Two additions to Portraits of the Creators Sketchbook. A new Jim Aparo drawing that I’ve had on my mind to do for a while. And…I wasn’t especially happy with the previous Wayne Boring drawing so I made another try. Both also additions to artists’ Wikipedia biographies (names link to larger images there).
About six years ago, a portrait of Alan Weiss was the first produced for this series. I was never really happy with it because I didn’t have much reference back then, and was also unsure of how to approach the drawing. This new one seems to fit in better with Portraits of the Creators Sketchbook. A high-resolution version of it can be seen at Alan’s Wikipedia biograpahy.
Darryl Cunningham is a British Indie comics creator, considered the prolific producer of Psychiatric Tales. He’s recently produced a webcomic on Science Denial. In it, Darryl tries to draw a sharp line between science and most everything else, including religious dogma, mysticism and pseudo-science. Through the process, he takes a jab at many populist issues in support of mainstream scientific consensus, including global warming controversy and Growing Earth (formerly Expanding Earth) Theory, that’s returned to popular forums over the last decade, in large measure due to the efforts of another comics creator, Neal Adams.
To even suggest that Plate Tectonics fits “all observations made” about the Earth’s development is so… and I really hate to say this, but it is so ignorant of the history of Earth science, that it’s perhaps better said in a church instead of a presentation on science. Plate Tectonics cannot explain the near perfect fit of the Pacific landmasses on a smaller globe, nor does it fit the near incontrovertible evidence visible in how all the continents converge onto a smaller Earth to create a perfect whole shell. PT cannot begin to convince how such a perfect fit between South America and Africa is achieved on a smaller globe while leaving a notable discrepancy in the present sized Earth. Plate Tectonics doesn’t even tackle the problem of how dinosaurs could have moved so freely in a present sized Earth and gravity.
Darryll’s webcomic will likely have a nice following of science lovers who also only scratch the surface of populist theory… and it seems a shame that such a talented creator is taking this dogmatic and absolutist approach to such an important subject. The piece thus tends to demonstrate a lack of depth, understanding and independent thinking about science. It also places Darryl in a difficult position, considering his steadfast advocacy of the profession.
So I left a comment at his site that also only scratches the surface of his “science preaching”.
It’s a nicely done piece but not very objective, I’m afraid. It resonates of the same type of religious absolutism about science theory that have kept society and human curiosity in dark ages.
As a case in point, though cosmic background radiation can be assumed to indicate a beginning point to the universe, it can also indicate an emanation from the Aether that Fred Hoyle suggested was the source of continuous manufacture of matter in a growing universe. Science locked itself into Big Bang prematurely without remaining open to viable alternative probabilities.
Most discoveries since then, such as accelerated expansion, suggest Steady State to remain a viable option. But science won’t have it anymore. Even though science rejected the Aether, they went on to adopt other “invisible” constructs such as Dark Matter and Dark Energy when evidence suggested there must be something invisible to us that is acting on the universe.
Thus science has effectively re-adopted the Aether but applied new names to it in order to cover its tracks and shame. Mainstream science will never admit that DM and DE effectively serve the same functions as Aether. Science has become as self-dogmatic as the religious absolutism it rightly criticizes.
I enjoyed the look of this piece very much but I respect scientific curiosity too much in order to be wooed by the writing here. Science, like all other human constructs, is susceptible to bias and manipulation. It seems important that we remain aware of this in order to be as objective as humanly possible about our world.
I do hope that Darryl, who is a very talented storyteller, will find something here to think about, and try to learn a little more about sciences in order to curb the superficial and near religious zeal with which he presents it.
When I went to work for Jack at NPP [DC Comics] in 1971, he became my first “professional” father.
That’s pretty much how I felt about Jack when I started work for DC in 1975, and not only in the professional sense. Jack Adler was a warm, spontaneous and caring fatherly figure to a lot of younger creators who depended on him to help make our work look good within the printing limitations of that time. He is said to have been the foremost authority on mechanical color separation techniques used in comics before the advent of digital color processing.
Jack Adler was a comics artist in a very prolific sense of the phrase. As early as the 1950′s, he began bridging the gap between full color scanned image printing and the flat mechanical separations used in comics. The covers he presided over in that era gave the feel of painted pulp covers, which was no small feat back then, considering the technical limitations. He acquired a thorough knowledge of the processes by which comics art was being handled by printers and dedicated himself to learning every aspect of it. But he didn’t simply settle for knowing this information as an asset for getting by a day’s work. Jack saw an opportunity to create a richer palette and look for comics. His contribution to the visual narrative during a time that flat color dominated much of the work, is more immense than most industry professionals can imagine.
When I landed at Continuity and started working for DC, I became part of a creed that contended with the cost effective constraints of getting better visual results for our work. Many of us at the studio would approach the art as if it’s meant to see print in full, true and glorious color, even though we often knew the disappointment of seeing an unfulfilled printed image. A strong memory from that time remains about Neal encouraging everyone to learn the pre-print processes as thoroughly as possible, and utilize that knowledge in preparing our work. It was all worth it, he’d say, because we have a friend and ally in Jack Adler, head of the production department at DC Comics.
Mark Evanier posted yesterday about Jack passing away over the weekend at the age of 93, and adds a compelling biographical short. Daniel Best also posted a tribute that includes more words and art about Jack by Alan Kupperberg.
Have peace, Jack. The industry and its creators salute you for the care and dedication that’s helped make us and the comics become all the better.
We met online some years ago when Steven Bové became an enthusiastic supporter of this site complex. Upon hearing about my excursions into the Judea Desert areas, he sent me a package full of camping utilities, part of which I still use today. After returning from one of these outings, a box of his Comic Cartoonists Workbook publications had arrived and a few of the books have become a source of information and inspiration to a handful of aspiring young local comics creators. We finally met and spent a little time together at the New York 2007 Big Apple Convention. He’s been active on Facebook of late, nurturing a growing presence in the online comics community.
Steven has been working in and around the comics industry since the 1980′s, including contributions for major publishers DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Archie and Eros Comix. He’s been an independent publisher of Battle Bug’s Brigade and The Comic Cartoonist’s Workbook, a primer for young aspiring comics artists. He produced the first rock musician/band profile comic strip, Rock Opera, serialized in a Connecticut newspaper. He’s been a graphic designer, storyboard artist, and instructor. He works today as Creative Director for an energy conservation utility company.
For Day, For Night is Steven’s most recent comics work, a compelling story delivered in a unique graphic format. An intriguing project that’s still awaiting a publication arrangement, which makes it difficult to review because it’s not clear when it’ll be available. But it is a powerful romance told in first-person narration, delivered in single-panel, horizontal page format. The art is striking and expressive, a sharp departure from his previous comics work, jumping head first into experimental black and white, charcoal-like vignette territory. The writing is candid, sensitive and sometimes brutal. It slides between an absolute sense of self-security and a feeling of the ground dropping beneath the author’s feet. A virtual emotional roller coaster through a hard hitting urban love story gone wrong.
It’s not an easy time for publisher speculation on such a project that’s not embedded in the comics mainstream. Here’s hoping For Day, For Night finds a home in the periphery and sees publication soon. It’s a worthy and charged story that fits well into an alternative niche, of the type that are becoming more common of late.