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 @

Friday, July 27, 2007

Chiaroscuro HC available for pre-order!!!!

Previews pg. 312, Diamond code: AUG073757

Hi gang, just letting you know about the book status! Check out the Spotlight in the new edition of Previews and maybe order yourself a copy! (Thanks!)

The next book (Angora Napkin) is chugging along in spite of everything. I'm almost 80 pages into it running about 6 new pages a month. I find the only time I get to work on it is if I get up at 5 or 6 am before the kids wake up. Most people think I'm nuts but we do what we have to do right?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Comics On Handhelds

This piece was originally written for the 11th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival.

My experiments with screen-based comics began during my undergraduate years in Montreal, where I read a Wired magazine comic by Scott McCloud that discussed the potential for comics to go digital. This led me to McCloud’s then-current book Reinventing Comics and his already extensive website. A read of Reinventing Comics, a few experimental comix of my own, and a graduate degree later, I received an email from Will Simmons at Clickwheel asking if I was interested in publishing my comics to iPods. I was, despite never having seen a color iPod at that point. Will assured me that my comics looked gorgeous on the small screens, but only when I got ahold of one a few months later did I realize the full potential of handheld digital comics.

It's not surprising that comics joined music and video on handhelds. It was inevitable, given the ubiquity of these devices, the revitalization of the comics medium, and the growing interest in webcomics. And though I have no statistics to support this, I suspect that a healthy slice of the net-savvy, handheld-using demographic is also enthusiastic and supportive of comics, be they digital or printed on paper.

Unlike music and video, comics don't suffer from the need to reduce file size (and thus quality) in order to get them onto handhelds. Quite the contrary; quality is enhanced. It's actually satisfying holding a digital comic in your hand, especially compared to hunching over a monitor attempting to read the small or blurry type that often plagues webcomics. The high resolution of an iPod screen ensures that tiny handwriting is legible, and makes the colors crisper than most laptop screens. Due to the typographic nature of comics, I believe that the quality of other handheld screens will need to meet the standard set by the iPod in order to adequately display comics.

An appealing direction for small-screen comics would be the incorporation of artist-controlled transitions from one panel to the next. Currently, comics can only be viewed on an iPod using its standard photo-viewing interface. The typical transition is a straight cut, which is fine, and the user has the option to select others such as "cube" or "swirl", which are gimmicky and do not enhance reading. Consider, however, the simple gliding panel-to-panel movements used in Daniel Merlin Goodbrey's flash-based Tarquin Engine, which, as an example of an infinite canvas with multi-directional reading possibilities, seems ideally suited for viewing comics on a tiny screen. As touch-screen handhelds become the norm, readers may simply be able to finger tap the next panel in a sequence and see it zoom into focus on the screen.

A crucial step I'd like to see for small-screen comics is a simple way for readers to subscribe to their favorite comic and have it download automatically to their handheld. Accessibility and ease of use will be essential in maintaining the momentum of small-screen comics.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

work related injuries...

Hi every one I just joined this blog recently and thought I’d make a post to introduce myself, probably best to check out my main blog awcomix if you are interested ;)

I also wanted to discuss work related injuries like RSI and Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Earlier this year I started getting pains in my hand wrist and forearms which at first I thought was RSI. A few weeks ago my physio re-diagnosed me with CTS. The treatments I’m doing now seem to be working and I’m hopeful that I’m on the road to recovery. I was just wondering what others experiences are with these things, ie,

-what problems you had,
-how have you dealt/overcome those problems
-and what effect has it had on your work and mental state?

I know it’s probably been discussed before on the blog but thought I’d ask all the same.

For me like I said it’s been a low level but constant pain in different areas of my drawing arm. I am currently wearing a brace at night to sleep and taking B6 supplements with some minor stretches.
At first this was a devastating thing to learn to deal with, having to take a break from drawing (and I was in a personal creative peak too) I’m now feeling a little better and hopefully that I will return to some sort of normal drawing activity in the near future.