Process: Jason

Over at his blog, Norwegian cartoonist Jason shares some thumbnails from his upcoming detective book Lost Cat. His comics have always seemed to me extraordinarily, almost mystically, simple; his plots don't depend on major turns, he does much with just a few thin lines, and closing the space between them is often only a matter of making a few minor changes, the wholesale movement of a character, a change in expression executed by altering just a single stroke. What's most obviously distinctive about his work, though, is that most of it, in fact, all of the stuff I've seen with outside some strips in the collection of his early work Pocket Full of Rain, is done with bipedal cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds.  What's interesting about the Lost Cat thumbnails is just how human some of the figures look, while the ones that don't look human, the ones that belie their final form as anthropomorphic animals, only do so because Jason has added, say, ears, to them. Strikingly, this makes his characters both human and not, and gives the cartoonist the freedom to place them wherever he pleases on the spectrum in between, meaning that great follows from small, that little additions mean great leaps in possibility and, ultimately, meaning. 

Process: Bryan Lee O'Malley

 Via Bryan Lee O'Malley's tumblr:

rough panel from Seconds. 
getting there… hoping to finish the roughs next month and then start inking!!!!!!
It's always nice to see an artist's process as they're in process, which is something that happens much more rarely than one would expect, I think. Seconds is O'Malley's long awaited follow up to Scott Pilgrim and its very exciting to see something like this from him, and to hear that he's close to a new phase in its production.

Terry Dodson's Muses, and a Way Into Eurocomics

The second book in Terry Dodson and D-P Filippi's series Songes is now available in English, published by Humanoids under the title Muses. Books like this strike me as really important, particularly for a young American trying to find his way into Eurocomics, say, me. It's not like Herge or Jason are dead ends, but a release like Muses can be the beginning of a daisy chain in a way that books by one cartoonist can't; I'll pick it up because I know I like Dodson, and, if I like the writing, maybe I'll seek out some other stuff by Filippi and, hopefully, he may have collaborated with some other artist I'll end up liking and on and on. In theory, those variant covers that Milo Manara recently did for Marvel could function the same way-- I would be interested to know if they had. Anyway, if you're interested, Dodson recently shared some of his process for one of the 9.5 X 12.5 Muses pages, a piece of which is posted below.