Look at that, the bear speaks French.
A few days ago, I went on a rant about a fellow cartoonist and how he had his website hacked. That artist’s name is Tim Green and his website is Vinnie the Vampire. Tim is a great artist, great cartoonist, great guy, and a great presence in the online comic community. When his site went down, Tim didn’t think he would be able to get it back up again. Three years of work gone. He even mentioned that if he couldn’t get the site back up, he was done. That would be a huge shame and a huge hole in the online comic community. We all wished we could do something to help. So, one cartoonist by the name of Jon Esparza had a brilliant idea. To help raise Tim’s spirits, Jon contacted the other cartoonist’s in the community and ask if we would create a piece of fan art for Tim based on his strip. I jumped at the chance.
For those not familiar with Vinnie the Vampire, you can check it out here. In short, it’s a story of a family of vampires, Vinnie, Sunny, Vampa, and Mom. Along with a dog named Bob and a bat named Belfry, they try to live the life in suburbia. The little girl featured in my fan art is Sunny and she’s a bit of a handful. So, needless to say, the glass that Duff is holding does NOT contain strawberry Kool-aid.
So, here is my contribution the to cause. Come back Tim, don’t leave us now!
Someone brought this to my attention. There might be some folks who don’t remember the events back in February that led to the destruction of Lucy and Amelia’s house and business. There might also be folks who joined us at Flatt Bear after these events occurred. I encourage those to go back through the archive and check out all the craziness that has transpired before this. However, I’m adding a link to the comics that will show just what happened. That can be found at Dinner Bell, Fire Bell.
Also need to remember, both Lucy and Amelia are sharing the tree house with Duffy now that they both have been displaced. That story line can be found at Home Wreckage.
I should have included this information in the comic post but I was under a Percocet haze when I posted so meh. Better late than never.
A very talented cartoonist named Jon Esparza gave me the opportunity to do a guest strip for his comic, Mike and Mindy over at Jon’s Crazy Universe. I was asked way back in November, just a mere few weeks into Flatt Bear’s run and I was excited and scared to death at the same time. Turned out to be so much fun to do. Jon, apart from being very talented funny guy, is also a huge presence in the comic scene. Part of his presence is promoting other folks comic strips and other creative endeavors, so it was my pleasure to contribute a little something back.
So when you get a chance, head on over to Jon’s Crazy Universe and check out the strip. Then, nose around a bit and see what other crazy stuff he’s go going on there. Plenty of stuff for sure!
My contribution can be seen here: Guest Strip
I have developed a great relationship with several very talented cartoonist in the web comic world. I have social media to thank for this directly. Twitter and Facebook have been invaluable in cultivating and maintaining these relationships, but as much interaction as I have gotten on Twitter and the connections on Facebook there is one that has outshined them both. Now what I’m about to say, don’t judge, but I have actually find that Google+ has been really helpful. I won’t go into the why’s and What’s of Google+, I’ll save that for another post. But let’s just say I find it more personal and friendlier than Facebook and even Twitter at times.
Why am I bringing this up? Because it allowed me to find a really great web comic that I might not have known about otherwise.
The web comic is called Matt Against the World, and it’s the brainchild of a husband and wife duo Andy Baird and Shannon Maquire. Shannon does the writing and Andy handles the art end of business and it’s a really good match-up.
The strip is about a thirty-something guy named Matt. He lives with his dog named Popsicle and between the two of them, they try to navigate around this crazy modern world. Matt takes us through dating, parents, single living, and all the other stuff that life has to offer.
Matt Against the World is cleverly written, so my hats off to Shannon for handling this task. As a comic strip person myself, I know this isn’t an easy task especially when you are relying on someone else to do the art. She fills Matt and the other characters with situations that are funny and clever. Humor that is solid, believable, and in most cases, unexpected. If I can’t see the punchline before I get to the last frame, you’ve done you job well.
Now, if I had to use a word to describe this strip, the word wound be… simply. This strip is simply written, simply drawn, and simply funny!!
The art is done equally well. I love characters that are interestingly designed and the strip definitely delivers. Andy has a really fun, simple, and clean style to his art with just enough detail to carry the story and joke to punchline. He illustrates Shannon’s perfectly giving a real tight feel to the strip. The website also reflects the simplicity of the art. Just enough to get the job done without looking sparse or lacking. In fact there is a really no “About” link to the strip and the only explanation is found on the Facebook and Google+ page. But I don’t find this to be a negative. It’s easy to figure the background out by reading the first few strips what the concept is. After all, it ties in with the “simple” concept behind the strip.
Now I usually don’t write negatives about a strip, but I’ll make and exception here. My complaint? That It’s only update once a week. Yikes! You mean I have to wait an entire week to get my Matt fix? Ok, guys. I’ll wait. Perfection can’t be rushed.
Matt Against the World can be found at mattagainsttheworld.com and is updated every Saturday (yep, a Saturday update schedule). Check out what a well oiled team can do… simply.
I don’t care who you are or what your background is, you’ve been a exposed to bullying at some point in your life. Even if you’ve never been bullied directly, you were probably a witness it or possibly even been the perpetrator. I’m here to tell you, from those who have been bullied, we would dream of rescue. We would dream of someone swooping in at the last minute to deal justice to those who were heavy-handed in their teasing.
What does this have to do with comics? Quite a bit actually.
I recently came across a comic strip called The Bully’s Bully and from first click, I became an instant fan.
The Bully’s Bully is a large format, comic book muli-panel style strip. It is created by a writer/artist duo Courtney Huddleston (not a girl) and James Taylor (not the singer) and it follows a young girl who comes to the rescue of those who are being victimized. That’s it. Doesn’t sound very interesting. In fact, the synopses rings out like any number of action movies and comic story lines that have hit our eyes for decades.
But that’s wrong.
This hero, who is nameless except referred to as “BB” in the description, rescues those victims without a single weapon or violence on her part. No knifes, gun, ropes, just her shear tenacity, courage, and pure empathy for those being victimized – and a few well placed defensive moves on her part. She tends to use the bully’s own weaknesses to defeat them and helps the victims who range from little boys, to Girl Scouts, to puppies. But that is just the start of what intrigues me.
The strip has no dialog. Yep. Not a single speech bubble anywhere, and this is right up my alley because I am a lazy, lazy, lazy reader. The storytelling is all done through it’s exquisitely executed black and white pages. Everything, and I mean everything, from it’s panel layouts, scene blocking, penciling, and inking is done to perfection. The artwork is clean, tight, and beautiful drawn and, though there isn’t a single word uttered, Courtney and James both created this strip so you understand exactly what is being said, felt and conveyed without a single verbal explanation.
The stories are broken into chapters, 3 chapters since the start of the strip in December 2012. There seems to be a concern on the creator’s side that the storylines take forever to get to the “action” but I think the pacing is perfect. Without words, you have to rely on the visuals to set the story up, get the plot moving, and build suspense. They manage to do this very well just as it is.
The strip can be found at www.bullysbully.com and is updated Mondays and Wednesdays. For those who have been bullied, are being bullied, or even bully’s themselves, check it out.