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Mar 262010

A Man vs. Art moment of joy!

Hey Amigos! Guess what? I sold a painting at my last group art show!

I’m a resident artist at the Casita del Pueblo Gallery in  Uptown Whittier Ca,

Yolanda Garcia the owner  invites me to display  my fine art drawings, sketches, and paintings  in all of  her group shows.  Currently were  working out the details on  a solo show for me!

This past  February, I displayed  four pieces in the   Flores  Y Corazones  show  That’s  flowers and Hearts.  So romance was the theme!

Image number 2 and number 4 are by me!

Victorian influence!

I sold was a  watercolor inspired by  an old José Guadalupe Posada cartoon of a Victorian era Mexican Charro giving softly kissing his wife goodbye  before heading off into battle.  I’ve always loved this piece. The body langauage that Posada gave the woman displayed a quiet and deep apprehension about her husband leaving and at the same time showed that  in  her love and   devotion there is strength.  She sucked it up.  She realized that sending her husband off to war in hysterics would be pointless.  There was a strong sense of dignity, properness, and respect that Posada poured into the drawing that captivates me.

One day I was messing around with some left over paint from another project and I painted the piece below.  I gave it to my wife and forgot about it.  When it came time for the show she framed and delivered  it. What a gal!

My inspiration.

Pics from the show!

My lovely wife Hortencia and your truly.

Raul Sr. and Jr.

Good times with good friends!

Fellow artists and Amigos Jim Lujan and Grasiella Rodriguez as supportive as they are talented!


My good friend and Colleague Javier Hernandez the creator of EL Muerto and I enjoying libations!

The Comics debate.

What are comics exactly?  What can they do?

I Posted a link on twitter from deviant art about a way of making comics with flash .

about DIGITAL COMICS by *Balak01 on deviantART

As you all know I’m an Animator as well as a cartoonist and comic artist.  So when I saw this flash comic, I was very intrigued.  Here is something that  would put all of my skills to the test!  The reader instead of turning a page, clicks on an arrow revealing the next panel.  Though the comic is not animated.  The artist sets it up just like a book. The reader still controls  the pacing is for each panel.

This technique seems like it could be really fun.  Again no sounds.  Only word balloons, captions, and sound effects.

In a response to the flash comic demo one of my followers on Twitter, Rene an artist from the Netherlands  with the twitter handle  rvbelzen wrote:

“Why is this a comic in your opinion? I don’t think it is, but I may be wrong. Enlighten me, please! ”

Self Portrait by Rene van Belzen

So I guess we should start by defining  comics.
Comic Book Nerds (of which I am one) disagree on the definition of comics;  some say it must be printed! Some are all about  the duality of image and text, and yet others its all about sequence. The term “Comics” as a reference to the medium has also come into question.

In his 1993 his manifesto Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud defined sequential art and comics as: “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer”

Pretty good stuff.

Comics legend Will Eisner established the term “sequential art” and is considered to have popularised the graphic novel.
In his 1996 book Graphic Storytelling, his definition of  comics is “the printed arrangement of art and balloons in sequence, particularly in comic books.”

I like Eisner’s  earlier definition from 1985’s Comics and Sequential Art where he described the technique and structure of comics as sequential art, “…the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea.”  That definition of comics is Perfect!

I feel strongly that the future of comics is going to be in Motion comics. When done correctly they are very cool. They look like traditional comic books, but use sound sometimes and movement for effect.
As of now the motion is pretty simple.  A zoom-in or out,  pans, light effects, etc.  But in the hands of a comic artist with  an understanding animation and acting, the sky’s the limit.  Part of the challenge will be to create a killer page and keeping it simple.  One  must use your cartoonist bag of tricks to figure out creative solutions, and that look epic, but didn’t murder you with man hours of work!

Motion comics are perfect for the web and are a cheap and entertaining way to promote  bigger projects  like movies, video games, or TV Shows.  Jobs for Artists! You won’t get rich doing it, but you can pay your bills!

I don’t think stories have to be printed to be called  comics.  Look at web comics. People can read comics on their, Mac, PC, Ipads, Iphones, Kindle, Sony Reader and more.

