Changing your Comics Up

All-ages webcartoonist Dave Roman (husband of comics royalty Raina Telgemeier) put up a post a while ago with some real talk advice for cartoonists in a rut:

If we’re honest, often our lack of success is because we’re just not ready for prime time. Most cartoonists prefer to dive in first and learn our craft as we go. But what if other people don’t see our dreams the same way we do? How long do we tread water, believing in a dream if nothing ever seems to change? …

So, it might be time to try a new dream that better reflects our current abilities. Put aside the old ideas (even if just temporarily) and switch gears. Break out of our box. Shake it up. Switch genres or art styles. Kill your darlings. See how it feels to face the unknown of a fresh canvas. Many of us worry that we only have one big story in us. And too often, that story is a trilogy or multi-part epic. Or we’re attached to a single character so much, we believe it to be an extension of ourselves. (source)

I thought it was an interesting post, and though I haven’t been taking on any artistic projects lately, I think that initial paralysis when deciding which project to embark upon is related…  I, and many beginners, I think, worry so much about starting off with the right project, that we ultimately wind up with no project!  So hopefully this summer I’ll finally get started on something, anything!

Also, Roman‘s kid friendly and all-around adorable comic Astronaut Academy is up in full online for your reading pleasure:

Depuis le Library Conference


So I’m going to a conference today about libraries and I’m reading up on the speakers, and oh wait, what’s this, one of them works at the freakin’ Metropolitan Opera Library!!!  Tanisha Mitchell, a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, works as a music librarian in three different NY libraries, and get this, she sings opera too!  That profile on her includes a link to an unlisted YouTube video of her singing “Depuis le Jour” from Gustave Charpentier‘s 1900 opera Louise…  so here’s Leontyne Price performing the same aria at the Hollywood Bowl in 1958:


Oh man, I am going to have to geek out about opera with her…

Speaking of the Met Opera and libraries, here’s the Met Opera Online Database, with archival materials, histories of Met performers, and statistics on house repertory.  Not the most user-friendly interface, but tons of great info laying in wait…  If you want to just jump in and look at pictures, I recommend clicking on “New Photo” on the left sidebar; lots of good jumping off points from there!

After a bit of scrounging around, I did find some information on the Met premiere of Louise, in 1921.  No pictures or designs, sadly, but there is a full-text review by Richard Aldrich of the New York Times:

For the first time Charpentier’s opera of “Louise” was given at the matinee performance at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday. The audience was very large and full of curiosity and interest to witness a performance in which Mme. Farrar made her first appearance as the wayward heroine, and Messrs. Harrold and Whitehill and Mme. Bérat took the other leading parts. It was apparently pleased with the results and was liberal in its applause.

Geraldine Farrar as Tosca at the Met, 1909

Geraldine Farrar as Tosca at the Met, 1909