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Katherine K. Wirick

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NEWS FLASH: Urban Outfitters has done something horrible and offensive.

UO does horrible, offensive things all the time; take a look if you don’t believe me. This time, though, it’s personal.

That kid up there, Bill Schroeder, was killed at Kent State. He was a friend of my father’s. They were in ROTC together. If it hadn’t been for a single meaningless choice, a roll of the dice, it could’ve been my dad instead of him.

I will give a free digital comic to ANYONE who publicly pledges to boycott UO and its subsidiary brands, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, and Terrain.

They’re not selling the shirt anymore, and they’ve apologized (unconvincingly). The next group of people they dehumanize might not happen to include me. But it’s a sure bet they’re going to keep on being a moral cesspool. The best thing you and I can do, as far as I can figure it, is not shop there, and tell other people not to shop there. 

Here’s some info about the comic you’ll get. You can pledge here by reblogging, you can tweet @kwirick, or you can pledge on Facebook. I’ll send you the discount code.

Urban Outfitters made Bill Schroeder a joke. I want to introduce you to him as a person.

LITTLE THINGS

The 2006 interview can be heard here.

Additional research from Jane Leavy’s Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy (HarperCollins, 2002).

ALL OF MY WORK is now available in PDF format. Nervenkrank #1 and Pictures of Pitchers are $2, The Mayans Were Right is $1, and No One Is Safe is $5. Go.

No One Is Safe is on view until January 5, 2014 in the new Works on Paper Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

(Source: Flickr / pafacademy)

NERVENKRANK #1

Before he was the monteurdada of Berlin; before his photomontages were known all over Europe; before his name was on a Gestapo death list; before he was John Heartfield: he was a soldier in the Kaiser’s army, and he was in a mental institution.

24 PAGES. FIVE DOLLARS. CLICK HERE.

Sometimes I get compliments on my cityscapes. I find this pretty funny since I only attained a good working knowledge of 2-point perspective about eighteen months ago. (3-point, forget about it.) People have asked me: “How do you get character into your buildings?”

It’s really, really simple!

Draw with a ruler. Don’t ink with one.

When you ink your characters, do you use a ruler? No? Don’t use one on your backgrounds! If you use different tools when you draw different parts of the page, they will look like they come from different worlds. (Of course, if that’s what you want, go ahead on.)

"But I can’t draw a straight line in ink!" It’s fine. Neither can I. The edges of buildings aren’t really that straight anyway. Do it a lot and you’ll get better, but I bet you’re not as bad as you think you are.

Basically, my philosophy of comics making boils down to one set of tools. If you draw by hand, you should ink by hand, you should letter by hand, you should color by hand if it’s at all possible.* If you draw digital, ink digital, letter digital, color digital. Neither way is better. But I don’t like it when they mix.

* Obviously you’re going to use the computer for post-production, there’s just no getting around that. What I do in Photoshop is an adjustment layer for levels, an adjustment layer for black & white, and a layer for erasing stray ink and coffee stains. I hate doing corrections in post, so I just try not to screw up.

Q: KATHERINE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

A: Lots of things! Things such as these:

  • On September 27, I will be on a panel at the Columbus College of Art and Design’s Mix Comics Symposium. The topic is History, Memory and Narrative in Comics. I will have fifteen minutes in which to talk and show slides and do my best to bum everybody out real bad. You won’t want to miss that. Here’s the schedule.
  • On October 12 and 13 I will be way the heck on the other side of the country at the Alternative Press Expo. I believe I will be sharing a table with Nick Bertozzi, so table 638 will be your one-stop shop for comics about early modernism.

Furthermore: I will be debuting books at BOTH these events! More on that soon.

Q: NO, I MEAN BESIDES COMICS WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE.

A: I don’t understand the question.

In honor of John Heartfield’s 122nd birthday, here’s a page from Nervenkrank that I really like.

The world did end in 2012, it’s just that a lot of folks didn’t notice.

Guess what, tumblr: I have a new book! THE MAYANS WERE RIGHT is 16 b/w pages with a full color cover. It includes my Stumptown con journal and 7 pages of drawings including some never before seen on the internet. There’s a picture of Captain America in there—the first superhero I have ever drawn in my whole life, so you know you want to get your hands on that.

I’ll have it at SPACE this weekend, Ratha Con next month and a couple other cons in the autumn, but you can also buy it online right here for the low, low price of $2.00.

I am in a show!

Well, technically that page up there plus two others from Nervenkrank are in the show, but if there is such a thing as the human soul, I’m pretty sure I’ve transferred the majority of mine into comic book pages. This is called cathexis. I learned that from tumblr.

It’s called Panels in Pink: A Celebration of Female Comics Creators. Here’s the Facebook page, and here’s a blog post about it.

Wieland Herzfelde gets his first look at the Western Front.

On not being able to paint.

The finished page!

Dad’s funeral is next weekend, and I’m really too tired from planning that to write up any kind of analysis, but here are links to all the progress posts: workspace, roughs, panel borders, detailed discussion of roughs, pencils closeup, pencils, line art, ink wash video.

This is a post I am really unhappy to make, but I probably shouldn’t put it off any longer.

People who bought the preview of NERVENKRANK I released in May will remember that in the back I wrote, “To be continued September 2012.” I was planning to have a new, longer book printed for SPX, and I was right on schedule after the spring cons.

Then my father’s cancer came back. By June we knew he was dying. Plans changed.

I probably don’t need to say this, since I post about it all the time, but NERVENKRANK is not on any kind of hiatus and I haven’t abandoned the project. I love this book like a baby and it is basically my entire life. But I won’t be debuting anything at SPX; the new pages I wanted to have done aren’t done.

This is going to be my first SPX as an exhibitor, but it’s already a really special con to me. I’ve been to every SPX since 2008, driving down from Philadelphia or out from Ohio. It’s something I look forward to months in advance. But all the anticipatory excitement here on tumblr this year is a little bittersweet, because of the plans I made and couldn’t fulfill; because I wanted things to be different; because I never thought I’d spend my summer the way I did. We always thought my dad was going to live to be a hundred.

(It hasn’t all been awful. I got married. And for six weeks I was a proud pugsitter.)

So, what I’ll have at SPX will be the May preview of NERVENKRANK, pictured above, and the NO ONE IS SAFE posters. It’s good stuff and I’m proud of it, and I hope you’ll come see me. As for more NERVENKRANK, keep watching this blog.