Archive for the ‘drawing’ Category

Tuesday, November 9th

120 in 2010: Long View.

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The simple ideas are best ones. San Francisco artist Maria Forde was feeling lost and directionless. She decided to turn to perpetual founts of information and perspective: old folks. Forde interviewed and drew the portraits of 0ver a dozen elderly people living at her grandmother’s retirement village.


Forde’s style has a meticulous attention to detail but an innate sense of playfulness. She captures the spirit of people who’ve experienced good, bad, dark, light, up, down, everything in between and lived to tell the tale.


The most rewarding thing to take away from Long View is the message of happiness that permeates the portraits and interviews. A positive outlook on life is interconnected with longevity. Most zines are dripping with molten madness and youth played at full volume. Very rarely will a zine will warm your heart and give you fortitude. Like all great ideas, the simplicity of Long View effortlessly accomplishes this.

Click here to buy.

[images via]

Friday, October 8th

Issue Seven Preview.

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Advance copies of the Annalemma Issue Seven: Endurance arrived and it looks so good it’s tear worthy. Here’s some Glamour Shots. Really proud of this one. I know I say this every time but it really is the best issue yet.

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Friday, October 1st

Public School.

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This weeks image contributor Matthew Genitempo is part of Austin based creative collective Public School. Check out their store where you can find a generous helping of original screen printed posters they’ve made for bands you are probably a fan of. I don’t really have much more to say on this subject other than I really like Austin and I really like art and design and Public School merges these things in a way that makes me pump my fist something fierce. Well done, fellas.

Wednesday, September 29th



After interviewing Justin Taylor earlier this year, I learned about The Word Made Flesh book he was working on. I got a Bible verse cut into me a while back so I took a pic and sent it his way and it made it into the book. I got a chance to see an advance copy last night and it looks amazing. There’s a running tumbler here, but if you’re into tattoos, books and hope to merge the two somehow, you’re gonna want to purchase this. It’s also going to be required material for every tattoo shop coffee table from now on. Well done, Justin and Eva, you put together a fun one.

Wednesday, September 8th

Things of Interest: Jordan, Gray, Soubiran.

Say friend, do you like things? Were you aware that people still do things these days? It’s true. Here are some things that have happened (are happening):


Issue #4 and Issue Six: Sacrifice contributor Todd Jordan‘s Now I Remember collective is showing the world through their cell phones at New Image Gallery (best click through image) in LA this weekend. I know you live there, I have Google Analytics. Go to this show.


Issue Five contributor Amelia Gray released her second collection of fiction, Museum of the Weird on FC2 yesterday. Amelia is a writer in a class of her own that never disappoints. Buy this book.

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Dear friend, Alix Soubiran, is showing her lovely animals at Bold Hype‘s new gallery in New York this weekend. Go see them. You will fall in love with them and her.

Thursday, August 19th

Hey Chicago!: Go See Max Kauffman.


Issue Five contributor Max Kauffman is throwing his first solo show in a long time in Chicago. Go and check out his freakiness next month. From the press release:

R’fuah- new works by Max Kauffman

presented by Pawn Works

1050 N Damen Ave Chicago, IL

opening reception Friday Sept 10th 6-10 pm

available by appointment 312-841-3986

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R’fuah: a renewal of spirit. A way of looking at things you hold dear, without idolizing them: knowing that these inanimate things you keep are important because of the emotions you impart on them. Are they real? Are the emotional ties meaningful because of the item or because of the emotion itself?

These thing we hold dear: they keep us happy, bittersweet, positive, appreciative of the things in our life. Why? Are they simply coping mechanisms or do they actually uplift us? From prophets and idols and relics to symbols and talismans of today, we alternately assign them power and draw power from them. We are actually pulling on the strength within ourselves, our thoughts and spirits when we look to these things. When we fall on dark times, we become even more attached to the inanimate—sure and committed to the power we believe they bring, until the storm passes and we relinquish them until next time.

This renewal, this evolution, this cycle of spirit and material. Does it make us more or less human? By putting our faith in objects, are we overpowering or overpowered by them?

They calm us; they bring us peace. R’fuah.

R’fuah will feature new mixed media paintings on paper and wood, ceramic works and a site specific installation.

Show runs through October 10th

for more information contact or

Monday, August 16th

Roster – Issue Seven: Endurance


Below is the tentative roster for Annalemma Issue Seven: Endurance. Tentative because not all of these people have gotten back to me yet. If you haven’t, please do. I want to print your stuff.


