Travis Millard is a bay area artist predominantly involved with his zines and comics, aptly named “Fudge Factory Comics”. Millard is an awesome draftsman and makes me wonder about the amount of patience such a guy probably has, seeing how many disparate objects and lines he devotes to many of his drawings. However, his new site has given in to what I like to think of as gaudy flash. Upon entering his website millions of doodles enter the page, floating all over the screen, and one is not able to fully utilize the site until this little charade is over with. In general, I personally am not a huge fan of motion flash, because I think it takes away from what most web users want, quick and simple access, not some sort of immersed experience. I like his work a lot, and that’s what I want to see.
Casey Jex Smith is another awesome drawer/painter hailing from.. well I’m not quite sure where she’s from, but I like her work a lot. Her line play works itself into her color use seamlessly and it all results in ridiculously complex or simple characters, landscapes, and objects interspersed with some nice negative space. Her website is the way I believe most artists should present their work, simply, and without a lot of fluff. Her homepage consists of mere (but huge) numbers that are simple links to separate portfolios. Clean, simple, and most importantly, not a crapload of messy flash making the visitor wait for loading times, or for images to appear, etc. etc.
James Kochalka doesn’t need any praise, or introduction from me, having already published a myriad of comics and his ever-growing auto-biographical anthologies known as “American Elf”. Kochalka’s webcomic is everything at once, his source material for his most important books, a personal diary, and a presentation of his most important work. Basically, it’s a webcomic that he’s been doing every day of his life since about seven or eight years ago. Wow. Each day, the website is updated by a new (usually four-panel) comic from his day, or a memory of the past week. Over time, the comic has come to have been recognized as one of the best autobiographic endeavors in the contemporary comic scene (and that’s saying something). The website simply presents the new comic, with links to go back and forth between each and every one. Again, simplicity rules.
Who am I kidding? I freaking love this dude’s work. He’s probably one of the best, if not the best cartoonist of our age, and is responsible for ushering in a serious appreciation for comics as literary fiction and fine art in our contemporary day and age. The only thing I don’t like about this dude is that he doesn’t even have a freaking website! But also, the reason I include him is because I acknowledge I didn’t include a lot of design players into my content in this post, and seeing how this is for a class assignment and all, I decided to include someone who I respect just as much as a graphic designer as any I know. Ware’s panel design and overall consideration for page space and the book as a true object is second to none in visceral quality. The guy doesn’t even use a freaking computer for the most part! Chris Ware more than anyone is reflective of someone who may have to get with the time in certain respects. But really, his utter devotion to his craft may make one think otherwise.