The Near-Sighted Monkey

Little comics everywhere

Dear Students,
If you were going to draw this in black and white, how would you do it?
Sincerely,
Prof. Bootsy
cryptofwrestling:

Kid meets heroes.

Dear Students,

If you were going to draw this in black and white, how would you do it?

Sincerely,

Prof. Bootsy

cryptofwrestling:

Kid meets heroes.

Dear Students,
If you had to draw this image in black and white, how would you do it?
Sincerely,
Prof. Bootsy
1950sunlimited

Dear Students,

If you had to draw this image in black and white, how would you do it?

Sincerely,

Prof. Bootsy

1950sunlimited

strandbooks:

Love this idea. These and other found photos modified by Angela Deane, via Flavorwire.

Dear Students,

Art Speigelman. Cartoonist. He changed everything.

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsly

Dear Students,

Joe Sacco. Cartoonist. Journalist.

Professor Bootsy

Dear Students,

Here is Marjane Satrapi.

Cartoonist.

Professor Bootsy

Dear Students,

This is Phoebe Gloekner who understands the serious business of comics.

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsy

Making Comics    Art 448     Fall 2014

Lynda Barry, Instructor   

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Overview:

This course is an introduction to making comics as a both a subject and means of academic study.  How do writing and pictures combine and interact to make something new? We call this ‘something’ by various names;  sequential art, graphic novel, essay, or autobiography,  illustrated text, cartoons or just plain old ‘comics.’

For this class we’ll use that plain old misunderstood word: comics. Misunderstood because it seems to carry with it the meaning of a close-cousin word: “comic”  as in funny, amusing, not serious. But the word ‘cartoon’ may bring us a little closer to what I mean here. ‘Cartoon’ is related to the Italian word, ‘cartone’, which, in the middle ages, was used to describe a kind of strong line drawing made on sturdy paper then meant to be transferred onto a wall during the process of making a fresco.  In the beginning, the meaning of ‘cartoon’ was a clear line drawing meant to be transferred. 

Through weekly exercises, you will learn some of the basic elements of making comics; combining writing and line drawings to create a variety of stories.

Although comics can be funny, they can also be used to tell the most serious stories we know. In 1991 the idea of what comics could hold exploded when Art Spiegelman published “Maus”, which used the comics form to tell the story of his father’s experiences as a Polish Jew in the camps during the Holocaust. (If you haven’t read “Maus” yet, you need to.) After 1992,  when “Maus” won the Pulitzer Prize this thing we call ‘comics’ began to find acceptance as a powerful means to tell the most serious of stories.  In “Footnotes in Gaza” Joe Sacco, an award-winning investigative journalist, used comics to depict his interviews with survivors of two previously undocumented massacres of Palestinians in 1956.  Phoebe Gloeckner used comics to graphically depict the darkness of child sexual abuse in “A Child’s Life” and “Diary of a Teenage Girl”. In “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow” Anders Nilson used comics to document the experience of losing his girlfriend to an aggressive form of cancer. And in “Persepolis”, Marjane Satrapi used comics to depict her experiences as a girl in Iran during the Islamic revolution.

I’ve come to think of a comic as being something like a song. It can really be about anything. We can address all sorts of things in a song —- love gone wrong, truck-driving daddies, smoking, racism, boots, birthdays, cheating, space travel, big butts, revenge, war, a turkey in the straw, regret, grandma’s hands, purple haze or mountains majesty —- in this same way we can make a comic about anything. In this class every kind of story is welcome. No matter the subject, it is welcome to find its own way into comic form.

The main goal of the course is to help you to expand their abilities and develop as as both writers and picture-makers.   The workload here is demanding because learning to make comics demands a kind of immersion in drawing, writing and the continual practice of observing the world around you and inside of you.   You will need to work steadily all semester, even when you feel uninspired. You’ll be asked to try a variety ways of making pictures and stories. And toward the end of the semester you’ll work on a final project that will take the form of a ‘zine; an original handmade book of at least 24 pages comprised of both visual and written elements.

 

Dear Students,

Here is something important to watch.

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsy

Dear Students,
Why might it have been easier to make this drawing than to copy it by hand?
Sincerely
Professor Bootsy
christiesauctions:

Paul Elie Ranson (1864-1909)Tigre dans les jungles
Prints & Multiples

Dear Students,

Why might it have been easier to make this drawing than to copy it by hand?

