Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Rob's 5 Obsessions
1- drawing comics (drawing comics is hard but I do it nearly every day, otherwise I feel sad and like i'm wasting my precious time. When I have a day off work I always feel bad and lazy if I don't get up early and get some drawing done. Unless I am hungover in which case I can happily watch rubbish on TV all day. I even did some on boxing day.)
2- reading comics (these obsessions are very obvious aren't they. But I like reading comics.)
3- seeing where I am on the google listings for rob jackson. (I am number 8 at the moment, it's a shame I have such a common name. I have talked to lots of other cartoonists and most of them do this too so it's not as egomaniacal as it seems.. or is it?)
4- Pedro the little cat (or as I often call him 'tiny wiggles' or 'wigglesworth') When he is asleep I wake him up every so often to make sure he is alright and he bites me.
5- worrying endlessly about everything in the middle of the night for no good reason
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
My other plans are secret.
Monday, 22 December 2008
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Friday, 19 December 2008
This is my favourites of the year list, I’m not being fussy about when they first came out, its when I read them that counts…. in no particular order….
Jamilti – Rutu Modan
Skyscrapers of the Midwest – Josh Cutter
Tekkon Kinkreet – Taiyo Matsumoto
Little Nothings 1 - Lewis Trondheim
Curses – Kevin Huizenga
Travel – Yuichi Yokoyama
Goddess of War – Lauren Weinstein
Injury 2 – Ted May
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
The second longer story is about when Glenn Ganges worked at a dot-com company during the internet boom, the company is clearly doomed as it doesn’t really do anything like a lot of those companies. The employees stay in work till very late at night playing a computer shooting game called ‘Pulverize’. It’s a great story with a really good and clever ending that is very touching, surprisingly as the game is about blowing each others heads off with sniper rifles and rocket launchers. The artwork is again really great.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
There's the cover above and the colour picture on the inside of the dust cover.
I was a bit unsure about whether to buy this one, I had read his other book 'New Engineering' and liked it but though it was more clever than actually enjoyable. I'm really glad I did as I really enjoyed this one, it's great!
There is no real story, 3 strange men get on a train, ride it for 180 pages and then get off at their destination. There are no words. It takes them the first 40 pages to find the seat they want on the train. I found this book hilarious. Every tiny action is built up into a vast important deed, for instance a passenger opening his book, or the lighting of a cigarette. One of the funniest bits is the three men walking through the train and everyone in the other seats turning to stare at them. Everyone stares at each other with enormous intensity for the whole book. The train travels through different weather - sun, rain, lightning - and they all are shown beautifully, as is the very weird landscape the train travels through. It seems to be a science fiction sort of landscape often full of weird men going about their strange and intense tasks. The drawing is very unusual. It often reminds me of a colouring-in book, with the clean lines and white spaces.
It is definately one of my favourite books of the year.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
First I do a thumbnail sketch, in this case I have drawn it at work when I was supposed to be working...
The next stage is my exhaustive research into the drawings...
Eventually I am ready to do my very rough pencils, here they are. They are very faint and hard to see so try clicking on them to get a bigger image..
Next time, the excitement of inking!!!
All the stories star Glenn Ganges and they all interlink in various ways, it’s very clever. The cartooning is lovely looking, I especially like the way he goes all abstract sometimes and breaks down the drawing into lines and shapes. I remember seeing him do this before in one of his minicomics I own. He doesn’t do it very often, only when it’s important to the story. There are some great pages of strip malls and shopping centres at night and in the rain. This is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, and one I will read again a bunch more times as it’s nice and dense. Also I am very keen to get his newer comics.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Here’s a good review of this book at Jog The Blog which I mainly agree with.
