Ad, the fab book, Utamaro and Shoujo Beat has impressed me so far. It's a new website where beloved artists such as Scott Kurtz, Brad Guigar, Kris Straub, and Dave Kellet pitch in advice to upcoming cartoonists.
With a birthday Amazon giftcard I also got the big four's How to Make Webcomics, which is a fabulous Bible for a beginner. (That reminds me; finish a strip today.) A warning, though: it expects the reader to know what they're getting into as a full-time webcomic artist, making it a bit scary when they talk about merchandise and how to behave at conventions.
Go on to the website and see what they offer.

Okay . . . here's something for Kevin: look for Kitagawa Utamaro if you haven't already and either post or email me what you find. A hint: Japanese printmaking.

Now Shoujo Beat . . . if I could, and if there were no manga in libraries, I would get this magazine monthly.
The content is perfect; I read an issue with a fantasy manga preview, several dramas, dramedies, a Fushugi Yugi parallel, and a dark Gothic chapter concerning vampires that don't make girls look clumsy. The art, though . . . okay, a science teacher told me that he hated manga because the characters have no noses and big eyes. I disagreed, but I see where's he coming from, because only one series actually put effort into its background art (Honey and Clover) and in making the series different. The faces began to blur into each other, to be honest. I don't know what happened.
The other thing is when the editors insert a "Will so-and-so choose Mr. Generic?" at the end of each chapter. It's like listening to the cheesy 1960 Batman cliffhangers. I appreciate the editors' other comments, but silence is golden when you're reading a story.
A detailed verdict will soon follow. That said, I'm happy that this magazine has survived three years since Kevin's initial review.

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