me also drawing was James O'Barr, creator of 'The Crow'. He later got up and did a larger piece. All of the art was auctioned off or sold throughout the night to help pay for the costs and any extra went to local area charities. It was such a cool atmosphere. No one asked for autographs or to do personal sketches, we were just all artists doing our things and having a good time.

I think something like this can happen in Lexington. However, I don't know any local DJs or anyone that does. That's where you guys come in. Know anyone that might be interested or know of any venues where we might be able to get that set up? Just post it here and we'll see what we can get done. Power to the people!

-Justin Stewart

Thursday, May 04, 2006

05/04/06 - Free Comic Book Day Saturday May 6th


Visit your local comic shop this Saturday for Free Comic Book Day on May 6th! We have five comic shops here in Lexington so there should be a store close to you. Encourage new readers to take advantage of this effort to grow the comic book readership.

Here is a link to a review of last year's event: the great curve

Friday, April 28, 2006

04/28/06 - Bluegrass Festival of Books





WOW! Two weekends in a ROW! It's amazing when you look up and actually see the opportunities right here in Lexington, Kentucky! OK, let me explain: last weekend we had the wonderful Women Writers Conference with some really inspirational comic creators and now this weekend we have another major event of interest to creative folk.

This Saturday, April 29th at Lexington Center, UK and Joseph-Beth Booksellers are presenting the Bluegrass Festival of Books, http://www.bluegrassfestivalofbooks.com/.

Of special interest to me is this workshop:

PICTURE THIS! THE ART OF THE CHILDREN'S BOOK
1:00 PM
Room:
Thoroughbred 5

Join three of today's most talented children's book illustrators as they discuss their craft. Panelists are Loren Long ("The Little Engine That Could"), Susan Meddaugh ("The Witch's Walking Stick") and Pamela Pease ("Derby Day"). The moderator is Chris Ware from the Herald-Leader.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Comic Discussion for Teens - Beaumont Branch Library


The Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Libary will be having a discussion about comics Tuesday April 25th 2006, here is the event listing:

Comic Characters

Beaumont Branch, 7:00 PM
Who is your favorite comic book character? Spiderman? Batman? Or do you prefer the villains? Take a look at your favorite comic book heroes and villains through discussion. Create your own comic book character. The focus will be on characters in the Marvel and DC Universes. Feel free to bring comic books that feature your favorite character.
12-up

This looks to be a good event for some of the younger comic creators here in Lexington.

Monday, April 10, 2006

4/10/06 - WWC and Women Comic Creators

The University of Kentucky is hosting the 27th annual Women Writers Conference here in Lexington from Thursday 4/20 to Sunday 4/23. Last year Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist, Ann Telnaes was a keynote speaker - this year several women involved in comics will talk or be involved in comic related discussions. Some events are free and some you have to pay a registration to attend (see website or call them for more info). Lexington's own Sara Turner of Cricket Press and Make Like a Tree Comics will be in a quorum at

ArtsPlace on Saturday 4/22
3:30 pm
Arts Place—free & open to all
THE GRAPHIC NOVEL QUORUM
Part literary artist and part visual artist, the graphic novelist works with many media to create new worlds, or to tackle the real world. Leading women of the business, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lauren Weinstein, Amy Kim Ganter, and Lexington's own Sara Turner will talk about it all. Moderated by OSU Cartoon Research Library curator Jenny Robb.
Signing will follow



I just discovered Sara as a comic creator right under our noses - hers and Jerzy's MLAT Comics site is very nice with some wonderful tutorials and beautiful examples of their work. Other guests of comic interest are Phoebe Gloeckner, Lauren Weinstein and Amy Kim Ganter - see the presenters link to find out more about these women.