I like it myself a lot, it actually is very funny in places. A lot of the humour comes from the way CF draws some of the characters, I like Naptha, the little archer fellow, and find the way he is drawn intrinsically funny. He’s drawn in a very childlike way. The colour sections are lovely looking, and I don’t think it goes to far away from trying to tell a story and into just random stoner type nonsense which is my worry with this kind of comic.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
This book adds loads more details in to the dungeon story and does a lot of explaining about what's going on. Herbert the duck, from the first books, has now become an all powerful and evil dark lord, ruling with an iron fist, and has collected together all the seven objects of destiny, which we get to see in this book for the first time. I think you would need to read both the Dungeon Twilight books before this one though as it follows on from them two.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
The story is about a depressed and miserable bloke who has given up a life as a commercial manga artist to try lots of different crappy dead end sort of jobs. He is constantly trying to think of get rich quick schemes all of which are doomed to failure, as they are not very good. He is constantly listening to people listing the prices of things. He tries selling birds but his main try for making a living is looking for valuable rocks, the zen Buddhist kind of rocks that look like little mountains. He has a miserable wife and a small annoying child with a constant dribbling nose. The drawing is interesting and very strange, for instance we don’t even see his wifes face for the first 100 or so pages, just the back of her head. There is always a lot of mixing of realistic drawing and very cartoony drawing often in the same panel.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Unsurprisingly I really enjoyed this book. Look at the second drawing above to see why. Trondheim's drawing here is amazing, just the kind of thing I really like. He has spent lots of holidays on Bourbon Island or Reunion Island and you can tell from all the nature drawings. The book is about an ornithologist who comes to the island searching for the last dodo. With him comes his young assistant Raphael who is fascinated with the pirates who used to live on the island. They meet various ex pirates who have become plantation owners now or drunks, slaves, maroons (escaped slaves living in the mountains , a bit like the more well known maroons of Jamaica, but not as successful) and other people. It's quite a strange story about the end of piracy and the end of early freedoms on the island as it is becoming more strictly controlled by the government.
Friday, 28 November 2008
You can buy it from Paul Rainey’s website.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Wow this is a very beautifully drawn book. Joanna Hellgren is Swedish, from Stockholm. Her drawing reminds me a lot of Anke Feuchtenberger which is a very good thing, especially in the girls complicated hair. Also she does a lot of painting with brushes and black ink to show the dark night brother. The book doesn't have any panels and is more like an illustrated picture book with one or two pictures on each page and all the text painted with a brush so it becomes part of the drawings. The story is about a young boy called Jakob who fears that like his brother he will die on his tenth birthday. While learning to play the piano he makes friends with a girl called Miranda. A really very good book.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
A month or so ago I thought i'd buy a bunch of the comics that won prizes at Angouleme to treat myself cos I passed an exam at work. Sadly since then the pound has crashed against the euro so they ended costing me more than i thought, boo hoo hoo. Never mind.
Here's the first one, J C Menu's 'Lock Groove no.1'. There's the cover above, then the back cover 'Vinyl and Papier forever' he says on it, which seems to be the theme of this comic, a celebration of vinyl records. He talks about records he bought when he was little like the Beatles, Carl Douglas (of 'Dance the Kung Fu' fame) and Sparks, then he talks about going to concerts and clubs, doing a DJ set, seeing Neil Young and Pere Ubu and ends with a kind of record review section. It's all very good cartooning and it's great to see something new from Menu. It has such a lot of energy in the drawings, and he goes to see Fugazi too!
The third picture is Mini Mune, Menu's contribution to the Pattes de Mouche series of minicomics from L'Association. This ones a bit old (from 2003) but I bought it cos it was very cheap. It's got funny stories from all Menu's different characters like Meder and Lapot.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Have a look at it here Fabtoons
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Also this week I saw Adam's 2007 entry for that Observer Competition which is here and is awesome by the way... i'd never seen this one before. I wish I could organise myself to enter this one year.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I like everything I've seen from Gareth Brookes in this detailed cross hatching style. I really enjoyed his story in the Dan Lester Monkeys Might Puke Guest Artist Issue.
This one is a day in the life of his job as stock boy in a little warehouse, moving boxes in and out of vans. It is told in an extremely dead pan way, but is very funny. He draws the different van drivers, other stock boys and pigeons eating a puddle of sick that he sees in this day of work.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
I had a big pile of old books and comics to sell. I was a bit worried they might effect my sales of my own comics and also make my table look a bit like a jumble sale, but they were fine. Some people looked at my small press comics and other people looked through the second hand books, there were only one or two people who had a look at both, they are totally different crowds. I had some manga to sell so it was nice to sell something to all the millions of manga kids who were there and usually have no interest in my stuff at all. It was good to have a bit more to do instead of just waiting for the next small press person to come wandering round. It's very easy to sell other people's stuff instead of your own work, so much less personal involvement...
In the end I made £44 of the second hand stuff which was great and nearly sold all of it. I sold, or traded for stuff I wanted, about 25 of my own comics which is good for me too. In the end I had covered all my costs and made a bit of money too, so that's great.
I was happy with my cardboard wonder, hopefully I'll find a picture someone has taken of it and be able to post it up on here. I was sat next to Peter Beare and his family who were very nice even though I had to ask them for change twice. He does Dangnabbit which I had seen before at Lancaster a few years ago and is great.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Don't forget its Leeds on Saturday. I'm going there on the train in the morning, so I'll have to get up fair early. Never mind. I'm going to take a pile of second hand comics and graphic novels along to sell (cheap!) so even if you hate my stuff have a look at my stand and grab yourself a bargain...I'm going to try and make some extra cash off them to pay for the stall as I'm poor this month.