Coming For To Carry Me Home

Poem: Sasha Fletcher

Image: Jake Blanchard


You Will Be The Living Equation

Story: Amber Sparks

Images: Margaret Durow

2001 or This is How the Century is Born

Story: Salvatore Pane

Images: Justin Chen

The End, Temporarily

Story: Matthew Simmons

Images: Patrick Savile

Water-Filled Jugs

Story: Brian Allen Carr

Images: Erin McCarty

Rainbow Dogs

Story: Justyn Harkin

Images: Sam Brewster

Five Pieces of a Broken Heart

Story: Roxane Gay

Image: Bryan Schutmaat

The Worst Thing My Father Did In His Life

Story: Patrick deWitt

Images: Cali deWitt

What is Your Favorite War?

Story: Joe Meno

Images: Kristian Hammerstad


Story: Nick Ripatrazone

Images: Rose Wind Jerome

The Difference Between

Story: Andrea Kneeland

Photo: Kristie Muller


Story: Nicolette Kittinger

Birth in the Memory

Story: Carl Fuerst

Image: Jonas Norway



Essay: Paul Kwiatkowski

At the Window

Essay: Jen Knox

Tuesday, August 10th

Julia Randall.


If you’re looking for something beautifully disturbing this Tuesday morning, check out Julia Randall‘s hyper-real/unreal color pencil creations. Before click, prepare to be wowed, but take some Dramamine.

Friday, June 18th

Caitlin Hackett

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Check out the modern mythology of Caitlin Hackett. I’ve got half a mind to start an internet petition to get her and Matt Bell to work on a fucked up storybook together somewhere down the line. How sick would that be? {via}

Tuesday, May 4th

120 in 2010: Interview with Shannon Gerard.


Shannon Gerard is an illustrator, designer and artist based out of Toronto, Ontario. Novelist and indie publishing guru, Jim Munroe, recently tapped Gerard to pen the images for the latest installment of his graphic novel series, Sword of My Mouth. In Munroe’s post-rapture universe, literal magic is possible when a “field” is lifted from the earth by a mysterious entity, now making anything in the human imagination possible, like casting spells, mutating oneself into a fish-person and the rapture of millions of believers up into the stratosphere. The first installment, Therefore Repent! took place in Chicago, with familiar locales and landmarks playing a large role in the story. SoMM continues this theme by adopting the people and places of Detroit to tell the story of what happens in a world where the impossible is possible and who’s playing the angles to exploit the situation.

I spoke with Gerard via email regarding her artistic process, collaboration and urban gardening. Enjoy.

A: How did the SoMM project get started?

SG: Jim asked me to give him some feedback about Therefore Repent! way back before it was published and I was pretty excited about the story because I’d grown up in Christian youth group watching the Left Behind movies and hearing pretty serious takes on the Rapture. When SoMM came around, it was a really great opportunity for me to explore some of that weirdness and also address the humor in those childhood experiences through being part of Jim’s fictional world.

A: How much of the completed story did Jim bring to the table?

SG: I think he just knew that he wanted the story to be set in Detroit and maybe had a loose idea about the characters. Early on we took a research trip to the city with a very sketchy framework in place. I wanted to take as many pictures of the city as possible and Jim (I think) wanted to meet people and find out what issues were most important to the place for people really living there.

A huge leap for the story was seeing some of the urban gardens that exist in Detroit, especially the Catherine Ferguson Academy which is this amazing, fully producing farm with a wide range of vegetables, so many kinds of animals, a solar barn, a little orchard and an apiary. It is smack in the centre of a seriously depressed urban area. I’m guessing it is like 3 or more acres big. Amazing. The volunteers working there on the day we visited were incredibly open to showing us around and gave us so much to think about self-sustainability.

One of the mottos I noticed on a lot of signage in Detroit was “Say nice things about Detroit!”– as if people living there really believe in the power of stories to transform popular (and sometimes really wrong) opinions about places. Almost without exception, the folks we met were so happy and so eager to talk about their city to us.

So those research trips (we took 2) helped the story in SoMM to evolve.

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A: How much of the obligation was on you to tell the story visually?

