Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12/28/10 - The Year in Review - Political Cartoons

2010 - it's been quite a year! Let's see the one you like! (Cartoonists send me your toons as well to post here.) Blog members feel free to append to this post or readers can add comments with links to their images! 

I just saw this one (We work, They Profit) on an Iraqi Student Solidarity site and it has that classic power of old style political cartooning - with strong allegorical types represented. Let's just take a nice long look at the form - and not obsess about the message or the speaker, shall we?

If you buy that this is a dying art - think again!  You need to study history and look at some of the great examples of this important art form! As long as we have corruption, waste, ignorance, intolerance and greed we will have a place for these brave critics who hold up a mirror to our lifestyle and politics.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12/14/10 - December CCG Meeting and Holiday Dinner

We will have an early and abbreviated CCG meeting this Sunday 12/19/10  at the Beaumont Branch Library (3080 Fieldstone Way Lexington, KY 40513 ) before we meet for the first DW&WP Cartooning Class. See agenda below.

We could also plan on a little CCG/DW&WP holiday meal afterwards? Sahara, Applebees, Masala, Fulin asian fusion, Pucini's, a Japanese grill and good Mexican place, are all nearby to the library. Let me know who might be interested and your preference(s) as with a large group it might help to have reservations.

Sunday 12/19/10 Agenda
1-1:45p CCG Meeting - Beaumont Branch Library Small Conference Room
1:45-2p Break
2-4:50p DW&WP Chapter One - Beaumont Branch Library Small Conference Room
5:30 or 6p Holiday dinner get together for all - please RSVP

For those we won't see this Sunday have a Happy Holiday Season and look forward to a great year for the CCG in 2011!

Friday, December 10, 2010

12/10/10 - Conan OBrien Visits New Corporate Brethren at DC Comics

With media mergers and conglomerates you get some strange pairings and some fun bedfellows. This one seems to be the latter. This video documents Conan's visit to WB Animation which animates DC Comics characters. Animation afficiandos look for Peter Girardi and Bruce Timm (now that's a name we all know and love!).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


The amazing indie publisher, Fantagraphics, wants art to hang in their new warehouse. Send some stuff if you'd like.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/29/10 - Drawing Words & Writing Pictures cartooning class now forming!

OK, The CCG is (bravely? foollishly?) going to try and fill the void for adult comic art education in Lexington with the first area DW&WP Class! Are you ready to start? Is it time to develop/hone your cartooning skill? Did this month's incredible UP! Fair fill you with inspiration and determination to make the leap and create your own comics masterpiece? Then this is for YOU!

If you are interested in attending/participating in a local meet up to work through the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures curriculum ( a 15-week college level course) please email the CCG Coordinator at (lexkyccg "at" gmail "dot" com.) Please email if you have questions..

This class is open to all and no previous drawing or writing experience is necessary. There will be no tuition but you will be expected to purchase the text and needed supplies (please inquire for a discounted text and basic supplies). Aspiring/developing/emerging cartoonists/comic creators are encouraged to attend. Act now! Once we have our minimum, classes will commence and entry will close.

See our new PAGE - a new feature on the blog! Just click on the tab to see the DW&WP Cartooning Class page.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Up! Fair Volunteers Needed

Hey folks! Would anyone like to volunteer for the upcoming Up! Fair (recently reported on in the Chevy Chaser)? If you'd like to learn more, you can go here to contact someone about volunteering.

They are looking for help on Saturday November 20th at the Carnegie Center in downtown Lexington. It would only be in four-hour shifts and the responsibilities would include:
- Assist with providing bottled water to all tabling guests during the day
- Watch tables for artists while they lead workshops
- Check in with teaching artists before workshops to ensure that they
have all of the teaching materials they need
- Help attendees find the workshops they are interested in

If you can, please do. It'd be a great way to meet and have some time to talk with the creators and I guarantee you'll have a good time.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

10/16/10 - Kentucky featured in Underground Comic and Trade Paperback

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is not to often depicted in comics and if so it is only in passing or referenced with none too flattering associations. Having traveled and lived from one end of the US to the other has taught me that there are rednecks and cowboys all over (and hopefully not to pre-judge people or places). So I was happy to see Kentucky portrayed with a broader lens in a recent comic series, now available as a trade paperback: "Underground" written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Steve Lieber. Centered around two Kentucky State park rangers and the fictional Stillwater Cave this enthralling adventure story has several exciting sections that really capture the thrills and dangers inherent to cave exploration. It was also fun to find the local references that the authors embedded into the storyline through some obvious research or knowledge of the region.

