Trying to catch up to the Canadian Comics News!
Item! My new favourite cartoonist is Cathon, a young artist from Montreal by way of Quebec City. I just love that crazy drawing style! She has a few books out from La Pasteque and Colosse, as well as various zines and minicomics. That’s an image from her blog above. Not sure what it’s for?
Item! Writing at the Shuster Awards blog, Toronto retailer Kevin Boyd seems to have been the first comics type to catch the Toronto Star report on the actual sale of Honest Ed’s. We reported that the landmark store and it’s entire block (including the locations of The Beguiling and Little Island Comics shops) were for sale a couple months back. Now it seems a Vancouver condo developer has bought the land for over $100 million, but will rent it back to Honest Ed’s owners the Mirvish family and their tenants for 2 years: “Since Westbank has no concrete plans as of yet for the 1.8 hectares of land that runs more than a block West of Bathurst and Bloor and a block South of it — and if they did the designs would have to go through the long process of permits and approvals — so they are renting the land back to David Mirvish for at least 2 to possibly 3 years. Plus the city of Toronto voted to hold off on approving anything until 2014, so they’ll have time to start surveying and consulting and readying for the inevitable discussions with Toronto’s City Council.”
Item! R.I.P. Picturebox Books. Tom Spurgeon has the news of the end of Dan Nadel’s New York-based publishing company. Sad day. Through the years, Picturebox has published many amazing, groundbreaking comics, including work by several Canadian artists like Marc Bell and all-time great Julie Doucet. Nadel is responsible for two important Canadian anthologies: the Bell-edited Nog a Dod: Prehistoric Canadian Psychedoolia (which I reviewed here) and the Nadel-edited The Ganzfeld 5: Japanda. Both of these books are responsible for documenting an ephemeral scene in a way that made many of us sit up and take notice of an important group of artists and cartoonists (see next item). Without Picturebox it is highly unlikely that something like the 2013 TCAF would have been half as memorable, minus Picturebox luminaries like Gengorah Tagame and Dash Shaw; international, edgy avant garde figures whose presence enriches our understanding of comic art. The official final book to be published by Picturebooks is Infomaniacs, by Matthew Thurber. “That’s a good one to end on,” Nadel told [Comics Reporter]. Nadel told CR that the decision was personal rather than professional, and that the idea of closing the company was instigated by him for reasons related to the course of his life rather than forced by business concerns. According to the writer, editor and designer, PictureBox was a viable concern right up to the end, and could have been continued at its current level of success in perpetuity. He was the company’s only full-time employee: art direction was freelanced and the artists that worked for PictureBox did so through standard publishing contracts. It did allow for Nadel’s living in New York City, and, he stressed, could have continued.
Item! And speaking of cartoonists in anthologies edited by Marc Bell and Dan Nadel, Mark Connery has a show of new painting and collages at Toronto gallery Weird Things running until December 11. Might Match the Couch. He says, “About a week more friends, frenemies, strangers, and whomever the hecks-youz-is. Show is nearly half sold!!! Yar! There’s some fine deals, fine arts, beax arts, bozo arts & many treasures courtesy of Weird Things. Hours are Tues – Saturday 12 – 7″
Item! Comics festivals we have unintentionally ignored department: Marc Tessier has photos on Facebook from the recently-concluded festival in Gatineau, Quebec, Les Rendez-vous de la Bande Dessinee de Gatineau (RVBDG), which took place last weekend, November 29 to December 1.
Item! Annie Koyama shares some holiday shopping ideas from Magic Pony.
Item! Diana Tamblyn writes about female superheroes in film: “my daughter who is 8 would like nothing more than to see a female-driven action movie that is kid-friendly. There are none though. The closest we have come is the Powerpuff Girls DVDs from the old TV show. The show is smart, the characters are strong and relatable, the artwork is superb. We’ll just have to read Harry Potter and Percy Jackson while we’re waiting, waiting for Hollywood to get their act together.”
Item! The Panels for Primates webcomic charity anthology that we wrote about awhile back (it was a fundraiser for a chimpanzee rescue organization) has found new life thanks to Monkeybrain Comics (natch) and Comixology. Editor Troy Wilson writes to let us know the new comics include contributions from Jeff Lemire, J. Bone, Adam Domville, Aaron Florian, and Lisa Cinar. You can get the comics (including one for kids) here.