Lauren Weinstein Friday 4/21

10:45 am
Lexington Public Library–for subscribers
MASTER CLASS—Jane Vandenburgh: The Architecture of the Novel, part 1 (reservations needed)
ROUND TABLE—Heather Raffo: Oral History and the Creative Impulse
CURIO—Lauren Weinstein projects and performs her graphic novel work

Make sure and go out to support this wonderful event!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Show Card idea




















Here's an idea for one of the displays we might have at the table. It's of course a rough, but we'll see how things go. I'm trying to take some of the responiblitly off of John, and I hope the rest of us will do something even if the task is small. Speaking of which. WE NEED A SAMPLE OF EVERYONE'S WORK FOR THE GALLERY. I believe that this will make the table look 200% better if we have a lot of our stuff up for display instead of just 2 pieces John and I drew. As a matter of fact, there is no gallery without more art work, so send us something. D day is coming so we need art, the sooner the better. Alright. Later.

Fox


P.S: Email John and he'll give you something to do if you want to help. I'm sure he still needs it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

03/04/06 - Animation Studio in Danville KY!!

Hey guess what I just found out about? Grace Animation Studios in Danville, Kentucky (just about 45 minutes out of Lexington for the geographically challenged) had a section leading story in the Business Monday of the February 6th Herald-Leader. Christopher Turner is the head of the studio and the creator of the Avenging Apes concept.
Here is a link to their website. Amazing, huh?!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No looking back!

Well, our last meeting was far more productive than any of the others that we have had recently. At this point, I feel motivated and inspired. Keep reading members and visitors alike, this ride is just getting started.

Fox

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

03/01/06 - Lexington Comic Show

In case you haven't heard; there will be a Comic Show in Lexington on Saturday April 1st 2006. No, this is not an April Fools Day prank! This one day show runs from 10AM to 4PM and is being hosted by Comic City Comics out of Nashville. Here is a link to their site with more info about the show. There hould be several local and regional comic creators in attendance so it looks to be a lot of fun! CCG hopes to be set up there - stay tuned for more details on that.

Monday, February 27, 2006

02/27/06 - Cool Illustration Sites

While browsing the magazines at Joseph-Beth, our local independant book seller, I saw a website mentioned in Illustration Magazine (a nice mag with lots of 20th century American commercial art) called american art archives. Guess this shows a personal bias to realistic figurative art but I don't think I'm the only one that will enjoy looking through these great galleries. Lots of new discoveries for me here!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

02/22/06 - Next meeting and Instructional Link

Our next meeting will be Tuesday 2/28/06. I had to correct the blog header: we meet the second and last Tuesdays of the month. I may post some more about the upcoming meeting - may try to produce an agenda of what we will be doing.

Found this at newsarama in a series called One Step about breaking into drawing comics (thumbnails specifically) which is part of an ongoing series. Check it out.

Please email me or comment on this post to let me know you will be attending on the 28th. Need a head count possibly for handouts.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

02/19/06 - Project 1: Exposed

Show us what you've got!!Art: 2006, J.Gilpin. Drawn in Alias Sketchbook Pro 2 with an Wacom Intuous tablet

No. Not that, silly.
Now is a good time to post a link or your actual work from Project 1. Let's see what everyone has done!
My roughs are on my personal art blog.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

02/09/06 - Local Pulizter Prize Winner Speaks Out



Joel Pett our editorial cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader was on National Public Radio's All Things Considered this past Tuesday (here is a link to the story and audio file archives) talking about recent news events regarding cartooning and the right to free speach. I hope you all listen to his audio editorial.
I may be crossing a line with this post (this is not a blog about politics) - but I think cartoonists should be watching these issues quite closely. Have you noticed how many news stories talk about the images without showing them? How can there be a public discourse about this without seeing the objects of so much controversy? Mostly I object to those who are propagandizing and inflaming the Danish cartoon situation with misinformation to provoke violence and destruction. Surely, if anyone is breaking moral laws, it would be them.
Here is an interesting story regarding that - http://www.mediawatchwatch.org.uk/
And here are the comments of respected comic artist: Joe Kubert - http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=60690

