Main About Members Photos Jams Projects Logs Forum

Archive for July, 2008

Hey gang!

I’ve been trying to tie up loose ends and get my ‘big’ comic into production. Found out there is a new cartoon series coming to the Cartoon Network in the Fall that has a lot of elements of my story, so I want to at least stake my claim before everyone tells me I ripped off the show ;).

Did this digital painting of Mr. Carlin-

Farewell Mr. Carlin

Farewell Mr. Carlin

I relied heavily on reference photos. See the blog entry at

Todd, I’m also diving into ComicsPress, so I may pester you with a question or two.

Thanks for creating the log!


As Todd and Tim know, I have signed up to teach a comics class for the local community ed organization. I know that I am an unlikely candidate considering my novice status (I do hold a BA in graphic design though). I am hoping that teaching others will help to organize my own thoughts, and inspire me to do more quality and quantity of work. I have a massive outline of topics that is pretty all-inclusive. I will be using McCloud’s books among many others as spring boards for the various topics under discussion. I have a list of planned worksheets that I will be working on in the near future. I also spent a while today working on a mini comic featuring a character I have had in the back of my head for several years. I intend to put my money where my mouth is and get some comics work done before this class starts, so I will be able to talk about recent work. Anyway, When I get going on work sheets or other items that I can show for critique, I will post them here. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

I’m going to knuckle down and get to work on a project that - like so many others - I’ve been putting off for a long time. It’s a web site featuring the work of a guy named “Gustave Verbeek”, whom I suspect of being a relative of mine. In addition to the almost-matching surname, his father was a missionary for the Reformed Church, which my family has been associated with for generations, so we probably had some common ancestors back in the Netherlands.

Great-Uncle Gustave (as I think of him) is best known as the creator of “The Upside Downs”, a 6-panel newspaper strip that was read through normally, then turned upside down and the same panels re-read in the opposite direction to finish the story. It’s a huge formalist challenge, and he pulled it off for 64 installments. He went on to produce another series called “The Terrors of the Tiny Tads”, which was loaded with imaginative wordplay/visualizations.

Gustave’s cartoons were published in the early 1900s, so it’s all in the Public Domain. That means - family or not - I have the right to reproduce it all, and I’ve collected a fair amount of it (especially the Upside Downs strips). It’s the early 2000s now, so I’m going to put it on the web.

Of course the Upside Downs material requires some special handling in this medium. I can hardly expect readers to turn their computer monitors upside down to finish each strip, so I’ll have to do something with Flash or JavaScript to flip the pages over. And there’s the perennial question of how to fit the strips - which were originally published fairly large - on the screen. We’ll see.

I have accomplished one thing, however. I’ve rough-drafted a logo which captures some of the forward-and-backward nature of Great-Uncle Gustave’s famous work:

Welcome to the new, experimental log section of the Michigan Comics Network!  Consider it a “beta” for now.

The purpose of this part of the site is to give members a place to keep an online log of what they’re working on.  Let me know if you are a Michigander Comicker and would like to be set up to post info, images, etc. here.