Friday, June 27, 2008

Comic Cartoon - New Wolverine and X-men!

Looks like they're trying again with the whole animated X-men thing. Judging from the video, it might carry merit as long as the story and animation maintain the status quo set by the Batman animated series quality. Enjoy!

Subtext Posts for the Week

Lynn's comments on the Justice League cover:

This probably isn't the best subtext, but it's the issue I thought of when the topic was mentioned. The reason I say it isn't the best is that the subtext isn't reflected in the story, and so was probably unintentional. Nevertheless, it's definitely there, and somewhat intriguing. I'll say no more until somebody identifies it.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's Lies Beneath Subtext?

It's a fact of communication that you can say one thing and mean something completely different.

For instance saying "What did you say?" to someone who has just threatened to kill you doesn't carry the same subtext as saying the same thing to someone handing you a piece of cake.

With the first example you might be thinking, "I need to buy some time!" while your face contorts and your heart races, your breath shortens, your body language becomes defensive, and you begin to mentally prepare yourself for the next few moments of your life.

In the second example you might slightly bow forward with a smile, think "this looks good!", breathing naturally, hands held out as a receiving gesture, enjoying the moment, maybe making eye contact depending on your personality.

In both instances the phrase didn't change, but the thought changed dramatically. The same form of communication is a powerful tool in illustration, but it requires a mind invested into the character's personality, thoughts, imaginations, desires, etc. . . You ever looked at a painting and related to the image saying, "Yeah! I know exactly what s/he's thinking!"

The trick to creating believable subtext in an illustration is to distinguish what you want to say in subtext first, and then decide what you want to be said verbally. Of coarse the expression should follow the nature of the subtext. Voila! A character that appears to be self motivated!

It's a technique I find too few and far between with any given comic illustration which is why there are the greats. If they can guess what I'm thinking, there's a good chance I'm going to relate to their characters and that's a mouth full!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Planetary #26-Posted by Miles

Seriously one of the best series of all time. Even though it did a lot of 'swiping' friom classic comics literature, it was an insane ride, by the best writer in comics...That would be Warren Ellis. Just my opinion, don't anybody freak out or anything.
It's pretty obvious what the cover itself means, but how does Mr. Snow feel about it?
Not usually a huge John Cassaday fan, I love his stuff on this series.

Spidey Cover - Posted by Rob

Here it is... finally!
One of my absolute faves. I always had a soft spot for the Hobgoblin (have his first appearance), and nobody made the Hobgoblin (in Demonic form) more menacing and terrifying. I just always loved the action and flow of this cover. I'm sure if I scrutinized I could find a couple dozen to submit to this post (the first Man-Wolf cover in Amazing comes to mind as well), but this one is definitely high up in the top 10.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Cover for Week June 23 - 27


This week we'll be looking for a challenging subject that our covers should feature.

A cover in which, you think, has the strongest form of subtext.
More specifically, an image that provokes you to believe the characters are thinking, be it differently or not, from the situation they are in.

Sincere subtext is one of the hardest messages to convey as an illustrator, I believe, because it's a one step difference from creating a stagnant image, to establishing a believable, living character. Subtext haunts actors on stage because not only must they use it regularly when performing, but effective actors have to make it relatable to a wide audience.

I would like our covers for this week to be submitted without telling us what you think the character's thinking, at first, so we can ascertain our own subtext messages. Then we can compare our thoughts after all the posts have been submitted.

Please submit no later than Thursday so I can have time to post, and we can have a week to discuss.

I'm looking forward to your posts.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

At Death's Door - posted by Lynn Walker

Browsing Spider-Man covers, I noticed that even after Ian's stalker, John Romita Sr. left Amazing Spider-Man, the covers still looked like they were done by him for a long time.

One of the first artists to start really breaking that mold was Ed Hannigan over on Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man. Al Milgrom, not normally one of my favorite artists, inked those covers and then ended up doing some entirely by himself.

This cover from the March 1983 issue of Peter Parker (#76) isn't drawn all that well, but the design and subject matter are so strong and dynamic that it doesn't matter. Spider-Man holding a bloody Black Cat was a shocking cover at the time, and Milgrom did this image a couple of years before Perez put it on a cover of Crisis On Infinite Earths when Superman was holding a dead Supergirl.

member comic submission by Lynn Walker