In December I held a competition exclusively for registered readers of The Rainbow Orchid, and with the deadline being midnight 12 January 2007 GMT, this morning I printed out all the entries, stuffed them into a tin, shook it about and my wife Elyssa picked out the winner... Paul Durdin of Australia! Paul wins some original artwork, a sketch, and a quality colour photo-print of the artwork. Second prize of a print only goes to Brendan Thompson (also in Australia... honestly, there were more countries involved!). Many congratulations to Paul and Brendan, and a huge thanks to everyone who entered.
I drew this portrait of the author David Lindsay for my brother's Violet Apple website, which will return to the internet sometime in the next couple of months. David Lindsay is most famously the author of A Voyage to Arcturus, and lived from 1876-1945.
Now to be more positive, which is always nicer. I've avoided listing specific comics and creators, and stuck to what I really like about the medium.
I think it's wonderful that you can have drawings with these little balloons with words in that point to the person who's speaking and tell you what they're saying. Text and graphics together, and still enough room for the reader to have their own voice in the mix
The way a fantastic story coupled with an artistic style can completely draw you in to another world.
A panel that makes you feel as though you are there, a story with a strong sense of environment
The fact that manga has spread into Europe and America, and has enthused a new generation of readers and creators, especially kids, and both boys and girls equally. It can only be good for all comics now and in the years to come
The huge diversity of talents, styles, genres, stories, ideas... and they're all comics
The look of a comic page in its entirety with repeated characters, shapes and colours. Clear line has an especially strong graphical effect that is lovely
You can do anything with a pen and paper, and the comics format is particularly versatile
Pretty much all the people I know and friends I have made who make comics are top people, from professionals to self-publishers - it's a great scene to be involved in
The fact that comics are, actually, quite a high concept!
January always seems to kick off with something nice for Rainbow Orchid. After being linked to by Warren Ellis yesterday, I've also just read the latest Fool Britannia column to see Rainbow Orchid has been honoured as joint winner Fool Britannia Webcomic of the Year 2006 (with Gun Street Girl).
"The plot is like a Faberge Egg, beautiful to behold even at the most superficial glance, but so exquisitely intricate that the closer you look the more you see."
- Regie Rigby, Fool Britannia.
Here are a few items that irk me slightly in the wonderful world of comics. Don't take this too seriously - this isn't a major rant, and these things only usually nibble at me due to over-use. Coming next will be Things I Do Like in Comics.
Gun poses (usually "pin-ups") - women with guns, men with guns. Guns in general irk me with their proliferation, especially when used as a solution to all plot problems (in films too)
Gritted teeth, or always-shouting-characters - especially when also holding a gun
Female characters that are always dressed like, well, prostitutes, when they're not prostitutes. You know, like pop stars. What happened to a bit of dignity and class?
Artists who computer-draw over photographs, and claim they don't. Particularly the use of 'adult photographs' as 'reference'
The words 'arc' as in 'story arc', and 'season' to refer to a run of comics - I know this is completely irrational
'Cool ingredients' just for coolness - these include monkeys, dinosaurs, zombies, robots, nazis, kung fu, girls, ninjas etc... They are usually combined, eg. 'kung-fu zombies', or 'nazi monkey robots', and the word 'giant' may also be inserted. Comics with these often don't include a storyline, thinking the concept is strong enough on its own
Word balloon tails that cross over because the characters are on the wrong side of the panel for correct order of speech. Bad storytelling and it jars