Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tech: 3D-drawing with Rhonda

Maybe you have seen this before. I saw it a while ago but it’s just too nice not to show it here. It’s a 3D-drawing tool which is currently still being tested and blablabla which means you can’t have it yet. And you are going to want to have it. I do. It just looks like so much fun. Or is it that guy playing with it who makes it seem so easy?

Apparently you can apply to become a beta-tester on the Rhonda site, but I don’t know whether you need to be a real 3D-pro to qualify. Maybe I could fake being a real 3D-pro? If I can convince people I am a 2D-pro, one more D can’t be all that hard, now can it?


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Studio Visit (1): Paul Pope

Pope largethb 6 multi cover 





A new series here at Monsieur Bandit: “Studio Visit”, in which we… You are all so smart! Indeed.

I must admit that this is a bit of a weakness of mine. I just love to catch a glimpse of an artist’s studio, his “atelier”, the place where he probably spends many hours and has heavy2aall his junk around him. Well, that last remark is maybe a bit unfair. Not every artist is some kind of rat-creature, gathering books and leaflets and records, cd’s and tapes and more books and art supplies and all kinds of different sorts of paper and what are you still doing with tapes anyway? 

Luckily my studio doubles as our living room so I have to keep things a bit in control.

Today we take a look in the workplace of Mr. Paul Pope, creator of fine comics such as “THB”, “Heavy Liquid” and “100%” to name but a few. This is a video I found so we get a little interview as a bonus. In the near future I hope to do some studio visits of my own, so stay tuned.



More kinetic typography

A little while ago I had some kinetic typography video’s to show you. (Remember?) I tried to find some that looked different than those you usually see which are mostly made with Adobe’s After Effects. Not that I don’t like those, but, you know…. Something else.

So I found some more. Some are quite arty-farty, some are quite cool. All are quite short.







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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Drawing with Emmanuel Guibert





Perhaps you have already seen the graphic novel “Alan’s War” by French author Emmanuel Guibert - if you haven’t, what were you waiting for? - and perhaps you wondered, just like I did, how those strange beautiful black and white drawings of his were made…

Well, he is going to show you right here and now…














Friday, January 22, 2010

Found: “Antwerpse Kleppers”











Sometimes you just find stuff, without knowing much more about it. I have no idea who designed this poster for a theater festival, but I really liked the typography which points to the work of poet Paul van Ostaijen and his “rhythmic typography”.

Maybe that’s something for a future post.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tech: Tagtool


Now, what have we here?

The weird contraption you see in the picture above is a so called “Tagtool”. It is used for live-performances where (usually) two people work together, one who draws and one who animates the drawing when it is done. The set up is fairly simple: the person who draws uses a drawing tablet and a set of slide controls that regulate line thickness, transparency, etc… When he thinks the drawing is ready he hits the big button and the animator can now use the gamepad to play with the drawing, move it around, make it change size, etc… All the while the results are being projected with a beamer. This can be used inside of a theatre but also on the street or at a party as a VJ-tool.


This video will show you what it’s all about. It is made by 4 students of the Informations Design Course of FH Joanneum University of applied sciences in Graz. It is in German, but with what you already know, I’m sure you will understand what’s going on…

The best thing is it’s all Open Source stuff! The people behind it are OMA International (Office for Media and Arts), they are from Vienna, Austria and they strongly believe all knowledge gained by this project should be shared freely. You can visit the Tagtool-site and there you can download all the software you need, find all of the information to build your own tagtool and tons of tips and tricks to get to work with it. The site also has a whole lot of video’s, so you can see what other people are doing with the gear.




Asterios Polyp by Mazzucchelli




It seems that the new graphic novel by David Mazzucchelli is quite a hit. Nevertheless, this one is for the die-hard fans, I’m afraid: an interview with Mazzucchelli conducted by publisher/curator Dan Nadel at the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in New York in July 2009.

