Pizza Island
April 17, 2011 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Pizza Island is a cartoonist collective in Brooklyn. Each cartoonist has a workspace unique to their style and workflow: Kate Beaton, Domitille Collardey, Sarah Glidden, Meredith Gran, Lisa Hanawalt, and Julia Wertz.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (22 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Collardey's desk caught my eye because of the Charles Addams on the wall. I just read that one yesterday. So I skimmed the post several times trying to figure out why Addams (and Schultz I noticed on the second pass) is there. No explanation! Even though there's one photo of just Peanuts!

Anyway, these are awesome to look at briefly but depressing to dwell on. Beaton is dissing herself for using brush pens instead of real brushes while I don't even know what a brush pen is and I use a simple mechanical pencil.
posted by DU at 4:09 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cant they just do it on their fancy laptops?

I would guess that it's due to the fact that the feedback you get from a Wacom tablet always feels the same, while pens, brushes, and pencils all provide different tactile feedback.
posted by Harpocrates at 5:26 AM on April 17, 2011

If Kate Beaton doesn't draw with a quill at a three-hundred-year-old rolltop desk, I don't want to know about it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:54 AM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

Cant they just do it on their fancy laptops?

I'm thinking there's also the issue of cost. Even high quality paper and pens is going to be less than a medium quality electronic drawing system.
posted by DU at 6:09 AM on April 17, 2011

hal_c_on- as someone who owns a wacom tablet but still uses brushes, I can tell you that it is an entirely different experience. For one thing, I spent a very long time learning to make pencils, pens, brushes, and watercolors do exactly what I want. Making digital work mimic watercolor is... non-trivial, at least for me. Also, not as satisfying. Sometimes I think about switching to a digital drawing process, but the learning curve is steep and intimidating.
Plus, even if you are perfectly comfortable drawing on the computer, if you make artwork by hand, there exists a piece which you can sell as original art, which will fetch a much higher price than a print. People still like to have real paintings on their walls.
I'm not trying to blast you, or anyone who works digitally. It's a fair question.
posted by Adridne at 6:25 AM on April 17, 2011 [5 favorites]

Yeah hal_c, I'm the same way with Adridne, its all about tactile feedback. I actually taped some paper to the top of my tablet to get a more realistic feel. There are happy mistakes that happen when using pens/brushes that one would normally undo on the computer.

Also, I stare at a computer screen all day, if I can avoid to do so I will.
posted by hellojed at 6:37 AM on April 17, 2011

Are any of these cartoonists certified geniuses? If so, can we get them sockpuppets now?
posted by spicynuts at 7:14 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah I thought I was going to use my fancy Wacom for inking but it's so. Not. The. Same. The Wacom gets used for comping, sketching and editing.

A brush one is a reservoir type with a synthetic brush point that mimics the look of a tight brush. They don't have the expressiveness and variety of an actual brush, but are portable and cheap and gives you more options in doing lines and I've found some Japanese brush pens that have great richness - I hate t sat it but Microns are kinda shitty, too watery for me.

You know makes good artists' pens actually? Sharpie.
posted by The Whelk at 7:49 AM on April 17, 2011

Yeah, jeez, why are these people using high-quality tools to do their work, when for just a few hundred dollars more they could be using really crappy tools instead?
posted by moss at 7:58 AM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

The ones I have are labeled archival, with interesting beveled tips.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 AM on April 17, 2011

I went to look for The Whelk's pens, and ended up finding this: a really fat marker that shares its name with XXL condoms.

Yes, I'm immature.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:43 AM on April 17, 2011

I was promised pizza.
posted by Aquaman at 10:27 AM on April 17, 2011

A little-known fact: Pizza Island is actually a peninsula.
posted by Nedroid at 11:55 AM on April 17, 2011 [6 favorites]

Nice. It makes me feel a little better about my "drawing table" which is actually an old kitchen table and a portable drawing board.

Incidentally, I picked up 2 issues of Lisa Hanawalt's comic "I Want You" at the Alternative Press Expo last year. They are filthy, weird and hilarious. Highly recommended.
posted by smartyboots at 12:00 PM on April 17, 2011

Meredith Gran is a freaking genius in case you were wondering.
posted by d1rge at 12:26 PM on April 17, 2011

I'm mad at Meredith for not finishing Skirting Danger. Fuck, at least wrap things up a bit.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:40 PM on April 17, 2011

Oh hey speaking of good comics I didn't realize Nedroid was a member here. Everyone should read his stuff.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:28 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Man, I'm probably going to be blasted for this...but can anybody tell me why they are using pens...and brushes?

I lived with a super talented illustrator for awhile (Who is in the same scene as these ladies) and I asked him this question.

1: Expense.
2: It's the difference between shooting a gun in Call of Duty and shooting a gun in real life- He'd spend hours waxing poetic about paper stocks, the way some papers let inks bleed and the way certain pens let their ink go loose. No Wacom can simulate that.
3: Tactile feedback was really important for him.

He has since gotten a Wacom and he uses it for professional/touch-up work, but his personal stuff is always on paper. If you put the two side by side, you get an uncanny valley kind of thing- The paper version always has a little extra power to it.
posted by GilloD at 3:28 PM on April 17, 2011

I will preface this by saying that I'm no kind of a cartoonist (yet, anyway), and not much of an artist.

I just got a low-end Wacom and think it is absolutely amazing. It's a whole new interaction model I didn't know I wanted until I tried it. I was about five minutes in before I was like holy crap, now I can actually use graphics tools on the computer, my life is changed forever.

Despite this, you can have the pen & paper when you pry them from my cold, dead, RSI crippled hands. If you gave me a choice tomorrow between ink and computers, I might just contemplate dropping the career in software development.
posted by brennen at 10:05 PM on April 17, 2011

I'm always fascinated by people's curiosity with artists' tools! The truth is these things really don't matter, and it all comes down to how much the artist enjoys or benefits from the tools they're using. I've been regularly switching between tablets, Cintiqs, pen and paper and brushes for years now. I enjoy them all and they all have their own benefits. I've been fortunate enough to make money from my work so I can justify having this array of tools, but obviously not everyone can afford (or desires) the high-tech stuff. What matters most is getting the work done.

This is Meredith, by the way. To the poster upset that I never finished my last webcomic: sorry to leave you hanging, but I started that comic when I was 18 years old. I'm a completely different person now. Nobody should have to finish a project they started in college. <:\
posted by granulac at 7:02 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

My main objection to Pizza Island is that all 4 of them are fantastically, obscenely talented and it seems kind of dangerous to have them concentrated like that. Like, we're just one meteor-strike away from losing a shitload of cartooning talent.
posted by COBRA! at 7:18 AM on April 18, 2011

It has been fun to see their spaces; thanks for posting this because it reminded me to check out the last ones in the series. It's so gratifying that there's this cohesive scene of talented younger illustrators and comics artists, I always enjoy hearing about their stuff.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:56 PM on April 18, 2011

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