laurbits

I'm a comic artist w/ a love for excellent stories in the form of movies, TV shows, musicals, manga, and animation.

This is my virtual scrapbook and reblog tumblr. Bits and pieces of the internet and the occasional ramble about stuff I love.

[Polterguys Comic blog] [Art blog] [Fandom blog]

Other places to find me:
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FAVORITE TAGS:
Advice / Resources / Animation / Writing / Life

Recent Tweets @laurbits

nateswinehart:

Being good to each other is so important, guys.

(via pixelreblags)

When you first got into comics, did you feel like you were better at, or more interested in, the drawing or the writing? I want to make my own comics, but I feel like my art straggles behind my writing. How can I cause these two aspects of comic-making to come together within myself, and make the works I want to make?
laurbits laurbits Said:

scarygoround:

faitherinhicks:

Oh hey, this is something I think a lot about, actually! So when I started making comics (15 years ago this month, haha), I was really terrible at drawing. And I wanted to do, y’know, GRAPHIC NOVELS, with fairly realistically drawn characters and backgrounds and things that are hard to draw. Things that I didn’t really have the skills to draw at the time. So I’d draw my comics and the art was generally pretty terrible. But I was comfortable with writing, and that helped me keep going with making comics, because I enjoyed the storytelling aspect of them so much. 

It’s hard when you feel pretty okay about your writing but your art doesn’t measure up. I kind of feel like my art still doesn’t measure up to what I want it to be (mostly right now I want it to be Hiromu Arakawa, which will never happen, no matter how much I practice), but I’m very comfortable with the writing part of comics, so I look at that as my great strength in my work. It makes up for where my art is lacking, and I work hard at writing to make the sum total of my work better than if I was just writing or just drawing.

I mean, the absolute best thing about comics (to me) is that you don’t need to be a spectacular artist to make really great, involving comics. I’m not an amazing technical artist. During my down times, I don’t draw gorgeous illustrations or do amazing paintings (I kind of dislike doing that kind of thing, to be honest). I will never be Gillian Tamaki. But I’m good at storytelling, and I’m good at interpreting emotion and drawing that on the comic page. So I work to my strengths, which is making stories about engaging characters, and laying out scenes where there is a lot of emotion running through them, and people who like my comics don’t seem to mind that my art is not as great as Gillian Tamaki or Hiromu Arakawa.

Comics aren’t just art or just writing, they’re the two combined to make something new and wonderful. They are more than the sum of their parts. So work hard to because a decent artist with a good grasp of storytelling basics (this is super important!), and work harder to become a truly excellent writer and storyteller, and you can quite possibly make great comics! It worked for me. :)

This describes my experience almost exactly.

9to5justtostayalive:

drtanner:

todiwan:

A Russian tank manufacturer has unveiled a new tram design that it plans to start mass-producing in 2015. These beautiful pieces of engineering will hold 190 to 270 passengers and will be able to traverse on even the older, worn out Russian tram tracks.

Read more about the so-called “Batmobile” trams…

I have never wanted to fuck a tram before, but here we are.

shinji you must pilot the tram

(via koulin)

merichuel:

So… I decided to make a mini iron throne for my mobile phone. A couple of hours, loooots of swords and hot glue.

(via briannacherrygarcia)

shingworks:

magnoliapearl:

Dear Aaron Diaz,

Over the past few days we’ve already exchanged some words about this. I reblogged Mary’s comic lampooning your comic (and others like it), expressing my approval of its message. I also subtweeted your work fairly obviously. We are friendly acquaintances and my behavior was inappropriate and rude. I apologized to you via email for being passive-aggressive and thoughtless, and you graciously accepted my apology. I admit: what I did was hurtful, and the wrong way to go about it. With that in mind, I want to try to address the problems I have with your work in a direct, honest, and hopefully respectful way. No passive-aggression, no rudeness, no vague-tweeting. 

Aaron, I have a real problem with the way you write and draw female characters. It is sexually objectifying and sexist.

I do not have a problem with artists writing and drawing objectified female characters. I do have a problem with characters I consider sexist, but ultimately it’s something I can ignore. There’s a place for everything, and an artist has the right to create whatever they want to create, for whatever ends they choose. What I have a problem with is that your comic is not presented as a science fiction comic with a dash of sexy thrills, but rather as a feminist narrative in support of powerful independent women. You’ve made it clear on many occasions that you don’t consider your work to be objectifying or sexist. I have a problem with cheesecake-style art being presented as something feminist, empowering, enlightened- something made “for women”, when it’s clearly made for men.