Sincerely

Professor Bootsy

christiesauctions:

Paul Elie Ranson (1864-1909)
Tigre dans les jungles

Prints & Multiples

blastedheath:

John Worsley (British, 1919-2000), A Night Air Raid over Augusta, 1943. Oil on canvas, 60.3 x 83.8 cm. Imperial War Museums.

blastedheath:

John Worsley (British, 1919-2000), A Night Air Raid over Augusta, 1943. Oil on canvas, 60.3 x 83.8 cm. Imperial War Museums.

Dear Students,
The last of the character names have come in.
Here they are.
Can’t wait to see you in 3-D on Wednesday!
Professor Bootsy

Dear Students,

The last of the character names have come in.

Here they are.

Can’t wait to see you in 3-D on Wednesday!

Professor Bootsy

Dear Students,
Back to school for Marlys means one thing. For Arna it means another.
Two characters made of lines on paper with their own personalities and dispositions toward the world.
Sincerely,
Prof. Bootsy

Dear Students,

Back to school for Marlys means one thing. For Arna it means another.

Two characters made of lines on paper with their own personalities and dispositions toward the world.

Sincerely,

Prof. Bootsy

Dear Students,
This is important.
Sincerely,
Professor Bootsy

From the "Unbored" website:  Drawing tips from the great GARY PANTER!INTRODUCTION
Get a book-size (or paperback-size)d sketchbook. Write your name and date on an early page and maybe think of a name for it — and if you want, write the book’s name there at the front. Make it into your little painful pal. The pain goes away slowly page by page. Fill it up and do another one. It can be hard to get started. Don’t flunk yourself before you get the ball rolling.
You might want to draw more realistically or in perspective or so it looks slick — that’s is possible and there are tricks and procedures for drawing with more realism if you desire it. But drawing very realistically with great finesse can sometimes produce dead uninteresting drawings — relative, that is, to a drawing with heart and charm and effort but no great finesse.
You can make all kinds of rules for your art making, but for starting in a sketchbook, you need to jump in and get over the intimidation part — by messing up a few pages, ripping them out if need be. Waste all the pages you want by drawing a tic tac toe schematic or something, painting them black, just doodle. Every drawing will make you a little better. Every little attempt is a step in the direction of drawing becoming a part of your life.
TIPS

1. Quickly subdivide a page into a bunch of boxes by drawing a set of generally equidistant vertical lines, then a set of horizontal lines so that you have between 6 and 12 boxes or so on the page. In each box, in turn, in the simplest way possible, name every object you can think of and draw each thing in a box, not repeating. If it is fun, keep doing this on following pages until you get tired or can’t think of more nouns. Now you see that you have some kind of ability to typify the objects in your world and that in some sense you can draw anything.
2. Choose one of the objects that came to mind that you drew and devote one page to drawing that object with your eyes closed, starting at the “nose” of the object (in outline or silhouette might be good) and following the contour you see in your mind’s eye, describing to yourself in minute detail what you know about the object. You can use your free hand to keep track of the edge of the paper and ideally your starting point so that you can work your way back to the designated nose. Don’t worry about proportion or good drawing this is all about memory and moving your hand to find the shapes you are remembering. The drawing will be a mess, but if you take your time, you will see that you know a lot more about the object than you thought.

3. Trace some drawings you like to see better what the artist’s pencil or pen is doing. Tracing helps you observe closer. Copy art you like — it can’t hurt.
4. Most people (even your favorite artists) don’t like their drawings as much as they want to. Why? Because it is easy to imagine something better. This is only ambition, which is not a bad thing — but if you can accept what you are doing, of course you will progress quicker to a more satisfying level and also accidentally make perfectly charming drawings even if they embarrass you.
5. Draw a bunch more boxes and walk down a sidewalk or two documenting where the cracks and gum and splotches and leaves and mowed grass bits are on the square. Do a bunch of those. That is how nature arranges and composes stuff. Remember these ideas — they are in your sketchbook.

6. Sit somewhere and draw fast little drawings of people who are far away enough that you can only see the big simple shapes of their coats and bags and arms and hats and feet. Draw a lot of them. People are alike yet not — reduce them to simple and achievable shapes.
7. To get better with figure drawing, get someone to pose — or use photos — and do slow drawing of hands, feet, elbows, knees, and ankles. Drawing all the bones in a skeleton is also good, because it will help you see how the bones in the arms and legs cross each other and affect the arms’ and legs’ exterior shapes. When you draw a head from the side make sure you indicate enough room behind the ears for the brain case.

