Unicorn Update

Overall, it was a nice weekend home with the kid. But very stressful too. I have decided that there just is NO way to maintain multiple homes... the apartment, the house, and the studio. Granted, I am cleaning out and trying to rent the studio - but that alone is impossible. There just isn't enough time in two days to do THAT, get my house ready for fall (take out ACs, etc), pay bills, do homework, clean... oh yes, and spend time with my kid! I think she holds it all in for two weeks and then lets it all rip as I walk in the door on Thursday night.

We have been reading the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series - on Audible. Like a mash-up of Jane Austen, Nanny McPhee... and Mowgli? This is a fabulously addictive series that I adore and the audio version has a wonderful reader who really brings the characters to life. On the other hand... the books have wonderful pictures. I would love a little book that collected all the pithy sayings by Agatha Swanborn, the flounder... ahem... "founder" of the boarding school where Miss Lumley, the governess, was formed. One of my favorites is, "When taking a leap of faith, it is a good idea to have a running start."

The books are very educational too... and the children' historical names, Cassiopeia, Beowulf, and Alexander... are all explained. Although, in our house, we use the Wolf names - like "Cassio-WOOF!"

Here's Lilah's drawing of the main characters... climbing a tree. (Nutsawoo is the pet squirrel).

We also tried on Halloween costumes. I will be a bat, Lilah wants to be Ginnie Weasley (Harry Potter), but we also found this awesome unicorn costume in the back of her closet! She let me take pics of her, but I had to promise not to post them. sigh. She was MUCH cuter than I was!

So - a quick summary of Comics History on Monday...

We started with Rodolphe Topffer - a swiss artist who was responsible for spreading comic ideas throughout Europe and America, his work was so popular, it was often stolen, and also responsible for influencing Doré and Edward Lear...

Wilhelm Busch was best known for his comic Max and Moritz, which was stolen and reworked, in the US, as The Katzenjammer Kids. He is the father of the "Bad boys and bad dogs" comics genre (for example: Dennis the Menace).

We learned about Magic Lanterns and other early animation technology - basically a projector for glass slides, some which had moving parts.

Winsor McCay (Little Nemo) would perform live, next to his early animation (Gertie the Dinosaur) and interact with the character! We watched some film versions of these vaudeville acts.

And Thomas Nast - who was considered the most dangerous cartoonist of his time! After Boss Tweed escaped from prison and fled to Spain - he was caught by police who recognized him from Nash's political cartoons!

He gets illustrative credit for creating the political characters of the donkey and the elephant, the popular version of Santa Claus, and Uncle Sam.

In Publication Workshop today we attacked the program, InDesign, and learned how to use it to lay out a simple 8 page comic book. It was not really "simple" and I opted to use a compromise for the comic book that is due tomorrow.

This is how the 8 pages need to be laid out in order to fold into a little book:

The assignment is to create a mini-comic with the theme of a journey, and make twelve copies for class, using only elements found in Ed Emberly's book, Make A World.

Here are some sketches...

And here are two of my finished pages...

I opted for a journey of the imagination and let the ideas happen as they would, instead of planning it all out ahead of time.

I was up late last night drawing and finishing. Today I crammed to scan it and clean it up - that takes me longer than drawing! And after class, I went to the lab to lay it out and print it. It took me three tries and a TON of wasted paper! AAAAAGGGGH!

Never trust anything if you can't see where it keeps its brain! - to paraphrase Mr. Weasley (Harry Potter). That computer-copier is way too smart. I'd test out a print, looked good... then send the whole job to the printer. Then realize the printer had reset all the options. Again... again... sigh.

Second pages all printed upside down... then in portrait mode, cutting off half the image...

What to do with all the mistakes?

Minou said "Sit on it!"

The caste-offs would make fun story prompts for Lilah's class - perhaps.

Finally. I got it all printed, folded and stapled. Ah. Cool. It looks so cute!

I will send you a pdf that you can print out if you like - this one is short and fits on regular 8.5x11 paper. Oh - and I based the cover font on Emberly's original cover art for the book (He had hand-petered the whole book and covers).