Sheldonista Jeremy P. sent in some fantastic pics of a Flaco sculpt he made. Jeremy, as you remember, created a rad 3-D Arthur a few months back. He really topped himself with this Flaco sculpt…even going so far as adding Flaco’s Olympic medal on the base! Check it out:
Jeremy: You are awesome. Thank you for these pics!
On Wednesday, my cartooning compadre David Malki came by the studio, solely to demonstrate his cartooning process to Cari, the Sheldon summer intern. For three hours, he generously toured her through the tools and techniques he uses to create his strip, Wondermark. It was awesome to watch. More importantly, it was a generosity of spirit which deserves public thanks.
Dave and Cari, here in the studio.
But here’s the deal: We need more of this. Cartoonists, all you need to do is remember back to your own young adult life, and you know this to be true. Ours is a craft with few formal schools of instruction…and even among them, every graduate could benefit from the insights a pro could provide. Cari hails from SCAD, one of the best cartooning schools in the world, but she (and I!) learned a huge amount watching Dave work. The truth is, cartooning is a weird amalgamation of skills: A cartoonist is a writer, director, casting agent, costumer, stage manager, set and lighting designer *and* actor in these little, 2-D performances. And young cartoonists can’t be expected to master all of those easily. They need and deserve a helping hand to skip them through years of trial-and-error.
Tonight, as I write this, I’m hit by a really strong conviction that it’s our job, as artists, to pay it forward to that next generation.
Growing up, I would’ve done anything for an internship or one-on-one sit-down with a newspaper comic strip cartoonist. It was everything I wanted in a career, but it seemed like they had some elusive, locked-away career knowledge, and that there was no clear path on how I could attain it. It shouldn’t be like that. For those of us who’ve been blessed enough to find a career in cartooning, we owe it to the craft to pass along what we’ve learned.
If you’re a cartoonist, then, a humble request: Seek out opportunities that let you share what you know with younger cartoonists. Contact your nearest sequential art colleges at SCAD, CCS, SVA, or any school in your neck of the woods. Pay it forward.
Sheldonista Garrett W. adds to our photos of “Sheldon Towns Around the World”. Here’s Sheldon, Missouri. And just in case you missed it, a close-crop shot of the population. Clearly, towns called Sheldon are universally mega-cities:
Sheldonista Toby R. from the UK was driving through “sunny” Derbyshire (his words), and spotted this sign. And in the middle of a busy, busy intersection filled with thousands of cars/people (my words), he pulled over and snapped this shot to share with you all.
I wanted to take a second to encourage you to go see “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”. Not only because it’s a fantastic movie, but because my friends Chris and Phil wrote and directed it as their first feature. Their first full-length feature. Their first animated, full-length feature. Their first animated, full-length feature in 3-D.
(I write it that way because each one of those is a massive challenge in-and-of-itself, and these guys tackled them all in one project.)
I’ve never seen anyone work longer or harder on a single creative project…just shy of six years. Six years of long nights and continuous re-writes and editing rooms and voice casting and co-ordinating over 500 people and studio hassles and all the rest. I remember talking with Chris when he first took the job and thinking “Wow, it won’t be out until 2009! That feels like decades away.” Such is the nature of animated film…but these guys’ enthusiasm was unflagging throughout.
The good news is, it looks like it’s going to be the #1 movie this weekend at the box office, which makes me so, so happy for them. They deserve every success that comes their way…they are immensely talented and hard-workin’ dudes.
First, the long-term good news: I’ve begun sketching out ideas for a second website to host the “Saturday Sci-Fi Strip”. If I’m going to commit to doing this strip for the long haul, it needs its own site. ESPECIALLY for reasons of archive navigation.
Sites take a while, so in the meantime, you can find the links to all the Sci-Fi strips here, on the Sheldon Fan page on Facebook. (And thanks to Sheldon reader Brian P. for putting that together! Kind of you!)
Heads up for Southern Californians: I’m happy to announce that “Sheldon” and I will be special guests at the first annual Long Beach Comic-Con, Oct 2-4, at the Long Beach Convention Center.
I’m really rooting for this convention, as LA needs a great comics show…and this looks like it could be it. Already, the guest list includes cartoonists like Berke Breathed of “Bloom County”, the cartoonist who’s perhaps most responsible for me wanting to be a cartoonist. And he NEVER does these things, so I’m super excited. There’s tons of other great guests, too, from Stan Lee to Jim Lee…so it’s gonna be awesome.
I’ll be at corner booth #149, right up front, and will have all the Sheldon books, prints, and miscellany, as well as any Original Art you’d like me to bring for the discounted convention price. I’ll be givin’ out free sketches all three days of the show.
Head over to the site and pick up your tickets now. This is a show we should all get behind.