Item! Learn all about classic Canadian comic book artist Edmond Good. According to Ivan Kockmarek’s latest column at Comic Book Daily, Good was a cartoonist and painter who drew superhero and adventure comics for the Canadian Whites during World War II and went on to illustrate pulps (Weird Tales) and work in U.S. comics (the post-Noel Sickles/Frank Robbins Scorchy Smith comic strip. According to Kockmarek, Good worked on the “Mike Gibbs, Guerilla” strip in Adventure Comics and “is best known for doing Phantom Detective stories in Thrilling Comics from 1946-48, being the original artist on the Tomahawk who first appeared in Star Spangled Comics 69 in 1947, the good girl art he did in Dagar Comics in 1948-9 and the long run he had with the title character in Monte Hale Western Comics for Fawcett from 1949-53.” Co-creator of Tomahawk, a long-running feature for DC, is a pretty good claim to fame!
Item! Georgia Webber (Dumb) is this year’s comics editor for literary journal Carte Blanche. She writes: “”SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN, gimme your comics gimme your comics gimme your coooooomics!!!” BONUS: Webber is also profiled on Hazlitt about the potential of comics.
Item! Do you know the work of Julian Peters? Recently profiled in the Boston Globe, Peters is a student at Concordia whose very accomplished comics adaptations of famous poems are burning up the internets. Edgar Alan Poe and T.S. Eliot’s Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock have been the subjects of Peters’ pen but he has also produced his own original comics and graphic novellas. At first glance, his work combines some of the better aspects of Wil Eisner, Craig Thompson, Dave Sim, Ty Templeton, and Donna Barr. See his blog here.
Item! Warner Brothers/DC Comics got some good publicity from the CBC awhile back on the subject of a new superhero being crowdsourced by Jeff Lemire for inclusion in the Justice League of America comic book he will be writing. Ostensibly based on 15-year-old Cree activist Shannen Koostachin, the new character is yet to be named.
Item! Dakota McFadzean is interviewed by Emmet Matheson for Prairie Dog magazine about his childhood, work strategies, and more: “I am attracted to big, sparse, empty, ghostly-feeling panels. If I’m being honest, especially with regards to the early stories in the book, I just don’t like drawing environments. Architecture and stuff requires research and reference, and you’ve got to get it right. Prairie landscapes are what I grew up with, but prairie landscapes are also really easy to draw. You don’t have to do a lot of trees or mountains or perspective. You just draw a flat line and you’re done! Go home for the night.”
Item! Lastly, Andy Brown blogs about his trip to Montreal for Expozine and the Dakota McFadzean booklaunch. Tons of photos and sentimental thoughts about that city’s comics community: “Thanks Montreal. Always a nostalgia trip for me. And thanks to the very capable, talented and beautiful people who I publish for going above and beyond to help me out behind the table. A group of us founded Expozine 12 years ago because we saw a need. Obviously the community agreed. With the present location it has become a November ritual and for the francophones, an alternative to next week’s intense Salon des Livres (there are no anglophones there, another reason to start up Expozine, a truly bilingual and inclusive event)”
03.Dec.2013 Group Glen Art Show, Toronto
A selection of collaborative works organized by Marc Bell (in other words: drawings by Marc and a bunch of other dudes and a couple ladies).
At WEIRD THINGS, 998 Bathurst St, Toronto, Ontario.
Show runs from December 12th til January 15th
Opening — Thursday December 12th, 7 – 10 pm
The opening will also be a launch for a new book by Rupert Bottenberg and Marc Bell: The second issue of ARBEITEES (published by Paper Pusher). If you don’t recall the first one, it came out in 1996 or so.
25.Nov.2013 Dots and Dashes
The Sequential signal has been a little dim lately. We are all very busy in our daily life.
As a matter of fact, I feel a little bit like Little Dot in this strip since I have been contemplating similar colour schemes in regards to a new non-comics-related venture.
More Canadian comix newz and views soon, I promise!
