Women in Science

It’s been Women’s Day, so here’s a nice opportunity to post some comics about women scientists I recently did for magazine Wetenschap in Beeld – the first is about Alice Ball, who caused a breakthrough in the treatment of leprosy, 100 years ago…:

aliceball

And then there’s ballsy Maria Merian, who quite independently steered her own career as an entomologist in the 17th century:

mariamerian

I drew Maria Merian before, in my book Science: a Discovery in Comics – in fact, I drew two pages about women in science through the ages (I think I posted them on this blog before, but it’s still worth repeating):

women1women

Hurray, women!

Here’s to many more Women’s Days beyond the 8th of March…

Learning on the Job

Everything you do is a learning opportunity.

In late 2015, I was hired to animate a radioplay adaptation of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I took the opportunity to challenge myself by painting each background in a style I had little experience with. Here’s a comparison of two similar shots, the first from the beginning of the project and the second from the end of the project.

I like to think that I improved a bit!

If you asked me what is the greatest piece of advice I had to give to any aspiring artist — besides “draw every day” — I’d say this: treat everything you do as an opportunity to get better at what you do, whether it’s paid work or just for fun. Challenge yourself. Try new things. Learn on the job.

You can find Jon on Twitter where he posts his silly drawings and sometimes brags about his kids, and you can find out more about LOOK here.

Lesbian Protestant Science!

Ha, got your attention with that title, right?

In this blog, I’d like to showcase the three running comics series I have right now: one is for lesbian magazine Zij aan Zij, the second for protestant magazine Predikant & Samenleving, and the third is popular science magazine Wetenschap in Beeld.

minnie-plato

The comic about bisexual Minnie is the longest running, I’ve been drawing it for 13 years! In this episode, Minnie gets philosophical (as I get in Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics). I used this story as well in my latest book, on Love.

dsdeheer_refugees

Reverend De Heer (my alter ego) has been running since 2012. I love drawing it, it gives me a chance to comment on a lot of current issues. Most Dutch Protestant reverends are rather laid-back people who are pretty open-minded about everything – I should know, I’m the product of two of them (see for more on this my graphic novel Religion: a Discovery in Comics).

brianschmidt50

The third comic is the newest: I’ve been drawing this for a popular science magazine for less than a year. I love doing research on different scientific topics (much like I did in Science: a Discovery in Comics) and it’s always a challenge to get all the information in the panel.

I like that being a simple comic artist gives me the chance to touch upon so many different subjects at the same time!

Jirô Taniguchi (1947-2017)

jiro-taniguchi

On February 11th, Jirô Taniguchi, one of Japan’s best known manga writer/artists, passed away.

Some of his better known work included The Walking Man, The Summit of the Gods, A Distant Neighborhood, The Times of Botchan, and The Magic Mountain.  In addition to collaborations with Natsuo Sekigawa, Baku Yumemakura, and Mœbius.

In Japan he was probably best known for Kadoku no Gourmet (The Solitary Gourmet), written by Masayuki Qusumi, in which a lone business traveler goes around the world eating art restaurants, a work turned into a TV series.

His work also was frequently adapted to film, notably The Summit of the Gods and A Distant Neighborhood, which was the basis of the 2010 French-language film Quartier Lointain, about a middle-aged businessman who’stransported back in time and into the body of his younger self.

Last year, NBM published Taniguchi’s Guardians of the Louvre, a part of the Louvre collection which Publishers Weekly named as a “Top Ten Graphic Novel for Spring ’16”.

guardians-of-the-louvre-by-jiro-taniguchi-on-bookdragon-547x800

Among his professional accolades, Taniguchi received the Osamu Tezuka Culture Award and won multiple awards at the Angouleme International Comics Festival.

International Manga Awards Certificate

The award ceremony for the International Manga Awards 国際漫画賞 in Tokyo was held this week. Our book got bronze award from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs 外務省

Here is my artist comrade, Akiko Shimojima, accepting the award,  the inside of my copy of the award… and close up of a board that was signed by all winners and a bunch of well known Japanese manga-ka creators who came along to the ceremony.

Nice!

artists-board-signed

Love is out there!

My newest book, about Love, is now out in The Netherlands! It is a colorful, funny, semi-autobiographical and informational comic about all the ins and outs of love – with dating tips, a critical look at romance, notes on sex, kids, the seven year itch and a whole lot more!

liefde-stapel

This month is all about book promotion – there will be an official presentation in bookstore Scheltema in Amsterdam on February 9, then I will be at YaYCon on 19 February where I’ll sell the book and be on a panel, and on 4 and 5 March I’ll be at De Stripdagen in Rijswijk.

love-banner

It feels a bit strange. The world is on fire at the moment, every day seems to bring new fear and anger, and here I am, trying to generate attention for something as silly and trivial as love…

But is it? Is Love not exactly the thing that is lacking in the world right now? Is it not what all the protests are about? About this great unifying force that seems to be under threat? Is it not what all people really want – to love and be loved, and to have a safe place where to do just that? It goes beyond left or right, beyond politics and culture. Love is of all times, of all people. And yet, it’s still this mysterious energy, or as I say in my book [SPOILER ALERT]: “Love is an everyday mystery.”

So I’ll just give in to it, and make sure to enjoy it: after all, this book is also a celebration of the love in my life, with Yiri in the center, and a great circle of beloved family and friends around us.

There’s nothing wrong in reminding ourselves every now and then.

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(our marriage in 2009, p. 77)