It is long. It is uncut. It has awful sound quality. There is basically nothing to see for about an hour. Yes, sometimes life is hard. Don’t get me wrong, you are welcome to stay. But if you would rather come back some other time, nobody here is going to hold it against you. Really. 



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Film: Jarman’s Caravaggio

When I opened up the newspaper today I saw an article about how for the first time there was going to be an exhibition showing almost all of the works of the Italian baroque painter Caravaggio. There aren’t that many, apparently, about 30 or so, and they almost never get lend out.

Caravaggio was one of the true geniuses of painting, his influence reaching as far as Rubens and Rembrandt. His work was revolutionary because of  his use of realism and clair-obscur ( a dramatic contrast between light and dark). Also he was somewhat of a badass who had numerous run-ins with the law and even had to flee the city because he killed a man in a swordfight.

For me, however, the name Caravaggio always transports me back to art school. We had a teacher there who made sure that the assignments he gave us not only thought us the basics of design but also opened up our eyes and minds for all kinds of new things. For example he encouraged us to explore different music than the one we were listening to at the time, and he would play jazz in class or give us the names of obscure industrial bands to check out. He would point us in the direction of interesting artists and exhibitions and showed us the work of typographers and designers. One day our new assignment was to make a poster for this weird film he had brought us: (you’ve guessed it) “Caravaggio” by Derek Jarman.

This movie will always be special to me because it was the first time I started looking at a film in a different way, with an eye for the visual beauty, the use of light and photography, but also with an ear for the language and the texture of sound. For the first time I realized that stories could be told in a different way than the usual straight-on storytelling I was being exposed to by Hollywood cinema. “Caravaggio” isn’t by far all that experimental actually, but it showed me the way, first to other films of Jarman (“The Garden”, “The Angelic Conversation”,…), then other art-films of that time (the wonderful “Prospero’s Books” by Peter Greenaway comes to mind, but also the animation films of the Quay brothers) and from there on to every weird and wonderful film I could get my hands on.

If any of you have never seen “Caravaggio” before, here’s a little fragment to wet your appetite. I hope you get inspired to explore, just like I did back then. (It seems you can watch the whole thing on YouTube now, so there you go…)

And in case he would ever read this: to the teacher I was talking about, one of the few really great ones, thank you very much for opening up all kinds of windows for me to look through. Those are the things that really make a difference. Cheers…




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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend-special: Isidro Ferrer (4)

As we come to the end of our Isidro Ferrer weekend, we have for you a special treat: this short story was published in the “Cheval sans tête”-magazine in 1996. This beautiful “revue internationale de création, bande dessinée et illustration” was the flagship title of the French publishing house Amok. Ferrer got published often by Amok and this is one of his most touching stories. As far as I know this is the first time it got translated into English.



Once I read somewhere that smoke stood for the connection between earth and the heavens…


…because smoke columns of a sacrificial fire ascend to heaven, towards god.


At Huesca, the village where I was born, when I helped my father at work in the field, the smoke told us my mother had prepared breakfast or diner.

So, the only relation between smoke and god for me was the prayer my mother said to bless the food before we honored  what she had prepared.




The smoke I associate with Barcelona was quite different. I went there to work in the factories after my parents told me to leave this land that didn’t bring forth anything but slaves.

It was the time of the republic.Somebody had set the neighborhood church on fire and the women were screaming that we should save the statues of the saints that were still inside.

Did god burn amidst those flames? I don’t know, but sometimes I wonder.In any case, the priest told us we would be punished for this sacrilege.

And boy, did we get punished.





During the war, the skies above Barcelona were often covered in smoke. From the terraces we saw the fascist planes arrive and their bombes transformed the houses into burning logs.

During this sacrifice we talked a lot about the death but very little about god, who was, however, constantly being talked about by the rebels.

Later, the war was lost and we had to flee to France. We were put into camps where we would sleep under  the open sky until we managed to build ourselves some shelter.

