Author's details

Name: Ben Towle
Date registered: 11/30/-0001

Latest posts

  1. Back From the Old School: Showing Motion via Repeated figures in a Single Panel — 4/29/2020
  2. The Vasquez Rocks of Comics — 3/22/2020
  3. From the Sketchbook: Dogfighting Dogs! — 3/9/2020
  4. What I Read in 2019 — 1/5/2020
  5. Selected Sketchbook Drawings – October 2019 — 10/26/2019

Most commented posts

  1. The Comics Journal Message Board: A Requiem — 36 comments
  2. Craft: A Review of the New Koh-i-nor Rapidosketch Pen — 34 comments
  3. Care and Feeding of the Leroy Lettering Set — 34 comments
  4. Service Review: Ka-Blam Print on Demand — 33 comments
  5. Ugliest Dog in the World? — 22 comments

Author's posts listings


Back From the Old School: Showing Motion via Repeated figures in a Single Panel

Lately, I’ve been noting a lot of panels like this in the comics I read and it’s made me wonder about what exactly this technique is, how how it works, and where it came from: What it is: This is from Cyril Pedrosa’s recent (and amazing) book L’age d’or, which is now out in English …

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The Vasquez Rocks of Comics

Even if you don’t recognize the name “Vasquez Rocks,” you’ve likely seen the rocks themselves. The Vasquez Rocks are a group of distinctively-shaped rock formations outside of Los Angles that have appeared in many, many T.V. shows and movies–from Westerns like Bonanza (and Blazing Saddles!) through to relatively modern films like Little Miss Sunshine and …

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From the Sketchbook: Dogfighting Dogs!

I’m certainly the five billionth person to do drawings of dog pilots (when they “dogfight” they’re literally dogs!! Get it?!) but for whatever reason, I recently wound up doing a batch of quick watercolors of dogs in WWII-era pilot gear. Well, “for whatever reason” isn’t entirely accurate; the reason is at least partially that I …

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What I Read in 2019

In past years I’ve done a list of all the comics (and comics-related stuff) I’ve read, with a short write-up for each item. This year, that’s just not feasible given the amount of material I read and the time I have available… but here’s my list for 2019 with a few comments on things here …

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Selected Sketchbook Drawings – October 2019

I haven’t posted any sketchbook pages in forever, so here goes…  Truth be told, I’d weirdly fallen out of my years-long habit of drawing nightly in my sketchbook and have only recently gotten back into it. Why had I fallen off? I’m not exactly sure–other than that I’ve had a lot of “life getting in …

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SPX 2019! (And Other Comics Stuff During the Weekend…)

I’ve missed the last two SPX’s, so I’m very excited to be attending this year’s event… but that’s not the point of this (very quick) blog post. In planning my trip, I’ve noted a few other comics-related events that are going on at the same period in the Washington area which don’t seem to be …

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Forest vs. Trees in Marc Singer’s Breaking the Frames

At this point it’s not news that Marc Singer’s recent book, Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, has stirred up a fair amount of controversy. It’s a testament to the provocative nature of the book’s assertions that this controversy has spilled out beyond the usually insular world of the book’s chosen subject …

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Smokey Stover, A Christmas Story, Dr. Seuss: The Oneness

So, over Christmas I was watching A Christmas Story for the bajillionth time (as one does) and noticed, in the scene were Ralphie is decrypting the message from his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring, a Sunday newspaper comic peeking out among the stuff on a table: I took a picture of the strip and quickly …

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What I Read in 2018

In years past, I’ve regularly done “Faves of 20xx” lists of various things–comics, art supplies, documentaries, etc.–that I’ve enjoyed during the year. This year, though, I managed to keep a list of all the comics and comics-related books I read throughout the year and so instead of a Faves list, I’m just going to do …

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On the Influence of Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko, the cartoonist best known popularly for his role in the creation of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange for Marvel Comics, died last June at the age of ninety.  His death occasioned obituaries in several high-profile publications such as this one in the New York Times, which among other things reflects on Ditko’s historical importance and creative legacy. …

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