If you've been reading GoComics for a few years, you've likely noticed an explosion in new offerings on our A to Z listing. While single-panel political cartoons and three or four panel funnies make up the majority of the offerings, some of the more recent additions require some serious scrolling and a bit of in-depth reading. While there will always be half-braindead lame-o's who type "TLDNR" on anything over 140 characters, many others (like me) are delighted to see artists stretch the form to include literature, inspirational quotes, history and storytelling.
Today I'd like to spotlight three examples of GoComics cartoonists who work on a wide canvas, but I'd welcome any other suggestions in the comments. Let's start with a peek at Zen Pencils, by Australian artist Gavin Aung Than.
There you have it... a scarily honest yet wonderfully poignant sentiment by Sylvia Plath captured in artwork. I love the arrangement of the words beside the falling figs. It's like concrete poetry in the middle of a graphic novel. Zen Pencils is as remarkable for its diversity of artistic styles as it is the wide range of source material, but it's consistently inspirational and always fun to read.
If you're headed to San Diego Comic Con this weekend, stop by the Andrews McMeel Publishing/GoComics booth (#1503) on Friday 3.30-4.30pm and on Sunday 12.30-1.30pm to meet Gavin and see some examples of his upcoming book.
Peter Mann, the artist and writer of The Quixote Syndrome, teaches in the Humanities program at Stanford University, where he uses these comics as teaching materials. The above illustration from last week presents a Franz Kafka parable in its entirety. You'll need to enlarge it to keep from squinting, but its well worth your while. Catch more Quixote Syndrome here.
Eleri Mai Harris, of Eleri Mai Harris Cartoons, has been doing a great series about American history and civic identity, including this strip from earlier in the year depicting the Solidarity Singers of Madison, Wisconsin. I visited Madison over the weekend, and though I didn't make it into the State House in time to hear the 11:00 a.m. singing protest, I did hear a couple of the Solidarity Singers sharing their message outside the State House at the weekly farmer's market. Check out more of her recent large-format cartoons on GoComics.