Here is a link to download Kindle for your PC for free.  I also included a link to a comic sample for the kindle.  Hey, it’s the future.  We artists should take advantage of the new formats opening up for comics!

So to answer your question Rene,

This flash comic demo of which I speak, is most definitely comics. It fits the criteria and  is the next logical step.

Check out the Man vs. Art Episode 18 podcast for more on this!

All Man vs. Art Minions are invited to these two upcoming events!

An Indy Animation FEST!

Get your ass to Pomona!

I will be showing a new cartoon short I just wrapped!

Check out the this teaser still!

Dracula Sucks


“EVERYDAY PEOPLE” The art of Jim Lujan

Animator/Cartoonist Jim Lujan showcases some strange and lovely paintings drawings, and stills from his cartoons at Geeks in Whittier,CA. Come down and enjoy some food and drink and music.

Mingle, talk your head off, have some food, laugh, let loose and look at the pretty pictures! All ages and its FREE!

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 Posted by at 8:36 am

  18 Responses to “Man Vs. Art Episode 18! The Comics Debate. What are comics? What can they do?”

  1. I’ve been working on my own “Motion Comic” lately. And by “working” I mean, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write one that would be short enough to finish while being something that would satisfy me artistically.

    Only thing I would argue, against what you said would be the term “Motion Comic” just never sits right with me. Does that mean that all the animatics the Simpsons has produced over the years should be called “Motion Comics”? Why not just call them Animatics?

    I agree that a Flash “Slideshow comic” is a comic, but what is currently called a “Motion Comic” is actually a color animatic. Which is my next project.

    • If the Animatic had no sound and instead used balloons, captions and effects lettering it would be closer to a motion comic. I think the term is lame too. I only used the term so people would get what I meant. I’d rather call it an “Enhanced Comic.”
      A proper motion comic is created from the start to be a comic not a TV show. Or it is Frankensteined from an actual comic book.

      Most importantly in an “Enhanced Comic” the reader still controls the timing. An animatic has timing predetermined by a Director..
      This is why I said that most of these types of comics are mediocre at best. Either folks are trying too hard to make it like an animated cartoon, or they are on the complete opposite side ignoring any animation elements that pertain. Some do. Balance must be brought to this force! Also the right people aren’t making them and everybody is still struggling to find a process and design.
      It’s exciting and new!

  2. This episode was OUTSTANDING! Proud to know ya!

  3. Raul,

    BEST IDEA you have EVER had …..putting the old bronze age /silver age comics on as MOTION COMICS! I love that idea. Can you imagine?? The 1970s Shang-Chi or Iron Fist/Power Man? Kirby’s Capt America or Black Panther? The Byrne /Claremont X-Men?? Marvel Team Ups? Obscure issues of stuff. Oh yeh…and thats not even counting DC!

    You are SO RIGHT. There is so much cool classic material for them to mine. It would be fascinating. Id want them to use the original art. Keep each artists style. That would be exciting!


    • It would be a fantastic way to introduce those great characters to today’s comic fans. Since it’s not too expensive to do, there is plenty of room for people to experiment with techniques.

  4. Okay, then, I’m confused. Can you give an online example of an Enhanced Comic? (I like your term better).

    • The link that started this whole thing at deviant art is a good example of an enhanced comic. The reader determines the timing. No sound. Only speech and thought bubbles, captions, lettered sound effects.

  5. nice post. thanks.

  6. Okay, well, that’s what I meant by a “Flash Slideshow” comic, which I have no problem calling a comic. I wouldn’t consider it “enhanced” really. It’s pretty much what DC is doing with it’s Zuda comics (http://www.zudacomics.com/) Usually what is meant by a “motion comic” is this:


    or this:


    • Yeah I know. This isn’t what I meant. I said that the “motion comics” out there are not quite right. the closest thing to an ideal enhanced comic would be the deviant art example I posted. Everything else is just limited animation. No sound. No music. The only thing would be an occasional movement like a punch, or expression change just to enhance the mood. Simple. Simple. Simple. A comic book used to be a fifty cent treat a kid could fold up and stick in his back pocket. Cheap entertainment that was cheap to create and cheap to distribute. That was one of the things that made comics so cool. Disposable, simple, and fun. Elegant in their simplicity. Nowadays comics are too expensive and overly rendered and they take themselves way too seriously. So I was saying why not use today’s tech and make comics fun disposable and cheap like before? So kids can collect a ton of them and share them and talk about them. Only instead of going to the corner newsstand and dropping two bits, they go to Itunes or even Geeks and pay 50¢ to download an enhanced comics.

