Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bear & Witch!

I've been taking Tom Motley's inking class at SVA - it's really helped me tackle a whole bunch of projects. This one, in particular, I've been aching to do, but wanted to know more about inking before finishing it.

Here it is - click on it to see it in a new window at full size.

- Andrea

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Google Doppelgangers

So I think the genesis of this story is that one day I mentioned to my friends (my fellow Tapir Tooth people) that I found a bunch of really crazy and hilarious Peter Quaches while googling myself. And then I think someone else decided that a story about your Google Doppelgangers would make a great comic... and somehow one day I found myself with another comic to draw! Haha.

So here we are. These are the first two pages of my story, and two more are in the pipeline. For extra fun, compare the first page here with the in-progress Page 1 I posted a few weeks back...

What do you think?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A little peek

So I've been sort of delinquent about posting things to the blog here, so I thought I'd start by posting a little peek at an in-progress page. You can see all the little lines I drew with my Ames guide for the lettering, and you can also see where I used correction fluid (NOT white out!) to fix some mistakes... if you look closely. And you can see all the random lettering I did on the side of the page.

Hi, blog. I'm Peter Quach. Hope we'll be seeing more of each other soon.

Side Note - Tapir

Okay, not a comic - BUT IT'S A TAPIR!

My brother got married last week, and that's my sister-in-law on the honeymoon, feeding that little guy.
Maybe she'll bring him/her home?

We should never forget the power of things that are incredibly goofy/funny/cute/ridiculous - how many things produce such a feeling of complete, all-absorbing joy?

Joy! Tapir! Comics!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Max Quarterhorse Hits the Streets! -Miriam

I've just finished illustrating the first half of The Adventures of Max Quarterhorse, which I posted about earlier this summer. This comic is the continuation of the play, All Kinds of Shifty Villains, written by Robert Attenweiler-a fine, upstanding gentleman-, who wrote the comic as well.

This is a fantastic mind-bending Noir about a private detective, whiskey, and the dark goings on at the local morgue. Awesome.

Read it now only at Disgraced Productions' Disgraced Comics page!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Everyone has one.

Tapir Tooth's new collective project is all about GOOGLE DOPPELGANGERS!
To clarify, a google doppelganger is when a person googles his or her name and finds several other individuals with the same name. Another Joe Smith, out there, somewhere....

So we posed the question to ourselves (Miriam, Peter, AJ, Andrea, and Alexander, all of whom are doing this):

1. Google your names to find your google doppelgangers.
2. Make a comic about them.

We're currently working on this through the end of summer and the beginning of fall and hope to have it ready to show you soon. In the meantime, we'll be posting updates on the blog.

The others have some real whammies for doppelgangers - trust me, pretty original stuff.

My problem: I don't have a doppelganger. 
For some reason, no one else has my name. So what do I do?

I call upon the POWERS OF THE FUTURE (which will be clearer la

In the meantime, things are chugging along. Here's my process so far:

  Make really messily written out scripts. Run ideas by group members.

Right after finishing this, a HUGE thunderstorm swept through our block and knocked over the big tree in front of our apartment, taking our wires with it. Dramatic!

Then make some gesture/character sketches with distinctive haircuts.
And finally make thumbnails.

More to follow, soon!   -- Andrea

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bryant Park Reading Room - Cartoonists Under the Trees

"20 years ago, this type of thing [a comics panel in Bryant Park] wouldn't have happened. Look how far we've come."

Danny Fingeroth moderated a panel today in Bryant Park. Called GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COMICS FROM EVERY ANGLE, it featured a reviewer (Heidi MacDonald), a graphic designer/editor (Chip Kidd), an editor/Marvel head (Joe Queseda) and creator (David Mazzucchelli).

They all spoke beneath a statue of Dodge, who looks like this (see pic), except with a pigeon on his head. As Miriam would say, just a dirty pigeon.

Miriam and Peter will add to this --- but I felt that the panel was incredibly refreshing and raised several interesting points. Having the mix of Marvel/a critic/ Pantheon/ Mazzucchelli really enriched the conversation.

One of the panel's themes was the current popularity and increased visibility of comics in mainstream culture. All four of the panelists agreed that what we're seeing is the generation of kids who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s who did not feel ashamed about comics, or that they were just for kids, have brought their outlook to bear on our current culture. There's a "critical mass of standalone work" out there at a time when there's also a strong and receptive audience to it. Hence, "the hot new sensation that's sweeping the nation" idea.

