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):

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

> 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

> 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

> 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

> 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:

My somewhat embellished autobiographical comic, "I'm
not from here," can be viewed online at: