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Anime Transformation March 4, 2011

Posted by leskanturek in Animation, Art History, Comics, Film, Student Blog posts, Student Post, Visual Narrative.
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Post by Sarah Ding

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Anime is a distinct art style that originated in Japan during the 20th century, in which Japanese filmmakers first became influenced by Western animation techniques. The highly successful Disney 1937 animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” became a huge influence on manga artists, who simplified many of the techniques and styles of Walt Disney’s animations due to low budget and labor. Throughout time, the distinct look of anime has transformed significantly, and although there are numerous different styles of anime, they all  have common stylistic elements  typical to the anime style.

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So what exactly is the anime style? Although the features of the face and proportions of anime characters are exaggerated, they are not necessarily classified as cartoons. The most distinct feature of anime characters is their overly large eyes, in order to express their emotions through to the viewer.

However, recently anime has started to become extraordinarily more realistic in terms of the facial features. Even body proportions are beginning to fit the standard human proportions we would normally recognize. The most familiar form of anime could arguably be Sailor Moon, created by manga artist Naoko Takeuchi.

(above) Sailor Moon, A team of magical cute girls who are in reality magical warriors destined to save the Earth, and later the entire galaxy. Their features and proportions embody the look of anime girls.

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Anime might on the surface appear to all look very similar but is in fact quite varied. The anime style of Sailor Moon is remarkably different than the style the viewer sees in  Death Note, a well-known manga created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by manga artist Takeshi Obata.

(above) Two of the characters in Deathnote , Light Yagami, and “L” .

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The art and possibly even the story line has taken on a more realistic approach.  Here, the manga artist is deviating from the usual large eyes and small mouth characteristics that are typical of anime and drawing features more in proportion.

(above) Death Note illustrated by Takeshi Obata

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Although there will always be different variations of anime (from very generic to semi-realistic), I feel that this style in general is starting to become much more realistic by opening itself up to different influences and styles.

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Jerry Marks Class Visit-IN 3-D! March 3, 2011

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Anaglyph 3-D, Artists, Guest Visits, Subway/MTA Proposal, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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On his website, Jerry Marks is described as an “artist working along the border were art and science join…”   which is a good description of what you see when you enter his studio.  Part art studio, part laboratory of perception with maybe a little mad scientist thrown in (maybe a lot)  Jerry has been exploring the atistic applications of 3-D for a number of years. It’s really his passion and it comes through when he shows stereo images from the 19th century or a contemporary 3-D image experiment. Jerry’s work can be seen in books, music videos for the Rolling Stones, The 28th St. subway station, The New York Hall of Science , and theatre sets to name a few of the many projects he’s worked on . He is a accomplished 3-D silk screen printmaker, a teacher for many, many years , musican and has 3-D-ified everything from Bulwinkle to views of Venus.

At Jerry’s  Feb. 14th class visit to our concepts class he presented some wonderful 3-D eye candy,  a  powerpoint show of anaglyph photography and comics by  
Kim Deitch (It’s 4D!
) Bob Sikoryak (The Lost Treasure of the 3D!) , and Micheal Kupperman (Hercules vs. Zeus)


space(above) a 3-D panel from comic book artist Kim Deitch’s “It’s 4-D”.  Adapted for 3-D projection by Jerry.

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(above) “The lost treasure of the 3D”  art by by Bob Sikoryak

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(above top) An early virtual reality construction of the  mural at the 28th st. subway .  (directly above) ” 7 waves 4 twenty eight” the mural is built into glass blocks in which the curvature of the glass inside the block forms cylindrical lenses. ” Marks plans to use the lenticular (lens-like) properties of the block along with the appropriate lights, projectors, lenses, filters, in the space behind the wall to create a 3-D illusion art display. The mural will appear to move as you ride into the station”.

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After the powerpoint presentation Jerry took some time to describe the process of creating an anaglyph image in photoshop. In the next week or two they’re be a follow up post with the finished 3-D images done by the class.

Stephanie Wunderlich-Class Visit November 28, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Artists, Comics, Guest Visits, Handmade, Theatre.
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(above) Stephanie in class during her powerpoint presentation of her work.

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On Monday Nov. 8th German editorial illustrator Stephanie Wunderlich graciously came in to room 802 to speak, share her experiences,  and show some of her work to all four of the Soph. concepts classes.    Stephanie has clients both in the United States and Europe, which made for an interesting in-class discussion on the differences in art direction between the two.  Her illustration process involves  cutting and collaging paper and though Stephanie has worked all digitally at points in her career, the excitment of  traditional hand cut paper  is still the most attractive for her.

