private to students - please check main blog
I really like Jesse Moynihan’s Forming. Volume two is out now. You can read the whole thing here. Definitely not one of those times when the webcomic renders the book collection unnecessary. This beautiful book lets you really enjoy the artwork. If you aren’t familiar with Jesse’s work check out this interview and this interview. Follow his Tumblr here. -FS==================
Frank Santoro: You mentioned to me once—unless I’m misremembering—that you had an offer to do a Forming animated cartoon and turned it down to keep it for yourself - you talked about that Forming was your “space” and no one else’s - and maybe that you may do an animated version yourself - I forget.
Jesse Moynihan: If I remember, I was just saying that initially Frederator had asked if I wanted to do an adaptation of Forming for their channel. I told them something like, “Only if I have all the rights to it,” and of course they said “no”. I didn’t expect them to say “yes”! No production company would. That’s sort of my impossible ‘deal’ with Forming. If someone wanted to adapt it into another medium - my only way of agreeing to it is if I retained exclusive rights and control over all the content. Forming is my baby, man. It’s a place where I don’t have to answer to anyone. It’s a totally pure, streamlined place. I make up an idea within this world and I draw it. Then I put it on the internet. It’s so easy and simple. So regardless of how the rest of my career goes, I’ll always have that in my pocket, unless I give it up like a bozo!
Santoro: Have you been approaching the website or the way the the comic is seen online serially any different since book one came out? Like I mean, has having the book made you think AT ALL differently about the webcomic version. Nothing major - I just wonder how it feels seeing it as a book instead of a stack of originals and dots on a screen.
Moynihan: Yeah as I was serializing the first volume I had no solid intention to print, so every page was self contained. A lot of the gags and thematic ideas would resolve on the last panel. Once I held a copy of the first book in my hand, I think my consciousness shifted slightly and I started spacing my action and jokes out a bit more. I would let ideas spill out over a few pages and land wherever felt natural. I started to feel less pressure to sell a single page as a self contained thing. I think the second book breathes better because of that; maybe to the detriment of how it reads online. I’m definitely now in the mind mode of, “This will eventually be printed.” so I’m putting in two page spreads and stuff like that. It’s not a super radical change, but I can tell the difference.
Santoro: I’m happy to see you making comics steadily instead of disappearing down the animation rabbit hole like so many of my other cartoonist friends whose dayjob is animation. You seem protective of Forming - like its your refuge away from work life - like when we were talking it sounded meditative to me - like it was your foundation.
Moynihan: I can’t imagine calling it quits on my personal work. The reason I didn’t pursue film after film school, was I felt the medium to be too collaborative. I needed a thing that was my vision entirely. Collaborating is a thing I can do, and it’s fun but I gotta have the other thing that’s totally uncompromised. If I don’t have that, I think I’d get really depressed. More depressed than usual haha! The animation thing gives me a lot: The freedom to go nuts in someone else’s sandbox and live a financially stable life. It’s an awesome job and I love the characters/design/story of the show. If I didn’t have a burning desire to plant my flag in the dirt, maybe I would get completely absorbed by the show. At the end of the day though, Adventure Time is Pen Ward’s world. Forming is my world, and my ego requires I have my own world to share with people. I guess it’s my ego. That’s probably what it is.
Santoro: Can you talk about Forming process pre-animation day job and now - has animation day job made you a better cartoonist somehow cuz you aren’t only speaking one language ?
Moynihan: Before my day job I was working on Forming about 30-40 hours a week. After starting on Adventure Time, it went down to about 15 hours a week. I think working on the show has made me a better cartoonist in some ways. My understanding of volume has improved, as well as my willingness to flesh out and track environments. There was a period of a few months where some of the techniques I was using on A.T. started to seep into Forming and it was making my Forming stuff worse. It took a while to notice that and make sure I stayed conscious of the stylistic differences. I can’t have elbowless, Betty Boop tube arms going on in Forming. But yeah I think my stuff has gotten more energetic looking, after working in animation for 4 years. My posing is a little more extreme. Although that could have more to do with my higher level of Kirby interest in these past few years as well.
THE SANTORO CORRESPONDENCE COURSE
for COMIC BOOK MAKERS presents
the comicsworkbook COMPOSITION COMPETITION 2014
1st place - $500 cash prize to the winner
2nd place - $250 credit at Copacetic Comics
3rd place - $100 credit at Copacetic Comics
There will also be 4 Honorable Mention awards of $50 credit each from the great people at Big Planet Comics.