21.Nov.2013 The Saddest Comic Book Ever?
by BK Munn
Little Orphan Annie. The Love Bunglers. It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken. Hey Wait. These are comics that have had an emotional effect on me, of the melancholic, lugubrious sort. It’s really hard to find a comic book that is moving and artistically satisfying, without it being cliche or maudlin in any way. While there are many comics, strips, and graphic novels I would call great works of art full of sublime feeling and depth of thought, very few have had such an emotional impact that I have been reduced to tears. Maybe if more comics included violins?
Sometimes the emotional effect of a comic story is amplified by the act of serialization (the “Is Little Nell dead?” syndrome). Living with fictional characters over a long period of time enhances our emotional links to them, I think. Add to that, as was the case with my first reading of Ed The Happy Clown, for instance, the sense that you are participating in something new or artistically daring, and the effect is magnified again. This effect is more pronounced in young readers and young artforms, perhaps.
There are sad comics. Comics that mimetically evoke sadness or actually elicit a real emotional response. There are also comics that disgust us or are sad in the sense that we feel sorry for the creator or the artform of comics.
The critics discuss sad comics:
“I think [Paying For It by Chester Brown is] a very sad comic, though. I don’t know that it succeeds in a way that Brown intended, to the extent that matters.” Abhay Khosla
“That, ladies in gentlemen, is the saddest comic I have ever read. God, I’m getting all verklempt just typing this.” Chris Mautner on the Sept 26, 1937 episode of the Popeye comic strip
“[The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba is] a weird, sad comic about superheroes, with sophisticated pacing that trusts in the intelligence of the reader rather than insisting on serving them nothing but what they’ve already seen.” Sean T. Collins
Then there are comics that are the saddest. How can there be more than one? It is a matter of taste, experience, and point-of-view. Dealing in extremes and superlatives can be dangerous, but also funny, and sometimes bittersweet:
“The saddest comic-book page of all time: inside front cover of Dennis the Menace #79 (July 1965).” Rodrigo Baeza
“I just read the saddest comic book I’ve ever read.” Egypt Urnash on the final volume of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World
“[Identity Crisis #5] is quite possibly the saddest comic book readers will ever have the chance to read, as the feelings it will evoke are gut-wrenching, especially to people that love those characters.” Sebastian Ferrer
“Dastmo I’m real happy for you and imma let you finish but Rorschach dying is the saddest comic book moment of all time! OF ALL TIME!” a world of warcraft player on Watchmen #12
“ACTION COMICS 583 (September ’86) had a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, from a cover design by Ed Hannigan –it remains the saddest comic book cover I’ve ever seen.” Jimmm Kelly
20.Nov.2013 Betty Liang Art Show, Ottawa
Betty Liang and her comics were nominated for a Wright Award two years back. Now she is showing some new work at an Ottawa Gallery. Her tumblr is here.
The show opening is Friday night, November 22.
New Work by Betty Liang
La Petite Mort Gallery
306 Cumberland Ave, Ottawa
at the D&Q store
T Edward Bak will present material and a reading from his new work, Island of Memory, with a brief discussion of his artistic process and related ecological and historical research, followed by a Q&A.
With the launch of his first book, Other Stories and the Horse You Rode in On, Dakota McFadzean shares some excerpts from his comics, and discusses the process of creating them. Also he will try to understand why he inadvertently set all his stories in a dreamworld version of Saskatchewan without realizing it.
Montreal’s 12th annual small press, comic and zine fair
Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, 2013
noon to 6 p.m.
(Église Saint-Enfant Jésus, Laurier Métro)
From the organizers: “The massive Expozine small press fair is a unique showcase of the best publications today’s small presses and self-publishers have to offer! Literally thousands of different publications can be found at Expozine, with dozens of brand-new publications being launched there as well. It’s THE “salon du livre” for readers interested in today’s underground and alternative publications!
Aside from the book fair itself, Expozine 2013 features a program of discussions and presentations, featuring one of North America’s legendary zine-makers, Aaron Cometbus of Cometbus. There will also be an exhibit of zines and prints drawn from Expozine’s and Archive Montreal’s archives.”
by BK Munn
The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the winners of the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, the winner in the category of Children’s Book Illustration (French language) was cartoonist Isabelle Arsenault for the graphic novel Jane, le renard & moi (text by Fanny Britt), published by Les Éditions de la Pastèque.
