The Near-Sighted Monkey

Dearest Making Comics Class,

Here is a five minute drawing made by a six year old. Notice how her hand never stops moving and she draws until the page is full. There are several characters she seems to know well: the horses, the people and the birds. And they are all somewhere together and it seems to be spring on a sunny day. This is a very good thing to practice, five minutes of filling up a page. Felt pens or brushes are especially good for this.


Professor Sluggo

Self-Portrait by Borges, drawn after he’d gone blind
Homework from “Making Comics, Art 448” University of Wisconsin Madison: Black Flair pen on bond paper folded into 16 chambers. Assighment: make sure there is a lot of jet black in every frame.

Homework from “Making Comics, Art 448” University of Wisconsin Madison: Black Flair pen on bond paper folded into 16 chambers. Assighment: make sure there is a lot of jet black in every frame.


Kindergarten Self portraits

On September 9th, 2013, the students in Lynda Barry’s “Making Comics” class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison had four index cards, one black Flair pen and two minutes to draw each of four characters: a garbage man, a body builder, a burlesque dancer and a king. Can you dig it? We KNEW that you could! Now you try it! If you want to make comics there is an excellent book that will help you: “Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice” by Ivan Brunetti”

This song is how Professor Sluggo felt when she saw the all drawings her class pulled up through the paper into the known world in our “Making Comics” class today.

PS: For those of you who are interested in drawing bodies in motion, get your composition book out and try hitting pause four different times when the Nicholas Brothers are dancing. Take exactly what the pause button gives you, don’t look for a pose you feel like drawing. Try drawing them for three minutes, two minutes, one minute, 45 seconds, like we did with the Ivan Brunetti exercises today.

PPS:  And yes, should you so desire, do it for Cab Calloway too.

A giant chalkboard, a word or phrase, and thou (-all)

Danny C made this video.

One day Professor Old Skull passed out index cards to The Unthinkable Mind Class and asked them to fold them in half and write a made-up title of a book on the top of each one. Then she passed out photocopies of pictures the class had drawn earlier in the quarter using an exercise from “Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice” by Ivan Brunetti

Professor Old Skull asked the class to cut the pictures apart up and paste one on each of index card as if it were the bookcover illustration. Then she gathered the cards, mixed them up and passed them out again and asked students to turn the ‘nano book’ over and write a genre type on the back without looking at the title.

Then she mixed them up again, passed them out one last time, and gave students less than two minutes to write the first line of the book based on title, genre, and cover illustration.

From The Unthinkable Mind Nano Book Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison, taught by Lynda Barry

On February 27, 2013, students in Lynda Barry’s  “Unthinkable Mind” class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were given a piece of paper and a flair pen and asked to draw a picture that they couldn’t see. Professor Old Skull was the only one who could see the picture, and she described it line by line, asking them to draw along with the description. What happened? The picture Professor Old Skull was describing appears at the end of the video.

Dear Unthinkable Mind Class,

Here is a timing video to help with the non-photo blue part of your homework assignment. We’ll spend two minutes on each panel.

This video can help you get the first part of your four panel drawings done quickly. You’ll need your non-photo blue pencil, a piece of copier paper folded into quarters with the borders for each panel drawn in blue pencil, and the story you are illustrating.

You can read the story over before you start the video or if you’d rather, when I start to go into the relaxation part of this video, you can hit pause and read the story you’re illustrating and then hit play and continue.

Then use the inking process to help you listen with open awareness to whatever is going on around you.

Best to you,

Professor Old Skull

Now playing down the rickety old stairs in the Near-Sighted Monkey Lounge: what blackboard animation looked like in 1907.

Seven of Hearts at work

Work in progress by the Seven of Clubs

Work in progress by the Six of Diamonds

Photos: Angela Richardson

Work in progress by the Six of Diamonds