This week: A spooky online comic strip, lots of how-to-cartoon videos, and an artist paid to draw on walls! Dive in! (The colorful image above is from Yuko Shimizu’s website.)


Scary but Fun Dep’t: The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo is a 200-plus-page ongoing webcomic written and drawn by Athens, GA cartoonist Drew Weing. The first story, “City of Monsters,” follows bookish kid Charles, a new arrival in Echo City, as he meets adventure seekers Kevin and Margo and discovers a world of silly monsters in the town’s alleyways, cellars, and abandoned buildings. Tension mounts in the second story, “The Monster Mall,” as the creature population feels imperiled by the humans moving to Echo City and gentrifying the neighborhoods. If your child enjoys Margo Maloo, these two stories are also available in book form.




Feisty Feline Dep’t: From the Hillsboro Library in Portland, Oregon comes a tutorial on character design by cartoonist Kane Lynch and his cat P-Nut, who interrupts Kane with crabby comments throughout the video. The Hillsboro Library system has a long list of activity and storytime videos available on YouTube. (Adults might also want to browse Kane’s website to see his illustration work and read his comics journalism pieces.)





Teach Me How to Draw Dep’t: Head over to Instagram (it’s free to sign up) and check out the account of Yuko Shimizu, an instructor at New York’s School for Visual Arts and a tremendously talented illustrator of books, comics, and special projects like the cover of the Criterion Collections’ recent DVD / Blu Ray box set of Godzilla movies. Since the quarantine, Shimizu has posted several playful how-to-draw videos for both kids and adults, including: “Can I Teach You How to Draw?” “A New Drawing Challenge” (monsters!), “New Drawing Challenge is Baaaaack” (what do you see outside your window?) and an exercise in building visual memory.



Totoro-Oh-Totoro Dep’t: Thanks to the Japan Times, here’s a link to Toshio Suzuki, a producer from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, teaching us all to draw Totoro. The video is in Japanese, but it’s short and lovely and it’s Totoro, one of the most beloved animated Japanese (or anime) characters of all time. If your children haven’t seen Miyazaki’s My Neighborhood Totoro (1988), I can’t recommend it enough, for children of all ages and adults. Read movie critic Roger Ebert enthuse over Totoro here.







Comic Book Luxury Dep’t: Let’s finish with a gallery of images by top superhero artist Frank Quitely. In 2018, the Radisson Hotel chain opened a “Radisson Red” in Quitely’s home town of Glasgow, Scotland; Red is an upscale brand which offers (according to the Radisson website) “a playful twist on conventional hotel stays, offering hangouts with a casual feel, buzzing social scenes and bold design personality.” To create a unique visual feel, Radisson commissioned Quitely to do sketches that could be transferred to wallpaper and used to decorate bedrooms and common spaces around the hotel. The cool results are below. Click on the pictures to make them larger. (And wouldn’t you like to spend the night in one of these bedrooms?)


This weekly blog post is written and compiled by Craig Fischer. To send along recommendations, ideas, and comments, contact Craig at [.]


Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #2 (May 8, 2020)Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #4 (May 22, 2020)
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