The Council funds and administers the GGs, the most significant literary award program in Canada, providing close to $450,000 in prize money. They are awarded in English and French in seven categories: fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation. Each award comes with a cash prize of $25,000.
Arsenault’s co-creator Fanny Britt also won the French-language drama prize for her play Bienveillance (Leméac Éditeur).
This is the second major comic in recent memory to win the French kid lit GG, following Harvey in 2009. The award also follows the tradition of splitting credit for graphic novels between writers and artists, first brought to light with the Skim controversy of 2008.
Of Arsenault’s work, the GG peer assessment committee members had this to say:
“With sensitive and subtle images, Isabelle Arsenault succeeds magnificently in depicting the overwhelming universe of a young girl. With admirable restraint, the sober illustrations and quiet colours strike a responsive chord as they broach the sensitive subject of bullying. ”
The book has already been translated into English and has been critically acclaimed, most recently by the New York Times.
Item! Not a Canadian story, but a found this kind of cute: A statue memorializing U.S. cartoonist Bill Keane and his Family Circus comic strip has just been dedicated in Keane’s hometown of Scottsdale Arizona. I love statues dedicated to cartoonists. The statue is cast from 16 separate molds and welded together, the monument is called “Giddy-up Daddy” and stands in a local park. Here’s a link to a video featuring Jeff and Chris Keane, the sons of the creator currently responsible for the strip.
Item! Speaking of cartoonist memorials, awhile back I wrote a piece about Canadian Cartoonist Landmarks, including the Palmer Cox house and historic plaque in Granby, Quebec. According to this article about Cox by Brian Busby, the plaque was stolen last year, probably by metal recycling thieves. A real tragedy.
Item! Last week’s Rob Ford news resulted in some crack reporting but the best piece I read was by cartoonist Michael DeForge on the immediate effect of the crack-smoking scandal on Toronto’s cartoonist community. An instant classic of journalism.
Item! Mentioned in DeForge’s report is cartoonist Patrick Kyle. The big news from this past weekend’s Comic Art Brooklyn show is that Koyama Press will be collecting Kyle’s Distance Mover graphic novel for Fall 2014. I had a subscription to the serialized risograph version and it is funny, sad, and beautiful. Tom Spurgeon has the scoop.
Item! In Windsor, Shawn Cousineau, owner of Rogues Gallery Comics, has started a drive to add comic books to food and toy baskets for needy families at Christmas, according to the Windsor Star: “Cousineau’s goal is to collect 6,000 comics from the public – 1,000 more than last year – before Dec. 12. The need for 1,000 more distresses him a bit, he said, because that means there are more families in need in Windsor. But it’s his mission to reach that goal regardless. For people who do not collect comics or do not want to part with some of their collection, a $5 donation will ensure 20 kids receive a colourful comic book this Christmas. Since starting on Nov. 1, Cousineau has collected $195 in donations and more than 200 comics.”
Item! Reviews! Writing for The Comics Journal, Dominic Umile reviews Elaine Will’s Look Straight Ahead, a graphic novel about mental illness: “Will sets herself apart in regularly varying execution, however, and here, in positioning two divergent conceptualizations of one sequence on a single page. But it isn’t just bold drafting. As often as we marvel at the manifestation of Jeremy’s delusions in Look Straight Ahead, at the spacescapes, littered with puzzle pieces that float freely within the book’s gutters, there is a sympathetic unearthing of the hardships that affect about one in four American adults here. Will’s pages stir and stun in their blur of off-kilter aesthetics, but they’re ultimately drawing attention to her deft and worthwhile examination of a truly difficult subject matter.”
Item! Finally, Brian Heater reviews Seth’s Palookaville #21 for Boing Boing. The new issue of this annual series has several stories: “‘Nothing Lasts’ (again, a pretty spot-on Seth title) returns to the gridded sketchbook layout the artist employed for the whimsical Wimbledon Green. The autobiographical story is as much an exercise in childhood nostalgia as it is a meditation on memory, and Seth, to his credit, is every bit as invested in the bad recollections as the good. And for a young boy with few friends, warring parents and a heavily medicated mother, the results are often brutally revealing. Like most of his serials, it will be fascinating to see how things unspool — and a bit frustrating, given Palookaville’s now annual schedule. For anyone who’s been following the series, it’s required reading, obviously.”
