The webcomics blog about webcomics


So things have been happening since yesterday which suggest connections in my brain. The most obvious, of course, is the untimely (if not unforseeable) death of Steve Jobs, given that much of webcomics as we know it wouldn’t exist if not for the products that Jobs shepherded through Apple. I think the best bit written about him was from Scott McCloud, not just because of its brevity¹, but because I think he captured more of the complexity of the man and less of the myth that Steve strode alone upon the face of computing and made it all by dint of his sole effort:

The story of Steve Jobs and Apple is more complicated than most news outlets would lead you to believe, and there were plenty of great minds that led to the original Mac and that contributed to all that followed.

But anyone who thinks that Jobs’ contributions to society can somehow be reduced to “marketing” or “fashion” betrays a complete ignorance of the power and importance of great design.

Great design can and does change the world. Poor design can and does ruin lives.

To Steve Jobs, and to everyone trying every day to put their own dent in the universe, thank you.

Visual memorialists today include Randall Munroe, Krishna Sadasivam, and Rich Stevens, who knocked it out of the muthascratching park.

Speaking of Stevens, I mentioned the other day that it doesn’t do to ignore him, and his new venture) has shown us why. I’ve written before about how quickly the man can go from idea to execution to done with that, what’s next?, exhibiting that fast, ruthless edge that the small innovator must have to compete against the entrenched corporate behemoth. With the launch of its first offering (or “experiment”, as it’s termed), Lab-Mo-Tory Industries has signaled their approach — get an idea, execute, you either get one or you don’t, and move on to the next thing next month. With the people that Stevens has found to assist in his mad plans², I think they’ll achieve the odd poetry of fast, cheap, out of control pretty easily.

Speaking of poetry, I see that a well-beloved Swedish poet was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. It might be a while before another Swede is loved enough at home and abroad, with a deep enough body of work, to take the prize again. It might also be a significantly long time before a comics creator is seen as contributing to the field of “Literature”, but it might just be that those two events are contemporaneous at some Nobel ceremony some decades from now. If so, my money’s on Rene Engström and Rasmus Gran, or at least one of their students. Yes, students — following up on the CUNY class taught by Aaron Diaz³ in early summer, Engström and Gran will be teaching a class on webomics at Malmö University this term. Can’t wait to see what kind of cartoon art they create.

Speaking of cartoon art, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco (which has an appreciation of all things webcomicky) will be holding its annual benefit at Pixar Studios on Saturday, 10 December. Access is a bit pricey ($250 or $500 for Fan and VIP packages, respectively; knock it down by $50 if you’re a CAM member), but you get access to the fabled campus, viewings of pre-production art and screenings hosted by filmmakers. Details, tickets, etc., at the CAM website. If there’s a more focused dedicated group of artists than at Pixar, I’m not sure who it would be, but let’s remember a simple fact: Pixar pretty much was able to make its magic because of the backing and support of a man named Steve Jobs. It all comes back around.

¹ Let’s face it, Steve Jobs is such a huge idea that you can write pages upon pages and still not come close to adequately describing the man and all that he represented. Brief was definitely the way to go here.

² Rich, have I ever introduced you to Otter? Something tells me you two should talk and make plans for a product launch.

³ The Latin Art-Throb.

RSS feed for comments on this post.