Back home now, after the show. Ange and I had a lovely week of time off bumbing around Toronto doing nothing to demanding, other than diner with my mother no running around to see family [sorry folks, next time] no working, nothing but having a vacation.
Had a great time, diner with the Sequential gang was nice, we need to do that more often – Also had my first sad go at karaoke – Ange and Kalman owned the night on that one.
I got to meet one of the producers behind SGU, a favorite show of mine and Ange’s, seems like a nice guy, sad to hear the studio’s are not going to continue the show. And i’ve got a big pile of new books to read, think i’ll try to post about them in a bit.
Jamie Coville got this nice shot of me, one of the better ones taken of me at a show in a while. I tend to hate photos of me so that’s an accomplishment. His full set of show photos are here.
Ok, so this is a blatant bribe, I’ve been behind on posting new work the last two weeks, been busy preparing for TCAF and getting Sequential’s special coverage material together, and absorbing some huge good news i’ll mention in a few lines.
To make it up to you, i’m posting this story, a nice colour 5 pager that i think has some rousing sociopolitical tones. If you poke around you’ll find a link to the song it’s based on too.
Holly crap. But that could all be vapor if people don’t get out and vote.
If you enjoy the art I share with you then know this, I’ve directly benefited from arts council suport, once in the past, and big news, i just got accepted for a new grant last month. Which means i’ll be able to keep working on Dream Life without interruption, and in my spare time do some more comics for RevolveЯ too!
This is the kind of funding to give you the kind of art Harper and Co would not think is worthy of support probably, if given a free hand he’d have cut far more.
So keep democracy, and the arts, vibrant in Canada. Take some friends out for breakfast or lunch today, and stop at the polls. Make sure to scoop up the lazy ones with you, all they need is two bits of ID. And don’t forget, a strategic vote could be for NDP!
Canadians go VOTE today! Give Harper a swift kick if not the full boot!
SA: Do you think the future of comics lies in digital media? SS: I don’t think it’s the whole future, but I do think it’s a big part of it. The internet proper is a great entry point for new talent to stretch their legs, get feed back, and learn if they care to. And for more experienced creators it’s a good place to prove something publishers are normally wary of taking a risk on, like unconventional and maybe demanding approaches to pacing and plot. And building an initial interest in a project.
Also, I’ve solely promoted my work online as a comic artist and illustrator, since 1998 or so. And I’d say about 80% of my income has come from inquiries via that.
Then with the new incoming ‘App’ market we have something that may well offer a viable alternative to periodicals, and the problems of overhead and distribution the direct market is struggling with. It’s got a built in monetary stream so that solves that issue, and the new tablets, e-readers and net-books offer an increasingly comfortable reading form factor. Too early to say anything definitive about it but it’s looking pretty viable. Any problems with it I see are more questions of execution and problem solving, than innate obstacles. —>
And as editor at carte blanche I have a shop talk blog post today, catching non-comics readers up with the evolution of the medium over the last 10 years, and adressing the nomenclature of comics, sequential art, graphic novels and graphic fiction.
What I still think of as comics has been going through a time of great change and growth.
When I decided to dedicate most of my time to making them in high school, it was in part because I was being kicked out, and comics were something you didn’t need a degree in. In truth, there were no degrees to be had in comics. If you wanted to learn more about the medium, you studied art, writing, and film, and extrapolated from these different media. If you achieved a professional level of skill there was little worry about competition; I landed my first paying jobs at Marvel after just one serious attempt to get work in the early 1990s.
While I was developing my own skills out on the edges of the scene in the late 1980s, the then lone journal of comics, inventively titled The Comics Journal, called for our bastard medium to be taken seriously by critics, and urged creators to take what they did seriously in order to bring the standards of their work up to where they might merit that attention. —>
Got a bit of nice press the last 48 hours, lot of people tweeting up the comics, thanks KarlDwight and Jack to name a few instigators.
Also the guys at Robot 6 have been really supportive of Dream Life for a while now, posted a nice little thing about the start of Act 2 here.
Here’s an interview a did in November last year. Local radio show Les Mystérieux étonnants posted the clip here, I’m part of the longer post. I’ve made a short version highlighting my bit that you can watch here. As usual i’m less than happy with my ham-fisted responses, hard to be as eloquent as i’d like after talking to teen fan boys all day. My voice was pretty blown out by the time Benoit talked to me here. Slurring my words a lot. Also already was starting to feel the nasty con-bug setting in by this time, laid me up for a week after. Ug.
That’s what I get for shaking that 15 year old Rorschach’s hand.
One thing i feel like clarifying is, i’m not exactly against genre, just letting it drive the story. And the rather blatant leave little up to the imagination put it all out there way it’s written in American Comics a lot of the time. Was talking with Ange about this, we watched the new Being Human series shot here in Montreal.
A good theater friend of her’s is in it, Alison Louder, playing Josh the werewolf’s sister. We watched the BBC series pretty avidly, and comparing, the new one is good, i’m liking it though a lot of that is the familiarity, seeing my town on the tube. But you can’t help notice how much faster they are rushing along in the telling. Not taking as long to build up the personalities at all. Spelling things out much more, rather than letting time pass and you just glean things from their happening. More tell, less show than in the original.
This is what seems to happen in most Genre fiction this side of the Atlantic. Probably elsewhere too, but something that makes most of the good BBC stuff good, is their knack for not doing that as much.
And it’s avoiding that i’m most keen on with Dream Life. I want this story to play out, not be spelled out. You know? Anywho, watch the interview.
And last but not least of all, i recently started putting on an editors cap for chores at carte blanche. As such it’s my duty to inform all doodlers, The next Bi-annual deadline for submissions of graphic fiction to be published in the spring 2011 – 13th edition – of carte blanche is March 15th! You have 53 days to submit!
Been working though the last week of my holidays, but took the night off drawing and trying to fix a wonky wacom driver, and went to the ol’ Casa del Popolo [my first sign painting gig 8 years ago] with Ange. Watched Glass Passenger, who were foot lifting and fun.
But the night was taken by The Unsettlers [seen above in their 'cabaret' configuration] who stomped us late into the night. My second time catching the band, if they play in your neck of the woods be sure to grab someone and go see them raise the dead.
It’s Christmas eve, and Max is running around getting ready for the holiday family trip!
Forgot to update this the last little bit, thought i’d take care of it now. Dream life is going on a short hiatus for the holiday, going to take a bit of time to make some new pages based on changed to the script i just came up with. So this posting is the last page for 2010! Bellow, i give you the page from the week before! [so as to not spoil the end of act 1]
The next time you feel like it’s all just a big mess, and we’re doomed. Take a good look up on a clear dark country night, take it in. Then take a look around you silly monkey, at the tools our minds have given us, and do something with them.