I had met Steve back in 2000 at Orlando Florida's MegaCon. His then current work on DC's Hawkman and the independently produced Whiteout (recently released as a major motion picture) caught my attention and admiration.

A recent Facebook prompt lead me to visit Steve's profile - this all cascaded into renewing contact and getting caught up on Underground, his website (old and new cartoonists will want to check out the great Advice section) and another of his projects: "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating A Graphic Novel" - co-written with Nat Gertler.

This easy to read book covers areas that many other good texts on creating comics just don't address, namely: a simple but effective process for writing plots/scripts and tips on how to ensure good results as the artist visualizes the written script. This bridging of written word and drawn images really doesn't get explained adequately or often enough in most "how to" books - they tend to be focus on either the writers perspective or that of the artist.
To clarify this point I have excerpted from wikipedia's entry for "comics" in the section defining comics. Read below Will Eisner's (the man responsible for popularizing the terms "sequential art" and "graphic novel") informed opinion -  (also check out the variants by others: McCloud and Harvey):
In 1996, Will Eisner published Graphic Storytelling, in which he defined comics as "the printed arrangement of art and balloons in sequence, particularly in comic books."[42] Eisner's earlier, more influential definition from Comics and Sequential Art (1985) described the technique and structure of comics as sequential art, "the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea."[43]
This blending of word and picture - and this includes the unseen words from the writer that inspire the images created by the artist - is what makes comics unique! Nat and Steve really hit the target and fill this void of information - kudos to them for this service to all who want to learn the deceptively complex set of skills necessary for effective sequential narrative/cartooning.

Friday, October 08, 2010

10/08/10 - Artists Presenting at the World Equestrian Games

A big part of the World Equestrian Games are all the exhibitors set up there on the grounds of the horse park. A number of these are involved in equine art and I came across two that caught my eye.

Debbie Sampson describes herself as a Sports Artist, and her website will certainly attest to that. I met her the first week of the WEG while she was painting at a booth near the Equine Village.

She has as a special fondness for equine sports and was working on a close up of a horse in oils with a pallet knife as we talked. She also works with many professional sports franchises which can be somewhat involved because of licensing issues.

The work that I saw that day was colorful, visceral and a bit abstract - it was, for me, very reminiscent of LeRoy Neiman. After vising her website I saw a versatility in her rendering  (as this striking dressage study demonstrates). She resides in Florida but will often travel to Kentucky for our numerous racing and equine events. I look forward to her next visit and hope that we can chat more then.

A nearby booth promoting a horse registry was hosting a drawing to have your horse immortalized in an oil painting portrait. There was a sample image (shown at right) that was quite striking, which drew me in to learn more - I later discovered the artist was none other than Richard Hescox.

This name sounded very familiar and after talking with the gentlemen from the registry I realized this was a well known science fiction cover artist. I believe he even did a cover or two for Marvel Comics - for their magazine line: Savage Sword of Conan or maybe Kull, The Conqueror. He also has a fine art website where he promotes his equine and portrait art. I was disappointed when I realized Richard was not actually in attendance there at the WEG since I was hoping to meet him in person  - but it was a fun connection to make.

Although I did not visit or see the American Academy of Equine Art during my two recent visits I would be remiss not to mention them and their full time presence at the Kentucky Horse Park while discussing equine art.  I hope learn more about this organization and it's members in the near future.  This non-profit group describes themselves (from their website):
The American Academy of Equine Art, Inc. was established in 1980 by a group of ten distinguished artists, individually famed for their work on equine subjects. Their aim was to maintain a degree of excellence within the genre, and to promote the academic representation of the equine form in drawing, painting and sculpture. Loosely based on the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the AAEA serves to educate and encourage a broad awareness and appreciation of contemporary equine art as a specific and distinctively worthy segment of fine art in America.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

10/07/10 - World Equestrian Games and Spotlight on Lexington

We here in Lexington have been hearing about the World Equestrian Games or WEG for years now and I think many of us were tired of what seemed like a lot of hype before it even started! Well, as one those initial negative nellies I have to confess that I am now a convert and have been very impressed with Spotlight on Lexington (a 16-day festival of cultural performances, mostly musical in downtown Lexington) and the actual games themselves! Spotlight on Lexington performances are all free and open to the public! This is a great gift to the people of Lexington and I hope many in the area are recognizing the opportunity and taking in as many of these acts as possible. Thank you to the many sponsors who financed these fine performances!

