I attended LumaCon this past weekend. It’s an event hosted by the Sonoma County Library and if I have my history right, was started to encourage kids to read. This is the only comic convention that I’ve attended that is truly kid-friendly and kid-focused. And in addition to kids, there were also lots of teens creating art, comics and other handmade goods. I left the event feeling very inspired and rejuvenated mostly because the crowd seemed so happy just to be celebrating comics.
Driving in to work this morning it struck me that comics may be the last pure art form. One person with a pen, paper and story to tell can make a comic. And what the reader gets is that creator’s pure, unfiltered “voice.” That’s pretty amazing if you stop and really think about it.
Let’s go make comics!
Hey comic fans, I’ll be at LumaCon this weekend in Petaluma and I’ll have advance copies of Stinky Cecil book 2 for sale. This is the second year for LumaCon. Last year was super fun, so if you’re in the mood for comics stop by. Check the LumaCon website for the location because it’s in a different venue this year. Cheers!
I just finished a short story for the Alphabet Anthology, from Tara Avery and Stacked Deck Press. This is a small excerpt of a longer story that I’ve been thinking about and sketching for the better part of 2015. It was really fun to finally get to submit at least part of it for publication. I’ll keep you posted about when the book is out.
It’s quite satisfying to see a story go from thumbnails… To finished panels. And really fun to start a new series that brings two great new characters to life: Alex and Emma
Excerpt from “Den of Geek:”
On a desk in a Santa Rosa office sits a red and gold box measuring 10×8 cm. It dates from the 1940s, is one of only three such boxes in existence, and contains around a hundred of what comic book artist and creative director of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, Paige Braddock, calls “the holy grail of pen nibs.” These are the nibs used by Charles “Sparky” Schulz to draw over 17,000 Peanuts comic strips.
When the R. Esterbrook Company stopped manufacturing Charles Schulz’s preferred 914 pen nibs, he bought up the remaining stock. Three boxes are all that remain—one on display at the Schulz Museum adjacent to his former studio, one kept in the studio safe, and the one we’re shown by Braddock, a gift from Sparky on her first day at the company.
As Braddock tells it, there’s nothing quite like them. “Other cartoonists have asked,” she tells us, “and we’ve all tried to find similar nibs but no, can’t find anything as good.” What makes them unique? “It’s a very versatile quill,” she explains, “it’s what I ink with because it gives you closest to his line.”
Getting closest to Sparky’s line isn’t only Braddock’s goal. It’s also the task the artists at Blue Sky Studios set themselves when they began work on The Peanuts Movie, a project that many of them had been unwittingly preparing for since childhood.
“I think Peanuts characters were some of the first characters I tried to draw myself, they seemed so simple!” remembers The Peanuts Movie director Steve Martino. “Paige actually gave me one of the pen nibs and I spent an entire weekend trying to draw Charlie Brown with India Ink and pen. That Charlie Brown head is one continuous pen-stroke—it is so hard to get it right!”
Keep reading here…
“For artists who grew up admiring the work of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, nothing can bring on a panic attack faster than attempting to draw Charlie Brown’s head for the first time. So when the artists at Blue Sky Studios, the creative folks behind the new computer generated 3D “Peanuts Movie” needed some sage advice about how to create Schulz’s iconic characters, they turned to former Atlanta Constitution graphics editor Paige Braddock. For the past 15 years, Braddock has been the creative director at Charles Schulz Creative Associates in Santa Rosa, California. The cartoonist and creator of the ground-breaking LGBT comic strip “Jane’s World” was the last artist to be hand-picked by and to work directly with Schulz before his death in 2000.
In an interview with Eldredge ATL, Braddock (who attended the premiere of “The Peanuts Movie” last weekend in Los Angeles with the film’s creative team) discusses her role in helping to bringing the cherished franchise back to the big screen, her thoughts on the film and yes, the challenges of drawing a certain blockhead’s sort of circular skull.” Read more here…
This past weekend I participated in an event at the Charles M. Schulz Museum to celebrate the launch of Boom’s Peanuts tribute book and also to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Schulz’s comic strip debut.
It’s been a crazy year for Peanuts, leading up to the release of the first ever CGI movie and all of us that work at the Schulz studio have been carrying a huge workload. Leading up to this event at the museum I would say that I’ve been feeling stressed and burnt out. But then something magical happened. A group of cartoonists got together to talk about comics, share tips on drawing tools, sketch for fans and then eat tacos outside Schulz’s studio. And I found myself falling in love with the art form of comics all over again. I felt refreshed. Spending time with a group of talented cartoonists made me remember why I love comics so much. Comics are simple, accessible, heartfelt, personal, friendly and inspiring.
Thanks to Lex and Jessica for helping organize this event and to all the cartoonists who attended: Thank you! (I’m afraid to try and list everyone for fear I miss someone.)
Brent Anderson was in the audience and responded to something that Paul Pope said from the stage. I’m paraphrasing, but basically Paul observed that the daily Peanuts comic strip was like a post card to each of us directly from Schulz’s psyche. And Brent responded from the audience by saying that if that was the case then this event was our love note back to Sparky. Brent, you couldn’t have been more right about that.