Eye Pop

I recently ran across an Irish idiom that was in use at least as far back as the late 1800s: “The eyes were leaving his head, he was in such amazement.” This is such a common trope in animated cartoons I barely even noticed it at first:

image

But the book I saw it in was published around 1890, thereby predating the invention of animated cartoons by a decade or more.

So I started to wonder if Eyes Popping Out = Amazement was a trope of newspaper/magazine comics of the 19th century. And did this idiom develop as a result of said comics, or did the comics get the notion from the idiom? Or was it a case of independent, simultaneous invention, and the one did not influence the other?

I’ve seen a lot of cartoon illustrations from the 1800s featuring agog, wide-eyed people, but very few where the eyes were being rendered as literally coming out of the head, as per the above Tex Avery example.

However, I did find this illustration, by none other than Charles Dana Gibson, published in LIFE in 1893:

image

This level of exaggeration is quite atypical for Gibson, who worked in the hyper-realistic style that was trendy in magazine cartooning throughout the second half of the 19th century.

The fact that this is so uncharacteristic of Gibson makes me wonder if he got the idea from somewhere else.

Before about 1850, cartoon illustration tended towards more exaggerated caricature, and this goes back at least to the 18th century. See, for example, James Gillray, who features many a bulgy eye. So it’s certainly possible that an earlier cartoonist who influenced Gibson did something with a literal eye pop. But I haven’t, in my admittedly limited search, found any earlier examples. YET.

Page 29 of Old Ghosts is up! I really do almost (but not quite) feel guilty about this one.
Read it here on Tapastic, or here on Studio NDR.
Need to get caught up? The archive of pages posted to date is here.
[MILDLY SPOILERY INFO FOR THIS PAGE]
EVIL is indeed a real wine, produced by R Wines of Australia (though as far as I can tell they’ve gone out of business despite a Wine Advocate score of 90 points for their 2006 cab).
Although Gran doesn’t drink these days, this is exactly the sort of thing she’d pick up based on the name alone. Archer, meanwhile (and this will shock you, I’m sure), absolutely despises the current trend of giving wines “edgy” names.
It WAS a tasty wine, though, I have to say.

Page 29 of Old Ghosts is up! I really do almost (but not quite) feel guilty about this one.

Read it here on Tapastic, or here on Studio NDR.

Need to get caught up? The archive of pages posted to date is here.

[MILDLY SPOILERY INFO FOR THIS PAGE]

EVIL is indeed a real wine, produced by R Wines of Australia (though as far as I can tell they’ve gone out of business despite a Wine Advocate score of 90 points for their 2006 cab).

Although Gran doesn’t drink these days, this is exactly the sort of thing she’d pick up based on the name alone. Archer, meanwhile (and this will shock you, I’m sure), absolutely despises the current trend of giving wines “edgy” names.

It WAS a tasty wine, though, I have to say.

I was looking for something else when I ran across this old cartoon in one of my collections. Behold, a smartphone prediction from 1906. The artist is Lewis Baumer, and this cartoon originally appeared in Punch.

I was looking for something else when I ran across this old cartoon in one of my collections. Behold, a smartphone prediction from 1906. The artist is Lewis Baumer, and this cartoon originally appeared in Punch.

Working on the cover for Old Ghosts, which features spooooooky 3-point perspective, MOO HOO HOO HAA HAAAA. No, seriously, that was kind of a terror to lay out.
Yes, this is absolutely an homage to/ripoff of the ol’ gothic romance cover composition. Haven’t decided yet which single window shall be lit; probably the one just to the left above gran’s head.

Working on the cover for Old Ghosts, which features spooooooky 3-point perspective, MOO HOO HOO HAA HAAAA. No, seriously, that was kind of a terror to lay out.

Yes, this is absolutely an homage to/ripoff of the ol’ gothic romance cover composition. Haven’t decided yet which single window shall be lit; probably the one just to the left above gran’s head.

Politically InQueerect: Old Ghosts page 28 is up! I feel guilty about this page, but not guilty enough to have done it differently.
Read it here on Tapastic, or here on Studio NDR.
The archive of all pages posted to date is here.

Politically InQueerect: Old Ghosts page 28 is up! I feel guilty about this page, but not guilty enough to have done it differently.

Read it here on Tapastic, or here on Studio NDR.

The archive of all pages posted to date is here.

Look, I made a fan art! This is Turpentine from Band vs. Band by Kathleen Jacques, which is a totally awesome queer comic that you should be reading.
I listen to a LOT of female-fronted punk/metal/goth, so it’s not too surprising Turpentine would be one of my fave characters.

Look, I made a fan art! This is Turpentine from Band vs. Band by Kathleen Jacques, which is a totally awesome queer comic that you should be reading.