08.Nov.2013 NOTES ON JOE SACCO in Vancouver by David Lester
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodward’s, November 6, 2013
by David Lester
The great Joe Sacco was articulate and engaging last night in Vancouver as he sat down for a conversation that included host Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight newspaper.
Joe Sacco is the author/illustrator of 12 books including the masterpiece Footnotes in Gaza.
When asked about the origins of his book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Sacco described how he was approached with the idea by co-author Chris Hedges over drinks one night in Portland. Sacco amused the audience of 150 by saying , “Put a drink in front of me and I’ll probably come up with a book.”
Asked why he made his art in “analog” instead of digital, Sacco passionately explained how he still loved drawing, and the smell of ink and the sound of his pen on paper. He rightly questioned why drawing by hand should even be considered analog. Drawing is drawing. He added that he didn’t know how to use Photoshop, but “probably should.”
Joe Sacco revealed that future comic projects include a sexual farce, “Which I’m quite enjoying.” And a major long term work about Mesopotamia, which will deal with his interest in issues of social inequality.
Sacco’s latest book is The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme.
David Lester is author/illustrator of The Listener
07.Nov.2013 CLLDF Starts Twitter Auction Fundraiser
by BK Munn
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund has announced its first “Twitter auction” will begin today. The fundraiser for the anti-censorship organization will feature five pieces of art donated by Kyle Charles, the new ongoing artist for Image Comics’ ’68 series.
Included are four blank covers featuring full-colour art from various Marvel and DC series and one black-and-white drawing from an event at the Edmonton Expo in September. The auction ends November 12 at midnight, with all proceeds going to the CLLDF.
The bidding process will take part entirely on Twitter. All bids are to be made directly to the Fund’s feed (@clldf).
Founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop charged with selling obscene materials, the CLLDF exists to provide aid to Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, and fans in the area of free speech.
05.Nov.2013 The C-List: Tamaki News plus Critics Wonder, “What Makes Canadian Comics Canadian?” (Jeet Heer)
Item! Cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki have previewed the cover image to their follow-up to the award-winning Skim graphic novel. This One Summer is the name of the new book (formerly known as Awago Beach Babies), to be published by Groundwood Books (First Second in the U.S.) in March. The cover and sample pages are previewed with a short interview at the LA Times. According to writer Mariko, “the spark for what happens in “This One Summer” was a story I heard about a Burger King in Niagara Falls that made girls pregnant. How, I’m not sure, but that’s what I heard. I thought, “There’s a book in that somewhere.” I’m fascinated by the mythologies of where babies come from, the stories we come up with as a way of addressing taboo subjects like sex and pregnancy. The rest of the story really evolved from the process of making the comic with Jillian.”
Item! Writing about new crowdfunding projects by Jonathan Dalton and Audran Guerard, U.S. critic and comics historian Sean Kleefield asks, what’s the difference between Canadian comics and those made south of the 49th? “what I’ll be on the lookout for are more Canadian-based comics projects that focus on those differing perspectives. Do I want to see a Canadian do another superhero story? Not especially. I want to see creators show me what sets Canada apart from the U.S.? I heard a year or so back that there was some confusion over what constituted a “Canadian identity” beyond “America Lite”. Let’s see if some more Canadian creators step up and show us what you’ve got!”
Item! On the other hand, Canadian critic and comics historian Jeet Heer has something of a rebuttal to Kleefield’s query, in an interview with The Comics Reporter: “Back in the 1980s, the Canadian comics scene felt claustrophobically small, basically a few hardy souls struggling in the wilderness. Working on the Doug Wright Awards, I’m heartened by the fact that the strong cohort of cartoonists who emerged in the 1980s and 1990s was not a one generation-affair but has been supplemented by rising talents like Michael DeForge and Ethan Rilly. Among publishers as well, there has been a thickening out. Drawn and Quarterly is now more than just Chris Oliveros working from home. Building on what Oliveros started, Peggy Burns and Tom Devlin have helped turn it into an actual book publisher with a staff. The D&Q Store has given the firm a new public face in one of Canada’s biggest cities. Nor is D&Q the only outlet for good comics. Conundrum, Koyama and other presses have expanded the range of what Canada publishes. [...] I don’t think there is a single Canadian school of comics but perhaps a few regional schools. The Southern Ontario cartoonists — Seth, Chester Brown — seem like kissing cousins of American mid-western cartooning. Many cartoonists in Quebec have a definite debt to the Franco-Belgian tradition — I’m thinking here of Pascal Girard or Michel Rabagliati. Traditionally Canada has been the middle ground between Europe and the United States. That’s perhaps were our comics are as well, an attempt to synthesize what’s best in both the Old World and the New.”
