Some comics by my favorite little friends from last week....
Brian drew comics about a cute little ducky who electrocuted things
And he drew this one. How amazing are those two middle panels??
Coleman knows his slapstick
Helen drew a "rocketship with babies attached to it"
Ella decided to draw Frank. He looks great in a bow tie!
Frank does Jersey Shore
I love this one
But this one, is my all time favorite.
Chuck invented this exercise, where I draw the first and last panels of a 6 panel comic page, and then photocopy it, and the students fill in the blank panels. The first time I did it, I didn't have that many expectations, but it's AMAZING. Everybody usually comes up with something completely different! And it's incredible how clear the stories come out, and how imaginative they are. I love it. I haven't tried it with kids younger than 8, but I'd like to someday. I bet even 5 year olds could do it.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Oh, the kids.
The one on the top right is Freddy in Space, in case you were wondering.
I'm taking a break from doing my daily strip this week because I am substitute teaching! I'm an art teacher for the week at the K-8 school that my mom teaches at. It's awesome so far. And it's only been one day and I'm exhausted. I have no idea if I'd be able to do this all the time...I've kind of been trying to figure that out. But really I should just enjoy it, and not make it into a existential crisis.
Today I taught kids how to draw Freddy and Frank, and then they came up with some of their own characters. I was feeling weird about just having kids copy my work, but then I realized how essential copying is to cartooning, and that you can learn so much from it. Just seeing that I make Frank the dog from just a bunch of scribbles, and that they can do it too, is empowering to them, I think. It makes having a real book seem not so far away. One kid even made a whole scribble world after I showed him how to draw Frank.
AND speaking of copying, Chuck and I started a tumblr on Saturday night called Redrawn. In my previous post I showed that Amanda Vahamaki page that I redrew, which was inspired by Chuck's James Sturm page, which was inspired by Michael Litvin's Tatsumi page, etc. etc. Also, Tom Hart had been doing this project for a while; picking a random page from a comic and redrawing it. So we decided to collect them all on this blog, to encourage more people to do the same. Anyone can submit. DO IT. I think I'm going to do another one soon.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Here's the page that I copied, from "La Fete des Méres" (Which means, I think, Mother's Day) by Amanda Vahamaki. I only have the French version, published by FRMK, which Chuck bought for me. I tried translating this page with Google translate, but it didn't work too well. (Max?)
This is one of the most beautiful comics I've ever seen, and I look at it all the time. It was fun to copy from someone who naturally draws humans in a very different, more realistic way, and I think I learned a lot. I definitely like her version better, which I think is in graphite and colored pencil..I used a brush and ink and watercolors. She is unbelievable with a pencil. Drawn and Quarterly also published part of this story in English, in a D&Q Showcase, and they published her book "The Bun Field".
And looking at this inspired the strip I did today:
Thursday, January 19, 2012
It's cold and gray here. Again. Part of me still loves that and then another part of me is thinking about summer evenings when it's a little cool and you wear a hoodie over your bathing suit and the sun's setting and you look out on the lake and it's all quiet, and the fish try to eat your toes. (It's weird to draw Freddy without pants).
I'm working on redrawing a page from a comic by Amanda Vahamaki, which has images of the woods and a lake (or an ocean?), and that got me thinking about this too. I'll post that page tomorrow probably. I was inspired by the C-man, who redrew a page of James Sturm's comic "The Revival". James is one of our favorite guys of all time. Lookee here.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Boom boxes are high on my list of favorite things to draw. I don't know why. Maybe it's because it looks like a face? I think that's probably it. Sometimes I think that's the mark of a cartoonist...seeing faces in everything.
Speaking of faces, I saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D the other night with my mom, and Belle's face changes all the time. It's weird. I remember that from when I was little though...everything is the same, every weird intonation or weird look brought back memories. Also, I'm pretty sure we saw it in the same theater as the one I saw it in in 1991. After I saw it then, I drew a picture of Chip in school the next day.
"and when we touched she didn't shudder at MY PAW"
And, do you the know the Petunia books, by Roger Duvoisin? Chuck
's mom gave me "Petunia's Christmas" for Christmas this year. Duvoisin is an amazing artist! And the stories are really really great...in this one, Petunia falls in love with a man-goose named Charles (awwww), who is getting fattened up for Christmas dinner. She rescues Charles from his owners by painting herself all crazy and scaring away the farm lady (see image). Then they imprison Charles again, and Petunia makes little Christmas wreaths and sells them until she has enough money to buy Charles. The farmers are so touched that they just set Charles free so he and Petunia can get married and dance in the barn with the cows. CUTE.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Ugggh so I did something awful to my back by slipping on the ice in a hilarious fashion. I didn't make it out to the studio today and I think bending over my drawing table will hurt too much.
waah waah waah
here's some sketchbook page instead.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I used to play this a lot. I know someone who made it from the living room sofa to the toilet without touching the floor. Then he peed into it while standing on it. This was in college. Classic.
