Archive for February, 2011


February 26th, 2011

maggie detail
My colleague Matt Madden teaches an experimental comics class at the School of Visual Arts called The Obstacle Course. He just gave the class an assignment to do an “appropriation” comic, where they took one or more existing works and transformed them into something new. (Like Garfield Minus Garfield.) One of his students, Maggie Siegel-Berele, turned in this hilarious appropriation of an old Dykes To Watch Out For episode combined with art from an old Flash comic.

Here’s Mo in the 1987 strip, Angst in Right Field:
mo detail

Maggie had been hoping to use a Flash scene with two women talking to each other in it, so she could do a take on the Bechdel rule…but no surprise, she couldn’t find any images of two women in conversation. So she went with this soliloquy of Mo’s. Maggie says, “It was a lot of fun swiping ‘Barry is late – I’m never calling him again!’ with Mo’s political rant.”

Here’s Maggie’s whole scene. And the original DTWOF episode.

Matt’s teaching a special Obstacle Course workshop at the Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art in NYC this week. He’s a smart and awesome teacher, with a special interest in constrained writing/drawing techniques. You should go take it!

a laureate and some evidence

February 9th, 2011

My esteemed colleague James Kochalka has been named Vermont’s first Cartoonist Laureate!


He draws the wonderful diary comic American Elf, among innumerable other things—go to his site for links to his music, kids’ books, t-shirts, and god knows what else. Here’s a short article about him on the Center for Cartoon Studies’ website—CCS thought the whole laureate thing up, I guess, and got the governor behind it. Apparently Alaska also has a cartoonist laureate, but Vermont is the second state to appoint one. God, I love Vermont. And I love James’s work. His diary comics are little perfect visual/verbal haikus carved from the dross of everyday life. He will be a most stellar ambassador of comics.

On another note…

Here’s my office floor in front of my desk in November 0f 2006. The wheels of my desk chair had worn and splintered the plywood so badly that I put duct tape down to minimize the ongoing damage.

fresh duct tape

Then in July of 2008 I repainted my office before I settled down to work on my new book in earnest.

I took up the duct tape and patched the deeply scarred plywood with a can or two of Plastic Wood before painting it green. It didn’t look too terrible.


See how pretty the freshly painted floor was?


Anyhow, after I got the joint repainted, I rearranged my desk so that my chair was in a different spot, where the plywood was intact and glossy with pea green paint.

Here is that spot today, two and a half years later:

floor now

I was supposed to turn my “new book” in to the publisher over a year ago, but I’m still working on it. My progress has been elusive and for the most part invisible. So I find this clear visual evidence of my effort somewhat comforting.