(above) The cover of  Spring #7   (right) a shot of Stephanie’s board in her studio.

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Stephanie is a regular contributor and collaborator for  Spring, a collective graphic magazine/comic published annually in Hamburg which  has contributions all by women. A few issues of this inspiring, 200 page. plus, illustrative, graphic experience  were passed around during Stephanie’s presentation.

(above) sing issues of Spring. below that is the June 08 issue of Spring /Alter Ego

(above) Stephanie holding a pop up book she designed and constructed to be used in the Play – Warum das Kind in der Polenta kocht (Why the child cooks in the Polenta) – for the theatre Schausspielhaus Hamburg.  Additional pop-up spreads are on the right.

Stephanie also discussed the process behind creating illustrations/props that were used in a play in Germany. Theater  there  is subsidized    by the government and Stephanie explained that this subsidy facilitated experimental theatre.

Danke für Ihren Besuch Stephanie! (Thank you for visiting)

Jon Vermilyea Spills His Guts: Class Visit October 4, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Artists, Comics, Guest Visits, Narrative, Printmaking.
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Monday, Sept. 27th  Illustrator-self publisher-silk screener Jon Vermilyea came to class to show his work, talk about his influences, his process and to offer advice.  Our class was joined by Peter Hamlin’s concepts class and Veronica Lawlor’s drawing in motion class along with other visitors, so  a good crowd were present.  Jon brought a variety of his work and started right off with some tee shirt designs.

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A few  books Jon worked on were passed around and Jon spoke about connections he made in school and how that lead to self publishing. Jon attended SVA for cartooning. He also talked about the importance of school as a place to experiment and try different ways of working without the fear of failure.  Embracing opportunity seemed to be a theme of Jon’s presentation.

The fact that he self-published, created an animation music video  for Animal Collective (http://vimeo.com/2616231) silkscreened prints and has a tee shirt line among more traditional work like comics is fairly signifigant and one of the reasons I asked Jon to stop by.  Jon generates his own projects and I think does so with a lot of integrity .

(above) Jon walks us through his Venom cover redo.

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(above) The Animal Collective box set illustrated by Jon designed by Rob Carmichael

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(above) Jon explaining color choices on the Mothman screenprint for the Giant Robot (San Francisco) show One Hundred Beasts that ran for the book Beasts! Book 2 published by Fantagraphics.

Thanks again for stopping by Jon it was great.  Here is a link to Jon’s site www.jonvermilyea.com/

Jon Vermilyea Class Visit September 22, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Artists, Comics, Guest Visits, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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Here is a link to Jon’s web site to see more of his work-   http://www.jonvermilyea.com/

The Invisible Exhibit July 31, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Exhibits, Summer Reading Project, The Invisible Man, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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The Illustration Department’s Summer Reading Project for 2010 is H. G. Wells’ classic “The Invisible Man”.  First published in 1897, Wells’ science fiction novel gives us the timeless iconic mad experimenter who suffers from his scientific over-reaching, he plays with forces of nature he cannot control and pays with his life.  Griffin’s invisibility can be seen as both a superpower and a curse.  He is a victim and the aggressor.  Taking place in the small English country town of Iping, location is crucial to the story. The mysterious stranger that appears terrorizes the locals in a very noir-ish fashion.  The idea of paranoia contained in a small town is a theme artist and author Jeff Lemire handles brilliantly in “The Nobody”, a graphic novel based on Wells’ Invisible Man.

A showcase in the 8th floor lobby is devoted to  examples of how the Invisible Man has been illustrated over time along with other images that explore the definition of invisibility.  Ralph Ellison wrote his book, “The Invisible Man” in 1952, to explore themes of identity and racism. His narrator is invisible because people refuse to acknowledge him in society. If you are ‘voiceless” are you invisible? Camouflage renders someone or something …invisible, and there are millions of things we encounter everyday that are invisible to the naked eye.  Being invisible is not only a physical state but a psychological, and political one as well.  The Invisible Man presents a unique challenge for artists; How do you illustrate what you cannot see? What does it mean to be invisible?


