It developed organically as I worked on it; though that might seem like an excuse to improvise, it wasn’t. I’d been drawing comics long enough at that point to realize that letting stories grow at their own momentum was was a more natural and sympathetic way of working than carpentering them out of ideas and plans. And the images suggested the story, not the other way around. I believe that allowing one’s drawings to suggest the direction of a story is comics’ single greatest formal advantage.
Chris Ware on the “semi-improvisatory” approach he took in writing Jimmy Corrigan, as reported in Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.



Richard McGuire’s Here


In 1989, Mr. McGuire, then an aspiring New York artist better known for playing bass in the postpunk band Liquid Liquid, published a 36-panel comic that hopped backward and forward through millions of years without leaving the confines of a suburban living room, thanks to the use of pop-up frames-within-frames inspired by the relatively new Microsoft Windows… now he has popped up through a wormhole of his own, with a full-color, book-length version of “Here” that once again transforms a corner of his childhood living room in New Jersey into a staging ground for all of earthly history.

Each two-page spread features a fixed view of the room in a certain year, with pop-up windows giving glimpses of what might have been visible in exactly that spot at various moments in the past and future: from the tail of a passing dinosaur to a 1960s children’s birthday party to a quiet late-21st-century fireside chat.

McGuire is amazing. I’m thinking of flying to NYC just to see the show. Don’t miss it if you’re there.

I pre-ordered the shit out of this.


When he needed a piece of wood for some job, he chose it carefully, looking at it as though asking who it was, examined its grain, and looked for suggestions from the wood itself. For me it was a lesson to be taken as a rule of life: never do things by chance, never exaggerate needlessly, as when one gives too much importance to a person, or too much love, or an excessive tip.
Saul Steinberg talking about the carpenter Sig Lomaky, quoted by Ivan Brunetti in Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.
We can liken drawing a comic to creating a miniature reality on the page, or, as Chris Ware has said, “dreaming on paper.” Let us consider the dream: is it autobiography or fiction? On the one hand, dreams are leaps of imagination, evidence of the plasticity of the information stored in your brain, recombining in sometimes fantastic, startling ways that you could never imagine in waking life — thus a form of fiction. At the same time, that fiction could come only from your own particular brain and the stimuli it has processed and retained. Every character in your dream is basically… you. Or an extension of you. The dream is all about you, its unconscious author. In the end, autobiography and fiction are not a dichotomy but a polarity, a continual tug and pull that can never be precisely pinned down and measured.
Ivan Brunetti, Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice

Each episode of Adventure Time takes about nine months to produce and begins in a writer’s room with series creator Ward, producers Adam Muto and Kent Osborne, and staff writer Jack Pendarvis. From that meeting, they generate a barebones, two-page outline.

Those outlines are handed over to one of four storyboard teams who have two weeks to visually outline the episode. “They’re basically directing,” says Osborne. “They’re writing all the jokes, editing the outline, picking all the camera shots… what the episode is going to look like.”

The storyboard teams then pitch their outlines to Osborne and each other where they get notes and another two weeks to address those notes. “That is about five weeks.” Osborne said. “Then there’s a couple weeks where the board is sent to the Network for notes and it’s being prepared for a voice record.”

When the network notes and voices are ready, the storyboards are assembled into an animatic where the cleaned up drawings, poses, and shots appear along with dialogue which takes a few more weeks to build. “There’s layout design and background design and color design going on,” says Osborne. “This is all to prepare for sending it overseas to Korea.”