I have attended the WEG twice now, both times with only a general admission pass ($25 at the gate). Even without attending the events I was very enthralled with what was available: specifically the numerous demonstrations at the Equine Village. If you are at all interested in the horse these presentations will be quite entertaining and uplifting. It is a joy to watch and be with people who are clearly doing something they love. Speaking of which, both of these ongoing (until Sunday 10/10/10) events are great opportunities for artists to draw, sketch and learn. Here you will be able to draw a wide spectrum of people and the many breeds and qualities of our equine friends. Two animals have made an immense impact on the development of human civilization: the dog and the horse. I find it quite touching that these noble animals seek our companionship, acceptance and dare I say, love.

The Kentucky Horse Park may very well be the premiere equine facility in all the world, something we Kentuckians can all have a little pride in. Don't be put off by fears of crowds or long lines - neither of these were an issue on the days I went (which were Tuesdays - the final weekend may be different).Take the LexTran shuttle and avoid the $20 parking fee at the park or ride share with a group of friends and split the cost. Just make sure and visit our state park during this once in a lifetime event! I would attend everyday if work and my fall allergies would allow!

Share your art! I encourage all my fellow artists to post a comment or send a link to online galleries of their sketches and drawings of the WEG or Spotlight events.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

10/05/10 - Post 24-Hour Comics Day event

Congratulation to all who participated in 2010 24-Hour Comics Day event here in Lexington and across the nation!

Brett Hatfield,  a first-time visitor to our August CCG meeting and a frequent cartoon contributor to The Kentucky Kernel has a great facebook gallery post about his local 24HCD experience at Collectibles, Etc.

See his photos at :

Brett, send a link when you post your comic! Jenny and Mike too!

Email or post a comment if anyone else out there has anything to share from this year's event!

PS: While researching the founder of  the 24-Hour Comics Dare, Scott McCloud, I found this interesting recent (2008) work of his. It is a 38-page online comic explaining the virtues of Google's Chrome browser. See a master at work, using the medium expertly to explain highly technical material in a clear and illuminating way.

Friday, October 01, 2010

10/01/10 - 2010 Lexington 24-Hour Comics Day event tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Saturday October 2nd,  is our 2nd time organizing a full blown 24-Hour Comics Day event here in Lexington! The kind folks at Collectibles, Etc. have stepped up to host the event for a second year as well! If you are interested in participating there are some spots left - but don't wait space is limited!

Sign up TODAY online here: 2010 Lexington 24-Hour Comic Day Participation Survey

If you are curious or just want to see the process:  the store opens at 11am on Saturday. There will be special sales and other fun stuff happening while the cartoonists are hard at work. Come out to cheer these folks on and save on your comics at the same time!

Challenge starts:
11 AM Saturday 10/02/10.
Challenge ends:
11 AM Sunday 10/03/10

Collectibles, Etc.
115 North Locust Hill Drive
Suite # 106
Lexington, KY 40509-1517
(859) 269-6633

Thursday, September 30, 2010

09/30/10 - Fashion Illustration: Jennifer Lilya Video

Illustration and specifically Fashion Illustration does not get enough attention here. I was recently made aware of a very talented fashion illustrator (through a Facebook friend Gerry Acerno) by the name of Jennifer Lilya. She works with traditional media to create her striking and fun images.

I was interested in learning more about her working method (she works on 90# stonehenge with acrylic washes and sumi ink) and and found these videos by PinkyShearsan online magazine for the professionals in the fashion industry. Check out the embedded videos below:

Intro: Interview with Jennifer Lilya, Fashion Illustrator from PinkyShears on Vimeo.

Interview with Fashion Illustrator Jennifer Lilya. [Full Length] from PinkyShears on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

09/22/10 - Big Back To School Meeting/Workshop this Sunday!

Our annual "Big Back to School Special" Meeting/Workshop will be this Sunday, September 26th from 1:30-4:30pm at the Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library. See the CCG Calendar link for address and links to maps. We will have local comic writer/artist/ and screenwriter Mark Kidwell as our guest speaker! We will also have a computer coloring demonstration, as well as door prizes, raffles and some other surprises!

This is our big event to welcome new or returning members - so if you are or aspiring to be a cartoonist, illustrator, animator, etc. please come and join us for a fun afternoon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

09/19/10 - 2010 Lexington 24HCD Event

Last year with the help of Collectibles Etc. we had successful event - so we are doing it all again!

Interested cartoonists please complete the interest survey to be on the initial list of participants. We need your contact info so we will be able to contact you and make the final list where you will be confirmed to attend.