A key to pieces in the showcase:

  1. Czech poster for the Invisible Man (Neviditelny) 1980’s
  2. Poster for the 1933 movie “The Invisible Man” Directed by James Whale (of Frankenstein fame).
  3. The Dell “mapback” paperback version of TIM (The Invisible Man) with a map of  Sussex-Ipping.
  4. Painting by René Magritte
  5. The Invisible Man” by Regino Gonzales, aka “RG
  6. Painting by René Magritte  “The-friend-of-order” 1964
  7. Sue Storm the Invisible woman of the Fantastic Four drawn by Jack Kirby.
  8. TIM poster for the 1933 movie
  9. Fighting the World of Invisible Invaders: Outpacing infectious Disease” paperback book cover
  10. The Invisible Man” By Ralph Ellison paperback book cover 1952, on the right is a photo of the author.
  11. Invisible Jim” As Not Seen On TV! Surreal novelty (courtesy of S. Guarnaccia)
  12. Classics illustrated #2 TIM . adapter/illustrator: Rick Geary
  13. Marvel comics TIM Adapted from H.G. Wells. Cover art by Jim Steranko 1972
  14. The Invisible Man. Chinese artist Lui Bolin paints himself to disappear into his surroundings to make a statement…no photo shop here.
  15. The Invisible Woman movie poster and ad that appears in the movie 1940.
  16. A parody of Hopper’s  “Nighthawks”.
  17. Erotic Invisible man by Eric October
  18. Fantastic Four #1 1961
  19. Sue Storm-The Invisible Girl
  20. Paper back covers of TIM (right)  Berkley Highland books  Pub. (left) Readers Enrichment series
  21. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, comic and panels. Story by Alan Moore, art by Kevin O’Neill.
  22. French, artist unkn.
  23. Cards, book, and spread. “The Nobody” , Vertigo comics Written illustrated by Jeff Lemire.
  24. Classics Illustrated #153 : TIM 1959 Painted Cover by Norman Node (courtesy of R. Sikoriyak)
  25. camouflaged moth
  26. Invisible short stories paperback (courtesy of S. Guarnaccia)
  27. Superman’s Pall Jimmy Olsen covers  DC Comics  # 12 1956 Curt Swan penciller, # 40 1959 1956 Curt Swan penciller
  28. The New Invisible Man c. 1958  Mexico
  29. Invisible Man: A Memorial to Ralph Ellison, Sculptor Elizabeth Catlett, 2003
Riverside Park @ 150th Street, Manhattan
Bronze, granite. This sculpture honors author Ralph Ellison, who lived opposite this park
  30. Interior illustration for the  Folio Society edition of The Invisible Man illustrated by Grahame Baker
  31. Ad for the 1933 movie explaining the special effects
  32. Batman Unseen DC Comics 2010  “In order to stop the unseen Dr. Glass from killing Bruce Wayne, Batman must use the invisibility serum on himself and battle the Invisible Man on his own terms”
  33. Marvel comics TIM Adapted from H.G. Wells. Cover art by Jim Steranko 1972

“I Got Those Illustration Blues…” February 20, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Class Discussions, Class Topics, Music, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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Who says you have to suffer to sing the blues?  All you really need is the appropriate angst ridden name. Preferably your blues name has a physical ailment attached to it  ie:  Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake (a fantastic ragtime guitarist by the way) or Cripple Clarence Lofton to name a few.

Stop! You don’t have to grab a straight razor and rush into that fight over color theory to earn street cred. All you really have to do is use the Blues Name Calculator (as our class did) in the safety of your own home.

Replace your existing non-dangerous sounding blues name of  “Couch Potato Jackson” or “Bent Crow Quill Davis”   with a more authentic, nasty sounding  moniker.   The art world loves bad boys and gals.

Hey Les, looks like I’m “Pretty Bones Smith” ha ha, I don’t even want to know how I got that nickname…
-Lyejm Kallas-Lewis
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Jailhouse Bones Washington -ahhahahahahahhahahahahaha – Masuko Jo
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I’m Sleepy Back Lee, but I like to think of myself more as a Ptera Dac Toasty. I’m not sure if that’s a blues names though……or just five syllables I like that I put together. -Pratima Mani
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From now on I will be called Boney Gumbo Rivers –  Joseph Herrington
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“Pretty Gumbo Green“…I like it!  -Leila Ehtesham
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In the blues world I’m known as “Boney Bones Jones” –  John Garcia

Ugly Eyes Lee 😀 – Grace Moon
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HAHA!!!!   My blues name is “Old Eyes Lee” I’m really not sure how my initials gave the calculator that answer but it’s cool! -Debo Mouloudji
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Mine is “Crippled Bones Jones” How awesome is THAT???!! -Ciara Gay
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“Skinny Fingers Dupree” = me -Rosemary Davis

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“Crippled Back Bradley”   …haha Chelsey Pettyjohn

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I’m “Pretty Badboy Smith”  hmmmm….I wonder if that could be Prof. Badboy-Smith?  I always thought of myself as a “Ox neck Johnson“, “Weak bladder Philips” or even Blind # 2 Pencil Russell? -Les

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My Blues name:  “Crippled Legs Bailey”. OMG!  I hope that isn’t foreshadowing.. – Christine Westrich

Inkstuds: The Radio Show about Comics December 31, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Art History, Artists, Comics, Graphic Novels, Visual Narrative, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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Despite the porn sounding name if you go to the Inkstuds site you will not find pictures of Jack Kirby giving you the full monty.  What you will find is a radio show out of Vancouver hosted by Robin McConnell thoughtfully discussing the art, creators, the industry, inspiration, history  and influence of comics.

