Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spectrum Live in Kansas City

Hey guys!

I'd like to let you guys know about really awesome opportunity that will be available to students this summer-- specifically May 18th through the 20th. This year, Spectrum Fantastic Art is hosting it's very first Spectrum Fantastic Art LIVE conference in Kansas City; normally they put out an annual and have a show at the Society of Illustrators every year for the best in "fantastic" (read: mainly fantasy and science fiction work, but in all honesty, a huge breadth of genres are represented) illustration.

Who will be there? It's actually easier to list who WON'T be there. Check out more information about the conference and the attendee list at their website! Everyone from Mike Mignolia to Phil Hale to the VALVE Corporation will be there, showcasing and discussing their work.

More specific programming will become available in April, but I'm sure there will be panel discussions about process, particular projects, etc. as well as portfolio reviews.

In addition to Spectrum, Kansas City is home to an Illustration Academy and The Art Department hub. If you aren't familiar with these groups, they essentially represent the some of the best illustration instruction in the world, taught by some of the finest illustrators working today. The faculty and students past and present will be taking part of the Spectrum show, so I encourage all students to meet them, go down to the hub and see their work, and inquire more about the program.

The total cost of a 3-day pass is only $40, which is an absolute steal if you compare it to Comic-Con, ICON, etc. In addition to this, I have arranged for the Kansas City Art Institute to house any MCA students for the duration of the conference-- so you only need to pay for your pass, food, and gas to get up there! Carpool! Make a trip out of it!

EDIT-- Got the costs in from KCAI. A double room will be $30/person per night + a fee for security (which is paid for equally by everyone going. So the more people that come, the less that fee will be per person). All in all, I would expect lodging to cost you around $100, which is still less than ONE night at any hotel in the KC metro area.

If you are SURE that want to attend, please let me, Joel, or Shane know. I need to get a general headcount on how many students we have for the KCAI dorm. In addition, we can start to work out carpooling details, etc. if some of you guys need rides up there as well (it's an 8-hour drive.)

Take advantage of this opportunity-- I guarantee it will be a lot of fun.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012


Comics 4 is a class about creating and distributing independent webcomics. These publications will be serialized by the cartoonists each week. Please check them out and give lots of feedback!

David White
This Way To Hell

Chris Mays
Everything Damned

Rahleecoh J. Ishakarah
RahLeeCoh Comic World

Friday, February 10, 2012

Halftone Tutorial

Here is a quick and easy way to use photoshop to get those fancy dot patterns in your art. Halftones allow you to have complete control over how your printed artwork will look. They are also necessary for certain processes like silkscreening, if you want to do any shading or continuous tones.

1. Start out by scanning your line-art at 600 dpi (or higher) grayscale.

2. Make adjustments to the levels so that the paper looks absolutely white and the ink looks black. Make any corrections you need to. Around this time, make sure the art is at the size you want it to print.

3. Now convert your file from Grayscale mode to Bitmap, with the 50% threshold setting.
This will ensure that your line art is absolutely crisp.

4. Convert the Image back to Grayscale.

5. Now add the tones of grey to the areas you want. You can do this all on the same layer with the paint bucket tool or whatever brush set you prefer.

6. Convert the Image to Bitmap, this time change 50% Threshold to Halftone Screen. You can use these settings, or play around with larger dots or other shapes.

Then you are done. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guest Critters!

Well, this is fun.

Big-time real-life Webcomics heavyweights, Scott Kurtz, Kris Struab, and Brad Guigar, are our guest critiquers for Comics 4's final class. These guys each run successful webcomics, collectively wrote a book on how to make webcomics, and host a podcast on the subject. But does that mean they know what they're talking about?

Yes, I'm pretty sure it does.

Check out their work, below:

Scott Kurtz's PVP
Kris Straub's Starslip
Brad Guigar's Evil Inc.
Webcomics Weekly podcast
How To Make Webcomics (the book)

A note to recent graduates

First of all, congratulations! You've slogged your way through and hopefully learned a thing or two in the process. However, I would like to remind you that although this is an important step, it is by no means the end. You still have a great deal of difficult work ahead of you. Often times the outlook can be daunting, even scary. This is normal. Many of you will find yourselves in a strange state of post-graduation limbo, not sure what is the "right" step to take next. This is also normal. Insecurity is normal, it comes with the whole "artist" package. The important thing, the defining factor, is work. Continuing to work in spite of everything else will get you through to your goals. Action is the best antidote to fear.
Here's a good little article on that topic.

So you've made it through school but your work still isn't quite where you want it to be? Ira Glass has a message for you.

Also, keep in touch with your friends from school. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. Don't be afraid to solicit criticism. Listen to people when they give you criticism, but use your own judgement in deciding how to utilize it. Contact the people you admire and ask questions. Momentum begets momentum, so try to keep that ball rolling.

This all probably sounds a bit corny, but from my experience I think it's true. Anyhow, good luck to you all and keep on keepin' on!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kayla's CLAW

Remember the scholarship funds being offered by the Cartoonists League of Absurd Washingtonians?

Well, guess who's going to be photographed with an absurdly large check?

Congratulations to our own Kayla Cline!

Kayla's blog
Kayla's comic