Item! Someone gave out Jack Chick comics for Halloween in Cambridge, Ont, prompting complaints from the parents of the 3-year-old child who received the tracts, according to the local newspaper. (Incidentally, the Canadian government has a history of banning Chick tracts.) From the description, it sounds like the comics in question include such classics of the hate literature canon as “Somebody Loves Me” but not, confusedly, “Happy Halloween” or “The Good Little Witch”: “Masquerading such images as a message of love couldn’t be more flawed,” Linda Garneau, Murray’s sister-in-law, said of the religious comic book. “Halloween should not be a political or evangelical event, let it remain a celebration for those little ones among us who still believe in unicorns and supermen,” she stated. “What were they thinking? Who would even publish this,” Garneau asked in an interview. Murray echoed Garneau’s sentiments. “Anyone thinking that a three-year-old Princess Rapunzel … needs to be subjected to pictures of cruelty and violence on any day, let alone (Halloween) – a day for kids to be kids – is pretty shameful,” he said.
a new exhibit starts Wednesday at Montreal’s biggest museum, celebrating the publisher’s 15 year anniversary
nice Michel Rabagliati poster, as well
artists in the show: Isabelle Arsenault, Pascal Blanchet, Paul Bordeleau, Pascal Colpron, Cyril Doisneau, Patrick Doyon, Jean-Paul Eid, Pascal Girard, Réal Godbout, Janice Nadeau, Michel Rabagliati, Marc Simard, Rémy Simard, Siris and Leif Tande
La BD S’Expose au Musee:
15 Artisites de La Pastèque Inspires par la Collection
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
November 6, 2013 to March 30, 2014
also, there is this “family activity” scheduled:
Come and meet Quebec’s leading comic-strip artists in connection with this exhibition celebrating the 15th anniversary of the publishing house La Pastèque!
Sundays, November 10, 17 and 24 – 3 p.m.
Duration: 60 minutes
Maximum: 25 people
Artists will demonstrate their drawing techniques, while explaining their work and sources of inspiration.
*Pass required and are available at the Family Lounge in the Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière starting at 10 a.m. on the day of the activity.
30.Oct.2013 New Books: Fantastic Plotte by Julie Doucet
We linked to this earlier in the week but I thought I’d pull it out and highlight it. This is a pretty important reprint project: a new collection of all of Julie Doucet’s Dirty Plotte fanzine publications, predating her comics superstardom through D+Q. Still lots of comics here! These comics by one of Canada’s greatest and most influential cartoonists ever haven’t been in print for over 20 years.
with English translations. from L’Oie de Cravan.
The latest scoops!
Item! There is an epic, career-spanning interview with cartoonist Marc Bell up at Du9. Xavier Guilbert gets Bell to examine alot of his own work and motivations, but he also talks about his work experience (or lack of) in the realm of selling his soul, including this nugget about a mighty Canadian cultural institution: “In the 90′s I was working at Nelvana, which is an animation company in Toronto. They make like Little Bear, Sam and Max, Pippi Longstocking — or they did, I don’t know if they exist anymore, they probably do. The people who worked there, people who had the design jobs or the writing jobs there, would say : “Hey Marc, we’ve seen your comics, you should propose a cartoon.” So I think I went through the process of trying to propose something, but they threw so much paperwork at me… they threw paperwork that basically said : “If we take your proposal and steal it, you can’t sue us.” So I would have needed a lawyer to write my own paperwork. But I was broke. I was working for them for, ten dollars an hour, coloring their garbage or whatever. So…”
Item! Bell has also designed a new beer label for Guelph’s Wellington Brewery. It’s called Quick Brown Fox. It’s supposed to be an ESB or Extra Special Bitter. Haven’t tried it yet but it looks great! [UPDATE: I TRIED IT AND IT IS QUITE GOOD. STRONG TASTE, SORT OF HOPPY, LOW CARBONATION, KIND OF FRUITY SWEET BUT OTHERWISE UNPRETENTIOUS.]
