§ Nice Art: Ok, maybe I don’t need to give Alex Ross any more attention than he already has, but nice use of the cinematic blue/orange contrast here.


§ Artist Steve Stiles has passed away at age 76. Stiles was best known for his underground/alternative work and a stint on the dinosaur extravaganza Xenozoic Tales, but he really did everything in a long career. He also won a Hugo award for his fan art.

A science-fiction lover with a wry sense of humor, Mr. Stiles mostly freelanced for underground fan magazines such as the Kitchen Sink Press and Last Gasp, but his work was also published by DC Comics and Marvel during a long and renowned career. In a 50-year period from the 1960s to the 2010s, he was nominated for best fan artist at the Hugo Awards, a national recognition of the top science-fiction and fantasy work, more than a dozen times — finally winning the award in 2016. Mr. Stiles’ comic artwork, which included the illustrations for Dick Lupoff’s syndicated “Professor Thintwhistle and His Incredible Aether Flyer,” ranged from the kid-friendly “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and “Royal Roy” to more adult titles like “Death Rattle,” “Bizarre Sex” and “Anarchy Comics.”

§ The Strand, New York’s vast used bookstore, just released a Best of Comics list that shows, holy cow, how strong and wide this art form is right now, from a memoir about commuting to an examination of gender to a deadly RPG.

The magic of comics is that they come in all colors, shapes, and sizes–which can be overwhelming! Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered with a whole list of recommendations. https://buff.ly/2TsaN9D #comics #graphicnovels


The Strand also unveiled a new display of rare comics. At least five of which I own. Hm.


§ Would you like to live in Riga and make comics? The kuš! komiksi residency is taking applications:

Open call for comic artist residencies in Riga from June 2020 – December 2020. Organised in collaboration with ISSP, kuš! will continue to host comic artists in our residency apartment in the centre of Riga. This is a wonderful opportunity for artists to focus on their projects in an inspiring environment away from home. In the same time ISSP will host photographers, this creates extra opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction between the residency participants.

§ Beatster Zack Quaintance rounds up the weeks’s Top Comics at Comics Bookcase.

§ Every few months an article pops up explaining how reading comics is actually brain expanding, and here’s Mary Widdicks at Quartz with Reading comic books can improve brain health:

According to comic theorist Dale Jacobs, comics and graphic novels tell sophisticated stories through multimodal cues that stimulate similar processes to the human brain mapping the world around it. Combinations of words, images, color, spatial layout, gutters, sound effects, panel composition, body language, and facial expressions are all used to convey meaning.

These complex panels create a visual language that directly activates the same cognitive processes as more advanced text comprehension to achieve a rich, multi-dimensional representation of the presented information.

BTW, I love Quartz – it’s always ultra informative and interesting. I like it enough to subscribe!

§ Stephanie Cooke’s Creator Resource page is full of great resources, like the name say, and here a super useful essay on Writing: Helpful Tips for Getting Started:

It’s marginally easier to find published work in comics if you can draw your own stories. You can build up your portfolio on your own, and not have to rely on collaboration, and saving up money to bring your scripts to life. But while it’s maybe easier to break in that way, artists ultimately get the short end of the stick, as they tend to be burdened with the majority of the work, crappier deadlines, and less pay.

That’s why it’s important for writers to practice as they come into the industry, and learn how to be the best collaborator that they can be. It’s not just about building up a portfolio, it’s about building up your work so that you’re taking your co-creators into consideration.


§ Not comics: there is a new book out called The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara that examines the career of the immensely talented Patrick, who is now credited with having created the look of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. But it’s not all a fairy tale.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters. As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

Patrick never worked in special effects again, although she acted a bit and kept making art until the day she died. It really makes me mad when I find out that jealous jerks* have stolen my female idols from me by erasing them from history. I find these forgotten women – as talented as anyone in their era – all the time and marvel at their skill and courage.

  • I suppose the proper term for this is “toxic misogynists.”