Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spotlight: Cara McGee

It's time to spotlight another outstanding student in the SEQA-ATL department! This is always hard but someone always tends to rise to the top. Cara McGee is an incredible example to other students as ever standard we hold students to Cara meets and excels. Though she can be serious and is continually working to improve her craft, Cara has never lost sight of the fun the work should be. She has a calming and fun energy people gravitate towards. One could say she's the matriarch in our undergraduates as her presence at Temple meetings always means a good crowd. Beyond seeing her work on this blog she keeps one called Fauxglass. And so I don't steal her thunder about upcoming work, check out the interview!

Q. Where are you from and what originally got you interested in sequential art?

A. I’m a military brat, so I’ve lived all over the world, but most of my life has been spent in Texas. Having lived in Germany when I was little though, anime was very accessible, and something that I watched a lot. It continued until I was in middle school, and discovered that shows like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z actually started out as comics (this was back in the day when those and a couple of other series were actually released as monthly floppies, and you couldn’t find manga at all in novel form yet). I started emulating the style and took a lot of art classes in high school to improve. However, by the time I started college, I didn’t really think I could have a career in art, so I majored in a few different things. After a trip to Japan where I saw all sorts of people buying and reading comics all the time, I decided there was a lot of potential there, and wanted to make sure I learned to make comics to the best of my ability.

Q. What books (comic or otherwise) do you regularly read and why?

A. The only manga series that I’ve been keeping up with lately are Bakuman and Hitman Reborn, as well as girl-oriented stories like High School Debut and Lovely Complex. I’ve branched out into a lot of Western comics since going to SCAD though, and love series like North 40, Sky Doll, Scott Pilgrim, and Courtney Crumnin. I tend to be swayed by a title’s art a lot more than the story, at least at first. Otherwise I read a LOT of novels, mostly Historical or Fantasy.

Q. Who are your major influences?

A. I think I developed a lot of my style from reading and imitating manga by Hisayo Nakajo (HanaKimi), Kazuya Minekura (Saiyuki), Shiro Miwa (Dogs) and Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal), along with countless others. I have been turning to a lot more western influences though, and love artists like Ryan Kelly or Becky Cloonan, who have taught me not to be afraid of the brush.

Click here to expand/collapse the rest of Cara McGee's Q&A.

Q. Do you have a specific process in your work and, if so, what is it?

A. Oh man, I’m still trying really hard to nail down a process. Right now, I print out whatever script I’m working on so I can doodle thumbnails or ideas in the margins as I read. Then I go through again, working out the layout of the pages in breakdowns. Panel structure and pacing is something I’ve really been focusing on lately, so I spend a lot of time at this part. Once I think I’ve got some good compositions down, I’ll blow the thumbnails up and print them out, then light box more detailed pencils. After scanning those in and tweaking those in Photoshop, they get printed again, and I’ll either light box inks, or else print them in blue line, if I can afford to. Also, lettering still scares me. A lot.

Q. What tools do you prefer to use in your work and why?

A. It’s probably a huge waste of lead, but I do all my sketches and thumbnails with blue lead from Japan, as I’m more comfortable with it, and feel I can correct mistakes much more easily. What I use to ink depends (of course) on the look I’m going for. If I want a page or illustration to look more manga-influenced, I only use a G-pen and .005 microns to ink with, so I can get really fine, delicate lines. If I’m going for a bolder, darker look, I usually use a Pentel Pocket Brush along with a variety of any other tools I might need. Lately I’ve become a big fan of using the Maxxon white ink to soften edges or lighten areas. When using colors, I traditionally use cake watercolors (from a set I’ve had since high school), though I’ve started to experiment a lot with gouache as well.

Q. Do you have any professional work that has been published? And are you working on anything currently?

A. I actually did work on a short story for a small publisher before coming to SCAD, but it’s so horrible and embarrassing, I wont even say what it is (or the pen name I used). I only bring it up because the terrible reviews that it got actually helped push me to apply to SCAD so I could learn to do this stuff right. It’s paid off ten fold, as I’ve gained much more than I even expected at SCAD, and have even begun working on a title for Oni Press, thanks to the encouragement of my professors (and pitching many, many times). It’s called Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice, written by Adrienne Ambrose and is really not anything I’d ever imagine I’d do, but I’m so glad I am. It’s such a fun story, and I’m going to do my best to make the art as kick ass as the writing.

