Archive for Mike Mignola

The Problem with Today’s Comics According to a 30-Year Comic Book Veteran Artist

Posted in Collections, Collectors, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Entertainment, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I read a post other day on the problem with the comics industry, which triggered me to write this blog today. I wanted to share with you what I think has retarded the growth of today’s American comic book publishing industry. Those of you who have read my autobiography Rolling Thunder: The Art of Dave Dorman know my history with comics. For those who haven’t, here’s the truncated version:

I started reading comics back in the ’60s as a kid growing up in Hawaii on Hickam Air Force Base. My older brother Jeff got me hooked on them. We lived in Foster Village, and he and I would trek to the local drug store to pick up Marvel and DC self-contained stories. I loved them. Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko…those were the halcyon days. Comics, a truly American art form, was already limiting itself by offering fans mostly super hero fantasies.

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…”I stopped reading American super hero comics in the late ’80s.” — Dave Dorman, Inkpot and Eisner Award-winning comic book artist and 30-year Veteran

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You will be surprised to learn that although I’ve painted many a cover, I stopped reading American super hero comics in the late ’80s. Why? Because that was when the publishers started hyper-serializing their storytelling. Notice the synopsis in the front of any Marvel comic today and you’ll see what I mean. When I have to read 10 years’ worth of story bible to understand what’s happening in this issue, you’ve lost me as a fan.

American comic book publishers gambled on serialized story addicts. They didn’t bank on alienating older readers and the next generation(s) of readers, but that’s what happened. And before you suggest that the super hero movies create a bump in comic book sales and therefore must be enticing a new generation of fans, do your research. Study after study has proven this untrue.

Here’s what I’m spending my entertainment fund on these days (and every Wednesday):

Hellboy — by a friend, Mike Mignola — mini-serialized — no 100-issue story arc here, folks!

B.P.R.D. — again, by Mike Mignola

Lieutenant Blueberry — by Moebius/Jean Giraud

Akiraby Katsuhiro Otomo

All works by creators Francois Schuiten and Enki Bilal

The Tin Tin series —by Belgian artist Georges Rémi who wrote under the pen name of Herge’.

The Asterix seriesby  Rene’ Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (who also took over writing the series after Goscinny’s death in 1977

The Blacksad series by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido

These foreign books, while often a series, tend to be more self-contained and easily read individually without requiring the new reader to have info on previous story lines or character development. International comics are often more accessible to the general market than our American comics. We need to change what we’re doing here. I’m pleased to see indie publishers like Archaia publishing foreign books here to deliver the fans something eclectic and interesting.

Let me know what you’re reading. Tell me what I’m missing. I’m listening.

Dave.

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COMIX ACADEMY Offers Scholarships!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman
Hi Everyone,
From the very start, it was the collective goal of my co-founders and me to offer a scholarship program through our Comix Academy. I am very pleased to announce it is finally here – this is what’s posted online:
Comix Academy is pleased to announce a scholarship program! There will be one (1) FULL TUITION* scholarship and three (3) $200 scholarships applied against total tuition costs.  Students who are interested in participating in the scholarship competition must send their name, hometown, and portfolio of four (4) best images (7 inches tall, 72 ppi) to comixacademy@gmail.com.
A sample from each portfolio will be posted in the STUDENT section on the website. Mentors will announce the FULL TUITION scholarship winner by May 1, 2010. Any registrant who wants to be eligible for $200 scholarships must deliver their portfolio images and registration information by July 5th. PARTIAL Scholarship winners will be announced on July 7th. Recipients of the partial scholarships will have $200 credit refunded from the tuition payment.

Installment Plan

From 3/20/2010, Students can pay for their tuition to Comix Academy through installment plans. The payment plan is comprised of three (3) payments of $300 each. The first non-refundable deposit must be in by May 1, 2010. The second payment is due in the month of June. The third and final tuition balance must be settled by July 7, 2010.

The Comix Academy is brand new, but it addresses an old question:

“How do I make it better?”

From comics storytelling to concept art, fantasy illustration to storyboards, digital imagery to oil painting–learning, growing and improving are the watchwords of serious professionals and students. The Comix Academy exists to help any who love to create pictures and/or tell stories improve and polish their current work.

We only have six days, so Comix Academy students will be expected to hit the ground running; professionals will present their work and/or methods through talks and demonstrations and students will show their current portfolios to faculty members. Then the fun begins. The serious student learns best by DOING–taking direction, problem-solving, implementing new techniques. Therefore, students will be expected to polish and refine existing work and/or create new presentation pieces while attending.

Through interaction with working professionals, seeing what they do and how they do it, Comix Academy students will leave more informed and inspired than when they arrived. They will develop camaraderie with their fellow students, gain “the inside scoop” about the industry through their mentors, and find the confidence to go forth and make their dream projects a reality.

