Charley Parker

Argon Zark!
I am a webcomics artist, cartoonist, illustrator, web site designer and Flash animator (yeah, me and my 5 clones) living in the Philadelphia area. I’m probably best known as the creator of Argon Zark!, the first ongoing comic created specifically for distribution on the Web. (That’s Argon, not me, pictured above…).

I studied Painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, supplemented with study at the Delaware Art Museum and the Fleisher Art Memorial. I continue to pursue an interest in drawing at The Plastic Club and The Philadelphia Sketch Club.

I have been doing professional web site design since 1995, and I teach a class in Adobe Flash at the Delaware College of Art and Design.

I can be reached by email at: charley@linesandcolors.com .

When suggesting a site or topic for Lines and Colors, please see the Suggest a Site page.

Why I’m doing this blog

When I was a growing up, we lived in a house in Claymont, Delaware that was about 200 yards from the house of F.O.C. Darley, often referred to as the father of American Illustration. I spent most of my youth (including Kindergarden at the stone school next to the Darley House and years at Darley Road Elementary) oblivious to its significance, but living in the Brandywine Valley eventually did have a major impact on my desire to be an artist and my taste in art, along with a few other, um… less reputable influences.

When I was 10 or so, I came across some paperback reprints of the EC Mad comics from the 1950′s. These irreverent, hilarious comics, written by comic genius Harvey Kurtzman and maniacally drawn by Wally Wood, Will Elder and Jack Davis, popped the top off my impressionable little brain, and both my eyes and my world got significantly wider. (Those early Mad comics were outrageous, subversive and outside the mainstream in a way that’s hard to describe now. They were the visual equivalent to early Rock n’ Roll. See my post on Wally Wood.)

It was my first delicious “Wow, there’s a whole other world out there I didn’t know about!” moment (and what made me want to draw comics).

Moments like that have happened again as I’ve been dazzled by the discovery of new artists or genres that have sparked my imagination: mid ’60s Marvel superhero comics, late ’60s underground comics, the classic illustrators and pen-and ink artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (particularly the Brandywine school), old master drawings, Dada, Surrealism, Impressionist painting, early 1900′s newspaper comics, 19th century academic painting, European comics, Chinese ink painting, Japanese Anime, digital concept art… – every one a revelation and a new world.

It’s my delight in that feeling of wide-eyed discovery that has prompted me to create Lines and Colors in August of 2005.

I’m not a critic. In fact, I may be more of an anti-critic. I’m only writing about things I like. It’s my hope that I can introduce you to some visual art gems that you may not be aware of, or perhaps tell you something you didn’t know about someone or something you’re already familiar with. (And maybe you can do the same for me.)

I take special pleasure in the thought that, drawn by interest in a subject you already like, you may discover something new in a genre you wouldn’t ordinarily have come across and have an “Ah-ha!” moment.

Enjoy.