You’re allowed to make art with male gaze. But please call a spade a spade.

I think you are a nice person who does good things. I think you’re a good artist and a good writer. But I consider writing and drawing women to be one of your weaknesses, and it’s hard to imagine that you don’t know that. If you do, I haven’t heard you say so.

I know Mary’s comic stung. I’m not going to deny there was meanness there, although I saw it more as humorously exaggerated satire than a personal attack.  I understand that it sucks to see your work roasted in such a way. But the criticism it made of your work resonated with a lot of people. They can’t all be idiots, crazy people, or “SJWs”, or people with a personal grudge against you. To paraphrase a saying, “If lots of people are telling you it’s raining, get an umbrella.” Aaron, many people have this problem with your work. The problem exists. And since you seem to be very much invested in feminism and positive, non-sexualized portrayals of women in media, you need to take a long hard look at your own output. You need to get an umbrella.

I don’t think I’ve seen a single page of Dresden Codak that doesn’t feature a woman posed in a male-gazey way, with loving focus on her ass or cleavage, or wearing a sexual costume, or in some situation that puts her in a compromising position (like the most recent page in which Kimiko’s clothing is burned off of her body, which has happened at least twice in the series’ run.) I have a very hard time believing that these details are accidental. Not to mention the pinups you posted a few days ago. Instead of saying something like, “Here’s some sexy drawings of Kimiko I did” you said they were about “agency” and “celebration of the female form”. It’s hard not to see language like that as dishonest and sort of insulting.

The following images are a few examples of what I’m referring to. I tried to only find examples from the current arc in the comic, or from merchandise you currently sell. I understand that there is a larger context to these images, but the fact that you continually write situations in which these presentations of women would be contextually appropriate is part of the problem. For the sake of fairness, there is ONE female character in Dresden Codak who is not presented sexually, but to me, that doesn’t do much to make up for the rest of it, especially since she is the only female character with a speaking role in the history of the comic who is not presented this way.

imageimage

Aaron, you can do whatever you want with your own comic. However, if you really do care about female characters in media, or care to know why so many people seem to be angry with you about it, I would do one of two things. If you don’t want your comic to present its female characters in a borderline-erotic light, then stop doing that. If you don’t mind that, then by all means continue, but please just admit that you like drawing t&a and that it’s not particularly empowering, or feminist, or a celebration of personal agency. As a woman, I resent being told that men’s eye candy is actually meant to uplift me and that I should celebrate it.

I’m not trying to attack you or slander you. I’m certainly not doing this to stir up drama. I think you are a good person. And I think that you make a good comic. It’s obvious that a lot of people really love it and support it, and will continue to love and support it no matter what. There’s a lot you are doing right. But your work is not perfect, and I want to talk about it directly, honestly, and respectfully.

Thank you for listening.

-Magnolia Porter

This is an important subject to me, despite not being directly involved, so I feel that I should add to this.

When you have an audience, the things that you say and do matter. Diaz’s work has unsettled me for years. I have learned to avoid it because his unspoken message seems to be that, no matter how strong or smart a woman is, and no matter how far in the future you go, showing her tits and panties in every page should be a high priority. It makes me angry. I have heard the same reaction to his work from a lot of people. And in all my years of drawing The Meek, I have almost never had that reaction from a reader about the nudity of my own characters. It is possible to show non-sexualized nudity, and it is ALSO okay to show sexualized nudity. But, speaking as one human to another, it is harmful to pretend that consistently sexualizing a woman’s body in non-sexual situations is empowering her simply because you demand that it should be that way.

I believe strongly that everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has the ability to learn from them. I also think people are deserving of complete forgiveness if they make an effort to understand and change their harmful views. Diaz is an unquestionably talented artist and, from the times we’ve spoken, is a super nice guy, so I’m really hoping to see a positive resolution to all of this.

olgaulanova:

maxkirin:

+ DAILY WRITER POSITIVITY +

#115

If you ever doubt your story because you think people won’t like it, just remember that George Lucas thought Star Wars was too ‘wacky’ for the general public.

Want more writerly content? Follow maxkirin.tumblr.com!

or, “No one would watch an action adventure show with a female protagonist. Pfft.”

way-harsh-tai:

Everything Beyonce does is careful and thought out. Her entire image is perfection crafted from planning ahead. She does not ‘wing it’ or throw things into her performances and public appearances ‘just because’.

