Get drawing tips as we cover WWDC with sketchnotes

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Andy McNally/ Cult of Mac
Andy McNally/ Cult of Mac

“Sketchnotes” are an increasingly popular form of visual note-taking. By combining text and images, sketchnotes are not only beautiful, but often easier to recall than text alone. The technique is an effective way of capturing notes and ideas in the classroom, meetings and conferences.

All next week, illustrator and senior UX/UI designer Andy McNally will be sketchnoting Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for us, starting with the big keynote on Monday.

Andy has been covering Apple’s events as sketchnotes for some time. We ran some of his sketchnotes from last year’s event, which proved very popular. He’s back again this year, and is planning to publish sketchnotes from a variety of sessions at the conference.

Before he gets started, Andy shared some tips and techniques for getting started on sketchnoting yourself. Let’s take a look:

Out and proud: Iceman is far from the only LGBT superhero in comics

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The Iceman cometh... out. Photo: Marvel Comics
The Iceman cometh... out. Photo: Marvel Comics

In this week’s All-New X-Men #40, long-time team member Iceman comes out as gay — his secret being revealed through an endearing conversation with telepathic teammate Jean Grey.

But Iceman’s far from the only LGBT character in sequential art history. As one of Cult of Mac’s comic gurus, I combed through the archives for six more examples of beloved LGBT comic book characters to demonstrate the medium’s continued commitment to diversity.

The revelation? That’s it’s far from the headline-provoking novelty it once was. And that there are more than you might imagine.

And to think some readers probably figured Tim Cook — with his Tony Stark-like tech fortune and desire to make the world a better place — was the world’s only gay superhero.

Marvel’s spectacular Comic-Con offer lets you read 15,000 comics for just $1

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If you’re a fan of Marvel Comics (and, frankly, who isn’t?) you’ll likely be pleased as punch to hear of the publisher’s latest offer.

To celebrate Comic-Con International, Marvel is opening up its online archive — consisting of more than 15,000 books that date back as far as the Golden and Silver ages — for the princely sum of one dollar.

Guardians of the Galaxy sneak peek proves Avengers wasn’t a fluke

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In Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel brings together a band of misfits to fight evil. Image courtesy Marvel Studios
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel brings together a band of misfits to fight evil. Image courtesy Marvel Studios

Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy and why should you care? Marvel Studios gave lucky fans a nice long look at the weird team of space heroes during an extended sneak preview of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

The 17 minutes of footage introduced the five key players: Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt); talking raccoon Rocket and his treelike buddy/protector Groot; beefy blue badass Drax the Destroyer (part-time WWE wrestler Dave Bautista); and steely, green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). It also gave us a sustained looked at the movie’s not-so-secret weapon: humor.

Comics’ best supervillains (and not just the obvious ones)

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Mr. Freeze has been an enduringly chilly presence in the Batman universe since his first appearance (as Mr. Zero) in Batman #121, back in February 1959. The most famous take on the character was the one engineered by Paul Dini in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice.” That story introduced us to Freeze’s terminally ill, cryogenically frozen wife Nora, which both explained Freeze’s obsession with cold and turned him into a tragic character in the process.

But while Dini’s animated version of Freeze was good enough to become the standard portrayal of the character in most forms of media, more recently I’ve been loving the reinvention of Mr. Freeze seen in DC’s New 52. (SPOILERS) You see, in this universe it turns out that Nora was never Freeze's wife at all, but rather a woman born in 1943, who was put into cryogenic stasis at the age of 23 after being diagnosed with an incurable heart condition.

Writing his doctoral thesis on Nora, Freeze fell in love with her, and became obsessed with finding a way to bring her back to life. One cryonic chemical accident later, and the already unhinged Dr. Victor Fries is transformed into Mr. Freeze. It’s a clever re-imagining of Freeze’s origin which makes him less sympathetic, but a whole lot creepier.


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Who’s the baddest of the bad?

Got your own favorite underappreciated supervillain? Let us know in the comments below.

How ComiXology Became The iTunes Of Comic Books

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