Discussion & Analysis

Pape of State: Collaboration, Simonson & Xaime


Haven’t posted recently due to finishing up this comic I’m working on (see above image) which is written by Nick Bertozzi. I love working with a cartoonist I really admire, but it’s taken some getting used to draw other people’s stories. There are no inherent cons about the process/division of labor, and it’s way easier to just draw what the story demands instead of making up the story from whole cloth. The lines of communication are open and Nick and I are equally interested in each others contribution. But, man, he sure packed a lot of information into a page!

I admit, I haven’t abused the open space that gives comics breathing room (some stories have TOO much breathing room to the point where I’m falling asleep halfway through a sequence), but I have been toying around with negative space recently. With this new story, however, every page needs to have as much detail as possible while not seeming cramped. I looked for inspiration in none other than…


Archie Goodwin & Walt Simonson’s “Manhunter” short stories from the mid 70s. I recalled these stories being condensed yet easy to read. I dug out the collection and marveled at the amount of solid, essential information that was placed within a page, within a story. The story holds up terrifically (not surprising; Goodwin’s a timeless writer) but Simonson gave us the basics, told the story, and then added his own personal touches all throughout. I could be wrong, but it’s as if he took scenes that were relatively easy to stage and then made it difficult for himself by coming up with better solutions. His pacing, his intuition for design, his rendering… it’s all there. To think, this was his EARLY work, and he only got better. But anyway, yeah… “Manhunter” is amazing, and it inspired me to use the space on a page wisely, especially when you gotta fill it to the brim.


Speaking of artists that humble me every time, I’ve been reading the new Art of Jaime Hernandez book. Of course I love it, but I want to finish reading it before I jot down what I’ve taken from it. For now, here are a few links that have been popping up here and there in relation to Xaime:

A slew of super heroines over at Ex-Scans Daily.

More Xaime art can’t hurt.

Also, a New Yorker illustration.

On top of that, a cover for the upcoming CBGB’s comic.

Let’s not forget his favorite movies, either. Great list!

I love this video clip!

Last but not least, he did his own “mix tape” for Robin McConnell’s fantastic INKSTUDS radio show.


This just in: Comic Book Resources wrote up a piece on Brendan McCArthy’s upcoming Spider-Man:Fever comic. I want him to draw every single issue for the rest of our lives. Let’s start writing fan letters to ensure that happens.

This weekend, if you’re in New York City and feel like hanging out with a gazillion cartoonists (most of them from Brooklyn), stop by MoCCA Festival! But if i don’t see you before then, here are a few games I’d like for you to play. I found it in an old issue of Lois Lane from the 60s. What IS your B.Q.?

Racism Games


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