Chip Kidd said he found it interesting how people think of comics as a genre, when it's really just a medium. Gesturing to himself and the other speakers, he laughed and said having a comics panel is the same as having a "movie panel" then hastily added, " .... not that I have a problem with this panel!" But you could have a whole panel just about one type of manga, and that would be a good discussion.

It would be nice, in thinking of the future, for people to start thinking of comics the same way they think of novels or films - as a medium. Chip Kidd would like to see the creators respected and known the same way Spielberg is. It's a question of helping to educate people about it.

One of the most interesting points discussed (according to Miriam and me) was how manga attracted such a wide audience. Someone stood up and asked why manga was so popular with young adults and Heidi took the question. She said she sees manga as being the new Archie & Veronica*. Kids today relate to manga in ways that they no longer relate to Archie. Manga has a lot of teenage romance, teenage angst, teenage drama. Teenagers love the world-building that goes on in manga, and it's very consciously displayed. For instance, there's tons of details about fashion in shojo or all this information about how a peculiar universe works. Manga is capturing an audience that American comic books have pretty much neglected/ignored: children. And also, girls. Girls are a huge audience that comics abandoned.

Another panelist took up the theme. In the 1980s, DC made the conscious decision to stop making comics aimed primarily at children. The manga that's coming over is geared towards young adults.

Joe Quesada spoke about working at Marvel. (Miriam noted, this is the guy who saved Marvel). He said one of the main goals he had when he began working there was to start a graphic novel backlist at Marvel - they didn't have one when he started. Also, there were some things about the relationships Marvel had built up with their creators that he felt needed some serious repair --- you got guys like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman saying they'd never work for Marvel again. He wanted to change that, and put more "focus on creators than character and more on story than stunt." He wanted a more creator friendly shop.

Quesada also said that he reads and responds to about 90% of the mail he gets. That's pretty great. He said he tries to answer everything as honestly as possible. You know, because if you give someone the runaround, they can smell that, and it's just not a good idea.
Marvel's got a long tradition of talking directly to fans, which started with Stan Lee. He said he definitely can't do it as well as Stan could - Stan could take 30 or 40 words and make a fan feel part of it, but at least he does his best to respond to everything he gets. The fans are the people who are "paying my rent," he said, he wants to keep a relationship with them.

Someone asked Chip Kidd about Twilight...

Asked about readers who only tend to read one kind of comic, or readers who read many kinds of comics, all the panelists said: both kinds exist, but what matters most is good content. Heidi pointed out that with manga, you have to read the book backwards, a huge hurdle in introducing something to the market, but the content was strong enough that people went ahead and did it. You can have someone who only reads literary comics, but if there's a superhero comic that's really, solidly good, he/she will read that. Quesada re-emphasized how important good content is. His job is all about taking characters and keeping them fresh and interesting - putting them in situations that make the reader want to know what's going to happen next. Sometimes fans send him emails asking why'd he change a character, they liked him as he was, and he'd respond they need to change. If they stay the same, that's just boring. You need good content to keep your readers.

Chip Kidd talked with David Mazzucchelli about ASTERIOUS POLYP. Mazzucchelli said he always, always was interested in writing comics. He started out concentrating on just doing the art side of things because that's the way he could get into Marvel. "I didn't have the skills, I didn't have the stories." And then he did - so he wrote POLYP. He also laughed and said he wanted to clear up the "David Mazzucchelli working for 10 years" on Asterios Polyp. 10 years ago, he came to his editor with an idea for it, and then after 10 years, he finished the book. But it was never, for 10 years, each day, Mazzucchelli slaving away on AP until it was done!


Someone asked about the recession.
Joe Quesada: "I'm not going to say that comics are a recession proof industry ... but I think of them as too small to fail." Look at Marvel - 10 years ago, it was bankrupt. Now it's doing pretty well. He did say that the impact of the recession and perhaps the mood of the country might be reflected in some tonal shifts in Marvel stories.
Chip Kidd, who works for Pantheon, said their business model is kind of, publish good stories and cross your fingers. Heidi and Joe did discuss how in recessions, a lot of people want good entertainment. Movies and comics are relatively affordable ways of getting that. Escapism, fantasy, etc. it all helps.

Then there were questions about the FUTURE.

