Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Power of Penmanship

So just recently at work, I've been told by several people that I have the best handwriting in the department... Weird for starters that anyone would be that bored to talk about handwriting, I think it's mainly the older people who have nothing interesting to focus their efforts on.
But, I've been told this before, once even from the nuns at Mount St. Michael. My personal thought is that handwriting written for others to read (not notes to self) should be written legibly, no questions asked. Why on earth would you write something so illegible with the knowing fact that someone will have to decipher it? Why not avoid the hassle of having to play interpreter, and just spend a few extra moments? I saw this one guy's writing at work, thirty years old, and his handwriting is so bad it seriously looks worse than most early elementary students. I'd be ashamed, personally.

I think handwriting has also taken a downfall with the age of computers. Handwritten letters are uncommon; generally people don't need to write more than their name to fill out a document. I love seeing my grandparents' handwriting. It’s immaculate; it’s a work of art, its calligraphy. Penmanship is a skill and an art that I think everyone should have a grasp on. If I were to write more than a couple words in cursive, I would seriously have to look at a chart to remember how to write some uncommon letters. I remember the capital z looking like a weird three maybe; it’s been so long since I needed to use cursive. Do they teach cursive anymore in school?

Well, this is just some random thoughts; I've been avoiding blogging out of laziness, so I'm taking random opportunities to just write out some ideas to get back in the habit. Also, I'll be posting some new art soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Micheal Turner's passing

Someone just posted on DeviantArt that Michael Turner finally passed away Friday, after a long battle with Cancer. For those who don't know, he was a wonderful comic book artist, when he hit it big time, many young artists tried aping his style..

Someone asked who he was, and what he was about on dA, so I'll just paste my reply:

He was a pretty popular artist, a lot of new artists were really into aping his style. But he also had some peculiar issues with drawing anatomy, a lot of it was just over-analytical comic geeks who forget that comics aren't real and not meant to be taken as works of Michelangelo. Just check out to see:

They go on a tirade about how his female anatomy is a bit goofy, and his lack of drawing feet in comics. I'm pretty annoyed by this 'can't draw feet' business that people use over Turner, Liefeld, and other comic artists.. Honestly, if you look at every comic that came out this week, how many covers are depicting feet? Probably 3%, does that mean 97% of the comic artists out their can't draw? No, its just that feet are limbs that aren't needed to tell a story. If we watch a movie, do we think a cameraman can't shoot because we only see our actors from the top up?
Anyway, I digress. Turner will be missed, he had a wonderful unique style, he left a huge shadow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Research & Scripting / Spanish & Me

I just reread Making Comics by Scott McCloud and The DC Guide to Writing Comics to give me some refreshing pointers as I write my script for my comic. I used the DC Guide's Three Act technique and made an outline, and now I'm working on the script and drawing character sheets. I'm pretty anal about things though, and want to know exactly what is just enough text to fit on one comic page. I know there is no exact number, but I guess I'm afraid I could be jamming too much info onto one page, or worse not utilizing my pages in my 24 page limit. Any thoughts on this, please let me know.
I made up a mockup stapled comic full of blank pages, I think what I am going to do is write notes down on specific pages where I want key points to be conveyed. Then from there, I can elaborate, then write a script so to speak. I think this might be somewhat old school Marvel Style, but with a bit more direction in a way?