McConnell’s show which has been “on the air” for the past 4 years offers an incredible range of interviewees  including ;  Ralph Steadman, Seth, Tony Millionaire, Joe Sacco,  James Jean, Barron Storey, Rutu Modan, Scott McCloud, Art Spiegleman on Chris Ware, Rick Geary…the list goes on.   I highly recommend  tuning in to the show and hearing the intelligent discussion that takes place.

Ye Olde Terminator December 15, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Folk Art, Printmaking, Steampunk, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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I don’t have a lot of  info on this, (okay none) it’s in Russian but I came across this on the web and it was too clever for me to pass up.  Modern movies re-interpreted as old wood cuts.    at : http://ziza.ru/2006/06/16/rastamanskie-narodnye-skazki.html

If anyone can shed some light on where this is from or who did it please let me know.

Follow up:

Bibliodyssey which is a wonderful, wonderful  site displaying “eclectic and rare book illustrations derived from many digital repositories, accompanied by some background commentary”,  has an older post for these prints (Sunday, June 18, 2006)  They identify this style/genre of print as “Russian lubok” here is a copy of their link to an explanation by Alexander Boguslawski.

From http://tars.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/Lubok/lubintro.html  (Copyright Alexander Boguslawski 1999)

The lubki (sing. lubok), simple printed pictures colored by hand and often called broadsides, popular prints, folk prints…”

Film & Graphic Novels, Twin Sons of Different Mothers December 8, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Books, Comics, Film, Story Boards, Visual Narrative.
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Since the advent of photography there has been a cross fertilization between the camera and the canvas. Early silent filmmakers were inspired by Gustave Dorés book illustrations (L’inferno 1911 by Francesco Bertolini). Film pioneer George Melies was influenced by illustrator Henri de Montaut’s work for Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, inspiration has see-sawed back and forth many times. Film noir influenced pulp images and early comics. Presently we’re seeing the trend of graphic novels being adapted to film. it makes perfect sense, The mediums are closely related and share a common visual vocabulary. Animation has long bridged (and blurred) the line between film and drawing.

Any one  interested in visual story telling; Comic books, graphic novels, story boards should include in their education a critical eye on film and a reading of  books that describe the visual narrative tools of film.  How to compose shots, visual sequence and how it affects a narrative, point of view, this is all the common vocabulary of telling a story visually whether it be in print or film.

Below are a few film books that I think bear looking at for your narrative education. Especially for those of you interested in storyboards. It then becomes extremely important to understand and speak in the language of film photography.

Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know By Jeremy Vineyard

This is a basic book that describes different shots in film with an accompanying illustration and a suggestion of a film that employs an example of the shot. It’s written by a non-professional which has  strengths and weaknesses.

I like the book because it is so basic and written for someone who knows nothing about film. It will get you thinking along film lines very quickly. I have read criticism of the book that the names of shots in some cases is inaccurate and some of the examples of where you can see the shot are general which can be frustrating.

(Above) Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen:  by Stephen Katz

(Above) Master Shots: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie by Christopher Kenworthy.  Master Shots has an example of the shot in a film and different views of the shot using poser figures.

(Above) Storyboard Design Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques by Giuseppe Cristiano

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The above is by no means all the books out there just a couple to start you thinking from the film side vs. the graphic novel/comic book side.

(Above) Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner is a fantastic book my a master story teller. One of the things that impresses me about this book is that Eisner addresses the concept of time in the narrative. How to depict a finite amount of time passing which i think is very much akin to film.

In the above panel Eisner has linked 2 simultaneous actions, the dripping faucet in the extreme foreground and the character entering.  The slow drip is the reference point for time. Looking at only 3 panels you can tell it has taken the character a long time to enter. That’s an understanding of visual narrative.  There is a wonderful Hamlet soliloquy drawn by Eisner in the book as well as other gems  that really show why he is considered  a master storyteller.   The book I’d say is an absolute to pick up.