"IN THE FUTURE .... There will be comics you can TASTE!" But seriously, they don't know, and Joe Quesada is contractually obligated not to say what's going down in the Marvel Universe. He did say that they have everything pretty much locked down a year and a half before it comes out, like Civil War, etc. 2 years, they have an idea, but things can change. 3 or 4 years, it's fuzzier.

They did mention the Internet and how technology was going to change the medium. It's fascinating that since the 1980s, when people talk about the next 5 or 6 years, they allow a huge amount of space for the changes to come. Reading comics on the Kindle, for instance, or an Iphone. Motion comics are already a real thing -- and Marvel is doing Spiderwoman - the first time they're doing something specifically for the motion comic (before everything existed in paper form and was translated). In Japan, people already read novels on their cellphones - maybe that's something that will happen. At Marvel, which just developed their own movie studio, they put out a lot of paper titles in one year. If there are clunkers, they lose thousands of dollars. If they put out a movie once a year, and it fails, they would lose millions of dollars. Joe Quesada used this business example to show why there would continue to be a demand for paper comics, even with animation and movies in the picture. That way, once every 3 or 4 years they can put out a movie of a well established character, like Iron Man.

On the internet and message boards and critiques, they discussed JK Rowling and how people would say, oh Harry should get together with Hermione or Ron should date Hermione and she responded to it, but then went and did her own thing. Going with your gut creates more success, and the internet can be a huge distraction from that.

Libraries are buying comics more and more. Think of them as a rising market.

Chip Kidd on BAT MANGA! and translation. The way that worked, a Japanese-American translated the Japanese, and then Kidd went and translated the translation. For example, for whatever reason, there was this tendency in the manga to underline everything.
"There's a panel where Robin is standing with Batman and saying, 'THIS DANGEROUS SITUATION IS REALLY BECOMING DANGEROUS!' which I changed to 'WHOOOA!' And there's another panel where the reader is looking over Batman and Robin's shoulders as Clayface busts through a wall in front of them. Robin says, 'CLAYFACE IS BUSTING THROUGH THAT WALL!' which I changed to 'WHOOOA!'"

Miriam and Peter - please add more to this as you see fit.

All in all, a really enjoyable panel. All involved came across as very relaxed, nice people. Lots of things to think about! -- Andrea

* I totally agree with this. I picked up a BETTY AND VERONICA from my childhood and read a story about how Betty's family lightly mocks her when she sulks at home while Archie takes Veronica out. Then, something screws up the date and Archie comes along to take Betty out for her turn with him. Transplanting 1940s dating to 2009 makes Archie seem like a real bastard.


I'll leave the summary to Andrea and share my note book instead. On the left are notes from Joe Quesada about how he rebuilt Marvel out of the ashes of fiery bankruptcy. On the right is Chip Kidd as an owl.

Maybe I should mail it to Joe.

Another note: I hated the comparison of Manga to Archie Comics! Ah, makes me angry! I understand why you would make the reference (the audience is/was the same) but other than that, nooooo! Most manga is thought out (apart from the gag strips) and really builds the world, Archie is dry and uses the same situations over and over until they lose all meaning but to make me want to hurl.
Not saying all manga is the fruit of the gods, but come on, it's way better than Archie ever was.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time Travel (Miriam)

A few months ago I drew a comic called Time Travel for the MOCCA Festival. Though I'd post some of the process below.

Here are some character sketches to flesh out the look of the comic and the main character.

From there I laid out the pages on 17"x14" sheets of newsprint using a my favorite drawing material, a ball point ben (probably a Bic). Here are a few scans of the news print, my scanner is A4 size so I had to scan in the image a couple of times per page then piece the page back together on photoshop.

After that it was color and typeset in photoshop. The color is a normal brush set to different opacities.

Who would believe the entire thing took me a week?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Dream Comic and a Sketch (Andrea T)

That was a dream comic (rough)

Here are some things I've been working on for TERKA 2 --- trying out different amputee monsters. Still not there yet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meet the Tapir

A short video of our titular species.

See a short video from National Geographic about the Tapir!

Adventures of Max Quarterhorse - Miriam

After a little hiatus I'm back and posting again.

Most of this time was spent researching a producing the art for a new and exciting collaborative comic with Disgraced Productions' Robert Attenweiler. Because Robert is the writer, he describes the
story better than I ever could.

