Carl Rustung


Newton’s Cradle

Hopping back and forth between digital illustration and hand drawing to get through a complicated drawing. (Spherical reflections are hard.)

Comics special

This week I’ve been crazy about comics, cartoonists and eBay shopping.

Rubylith and Zipatone

Daniel Clowes’ “Glossary of obsolete commercial art production techniques” from Fantagraphics’ latest artist edition.


No new drawings this week either, but all the more bugs, crows and comic books.

War, Hell and Art Quarrels

The commuter train’s running again after its summer maintenance break (poor thing), so there’s been a lot of time to read articles again. Here are some recent bookmarks.

Monsters, dog poo and productivity clouds

The summer holiday is over and the little one has survived her very first days of kindergarten. Back to everyday habits, including this weekly post of links.

Jenga wizard

There wasn’t much time for sketching this week, though I’ve done my damnedest to get a few scribbles in before bedtime. Nothing complete yet, but I think this Jenga Wizard might be going places.


Making Comics

Book cover for Making Comics
Written byLynda Barry
Publish date2018
PublisherDrawn & Quarterly


Book cover for Syllabus
Written byLynda Barry
Publish date2013
PublisherDrawn & Quarterly



Clowes on “The Modern Cartoonist”

The idea behind it wasn’t really the content as much as having a crazy pamphlet out there. I like the idea of the kind of thing that you’d just leave on a bus seat or in an airport or something, that has this crazy rant that no one else really cares about, that’s about a subject that the writer seems to have way too much interest in and doesn’t quite know how to express to the average person out there. And that was the whole reason for doing it. And then I just filled it up with whatever was going through my head at the time. [Laughs] I always felt like people took the content a little too much as gospel. And, of course, who could blame them, since it was presented that way? But it certainly wasn’t intended as “my one pronouncement about comics.”

Hieronymus & Bosch review

Hieronymus exemplifies the human position as an artistic position, one which opposes the existential despair of living in a world of repetition and boredom. If life often seems boring, repetitive, and even meaningless, it's up to us to convert boredom into fun, to find meaning in our own creative action.

Kirchner on visual storytelling

I like telling a story without dialog. It forces the reader to fill in what’s happening, and as long as the narrative is clear I think the reader gets satisfaction from that. I’ve heard it said that a humorous story always leaves out a key element that the audience must fill in, and the satisfaction of making that connection – “getting it” – provokes the laugh. Omitting dialog is one way to force the reader to fill in the blanks.

Paul Kirchner
Postscript in “The Bus”, June 2015

Scale tricks for inking

I could never adjust to the “half-up” (150%) scale at which mainstream comics had to be drawn. I preferred to work twice up and that wasn’t an option.


I often photocopy a sketched frame, reducing or enlarging it to a size I think more pleasing, and then tape it back on the tracing paper, which looks like a patchwork quilt by the time I’m finished.

Paul Kirchner
“Sex, Drugs & Public Transportation: My Strange Trip Through Comics”
From “Awaiting the Collapse”, Tanibis Editions, 2017

Mort Drucker’s chicken fat

...Drucker’s art partakes in the most venerable MAD tradition of all: the “chicken fat” aesthetic, the stuffing of panels with sight gags and visual digressions pioneered by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder (and defined by Elder as the inessential “parts of the strip that gave it more flavor,” as chicken fat gave more flavor to his mother’s soup, “but did very little to advance the storyline”).