On the sand of the Mediterranean beach we warmed ourselves with pinewood fires. Sitting there, the smoke rising towards the stars, I often thought about my parents fireplace.





When France was occupied by the Germans, a Nazi officer came to the camp which was located at what they called the “free zone”. He promised us work and freedom if we accepted to join them as volunteers.

A few months later the officer came back. He didn’t talk about volunteering anymore, but about obligatory work.

So, one night, I ran away.

I fought alongside the Haut-Garonne resistance for a long time. Now, smoke was often the signal to come out of the woodworks and go down to the village for food and supplies.





One day I fell into an ambush. The Germans put me onto a train to a camp where I was amongst a lot of Spaniards.

And there, again, the smoke belched day and night from the chimney of the crematory ovens. A perpetual link between earth and heaven.

And god, still, was nowhere to be seen.









Weekend-special: Isidro Ferrer (3)




In this third installment of our Ferrer special here at Monsieur Bandit we now have a short film for you. Once again we focus on Ferrer as a graphic designer and take a look in his studio.

Next up: in the fourth and final part we return to comics with a complete and translated short story by Ferrer.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekend-special: Isidro Ferrer (2)




In our second part of the Isidro Ferrer special we will take a look at his work as a graphic designer and we will visit the exhibition “Libro de las preguntas”.

To be honest, this exhibition-thing, you are going to want to see that…

So let’s keep the bio-stuff short: Ferrer was born in Madrid in 1963. He first studied dramatic art, graduated from Jacques Lecoq’s School of Mime and Pantomime in Paris but at the age of 25 got into graphic design, inspired foremost by the Spanish designer Peret.  Numerous books are dedicated to his work (nice and big one here), he participates in several exhibitions all over the world (Paris, Tokyo, Brussels, Mexico,Buenos Aires,…) and has solo exhibitions in Spain, Portugal and France. He won the National Design Award in 2002.

About Ferrer it is said that he works by “devoration”, like the verse making machine imagined by Juan de Mairena: “On one side the world enters and on the other side poetry comes out”.


obra4 obra2 obra7

obra8 obra5 pajarin

Magical Snap - 2010.01.15 01.53 - 006



The website created to accompany the exhibition “Libro de las preguntas” which took place in the Espacio para el Arte de Zaragoza, is simply a must see as it gives us a very good look into not only the studio but also the head of Mr. Isidro Ferrer.Magical Snap - 2010.01.15 01.51 - 005


(There is however a very annoying little music playing in the background. You are going to want and turn that off pretty soon, I guess…)


(Don’t worry. You can.)

Magical Snap - 2010.01.15 01.53 - 007






 Magical Snap - 2010.01.15 01.50 - 004



So do yourself a favor and make your day a little brighter by visiting the wonderful world of Isidro Ferrer.

Have fun, but do remember to come Magical Snap - 2010.01.15 01.49 - 003back tomorrow for our next installment of this Monsieur Bandit Special.

Weekend-special: Isidro Ferrer

  isidro ferrer topo


One of the joys of having a collection is showing stuff to people and today I have some really beautiful images to share.

Perhaps you have heard about Isidro Ferrer before. He is after all a well known, award winning graphic designer who has had numerous solo exhibitions all over Europe and many books dedicated to his work got published in Spain, Portugal and France. But did you know the man also made comics?



In this first installment of “The Isidro Ferrer-weekend” (perhaps the start of a nice tradition here at Monsieur Bandit?) I am proud to present to you a little booklet from my comic book collection. It is called “Exils”, was written by Grassa Toro and illustrated by Ferrer and it was

published by the wonderful people of Editions Amok, a French publisher of very experimental “bandes dessinées” (that’s fancy French for comics) as the sixth installment of their collection “feu!” (fire!) 














ferrercoverAs was often the case with the publications of Editions Amok, the experimental nature of the comic didn’t seem to leave much room for a story to be told. Some people disliked Amok (and their ilk) for exactly that reason. “Yes, the books look stunning”, they would say “But where is the story?” This is a matter of personal opinion, perhaps, but it would be unfair to claim books like these just “have no story”. It is perhaps told in a different way, one which we are not used to and there for not know how to decipher easily…

Please check up on Monsieur Bandit later this weekend for the second installment of our Isidro Ferrer Special in which we will take a look at some of his graphic design and visit a stunning exhibition of his work.


