A comic-con, a museum, a theorist, an anniversary: aren’t you lucky you stopped by this week? (The image above: from Scott McCloud’s graphic novel The Sculptor [2015].)

As mentioned in last week’s Playhouse Comics Club, the San Diego Comic-Con unfolds online this weekend, as hundreds of new discussions and panels on a multitude of comics and media topics premiere on YouTube. (Click here for the full schedule of this weekend’s events.) Also available from Comic-Con is their 2020 Souvenir Book, full of articles about pop figures and milestones: the centennial birthdays of legendary science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury and movie special-effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, the 75th anniversary of E.C. Comics, the 50th anniversary of Jack Kirby’s ambitious, interlocking Fourth World series of comics books, and more. Download your own copy of the Comic-Con Souvenir Book here.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has a simple mission: “To inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.” Like so many museums, the Eric Carle closed during the pandemic but continued to fulfill their mission by posting resources online. Browse their first online exhibit, Art in Place: Social Distancing in the Studio, featuring photos, interviews, and videos about twenty-one picture-book illustrators and creators, including Marla Frazee, Vashti Harrison, Dan Santat, and Sandra Boynton, who collaborates with cellist Yo-Yo Ma! (The image to the left is of Beatrice Alemagna’s studio.) The Carle Museum website also features an art studio blog, a book blog, various online videos, and more.

 

Mister Lapin, the website of French/Italian graphic designer and illustrator Cinzia Dosa-Lauret, is the place to find cute holiday pictures (Halloween and Christmas), as well as Dosa-Lauret’s 2018 drawing-a-day Inktober suite of images of “femmes fatales.” Click on Mister Lapin’s blog and you’ll also discover coloring pages and printable Easter rabbits and garlands, though you’ll wish for more—and find more on the Mister Lapin Instagram account and Twitter feed.

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in comics, you should know about Scott McCloud, whose 1993 book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is a central text in comics studies. Because it’s drawn as a comic, and because McCloud is such an accomplished explainer (he drew the instructions for Google’s Chrome browser during its launch in 2008), Understanding Comics is a book I can recommend for readers from elementary school through adulthood. The success of Understanding Comics made McCloud a popular evangelist for both comics and comics theory: watch his early TED talk about the “Visual Magic of Comics,” a highly engaging, autobiographical crash course in his key ideas. Also visit his long-standing website, full of information about his fictional comics, his comics theory work, his webcomics, and games that encourage comics creativity, most notably his invention of the “24-Hour Comic.”

 

In 1968, Garry Trudeau, a student at Yale University, began drawing a comic strip called Bull Tales for the Yale Daily News. Following Trudeau’s 1970 undergraduate graduation, Bull Tales was renamed Doonesbury (after one of the characters in the strip) and distributed by Universal Press Syndicate to American newspapers, where it brought erudite humor and leftist commentary to the Funny Pages. Happy 50th birthday, Doonesbury! It seems daunting to jump into the strip’s half-century of plotlines, characters, and political satire, but I would first recommend watching both a profile of Trudeau by his wife Jane Pauley from the TV show CBS Sunday Morning, and a Yale University Library video where Trudeau gives us an update on his big quarantine project (an anniversary “Digital Doonesbury” book) and dissects a daily strip from 2009. Then dive in from the beginning on Universal’s GoComics site. (Below is a strip about voting accessibility from earlier this month.)

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

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Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #12 (July 17, 2020)Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #14 (July 31, 2020)

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