Links for Specific Topics

Hey guys! I’ve got some links that we passed around last year that you might find of use. Some of them were more general, but there were a few that specifically related to discussions within the class. Those links I’ve posted below, noting which class they related to. I’ll post the rest of the general links soon, but thought these might be handy to have separately.

Week 1—Introduction to Course: The Language of Comics

Since we looked a little bit at what could be considered the precursors to comics, this article posits that the very first comic might have come from right here in Scotland. 

Speaking of Scotland and comic books, last year BBC2 Scotland produced Scotland’s Amazing Comic Book Heroes. Info on the show and some clips are here: I know the BBC is going to expand the iPlayer archives soon, so it would be worth keeping an eye out for it. The production value is a bit on the cheesy side, but there are some good interviews in it regardless.

Week 2—Workshop

Not being a trained artist or illustrator, I found this really useful. It talks about facial expressions, which is something I know myself and a number of other people found a bit daunting:

Another useful tutorial, albeit one that’s been kicking around for far longer is, 22 Panels That Always Work (direct link to image:

Week 5—Superheroes and funny animals: character design

We got talking about the cultural cache superheroes have and what place they have within our society.

Reality takes a bit of a Kick-Ass turn when someone decides that they’re going to become a vigilante on the streets of Seattle: Seattle Superhero ‘Phoenix Jones’ Patrols Streets, Fights Crime.

While others use the archetype to find strength within themselves. One child’s Make-a-Wish was to spend a day as a super hero: Local boy with cancer turns into a superhero for a day.

Week 7—Seduction of the Innocent: Wertham, EC, and the ‘value’ of comics

The Comics Code, which is discussed in this class, was finally put to rest last year. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund then went out and bought the rights to the logo, in a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek move to raise money: The CBLDF Gets The Rights To The Comics Code Seal. Heads Explode.

Week 8—Adaptation and appropriation: comic books and other cultural forms

These two links came up during a discussion after an exhibition about comics in the Market Gallery, but they certainly have relevance to the topic:
Brian Bolland Takes On Erró… And Wins!
Swipe File: Gardar Eide Einarsson and Mike McMahon

Week 10—Comics and autobiography

I’ll be posting a blog with links to webcomics in the next few days and there’s a sub-category of autobiographical and diary comics within that list that would be handy to refer to.

Week 11—Forms of distribution

The internet can open up lots of new distribution channels, as well as many new ways of creating comics.

One person who harnessed Twitter to crowd-source a comic: Stewart K. Moore sends word of a new experiment, via Twitter, to create 100 parallel interpretations of the same story. Which is a bit like the online version of Exercises in Style.

Solipsistic Pop, an anthology of indie UK artists, funded their last comic via IndieGoGo.

We Are Words and Pictures, another indie UK-based venture, distributes their anthology, Paper Science, via Newspaper Club.


Additional Starting Links

Hello comics pals! Here are a few links to add to the collection of links Glyn passed out. (All links open in a new window)

Glyn mentioned as a good general comics website. Other good blogs I’d point you in the direction of would be and was good, but they’re currently on hiatus, and is another page that’s been closed to new content, but has some good things in the archives which may be of interest/use. is a personal favourite. This is the website of comic book writer Warren Ellis, not to be confused with the member of Nick Cave’s band. He always has really interesting links, both comic-related and not. If you’re just interested in his comics chat, that’s here:

One topic he has discussed at length, which has particular relevance to this class, is the future of comics consumption and distribution. A couple good posts to start with: The Broadcast Of Comics, A Collection Of Rambling On The Subject Of Digital Comics, DC And Digital Comics Strategies, and A Few Notes On Marvel Comics’ Digital Strategy.

With Avatar Press, Warren worked on a web series called Freakangels. Avatar really wanted to engage the readers of the series, so they set up a message board, WhiteChappel, that would be curated and moderated by those involved in the writing, art and design of the comic. Topics weren’t restricted to the comic, and often the talk was about comics in general, as well as art, culture, politics, etc. A regular feature was something called “Remake/Remodel”, where Ellis took an established character, boiled their essence down to a line or two, and then asked people to re-imagine them solely on the description he gave. Three of my favourites were: Fantastic 4, Dr. Who and Black Orchid. When Freakangels ended, Avatar started a new web series, written by Si Spurrier, and the reigns of WhiteChappel were handed to him.

I’m sure there are many more sites we’re both missing, so if there are any you can think of or want me to add, drop a link in the comments and I’ll add them in! I’ve got some more links coming your way soon that I hope you’ll like and find useful.