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Best American Comics: The Notable Comics of 2014

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The Best American Comics 2014 is out and new series editor Bill Kartalopoulos has carried on our tradition of posting all the Notable Comics of the year.

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Guest post: A five-week comics unit for teens

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Jess Worby shares his lesson plan for a five-week comics unit he taught to teens in a studio art class at LOMA, a public art high school on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in spring 2014.

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Guest Post: Paulo Patricio on how to make a panel grid in five minutes

Paulo Patricio demonstrates a very quick and effective method to generate grids. (featuring an animated gif!)

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A holiday gift idea: the beginning cartoonist’s starter kit

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The holidays are coming! And we have a great gift idea for you: a beginning cartoonist’s starter kit! To get your special person started in comics, just use our checklist to buy him or her the basic tools of the trade.

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Best American Comics 2013 Table of Contents

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Every year, we get requests from teachers wanting to know what will be in the new Best American Comics before it comes out, so as to plan their classes. Herewith, therefore, is the table of contents of the next Best American Comics, edited by Jeff Smith, and with a fantastic cover by Kate Beaton, and out in September of this year.

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Haiku comics

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The haiku’s brevity and relative simplicity of rules make it a good candidate for a comics-making exercise.

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Mastering Comics is up for an Eisner award

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Mastering Comics is nominated for an Eisner award in the “Best Comics-Related Book” category. If you are involved professionally in the comics world, as a creator, a retailer, a writer, or a publisher, you are eligible to vote in the Eisners, and we ask for your support.

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Book Group #2: “Lucille”, by Ludovic Debeurme

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In the fall of 2011 we did a comics reading series at the Brooklyn Public Library. The third book we read and discussed was Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme. Here is a slightly edited transcript of our discussion that Sunday afternoon.

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Guest post: Dan Berry’s guide to making 24-hour comics

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In anticipation of the upcoming 24-Hour Comics event in Angoulême, France, cartoonist and teacher Dan Berry shares his pointers on how best to prepare yourself for this rewarding challenge.

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Combined index to Mastering Comics and DWWP

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We’ve posted a complete index to Mastering Comics and Drawing Words &Writing Pictures, for those who might want to find out if the books address questions they’re interested in, or to check if they were mentioned!

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Teaching Comics to teens week 2 day 4: Basic Character Design

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Now that your students are approaching the final version of their Gag Cartoon, it’s time for some more drawing lessons. Nothing terribly complex, but these simple concepts can make all the difference in the work of a neophyte cartoonist, both in visual appeal and readability.

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Best American Comics: the Notable Comics of 2012 (and a giveaway)

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A complete list with links of the Notable Comics 2012 from the Best American Comics, and a giveaway of some of those very books! Comment to enter the drawing.

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Teaching Comics to Teens week 2 day 3: How Not To Be Funny

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So after spending yesterday helping my students struggle with their nascent, shaky ideas, revising, reworking and shaping them according to the fundamentals that make gag cartoons work, what do I do? Introduce Anti-Gag Cartoons of course! Keep ‘em off balance, that’s what I say!

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Best American Comics 2012 table of contents

cover by Gary Panter

Every year, we get requests from teachers wanting to know what will be in the new Best American Comics before it comes out, so as to plan their classes. Herewith, therefore, is the table of contents of the new Best American Comics, edited by Françoise Mouly, and out in September of this year. vii : Read More

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Get this comic: “(NO) PAIN! The mega-mini comic”

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Seeing how many cartoonists were injured inspired Kriota to try her hand at cartooning. The result is a fat little tome that should have a place on every cartoonist’s shelf, (NO) PAIN! The mega-mini comic.

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Teaching comics to teens week 2 day 2: “The Horror!”

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Early in Mastering Comics, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden discuss ‘the Horror of the Blank Page’ (Chapter 2). Every artist who has ever put pen to paper has felt it, and likely some of your students will be feeling it now.

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Shujaaz: Kenyan comics for youth

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There’s something really interesting about a comic that crosses the line into readers’ real lives in some way, and, possibly because of that crossover, the positive messages in the comics seem to have a lot of concrete impact.

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Teaching Comics to Teens Week 2 Day 1: Gag me with a ‘toon

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In DWWP, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden begin with this basic unit of comic art—the single panel cartoon. This approach only makes sense, and I utilize it as well.

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Matt’s Comics Process II: The Inking Stage

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This is the second of a two-part post where we walk you through the method Matt uses to make a typical comics page.

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What’s happening with Mastering Comics: some reviews and interviews

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Mastering Comics has been out for over a month now, and we’ve been receiving interviews about it and seen many good reviews around the web. Here are some of the places you can find out more.

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Teaching comics to teens day 4: Cartooning through the ages

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I am a firm believer in exploring the rich history of the cartooning medium; not only for its own illustrious sake, but as a fount of inspiration for my students’ work. (I also admit that I love teaching it. Windsor McCay, Siegel and Shuster, The Fleischer Bros., why wouldn’t you teach it?)

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The anatomy of doors

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This is one of several features we had to drop from Mastering Comics for length, and will be posting here. For more like this, and better, check out the book! (For another sample of the kind of stuff that we just couldn’t shoehorn into our giant book, check out our guide to laying out bleeds.) Read More

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Mastering Comics is on sale today, May 8!

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Today Mastering Comics: Drawing Words & Writing Pictures Continued is officially released into the world!

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Teaching comics to teens day 3: Learning basic cartooning techniques

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As you know, cartooning is primarily about storytelling. However, for some students a big motivation for taking the class is to learn how to draw. But, as any artist knows, the best way to learn how to draw is simply to do it. Over and over again.

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Teaching comics to teens day 2: Creating an exquisite corpse

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The second day will be about them getting to know each other. I like to have the class play a game called The Exquisite Corpse. Originally conceived by Andre Breton and the Surrealists, the game encourages group creativity through random chance (in my experience, kids love all things random).

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Teaching comics to teens day 1: Using comics to tell your story

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We inaugurate a fantastic new series by Derek Mainhart, who is setting out to write up an entire year’s curriculum for a comics class at the secondary level: middle school and high school. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to be entertaining, well-planned, and incredibly useful.

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