As if Norm Feuti wasn't busy enough cranking out the syndicated strip "Retail", he has also jumped into the world of webtooning with his terrific strip "Gill". The first Gill books are now available for purchase over on the Gill website so you should run right over and get a copy before they're all gone! John and I each got a copy when we were out in LA with Norm and the book is a hilarious read. Hope you sell a zillion, Norm!
Fans of the strip will notice that Harley is back for the camping series. Harley has always been one of my favorite characters. A popular TV show back in the 90's was Mad About You and the chemistry I liked best between two characters was that of Paul and his cousin Ira. They had such a great love/hate relationship, the kind you only get with a sibling or a cousin. I think more so with a cousin because you and the cousin can literally be the same age and competitive over the same things at the same time. Plus, you have to be careful who you give a "dope-slap" to the back of the head - some things you can only get away with among family. A dope-slap is pretty impossible to communicate in a comic strip, so the relationship between Harley and Edison has to be laid out in less physical terms, but John definitely has that type of dynamic in mind for these two characters. In many ways, Harley is the "anti-Edison". He is named for our local favorite motorcycle company and will always be seen in a black t-shirt and jeans. While Harley is often the victim of Edison's domineering personality, he can get in some pretty good digs at Edison's expense.
Harley began as Edison's younger brother and I was really disappointed when he was dropped from the cast during development. It took away another kid voice/point of view from the strip and also took away a foil for Edison. But, in hindsight, having a younger brother for Edison might have stolen too much focus from the boy genius and Harley might possibly have been over used for easy kid jokes. As it is, it's great to have him as a cousin because he can pop in and out as John feels like writing for him. Also he has that aforementioned family dynamic that would be missing in a best friend character.
So enjoy this series including Harley and watch for more of him in the future!
Question: What is a "Throw Away" Panel? Answer: It is a panel at the start of a Sunday comic - usually containing the title of the feature and an image somewhat related to the current Sunday comic but never integral to the story line. These panels can be included or "thrown away" at the discretion of individual papers. True to their title, in almost all formats the throw away panel is now being "thrown away" more often then not. With the continued shrinking of comic sections, most papers no longer run them. It used to be you could see them on Daily Ink, but with the launch of King Features Comics Kingdom - the panels have now been thrown away in all digital/web versions of King's strips. For a lot of artists, this is not a big deal - producing these panels just eats up extra time and generally it is the same art every week anyway. John is one of the few comic artists still doing a different "throw away" panel every Sunday. Piers Baker of Ollie and Quentin is another. From time to time I'll be posting the missing panels if I feel they are particularly interesting. Above is the panel for 6/21/09.
Check out John's Lab Notes for today.
Now seems like a good time to resurrect one of the topics from the old forum. How is this economy affecting you? Are you one of those folks who was doing well until this year or has your financial situation been challenging for some time?
I ask this because of the conflicting economic pictures John and I have seen for many, many years. I won't bore you with all the stories, but we have known so many people for whom the stock market and the housing bubble did not constitute a stable economic situation. We have watched as they have been repeatedly laid off or downsized, as their health insurance premiums gobbled up any "raises" they may have been given, as their medical bills outpaced their insurance coverage and their incomes. as their unemployment benefits ran out, and on and on. This has also been across the board - blue collar to white collar. Whenever John did strips reflecting this, he was roundly criticized, "The economy's great! Quit with your knee-jerk liberal whining already!" This always amused me as John only calls them as he sees them and has no political agenda. His forays into the more editorial layers of the strip are a reflection of a system riddled with absurdity and his frustration with that absurdity.
So again I ask, "How are you doing? Is your situation actually much worse suddenly than it was? Have your losses been real or "inflated on paper" projections that will now not come true? Have you been forced into a career change? Do you have any optimism for the future?" And please understand that I am asking these questions in all seriousness with no sarcasm or undertone, but with a true desire to take a pulse of the readership. Please feel free to answer anonymously if you wish.
John is down at the studio inking today. Apparently this is the sort of day he is having.
I am coloring here at home but also doing laundry. Laundry in the basement where my washing machine empties out into the basement sink. The basement sink where John often washes out his little ceramic ink pots when he's inking here at home. Like he was last night. When he left the ink pot in the sink. Over the drainhole. So that it effectively prevents all the water in my large capacity washing machine from going down the drain. So that it is now all over the basement floor. Score two for the destructiveness of ink today.
Posted by Anne Hambrock at 6/03/2009 10:45:00 AM
My other website is finally finished and the harp/art news blog is up and running. Some of you have requested to see some of my art and that will be displayed on the other blog as I want to keep this one dedicated to Edison.