greg-pak:

Gene Yang is one of my heroes. Read this, y’all.
weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala
From the Washington Post, article here.
GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:
Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.
I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”
Dwayne McDuffie
Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.
I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.
In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.
The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).
By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.
All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”
Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.
Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.
In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.
Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.
We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.
But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.
This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities. After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.
I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.
We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.
Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.
Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.
And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.
Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.



Gene is the best dude.

greg-pak:

Gene Yang is one of my heroes. Read this, y’all.

weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala

From the Washington Post, article here.

GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:

Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.

I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”

Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.

I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.

In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.

The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).

By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.

All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”

Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.

Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.

In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.

Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.

We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.

This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities.
After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.

I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.

We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.

Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.

Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.

And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.

Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.

Gene is the best dude.

(via benito-cereno)

Tags: gene yang

An Ed & Winry doodle I drew last night instead of vacuuming, shhh.

An Ed & Winry doodle I drew last night instead of vacuuming, shhh.

timlarade:

animalcrossing-artcollab:


Egbert

Artist: Tim Larade | tumblr | Twitter | Website

Egbert sent me a letter with a present attached. It read: “Hey, I bought you this because it reminded me of you.”
I open the present and inside is a potty.
Thanks Egbert, you jerk.

Not gonna lie, I found Tim’s on going feud with Eggbert pretty entertaining.
Eventually Eggbert moved out of Tim’s town, much to his relief. But then he appeared in my town. I didn’t find him nearly as annoying, but he didn’t do the potty picture thing with me. (Clearly I am awesome.)

timlarade:

animalcrossing-artcollab:

Egbert

Artist: Tim Larade | tumblr | Twitter | Website

Egbert sent me a letter with a present attached. It read: “Hey, I bought you this because it reminded me of you.”

I open the present and inside is a potty.

Thanks Egbert, you jerk.

Not gonna lie, I found Tim’s on going feud with Eggbert pretty entertaining.

Eventually Eggbert moved out of Tim’s town, much to his relief. But then he appeared in my town. I didn’t find him nearly as annoying, but he didn’t do the potty picture thing with me. (Clearly I am awesome.)

FMA translation for Faith, part 2

philknall:

A while ago I translated some Full Metal Alchemist sketch pages for Faith Erin Hicks (if you don’t know her, do click that link)

I just got a few volumes of the reprints for myself (1-3 and 5), so I’ll put up the sketch pages (which are on the inside covers of the volumes) here and translate them. I apologize if any of the spellings are off, I watched the anime a long time again when I was already somewhat proficient in Japanese, and read the manga exclusively in the original, so I am not used to the English spellings. 

Volume 1:

image

(top center) Fullmetal Alchemist

(top left) Initial Ed designs

(top right) Ed’s automail armor took more time to design than his face.

(center) Coat design ①

(mid right) Ed design ②. Too adult.

(in square frame) Ed’s back

(above cross) Flamel’s cross.

(bottom) Coat desing ② Almost there.

image

(top) Initial automail design. Too messy.

(bottom) Automail design ② Too simple.

Volume 2

image

(top left) Al design ① Already has a note saying “equivalent exchange.”

(right) equivalent exchange

image

(top left) Roar.

(top right) Al design ②

(Center) The all-important remote. Don’t let the bad guys have it!

(framed) Alchemist (younger brother)

(below frame) Al design ③ Getting pretty close!

Volume 5

image

(top left) The Elrick brothers’ mentor: This one!

(top right) dreads

(mid left) These are [designs] that I FAXed to my editor around the beginning of the run, to give him an idea of upcoming characters. [Izumi’s] visual appearance settled down really quick.

(mid right) The protagonist brothers’ mentor. Of the “to train the spirit, one must start with the body” mindset.
She is being a housewife in some place or other.
30s-40s.

(bottom left) This is a rough from my sketchbook, from a time when I wasn’t even thinking about the series yet. I was just zoning out, doodling various female characters. Pretty sure this is the base [for this character].

image

Izumi’s design settled down really, really quickly. Thus, I have very few design sketches of her’s. 

But that won’t do, so here’s a few initial roughs of Cornello.

← I really like his evil face.

Awesome, thanks Phil! I love seeing this development stuff that comes with the large format FMA volumes (sadly only available in Japanese). Holy snap, look at Arakawa’s original design of Al. O_o 

leseanthomas:

OMFG. THIS. SHOW.

weirdly relevant to the question I answered yesterday.