Q. Are you working on any personal projects and, if so, what are they?

A. Haha, Confessions keeps me pretty busy since I’m still trying to figure out a good work method, but when I have the time, there’s a couple of mini comic ideas I’ve been trying to finish. Neither is more than 15 pages, but they’ve been taking me months since the technique and style is much more artistic and different than anything I’ve worked on in school. I also try to do a few cons every year, including anime and comic cons, and that means trying to put out a number of new illustrations and pin ups whenever I can work those in as well.

Q. How do you juggle your work load between college and your freelance life?

A. I actually try to make the two overlap whenever I can. If I learn a new technique for school, I figure out how I can apply it to what I’m doing for work, and sometimes I can develop a story I’ve been working on as writing exercises. It’s hard to be drawing assignments all the time and still try to make it feel like you’re having fun and enjoying it, so I like to try to stop and take breaks to sketch or paint things that are just for my pleasure.

Q. Who would you love to work with one day and why?

A. Haha, I have a total writer crush on Neil Gaiman and Brian Wood. I love almost everything these two have put out (Gaiman’s novels in particular) and would love to have a chance to work from one of their scripts.

Q. Where do you hope to see yourself professionally in five to ten years?

A. In Five Years? I hope to be teaching, preferably on a college level (SCAD’s still stuck with me a while longer while I attend Grad school!) and still working on comics. In ten years, who knows? I definitely want to still be involved with comics in some way, but I want to start learning the printing side of the business as well—maybe get started on editing or even start my own publishing company. My goal is to be able to teach and show everyone the techniques manga artists often employ that appeal to so many people, while balancing it with western ideas that make comics successful here. I’ve got my work cut out for me, in other words.

Now take some time to check out some of Cara's work!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Generate - VOICE Today Character Design Challenge!

Want to be a character designer? Want to see your characters made into dolls and appear in books? All for a great cause?
Then join the VOICE Today Character Design Challenge at this year's Generate!

VOICE Today is a non-profit group which works toward the prevention of child sexual abuse and recovery for victims. They will be producing children’s books, dolls, etc., so they need character designs for those products.
The winner will receive:
- The student(s) will participate in the manufacturing process, interfacing with the China factory and Krazy Houze. They will have sign off on the final project specs (control sample) before moving into production.
- Their name(s) will be on the label as the designers, as well their name(s) will appear in / on all products listing them as the character deign of Grant and Gracie.
- 12 of each doll will be made and given to the student(s).

The work to be accomplished for each of the two(2) main characters:
4 pose turn-around (front, side, ¾ front, ¾ back)
4 head turns (front, side, ¾ front, ¾ back)
Expression sheets – 8-10 expressions
5 poses
1 supporting character (of your choice)
- 4 pose turn-around (front, side, ¾ front, ¾ back)
All inked and colored! Work may be submitted as a pdf.

For more information about VOICE Today, go here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Disney buys Marvel Comics

Clayton Forrister
Bo Cai chimes in with TWO!

Travis Evans
Clay Nash
Jonathan Knight
Diana Bedell
Irene Strychalski
Michael Lavelle
Edgardo Gomez
Trevor Pledger
Brent Morris

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Off Campus Info Meetings!

Conducted by Blaine Hansen Director of Off-Campus Programs. All meetings will be held in the New York conference room on the second floor.

Short-term programs:

Wednesday, September 30, 4 p.m.

Thursday, October 1, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Friday, October 2, 10 a.m.


Wednesday, September 30, 3 p.m.

Thursday, October 1, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Friday, October 2, 11a.m.

Monday, September 21, 2009

SEQA-ATL and Career Services Calendar

The Fall quarter calendar for SEQA-ATL and Career Services has been posted to Upcoming Events! Check out what's in store for the department and school for the next few months.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Top Shelf Sale!

Removal Instructions:
If you'd like be removed from the Top Shelf email list,
simply click here:

Hey Comics Fans,

Top Shelf's MASSIVE $3 SALE kicks off today to celebrate the
debut of THE SURROGATES on iTunes, as well as the theatrical
release of the SURROGATES on September 25th.

Just in time for the theatrical release of SURROGATES
starring Bruce Willis, fans can now read the original graphic
novel that inspired the upcoming blockbuster on their iPhone
and iPod touch. THE SURROGATES App for the iPhone -- developed
for the iPhone by iVerse Media ( --
features two full issues of the original comic book
mini-series formatted for the iPhone screen for only $0.99.
The remaining three issues of the series can be downloaded
inside the Application as an "In App Purchase" for only
$0.99 per issue. Or, if you prefer, you can simply download
"THE SURROGATES #1" for FREE in the iTunes App Store.

