Joe Alterio's blog on illustration, comix, design, animation, and other bouts of total awesomeness.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Comics is good for something, after all.

Just a quick note to go check out the new development Blogbot, that Alex Dragulescu is creating. From the site:

Blogbot crawls the web and takes snapshots of web blogs related to a user-specified theme. Then, based on the harvested text, a dynamic collage of images and strings is generated using a keyword-matching algorithm. Later versions will use computational linguistics approaches to derive meaning from text.

What I Did Last Summer is the first experimental graphic novel generated by blogbot, using cached versions of My War (written by a U.S. soldier deployed in Iraq) and the now famous Baghdad Blogger. The protagonists of What I Did Last Summer are military and civilian units from the game Civilization 3.

Far out!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sketchblog 11/26/06

So I got an email from Aida in Iceland (!) who asked about my character development process, and how I decide what someone should looks like: she suggested that since I'm going to be drawing that character a great deal, I had better like them. I couldn't agree more.

For my part, I always have that great quote by Matt Groening running through my mind:

"The great, memorable characters in cartoons in the 20th century are characters you can identify in silhouette."

Above is my sketch when trying to come up with the look for Hector. Hector is...well, I don't want to give anything a way, but he's of a group of folks in the comic that have been physically altered in some way. As you can see, the guy I drew in the bottom right corner was the one I evenutally went with: because Hector is essentially a 'good guy' (albeit reluctantly), and a main character, I couldn't have him be too grotesque. But don't think that these other guys won't be showing up somewhere along the line. I especially like the guys in the upper right. My Troma love contiues to rear it's ugly head.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Motherland Comix

There's a fresh piece today in the NYT about a Harlem exhibition of African comix, and it's great read. (You have to become an NYT member to read it, but it's worth it, and free.) I could give you a big PC schmeal about what it means that an American news outfit is finally A.) covering African culture at all and B.) covering comix, to boot. The long and short of it is that these are great looking, and I'll leave it to the culture critics and socialogists to figure out what it all means.

I got first turned on to comix from Africa from my friend Jason, who used to live in Zimbabwae, and now lives in South Africa. One of the first things we sent me while over there was Bitterkomix, edited by the SA artist Joe Dog, a super heavy and bizzaro monthly comic collection of African comic art. It's a trip, check it out at your local comic shop if you can. They get away with stuff in there that would make Speigelman's RAW blush.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Drawger is Coolger

I was just turned on to Drawger yesterday, which seems very cool and very strange at the same time. It's got all these cool artists, and seems to be a (closed gate) community of cool illustration. But what's up with that site design? I'm no information architech, but it seems really unintutive to me. Maybe it's foreign. Like those brightly colored backpacks all Italians seem to love. What's up with those things?

Regardless, I found my new favorite artist on Drawger, Mark S. Fisher. As with a lot of artists, his 'official portfolio stuff' is pretty OK, but it's his random stream-of-conscious doodles that really make my synapses pop.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Props from The Street

Some props from the folks at Street Tech. Sweet! Thanks, dudes!

Yip Yop, yo.

YipYop just gave me a little post love about the new episode. W00t! Thanks Mike, and thanks Jesse for the recommend!

A quick refit

So, you'll notice that I changed around the look of this blog a bit, to match my page a little more, which, you know, is just the professional thing to do. And also, I gave the blog the title, Good Work, which I'm not totally crazy about, but it'll do until I can think of something else. And also, I think I'm dropping the pirate diction thing: when Vanity Fair starts doing it, you know it's over. Do you think VF has a MySpace page? *shudder*

In other news, I'm wary of the 'over-animation' quality some artists and animators get from constant life drawing: everything becomes a series of gummy swoops and circles, with no real weight anymore. Having said all that, Celia Calle manages to avoid this, and what's more, she rocks my world down to a tiny little nub.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Episode 2 off the port bow!"

Rejoice, my little deck urchins: Episode 2 of The Basic Virus is finally available. Sorry it took so long, a move of the magnitude we just achieved tends to tie your hands. But the next one's already in production. Stay tuned, and hey, let me know what you think.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pretty, pretty sea creatures

Laurent Cliffulio, part of the Curious Pictures Group, takes my breath away. What is it with Europeans and insane modernist pictoral coolness?