I listen to a LOT of female-fronted punk/metal/goth, so it’s not too surprising Turpentine would be one of my fave characters.

robkirbycomics:

QU33R, the book I edited that was published by Northwest Press, has been nominated for an Ignatz award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection. Very proud!

I have a comic in here! If we win, I look forward to Rob dividing up the trophy so I can have my 1/33rd of an Ignatz award.

robkirbycomics:

QU33R, the book I edited that was published by Northwest Press, has been nominated for an Ignatz award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection. Very proud!

I have a comic in here! If we win, I look forward to Rob dividing up the trophy so I can have my 1/33rd of an Ignatz award.

Just this afternoon I put the last bit of color on the last page of Old Ghosts, twelve years after I wrote the first draft of the story.

It probably should not take anyone twelve years to produce a 36-page comic (and, to be fair, I did a few hundred pages of other comics in the interim), but day jobs will do that to ya.

First draft was written in 2002, when I was still living in Boston and still working a normal-person desk job, then extensively revised in 2006 after I’d moved to Austin. The scene playing out in the handwritten draft in the photo up there was cut completely, I’m guessing because it was very boring and unnecessary (I actually didn’t remember it at all until I fished out the draft).

Pages 1-12 were penciled and inked in 2006-2007. In 2008 the deal came through to work on Transposes, so I set Old Ghosts aside to focus on that. Took me four years to finish Transposes. I was a bit burned out after that and didn’t work on comics much for awhile.

I picked up Old Ghosts again in late 2013 (in Aurora, CO now), and put it down only to work on my story for Beyond. So pages 13-36 were penciled and inked in 2013-2014, and all 36 pages were colored in 2014.

I’ll continue to release the pages once a week, which will have this thing wrapping up around mid-October. Pretty appropriate timing for a ghost story, I think.

jwthornton:

odofemi:

Jeanne Thornton’s The Black Emerald, freshly released on the new Instar Books (an imprint of OR Books), is one of the strangest things I’ve read in a long time. A collection of seven short stories and two novellas, this book really feels like it was written by someone who lives in a version of reality just slightly askew to our own. I devoured this book in just under twenty-four hours because I couldn’t put it down.
The closing novella, Myra’s Seven Conversations, has stuck in my mind as one of the best and strangest parts of the collection. It’s reminicent, to me, in some ways of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And the opening titular novella brings to mind both Caitlín R. Kiernan’s work and Billy Martin’s (formerly, Poppy Z Brite) novel Drawing Blood, for an overall pulp comic Lovecraftian bizarreness that ends both mysteriously and abruptly. Both of these are worth the price of admission alone, but between them are seven very odd and humourous stories.
I highly recommend this for lovers of weird fiction, and for readers of trans fiction and queer fiction. You need to read this! Jeanne Thornton is worth reading an ebook for.
It’s available online for only $10 and worth every penny!

!!! omgggg a comparison to WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE is like … a dream thing kind of!

My friend Jeanne Thornton has a new book out. If you dig queer/trans fiction you should point your eyeballs and your dollars at it!

jwthornton:

odofemi:

Jeanne Thornton’s The Black Emerald, freshly released on the new Instar Books (an imprint of OR Books), is one of the strangest things I’ve read in a long time. A collection of seven short stories and two novellas, this book really feels like it was written by someone who lives in a version of reality just slightly askew to our own. I devoured this book in just under twenty-four hours because I couldn’t put it down.

The closing novella, Myra’s Seven Conversations, has stuck in my mind as one of the best and strangest parts of the collection. It’s reminicent, to me, in some ways of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And the opening titular novella brings to mind both Caitlín R. Kiernan’s work and Billy Martin’s (formerly, Poppy Z Brite) novel Drawing Blood, for an overall pulp comic Lovecraftian bizarreness that ends both mysteriously and abruptly. Both of these are worth the price of admission alone, but between them are seven very odd and humourous stories.

I highly recommend this for lovers of weird fiction, and for readers of trans fiction and queer fiction. You need to read this! Jeanne Thornton is worth reading an ebook for.

It’s available online for only $10 and worth every penny!

!!! omgggg a comparison to WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE is like … a dream thing kind of!

My friend Jeanne Thornton has a new book out. If you dig queer/trans fiction you should point your eyeballs and your dollars at it!

Page 27 of Old Ghosts is up! Gran and Archer reminisce about a particular event from Archer’s childhood, but have very different interpretations of how things actually played out.
Read it here on Tapastic, or here on Studio NDR.
Need to get caught up? The archive of all page posted to date is here.

Page 27 of Old Ghosts is up! Gran and Archer reminisce about a particular event from Archer’s childhood, but have very different interpretations of how things actually played out.

Read it here on Tapastic, or here on Studio NDR.

Need to get caught up? The archive of all page posted to date is here.