So Saturday was probably the craziest day ever. My niece had a graduation party, her graduation, I had to help with her senior all nighter party, and right between it all I had to shoe horn in a portfolio review at the Saranac Arts Projects building. Sadly, I had to miss a portion of her lecture because I was so short on time.
Artist Jen Vaughn was having a little tour across the US, talking comics and cartooning, and doing portfolio reviews. Somehow this didn't end up on my radar until the night before, so instead of a traditional portfolio, I had her review my Clashing Swords comic. I kind of liked it that way, she was able to see a complete eight page story, my craftsmanship of putting together the book, and it was my most recent work.
She had a lot of great things to say too! I was kind of surprised by that. I guess after reading portfolio review horror stories for years, I imagined I was going to be fed to a mutant lion-shark. She was quite the opposite, she was very kind, and actually interested and engaged in everyone. She said that my toning was really great because it draws the eye where it needs to focus on. She liked my varying line weights. She also pointed out that I didn't use any dialogue captions to "explain" the story, and instead just stuck to dialogue on the sequential pages. She said it's always better to show than tell.
I told her that my next project I'm going to try hand lettering. She really liked that idea, because the balloons and text do stand out a bit, clashing against the hand drawn art. She liked that I free-handed the panels, because it helped carry the hand tooled feel of the art. I'd have to thank Gabriel Ba for that cue, sometimes you have to mimic those you are impressed by!
She also suggested I check out Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim's Dungeon graphic novels, Carl Bark's work on Uncle Scrooge comics, Little Lulu, and Archie. She said that the last three are really great at telling stories of various sizes.
I am glad I was able to make it downtown Saturday to meet up with her, she really boosted my confidence in making comics. Now it's time to get back to the drawing board. I want to have a couple more mini comics to show her at Emerald City Comicon next year!