Also, I just got a second book of Andre Francois's work, The Half-Naked Knight. I already had The Tattooed Sailor. They are both amazing. His jokes are funny, but in this really weird, sobering way. He reminds me a lot of Saul Steinberg too. The Half Naked Knight has some drawings about artists, which are beautiful and spot on, man.
Here are some of my favorites...they pretty much sum up how I feel every day. Well, flowers coming out of my head is how I hope to feel.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
So, after I graduated from Hampshire College in 2006, I got to be an intern at Mirage Studios in Northampton, MA. I didn't know that much about comics but I knew I wanted to do them and know more about them. I got to work with Jim Lawson, Michael Dooney, Eric Talbot, and Steve Murphy (I didn't see Peter Laird much...). I mostly scanned all the back issues for the archives. (Also I got to see the basement, which is full of every TMNT object ever created!)
They were all so awesome to me, and lent me comics, and took me to the comic shop that they went to every week. It was an incredible experience, and propelled me towards the cartooning life that I have now...
AND guess what...Jim Lawson drew a Freddy strip!!! Do you know Jim's work? He is amazing. You can read his whole book Paleo:Loner on this blog. I always loved his work a lot, and he is just an all around really great person. I'm so glad to have this beautiful version of Freddy drawn by him!!!
You can read the other strips here: http://www.mmmendes.com/freddy/dailies/
Monday, January 9, 2012
Chuck and I went to Beirut Restaurant in Troy, NY today after buying some comic books. It was awesome. We were the only ones there and their son was doing his homework at one of the tables and it was like we were in this couples' home. The food was awesome too. He handed us the paper plates of Baba Ghannouj like they were on the finest china. Highly recommended!
This really happened to me. I think it's the first embarrassing moment I had in my life, that I can remember. I was the kind of kid who wouldn't be in photos. I yelled at people to stop when they tried to sing Happy Birthday to me. Any kind of attention was bad.
Then once I was at an Italian restaurant with a whole ton of my family, aunts and uncles and stuff, and I ordered a club soda, and everybody laughed at me. I slid off the booth and under the table with humiliation.
Trauma! To this day I can't drink club soda. That's a lie. I can. But I don't want to much.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Another guest strip, this time by Alex Kim! Alex is my long time CCS and Sundays buddy. He is incredibly talented. He also has great hair. You should definitely read all of his stuff, especially the most recent one he's posted on his blog, Night Machine. I mean, look at this! It's insane! Those colors!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Also, I read some really great things on the internet today.
An interview with the wonderful Steve Bissette. I miss that guy.
this comic by Max de Radigués that I missed a while ago in 7Days weekly
This comic by Vanessa Davis for Tablet magazine (all of her comics are amazing! I especially like this one because it's about Zumba, and I'm one of the 12 million or whatever people that are doing Zumba right now)
And this! My best bud, also known as Chef Zoe, has brought her place of work, Cafe Xoho, into the best new restaurants in Tel Aviv of 2011! GOD I wish it were easier for me to get over there.
Monday, January 2, 2012
I had a vacation! It was lovely. I hope yours was also lovely.
I mean, every day is kind of a vacation here.
Here is the first comic strip that I have drawn in 2012.
I don't know how many of you have been following my blog since last year...but if you have, thank you a million. And thank you for looking at it now if you never have before, and everyone in between.
For those of you who have been following me that long, you probably knew that 2011 was a shitty time. It was a struggle for a lot of reasons...or maybe for no reason at all. I shared a lot of it on this blog, a lot of dark stuff...
And then, things actually got way worse before they started to get better. But, I'm here. I made it. I am planning on writing about it more in the future, when I am a little further away from it. (It's weird calling it "it". What is it even? Depression I guess. It's a scary word.) Right now I'm working on being here and focusing on the good things in my life.
So, yeah. I love all of you. Thanks for your responses and thoughts when things were bad and when they are good. I'm already feeling like 2012 is going to be awesome.
At least, I'm going to stop taking things so seriously. That was wicked boring. It's time to laugh more. At everything. Like these old episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians that I can't stop watching.
Here, I made these terrariums for my family for Jesus's Birthday
Click through for more pictures.