We spent Friday afternoon having a frank conversation with syndicated cartoonist Brian Basset (Red and Rover, Adam@Home) about getting into the newspapers. Brian has a cozy studio that swelters in the summer heat where he works over an art desk covered in materials and upcoming comics. Some of the most interesting advice concerned clarifying background objects (is it a backyard fence or drops of rain behind that tree?) and getting your point across through a character’s body language. What I enjoy most about talking with experienced pros is their take on other comics. It’s a fascinating question to ask yourself as you develop a strip: who am I writing for, how has my audience changed, and would the strips that have been around for twenty years still get launched today? Thanks for your time Brian, I hope we get to do it again sometime.
Meanwhile, we’re preparing for the team’s trip to Indiana this week for our VisionFest presentation. I’ve known about this speaking engagement since last summer, but in my typical style I’m only just now getting the notes down on paper. In a few days I will be presenting a talk on internet animation not only to the students and faculty of Indiana University, but also to Eric Radomski, co-director of Mask of the Phantasm, and John Canemaker, notable animation historian. We will be small potatoes amongst some very big spuds, but no-name as I may be I do have a lot of experience in this field. If you’re going to be in the area, this should be worth seeing.