Saturday, January 07, 2012

Comics Are Great

Wanna know why? I bet you already do. But I bet you'll be more informed, inspired and generally happy about comics if you head over to Comics Are Great and listen to the show. Jerzy Drozd, I've mentioned before, is a teaching artist who loves comics. CAG is one of his myriad projects in partnership with Ann Arbor Library District. In the audio (and visual) podcasts he teams up with other artists around the globe who impart loads of information about everything comic related: creative process, time management, the nuts and bolts of publishing - including self-publishing and webcomics - and a whole host of nifty chunky useful bits. Plus, it's entertaining.

I've been following Jerzy off and on for a couple of years now, ever since I found his collaborative flagship podcast project Art and Story. The byline is "The show that digs deep into the craft of cartooning". Definitely lives up to that claim!! Jerzy and Mark Rudolph, along with Kevin Cross, were a very merry trio and I spent a lot of time listening to them while I drew, painted, or carved blocks for printing. Art and Story rocked!! They recently discontinued the podcasts in pursuit of various other individual projects. All of their content is archived beautifully online and is an invaluable resource. There is a LOT of content.

It's not only for the hard facts of illustrating and the inner workings of All That Mysterious Stuff that I listen to these artists. I remember when I first stumbled on Art and Story. Three guys who are not only experienced, working, successful awesome artists - but who offered their insights in an interesting and entertaining way? No way! I could not believe my good fortune! I loved listening to them banter; it was like three brothers in the next room yukking it up minus the gross machismo. And these guys were never too cool to laugh. A lot. Which I also loved. And they never slammed other artists either.

Jerzy is a live wire. He kinda reminds me of my brother Christopher (my bro would've been 50 this year!! whoah!!). Whacky, mischievous, off-center, but grounded too. There is even a resemblance in their faces. So that's pretty cool! I really get a kick out of how enthusiastic Jerzy is about his craft. You should really watch a podcast for a sense of his personality.

So here are some crappy photos of a mini comic I did, a little love note to Comics Are Great and to the great work that Jerzy is doing. I don't know what's going on with my camera; it doesn't seem to take very good photos of anything in less than full-on summer sunshine anymore. I'm aiming for some scans when I go back to work next week.

Good Lord!
Those pictures are freakin' HUGE!
* Best if you're not on dial-up. I wonder how these would look on an iPhone or other mobile device? These things I have yet to learn.

*I now have a scanner! New shiny pics and not so huge but hopefully big enough.

So this comic needs some back story. I realize that the target audience is very small, unless you are familiar with Jerzy's podcast presence. It would be funnier if everyone already knew the insidey jokes, but anyway:

I was watching Ratatouille. Again. You know how much I love that show!! I always want to send my personal thanks to everyone who made that come to life. I mean it astonishes me. From the opening lines, I thought Wow! Remy and Jerzy sound so much alike! Their inflection and cadence, even their energy. Cracked me up. I started mulling over this, and continued watching podcasts and gathering snippets of information:

Like how Jerzy's choice of superpower, if he had one, would be to shoot laser beams out of his eyes. And how he does believe that anyone can draw comics (which mirrors perfectly Gusteau's adage that 'anyone can cook'!). Jerzy has a tremendous web presence. And he always closes the shows he hosts (and co-hosts) with, "Oh - kay - BYE". He usually wears a black button-down over a tshirt, and 'tributary' is his 'tangent'.

I totally loved drawing this. I think Jerzy will receive it in the spirit it's meant. Gah, I hope he doesn't feel too weirded out or self-conscious! But he's a big personality! I don't know how the hell he does so much all the time, but dude - hats off! And Comics Are Great! And PS - don't forget to take a break now and then.

EDIT! Here's a fourth panel!

Kim Holm was a guest on that episode of CAG. And he loooooves copyright *wink wink*. And he really did say that ideas are crap. So I had to make an extra panel.


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