September 2012


I admit that I have a bit of a thing for comics. Nearly all cultures have strong traditions of linking stories and art, be it for entertainment or transmitting information. The styles differ tremendously, of course; we write legends into constellations and asterisms, illuminate manuscripts, scrawl on alley walls, and fill cathedrals with elaborate tales in colored glass. Rising literacy rates have not decreased our artistic impulses, but it has rather allowed us to more skillfully combine words and images to tell a story.

It isn’t terribly surprising that artists have chosen to throw digital creation and/or distribution of their work into this mix of tools, and there are some interesting philosophical debates about how best to mediate the audience’s interaction with a digital story. One of the beautiful things about presenting art in a digital format is that the creator has somewhat more control over that interaction than with a print comic (which I still greatly enjoy; it’s just that I like trying new things), and some stories work better in one format than another. It’s a fun evolution to watch!

There are some hugely talented authors and artists out there, and many of them offer their work for free online. Of course, the standard cautions about the internet apply here as anywhere, and the excellent content can be drowned out by the din. Depending on my work schedule and level of tolerance of the computer (an inverse relationship), I go through phases of trying out new comics or just keeping up with my favorites. Several cycles of creation have gone into the current collection of links, which now has its own page (check out the tabs up by the Snowday Gallery).

All of these stories are well written, with quality art and solid plots. The styles, genres, and premises are diverse, but all are PG-13 or friendlier, so I hope you find something you enjoy!

Post Script: I have a comparable collection of excellent hardbound books that you can find by visiting my Library Thing page. It isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a decent start.

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Hey and welcome to all of you fellow grad students who are visiting through the blog shindiggity that Sherrie started!

By way of introduction, I’m an MSTP student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, currently interested in mad science. We won’t declare labs until next fall or summer after next – i.e. after USMLE Step 1 – so I’m keeping my interests open. That’s served me pretty well so far, as a general life strategy. My previous work has covered embryonic gene expression for Arabidopsis bioinformatics, Drosophila gene finishing and annotation, metabolic disorder characterization, and (for the past 2 years) malaria basic bio research.

I was sad to leave my lab at WUStL, but it was getting to be time to move on, and Einstein is the best place I could possibly have gone. No doubt there will be rough patches and all the ups and downs of science being…well, y’know…science. However, this is a fantastic place to gear up for the research to come, and I’m looking forward to the next 8 years.

If you stick around, you’ll find that my posts swing through all sorts of topics. When not researching or studying, I draw and paint a fair deal. I’m also a violinist with a history of classical, Celtic (all 4 nationalities), and mariachi music. I’ve been throwing a little Roma into the mix and just joined a jazz ensemble, so I might finally post some recordings for you all. There will also be book recommendations, photographs from my adventures, and a little translation work, since I’ve got a few multilingual projects growing in the shadows.

Let me know what you guys think, and I’ll see you on your pages, as well!

Tchuss!

RA

Happy Birthday Fish

Happy Birthday Fish

6×8″ ink and watercolor on coldpress watercolor paper as a very late birthday card for one of my friends. It was ready a month ago, but hasn’t made it into the post even now, a week after the big day. Well, hopefully I make up for the bad postal timing with decent texting skills. Happy birthday again, kiddo!

When my dad, my brother, and I were in Berlin this summer, we of course had to walk over to Museumsinsel, which is home to all of the incredible museums and archives that the soviets did their best to destroy through neglect. Buildings that stood open to the elements for 50 years after the war are finally being restored, and the artifacts reconstructed and displayed once again. It’s an incredible transformation, and is producing my favorite collection in the world. Nothing beats the Pergamon!

Last time Dad was in Berlin, the wall was under construction, so he’d never gotten to walk down Unter den Linden Strasse (where, yes, they have now replanted the linden trees). While it’s come a long way even since I was last there, you can definitely tell that you’ve just transitioned between the Marshall Plan and ex-Soviet block. “Block” is the operative word there, since it seems they only allowed you to build with the concrete kind. The restoration of the city is beginning to manifest in the East as scattered architectural gems, and even the old palace reconstruction is underway. As Berlin rebuilds, however, it is adding in some potent reminders of a nasty past.

On our way to the museums, we stopped by the Neue Wache, which has become the memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. We were the first people there at opening, so we had the rare chance to see the memorial in silence.

Neue Wache Pieta

Pieta
Neue Wache