Happy Holidays!

And wishing you all the best in 2017!

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Building Your Own Little Free Library (Unhelpful Edition)

A quick tutorial from Handyman Jim on how to
put together your very own Little Free Library!

I’m purposely skipping over cutting the post and angle braces, as at no point during that whole process did I have a clue to what I was doing.

Two quick bits of advice though…
1: Having a table saw I could borrow from a family member sure was damn helpful regarding building the base.

These are exterior lag screws. Who knew?!

Correct lag screws? Who knows!

2: I bought the wrong lag screws. Make sure to buy the right ones (not that I have a clue which ones that would be). And use power tools to secure them if you have weak little arms that aren’t accustomed to lifting more than a pencil and/or wacom stylus.

STEP #1
Placing the Post in the Ground

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Make sure when finding a spot for your Little Free Library that you place it on an incline or small hill, that way you’ll have to dig even farther to make sure the hole’s deep enough.

Also make sure to place it near a large tree so there’s plenty of roots to cut and dig through.


STEP #2
Making More Work for Yourself

Make the decision to personalize your Little Free Library by adding a drawing to be mounted on top that you can’t find time to get to for months.


STEP #3
Check the Weather for a Polar Vortex

Wait until the RealFeel is 25 below and THEN install the Spider-Man drawing on top. That way the wood will be as hard as concrete.

And yes, the two pics indicate a three month lag between library installation and Spider-Man drawing (once again – finding time).


And there you have it – IT’S JUST THAT SIMPLE!
For more helpful hints, find someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

I know I will…

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On the Drawing Board

Working on pencils for an upcoming Sally Forth Sunday page.

pencils

Figures are blocked in. Will take one more pass to tighten things up then on to inks.


Inks finished.

inked

After this I scan – touch up – lay in the lettering and the drop panel – then last but not least, do up a color guide.

-Jim Keefe

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2006-2016

2006/2016

The first pic is from the MoCCA Art Festival, when I was still living in New York. The second is with my daughter Tessa at the Minneapolis St. Paul Comicon.

It’s been a crazy ten years…

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Thought For the Day

rockwell

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Comic Book Podcasts

Here’s a quick list of seven podcasts (in no particular order) dealing with comics.

For the most part I tend to like shows interviewing artists and/or industry professionals (as opposed to simply reviews), so the list tends to lean heavy that way.


guttertalk

Making Comics: Gutter Talk – Hosted by Adam Greenfield.

Every Friday listen in as Adam Greenfield is joined by artists around the globe discussing making comics.


talltaleradio

Tall Tale Radio – Hosted by Tom Racine.

A podcast about comic strips, animation, movies, television, comics and cartoons, with interviews with the best artists in print, on the web, on screen, and everywhere.


panels-and-pizza

Panels & Pizza – Hosted by Adam Vermillion.

Comics and pizza, together at last. Adam Vermillion shares a slice or 6 with some of the biggest and best names in comics.


PCH

Pop Culture Hound – Hosted by Chris J. Thompson.

Pop-culture website with a focus on comics, video games, film and TV.


wordballoon

Word Balloon – Hosted by John Siuntres.

The Pop Culture podcast featuring in-depth 1 on 1 interviews from the entertainment worlds of comic books, novels, film, video games and more.


inkstuds

Inkstuds – Hosted by Rob McConnell.

Interviews some of today’s top creators, with a focus on underground and indy comix from publishers like Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Drawn and Quarterly and more.


ifanboy-logo

iFanboy – Comics fandom oriented.

Owned and operated by Graphicly.

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If there’s a comics oriented podcast you’d like to recommend, please comment and/or email me as I’d like to update this list from time to time.

All for now – back to work…

barn

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Working Professionally as a Cartoonist

A few things that I’ve learned over the years that have crystalized through teaching…


• Devote your time to sharpening your art skills AND your business skills – trends, networking, contracts, etcetera all.

• Don’t pigeonhole yourself to one small aspect of the art form, like limiting yourself to just comics. Remember that Michelangelo wanted to devote himself to sculpture when he was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel.

• The people who succeed are generally the people who are working their asses off. Surround yourself with people like this, people who commit themselves fully and are getting their work out into the world. They’ll generally be better than you which is a GOOD thing – that way the bar keeps getting raised.

• Working hard isn’t enough, you have to work smart as well. You have to create work that’s marketable – that will suit the needs of someone who will then pay you.

• Working long hours with no sleep to meet deadlines isn’t the answer. Your career is a marathon, not a fifty yard dash. Eat right, exercise and sleep regularly like your parents told you to.

• Start now (yesterday is even better). Research the jobs you want, look at the submission guidelines (and follow them METICULOUSLY), then work up samples that will blow the competition out of the water. Follow Steve Martin’s advice to those aspiring to enter the entertainment field – “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

• To cap this off… If you treat your skills as a hobby then that’s where they’ll stay, as a hobby – and that’s FINE as long as that’s your conscious decision – but if you want to have it as your career then you need to get on board and on track.

And that’s…
The-More-You-Know

For more info, check out the following links:


Comics – Pricing your Work

Things to Consider When Commissioning Artwork

Work for Hire – The Fallout

Homage or Swipe?

Cartoon Art Scams


Comics – Tools of the Trade

Comic Book Inking Tutorials and Videos

Recommended Books on Drawing & Cartooning

Smudging

Using Reference

Procrastination

When you wish upon a star…

Motivational Misinformation


Convention Prep – AHHHHH!!!

Networking and the High Cost of Comic Conventions

Mike Wolfer on Fan art/Homage art


Graphic Novels

Comic Book Podcasts

Intro to Anime – sorely needed…


And last but not least, The Business of Cartooning.
This page has a number of subcategories, including…

1 Comic News Blogs
2. Contracts
3. Resources/Articles
4. Print On Demand Publishers
5. Self-Publishing Resource Articles
6. Convention Resources
7. Cartooning Schools and Organizations
8. Financial Aid

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I started these posts after teaching Comic Art at the
Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Here’s the biggest thing I learned teaching there.

Hammerstein

…and a special thanks to Professor Barb Schulz, head of the department,
for giving me that opportunity.

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