Just repeat to yourself “This isn’t the Olympics, it’s an industry” and go make those comics!!!!!!!!!

(via tally-art)

Tags: comics

amanofletters said: When you first got into comics, did you feel like you were better at, or more interested in, the drawing or the writing? I want to make my own comics, but I feel like my art straggles behind my writing. How can I cause these two aspects of comic-making to come together within myself, and make the works I want to make?

Oh hey, this is something I think a lot about, actually! So when I started making comics (15 years ago this month, haha), I was really terrible at drawing. And I wanted to do, y’know, GRAPHIC NOVELS, with fairly realistically drawn characters and backgrounds and things that are hard to draw. Things that I didn’t really have the skills to draw at the time. So I’d draw my comics and the art was generally pretty terrible. But I was comfortable with writing, and that helped me keep going with making comics, because I enjoyed the storytelling aspect of them so much. 

It’s hard when you feel pretty okay about your writing but your art doesn’t measure up. I kind of feel like my art still doesn’t measure up to what I want it to be (mostly right now I want it to be Hiromu Arakawa, which will never happen, no matter how much I practice), but I’m very comfortable with the writing part of comics, so I look at that as my great strength in my work. It makes up for where my art is lacking, and I work hard at writing to make the sum total of my work better than if I was just writing or just drawing.

I mean, the absolute best thing about comics (to me) is that you don’t need to be a spectacular artist to make really great, involving comics. I’m not an amazing technical artist. During my down times, I don’t draw gorgeous illustrations or do amazing paintings (I kind of dislike doing that kind of thing, to be honest). I will never be Gillian Tamaki. But I’m good at storytelling, and I’m good at interpreting emotion and drawing that on the comic page. So I work to my strengths, which is making stories about engaging characters, and laying out scenes where there is a lot of emotion running through them, and people who like my comics don’t seem to mind that my art is not as great as Gillian Tamaki or Hiromu Arakawa.

Comics aren’t just art or just writing, they’re the two combined to make something new and wonderful. They are more than the sum of their parts. So work hard to because a decent artist with a good grasp of storytelling basics (this is super important!), and work harder to become a truly excellent writer and storyteller, and you can quite possibly make great comics! It worked for me. :)

neomonki:

This collaboration print between me and @faitherinhicks turned out so great!!! You can get it at A287 at Fan Expo this weekend!

I fixed Korra’s messed up hand so I feel better about this fanart! XD

neomonki:

This collaboration print between me and @faitherinhicks turned out so great!!! You can get it at A287 at Fan Expo this weekend!

I fixed Korra’s messed up hand so I feel better about this fanart! XD

my current comic making process, aw yiss.

Tags: comics art

Nameless City panels drawn over the past … month? It’s really hard to draw tackling, you guys. I do not have a future in sports comics.

bryankonietzko:

rufftoon:

Another GIF from the Korra season 3 finale. 
More beautiful animation- I love how she twists as she takes off that rock pillars’ top. 
There were some insane  awesome shots in both episodes and great choreography for the action sequences.

This whole exterior action sequence between Korra and Zaheer is co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos’ storyboarding/fight choreography masterpiece, especially the 20-plus-second continuous flying shot. It was a herculean undertaking, and he had some help cleaning up a few of the scenes by Owen Sullivan (on this one) and Shaun O’Neil. If you didn’t already know it, Joaquim is a force of nature when it comes to action animation!

Just watched the finale and may have yelped out a (very dignified) “FUUUCK YOU ZAHEER” during this moment.
Sorry for swearing, Mom. :D
but for reals holy shit when is season 4 already.

bryankonietzko:

rufftoon:

Another GIF from the Korra season 3 finale. 

More beautiful animation- I love how she twists as she takes off that rock pillars’ top. 

There were some insane awesome shots in both episodes and great choreography for the action sequences.

This whole exterior action sequence between Korra and Zaheer is co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos’ storyboarding/fight choreography masterpiece, especially the 20-plus-second continuous flying shot. It was a herculean undertaking, and he had some help cleaning up a few of the scenes by Owen Sullivan (on this one) and Shaun O’Neil. If you didn’t already know it, Joaquim is a force of nature when it comes to action animation!

Just watched the finale and may have yelped out a (very dignified) “FUUUCK YOU ZAHEER” during this moment.

Sorry for swearing, Mom. :D

but for reals holy shit when is season 4 already.

(Source: kuwabaraaa)