Sunday, August 30, 2009

Full Circle

Ever feel like your life is a long journey back to the place where you started? I've been feeling that way today, because lately, I've been thinking more and more about comics. Although I started drawing before I ever read any comics, by the time I was 12, it was reading comics that inspired me to learn as much as I could about visual art. I attended art school after high school, but my comics dream had been largely forgotten. Occasionally, those dreams would return briefly then get pushed into the furthest recesses of my mind. In the meantime, I went back to school to focus on music, and worked briefly for a music education website (during which time I wrote my only book to date).

Over the past year, I have become increasingly focused on visual art, primarily in the form of painting as anyone who has visited my blog knows. A couple weeks ago, I bought a copy of Scott McCloud's Reinventing Comics. I had read this volume before, but it was the only one of McCloud's books on comics that I did not own yet. After making this purchase, I decided to re-read the series in order: Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics. At this point, I am almost finished with RC.

Along with Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling, McCloud's works are some of the most insightful and inspiring books on comics. McCloud explores comics in depth, but he does so using the comics format. So the content is informative and rich, and the format shows a comics master at work. These books help stimulate my ability to think of new ideas, even if those ideas aren't directly related to comics.

Earlier today, I checked out some of the webcomics mentioned in Making Comics for the first time. (After all the years I have owned this book, this comes as something of an embarrassment. Sheesh!) If you already follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me post some of these links earlier today.

Here are some of the best I've checked out so far:

I'm still exploring the multitude of other comics online, and from what I've seen so far, I'm sure there are many more gems to discover.

I guess the only thing to do now is actually start making comics myself again. The idea of publishing comics online is exciting to me, especially since I have some good digital tools at my disposal. The precision of graphics software has always appealed to me, especially because I have a tough time drawing geometric shapes precisely on paper (even when using a T-square and triangles...don't ask me how I can possibly screw that up!).

So I'll keep working on story ideas, and sketching characters until I've got a project ripe for consumption.

And now...back to the drawing board! Err, I mean, easel!

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