Item! Speaking of Vancouver, the Cloudscape collective is accepting submissions for its next (eighth!) anthology, subtitled “Mega Fauna.” According to the collective, the theme is “inspired by the extensive work Cloudscape has done over the last year with the city’s youths (including art classes and festivals), this anthology will be all-ages, targeted towards children and adults alike. Every story in Mega Fauna will feature people interacting with animals in one form or another. The animals can be domestic or wild, real or imaginary and the story can be any genre (comedy, fantasy, science fiction, adventure, etc.). Deadline for initial script submissions is December 10.
Item! A new comics shop has opened up in the increasingly crowded Kensington Market area of Toronto. According to blogTO, The Comic Pile stocks the usual comics, games, “Kidrobot statues, but also Game of Thrones drinking glasses, stylized bottle openers, and iPhone plush toys.”
23.Oct.2013 Chester Brown’s Louis Riel: The Animated Trailer
From Mike Valiquette’s excellent Canadian Animation Resources blog comes this awesome hint at might have been: an animated movie based on Chester Brown’s graphic biography of Louis Riel. Details at the link but credit goes to animator Nick Cross.
20.Oct.2013 Sunday: Canzine, Toronto
Canzine: Festival of Zines and Underground Culture
Sunday October 20, 2013* 1-7pm
918 Bathurst Centre
Admission $5 (includes a free copy of the Fall issue of Broken Pencil Magazine)
lots of local comics folk, art zinesters, and general wonderfulness in store for the hardy souls willing to engage with this event
16.Oct.2013 The C-List: Beaton, Fawkes, Maroh, Seth
Let’s see who made the ol’ C-List this time out.
Item! At the New York Comic Con last weekend, Kate Beaton announced her next project will be a kids book published by Scholastic and featuring the Fat Pony character from her comics and sketches. She discussed the book and the pony with Laura Hudson for Wired: “It’s such a versatile character! I’ve had kids come up to me at comics shows, and they really love that pony. The book is about a little warrior princess who is given a silly looking pony on her birthday, and it’s not exactly what she wanted … So [the story] is about finding value in something unexpected, but it’s also really fun and really silly. She’s a very energetic little girl and she wants to be a warrior. Then on her birthday she gets the pony as as gift and she’s like, what can I do with this? It’s embarrassing. It’s too old. It’s too fat. It’s too short. It’s not right for someone as rough and tough as me.“
Item! At the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, a movie called Blue Is the Warmest Colour was all the rage, winning the coveted Palme d’Or prize. The film was based on a French comic by Julie Maroh and now a translated version is available in English from Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press. Just out this week, the book is described by its publisher as “a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.” Preview here.
Item! Just in time for Halloween, Toronto cartoonist Ray Fawkes has a new collection of ghost stories coming out from McClelland and Stewart (publisher of Scott Chantler’s Two Generals and not too much else in the graphic novel format). A “stunning and brilliantly conceived new graphic novel, The Spectral Engine is the unearthly entity that brings together thirteen historically documented ghost stories – from across the country and throughout the centuries – to tell a timeless narrative of life, death, and redemption.” The book gets raves from Fawkes’ fellow DC Comics writers Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt on the M&S website. Like recent DC books, it also has a gimmick cover and glows in the dark. Preview.
Item! Oh here’s another comics-related item from McClelland and Stewart: A new book profusely illustrated by Seth! It’s a new edition of Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, one of the foundational humour books in the Canadian literature pantheon. I think this may be part of a new series? “As funny, relevant, and insightful today as when it was first published, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town presents a vibrant and unforgettable portrait of the delightful citizens of the fictional small town of Mariposa, Ontario. Now in this sumptuously designed gift edition, internationally acclaimed cartoonist Seth brings his unique vision and artistry to bear on the inhabitants of this little town to spectacular effect. With more than 40 full- and double-page colour illustrations throughout, this special edition is an extraordinarily beautiful and loving tribute to Mariposa and its residents, one that is sure to enchant long-time fans of Leacock’s book as well as captivate a new generation of readers.”
