#357 Expanding Comics’ Audience, pt 3: Newspaper strips

Comics that you buy in comics shops or bookstores are facing enough business challenges, but how about newspaper comics? Their traditional delivery system is dying out, with many printed papers ceasing publication. The comic strip faces a number of challenges, but there are positive trends as well. How are Web comics and other new technology changing the game? This week, Tim talks newspaper(-style) strips with Tom Racine, host of the Tall Tale Radio podcast!

Stephan Pastis interview (gigaom.com)


#356 On Backgrounds

Drawing backgrounds is seldom the most enjoyable part of drawing a comic. Many artists dislike it, and might try to give it short shrift. But it’s an important part of telling your story, so you’ve got to do it right. Tim and Mulele discuss some important points to keep in mind when drawing your backgrounds — and a few things to avoid.

Sean Gordon Murphy’s background tips

Drawinghowtodraw.com (beware of the popup ad!)

idrawdigital.com: backgrounds tutorial

Schweizercomics: tangents

The Mindgator: invisible Coke machine in last panel

#355 Give ’em enough (Eu)rope: “Nemi” and “Blacksad”

Nemi and Blacksad

In more than seven years of doing this podcast, our coverage of European comics has been, um… underwhelming. This week, Tim tries to change that, discussing two European comics with European co-reviewers!

First, Nemi, the overzealous goth girl from Norway, whose eponymous strip by Lise Myhre has become popular in numerous European countries. Norwegian Line Olsson (of the Boston Comics Roundtable) joins Tim to discuss.

Then, the second Blacksad installment, “Arctic Nation”, by animators Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido. Is racism the point of this noirish “furry” tale, or is it just the framing device for something else? Eugenia Koumaki in Athens co-reviews with Tim.

#354 Expanding comics’ audience, pt 2: Manga

The 2000s have been thought of as a “manga boom” in the US. Well, that’s true in comparison to the ’90s, but North American manga sales have never come close to the numbers in Japan. Sales of manga — and books in general — have dropped the past few years, but there are signs that the market has stabilized.

Deb Aoki, who writes about manga for About.com, joins us again this week to discuss the reasons why publishers hesitate to put out new manga titles, why Jmanga died and Manga Reborn’s business model is imperfect, and what bright spots there are for the future.

Editorial Cartoonist in Beijing: An interview with Luo Jie

On my recent trip to Beijing, I talked to Liu Jing for the podcast. I had hoped to also speak with China Daily editorial cartoonist Luo Jie, but unfortunately he was out of town when I was there. As it happened, his preference was to do the interview in written form, anyway, so here’s my conversation with him:

Did you grow up reading comics? Making comics?

Like the vast majority of Chinese children, my growth process was accompanied by reading comics. I was born in 1978; in that era, there were few decent comic book publications. It was very common that many children would have to share one comic book. Relative to the shortage of comic books, I preferred watching cartoons on television. There were a lot of animated cartoons, whether Chinese or foreign.  I was very willing to copy some favorite cartoon characters in “Saint Seiya” and “Transformers”. That was the greatest pleasure of my childhood.

What were/are your favorites?

US editorial cartoons are my favorite.  I like funny comics too, especially nonsensical comics, just like those drawn by Japanese cartoonist Rumiko Takahashi.

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