Origins of the ‘Comic Book Font’

Comic book culture is mass culture — even lacrosse moms and field hockey dads who’ve never been in a comic book store can recognize the “comic book font.”

But calling it a font is a misnomer — as the above video shows, this distinctive style of handwriting is an aesthetic shaped by culture, technology, and really cheap paper.

That style is just as interesting in a digital era. I spoke to the founders of Comicraft, a digital font firm that replicates the handwritten style for many major comics. It turns out that the switch from pen to pixels is an evolution — not a rejection — of a long history of lettering in comics.

If you want to learn more about comic lettering, you can explore the blog of legendary letteretime you see a comic, taker Todd Klein. Or, at the very least, next the time to mind those meticulously constructed Ps and Qs.

Via Phil Edwards of Vox.

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Art Fairs

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Art Fairs from Artsy on Vimeo.

In 2015, art fairs generated an estimated $12.7 billion in profits for exhibiting galleries. But why do collectors attend fairs in droves? And what’s behind their rapid international proliferation? The fourth installment of “The Art Market (in Four Parts)” tracks how the art fair has transformed from a trade show into a platform where all aspects of the art market—galleries, collectors, curators, and artists—converge, and why they keep coming back. Fair directors and art-world influencers like Noah Horowitz, Matthew Slotover, Elmgreen & Dragset, Michele Maccarone, Josh Baer, and Sarah Thornton provide their insights.

Art Fairs is the final installment of a four-part documentary series, preceded by Auctions, Galleries, and Patrons. Together, the four segments tell a comprehensive story about the art market’s history and cultural influence. Visit Artsy.net/art-market-series to watch all the films.

This series is directed by Oscar Boyson and produced in collaboration with UBS.

See also, previously, Auctions, Galleries, and Patrons.

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Patrons

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Patrons from Artsy on Vimeo.

What motivates patrons to fund artists’ wildest dreams? How has the concept of art patronage changed over time? And what’s behind the dramatic rise of private art museums? In the third installment of “The Art Market (in Four Parts),” we explore how and why patrons support artists and their careers, from the Medici family’s backing of Michelangelo’s work during the Renaissance to today’s most influential collectors, museum donors, and behind-the-scenes benefactors. Patrons and art-world influencers like Eli Broad, Maja Hoffmann, Josh Baer, and Sarah Thornton provide their insights.

Patrons is the third installment of a four-part documentary series, preceded by Auctions and Galleries and followed by Art Fairs, released weekly through mid-June. Together, the four segments tell a comprehensive story about the art market’s history and cultural influence. Visit Artsy.net/art-market-series to watch all the films.

This series is directed by Oscar Boyson and produced in collaboration with UBS.

See also, previously, The Art Market (in Four Parts): Auctions and The Art Market (in Four Parts): Galleries.

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Galleries

What does an art gallery do for an artist? What fuels the global expansion of galleries like Gagosian and White Cube? And how has the internet affected the way galleries do business? In the second installment of “The Art Market Series (in Four Parts),” we look at the complex ecosystem of commercial galleries to probe these questions—and get to the root of how galleries effectively steward artists’ careers, promote their work, and protect their markets. Gallerists, artists, and art-world influencers like Amalia Dayan, Daniella Luxembourg, Dominique Lévy, Michele Maccarone, Elmgreen & Dragset, Josh Baer, Stefan Simchowitz, and Sarah Thornton provide their insights.

Galleries is the second installment of a four-part documentary series, preceded by Auctions and followed by Patrons and Art Fairs. Together, the four segments tell a comprehensive story about the art market’s history and cultural influence, providing an approachable yet nuanced introduction to a extraordinary subject. Visit Artsy.net/art-market-series to watch all the films.

The series is produced in collaboration with UBS and directed by Oscar Boyson.

See also, previously, The Art Market (in Four Parts): Auctions.

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Auctions

The Art Market (in Four Parts): Auctions from Artsy on Vimeo.

How did the art auctions business become a multi-billion-dollar industry? The first film in a series about the art market explores this question, leading viewers through the complex history of auctions, with specific attention to the last 20 years. The film unpacks record-breaking sales, like last week’s epic Jean-Michel Basquiat painting Untitled (1982), hammering in at $51 million, and anomalies such as Ai Weiwei’s Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds) (2010), which pop up at auction in countless different quantities, making the connection between the auction price and market value of art. Interviews with auction-house specialists, financial analysts, and art-world influencers like Adam Lindemann, Xin Li, Sarah Thornton, Josh Baer, and Don Thompson add personal insight and shape the narrative.

Auctions launches a four-part documentary series, followed by Galleries, Patrons, and Art Fairs, released weekly through mid-June. Together, the four segments will tell a comprehensive story about the art market’s history and cultural influence, providing an approachable yet nuanced introduction to a extraordinary subject. Visit Artsy.net/art-market-series to watch all the films.

The series is produced in collaboration with UBS and directed by Oscar Boyson.

‘3 Questions with the Guy Who Hates Renoir’

I posted yesterday about a protest against the works of Renoir.  The protest was the inspiration of Max Geller, who has an Instagram account – renoir_sucks_at_painting – dedicated to his dislike of Renoir.

There’s more from Geller, in an interview with NPR, entitled, 3 Questions with the Guy Who Hates Renoir.