Enough of the comic jabber though, I wanted to talk about my Spanish lessons, and even more serious stuff for once. For those who don't know, I've been taking Spanish for the last two months or so. It's been exciting, extremely fast paced, refreshing, fun, useful, and all together enjoyable. I'm so glad to be learning Spanish finally, I was such a weird kid growing up that I didn't try to learn it before. This goes into a lot of identity issues, something I tried to avoid for years.
It's difficult to come from two different ethnicities. Abstractly as a kid, I had to battle questions like "Who am I", "Which side of the family do I belong", even if I didn't know I was dealing with it. I feel like an outsider among my family, neither one or the other. In school, I was always being asked "What ethnicity are you?" I remember feeling ashamed, because nobody else dealt with that. I eventually tried hiding my background because I am more fair skinned but with very dark features... Somewhat hard to hide though when my last name is Acosta, red flag right there. Probably another reason for hiding my heritage is the ever present underline prejudices all around. I remember hearing people say all sorts of things about the Mexican American people without them even thinking twice about who they were speaking in front of. I feel sort of like a slight secret agent in that department I guess...
Its just a weird existence I guess, hard to describe. I don't know enough Spanish and I'm too light skinned to be accepted by Latinos, and I come from a background and look just different enough to not be White either. Not saying that that everyone is against me, but it comes up from time to time, and its confusing...
But back to Spanish though... I'm so happy to learn it, it is so useful at work, and all over. It is the 3rd most spoken language all over, according to Wikipedia. I also feel closer to that half of my heritage now. I wish my grandparents were alive, I think they would be really proud to know how much I have learned. I would give just about anything to have a conversation with them in Spanish. As a child, I remember listening to them speaking Spanish all the time. I used to be babysat by Spanish nuns too. It's weird, but I remember understanding a lot when I was a kid, though I didn't speak it. When I started learning Spanish a couple months back, I was actually really shocked by all the Spanish I already knew. It was back in my head somewhere begging to be brought back into the front of my mind again.

Anyway, I've been typing too much, back to reading.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm letting you in on a secret!

Before I get to the secret that you are dying to read, I want to say that I've been busy and lazy at the same time. It makes no sense, I know... I guess I should say I am busy with work and seeing friends, being a participating member of that thing called life. I now know what it is to have a daily life, wow! Again, let me tell you that graveyard jobs are the work of the devil. But, I've been lacking in my love of art and music. At first it was a month hiatus after my art show, I was a bit burnt out. But then it grew into me being lazy about it. I think I just like to have a deadly fire burning under my ass to keep me active. At first it was the art show deadline, and now it is my secret which I will now reveal:


Yes, you read that correctly. I have been in and out of planning this for some time, and now I have charted a course, and the ball is rolling, slowly, but surely. I have decided to work on a comic that has been in hibernation for a long time, but Andy brought it up recently and it kick started me into a direction. I let some ideas marinate in my brain, pulled out many reference books, questioned some friends, and basically came up with an origin story for a volume 1 graphic novel. But before I do the graphic novel, I came up with two ashcan/online single story comics to pump out first. This way I can flex my comic production muscles, get these printed via Ka-Blam, then pass them out for input, and hopefully use them as a pitch to my favorite indie comic company. I know a couple people who were printed by them, so I don't see why I can't.
We'll see how this rolls out, I'm planning for the first ashcan comic to be ready in August. As a bonus, I am having someone translate it into Spanish for me, I'm going to have a limited Spanish Language run of these also, so speak up when I get them printed.

I know I haven't mentioned the comic idea yet, but I want to keep it under wraps until the first ashcan comic is done. But for those who want to play detective, there is a clue to this comic's identity somewhere on my website. Have fun figuring that out.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention some things I've been doing. I was going to write a daily comic (last blog I believe), but it snowballed into my upcoming comic, which is why that didn't sprout. I also lost my Moleskine which had notes for issue one.
I also saw Man of La Mancha, which was great! I've always been a fan of Don Quixote. I was sad that there were no Spaniards playing any roles in the local production though.
I also just went to the Spokane ComiCon at Gonzaga. That was a lot of fun. I met a bunch of people, made friends, caught up with old friends, and even went to dinner with a bunch of comic artists. Next year I am definitely getting a booth and selling paintings, commissions, and promoting my comic.
Well, that's all for now, I need to sleep. I work at 8:00am tomorrow. BTW, I like my job a lot. I like working in the daylight hours. I like meeting all sorts of people in the hospital. I like to have an important role in the hospital, it makes me feel more productive and helpful. I just feel good about helping people. But with all this in mind, I still like my freetime more :D How else am I supposed to work on my projects?

That's about it. But first I'm going to write a random note to myself here. While in the shower, I came up with a weird concept for a painting that I want to do it. Its of myself, waist-up, in the steamy shower, brushing my teeth and looking like a tired wet rabid dog... yeah, sounds weird. I need to sketch it. If I like it, I may use it as a profile photo on the myspace.... which reminds me, I need to copy this and paste it into my Myspace blog, so everyone will read it. Hardly anyone checks here for my blogs.