Happy Birthday Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is 75 this year! Lynda Carter will always be Wonder Woman to me, but she was created in 1941 by Dr. William Moulton Marston.

H. G. Peter’s original illustration of Wonder Woman wrote a note to Marston, which said, “I slapped these two out in a hurry. The eagle is tough to handle – when in perspective or in profile, he doesn’t show up clearly – the shoes look like a stenographer’s. I think the idea might be incorporated as a sort of Roman contraption.”

Marston responded: “I think the gal with hand up is very cute. I like her skirt, legs, hair. Bracelets okay + boots. …” and the rest is history.

My Stories on Instagram

instagram-tomversationI told you about  VideoCam, my favorite new app. That still is my favorite, but I’ve also been playing around with Facebook live and doing live videos and now I’ve gotten into the Story thingie on Instagram. It’s supposed to be like Snapchat, but I could never get into Snapchat, but I’m really enjoying Instagram’s Story feature where you add short videos which disappear in 24 hours.

I’ve been showing some of my upcoming comics and the work I’ve been doing getting my Tomversation comic ready for publication. You can join me at Instagram.com/Tomversation and if you follow me, you’ll get to see the Story videos when I post them. You have to follow on a cell phone, it doesn’t work on a computer or ipad, that’s the nature of Instagram.

Amanda the Great

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

I’m a big fan of Amanda El-Dweek’s daily comic strip, “Amanda the Great.” It started appearing on the GoComics website in November, that’s when I first noticed it.

Amanda

Amanda El-Dweek

TOM: I noticed all the strips are in black and white, in this age of full color webcomics, why black and white? (which I like, just asking).

AMANDA: Two reasons: I like the look of the black and white contrast (I also use an ink wash for gray tones). The other thing is, coloring is kind of piddly work, and I’m unsure I’d ever get done with the strips if I had to color them!

The comics I read growing up were black and white (newspaper comics), and I always thought they were so singularly beautiful that way.

TOM: Are all the stories/adventures true to life? Did they all happen to you or are some fiction and just there for the enjoyment of readers?

AMANDA: The story is my real life, and the timeline starts about a year before my husband and I were married. (I drew the comics this past year, but they are set in late 2012/early 2013 so far.)

Most of the things I draw did actually happen – sometimes I have to paraphrase things, and sometimes I have to kind of re-format how things happened in order for it to make sense in a three-or-four-panel comic strip format. Some of it is verbatim because if it was something funny, I wrote it down in a notebook, which is fortunate because sometimes I am a poor historian.

But – all of the events are real, and the characters are real. (Except the alter-egos, natch.)

TOM: Is “Amanda the Great” created digitally? Or do you draw with pen and ink?

AMANDA: I create Amanda the Great using smooth Bristol paper, a pencil, ink, brushes, and a Kuretake brush pen for the letters. I use an ink wash for the gray scale. Then I dust off the cat hair and scan them in.

TOM: Who were/are your comic/cartoon influences?

AMANDA: My first comic book was a Garfield book, and I also read a lot of Archie comics – I really tried to emulate these two when I first started drawing (I was pretty young). When I was old enough to pay attention to the newspaper, my favorites were Cathy, Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, and Foxtrot. My grandma always had those Peanuts, B.C., and Wizard of Id paperbacks around, which I enjoyed. I think Luann was in a girls’ teen magazine when I was young, which is the first place I had seen it.

All of these different comics kind of shaped how I wanted to do things, and how I wrote comics when I was younger. They still do, to some degree.

I enjoy character development – I always liked how the characters aged in For Better or For Worse.  They experienced things as we do – the circle of life, death of charcters (Farley!), et cetera.

I have read here and there that some cartoonists won’t read other comics because maybe they don’t want the impact on their own stuff, but I don’t know – I think we were all inspired early on by someone’s work.

TOM: Which comic strip, other than your own would you like to crawl into and visit for the day?

AMANDA: I’d love to be in a Cul de Sac or Wallace the Brave comic strip – they have such beautiful backgrounds! My comics lack this feature, usually – haha!  They are so beautifully drawn and colored. I want big curly hair like Viola’s (Cul de Sac) – mine isn’t big enough.

TOM: How far ahead do you work?

AMANDA: I should be further along, but right now I have strips drawn through March, and possibly into April? I need to hustle more!

TOM: Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

AMANDA: If you mean in real life, I met Ron Campbell at an art gallery in Bismarck, North Dakota – he was an animator for the Yellow Submarine movie. I don’t have much opportunity to see famous folks where I live, so that was cool!

TOM: What song would be the theme of your life?

AMANDA: Oh boy, Tom. I’ve thought a lot about it, and I don’t know that I can come up with one. I think my themes sometimes change.

TOM: Biggest fear?

AMANDA: I think it’s a tie between spiders, and everything else.

TOM: Superpower if you had one?

AMANDA: It’s hard to pick just one, isn’t it? I’d like something akin to the Force, but I’d just be tempted to use it Dark Side-style once in a while, so I probably shouldn’t have it.

Thank you Amanda!

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Images courtesy GoComics

The Warriors are coming

You know those Chinese Terracotta army/warrior figures, the life-sized solders that were burried Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb in 210 BC? Well they are going to be on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City from April 3 through July 16, 2017 in an exhibit called “Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC – AD 220).

The warriors were buried with the emperor in hopes of being his army in the afterlife, they were discoved in 1974 by local farmers who were digging a well.

There will be three sections of ancient Chinese art, 160 pieces, including a 2000-piece jade suite, musical instruments, vessels and so much more. A full program of lectures will go along with the exhibit.

I’m hoping the crowds won’t be too crazy. I’ll be in NY in parts of June and July, so I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibit.

Hanging Momma

I finally got some of the comics up on the wall. I had purchased a bunch of original comic art awhile ago and it’s just been sitting on my dining room table. Since these Momma by Mel comics were already framed. I hung them.

I had to touch up the frames a bit though. I tried shoe polish and that didn’t work, so I ended up using a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen. Fitting, in that it’s similar to what Mel Lazarus used to create Momma.

I have a Blondie, Winnie Winkles, Mutt & Jeff and some others. I need to get them framed.

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