What she did at this award show was amazing, especially because of how intentional and thought out it clearly was.

Feminism is a scary word for a lot of people. Many women are afraid of calling themselves feminist because they think it implies anger, hatred of men, or a rejection of traditional femininity. 

Beyonce presented everyone watching with two distinct images of what many viewers viewed as two very different women. There is the strong, independent FEMINIST. She is the woman who likes being in control and being in the spotlight. Then there is the WIFE and MOTHER. She is soft, sweet, smiling at the husband and child you can tell she loves and values so much.

For every girl watching who was afraid to be a feminist, afraid to be powerful, because of what she thought she would lose, this is an incredible message. You can be all the things you want to be. You can be both. Feminists can have amazing happy, full lives full of both traditional and modern womanhood. 

Feminism means gender should not be a source of persecution or a restriction of your choices. Feminism mean the type of person you should be is based on what you value, not what outside forces pressure you to value because of your gender or biological sex. Shout at the top of your lungs that you are a feminist and proud. Then go and be the exact person that you want to be. 

(via curiouscake)

airyairyquitecontrary:

thenotsosilentmonk:

deducecanoe:

reservoircat:

Mutant 101 - Professor Xavier Should Put In A Call To Her Parents - 5 Year Old Mia Stares Down marvelentertainment's Cast Of Guardians Of The Galaxy As She Crushes Them In A Game Of GotG Trivia On jimmykimmellive [X

Vin Diesel in the background looking at her like “SHE’S PERFECT.  WANT ONE.”

I thought girls didn’t like Super Heroes.

You thought what? 

Also, bless five-year-old girls who can confidently pronounce the words ‘cybernetic enhancements’ because they’re so interested in superhero adventures that they saw no obstacle to learning anything at all to understand them better.

And can do it wearing a pink flower headband, if they feel like it.

GIRLS LIKE SUPERHEROES. GIRLS LIKE COMICS. GIRLS HAVE LIKED THESE THINGS FOR AS LONG AS THEY HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE TO LIKE. 

image

(behold, three girls and one boy avidly reading new comic books in New York City, 1947, photographed by Ruth Orkin)

What girls don’t like is when they’re patronised, and herded towards titles designed according to what grown men think girls are supposed to like, and ignored with regard to titles that those men assume are just for boys and men. What girls don’t like is not being allowed to choose for themselves what they like. 

This is not a new concept. This is noted in Chaucer. What every woman most desires is to choose her own way.

(via meowmixeightysix)

benrankel:

blueskyspeculation:

oftpffft:

slowlyeden:

Norman Rockwell reference photos alongside finished works

This is how using reference works

Working smarter, not harder.

Always reblog

Reference, yo. #drawing

(via felaxx)

sparklermonthly:

tokyodemons:

eprime:

I’m running a little giveaway on my Tumblr!

Sparkler Monthly is doing its Year 2 Membership Drive. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should. Trust me, they’re filling a niche and a need that nobody else is in the English-language market, and it’s female gaze oriented/fem-positive! They’ve delivered awesome diversity in stories, characters, and content. And they are the cat’s meow when it comes to supporting and promoting indie creators.

I want to see what else they have in store for us (like a gaming department!), and that means supporting them by subscribing to one of their membership plans (Monthly, Yearly, VIP), and by generating word of mouth buzz about Sparkler Monthly.

So my giveway is this:

Everyone who reblogs this post before 8/30/14 will be entered in a drawing to win one of the following items.

- A Year+ Membership ($50 value) to Sparkler Monthly. This 12 month membership will include a free ebook from the Sparkler shop!

- One month trial membership (Five of these will be given away.)


Winners will be chosen through random.org on September 1st, 2014 and notified that day.


You can use the membership or trial month yourself or gift it to another to share the Sparkler Monthly love!


I can’t say enough good things about the Sparkler team. They’ve been supportive and fun to work with the whole way, and I want to see them stay around for a long time. Thanks for helping spread the word!

P.S. Check out the free Year 1 sampler.

Ellery Prime, author of Gauntlet (ebook comes out in a few days), is running a giveaway to help with our Membership Drive.

So we don’t just have the best fans—we have the best employees as well. *sobs quietly*

Yay!! Go EPrime! (don’t forget to check out the Gauntlet ebook, available August 25th!!) 

(via thelastdogfighter)