7 Billion People in 6 Pages of Comics

7 Billion, Unpacked by Lisa Hymas, Thomas Pitilli & Warp Graphics (Grist)

Even environmental news and commentary site Grist understands the power of comics.

Grist co-founder Lisa Hymas teamed up with illustrator Thomas Pitilli and design studio Warp Graphics to tackle the issue of over-population in a 6-page web-comic titled 7 Billion, Unpacked, which was posted yesterday to the non-profit organization’s website.

As Lisa explains in the intro, the world’s population is estimated to reach 7 billion people at the end of this month, according to the United Nations Population Fund. The comic is part 1 of Grist’s series of articles on the topic. It presents the impact and issues surrounding this milestone with clarity and accessibility in a digestible package. There’s even an extensive footnotes section for all you fact-checkers.

Grist has featured comics before (such as this excellent 8-page comic by Stuart McMillen about the ill-fated reindeer of St. Matthew Island) but to my knowledge this is the first time they’ve commissioned an original comic of their own.

(Hat tip to Dirk Van Fleet)

Friday is Brought to You by Scott’s Favorite Kittehs

Cats I've Known & Loved by Scott Shaw! (click for the full story)

The weekly random YouTube kitteh video has been replaced this week by this wonderful new web-comic by Scott Shaw! where he spotlights his eight favorite kitties. The one above I knew too and he’s right that Outlaw was one of the special ones. “Cats I’ve Known and Loved” is the latest chapter in Scott’s Now It Can Be Told! comic at the web-collective Act-i-vate.

Things to do in and around LA this weekend:

ART – The 3rd Annual ArtCycle showcases the emerging art and bicycling cultures of East Hollywood by taking over Santa Monica Blvd. from Vermont to Virgil. There will be art galleries, live theatrical productions and other creative experiences making up a lively street fair on Saturday, 2:00-10:00 PM. Tickets: $0.

COMEDY – Two improv comedy groups, the Magic Meathands (with me!) and [This Space Left Intentionally Blank], have a tag team show at the Mary Pickford Studio, Saturday night at 8 PM. Tickets: $7.

Comic Book Improvisation Part 2: Forest for the Trees

Forest for the Trees (page 1 by Kevin Mellon, click for bigness)

Last week, I talked about Kurt Busiek’s daunting task to improvise his way through a script for a lost comic book. In that case, Kurt was working with an intractable improv partner because the art he was working off had been drawn and finished a decade earlier. While not impossible, it’s an uphill battle to find something that clicks when dealing with something that can’t adjust to what you’re adding.

Improvisational theater and improvisation in comics works best when two (or more) partners are listening, embracing, responding and adding to what the other is doing. That fluidity and flexibility is fertile ground for creativity and a magical experience for the audience/readers.

Two comic book artists have partnered to create a fully improvised web-comic called Forest for the Trees. John Bivens (Comic Book Tattoo, Popgun) and Kevin Mellon (Comic Book Tattoo, Hack/Slash) take turns adding 1 page a week. As their site explains it, “Each page is done in response to the one before it, neither artist knowing what each will do in response until the finished page is turned in.”

In performance, Kevin Mellon would be considered the initiator of the scene, as his page is the first. He is the first to establish things about the world they’re creating, and it will be John Bivens’ job to not only not contradict or negate these things, but to wholeheartedly embrace and then explore them. John’s first page, page 2 for the story, should go up tomorrow.

I’m really excited to see how they do, and I’ll be checking in with them to see how they’re doing.

(Via Comics Alliance)