[background]

I'm Jeff Couturier — a designer, developer and illustrator in Chicago. I also make comics, listen to punk rock and like to fall down mountains on a snowboard. I write about those things (and others) here.

Drawing Dreams 2014

C2E2 - Chicago's awesome comic con - is coming up this weekend. The kind folks from Chicago Loot Drop are once again doing the Drawing Dreams event for the convention:

We’ve partnered with five talented local artists to bring to life the creative visions of five very special patients from Comer Children’s Hospital for the second edition of Drawing Dreams. We’ve asked these five children to describe themselves as a superhero. What sort of power(s) would they have? What would they do with those powers? What would their superhero name be? We took their responses to our five artists, who are creating a few panels depicting what a comic book based on the children’s’ ideas could look like.

The originals will be raffled and/or auctioned off with all proceeds going to Comer Children's Hospital. Then the kids recieve a framed, color print of the art.

I'm honored to be one of those 5 local artists this year, and humbled to be included in such a talented list with Tim Seely, Heidi Foland, Jim Terry and Rich Kunz.

I make comics because I love doing it. It isn't my day job, and the ammount money I make from it has a lot in common with the number of alien tentacles I have. That means it's usually an act of pure self-gratificaiton mixed, of course, with the sharp self-criticism most of us artists have in abundance. So it isn't often that this selfish act can be done in the service of something better. When that happens, it's better than the shard rejoining the Dark Crystal, or that super potion Jack Burton drank before kicking Lo Pan's ass. It's pretty damn cool, and I'm happy as hell that I was able to do it.

Here's a little taste of my Drawing Dreams page this year for "Super Ty" :

p.s. - I'll be at C2E2 this Saturday along with the amazing Kate, and the Universal Geek crew. See you thre.

The Never-ending Redesign

TL;DR : This thing you're looking at was just redesigned.

When creating things, I'm rarely happy with the end result for very long. That's not to say that I wholly dislike what I create, but like most designers I always see room for improvement. In ancient times (you know, about 1990 and earlier) when print was all we really had, design had a definitive "done" point. We designed our piece and then sent it to the printer, at which point it was effectivly cast in bronze and frozen for all eternity. If there was a mistake and it went to press, we then had to decide if that mistake was agregious enough to warrant the cost and time of reprinting. If it was anyting less than terrible we usually had to live with it. There was no opportunity to tweak a heading color or make that cover photo just a little larger without reprinting the whole thing at considerable cost. Sometimes we did it anyway. It isn't fun having that horrible realization that the freshly printed stack in your hands is nothing more than very expensive scrap paper. I once created a playhouse for my cat out of a failed run of business cards. The cat was happy, but I felt a sharp pain in my side each time another card was glued to the roof.

Now that we live in the future with our electric cars and interwebs, we have the luxury of designing for a liquid, living medium. Deploying a digital design rarely means it is actually done. We don't go to press anymore, we just complete one more revision cycle. A double-edged sword, of course. It's wonderful and exciting to be able to make changes, but that also means it is much harder to decide when we're finished. We like to fuss over the details, because design is all about the details. So this ability to make subtle changes whenever we (or our clients) please is both amazing and awful.

I wrote all of that just to say I redesigned my site. I've made a lot of improvements, but it isn't "done." There are more details to sweat, and more things I want to change each time the page refreshes. Welcome to the 2014 version of my public design neurosis.

sketches: Egon Spengler, and a Doodle Dorks challenge

This week the Comic Creators Minigroup sketch jam topic was Ghostbusters, in honor of the late, great Harold Ramis. Here's my entry.

EgonSpengler-jeffcouturier2014

 

The other night I had the pleasure of joining Sean McLean and Jared Jaworski for their Doodle Dorks challenge. Two words were selected at random, and we live-drew our comics together over Google+ Hangouts. The words were "snakes" and "flatulence." Here's what I came up with.

snakes-flatulence-jeffcouturier2014

Hellcat - I mean, Hellboy

Last week's sketch jam topic for the Comic Creator's Minigroup was "Hellboy." Here is my sketch, drawn on my iPad with the new Wacom Creative Stylus (for which I'll write a review soon). Go check out the other entries.

10388954223_632920eac7_b

The week before, our subject was Hanna Barbera cartoons. I had to draw one of my favorites, Hong Kong Phooey:

HKP-jeffcouturier

Recap: DanCon - Fall 2013

I spent a good part of my Saturday at DanCon out in the Chicago suburbs, at the Orland Park Civic Center which is roughly 45 minutes from downtown Chicago. I've been hearing nothing but good things about DanCon for several years, and this year my good friend Denver Brubaker had a table so I decided to check it out. It's a small con by design, and that is clearly one of its biggest selling points. There are no celebrity signings and no giant Marvel or DC booths. DanCon is all about local comics and creators, without the "pop culture and entertainment" that has bled into every other major con (Wizard World, C2E2, San Diego Comic Con, DragonCon, etc). Personally, I don't care much about movie promotions, celebrity signings, EA demoing their latest games or countless rows of vendor and trinket booths. I go to conventions for the artists alley, and DanCon focuses heavily on that. They have a merchant room too, but like the artists alley room it is small and well populated with excellent local comic shops. Although most of the tables were indie creators, there were still a couple of Marvel artists. Several of my fellow Aw Yeah Comics contributors had tables there as well. Admission is only $3 ($1 for kids) and it is well worth it. Now I'm looking forward to the Spring DanCon, and with luck I'll be able to get a table there.

 
RSS RSS isn't dead