I tried to think of a good name for this guy, but came up empty.
Who doesn’t love reading outside? Especially with the huge storm coming our way today that will threaten to keep us indoors? Actually reading inside by a roaring fire sounds pretty good too.
This image is recycled from another project. The original is much larger and has another girl in it as well. I cropped the image of the girl reading to use on a poster to promote Free Reading Fridays. This is a slightly modified version where I worked out all the stuff I didn’t like in the first one. Of course, this only made some other rough spots evident, but most of the time I’m the only one that notices that.
I’m also trying to be more deliberate in my color choices now. The first thing I’m doing is working with a limited color palate – in this case, red and green. Everything here is a variation of those two colors. I’m still not pleased with how the greens work together, so I still have some work to do.
Clip art of a guy reading on a stack of books. Eventually I’ll do a color version of this (or add some black and white shading) but I loved the retro look so I wanted to post it that way. It has a Dennis the Menace by Hank Ketcham feel that I like. This was achieved on purpose (using a dip pen to do the books) and by accident (my ink is getting a little goopy so it’s harder to control it on the brush, which gave it a dip pen appearance.)
Dip pens have always been difficult for me to manage, but I’m starting to get the hang of them and really like using them. You can’t control the line very well, and this forces me to accept a more spontaneous line that normal.
These clip art images have a couple of students thrilled to be reading. Both of them feature characters I created a while ago.
This first image features a character I created a while back when I thought about the possibility of creating a syndicated newspaper strip. I had drawn a daily strip for The Lantern at the Ohio State University, so it wasn’t that far fetched an idea. However, I just couldn’t find the time to sit around and think of funny ideas all day and quickly abandoned the idea after drawing one strip. Val, the character reading here, is a holdover from that strip. She was a high-strung honors student constantly worried about getting into college and her name is short for “valedictorian.” I have always liked her design and she’s been a useful character to bring out from time to time.
This guy is named Tom and he comes from a collaboration with Mark Pennington from Pennington Publishing. We are working on a series of phonics books aimed at older students just learning to read. He is based on a guy called Norm from a previous collaboration called Teaching Grammar and Mechanics (as with all of our collaborations, Mark does the writing and I do the illustrations.)
This is my most recent comic, which features William Wordsworth introducing the concept of personification to students. Of course, I loved the idea when I came up with it, and thought I had a pretty good William Wordsworth going. Then I finished it, and as always, I hated it. I wanted to start completely over and all I could see were the flaws or the things that didn’t quite match my vision. Even my wife, who really liked it when she saw it, could offer no support. I ended up enjoying working on it, thinking it was terrific all along but deeply saddened by the finished product.
Fortunately I read an article in the most recent issue of the Comics Journal which was essentially a discussion between Dave Gibbons and Frank Quitely, both of whom mentioned this same problem. It was reassuring that even the professionals suffer from this same plague of doubt once they finish a page; it never quite matches up to their expectations and they can see lots of things that didn’t quite match up to what they had envisioned in their mind. They offered an interesting perspective though, that the people who look at their comics never knew what they had in mind and thus have no idea what the original vision is. These people are much more unbiased and can offer a better analysis of the quality of the work.
The reality for them is that eventually they will go back and look at their work and realize that it wasn’t so bad after all. This happened to me, as well; now that I have been done with this for a couple of weeks, I can really see a lot of good stuff in it and thing its pretty strong. However, I know with the next one the doubts will creep in. Apparently it’s just something you have to live with.
Check out the latest Comics Journal, issue #300. More on that later.
For some more education related comics, go to http://comicteacher.com.