Categories
Artist Spotlight Bernie Wrightson

Bernie Wrightson – Inspiration

Back in the mid 1980s I tried out classes at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for a semester. Currently at MCAD you can major in Comic Art, but back then comic art was not a thing. In fact it was generally frowned upon.

I was in a film class, and the assignment was to bring in something of interest to us and then talk about it while being filmed (something about getting comfortable in front of a camera I guess). I brought in the recently released Cycle of the Werewolf novella by Stephen King – with beautiful illustrations by the one and only Bernie Wrightson​.

Wrightson’s magnum opus Frankenstein had been released just prior and he was (and still is) a god of illustration to me.

While I talked about my admiration for Wrightson’s work, fellow students off camera started talking within earshot. The gist of it was, a hack writer hired a hack comic book artist – and it’ll be an instant hit to the mindless masses – but it was far from ART.

Hearing this I started talking into the camera a little louder how great an artist Wrightson was and how he was not the “hack” some people thought.

This bias against comic book art was mirrored by the teachers in those years, and as the vibe at MCAD wasn’t right for me I left. Within a year I had found out about and enrolled at the Joe Kubert​ School, so a win-win for me. Suffice it to say most of my new classmates were big fans of Wrightson as well.

In my experience, animation and cartooning has always been looked down on by the fine arts community, or at best given a condescending pat on the back. To me, sequential art is the best way to tell a story – and the artists who excel in the field are Masters. With the rise in popularity of “graphic novels” here in the US there’s been more mainstream acceptance of sequential art, but for the rank and file in the arts community I don’t see that much has changed.

That said, I don’t care. I’ve been working in this field for over 30 years now and am surrounded by people that have the same love of cartooning/comics/anime/manga that I have. Ends up there’s no need to waste time banging heads with people who unfortunately are limited in their thinking of what constitutes Art.

And that’s my two cents.


That said… Here’s to Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017). A master of pen and ink who’s work still remains an inspiration to me. The gold standard to shoot for every time you pick up a Series 7 Winsor & Newton brush.


Here’s a quick video of Bernie Wrightson from 1987, with an intro by Harlan Ellison. Wrightson talks about his work on Swamp Thing and Frankenstein among other highlights – Enjoy!


Last but not least, a poignant tweet from Neil Gaiman from when Wrightson died…


Addendum: Bernie Wrightson’s work on Frankenstein has since toured Art museums across the country as part of the Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters exhibit. They are truly breathtaking to see in person.

To see so many different comic book artists on display in this show was just phenomenal. A shout out to Guillermo del Toro for providing a worthy showcase of these extraordinary masters of comic art – Vive la résistance!

Categories
Artist Spotlight

Jim Keefe

A graduate of the Kubert School, Jim Keefe started his career as the head colorist in the King Features Syndicate comic art department, coloring such world-renowned strips as Blondie, Beetle Bailey and Hagar the Horrible.

From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of Flash Gordon for King Features Syndicate – currently available online at Comics Kingdom.

Teaching and speaking engagements include the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs in Long Island, New York, the University of Minnesota – and most recently as an Adjunct Teacher at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Keefe currently is the artist of the Sally Forth comic strip, written by Francesco Marciuliano. Sally Forth is syndicated worldwide by King Features and appears in nearly 700 newspapers.

Categories
Conventions MCAD

MCAD Mini-Con 2014 – Picture Gallery

Pics from Saturday’s show…

Jacklyn Hedlund
Jacklyn Hedlund

Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Brando Hughes
Brando Hughes

Andy Leighr
Andy Leighr

Andrew Brian George
Andrew Brian George

John Wilinski
John Wilinski

Chase Van Weerdhuizen
Chase Van Weerdhuizen

Rachel Topka
Rachel Topka

Caitlin Skaalrud
Caitlin Skaalrud

Josh Kaplan
Josh Kaplan

Greer Lawson - Solomon F.
Greer Lawson – Solomon F.

Alexandra Bergman
Alexandra Bergman

Annika Linde & Jordan Hamann
Annika Linde & Jordan Hamann

S. Ursula Aristizabas
S. Ursula Aristizabas

Sloan Armstrong
Sloan Armstrong

Remy Ripple
Remy Ripple

Marina Arriola
Marina Arriola

Lauren Faulhaber & Camille Devet
Lauren Faulhaber & Camille Devet

Logan Cook
Logan Cook

Jen Silverman
Jen Silverman

Jaime Willems
Jaime Willems

Alexis Cooke, Mandie Brasington & Frenchy Lunning
Manga panel with Alexis Cooke, Mandie Brasington & Frenchy Lunning

For more info and video interviews by Chase Van Weerdhuizen,
check out the MCAD Mini-Con 2014 Facebook Page.


And a special thanks to Jaime Willems and Mandie Brasington
for the invite to be on the panel discussion.

YOU GUYS RULE!

Willems and Brisington

Categories
Conventions MCAD

MCAD Mini-Con 2014 – March 14th & 15th

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MCAD Comic Art Update from Mandie Brasington & Jaime Willems

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The Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s yearly Mini-con is coming up March 14th and 15th!

That’s right, Mini-con is now being spread over Friday and Saturday, free and open to all as always!

From noon to 3:30 pm Friday we will be running the traditional Mini-con featuring current MCAD students, ending with a showing that night of Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist.

Exhibitors on Saturday will be students and MCAD Alumni.

The con, for the first time, will also contain a whole day (10 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday) of exciting panels to attend – as well as an exhibition of student comic art!

The evening will culminate with a showing of Will Eisner Profession: Cartoonist
(the elusive Brazilian documentary).

For more info and a list of events, check out their Facebook page.

-Mandie Brasington

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To whet your appetite, here’s a link to the Comics Journal with a review by Rob Clough of the comics coming out of MCAD’s Comic Art program…

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And last but not least, a quick video from MCAD’s 2012 mini-con.

Hope to see you there!

Categories
MCAD

MCAD’s Dead Cartoonist Society

Presenting the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s comics club’s newly minted mascot – drawn by MCAD’s own Jaime Willems

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MCAD Comic Art’s Mandie Brasington is currently spearheading the group, dubbed the Dead Cartoonist Society.

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For more info and art, check out their Tumblr and/or Facebook Page.

Viva La Comix!