Archive for February, 2013

A guy who’s never seen Downton Abbey explains Downton Abbey, Part 4

Posted in comics with tags on February 14, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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Thank you for indulging me this past week. I know these comics have nothing to do with teaching or education but they were as fun for me to draw as it’s been for people to angrily scold me about what I got wrong about Downton Abbey. For example, did you know that the guy on the show is NOT called Mr. Downton? Oh boy, did I find that out quickly.

A guy who’s never seen Downton Abbey explains Downton Abbey, Part 3

Posted in comics with tags on February 13, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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A guy who’s never seen Downton Abbey explains Downton Abbey, Part 2

Posted in comics with tags on February 12, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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A guy who’s never seen Downton Abbey explains Downton Abbey, part 1

Posted in comics with tags on February 11, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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chalkboard drawings: the fantastic edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

I’ve slowed up on posting chalkboard drawings lately. Man, if you think there’s some repetition in my teaching comics (“Why does he do Romeo & Juliet strips every year around January/February?” you ask yourself) you haven’t seen anything compared to a lot of my chalkboard drawings.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but this is one of those aspects of my classroom that has really suffered thanks to my extended schedule. Having said that, I just bought myself a pack of COLORED CHALK so things are going to get crazy here in the next few weeks.

Or not, who can say? I decided the chalk’s maiden voyage would be to draw the Fantastic Four. I’ve done these characters before, but never in color!

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I guess I kind of screwed up on Mr. Fantastic’s hand… but in another way, I didn’t because he’s elastic and can contort his hand into any manner he choses!
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Get it?
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unreasonable birthday wishes

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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Tomorrow’s my birthday, folks. As such, I thought I’d take a break from writing about things I’ve bought at thrift stores for myself and move on to more important matters; things I WANT to buy for myself… but haven’t the capital.

Perhaps there will be some kind, rich benefactor reading this will decide to gift one of these “Holy Grail” items to me.

Or more likely, this was just yet another excuse for me to indulge myself in some nostalgia. Either way, these are the Top Five Things I search for on eBay but will never buy for myself.

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Sketchbook: Romeo and Juliet

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , on February 7, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

In drawing these comics about my teaching of Romeo and Juliet this year, I noticed I’ve been using the same designs of some of the characters. I didn’t set out to design these characters and I think it shows in those comics from earlier in the week. I decided to try and refine a bit more. Here you can see some quick sketches of (clockwise from top) Romeo, Lord Capulet, Tybalt and Juliet.

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Romeo had kind of a Disney prince character thing going on, which is kind of interesting I guess.

odds and ends: comic discourse bonanza

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 6, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

Mark Evanier posted this very interesting editorial about the Duluth News Tribune‘s decision to stop carrying Blondie in its’ comics section. It’s worth a look see.

As a kid, one of the only things I wanted to do with my life was draw comic strips for newspapers. I was lucky enough to grow up in a time where I could spend my mornings reading the work of master cartoonists like Garry Larson, Bill Watterson, and Berkley Breathed. As I grow older, I become more and more confident this period will be remembered as the last great gasp from the funny pages in traditional newspapers. Besides a couple of odd outliers like Richard Thompson‘s Cul de Sac and Patrick McDonnell‘s Mutts, there’s very little artistry on display in newspaper comic strips these days. Legacy strips like Blondie hold sway, offering variations on the same jokes, again and again, ad infinitum.

It’s an interesting look into the economics of syndicating a comic strip. Syndication fees aren’t a thing I’ve ever found discussed in much detail before. I suppose this is because everybody has a different deal; the price for a new Garfield comic strip will obviously be higher than those on an unproven commodity. I’m willing to wager that the price for Peanuts reruns remains significantly higher than most newly produced material.

What’s more, with the rapidly changing landscape of digital media, the people who are still buying newspapers seem very reticent to change in their comic strips. I can’t count how many times I’ve read a story like this: Newspaper decides to cancel a legacy strip. Outcry from the readership is enough where said strip is brought back. The result is fewer and fewer new voices being given much of an opportunity to get a foothold in the industry. You can’t really fault the newspapers for giving their paying customers what they want. You can’t fault the syndicates for supplying that need… and indeed, I do think a lot of the syndicates have done a good job of trying to cultivate new talent, to a degree. It’s just the industry isn’t what it once was.

Of course, the upshot of new media is that just about anyone who has the wherewithal to draw a comic strip can be given that outlet. Hell, with my limited talent and means, I’ve been drawing a comic strip of one kind or another for about ten years now. If that doesn’t say something significant about the democratization of the Internet, I don’t know what does. I must admit though, the funny pages are going to be one of those institutions I’m going to be quite sad to see go. You can find a wealth of great comics on the Web without looking very hard… but something about the experience of opening a newspaper and seeing the roster of comics waiting for you? That’s a thing I’ll miss.

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What a bummer, right? Hopefully sharing some comics I really liked this week will lighten the mood.

Greg Stump’s one pager Ball Saved is terrific. I love it when cartoonists geek out over their very specific interests. In this one, Stump extols the virtues of pinball machines, mentioning some of his favorites and how they tie to key moments in his life. Stump mentions Gorgar and The Addams Family pinball games, both of which I’m familiar with but my personal favorite pinball machine will always be Cyclone.

One of the great things about participating in Hourly Comics Day has been getting to see the work of all these wonderful artists who normally fly under my own radar (although, let it be said, I’ve never been the most perceptive consumer of comics on the Internet, often finding out about great work months after its’ made the rounds). I very much enjoyed the hourly comics of Miss Nash, who has a clean, precise line of which I’m totally envious. I worry when I say I find Nash’s cartoons to be really “cute” that readers might think I’m being reductive. I’m hoping that’s not the case because I admire her work… but c’mon! Super cute!

Teacher Comics: Misheard R&J, continued

Posted in 2012-2013 school year with tags , , on February 6, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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…and the actual line:

JULIET

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

Teacher Comics: Misheard R&J

Posted in 2012-2013 school year with tags , , on February 5, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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The actual lines read:

LORD CAPULET

Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so?

TYBALT

Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe,
A villain that is hither come in spite,
To scorn at our solemnity this night.