"Disgraced Comics is the new off-shoot of Disgraced Productions, offering original online visual dramatic storytelling. And in our first online comic, The Adventures of Max Quarterhorse, you will get to see the first-ever Independent Theater-to-comics crossover. The Adventures of Max Quarterhorse picks up where Disgraced Productions' 2008 play, All Kinds of Shifty Villains, leaves off. Private Investigator, Max Quarterhorse has just survived a case that has left his trusted assistant and most of his rogues gallery of villains dead. But one of the surviving villains wants to see a fallen comrade live again. And Portal-Face Pete, a mysterious newcomer on the scene, has his own schemes to execute, bringing him face-to-face with Max Quarterhorse.

The Adventures of Max Quarterhorse continues the darkly madcap take on film noir and crime fiction established in All Kind of Shifty Villains, but this time through the lens of Miriam Gibson's perfectly-suited visual style.

You'll have to see it to believe it - and you can only see it at

The Adventures of Max Quarterhorse will begin posting in August 2009."

Thanks Robert!

Above is sketch of Max himself and an unpolished part of the comic itself.

The Adventures of Max Quarterhorse will be up before you know it!

Name Change

Comics Queens is now Tapir Tooth! We still produce the same great sequential art and illustration, but with more frequent updates.

Those Tapirs are real nose-to-the-grindstone types.

Monday, June 8, 2009

MOCCA 2009!

Kicking Mocca's Teeth in! Peter & Preeti

Alexander, Katie, and Peter

We done gone crazy: Andrea & Peter.

Miriam and AJ Morales!

Peter, Miriam, and Andrea at the table.

Andrea, Peter, and KOOMI

MOCCA 2009 has come and gone!

Well, what a weekend! ComicsQueens (Peter, Miriam, KOOMI, and me) had a half-table at MOCCA this year, in the NY Armory, coincidentally on the anniversary of D-Day. It was two days stuffed with meeting cool people, seeing/buying great new comics, and showing our stuff. Highlights include sitting next to the Parsons table and chatting with the lovely Steven Guarrnaccia (Parsons is developing a Visual Narrative MFA in 2011, hopefully), eating delicious Vietnamese sandwiches, talking with Jon Lewis (True Swamp), Dr. McNinja, Kate Williamson, meeting the Rabid Rabbit folks and so many many other people. 

You can tell our brains are still a little fried from the weekend - but let me just say: mocca = cool people. Thanks so much to our friends Preeti, AJ, Alexander, Nick, Katie, and everyone else who came and showed us love!

To tell you the truth, we were a little fried in general ----- there was no AC, as many bloggers are pointing out, but on the plus side, the Armory looked a lot like a 1904 Zeppelin Parking Lot, so the building had lots of curiosities. Some soldiers were in the crowd --- I hope they had a good time. 

Here's what we were showing this year:

We have lots of new ideas for next year!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

MOCCA Festival 2009

The Comics Queens are exhibiting at the Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art's Festival this Saturday and Sunday.
Here are some of the wonderful things the group is bringing.

Peter Quach

Transit #1
A city in motion. Follow Dan as he navigates his life New York.

You may think you know enough about our Lord and Savior, but Peter is here to tell you otherwise with You Don't Know Much About Jesus. Get an education!

Andrea Tsurumi

A night in a bar populated with monsters and one human ends up like a night at any bar, with drinking stories and fisticuffs. Whose story tops them all? Find out or get the stuffing beat out of you, Terka in Drinking stories.

Let the earth's mightiest guard your precious remains of the economy with Andrea's handy comic book wallet! Enjoy these colorful, playful (and highly durable) wallets featuring panels from many different comic books. 4”x3” when folded, they fit nicely into any pocket.
Available at the MOCCA Festival and Andrea's Etsy shop.

Miriam Gibson

Get your hands on Gibsonium and be privy to comics the likes of which you will thoroughly enjoy!

Included are luscious color prints of Sailor Moon characters aged beyond belief ! Time stops for no man or pretty soldier of justice. See what the years have in store for the ladies of this animated classic.

Also included in Gibsonium is Time Travel. Throw Einstein to the winds! The ability to bend space can be yours*. Childhood hopes are smashed in this telling of dreams and acknowledgment of reality.

What happens when you combine ordinary birds with parts unknown? Hornithology: A Compendium of Dirty Birds and Foul Fowl! Captioned by AJ Morales.

What festival would be complete without a screen printed shirt of fine design? No festival at all. Wear this Jay Bird proudly, it says "hey, I'm a shirt, my owner's good taste makes us all look our best." Wonderful.

There is much more! Please stop my the Comics Queens table this weekend.