Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dan Zettwoch's Schematic Comics Alvin Buenaventura sent out a post card recently announcing that Dan Zettoch's second volume of Redbird would be published by Buenaventura Press. This was shortly before SPX, but Redbird wouldn't be ready for the show. Luckily, Dan put together Schematic Comics, a nice mix of the old and the new.

The thing that stands out in most of Dan’s stories, and it’s certainly the case here, is that he seems to be a tinkerer or a builder. It’s obvious in his work that he likes to think about how things work and he’s good at visually dissecting a process or an object. For instance, instead of just drawing an object, say a school bus, he’ll sometimes draw a cut out picture of the school bus that brings tiny details to life. In Schematic Comics, however, he seems more preoccupied with the process. Below is one of two fold out pages that show how to make a penny board. Lodged within the story of how Robbie Sorg lost his fingers are directions on how to make your own penny board. It’s almost like Dan couldn’t resist including a cut out picture, because right there towards the bottom, there’s a simple cut out of the school that shows Robbie’s path through the school.
Page twenty-six features the horizontal one-pager (but split into two sections) “Making My Own Mini-Comic.” Here Dan ignores any type of traditional panel structure, and just lets the images and text fall naturally on the page. There’s no trouble following his story about a mullet-headed guy wanting to make his first mini-comic. The second section of “Making My Own Mini-Comic” shows the anatomy of the copier and a rudimentary step by step guide to assembling your own mini.
Schematic Comics is 48-pages of comics. There’s a ton of material in here for the price of $3.95 and it’s a great place for anyone unfamiliar with Dan Zettwoch’s material to start. Dan is also the mastermind behind the startling behemoth mini-comic Ironclad, which was featured in my list of “Top Ten Most Innovative Mini-Comics.” You can grab his comics at USS Catastrophe and check out his website that has tons of art, including a step by step visual guide that he did for a wall mural in St. Louis.

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