24-Hour Comics Day (24HCD) is an annual event where comic creators attempt to produce from scratch a 24 page comic in 24 hours. This idea was born in 1990 from a dare Scott McCloud, noted comic creator and author of Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics made to his friend, and fellow comic artist, Steve Bissette.

Additional information about 24-Hour Comics Day can be had at :

The Lexington KY Comic Creators Group (CCG) is organizing the event for October 2nd 2010 with the help of at least one Lexington comic shop host. We had a successful event last year and may have more interested parties than space. A small ($10-25) entry fee may be required to help cover expenses, especially if we have to come up with secondary host locations.

How to Particpate? 

Complete the survey:

Direct link:
2010 Lexington 24-Hour Comic Day Participation Survey

Or this embedded version:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

08/14/10 - David Colman Animal Drawing Videos

David Colman was trained as an animator and works as a character designer. Here are some links to some really good how to videos - specifically his Snow Leopard drawing session at a California zoo. His two part video on drawing the giraffe looks good as well!
Video Links:

Thursday, August 05, 2010

08/05/10 - CCG Drawing Challenge III: Shark Week!

Discovery Network's Shark Week started last Sunday and continues through Saturday. I can't think of many more dramatic and exciting topics than this for a drawing challenge. From naturalist renditions to over the top, blood and guts cartoons - anything is fair game! Email your links for inclusion on this blog or post on the CCG facebook page.

08/05/10 - Cincinnati Comic Expo

In a little over a month the very first Cincinnati Comic Expo will take place. This one day show is unique in the number of golden and silver age comic creators that it will have as guests. People like Russ Heath, Allen Bellman and Murphy Anderson. An impressive lineup for any show much less a fledgling event! The impressive lineup of  guests continues and  includes contemporary independent artists Laura Innes, Thom ZahlerCCG art show exhibitor Mike Maydak from NKY, and fan favorite/local artist Tony Moore.

I am excited that a quality show is happening so close to home and will be sure to attend. Getting to meet and talk with living legends of comics is treat too rare to pass up. This is also a great opportunity for local upstarts to display their works as an exhibitor! Visit the Cincinnati Comic Expo official site for more information:

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

04/07/10 - Congrats to the Lousiville Cartoonists Society

Wow! The comic creators in Louisville are hard at work! There's a recently posted online article from the Louisville Courier-Journal highlighting the achievements of Ted Lee Nathanson and other members of the Louisville Cartoonist Society. The LCS just published their first anthology comic! They are having a gallery show of their work as well! Check out their site for the latest news - looks like they have a lot going on!

Here's the full Courier-Journal story....

Even more coverage at the Metromix Louisville site.

04/07/10 - 2010 Conventions and Events

Just to help keep these up on on your radar. Some upcoming comic/illustration/local events and conventions for this year:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

02/02/10 - Groundhog Day 2010

So are your ready for a month and half of winter or are you wishing for six weeks?

Today Punxsutawney Phil makes the call. Me, I'm trying to enjoy the season and each day as a gift - you know the "present". If you follow macrobiotic theory then you know we need to change with the seasons. This is a time for quiet introspection - something that is essential I think for creative folk. But how to do that in our current social climate? That's more than I can tell how for anyone else - much less myself. :-)

Here's a quick doodle I did today - how about some of you join the fun? Post a comment with a link to your Groundhog Day image - come on it will be fun!

Monday, February 01, 2010

02/01/10 - Digital Tools and Software in the Life Drawing Studio and Beyond

MATC pioneers Digital Life Drawing Course using Wacom Cintiq monitors and the Corel Painter (natural painting and drawing media emulation) application.

Many new tools, such as pressure sensitive drawing tablets and pressures sensitive tablet displays coupled with software programs like Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, ArtRage, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro are allowing artists to now work digitally in the life drawing studio. See the link below for the full story about the Milwaukee college that has taken a hi-tech approach to life drawing.

With the recent announcement of Apple's iPad expect to see more digital art created out in the real world as digital artists break free of the chains to their desktop computers. Over the past months there has been an explosion of digital art produced on portable devices such as the Nintendo DS, Apple iPhone and Apple iPod Touch as developers produce art and painting applications for these platforms. This type of art has gained legitimacy - even gracing the cover of national magazines (see photo of the New Yorker cover by Jorge Columbo produced on his iPhone using the painting app "Brushes"). This was covered on the excellent art/illustration blog  "Lines and Colors".

