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

Friday, April 21, 2006

Land Ho!

It's up! It's hincky, there's things I need to fix, and other I need to change competely, but it's up!

Check it out.

I'll be correcting stuff and 'officially' launching in a week or so, but I thought I'd you, my loyal few readers, actually take a look. So tell me what you think, yo!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The OG Sailor

In my mad rush to complete this robot comic (Art's done! Just working on the interface now! Avast!), I've found a lot of solace in going back to one of my favorite artist, E.C. Segar, and his daily and Sunday strip, Thimble Theater. Best known as the creator of Popeye, I think his creations are one of those classic examples of a pop culture icon being so coopted by mainstream media, that it becomes a caricature of itself (I know, I know, I talking about cartoons here, but bear with me: the semantics of the artform can be addressed in a later post).

Popeye, just one (and I personally think one of the most banal)of Segar's incredible creations, is known these days as that squinty guy who eats spinach and has forearm gigantism. But the world he inhabited- Wimpy, The Seahag, The Goon (The Goon! Creepshow!), and the rest- is worth another examination, and, as always, I have to recommend the old school funny paper strips: the rehash in comicbook form in the 50s was just bunk. And while the Fleischer Studio cartoon translation of Popeye was interesting enough, it never could capture that dark, stark world of black background and sea monsters.

Below is an sample of the small strip that accompanied Popeye, (back when comic artists had a whole newspaper page to themselves!), called Sappo. It started out about the ever-abused husband Sappo, but rapidly really became about Professor Wotznoszzle and all his weird inventions. Check out that Z-Ray!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Weak Hull

I know, I know. It's not up yet. All I can I say is, soon. Actually, that's the drive on this post.

I was looking for background elements for the comic tonight, and I stumbled across Kazu's Bolt City comic site and blog ( I had a passing knowledge of his comic, Copper, because it got a nod by Comixpedia last year as one of the 25 web comix to watch. He has a clean, light style, keeps his subject matter light, and has a great color sense and pallate. He colors like the old Mobius strips, in a way. He's a good artist, and he creates entertaining comics.

And I suddenly got very depressed.

I'm taking this blog in a different tone alluvasudden by getting a little personal here, but I can't help it. This really put me down. I don't even know what it was about the site, but the fact he's my age, he also went to film school, and he makes his living making great looking comics and showing off at ComicCons while I toil away in obscurity put a bit of a burr in my side.

Molly, my ever-present voice of reason, is right, or course. I don't know his story or responsibilites, I can't compare our situations, and everyone works at their own pace. She pointed out that I'm probably in the top 5% of comic artists that make regular money off my work. She's right of course. She's always right.

But I can't shake that sinking feeling of impending worthlessness. It makes every beer taste bitter and every nice spring day seem like another day wasted. All in the quest to...what...immortality?

All I can do is think of Henri Matisse's last words: "My only regret is that I never learned to draw."

And the robots, I promise, are coming. Hopefully this weekend.