Geller doesn’t dislike art, and he admires many Impressionists.  It’s Renoir‘s work he dislikes:

Why do you hate Renoir?

“I hate Renoir because he is the most overrated artist east, west, north and south of the river Seine. I think in real life trees are beautiful and the human eyeball conveys emotional force. If you took his word for it, trees would be a collection of disgusting, green squiggly lines and eyeballs would be jet black as if they were colored by sharpies. In real life trees are beautiful; Renoir just sucks at painting.”

Do you also hate the other French Impressionists: Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Gustave Caillebotte?

“No, and I resent the question. It’s not a misunderstanding of the ethos of Impressionism. I get that it’s not representative, but if you look at it you get that it is a beautiful impression of the information that the artist is translating. [Renoir’s] is a very bleak, nightmarish one filled with cadavers, pallid skin and chauvinism.”

There’s a sad & laughable expectation in many places, include sometimes in Whitewater, that one is not to criticize art (or more properly Art or ART, as though a particular work or artist were a Platonic form).  This sort of view brings with it a dimwitted snobbishness, as though true admirers of art would know that some works and artists are not to be criticized.

It’s a kind of secular Gnosticism, this idea that a few hold special, hidden knowledge that the many – falsely presumed as ignorant – neither have nor would understand.  Every town has a few people like this, and we’re no exception.

Renoir, or anyone else, is an artist to be considered, pondered, criticized, and debated, for goodness’ sake; what an embarrassment for some to approach even the consideration of the subject as though an offense against all creation.  Just as the Gnostics were wrong to think knowledge of the divine was within the grasp of only a few, so those who think artistic insight is the possession of only a few are mistaken.

Geller may not win over many, but he’s entitled to his view, one that, by the way, seems spot on to me.

In any event, Geller’s is a more lively and ruddy approach than that of the dull, pale defenders of conventional opinion on the other side of this question.

 

 

 

The Anti-Renoir Movement

And it's downhill from here: La Grenouillère, 1868, National Museum, Stockholm. Via Wikipedia.
And it’s downhill from here: La Grenouillère, 1868, National Museum, Stockholm. Via Wikipedia.

So one reads in the Boston Globe (hat tip to Althouse for the link) that there’s an anti-Renoir movement:

The rally, which mostly bewildered passersby, was organized by Max Geller, creator of the Instagram account Renoir Sucks at Painting, who wants the MFA to take its Renoirs off the walls and replace them with something better. Holding homemade signs reading “God Hates Renoir” and “Treacle Harms Society,” the protesters ate cheese pizza purchased by Geller, and chanted: “Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin!” and “Other art is worth your while! Renoir paints a steaming pile!”

SeeRenoir haters picket outside Museum of Fine Arts @ Boston Globe.

I’m of a family with admiration for French culture and history, yet even so, never once growing up do I remember anyone mentioning Renoir favorably, or much at all….unmentioned, truly, I’d say.

For those who doubt that America has a fine future before her – and they are wrong in their doubts – let this small protest be evidence of young Americans’ good sense, developed aesthetic, and free spirit.

Our best days are ahead of us.

Sunday Animation: Twelve Principles of Animation (Squash & Stretch, Anticipation)

Alan Becker has a video series based on the twelve principles of animation of animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.   These principles, and Becker’s series about them, show how much thinking goes into even simple animated films.

Here are the first two principles, as Becker presents them –

Squash & Stretch

Anticipation

Sunday Animation: Glen Keane Draws in Virtual Reality

2015 Future of StoryTelling Summit Speaker: Glen Keane
Animator, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, Beauty and the Beast, and Duet
Keane’s VR painting is created in Tiltbrush: www.tiltbrush.com

Over nearly four decades at Disney, Glen Keane animated some the most compelling characters of our time: Ariel from The Little Mermaid, the titular beast in Beauty and the Beast, and Disney’s Tarzan, to name just a few. The son of cartoonist Bil Keane (The Family Circus), Glen learned early on the importance of holding onto your childhood creativity—and how art can powerfully convey emotion. Keane has spent his career embracing new tools, from digital environments to 3D animation to today’s virtual reality, which finally enables him to step into his drawings and wander freely through his imagination. At FoST, he’ll explore how to tap into your own creativity, connecting to emotion and character more directly than ever before.

Via YouTube.

Bees Help Sculpt a Tea Pot

"Thousand Years" by Tomas Libertiny from Studio Libertiny on Vimeo.

Artist Tomas Libertiny partners with over 60.000 bees to create this splendid teapot wax sculpture. Libertiny made a teapot-shaped hive that the bees then colonized, building a hexagon comb around it and the Bees make their almost mathematically precise honeycomb structure around it. Just an awesome way of natural engineering…

Via WhereCoolThingsHappen.

Hand-Drawn Logos

Hand Drawn Logos from Seb Lester on Vimeo.

Seb Lester works in Lewes, East Sussex, as a type designer, illustrator and artist.

He has created typefaces and type illustrations for some of the world’s biggest companies, publications and events, including the likes of Apple, Nike, Intel, The New York Times, The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and JD Salinger’s final reissue of The Catcher in the Rye. He is passionate about letterforms

See, Seb Lester Channel on Vimeo.