Create a 16 page signature comic book narrative to the specifications outlined in my Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. (see below)
DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 15th 2014
Ok, ok, here’s the deal. Now that the Xeric grant no longer exists - there aren’t many institutions that offer cash rewards for making a great comic. Hell, even if you get a publishing deal in comics you aren’t guaranteed a cash reward. So, my online school, THE SANTORO CORRESPONDENCE COURSE for COMIC BOOK MAKERS last year inaugurated an annual COMPOSITION COMPETITION to promote, well, competition amongst makers. This community - the small press comicbookmakers community - is sorely in need of a quest, a challenge, something to aim for on the calendar - like the Xeric grant deadline used provide. So I’m doing it. $500 bucks to the best 16 page signature comic book. Deadline is September 15th - which is the day after SPX .
Enough people know now that for my Correspondence Course I make all students use a grid to tell their story. I feel that using the grid is an essential step in understanding TIMING in making comic books. If you wanna play like Coltrane, you gotta learn your scales first. You gotta learn the rules before you can break the rules. And even if you are a master this is still a solid way to make comic books. Ask Jaime Hernandez.
Here are the specs:
11 x 14 inch originals with a 10 x 13 inch live area. Eight (landscape oriented) panel grids for each page. No exceptions. Each panel will be 3.25 x 5 inches. Work may be in color OR black and white - OR - a combination of both.
International students must use the same specs. No complaining.
Thats 14 pages of story plus two covers. Meaning seven spreads and a front and back cover. A 16 page signature.
THE STORY MUST BE COMPLETE. SERIAL INSTALLMENTS of a longer narrative ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. Consider this an exercise in short story writing. I think the 16 page signature is ideal to contain a short story.
Photograph or scan your pages and post them on your tumblr AS SPREADS. If you don’t have a tumblr - make one just for this contest. No exceptions! No complaining! Also post the front cover as the lead image and the back cover as the final image. Follow this example by former student of mine and comicsworkbook star Andrew White. (link)
Email me - santoroschoolATgmailDOTcom - that you have posted your entry to your tumblr - complete with your name and title of the work in the text field LIKE THIS EXAMPLE - and I will reblog it on to the comicsworkbook site. I will be posting them - reblogging them - on comicsworkbook as they come in. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I will, however, only be posting stories that stick to the RULES. If you don’t follow the rules, I will not reblog the story and you won’t be eligible for the cash prize.
comicsworkbook has over 15,000 followers now - so in theory just entering will help get your work seen and your name out there.
Any questions about the competition - please email me.
Competition is open to all. You do not have to be a former student of mine. Former students of mine ARE eligible to compete - however you must make a NEW 16 page signature. The signature that you made (or started but did not complete) for the course will not be eligible.
Again, If you have any questions about the rules please ask. Better to ask and be safe than to be mad when I disqualify you over some missed detail. Seriously. Remember - 8 landscape oriented panels of 3.25 x 5 inches each -arranged in a grid - on a 11 x 14 inch page with a 10 x 13 live area. 14 pages - or 7 spreads. One front cover. One back cover. Check out the photo at the top of this post - and again check out Andrew White’s example on how to format your entry.
******also I STRONGLY suggest that you also post hi res files of your entry on your website and include a link on your tumblr post. Many people complained last year about the difficulty of reading comics formatted as spreads on Tumblr. So please consider posting an easier to read version of your comic on another platform.
Remember! Email me - santoroschoolATgmailDOTcom - that you have posted your entry to your tumblr - I will reblog it.
You may enter as a writer/artist duo.
DEADLINE is Monday September 15th at 11:59 pm EST
Winners will be announced on Saturday Sept 23rd at noon EST
please reblog this announcement
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
"I was thinking about entering and had a couple of questions. Sorry if the answer to these is super obvious, but I just wanted to make sure! In the template you posted, there aren’t any gutters between the panels; does the comic need to be set up that exact same way, or can it have a bit of a gap in between some of the panels like in the Andrew White example? I noticed some of the panels butt up against each other and some don’t; I think this might cause the panel size vary a tiny bit, so I wanted to know if that would be cool. One last question, this is real media only, correct? No digital art?”
ANSWER: You can have gutters - and you can work digitally. However I still want you to draw it at 11 x 14 - don’t draw large and shrink it down - ideally you are drawing panels that are roughly 3.25 x 5 inches on the screen…