Classic

Okay so I’ve been saving this one for a while, and the time has come. I don’t have a huge background in comics, but like most kids I enjoyed reading the Sunday comics in the paper. This weeks comic hits home in that regard.

JL8 is a webcomic created by Yale Stewart and depicts the D.C. comic book characters as elementary schoolers.

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While the comic is hilarious, the artwork is also interesting. It has the traditional style of the comic strips from newspapers. 

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But since it’s on the web Stewart had to work a little harder to give it that authentic feel and newspaper look. I think the effort was well worth it because the comic looks awesome, not to mention the little super heroes are adorable.

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The art style is a little more simple than the other webcomics I’ve blogged about, but the nostalgic feeling from this comic was just too great to not share. 

If you want to read more you can check out the the JL8 tumblr page here.

These images are a copyright © of Yale Stewart. No infringement intended.

 

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Gifs

So from the title I’m sure you can guess that this week I want to talk about comics that use gifs. There seems to be some debate within the comic world on whether adding animations within one panel no longer makes it a comic. 

I want to leave this open for discussion but I will say that I think there is room for gifs in comics without turning it into a full blown animation.

My opinion is, if the gutters (space in-between each panel) still hold meaning and is where most of the time passes within the comic, a little animation doesn’t hurt, and often it can help! Many of the comics I have found that incorporate gifs have been extremely interesting and can be more fun to read.

For example Zac Gorman is a relatively well-known artist and comic creator and many of his comics incorporate subtle gifs and animations.

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I think the way Gorman implements these animations help to enhance his comics and add interest. You can see that most of the gifs he creates are of elements of the background or environment, not on the characters. I think this is important to help keep his worked grounded in comics.

Another talented comic artist that uses gifs is Jen Lee. She is the artist for a comic named Thunderpaw. Now Lee’s work uses gifs more extensively than Gorman’s, but I think this comic is still a good example of how slight animations don’t push it out of the realm of comics.

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Lee’s work definitely push the boundaries and more and some could argue that too much time is passing within one panel, but overall, across the entire comic I don’t think she breaks this rule too often.

Personally, I think that adding gifs to web comics can add a ton of interest and elevates comics to a whole new level. I think that art has always grown and changed with the advancements in technology, and I think that gifs in web comics is a really great example of that happening yet again! 

Let me know what you think in the comments!

These images are a copyright © of Zac Gorman and Jen Lee. No infringement intended.

 

Sonny Liew!

So this week’s post is inspired by a lecture that I went to this week by comic artist Sonny Liew. I wanted to post about him because he was really fun to listen to, but also because his style is very unique, and I love posting about unique things!

Liew uses a technique where he mixes different comic art styles into one work. He said he likes to do this to being emphasis to parts of the narrative. I think this is so interesting and unlike anything I’ve seen in comics before!

The best example of this technique is in his latest book, “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye”, although he has used this style in some of his previous works too. (I know this isn’t a web comic but I couldn’t resist).

This book is a story about a comic book artist, Charlie, and Liew incorporates different styles of art into the comic to distinguish Charlie’s art from his own. You can see this in action in the images below. The top and bottom panels are the actual comic, where the middle panel is the work of Charlie. Interesting right?

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He goes even further as the story goes on and shows the comic books that Charlie has created.

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I think this technique is so awesome and a great way to help the reader immediate distinguish between Liew and Charlie’s styles, as well as show off different comic art styles all in one! 

Liew’s lecture was very interesting and I’m so glad I was exposed to his work!

You can check out Liew’s website here.

You can buy Liew’s latest book “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye” here.

These images are a copyright © of Sonny Liew. No infringement intended.

Shoutout!

So this week I wanted to expand off of some of my previous posts all in one!

First off, upon more exploring I found another comic that uses light as a main element of art much like Ava’s Demon from last week and I wanted to share it with y’all.