Kirk Man and Caramel

So, we come to see Bob (er Rob depending on how fresh you are with the guy) Kirkman, and I'm psyched. I thought maybe I'd learn something unique, or bear witness to some kind of trick to improve my technique. Basically, he signed my Walking Dead book, I chatted a bit, showed a little of my stuff, and then I went home. Some how I was... vexed about the whole thing. Not with Kirkman at all... more of myself. I would have liked a reaction from Kirkman about my work to be a little more enthusiastic. I think I'm just realizing how far the gap is between the pros and myself. I was finally feeling that the gap was slowly beginning to close just slightly. This means I'm going to work a lot harder to get to a point where the gap is gone. Hopefully, little epiphanies like these will happen to everyone in the group and strengthen every member. Anyway, thanks Bob, you freakin' rule, and thanks for drawing that zombie in my Volume 1, it kicks the face of all who oppose!

Jigga

Thursday, February 02, 2006

2/2/06 - Robert Kirkman Appearance

Robert Kirkman will be at A+Comics on Wednesday February 8th from 4PM to 7:30PM for a public appearance and book signing. In case you haven't been paying attention; he is a local Lexington comic book writer who has written several independent titles and recently several books for Marvel. His "The Walking Dead" and "Invincible" series have been very well received by readers and critics alike.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

2/1/06 - Good meeting & New Template

We had a good meeting last night with several new people showing up. Hey John and Ken! Since some folks hadn't had a chance to get the script for Project 1 we will extend the due date to our next meeting on 2/14/06 (Uh-oh, that's Valentine's Day - let me know if we should cancel/reschedule?). Oh, now I've forced your hand - you MUST post a comment.

By the way, what do you think of the new page template "Minima Ochre"? "Son of Moto" didn't differentiate main content from sidebar well enough for me...might try "Rounders".

Thursday, January 26, 2006

01/26/06 - Building the Team


I have sent out invitations to some CCG members - if you have responded you should see your name added under Contributors in the left column of this blog. If you don't see your name and you responded to the invitation email let me know and I will send out another invite. You have to follow the link that comes in the email invitation. You may need to copy and paste the url into your browser - clicking the link in your email might not work.

Membership will allow you to post to the blog - not just add comments to existing posts. This should allow us to share and exchange work in the online environment.

Scott R - can you tell me how to set up a subscription service (for folks that don't know RSS) like you have on your project blog?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

01/24/06 - First Post & Project 1

art: 2005 J.Gilpin, drawn with Alias Sketchbook Pro 2 and a wacom intuous tablet
Hi! Welcome to a blog about our local Comic Creators Group. I have inherited the organizer role from Jason "Wolf" Hicks who started this group in 2005.

My intention is to use this space as a way to keep members up to date on events and meetings.
Other possible use are:

1.discussion of comic creation,

2.post your comments to the blog item,

3.sharing work: text and images,post a link to your site,

4.getting/giving constructive criticism of yours or others work,

5.sharing relevant links to other sites,
and probably lots of other things that don't come to mind now.


This is my first blog, so beware, I will probably make lots of mistakes along the way. Kind hearted suggestions as to how to make this blog better are welcome.

At our next meeting (we meet the first and last Tuesday of each month) January 31, 2006 we have an assignment due: Justin Fox and I decided to make a project so that we would have some specific work to help one another with.






Project 1 (due 1/31/06)
Layout the first four pages of Robert Kirkman's (our local comic writer celebrity) zombie comic, The Walking Dead (the scriptbook is available at A+Comics for $3.95).

Work from the script not the actual comic (that's cheating!)
Here is a link to great website by Scott McDaniel (of DC comics Nightwing fame) http://www.scottmcdaniel.net/ It uses frames so you will have to go to Drawing Comics in the top left frame and then Sequential Art #1 in the bottom left frame. Here you can see how he works from the script to create thumbnail layouts and finished layouts.

These layouts shouldn't be finished drawings , instead they should show the panel layout and size and give a rough indication of what is happening. These should be half size (7.5"H x 5"W) or smaller (based on an original art page size of 15"H x 10"W). Bring your layouts with you and/or post lnks to your images in a comment.