Here’s a thought about strategic, spatial arrangement of images

In a gallery, sequence and character are unmoored from an explicit narrative, but that doesn’t make an application of McCloud’s or any other theorists’ ideas invalid. In any case, I predict that our narrative facility is still engaged without it, and I’d argue that much recent, brilliant work in comics allows its gutters, sequence, and associative qualities to thwart clear storytelling.

– Kailyn Kent, in Gallery Cartoonists on Hooded Utilitarian

The article is 3½ years old, but I post the link here in support of my tongue in cheek inclusion of gallery hangings in a comics definition 🙂

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Here’s a thought about comics being far too many things to make any sense

Indeed, “comics” as a social artifact refers to numerous qualities, including 1) physical objects (strips and books), 2) a collection of genres, 3) an industry, 4) a culture/community, and others that are all tied to a context of the modern era. On the other hand, sequential images do create a language: a “visual language” that combines with text to be used within those social objects called “comics.”“Comics” are not this visual language. “Comics” are a social object written in a visual language that combines with text. If novels or magazines are written in English, why should “comics” be a language, instead of be written in a language?

– Neil Cohn, reviewing Thierry Groensteen’s The system of comics here.

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Here’s a thought about inadequacy, from @evandorkin

Cartoonist Evan Dorkin is not afraid to look at some of the dark sides of creative work, and the industries that surround it. I’ve had several crises of confidence in my work over the years, and I can attest to the advice he’s been tweeting this morning:

We bend over backwards avoiding the simple (if lousy) fact that a lack of talent might hamper someone’s chances of success at something.

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I’m talking about making stuff for a living, cartooning at a certain level where that’s what you put on your income tax forms. Not hobbyist.

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Should everyone quit if they’re not excellent? Certainly not. But there is a time for a serious assessment of your career chances.

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Anyway, this is for a very specific kind of person who may need to change horses mid-stream.  Doesn’t mean quitting comics. Reorientation.

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Like I said earlier: quitting “professional comics” is an honorable, if cruddy option if it’s what you need/want to do. If it’s draining you

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Not because I said so. I’m no expert, kids. But if you’re feeling drained, emotionally or financially, take some time to think. Take a break

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If you’re getting older and things aren’t happening, and you’re hand-to-mouth and this lifestyle isn’t really working, check yourself.

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Yes, make comics. Yes, shoot for a career. Yes, be positive. But be real. Be painfully real.

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Here’s a thought about meaning in comics, from @badgetoon

Abstract comics are a pure challenge to the artist; make something interesting within the structure of the comic, a grid, and shapes. Using the form of repeating shapes and varying them based on my own pull and aesthetic. The shape of course is based off of the human form and my weekly life drawing practice. So I’m not just repeating myself but looking outside of my own head.

Subject matter is really where meaning has been thought of in comics. Superman is Superman no matter how differently he’s drawn. Written subject matter is what everyone focuses on in comics, the form rarely gets touched. Visual content never ever even gets acknowledged as existing. I’ve never been to obsessed with costumes and the what do you do when you’re in a costume. But I’ve been pretty damn obsessed with the actual form of comics, what those shapes and images are on the page. 

—Mark Badger, in the third part of his Comics Bulletin interview.

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Let’s play a game: read this and guess what it’s about, then click on.

a combination of two images placed immediately next to each other to make an artistic statement or comparison. The [images] can be identical or they can be different; there are no hard and fast rules – they simply have to be next to each other. They do not even have to be joined together and can be separated by a border.

_______ ___________ can be a really cool way to play images off each other and create a visual storytelling piece of art.

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Here’s a thought about craft to make you feel old in advance

I feel like time management and work ethic are just as, if not MORE important than drawing ability for an aspiring cartoonist

If you can structure your life so that you put in 1-4 hours of cartooning EVERY day, you will quickly overcome any drawing deficiency

— Alec Longstreth, tweeted here and here. He continues:

And by “quickly” I mean over a period of years and years… #comics

It’s funny because it’s true.

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