Editions Amok does not exist anymore. They did however join the Brussels based publishing collective Freon and are now known as FREMOK. Check them out for some of the most beautiful but highly experimental comics you are likely to find.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kinetic Typography

When you type in the two words of our title in the YouTube search box, you will get an impressive list of short films, often home made and based on movie dialogues or song lyrics but also some real commercials, trailers or title sequences. Of course, these are not some new invention. The very first time I can remember seeing something like this must have been the Prince video for “Sign o The Times”, but even that wasn’t the first by far. Wikipedia tells me Saul Bass was the first with the credits for Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959 and such a fun movie!), but I don’t really know if I should trust them on this.If you know better, please tell me…

If you want to see a lot of beautiful examples all at once, you should visit Naldz Graphics, a design blog which recently posted a bunch of these little gems.

Now if you’ve watched a whole lot of these, just like I did this afternoon, you can Magical Snap - 2010.01.13 20.04 - 008not but notice that most of them look mighty similar… The reason for this is probably because they were all made using the same software: Adobe’s After Effects. (If you are curious how it’s done take a look at an online tutorial here or here.)


I spent some time looking for kinetic typography stuff that looked different. The first thing I found was called “streams of consciousness” by David Small and Tom White. It is some sort of an interactive installation piece where one can manipulate water-like letters via a manual user interface. It’s kind of hard to explain so maybe you better take a look at this site (but I must warn you, loading the video took for ever…)

Magical Snap - 2010.01.13 17.49 - 004Magical Snap - 2010.01.13 17.50 - 005

Magical Snap - 2010.01.13 17.52 - 006 Magical Snap - 2010.01.13 17.52 - 007

The second one I wanted to show you is a music video called “Automotive Hydraulic” by the Studio for Virtual Typography (made for Loca Records in Brighton). Again the text mimics nature and appears to be like raindrops or air bubbles. Remarkably, some of the other images appear to be typographic but are in fact colored lights recorded with long exposure shots.

If anybody knows some other nice examples of kinetic typography, please mention them in the comments.

(Further reading: Basic Typography 01: Virtual Typography by Matthias Hillner, AVA Publishing – where I found the previous two examples mentioned.)

Staying in today…


Color-sketch found in old file, I think brushpen and crayons and stuff…, pre-digital.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Showcase: Grafik Plastik


Such a cool name, don’t you think? I discovered this blog a few days ago. It is the work of a Greek graphic design student called Lefteris. Modernistic and minimal are words that pop up. I liked some of the typography he did very much, so I wanted to show it here.

  clock-3  clock-2

typography6 typography4 ingrid_poster

The top row shows four pieces out of twelve which together make up a calendar, originally made as a present for his sister but now, by popular demand, available for sale. Check out Grafik Plastik yourself if you are interested.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Comics: Brecht Evens

bateau8x10Highly talented, young, looks and attitude of a rock star. And what does he do with his life? He starts drawing comic books! Comic books, I mean…tsss.
Flemish comic book creator Brecht Evens and his “Ergens waar je niet wilt zijn” got lots and lots of attention at the previous Angouleme comics festival. The French translation, “Les Noceurs”, published by Actes Sud is now available. An English edition “The Wrong Place”, to be published by Drawn & Quarterly, is on its way. It should hit the shops by march 2010.
This is the good stuff. Keep an eye out for this guy.   Noceurscouverture
Check out his blog if you want to see more…

Various sketches






Sketches for various projects  all pencil + Gimp


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