The End is a web comic written by Ran and Corey Brown, I wish they had an about page so I could give you more info about the creators, but moving on. To give you some context The End is about “Two aliens on a rescue mission take a group of sci-fi nerds on the ride of their lives!” 

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I discussed the details of light within comics on my previous post, so I won’t go on repeating myself. I just wanted to share this really cool comic, feel free to check it out hereAnd if you missed my post last week and want to know what I think about the use of light in comics you can check that out here.

This image is a copyright © of Ran and Corey Brown. No infringement intended.

Secondly, I wanted to give a major shoutout to Stand Still. Stay Silent!! I’ve seen SSSS on so many best comics lists and I’m so excited! It’s a wonderful comic and not to mention has stunning artwork! This is probably my favorite comic that I have come across and the first comic I posted about on this blog!

Here is another peak at Stand Still. Stay Silent!

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Keep up the great work Mina!!

P.S. if you want to know more about SSSS, one of my fellow classmates reviewed it on her blog, which you can read here, thanks Nadia! 

This image is a copyright © of Mina Sundberg. No infringement intended.

Before I leave, I figured it would be fun to have a little poll with you guys. So after seeing Ava’s Demon last week, and The End this week, I’m curious which comic y’all think uses light in a more interesting way? Use the poll below to give your vote!!

The End!                                                              Ava’s Demon

theEnd2    Avas4

the end1    AvasDemon3


Light and Mood

Hi there!

So I’ve realized that I have been talking pretty heavily about color, so this week I want to shift gears a little bit! I want to talk about another aspect of art that isn’t focused on as much, light and how it creates mood. 

I have found an incredible web comic called Ava’s Demon. The comic is produced by Michelle Czajkowski and currently has 17 chapters.

Ava’s Demon definitely has a unique art style, but what really caught my attention when i first saw it was the use of light, or the depiction of light.

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There’s a distinct difference between what is in light and what is in shadow, which is not something you see emphasized ver much in web comics.

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The lighting technique used by Czajkowski is so powerful in setting the mood for each page. 

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Every page of this comic uses this technique so the cohesiveness is fantastic. Just between the two images above you can see how well using light can set different moods within the frame.

I thought it was so interesting to see light used in such a major way. The variation in light sources really gives the artwork depth and interest, whether it’s an actual character, a screen, or another light source, each one brings something new and different to the table.

I commend Michelle Czajkowski on her awesome technique and use of an element of art which is often lost in comic art! 

Check out Ava’s Demon here.

These images are a copyright © of Michelle Czajkowski. No infringement intended.

Haunter

Howdy!

This week I want to introduce you to a very interesting and I think unique comic called Haunter. The comic is created by Sam Alden and is something I haven’t really seen before. His art style is simple but the way he colors his comics is in the style of watercolor and I think it’s really compelling. 

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Looking at so many web comics I don’t think I have come across another comic that uses the watercolor style to bring the comic to life. Not only is it interesting because all of the colors in general, but the viewer also has to break down the colors of the comic to understand the images because not all the objects are colored as they are in real life.

example: blue-purple trees in the image above, and purple grass in the image below.

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Overall the use of color is fantastic, you can tell that Alden took time in considering how he would color each image and the objects within it. He uses many different color combinations like:

  • All the rainbow colors, like in the first image
  • Split complementary colors (purple – green) like in the second image
  • Traditional complementary colors (green – reds/pinks) like in the last image

The list of appealing color palettes continues throughout Alden’s comic.

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I was excited to share this beautifully done and unique comic with y’all because it’s always awesome to come across a comic that surprises you! The art style and technique used by Alden definitely surprised and impressed me! 

Let me know if you come across any other comics that use this same style, I’m very interested to know how many of them are out there!

You can see more comics by Sam Alden here.

You can check out and being reading Haunter here.

These images are a copyright © of Sam Alden. No infringement intended.

Black and White

It’s time to talk about some black and white comics!

