Friday, January 8, 2010

Links Outside the Bottle 03

So here's my new approach for Friday linkblogging:  I'm setting up a post at the beginning of the week and adding/editing my links as the week goes by and when it's time to post on Friday... WHOOM!  It goes up.  I just thought I should give you a warning ahead of time in case things seem weird when they DO go up.  Let's see how this works out.

And yeah, I said "WHOOM!"

I'll probably post before this, but as I'm currently writing, I'm coming back from a break over the holidays, so, while I attempted to stay away from the computer pretty much most of the time, I did collect a few nuggets, so there will be some oldies in here along with this weeks links!  Here we go:

LINK - One of the coolest things to pop up while I was away was the proliferation of the Famous Artists Cartooning Course over at ComiCrazy.  Looks like its been being posted for some time now, but for some reason it seemed like every time I turned around last week there was a link to it or the version over at  Basically these are scans from a popular correspondence art course that went on for a while, these particular scans coming from the 1960's.  In any case, its good reading not only because its fun to look back, but crap, there's a lot of good info in there too!

LINK - David at Illustration Art had a good post about the difficulties of drawing women.  He takes the approach that, in the case of drawing women, fewer descriptive lines are often more descriptive.  That the challenge is the restraint one must exercise.  True enough, typically you'll hear that (idealized) women have softer, subtler features and that a lot of line work can be detrimental to conveying those features.  Just the same though, Charles Yoakum wrote a very good response to the original post that challenges some of David's assertions to a degree, but, even more, also challenges his readers to challenge the ways women have traditionally been rendered.  If women occupy the same world as men, and are hit by the same light, should the rendering not reflect this?  Does restraint in rendering not allow female characters to fully participate in the story?  Both posts are really good compelling reading...

LINK - Rivkah had some interesting thoughts on vertical vs. horizontal presentation.  I really start to wonder about myself when I find such arguments so compelling.  I don't have a link, but back in may Scott McCloud had a good rant about why it was wrong for the Kindle to be vertically formatted and that horizontal is the natural human way to view things. The basis was, aside from the examples of movies television and other horizontal media, while a typical book page may be vertical, when you open a book to read it, you're looking at something that, over all, is horizontal.  Hence two page spreads in comics.  Rivkah's post doesn't challenge that assertion, but makes a good case for vertical while accepting the merits of horizontal.

Personally I would have to think that its all relative to the media in question.  Example.  Web browsers open to a horizontal format, yet side scrolling (horizontal scrolling) is generally frowned upon.  Thus, web pages with lots of  information (blogs, for example) are typically designed to be read vertically.   Meaning:  I open my web browser wide so I can experience the content vertically.  Though on the same note, I am experiencing the websites in horizontal chunks.  So, toss out that analogy...

LINK - Looks like HP and Microsoft have beaten Apple to the punch?   If you've had your finger on the pulse of digital distribution for comics, then you know people have been jumping up and down about the highly rumored Apple tablet thingy that's supposed to be coming out this year.  Especially since the Longbox (digital distro outfit with ties to Apple) announcement last year.  Well, at CES it looks like HP has unveiled something in that category:  the Slate (or at least that's what they're calling it).

Inerestingly enough, earlier this week announced some funding and has been talking about their digital distribution... specifically for Windows 7.  I thought it was odd for them to create such a thing for just that specific OS, but now with this "Slate" out (and demoed on it), it's all become clear.  The Beat has some coverage on this.

What I find interesting is the size and scope of the thing.  Its small, and looks like its meant to bridge the gap between phone, book reader, and netbook--  and not really geared toward art.  So, while this may be a nifty item for reading comics, not so much for competing with my (also HP) Wacom penabled TabletPC.  In fact, I saw no art/Photoshop demos.  I have to wonder if Apple's version will be comparable in size and scope (IE small, and not really built for art).  Time will tell.

I have long wondered why, even with TabletPC's, why the artists market for these things is largely ignored.  Even with my TabletPC, the newer models have lost the Wacom digitizer for some other brand, thus making them virtually useless for art.  My only guess is that to get a Cintiq (Wacom's tablet/monitor combo series) level device onto one of these babies will jack the price up so high, that its not even worth having it permanently stuck on a computer that will eventually become obsolete.  People with Cintiqs probably keep their tablets through several computer upgrades...  Still though, I'm curious to see how these intermediate slate tablet dealies pan out.

LINK - Here's probably my favorite link for the week:  Erik Larsen posted another installment of his column at CBR. If you skip all the other links, do check that one out!  I follow the guy on Twitter and his tweets make my day, day after day, of just really smart thoughts on the comics business, and by extention the entertainment world.  Y'know, along with his quest for a good hat.  Anyhow, in the column he really boils down and summarizes some of his tweets about comic books vs. content vs. trade collections (along with some thoughts on the Savage Dragon TV show, movie adaptations, etc).  Its pointless for me to even try and do it justice when you can just click the dang link.  But its good stuff, and 99% of the time I either agree with him or he changes my mind, and he's always down to earth and sensible about the stuff.  Nice to see a big industry guy not only getting it, but also saying it...  every frickin' day!

...and that's it for this go around!

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