SG: I would not call it obligation since the dynamic between Jim and I while working was really open and equal. I never felt it was Jim’s story that I was interpreting or trying to “get right.” Since he involved me so much right from the beginning by inviting me to drive to Detroit with him, I felt like I understood his way of creating and knew where the tensions and plots and motivations of the book came from. We talked a lot about the characters and their relationships since that is so much the focus in my own work and it was really great how much freedom I had to communicate those emotional sub-plots and back-stories through the images.

Also, Jim was really open to my panel-less structure. Even though he gave me a script with traditional panel breakdowns, he was really into just letting me work all of his described panels into a page without organizing them so linearly. In a few instances, he gave me really specific instructions for layouts and those ended up being some of my favorite pages. I think he will not like the word “instructions” though since there was never a feeling of him telling me what to do. I had so much freedom and he even rewrote some dialogue to accommodate my drawings! Who gets that chance as an illustrator?! In a word, (the collaborative process was) amazing. I am so lucky to have such a great first experience with collaboration.

A: Can you describe your work process? Do you work with models? Any computer programs involved?

SG: I work with models who actually act out the story in improvised segments as I take pictures. I give them a lot of background information about their characters and relationships but we don’t read the dialogue at all since I do not want the images to look scripted. Candid human moments between the models are what is most important to me in drawing, so this process allows me to capture as much of that quality as I can. There is also everything the models themselves bring (as improv actors) to the story that shows up in the drawings. By not reading the script but just playing the story out, I was able to draw upon so much that felt real and in that way told my own version of the story, along with and in support of Jim’s script. Lucky for me that he never felt threatened or weird about that but embraced it as part of the book.

After I have like 500 more photos than I actually need, I go through them and choose the ones that reveal or represent the best moments from people. So many times, I am compositing pictures from multiple shoots because the models are rarely all available at the same time. Then I make photo-based mock ups of the pages and print and trace those photos as drawings. (Using my beloved micron 0.2 pens. I went through literally hundreds of those pens on this book!) My favourite example of the compositing of separate shoots into one drawing was a page on which two characters hug. The models in that embrace could not meet on the same day, so in both shoots, they hugged a stand-in. Then later I drew them hugging each other. The stand-in was the same person in each shoot, so if you could see behind the curtain where he was edited out, you’d have a drawing of him hugging himself.

I don’t draw the pages as they look in the book but work on individual frames. Then I use photoshop to composite the drawings into the layouts that appear in the final story. It is a time consuming process to not draw the pages as whole compositions, but I like how much freedom it gives me to make choices about character relations and page design as I go along.

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A: When did you do your first comic and was there a particular artist that inspired you to play with that form?

I guess I started working on comics in 2003 or so when I made this stupid inside-joke static type comic about the bookstore I worked at. That embarrassing PoS was called Five Finger Discount.

My inspiration to make comics did not really come from another visual artist but from essayist Annie Dillard. I was drawing a lot and also writing a lot and then read a piece in which she described the realization that she could be a writer without being a novelist. She said that deciding to write creative non-fiction and poetry felt like switching from a single reed instrument to a full orchestra. That made such exact sense to me and I started to play with mixing text and images and with making artist’s books.

A: How does working in a short form compare to a full-length graphic novel?

SoMM is my first long form project. It was a huge challenge to work for so long on telling one story, but I am lucky to have done it as a collab. I’m not sure I would have had the faith in my own work over such a long period.

A: Did you study any graphic novels before starting work on SoMM? Any influences?

SG: I didn’t study any works in particular but I looked to my heroes for a lot of inspiration: Rutu Modan, Jillian Tamaki, and Lynda Barry. I also read a lot of my favorite prose to keep up the moony, emotional floatiness I like while drawing: Miriam Toews, Michael Ondaatje and Kathleen Norris.

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A: How long did the it take to complete the work?

SG: Over a year. I clocked around 1000 hours.

A: Do you have any plans for future graphic novels?

SG: Yes, I am working on a collection called Unspent Love; Or, Things I Wish I Told You. Not a long form story though. It is a collection of small prose-poemy vignettes.

There is also a slow burning story in the works about my father’s childhood.

And I am also trying to tie up, once and for all, my older series Hung by printing a fourth story over top of the first story. A printer’s error in 2005 ended up giving me an extra 200 or 300 copies of Hung #1, which I am now so embarrassed by (that’s good right?), so I am resolving some of that anxiety by using a letterpress to overprint Issue 4 on top of the older books.

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Sword of My Mouth is available now and can be purchased here.