On Monday, August 18th, at the 95th New York Comics Symposium, the cartoonist and instructor Tom Motley presented a talk and workshop entitled “Composition Lessons from the Masters.” The talk was held at the Butler Library at Columbia University. Karen Green introduced Motley, a veteran cartoonist and educator at both SVA and Pratt. He is a prolific illustrator, and his regular comic Tragic Strip appears in the Brooklyn Rail.
After a quick demonstration, Motley explained that composition is the “invisible component we don’t think of.” He covered the basics of renaissance composition, using the now famous photo of a fight that broke out in the Ukrainian parliament, and which, coincidentally, follows the rules of the golden ratio, an ideal of classical composition.
This has been circulating ‘round my various internet places for a while. It really is a beautiful photograph.
guy walking down the street wearing a shirt that says
I saw that shirt for sale in Myrtle Beach once and still regret not buying it.
Literary Blog Tour
Hey there! The fabulous Erica Sklar asked me to participate in this tag-you’re-it style interview. Here goes…
I also have some story & essay ideas floating around that I hope to work on when I need a break from the book. This weekend my main secondary project was writing a birth plan, though. How’s THAT for a deadline?
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
Why do you write what you do?
If an idea or a character or a news story or an experience or a phrase or an image sticks in my mind long enough that I use it for material, I am trying to figure out why I am so interested in it and communicate that to a reader and hopefully make it interesting for the reader. Or sometimes maybe I am trying to work out some kind of emotional thing for myself and maybe that results in something others want to read and hey, maybe it doesn’t! They can’t all be winners.
How does your writing process work?
My process is pretty erratic, which is something I feel bad about, and something I hoped an MFA program would help me fix. But instead of feeling bad, I’m just trying to acknowledge that I am not an everyday writer and probably won’t ever be, and it is all going to be OK as long as I don’t give up entirely. I try and block out weekend days for myself, making no other social plans, and either write from bed or trek out to a coffee shop or the library. Sometimes I grab an hour here or there on a weekday. But I am what another writer-friend once called a “burster,” prone to writing in long fits (accompanied by lots of snacks) with dry spells in between. Editing is a little less manic, and I like to do that after I have let the original version “rest” for a while. It’s easier to see mistakes when you’ve had long enough to forget what you wrote in the first place.
F for Fake (1973)
Disco Hootenanny, Clark Park, May 17, 2014
handcrafted GIFs by Ben Firestone, set of 10
Preach it, Neko.
DONT PEGGY OLSEN ME
I LOVE YOU NEKO.
Based on the popular Tumblr pen & ink, Fitzgerald (books editor at BuzzFeed) and illustrator MacNaughton (Lost Cat) bring their inspired collaboration to the page. The premise is simple: Fitzgerald and MacNaughton asked online readers to submit an image of their tattoo and its story. The book features 63 tattoos, with text that answers questions including: the reason for the tattoo, the individual’s name and profession. Drawn in a whimsical, tender style, MacNaughton’s portraits are captivating in their intimacy: the lower half of a hirsute man with his pants down, a skateboarding bear on his right thigh; a student peeling down her lower lip to expose the words “I forget” in black ink. The accompanying explanations, some of which are entertainingly straightforward (a fondness for pizza) and others that tell a darker story (a celebration of survival after a sexual assault), demonstrate resilience and imagination. Without judgment or regret, this emotionally raw collection, featuring an introduction by Cheryl Strayed, explores how we find permanence in an impermanent world. As MacNaughton says of her very first tattoo, “What the tattoo does prove is that Wendy, like most 19-year olds, used to take things very seriously, and that things change.”
Hey unless they edited me out, I am in this book!