By: Michael Dooley Forget about who’ll walk away with Eisner Awards on Friday at San Diego’s Comic-Con. Sure, there’ll be worthy winners. In my feature on Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters, which garnered multiple well-deserved nominations, I wrote that it would easily top any comics and design “best of” award. More on that notion momentarily. But honestly, the Eisners are much more a popularity contest among comics industry professionals than it is any real gauge o
By: Michael Dooley Photographer Greg Preston is a good-natured, low-key guy. There’s an ease about him that enhances his subjects’ comfort amidst their already-familiar surroundings. It’s visible enough in The Artist Within, a handsome, generously-sized hardcover from 2007 with roughly a hundred “portraits of cartoonists, comic book artists, animators, and others,” as the book’s subtitle has it. He’s captured a broad spectrum of extraordinary talents, from Al Hirschfeld, Jule
The world’s largest comic book convention has some secrets that are practically unknown to lovers of graphic design and illustration. San Diego Comic-Con International is famous, as well as feared and loathed, for its lengthy lines of lemmings endlessly waiting to get into mammoth show biz hype-fests that are usually available to the whole world on YouTube within hours. But what gets all the press is just a piddling part of the Con experience, quality-wise. The truth is, you
We’re now at the peak of comic book convention season. San Diego’s wrapped last month, Chicago’s just ended, and New York’s is currently gearing up. And these are just the biggies. This onslaught can be nirvana for pop culture nerds. But hordes of designers also flock to these events. This can appear puzzling, considering how media reports mostly emphasize the Hollywood hype, endless queues, cos-play nonsense and such. So let’s take a closer look in this comic-con guide. Pers
We see deeply disturbing images in dark, murky colors: guns pointing at heads, children strung up by their feet, abandoned eyeglasses lying twisted in a void. Eventually, we come to a factory billowing smoke: the crematorium at Auschwitz. They’re from a series of 20 hand-colored etchings, titled “German Humor.” And they’re by Robert Andrew Parker, one of the masters of late-20th century illustration. They’re also part of a 60-year retrospective currently at the South Pasadena
Paul Soady doesn’t care that Eric Gill had sex with his sister, his daughters, and his family dog. He’s simply in love with the art and typography of this controversial artist, writer, and designer of Gill Sans. And these days, he’s got a big crush on Gill’s Perpetua, so much so that he’s devoting a 250 copy limited edition book to it, Two Men, One Type Face. It’s currently at Traction Press, a fine letterpress printer in downtown L.A., and may or may not be finished by June.
Last week’s Comic-Con at San Diego’s Convention Center was overloaded with activities. If you were a Hollywood celeb–obsessed fan you may have spent much, if not most, of your time stuck in lines. But if you were a lover of well-designed graphic narratives, you needn’t have wasted one idle moment during the five full days. Talking with tons of talented comics artists? Check! Engaging in after-hours activities? Double check! Learning of an innovative new motion comic about a c