15.Oct.2013 This Saturday: Toronto Queer Zine Fair
SATURDAY OCTOBER 19TH, @ SCADDING COURT COMMUNITY CENTER (707 Dundas Street West)
TORONTO QUEER ZINE FAIR
11Am – 5pm
All entrances to this building are accessible. Gender neutral bathrooms will be available in the basement which is also accessible via elevator
A free vegan/gf meal will be available for all those attending and tabling
Childcare and active listening will also be on site!
10.Oct.2013 Roy Peterson, 1936-2013
by BK Munn
Vancouver Sun political cartoonist Roy Peterson died September 30 at St. Paul’s Hospital after experiencing a heart attack at his family home, according to a statement released by the family. Peterson had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
Born in Winnipeg, Peterson moved with his family to the Vancouver area in 1948. He became interested in cartooning in highschool and sought out an audience with the Vancouver Sun’s Len Norris, then the dean of Canadian editorial cartoonists, who told him to prepare for a “hard grind.” While a student at The Vancouver Art School, Peterson took lessons from cartoonist Al Beaton, who raved about his drawing ability.
After graduating, Peterson worked in the art departments of various retailers, while honing his cartooning chops. “I drew for small local papers while working for Sears Canada,” Peterson told cartoonist Michael de Adder. He also worked for Woodward’s department store before ending up at Eaton’s. He started placing cartoons in The South Cariboo Advertiser in 1956 and had graduated to The Vancouver Province (home of Al Beaton) by 1962.
Peterson began work for The Vancouver Sun in 1962, joining the staff in 1963 and eventually replacing the legendary Norris as ranking cartoonist. From there his career took off, with Peterson rapidly becoming one of the premier newspaper cartoonists in the country. His syndicated cartoons were seen across Canada and he placed work internationally in venues such as Punch, The Spectator, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and TV Guide. He was also a major contributor to Maclean’s beginning in the 60s, and famously illustrated Alan Fotheringham’s back-page column for over 25 years.
As Fotherinham noted, “Roy would sit in his creative office, a renovated garage behind his house in Vancouver, waiting for a phone call from me from somewhere in the world, from God knows which continent. It could be India, Russia, China, or any of the 91 countries I encountered in the 26 years we produced the column.
Friends could not believe it when I told them Roy would only receive on his garage phone my musings, what I would be raging about on the lurking deadline, and he would somehow produce an angry cartoon that perfectly matched my anger. Incredible as it may seem, I would sometimes give him my vague instructions a day before his deadline in Toronto.”
Peterson’s heroes and influences included Ronald Searle, Duncan Macpherson, and Harvey Kurtzman. With Len Norris he shared a precise, clear-line drawing style nonetheless imbued with a plethora of skilled technique, varying from the lightest feathering to inky blackness and tight cross-hatching. A talented caricaturist, he also excelled in composition and figure drawing, ably delineating everything from landscapes, to political faces, to the muscles on a rock guitarist’s forearm. His gentle nature served him well in a mentoring role to generations of younger cartoonists.
Peterson published several books, including The World According to Roy Peterson, (with text by Fotheringham), Drawn and Quartered (cartoons from the Trudeau years), and Peterson’s ABCs. During the 1970s and 80s, he also illustrated four brisk-selling political allegories written by the humourist Stanley Burke: Frog Fables and Beaver Tales, The Day of the Glorious Revolution, Blood Sweat and Bears, and Swamp Song.
Peterson was one of the founding members and organizers of the Canadian Association of Editorial Cartoonists and served as the president of the U.S. association in 1983. He won seven National Newspaper Awards for his work, more than any other cartoonist or journalist, and received The Order of Canada in 2004.
After a 47-year tenure, he was fired from the Sun during a round of cutbacks in 2009.
Predeceased by his wife Margaret, Peterson is survived by several children and grandchildren.
A Celebration of Roy Peterson’s life will be held between 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Friday, October 11th, 2013 at Hollyburn Country Club, 950 Crosscreek Road, West Vancouver, BC.