Friday's Life Drawing class was a fun twist. Our model posed while "getting dressed". We had a model before who put on different outfits and then held the same pose - paper doll-like. But this time, the model posed in the act of putting on her undies, then pulling on a leg of her pants, then putting on a shoe, etc.

It was interesting to see how each item affected her body and the previous layers.

Monday's History of Comics kicked off the new semester with an in-depth look at Silver Age Comics (1950's) as that is our current big project. I've got all my notes here, in case you want some suggestions of comic titles to look for.

I personally find the history to be very confusing with all the changeovers between companies, stolen ideas, and false attributions. A comic book soap opera.

But, in a nutshell, Silver Age adventure comics were "pure, clean, fun" because they were under the thumb of the Comics Code Authority. They were sci-fi influenced and totally insane. Julie Schwarz (a guy) hit on the idea of revamping all the classic, Golden Age, heros for the "modern" times. But this led to some very strange issues where the old version actually met and teamed up with the modern version... alternate realities... crazy-ass psychedelic plot twist and WHOA - "Hello 1960's!"

Interesting thing - Marston, the super-open-minded creator of Wonder Woman, died. The comic was handed over to a misogynist, who fired all the women artists. Kind of explains how the Queen of the Amazons ended up as a secretary, eh?

Even more interesting, it was discovered that a gorilla on the front cover of the comic increased the sales! And a PURPLE gorilla was pure gold.

Our project has us divided into two groups, my group is working on a space comic, the other group is back in time, underground and involves dinosaurs. That group is led by Steve Bissette, who is obsessed with monsters and dinosaurs - and also our Comics History teacher. So, after class yesterday, he held a special workshop to teach us how to draw... 1950's style... dinosaurs!

It was particularly interesting to see how much has changed in our understanding of dinosaurs, based on archaeology, since the 1950's. Dinosaurs standing upright versus bent over like birds. Who would have fought together (meat eaters versus plant eaters?!) and who flew. Steve explained the differences in wing construction - birds, bats and pterodactyls.

In today's class, Production Workshop, we learned how to use Photoshop to create "shitty looking color" just like an authentic 1950's comic!

First, we learned WHY the color was so crazy back then. Basically, someone had to hand cut film with tiny dot patterns, and stick the shapes onto transparent sheets of plastic... to create 9 separate color plates... oh vey, say no more!

Then they showed us how they had come up with the palette of 64 colors we'd be allowed to use to color our comics...

And then, the great news, Photoshop has a built in filter that turns the image into color halftones - it does all that hand-cutting dot pattern stuff for us!!

Yeah - Ye Olde PhotoShoppe rules!!