Month: November, 2012

Capstone Caption: Final message of the 2012 Class

Final Messages of the 2012 class:

Paul Morehead Jr: Assisting Nynke teaching this course was an experience I’ll never forget, and you all made it rewarding beyond my expectations. It was a great pleasure to share in your creative process. You all are well on your way to unleashing your purpose upon the world, weather it be in visual art, writing, the combination of both or elsewhere. I look forward to seeing your ongoing creations. “Be well, do good work and keep in touch.” – Garrison Keiler

Nynke Pass: Same here, Paul! You are a born teacher, and you are so knowledgeable in your field. You so easily brought out the best in the students. It felt easy and relaxed in the classroom, while everyone was learning and absorbing so much. I am unbelievably moved and impressed by the final output of work from all of you students! The show in the Argiro Café is outstanding–everyone says so. It looks great and each piece is made with care and so much technical prowess, so much soul, so much heart, so much intelligence.

It was a great honor and pleasure to teach this class to such a fine group of students, with such a fine TA as my co-teacher. Hope to do it again next year! Keep creating everyone, you all have so much talent. We believe in you!


The Technology of Drawing

Digital Production Methods:

From the marvelous minds at Wacom:

Presenting the Inkling:

Cintiq 24HD Touch:

Cintiq 24HD touch



Comic Artist Workflow:

Kazu Kibuishi on Copper:

Frank Espinosa on Rocketo:

Movies Based on Graphic Novels and Cartoons

Amazon’s list of Best Movies Based on Graphic Novels and Cartoons:
Amazon Best Movies based on Graphic Novels

A few of the titles, in slideshow format (click on the pics to see the slides):

First World Publishing Children’s Book Challenge

First World Publishing, founded by Rodney Charles, extends a challenge to any of my students: Write a children’s book about fearlessness.

In the children’s book market it is very important to consider your audience (and especially the age range of your audience). Do you want to write for tiny children of 4, or for young teens? It makes a big difference in the vocabulary you will use, the themes you will cover, etc. So first decide upon your audience. Going to the library to check out books can be helpful to give you some idea of the level of books in the age range you are most interested in. Children’s librarians are great resources as well.

Here is the link to the website of First World Publishing:
First World

If you have a manuscript ready (either with illustrations or without, for First World also employs illustrators), send it to me. I pre-screen all submissions and pass along the best ones to Rodney, who makes the final selection. If your work is accepted for publication, First World pays for the publishing costs via its non-profit imprint. This is a special gift to all MUM students, because Rodney wants to encourage a new generation of young people to achieve their goals and shine in the world. He also wants a new generation of kids to grow up believing they have a right to be fearless and happy.



“Reading “Logicomix’’ is like stumbling upon the best college class you never expected and settling down for enlightenment.”Boston Globe

Logicomix is the NY Times #1 bestselling graphic novel. The concept, story and script were created by Apostolos Doxiadis. The concept and story were created by Christos H. Papadimitriou. Alecos Papadatos did the character design and drawings. And Annie Di Donna was responsible for color design. The authors/artists worked as a team and the book shares how they worked together and how the idea for the book came into being. It is a framed story within a story, in that sense, and a story commenting on itself.

Logicomix has been nominated for and has won all kinds of prizes. Covering a span of sixty years, the graphic novel Logicomix was inspired by the epic story of the quest for the Foundations of Mathematics. This was a heroic intellectual adventure most of whose protagonists paid the price of knowledge with extreme personal suffering and even insanity. The book tells its tale in an engaging way, at the same time complex and accessible. It grounds the philosophical struggles on the undercurrent of personal emotional turmoil, as well as the momentous historical events and ideological battles which gave rise to them. The role of narrator is given to the most eloquent and spirited of the story’s protagonists, the great logician, philosopher and pacifist Bertrand Russell. It is through his eyes that the plights of such great thinkers as Frege, Hilbert, Poincaré, Wittgenstein and Gödel come to life, and through his own passionate involvement in the quest that the various narrative strands come together. Themes are Logic and Madness, Science, The Quest, The Hero, and Paradox: Themes

Logicomix Website:
Behind the Scenes:
More information
Scouting out Setting:
Using existing locations

Cambridge University

Schlick Stairway

Character Research:

And you can observe a lot here from how the book was created in the website section called “Pages in Production”: Process

Page in Production

Page in process with postit notes

This is a wonderful section to browse because there are slideshows on several of the pages of how the effects were achieved, with sketches in various states of becoming, all the way to final product. It’s a great teaching tool to look through these files and see how rough ideas came to life.