Okay, back to me again. Thanks for reading the announcement, and if you know of any really talented, gifted artists who are in need of a scholarship, please send them to our Web site: http://www.comixacademy.com

This weekend I will be at Planet Comic-Con in Kansas City, and I will be part of a Star Wars panel, so if you’re there, come armed with some challenging Star Wars questions.

I don’t if any of you reading watch “LOST,” but my wife and I are huge fans – our friend Dan Roebuck is one of the  actors on the show – and we are happy with where they’re taking us this final season. It’s been a fun and wild ride and we’re just sorry to see it end. It just goes to show you how interesting a storyline can be when comic book writers take it on.

As for my forthcoming podcast, I think we’re getting closer to launch. I’m told our inaugural episode will record next week and the show will be available via iTunes and I’m told, FarpointMedia.com. My podcast show is called “Wednesday is Comic Book Day,” and it’s a mash-up of comic book industry interviews, pop culture interviews and whatever strikes my fancy on any given day. My co-host and producer will be my wife, Denise.  If you work in the industry or are a pop culture figure, contact denise@writebrainmedia.com to get booked on as a guest. If you are an advertiser interested in being part of the show, again, please contact Denise.

I’m off to cook up Rachel Ray’s “Long Live Chicken ala King” recipe – if you haven’t tried it, I recommend it.  I hope to see you this weekend and as always, I thank you for reading.

Dave.

PROGRESS MADE ON MY HORROR PAINTING

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

I hope everyone’s having a good Monday night. Did you all enjoy the Oscars? I could really have done without the people standing on stage waxing poetic about each nominee, the entire dance segment and the fact that no film clips were shown during one of my favorite awards – “Best Cinematography.” Maybe that’s the artist in me, and no one else cares, but for me, the cinematography makes the film. Of course, my choice for “Best Film” was “District 9,” and we sort of knew it wasn’t going to win, but we still held on to some hope of it until the fat lady sang.

As some of you may recall, I started a painting during a charity event for WildClaw Theatre, my favorite horror theater group in Chicago. They held an event called “Dance of the Demented” with a live deejay, live models, a burlesque show and more. For the artists who attended along with me, it was a lot of fun. So I started this painting, and I’m making progress and I just wanted to show you where I am since you last saw it, so here it is:
Demented Painting

And here is a closer shot of the main character:

Demented XCU

Dave Dorman's Demented Painting,XCU

I hope you all were able to check out the course I’m teaching in San Diego this summer, Comix Academy, along with my friends Scott Hampton, Christopher Moeller, John vanFleet and Durwin Talon, with a special guest appearance from Mike Mignola. If you can join us, sign up now because seating is limited and the price goes up April 30th.

This weekend I will be at MegaCon in Orlando, and for my Florida friends, fans and colleagues, I look forward to reconnecting with all of you there. If there’s anything in particular you see for sale on my site that you would like me to bring along so you can see it in person, please let me know.

I hope you all have a great week. I will post more art as I make more progress.

Thanks for reading,

Dave.

DAVE DORMAN’s BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dave Dorman & Friends Helping Artists Break Into Comic Book Industry:
Comix Academy 6-Day Illustration Course in San Diego Will Dovetail with Comic-Con

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your patience – I apologize for the delay in releasing this announcement, but I wanted to be sure there was a Web site up for you to check out. I am told it will go up tonight late, so the moment it does, I will Tweet that it’s up and also put an addendum on my blog. My longtime friends/colleagues and I decided it was time to share what we knew with those of you who wanted to break into the comic book industry. To that end, we formed The Comix Academy. Here are some succinct details:

What: The Comix Academy – A course mentoring artists one-on-one with the intention of bringing their work up to the level that will meet the scrutiny of professional comic book editors. This is six days of lecturing, mentoring, observing how we work while we observe how you work, and in the end, your one-on-one portfolio review with T.B.D. professional comic book editors. I know who some of them are, but I cannot say publicly just yet. You will KNOW these names, as they are industry giants.

Where: San Diego
When: July 15 – July 20th, 2010
Who: Dave Dorman, Scott Hampton, Christopher Moeller, Durwin Talon, John vanFleet, and special guest presenter Mike Mignola.
The Cost: The early registration fee for the course is $950 before April 30th, 2010 and $1,150 after May 1, 2010. Discounts on lodging are also available to students.

We are offering a limited number of seats to this exclusive course. Once the site is up, which should be soon, it will be http://www.comixacademy.com. We will post the official press release on my blog as well. Our publicity firm is WriteBrain Media, so if any of you are writers, editors, bloggers or producers reading this and you need access to any of us for print or electronic interviews or appearances, please contact Denise Dorman — denise@writebrainmedia.com.