My fancy cardboard stand is finished and will be displaying '8 Stories' my newest comic.
I hope no one thinks I was trying to rip off 'Trains are Mint' after my review on the Forbidden Planet Blog yesterday. I wasn't.. I was trying to make a cross betweeen Jiro Taniguchi's 'The Walking Man' and Bryan Talbot's 'Alice in Sunderland' but no one ever notices that....
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I was sharing a table with Adam Cadwell Lou Naniibim and Will Kirkby
Looking forward to leeds next week. Maybe I will even make a profit there, I am building a fancy table display to hold one of my comics because I feel my table will be too flat otherwise as I didn't book a backing board. If you are there why not come and marvel at its cardboard wonders.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Yay, i passed my exam so I can get back to drawing Bog Wizards 2 tonight....
Monday, 3 November 2008
Carlos Nine is an Argentinian cartoonist and draws this Donjon book in his very strange and unique style. It really is very different drawing and well worth a look. The people look a bit like some sort of wind up metal toys, the kind that are tied together with wire inside them. There are loads of pencil lines all over them and the backgrounds and everything is very warped and organic looking. The story in this book is from the early life of the assassin Alexandra who returns in the Donjon Early Years Book - The Nightshirt. I'd like to see more work by Carlos Nine, I hope some comes out in English at some stage.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
The first ten books or so in this series are really great. They are so cartoony and lively and a lot of fun. After that I get bored as they turn into an endless series of martial artist fights to win some kind of competition. I got them all in Korea for £2 each so I can't read them but thats ok. I know the basic story anyhow as it's the story of 'Monkey'. The jokes and gags in this one are really very good and the character design is great and very cute.
Has this never come out in English? Or was it in one of them old Heavy Metal magazines, I don't know. Its definately awesome drawing, have a look at the top picture to see Moebius at his best...
I don't know if the story is as great as the art, it might have dated a bit as many films and comics since have used its ideas. The film it reminds me of the most is 'The Fifth Element', I assume this is on purpose. The comic is stuffed full of excellent and interesting ideas. I read this one and then Part 2 but didn't bother carrying on after that, perhaps I should. There are loads of books in the series and lots of spin off series too, like 'The Meta-barons' series.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Here are the covers to the comics I made at university in case anyone would like a look. They are pretty badly drawn now I look at them these days, i'm glad i've actually got a lot better....
They are 'Cannibale de la Luna' - this one had a long Lovecraft adaption in it, 'The Haunter of the Dark' which I quite like still..
'Robs Journeys' - this one had stories of me wandering about and getting beaten up...
'Bride of the Effigy' - this one was a Tezuka rip off / homage with people living in a desert and worshipping a giant bronze effigy - which is clearly a vast statue of me at the time - its very freudian...
'3 and a Half Hours on Milton Keynes Station' - my first travel comic which is just what it says in the title. I must have done these in about 1998 or so... They were all A4 as i hadn't though of making A5 comics at this stage as i'd hardly seen any minicomics by anyone else.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
More details here-
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Here’s another one, the third in the series of Moomin books.
I like these books, I used to read all the moomin books when I was little and always liked them, so its no wonder. They have a lovely expressive swooping kind of pen line, and the stories make me laugh. Well worth getting if you have fond memories of the moomin’s or are a fan of newspaper type cartoon strip stories. The best thing is the unique character design.
Monday, 13 October 2008
‘Burma Chronicles’ is a very good book though, in this one he is not working as an animator abroad but instead is accompanying his wife who is working for Medicins sans Frontiers as an aid worker in Burma. He doesn’t have that much to do except look after his little baby and draw his graphic novels when he gets the chance. He does a good job of showing how weird it is to live under a secretive and repressive dictatorship where you never get anything explained, it’s just ‘do this’. All of a sudden while they are there, the capital of Rangoon is moved to a new capital hundreds of miles away with no warning and no explanations of why. The regime is constantly making things difficult for the aid workers who are trying to distribute medicines.
This is a new book by Rutu Modan, it is a collection of earlier stuff than Exit Wounds. I really liked Exit Wounds but I thought this book was even better. The art work is awesome, much more texturely interesting than Exit Wounds and very beautiful. I can see why she went with a more simple artwork on Exit Wounds so as not to draw attention away from the story but its great to see her using all kinds of art materials, collage, pencils and whatever else works here. Nearly all the stories are in full stunning colour, except for one in black and white which is strangely smudgy, which I thought worked well. I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it to everyone. My favourite story was one set in a theme hotel.
Sunday, 12 October 2008