      I know what is meant by a motion comic Luis. I think you missed the point of what I was talking about and just got hung up on semantics or on trying to discredit me. Trust me I researched this before I opened my mouth.

  7. …but speaking of the “Slideshow” type comics, check out the Marvel Comics app for the iPad:


    You’re dream of getting you’re “enhanced” classic comics is HERE.

    • I guess you weren’t paying attention. Those are just scanned comics. The slide show would show a panel at a time not a whole page.

  8. Okay, first I’m not trying to discredit you. That wasn’t a very nice thing to think of me.

    I decided to re-read all our comments and re-listen to the podcast so I can better understand what we are both saying. I think that we are in agreement but I think we are not actually reading what we are saying to each other.

    Also I was trying to figure out why I left a comment in the first place. Well, I figured it out. So I’m going to write out what I THOUGHT you were saying, which is why I left a post, and what I now believe you are saying. I will also point out where I made blunders in what I was writing to make it seem like I wasn’t paying attention.

    In the podcast you made a VERY AWESOME argument as to why the Deviant art Flash comic is a comic. I AGREE WITH THIS COMPLETELY. Let me repeat, I LOVED THE ARGUMENT YOU MADE. IT WAS VERY SMART AND WELL THOUGHT OUT. I AGREE.

    Okay now, after that is where I got confused. Around the 23:58 minute mark you started talking about “Motion Comics”. This was a very conversational transition. (THIS IS NOT A CRITIQUE ON YOU IN ANYWAY. I LOVE THE ADHOC STYLE OF YOUR PODCAST.) It SEEMED to ME at the time, that you were equating the Deviant Art Flash comic with the “Motion Comics” you put as examples during this time. You mentioned many in the style of the “Watchmen Motion Comic”. This is how I got confused, since it SEEMED to ME as if you where calling them comics. This is why I argued that I thought these “Motion Comics” were actually animatics.

    BUT since then, you have written that if it has sound and motion, that they are NOT comics. Now I believe that you were merely talking about how they were poorly animated cartoons. Is this right? If I was to ask you if the “Watchmen Motion Comic” on Youtube is a comic, you would say it’s a “Ghettomated cartoon” or a “limited animation cartoon” right? If so, then we agree completely.

    I must sincerely apologize for my lack of clarity. Especially since I also linked to Zuda which was a terrible example of the Deviant Art Flash like comic. I was under the false impression that Zuda comics where read one panel at a time. I should have followed my own link and made sure before I posted. My bad.

    Also, please forgive me for NOT posting a link to the video review of the Marvel Comics comic book reader iPad app. I am rectifying the problem now:


    The reason I think it’s relevant to this discussion is because, not only can you read the full page as a regular comic but, in a similar (but not quite the same) way as the Deviant Art Flash comic, you can read a comic panel to panel.

    I hope this clarifies everything.

    • Forgive me for being a jackass. My comment was way off and there is no excuse. In retrospect I shouldn’t have lumped in The deviant slide show comic with The Watchmen stuff. I didn’t know what else to call the Deviant comic. No need to apologize Luis! I confused you with my transition. The whole thing is confusing. I don’t know why they call stuff like The Watchmen thing motion comics. It isn’t a comic, it’s a bad cartoon. My whole point was Hey! there’s a new way to make sequential art stories! And since it’s in it’s infancy no one knows what they are doing! There is an opportunity for artists to step up and pioneer a new medium in which there are no rules yet! I find this very exciting and I want in.
      So yes Luis, I agree with you.
      thanks for making me think!

  9. I agree. I don’t think what is currently called a motion comic is correct. A color animatic or even limited animation sounds better. I was thinking “enhanced comic” perhaps. I guess I didn’t make myself clear. Sorry. I don’t like the term “motion comic” either. I would love to see what you project when you finish!

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