8. Do line drawings looking for the big shapes, and tonal drawing observing the light situation of your subject — that is, where the light is coming from and where it makes shapes in shade on the form, and where light reflects back onto the dark areas sometimes.
9. To draw the scene in front of you, choose the middle thing in your drawing and put it in the middle of your page — then add on to the drawing from the center of the page out.

10. Don’t worry about a style. It will creep up on you and eventually you will have to undo it in order to go further. Be like a river and accept everything.
Thanks to our pal, M.A.G. for bringing this to our attention

Dear Students,

This is important.

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsy

From the "Unbored" website:  Drawing tips from the great GARY PANTER!

INTRODUCTION

Get a book-size (or paperback-size)d sketchbook. Write your name and date on an early page and maybe think of a name for it — and if you want, write the book’s name there at the front. Make it into your little painful pal. The pain goes away slowly page by page. Fill it up and do another one. It can be hard to get started. Don’t flunk yourself before you get the ball rolling.

You might want to draw more realistically or in perspective or so it looks slick — that’s is possible and there are tricks and procedures for drawing with more realism if you desire it. But drawing very realistically with great finesse can sometimes produce dead uninteresting drawings — relative, that is, to a drawing with heart and charm and effort but no great finesse.

You can make all kinds of rules for your art making, but for starting in a sketchbook, you need to jump in and get over the intimidation part — by messing up a few pages, ripping them out if need be. Waste all the pages you want by drawing a tic tac toe schematic or something, painting them black, just doodle. Every drawing will make you a little better. Every little attempt is a step in the direction of drawing becoming a part of your life.

TIPS

1. Quickly subdivide a page into a bunch of boxes by drawing a set of generally equidistant vertical lines, then a set of horizontal lines so that you have between 6 and 12 boxes or so on the page. In each box, in turn, in the simplest way possible, name every object you can think of and draw each thing in a box, not repeating. If it is fun, keep doing this on following pages until you get tired or can’t think of more nouns. Now you see that you have some kind of ability to typify the objects in your world and that in some sense you can draw anything.

2. Choose one of the objects that came to mind that you drew and devote one page to drawing that object with your eyes closed, starting at the “nose” of the object (in outline or silhouette might be good) and following the contour you see in your mind’s eye, describing to yourself in minute detail what you know about the object. You can use your free hand to keep track of the edge of the paper and ideally your starting point so that you can work your way back to the designated nose. Don’t worry about proportion or good drawing this is all about memory and moving your hand to find the shapes you are remembering. The drawing will be a mess, but if you take your time, you will see that you know a lot more about the object than you thought.

3. Trace some drawings you like to see better what the artist’s pencil or pen is doing. Tracing helps you observe closer. Copy art you like — it can’t hurt.

4. Most people (even your favorite artists) don’t like their drawings as much as they want to. Why? Because it is easy to imagine something better. This is only ambition, which is not a bad thing — but if you can accept what you are doing, of course you will progress quicker to a more satisfying level and also accidentally make perfectly charming drawings even if they embarrass you.

5. Draw a bunch more boxes and walk down a sidewalk or two documenting where the cracks and gum and splotches and leaves and mowed grass bits are on the square. Do a bunch of those. That is how nature arranges and composes stuff. Remember these ideas — they are in your sketchbook.

6. Sit somewhere and draw fast little drawings of people who are far away enough that you can only see the big simple shapes of their coats and bags and arms and hats and feet. Draw a lot of them. People are alike yet not — reduce them to simple and achievable shapes.

7. To get better with figure drawing, get someone to pose — or use photos — and do slow drawing of hands, feet, elbows, knees, and ankles. Drawing all the bones in a skeleton is also good, because it will help you see how the bones in the arms and legs cross each other and affect the arms’ and legs’ exterior shapes. When you draw a head from the side make sure you indicate enough room behind the ears for the brain case.

8. Do line drawings looking for the big shapes, and tonal drawing observing the light situation of your subject — that is, where the light is coming from and where it makes shapes in shade on the form, and where light reflects back onto the dark areas sometimes.

9. To draw the scene in front of you, choose the middle thing in your drawing and put it in the middle of your page — then add on to the drawing from the center of the page out.

10. Don’t worry about a style. It will creep up on you and eventually you will have to undo it in order to go further. Be like a river and accept everything.

Thanks to our pal, M.A.G. for bringing this to our attention

Someone just put this on on the NearSightedMonkey Lounge jukebox.

That’s why all the drinks are free for the next three minutes and twenty three seconds.