Thursday, January 21, 2010

01/21/10 - Arts Advocacy Day 2010

Show KY Legislators Your Support for the Arts! This came to me today by email:

Arts Advocacy Day 2010

Join us in Frankfort on February 10, 2010!

Come to  Frankfort to support the Arts! With the current funding pressures on  state government, elected officials are making tough choices right now.  This year will be crucial to make sure that the arts are supported in  Kentucky.

Who should come:  Arts supporters, Artists, Arts administrators, Arts organization board members, Arts educators... anyone with a passion for the arts.

When and where? February 10, 2010  at the Capitol building in Frankfort,  starting at 9:30am.

Agenda for the Day:

  • 9:30am :               Rally for the Arts in the Capitol Rotunda
  • 10:30am - 2pm :   Meet with Legislators
  • 2pm - 5pm :         Arts Advocacy and Arts Education workshops (sponsored by Arts Kentucky)
For information on activities being presented by the Kentucky Arts Council,  click here <> .

Wear something that represents your area of the arts! (Blue if possible.) If you're an instrumentalist, bring your instrument! If you're a dancer, wear tights and taps!

More information about the event and what you can do to prepare is available at <> . Check there for directions, schedule, and more! 

The event is also on Facebook <> . 

Please pass this on to other arts supporters and your organization's email lists!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Good Cause

Check out the Comic Creator's Alliance Site. They are currently raising money to help fight human trafficking. More information can be found at the following link:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

01/14/10 - Editorial Cartoons Haitian Earthquake

Daryl Cagle's excellent site:

Some selected cartoons about the disaster in Haiti:

Helicopters - Cartoon by Daryl Cagle -
Helping Hand - Cartoon by Steve Breen - San Diego Union-Tribune
Voodoo Spike - Cartoon by John Cole - The Scranton Times-Tribune
Pat Robertson - Cartoon by Bruce Plante - The Tulsa World

This last is one is for real: see the link to the video:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

01/10/10 - Great Video Resource: Sketch Magazine at Comic Related

This mention is long overdue for work of two local friends: Sketch Magazine (Blue Line Pro, the publisher of Sketch,  is located in Northern KY) and (Chuck Moore has made his fellow CCG members proud with the ongoing successes in the comic news biz).

Together these two have a Sketch Magazine blog on the Comic Related site that is becoming a great collection of online video clips that any comic/illustration/animation artist would find of interest. Thanks guys! This helps a lot!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

01/09/10 - Three Cheers for Bobby Chiu and Stephen Silver!

Ever since 2008 when I attended the Frazetta Tribute by the NCS (link to past CCG blog post) I have been interested in bringing attention to the fact that many of our comic legends are aging and leaving this mortal plane without any legacy of their thoughts and working process. That is why I am so excited to see the latest offering Bobby Chiu's - online lectures from several of comics and cartooning living legends! (Thanks to James Gurney for catching this and posting on his excellent blog "Gurney Journey"!)

Apparently Stephen Silver is the driving force behind the video lectures from:
Thanks Stephen! And I hope many of you will share my interest and gratitude by letting the folks at that you appreciate their efforts!

01/09/10 - Marvel Comics (Disney) Sues Jack Kirby Heirs

Marvel Comics is suing the heirs of comic legend Jack Kirby. The heirs had sent Marvel numerous copyright termination notices that stated many of their most profitable comic properties would revert to the estate starting in 2014!

Marvel contends that these characters were created as "work for hire" and that the heirs claims are baseless. What do you think? Is this fair and only a company protecting it's legal property or is the "Mouse" flexing it's legal muscles?

Here's a link to the January 8th NY Times article:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

01/07/10 - Some Excellent Video Tutorials

Happy New Year everyone!

I have discovered some really excellent drawing demo videos that  I think a lot of you will really enjoy and benefit from. I am just embedding the first video of each segment - these are multipart and should be viewed at full screen.

Steve Bissette demos inking for drawing monsters and dinosaurs. These are really well done! It''s really refreshing to see someone who really understands what they are doing - and able to do demonstrate clearly and effectively without the crutch of the undo button. Steve currently teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction VT. He is one the early graduates from the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning (1977) and veteran comic artists (see his great dino epic "Tyrant").

Mysterious Memphre (Lake Monster) Demo:

Dino demo #1:

Dino demo #2:

Woodland Scene Inking Demo:

I have tried to put these in order. If you have a problem or want to see more - just do a search on youTube for "Steve Bissette". Thanks to Cat Garza for posting these (check out Cat's excellent web comic "Year of the Rat"!).