Beyond Pig-Purses

Above: Part of my sketch plus the resulting finished art for a panel from the concluding episode of Mark the Art Guy. Note that the time that elapsed between being sketched and being inked gave our hero the opportunity to calm down at least a little!

Since my last post I’ve finished drawing Episode 14 of Mark the Art Guy, which will bring this Adobe-sponsored webcomic experiment to a close. There’s some "post-production" work still to do, like incorporating some minor revisions for a projected 16-page printed version of the series. If all goes as planned you’ll be able to pick up one of these comics handouts if you’re the sort who attends Macworld Expos and the other digital technology gatherings where Adobe tends to set up product booths. Also, I still have to draw cover art for this promotional funnybook.

After that I’ll be taking a breather from touting Adobe’s graphics software for pay.

Which doesn’t mean you won’t continue to hear words like Photoshop and Illustrator tripping off my tongue in this blog, since I was already using and sharing online tips about these tools in my site’s Cartoonists Corner long before anybody at Adobe Systems figured out that I existed. I can’t think of any reason why they won’t continue to crop up when I’m moved to talk shop with you in the future, since I continue to use them daily.

Mark and his imaginary sidekicks may be bidding me farewell, but plenty of other projects are already elbowing their way to the front of my brain pan to make sure I don’t actually get to, like, relax and zone out this summer in the wake of my Art Guy matathon.

(1) I’ve agreed to lead a workshop in comics creation for eleventh-graders at BArT. Now I can feel you becoming confused, so let me explain. The BaRT of which I speak is not San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit system. My mime performances on subway platforms have been bringing in so few coins that I’ve retired that branch of my art career. No, in this case BArT refers acronymically to the Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School, a cool institution of learning located in nearby Adams, MA, a town that North Adams is located, well, north of. For a couple of hours most schoolday afternoons over a two-week stretch in late-May and early-June I’ll be sharing the secret joys of comics creation with members of the iPod generation. That’ll take some advance preparation, those BArT juniors being a savvy group o’ young’uns.

(2) Collegiately speaking, meanwhile, should they achieve their minimum enrollment I’ll have two, instead of this year’s one, cartooning-related courses to teach at MCLA during the school’s 2007-08 school year. The Spring ’08 follow-up to the cartooning course I introduced last fall will be created from scratch, so even though it’s scheduled for launch many months from now, it has already begun siphoning off a portion of my mind’s mulling reserves. After all, you can only crib so many ideas from Scott McCloud….

(3) I have long-promised preliminary sketches to get done for a projected children’s book that, if it flies, will be co-authored by my longtime pals Andrew Guerdat and Michele Gendelman. The Michele half of this creative husband-and-wife team, by the way, has recently co-authored (with Ilene Graff and Donna Rosenstein) a fresh take on child-rearing "that won’t make you feel like a complete idiot the way those other parenting books do." Just out from HarperCollins, it’s called What The Other Mothers Know. (Be on the lookout for Michele if her book tour through Chicago, New York, L.A. and Costa Mesa swings your way.)

(4) I still owe Doc Radin some drawings that he commissioned (and has been awaiting most patiently) for his revamped Drury Drama Team web site, my recently completed logo design being only the first step in Doc’s master plan for world conquest and dental supremacy.

(5) Then there’s that new novel I’m itching to get started on and the play I want to write. And oh, yes, the back yard grass is threatening to need mowing again.

You get the idea.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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