My pal, cartoonist Steve Ellis asked "Do you think certain characters lend themselves to better use of the medium? Daredevil has a long history of being a book where artists/writers who push the storytelling power of the medium end up like Frank Miller in the 1980’s. Is that an effect of the character/world or is it just an effect of “that guy did cool stuff, now I wanna.”

My answer:

Design. It's all about design. Character design. Narrative composition (design). Using a graphic shorthand to convey story (design). Etc./etc. Will Eisner mastered human behavior in The Spirit and then in his graphic novels. He illustrated mute theater. You could remove the words and still understand the story. The words should only ever compliment or add to the picture. In comix, image IS text. A character like Daredevil with a simple yet sophisticated design and identifiable villains with a rich backdrop (NYC) makes innovating the medium appealing. Turn the sound off and let the ballet begin.

For more proof, see: Will Eisner, Alex Toth, Roy Crane, Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, Howard Chaykin, Darwyn Cooke, Marcos Martin and Frank Quitely.

Please consider voting for me and my latest works for The Ringo Award nominations:

Best Cartoonist: Dean Haspiel

Best Webcomic: BLACKOUT, The Red Hook season 4

Best Anthology: PANDEMIX, Quarantine Comics in the Age of 'Rona

Also, I've been nominated for a Tripwire Award for 'Best Digital Comic." Please vote The Red Hook: Blackout if so inclined. Much appreciated!

ABOVE is the cover I drew for Cynthia Von Buhler's MINKY WOODCOCK: THE GIRL WHO ELECTRIFIED TESLA #4, published by Titan Comics.

BELOW is when a kid in 2nd grade named Noah from Missouri writes you a letter about his favorite book: MO and JO, FIGHTING TOGETHER FOREVER, a Toon Book you co-created with the late/great Jay Lynch, and ya just gotta draw him a sketch to thank him right back!

Looking forward to Jen Ferguson's open studio tour and art journal workshop via DUMBO Arts Festival this May 13 - 23!

May 21, 11:00 am - 11:30 am
Workshop: Make an Art Journal Page with Jen Ferguson

Sun. May 23, 11 AM, Instagram Live
DUMBO OPEN STUDIO EVENTS: Jen Ferguson Guided Art Tour

I asked Whitney Matheson"What Would You Do With the Body?"


Park Slope Peregrinations with Whitney Matheson by Amy Stein-Milford for All Dressed, Nowhere To Go.

And, Whitney talks to the fellas at CineMental podcast about two movies: "A Woman Under The Influence" and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure."

A week before she was supposed to turn seven years old, I put my cat Belle to sleep. It was the hardest decision of my life. I've had to euthanize my cats before but they were older. It doesn't make it any easier but you don't want to see your beloved friend suffer and sometimes we wait a day or two longer than we should. We keep them alive because we can't let them go.

My veterinarian, who has been super kind and attentive, and let me trade commissioned art for the high cost of dealing with the insidious nature of cancer, advised me to put Belle to sleep before her breathing got too bad. Before she would start to panic and die an awful death, gasping for air.

When I brought Belle into the Vet to check on her status, I didn't think I would be putting her down two days later. A week before, Belle was still very active. Playing, scratching, hopping on top of boxes, galloping to the open windowsill with the fire escape for a back rub, kneading on my chest, meowing and purring. But then it became obvious that she was slowing down. Having trouble breathing. She wasn't playing anymore. Mostly stationary. But who can truly tell how much longer a cat wants to live?

I realized the bond you make with an animal, the trust you manifest between each other, affords the responsibility to make the hardest decision. I felt that Belle could possibly live another week. But the fact was she would probably pass away in a brutal and horrific way within 48-hours or less. It feels impossible to pull the trigger, allow the doctor to push the ingredients in the needle that will expire their life when your friend is still active. Still very much alive.

You hold her in your arms. Place the duck toy that she showed up with when you first met next to her face. The toy she's known all her life. Slept with. Dragged around from one corner of the apartment to the other. She looks at you, wondering what's going on? Why are we in a strange, dimly lit room? What's happening? You look deep into her eyes and try to communicate through your tears that you're sorry. So sorry. You just want one more minute with her. One more minute to play and snuggle and talk but she can't do that anymore. She is very sick. Tired. Maybe she understands as she looks at you -- hoping you know what to do because she can't make that decision. She trusts you to make it for her. This is the greatest challenge of the trust you created together.

My heart.

I love you, Belle.


Read The Red Hook's NEW BROOKLYN saga for free at Webtoon:

NIGHTWORK Studio: my multimedia collaboration project with Whitney Matheson.

SCENE BY SCENE WITH JOSH & DEAN, podcast with Josh Neufeld that breaks down the film American Splendor, Harvey Pekar's legacy & growing up making comix in NYC.

Copyright © 2021 Dean Haspiel, All rights reserved.

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