Color is a huge aspect of art, but I have found some comics that aren’t hurting from their lack of color. Robert Andrews is an illustrator and comic creator. Most of his comics are in black and white, and they are beautiful.

Having a lack of colors makes other elements are art more important. Without color, line and shape become the center of attention, and value and contrast also come to the forefront of the design.

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There are many things working within his artwork. The grayscale has so much depth and detail that it doesn’t feel like the comic is missing something by lacking color. The range of values is fantastic and needed to help give the artwork such interest and depth.

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The unique layout of his comics also add further appeal with more lines, shapes and variation in space.

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These images are very simple in their layout and design, but the high levels on contrast make them interesting to look at. A lack of words make the artwork that much more important, and Andrew’s realizes this and takes full advantage of the frame when creating is art. 

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It’s clear that black and white comics can be just as fascinating as full color comics and the artwork is just as wonderful and creative. Beautiful comics are being created with and without the use of color!

These images are a copyright © of Ryan Andrews. No infringement intended.

You can see and read all of these comics here, on Andrew’s website.

Ascent

Hello Hello! It’s time for post number 3, and I’m going to jump right in. This week I’m going to talk about a comic named Ascent.

Ascent is an ongoing web comic about an optimistic sea diver on a mission to return to the surface! The comic is updated every two weeks by creator Kevin Lam.

Okay, so I want to talk about this web comic because of its unique style. First and foremost it has a unusual panel format. Ascent has long/tall panels and then are presented in a scrolling format down the page.

Having tall panels give Lam room to have artwork and text without them getting in the way of each other. Another interesting thing about Lam’s artwork is that his comic is monochromatic, I’m sure the main reason is because of the environment, but I think it works really well.

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This is the first panel of the comic. This structure gives Lam room to experiment and create interest within each panel.

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Even with a large amount of text there is still plenty of room for artwork, which is fantastic because I often feel that more text means less art, and for this comic that’s not the case!

The monochromatic color scheme unites the comic and makes it very recognizable and distinct from others. The simplicity works on all fronts: 

  • A simplified color scheme
  • A simplified art style
  • A simplified use of text (presented in the same place with the same font consistently)

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The artistic and stylistic choices that Lam is making are part of what makes this comic really interesting and different. You often see black and white comics, but it’s more unusual to see monochromatic comics using colors other than black or white so it was a wonderful surprise!

You can check out Ascent here and enjoy this little gem!

Ascent is a copyright © of Kevin Lam. No infringement intended.

Next week I’ll be taking a look at some black and white comics!

With that being said…

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Color and Environment

Hello! Today I will be talking about color and environment in webcomics!

In order to do this I will be using artwork from a very interesting comic called Romantically Apocalyptic (RA). RA is a post-apocalyptic webcomic about the adventures of four characters trying to survive. 

The art director Vitaly S. Alexius describes RA as “a high-detailed graphic novel that combines delicious servings of: end of the world / life in a dark post-apocalyptic dystopia, and twisted humor”.

What is really interesting about RA is the way they produce the webcomic. They use multimedia techniques to create stunning artwork. The team uses photographs, digital artwork, music, film and more! Once I discovered this I understood the comic so much more and began to see how it was constructed.

I want to focus on two main aspects of RA’s artwork for this post: color and the creation of environment and mood.

First Color.

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Being in a post-apocalyptic world, there aren’t as many bright cheerful colors as you may think. But something that works so well is how RA artists used color. Many of the backgrounds have a more somber and dull color space. However they use a dominant color in the characters or objects to help our eye focus on something in the image.

In the instance above, they have used red to get us to focus on the character the Captain. This technique is very effective, especially when the rest of the image tends to be grayscale. RA does this in many of their panels and I think it is a very good technique, especially since there isn’t a huge amount of dialog in the comic.

They also use color as a way to give us specific visual connections to the characters. Each character tends to have a color that they are represented by, and this is an immediate way for us to know who is in the scene together.