So, to celebrate all this, for the next twelve days -- thru
Friday September 25th (the opening day of the film!) --
Top Shelf is having a giant $3 graphic novel web sale.
When you visit the site, you'll find over 100 graphic novels
and comics on sale -- with 55+ titles marked down to
just $3 (!) and 45 other titles slashed! All we ask is that
you hit a $30 minimum on sale and/or non-sale items
(before shipping). It's a great opportunity to load up on all
those graphic novels you've wanted to try, but just never
got around to picking up. Get 'em while supplies last, and
be sure to visit iTunes as well to download The Surrogates!

To go directly to the list of items on sale at the Top Shelf
website, just click here:

But here are a few sample sale items:

-- $3 Books: The Barefoot Serpent, The Country Nurse, Sulk,
After the Snooter, That Salty Air, and more!
-- $3 Books: Please Release, Tales of Woodsman Pete,
Less Than Heroes, Fox Bunny Funny, The King, and more!
-- $3 Books: Regards from Serbia, Comic Book Artist,
Hutch Owen, Delayed Replays, Micrographica, and more!

-- Slashed Prices: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,
Lost Girls, From Hell, Blankets, Carnet De Voyage, and more!
-- Slashed Prices: The Surrogates, Essex County,
Swallow Me Whole, Clumsy, Veeps, and more!
-- Slashed Prices: Far Arden, Super Spy, Owly, Korgi,
Johnny Boo, and more!

-- Freebies with every order: The 2009 Top Shelf Sampler
and the 2009 Owly & Friends!

**We now accept PayPal (as well as Visa, MasterCard, Amex,
and Discover). All secure.**

Please note that this sale is GOOD for retailers as well,
and shops will get their wholesale discount on top of these
sale prices. Certain minimums apply, so retailers please
email us for details.

Two Morrows Sale!


TwoMorrows Publishing, publisher of award-winning books and magazines about LEGO® and comics history and appreciation, is offering their complete magazine line at 50% off, as part of a "Half-Price Magazine" sale, now through September 30, 2009.

"An awful lot of people have enjoyed our magazines over the last 15 years," said publisher John Morrow, "and this is a chance for them to fill the holes in their collections without leaving holes in their wallets. By my rough count, there's well over 200 different issues on sale. For about the price of the Digital Edition of one of our mags, they can get the print version—and in many cases, they'll get a Digital Edition thrown in for free."

The "Half-Price Magazine" sale includes issues of these titles:

Back Issue!
Jack Kirby Collector
Alter Ego
Rough Stuff!
Write Now!
Comic Book Artist

plus other miscellaneous humor and one-shot magazines, each at 50% off cover price. The only magazine-related items excluded from this sale are subscriptions and the most recent and upcoming issues of each magazine. As a bonus, a selection of books are also offered at 50% off during the sale period.

This sale is only valid for orders placed at through the end of September, and does not include shipping costs. A special "Half-Price Mags" category is listed atop the TwoMorrows' home page, which includes the issues on sale.

NOTE TO CUSTOMERS OUTSIDE THE US: We had a temporary glitch at our online store, where the US Postal Service rates displayed for non-US shipments ONLY included the most expensive "Priority Mail International" shipping option. That problem has been fixed, so that now you'll also have the much less expensive "First Class Mail International" option available. If you tried ordering before and were dismayed by the postage costs, please try again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SEQA 224 has been canceled

SEQA 224 for FALL 09 has been canceled due to low enrollment. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks to those that tried to register to keep the class running this quarter despite it's late arrival on the schedule.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New courses on Fall 09 schedule!

Character Design and Storyboarding are now in separate time slots!!!!!! Get Registered!

SEQA 224 Character Design for Storyboard and Animation will be offered this Fall!! Check the schedule!

For Juniors, Seniors and grads check out:
CRN 13268 SFIN 350D Public Art Charrette taught by ATL's Prof. Susan Krause in Sculpture.

"Introducing students to the exciting and competitive field of public art, this unique cross-discipline course teaches participants how to imagine and design works that impact the public, based on content, environment and audience engagement. Students will examine the pertinent issues of this topic through historic and contemporary examples of public works and how they have affected (and will affect in the future) both social and political discourse. Travel between Atlanta and Savannah campuses, a symposium and design charrette are part of this singular format."