Comics.


Comics seem to be the underdog art form. It's rare to find someone who would view any of them on par with fine art or great literature, even though some comics combine both of those to tell magnificent stories. Of course, there's also the fact that most comics artists like to view themselves as the underdogs, the starving artists, the James-Dean rebels.

I just like to draw comics, plain and simple.
That's it.

Here are some of the things I've drawn online, in roughly chronological order (newest stuff at bottom - updated 9/22/02):
Here's an incomplete list of some nifty, artistic folks to check out as well, in no particular order:

My brother, Nathan, is not only a phenomenal writer, but a talented cartoonist himself, although he'll deny it.

An expert pixel-pusher and the wit behind Diesel Sweeties, Richard Stevens III has encouraged me to draw comics almost as much as my brother. I don't know if that's a good thing, but R himself has been keeping himself busy with DS and the details of trying to eventually make a living off of drawing comics.

I couldn't say enough about John Allison's Bobbins (read the entire archives in one sitting) ...but then John killed off Bobbins to create the spinoff Scary-Go-Round which is even better! Jeffrey Rowland did the same thing with his old When I Grow Up, transmogrifying it into Wigu, which is (yes) even better!!
Utter comics genius. Go read!

I also suggest reading the works of T. Campbell and Jason Waltrip, and Maritza Campos--funny, clever writing, and webcomics you can get lost in.

Derek Kirk's work blows my mind. His small stories are just phenomenal, his humor spot on, and his depiction of life in Korea is hilariously accurate. Trust me.

Ditto for the work of Vera Brosgol. Her sketches and paintings have a life and verve and a mischief all their own. If you like mortifyingly senseless violence, great characterization, and a touch of magic realism, check out her weekly comic Return to Sender.

Greg Stephens' Zwol not only hosts forums for all sorts of artists and writers who want to discuss the next evolution of comics, but his strip has had some pretty innovative uses of panels and word balloons within the standard space of a comic strip.

Randy Oest's been quiet for a little while now, but his Subatomic Cafe sprang from the early brouhaha on the Zwol forums as a potential NPR/PBS style free public comics web site, and (to quote Monty Python) it's not quite dead yet. Check it out, at least to read his fascinating comic on the history of Valentine's Day.

Stephanie Pulford's an engineer and not an artist by her own measure, but she sells herself short. I don't know why exactly, but there's something undeniably endearing about her comic 6:35.

Alan Tew doesn't really update anymore (he should, though). He works for a company that makes video games, and then draws jaw-dropping figure sketches in his free time.

Dan Sandler recently reposted his old Captain Jim comics. This sci-fi space opera was one of the very first comics on the Web (I remember reading it in 1995 with Netscape 0.9 beta!)...and the art and story get consistently more intriguing with each issue. He's going to start drawing comics again...I've seen a preview, and it looks like good stuff. (What else?) Sign up for the announcement list.

Other Jasons:
Jason Powers, designer and comics artist, draws clever little books that fit in the jewel cases that CDs are stored in. (I laughed out loud at the ritual of meat-sitting! Read DD6 to figure out what I'm talking about.)
Jason Shiga is a storytelling GENIUS. Don't believe me? See some of the stuff he's cooked up in the "interactive comics" section of the site. His book Meanwhile... is mindbogglingly brilliant.
Jason Lutes' Berlin is like reading a work of literature. It's poignant, intelligent, and compelling.
Jason Little draws the sordid and lively ongoing adventures of plucky film-developer Bee. You also ought to see his 3D comic "The Abduction Announcement"--requires no polarized glasses, but the effect is just as vivid!
Jason Pultz's got skills--he draws a Comic Strip, too.

I almost forgot to mention ndroid (see the Comikaze projects, although be warned the sketchbooks can be risque), the astounding "Piercing" by David Gaddis, Justine Shaw's Nowhere Girl (which is amazing--and much MUCH better than the name might imply), Caleb Sevcik's Zap Jones, the Seattle-based Comics As Fine Art club, Xtine Norrie and the folks at the House of Spookoo, Scott McCloud's Morning Improv, and all the folks who won Xeric grants...I'm sure I'll add more later.



So, why isn't this a fancy page?

I've got an idea for a better page, but like General Patton once said in WWII, something half-decent now is better than something perfect next week, right?
Give me a few weeks months.
Besides, if the nondescript, "old-school" home page is good enough for Neal Stephenson, why can't it be good enough for me?
(Answer: I'm not a renowned and well-paid novelist.)


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