Bertrand Russel: 1872-1970

At the heart of the story is the life of Betrand Russel, a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense. Russell led the British “revolt against idealism” in the early 20th century. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.” His work has had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, computer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics. He was also a prominent anti-war activist. In Logicomix, he gets a very personal voice and his life story is told from childhood (young Bertie) to adulthood, very much like a quest.

Here you can learn more: Bertrand Russel on Wikipedia:
Bertrand Russel
Bertrand Russel’s Celestial Teapot on Wikipedia:
Celestial Teapot

Young “Bertie”

Book Binding Ideas (in case you are interested)

Your final project can take any shape you want. In case anyone is interested in bookbinding options, here some links that might be of use:

Dos-à-dos book

In bookbinding, a dos-à-dos binding (from the French meaning “back-to-back”) is a binding structure in which two separate books are bound together such that the fore edge of one is adjacent to the spine of the other, with a shared lower board between them serving as the back cover of both. When shelved, the spine of the book to the right faces outward, while the spine of the book to the left faces the back of the shelf; the text of both works runs head-to-tail. In our class slideshow we will see several examples. More about this technique on wikipedia: Dos-à-dos binding Wikipedia

How to fold a poster into a book:
Book/Poster fold

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Handy links:
Book binding tutorial

Through this link you can see several tutorials on youtube on simple bookbinding techniques:

Visual (Concrete) Poetry

One idea for your final project could be to write poetry and bind it in a book or write it on a scroll of some kind. There is a type of poetry called Visual or Concrete Poetry which relies on the intimate interrelationship between words and the white space on the page, between form and meaning. Some information on Concrete Poetry in this blog post:

Concrete Poetry on wikipedia:
Concrete Poetry

From wikipedia:
Concrete poetry or shape poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on.

It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has evolved to have distinct meaning of its own, but which shares the distinction of being poetry in which the visual elements are as important as the text.

George Herbert’s “Easter Wings”, printed in 1633 on two facing pages (one stanza per page), sideways, so that the lines would call to mind birds flying up with outstretched wings.

John Hollander, “Swan and Shadow”

And here a concrete poem by former student Leah Marie Waller, published in her collection Under the Cedar Tree (First World Publishing):

“Ode to My Foot” by Leah Marie Waller

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was a French poet with a keen eye for visual art and the dimensions of writing. He was one of the first to explore the relationship between typography, art and poetry, especially in his later work, the Calligrammes, in which he incorporated words, letters and phrases into complex visual collages. Here you can see a lot of his work (toward bottom of link):
Words and Eggs

“Rain” by Guillaume Apollinaire (France, 1880-1918)

Translation without visuals (this time sideways):
It is raining of the voices of women as if
they were dead even in memory
It is you also that it rains marvelous
meetings of my life, oh little drops
And these reared-up clouds take themselves
to neighing an entire universe of auricular cities
Listen if it rains while regret and disdain
cry an ancient music
Listen to the falling of the bonds that
restrain you from top to bottom

Necktie by Apollinaire, from Caligrammes

Apollinaire, portrait

Apollinaire, Caliigrammes

Apollinaire, Calligrammes

Apollinaire, Caligrammes

Visual Poetry on wikipedia:
Visual Poetry

From wikipedia:
Visual poetry is poetry or art in which the visual arrangement of text, images and symbols is important in conveying the intended effect of the work. It is sometimes referred to as concrete poetry, a term that predates visual poetry, and at one time was synonymous with it.

Visual poetry was heavily influenced by Fluxus, which is usually described as being Intermedia. Intermedia work tends to blur the distinctions between different media, and visual poetry blurs the distinction between art and text. Whereas concrete poetry is still recognizable as poetry, being composed of purely typographic elements, visual poetry is generally much less text-dependent. Visual poems incorporate text, but the text may have primarily a visual function. Visual poems often incorporate significant amounts of non-text imagery in addition to text.

Here you can browse the Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry:
Sackner Archive

Meg Hitchcock

And here the link to Taylor Mali’s “Post Modern Poem” on youtube from Ella’s presentation:

Mosaic Writing

Here Memoire of a Congo Girl by Kabuika Kamunga, an example of Mosaic Writing inspired by Maira Kalman’s Principles of Uncertainty. In a free-wheeling, personal and journal-like style you can keep the reader’s interest and attention by juxtaposing surprising images and ideas, going from abstract musing to concrete description and detail, from mundane specificity (a glass of cola) to larger concerns (politics), from the personal to the general and back again. This is another way of telling “story” without any linear plot, but you still evoke a strong atmosphere and world. You can see the slideshow by clicking on the images.

For anyone who missed it, here also the slideshow of the mosaic writers Kabuika was inspired by: Charlotte Solomon, Maira Kalman and Toc Fetch:

Comic Mavens

Interviews with two of Comics contemporary avante garde visionaries.

Grant Morrison:

Alan Moore: