Friday, August 31, 2007

Ellen Forney Taught Me How to Twirl my Tassles.

Actually, I've never met Ellen Forney. I love her work though, and her fantastic book, I Love Led Zeppelin, is an absolute delight, covering, as it does, more than a decade of her work as a cartoonist.

It's her comics that I really enjoy though, and coming from Edinburgh I chanced across them completely by accident. I found her artwork, you see, in the comic book pictured above. It's the cover of the first of the excellent Bizarro World Anthologies by DC Comics. I have both now, but this one holds a special affection for me because the concept was so new to me. I mean I read Not Brand Ech, and Fred Hembeck's super hero parody stuff years ago, but this was really different, and I think it made me more interested in looking up the comic book characters I'd long ago deserted. The premise of the Bizarro Anthologies is traditional DC characters as seen through the eyes of indie-comic artists and writers, and it works brilliantly. The cover here was drawn by Xaime Hernandez and the collection features work by Tony Millionaire, Chip Kidd, Chris Duffy, Dupuy Berberian, Evan Dorkin, Derek Kirk Kim, Ediie Campbell, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier, Jim Cambell, etc, etc, and Ellen Forney, of course.

Anyway, one of my favourites from the comic is the Wonder Woman story, pictured above, written by Mo Willems and drawn by Ellen Forney, and I was delighted to find that Dirk Deppey has posted a link to Ellen's video talks about cartooning on his Journalista Blog. I mean I love these things. Decades ago, when I was working as a comic artist and only really knew one other cartoonist, I managed to get a hold of Cartoonist Profiles and it made me feel that I really was part of something. Video tutorials and Streaming process work-throughs and diaries are even better though, they really will inspire beginning artists even more profoundly than old Jud Hurd's magazines influenced the likes of me.

The screen-capture detail, from one of the videos; is from Dirk Deppey's
Journalista Blog and the link to the videos is courtesy of Eric Reynolds
from his posting on The Fantagraphics Blog.

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