Emoji diversity: how ‘silly little faces’ can make a big difference

When Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge sent his fiancee to the wrong side of London for dinner, he sent an apologetic text message. He received an emoji-less reply: “It’s fine.” “We all know that’s not what it means at all. That means ‘it’s not fine’,” he said, pointing out that emoji have infiltrated language so deeply that their absence from that message carries a meaning that we all understand. Once considered a nerd topic, emoji have now become a mainstream medium, Burge says – and San Francisco’s first Emojicon conference seems to agree.

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Japan gives Harry Potter the manga treatment

 Manga Harry Potter

The Harry Potter franchise continues to enjoy huge success in Japan, 15 years after the release of first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The seven films in the series have grossed more than US$893 in the country and been seen in cinemas by more than 78 million people, while Philosopher’s Stone is the country’s fourth highest-grossing film of all time. In 2007, Tokyo was chosen to host the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an attraction that opened at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in July 2014, has been credited with bringing record numbers of visitors to the park.

I’d happily pay good money to see a Manga Harry Potter movie.

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The not-so-secret history of comics drawn by women

 Image by Marjane Satrapi

No women were nominated for the Angoulême International Comics Festival awards because, according to the organiser, there was a lack of qualified women. “The Festival likes women, but cannot rewrite the history of comics,”.

Not so, says Laurenn McCubbin

“For over 100 years, we have seen the presence of women in the American comics,” Caitlin McGurk, the associate curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library (which houses the largest collection of comics and comic-related history in the world), said. “For the first half of the 20th century, many female cartoonists wrote under ambiguous or masculine names, just to increase their likeliness for publication.” McGurk has many examples: June Mills, who went by a version of her middle name, “Tarpé”, when she created the great Miss Fury in 1941. Miss Fury, in fact, was the first female action hero created by a woman, predating Wonder Woman.

How to draw… with charcoal

How to draw with charcoal Children s books The Guardian

A great overview in The Guardian of how illustrator PJ Lynch works in charcoals. Made me want to give it a go.

From smudging techniques to dramatic use of white chalk, Irish illustrator PJ Lynch has some useful tips on how to make great drawings using charcoal

See the full tutorial here – it’s not exhaustive by any means, but it gives you an idea. I’d never come across the tip to start on grey. Why did no one ever tell me that?