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The image above is another still from RA that uses really nice dominate color to bring focus to the character. There isn’t much action going on, but there is a lot of artwork going on, and with so much to look at sometimes the viewer needs help to know what to look at. RA uses dominate color to guide the reader through the page, which is even more helpful when there is an absence of dialog.

Now Environment and Mood:

There are so many epic scenes in this webcomic, and they artists definitely use that to set the mood, or give scale and perspective to the reader.

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The image above not one gives a great perspective and scale on the space that the characters are in, but it also frames the characters into the picture. The environment in a post-apocalyptic comic seems to be of high importance to the creators, and RA is no different. The picture is immensely overwhelming and makes the viewer feel in awe and even intimidated, but more importantly intrigued. Seeing this panel made me want to explore more and discover other parts of the destroyed world.

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Yet again, RA provides another incredibly interesting, but decrepit environment. This is totally different from the image above, but does a lot of the same things. It creates fascination and makes the viewer want to know more. Establishing a strong sense of environment is so vital, and RA has done that so well, there were countless examples in just the first few pages.

I know I rambled a little bit about this comic, but I was so impressed by the artwork! The team goes to such incredible lengths to make each image look as realistic and interesting as possible, and the hard work definitely pays off!

I hope you enjoyed as much as I did!!

Speaking of the team, I must give credit!

Art Director: Vitaly S Alexius

Photography: Vitaly S, Oggy B, Chico G, Mabi

Illustrators: Vitaly S, Mabi, Allyssa N/Hatsie, IlDanmrak

Artists: Andrey F, Christine Z, Ivan Y, Malin F, Caroline H

Music Editor: Oggy B

Intern: Tina Hoffman

http://romanticallyapocalyptic.com

Romantically Apocalyptic is a copyright © of Vitaly S Alexius. No infringement intended.

 

Stand Still. Stay Silent.

For my first post I want to keep it simple to introduce you to a typical kind of blog post for ‘Art’iculate Comics.

Today I wanted to share with you some artwork that caught my eye when I first starting looking through web comics.

Stand Still. Stay Silent (SSSS) is a webcomic created by Mina Sundberg. I found her artwork to be stunning and wanted to share with you some pieces from the comic in my first post.

But first a little bit about this wonderful comic to set the stage: 

“‘Stand Still. Stay Silent’ is a post apocalyptic webcomic with elements from Nordic mythology, set 90 years in the future. It’s mostly a story about friendship and exploring a forgotten world, with some horror, monsters and magic on the side. ”

-Mina Sundberg

The comic mostly takes place in Iceland, although there are excursions to other nearby countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. No matter where the characters are, one thing is undeniable, it looks incredible.

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Above is an image of the main cast and crew which you follow throughout their various adventures. This image isn’t actually in the comic, but serves as the main image on her website.

The artistry is beautiful, there is so much depth and detail in all aspects of the piece. The characters take center stage, but the background and bridge don’t lack attention from the eye either. The color scheme is spot on with deep, rich purples and calming light blues. The overall style of the piece is so unique to Mina and she does so well to emphasizes that throughout all of her artwork.

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Now this image is actually from the comic. It appears as the 204th page of SSSS in the 4th chapter. I’m not this far in the comic yet so I can’t speak to the context of this page, but what I want to discuss is the ornate beauty and detail.

Once again the color scheme works wonders, with all the various shades of blues and greens working in perfect harmony with one another. The organic structure of her panels mimics the natural setting of the story. Even without having words, the artwork speaks enough to tell the reader what is happening on this page.

I’m excited to be able to introduce you to this wonderful comic, and I look forward to comparing Mina’s artwork with other similar web comic art when I come across it. This is not the last you will see of SSSS. 

The artwork of this web comic is what drew me in to begin exploring it further, and I wasn’t disappointed.

So, what do you think of the artwork in SSSS? 

Stand Still. Stay Silent is a copyright © of Mina Sundberg. No infringement intended.

http://sssscomic.com/index.php?id=home