Make Comics Forever!!

Make Comics Forever is a forum for cartoonists dedicated to improving their productivity. This is not a forum for wimps! This is not a forum for flakes! We are here to share tips and techniques on how to produce more work and better work. Become a comic-making machine! Join the discussion now! To become a member, email a request to robyn @

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Social Cartooning at the CCS

I'd like to invite you all to the third installation of Social Cartooning at the CCS (which will happen regularly, the first Saturday of the month.)
Social Cartooning is a comic drawing party meant to foster good work habits and build community. It is open to the public (age 18+, and RSVP required.)

Please bring your drawing tools and a snack to share and meet us at the Center for Cartoon Studies May 6th, at 12pm. The event will last till 5pm. The Center for Cartoon Studies is located at 94 South Main St. in White River Junction, Vermont.

For more info, or to RVSP, contact

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Influential and Educational Books

One of the great sources of inspiration that I have tapped into, besides viewing the actual original artworks of artists that I admire, is a library of books I have amassed over the years related to the subject of cartooning and making comics. The very first book that had a significant impact on me in my younger days was a book called The Secrets of Professional Cartooning by Ken Muse, published by Prentice-Hall in 1981. It was a book primarily devoted to the creation and development of a comic strip for purposes of syndication, but it was incredibly thorough and provided very accessible knowledge about the entire process of cartooning--especially for a young person. Ken Muse was the author of a strip called Wayout that was syndicated from 1964 to 1970. It wasn't a great strip, but had its place amongst the strips of the day. The most significant aspect of this book was a section devoted to analyzing the work of other cartoonists such as: Milton Caniff, Charles Schulz, George McManus, Cliff Sterrett, EC segar, and Lank Leonard. It very clearly demonstrated the vast array of approaches to drawing methods that different cartoonists used. I still have my copy of this book, and despite it's old school approach, I still think it has a great deal to offer.

Years later I acquired several other books on drawing and cartooning (thank God for E-bay), such as Andrew Loomis's out of print series on figure drawing, and Gene Byrnes book on Drawing, Cartooning, Illustration and Painting. Another great discovery I made was a complete set of the Famous Artists Correspondence Course volumes from 1954. Again, it was quite dated material but extremely worthwhile reading nonetheless. Shortly after that I managed to acquire copies of the FA Cartooning books from 1967. Also very worthwhile reading.

I was curious as to whether any of you had any significant experiences with any art instruction or "How To" books, as you began your pursuits into making comics...?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bad Tired vs. Good Tired

At Newsarama, J. Michael Straczynski has been having a series of columns about being a writer in the industry. It's a very solid read, but this week's is very relevant to the conversation we're having here about being stretched so thin.

Here's an excerpt: "The singer Harry Chapin once spoke of the passing of his grandfather, a painter and illustrator who, among other things, had illustrated Robert Frost’s first book of poems. On his deathbed, Harry’s grandfather noted that there were two kinds of tired, and that now, at the end of his life, he was good tired. “Bad tired,” he explained, “can be a day that you won. But you fought other people’s battles, lived other people’s agendas, other people’s lives, and at the end of the day there was very little of you in there, and when you hit the sack at night, you toss and turn, you don’t settle easy. Good tired, on the other hand, can be a day that you lost. But you know you fought your battles, lived your agenda, your life, and when you hit the hay you settle easy, and you settle easy, and you can say, ‘Take me away.’”"

Here's the column itself.