Since full-length posts take so long to write, I’m going to be periodically doing posts featuring links from around the internet that should also be of interest to webcomic creators, just so something’s going up here in the interim.
Today: Monty Oum, life drawing, running, fonts, who’s linking to who, story arcs, and an email list.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Oum died at 33 on the 1st. What you might not know is that among his more popular work, he quietly left behind a blog post about how he was raised, why he worked the way he did, and what he hoped to leave behind when it was his time to go. And it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read about the life of an artist.
This might just sound like more of the aggrandizement you always see for the recently deceased, but it’s not. I was never able to get into RWBY, never really bothered with Red vs. Blue—although a bunch of my high school friends loved it— and have never seen any of his other work, so I won’t pretend to be his number one fan. (And I think that to do so would be more disrespectful than to just admit to my ignorance.)
This piece is incredible purely on its own merit: I would’ve written about it earlier if I’d heard of it before he died. It validates what a lot of artists innately know, but can’t quite put into words. The arts are a brutal field to try and make a living off of, and people who choose to often find themselves facing chronic exhaustion, poverty, around-the-clock work schedules. …Yet they still put up with it. Most of us have heard this through popcultural osmosis, but Oum, who failed out of high school because he couldn’t bring himself to be interested in anything but art, was one of the few people to really explain why. The most dedicated artists don’t do it for money, for fun, or because of any kind of expected lifestyle. They do it because of a fucking compulsive, almost self-destructive drive to keep working no matter what. They do it because, often, they just don’t care about anything else. And maybe, if you’re going to try to make a living off your art—webcomics or any other kind—that’s just what it takes.
This was originally reposted on the Webcomicry Tumblr a few months ago. Then I downloaded it, forgot about it, and didn’t find it again until I was looking for links to put in here, today. But I’m going through it now, and it’s pretty good. While it’s nothing I haven’t heard before, it’s a solid guide to the basics, and for experienced artists, it collects a lot of that useful-information-you-heard-once-but-forgot-about-and-never-followed-through-on in one convenient place.
Via the Fuckton of Anatomy References Tumblr. This post collects several anatomy charts, animated GIFs, and sequences of still images to provide a detailed breakdown of the arm and leg movements involved in running.
A whole buttload of unordered life drawings and construction grids. I have no idea what their context is: I suppose this KChen person is an art teacher that photographed all his/her class’s projects and dumped them onto an Angelfire site. But there sure are a lot of them. Hundreds. If you decide to use these to practice your own life drawing, you’ll stay busy for a long time.
Much more useful for site design than comic lettering, but since that’s an important part of webcomicking, it still fits. This online app, which I found when researching an article on typography for a client, lets you take three base sans-serif fonts and modify them to create new ones. Very useful if you need to quickly come up with a sui generis font for a logo or site element.
How Webcomics Are Connected
Via /r/DataIsBeautiful. As you’ve probably noticed, webcomic artists like to link to other things they enjoy. As creator rzNicad explains, “by following these links, a fairly comprehensive, but nowhere near complete, picture of the internet’s webcomics emerges.”
Eight Basic Story Arcs, Graphed
Kurt Vonnegut was doubtlessly one of the last century’s best and most influential novelists, but his personal favorite work was never published at all: his rejected master’s thesis, in which he posited that the fortunes of a story’s protagonist can be mapped out on a line graph to reveal the story’s overall “shape.”
Here are some.
My Email List
I have one now. The blog had one before, but it was auto-generated by WordPress and all it did was send duplicates of the blog posts to your inbox. Now we have a real one, for which I’ll be writing actual new stuff. In addition to being the first to receive Webcomicry updates, you’ll get special, subscribers-only content. I’m not sure what that’ll be yet, but I’ll come up with something.
Not only that, but you can also use it to follow my webcomic, Yume-Hime, and my various other writing projects (mostly art and design stuff for other blogs), if you so choose.
I’ll never give your address to anyone else, and I’ll never spam you—In fact, I’ll only email when I have time to write out something interesting, which isn’t that often—so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with bullshit. So sign up for it. There’s nothing to lose.