23.Oct.2012 Canzine Toronto 2012 – Comics Survey
By Dalton Sharp
They could have called it Canzine: The Return of the Comic Book. There was huge number of new books on offer. It seemed like every second table was a cartoonists. The following is a small sampling.
Dave Lapp and Nina Bunjevac tabled for Conundrum Press. Both are enjoying great reviews, Dave for People Around Here, Nina for Heartless. If you’re not following their blogs, well, you’re cheating your eyeballs! davelappcomics.blogspot.ca and ninabunjevac.com
The men from Nipple Factory: Adam VanHorne (Counter Balance) and Rodrigo Bravo (Counter Balance: Jungle Fever) have books that tie in with each other. Each has beauty art and wonderfully strange storylines. Buy their stuff now, so you can say you knew them when. http://nipplefactoryinc.tumblr.com/
Jason Kieffer with the new condos of his Cabbagetown neighbourhood in the background
By Dalton Sharp
Jason Kieffer wants to make people angry all over again.
Kieffer’s first book, an illustrated field guide to Toronto’s homeless, stoked complaints he was exploiting street people. He hopes his latest will get detractors and fans alike angry enough to fight for the return of banned street performer Zanta.
Zanta was the persona of David Zancai, a loud, and to some, obnoxious street performer, who grunted out endless push-ups wearing only shorts, construction boots and a Santa hat. He would often shout, “Yes, yes, yes! Merry Christ-mess!” Zanta: The Living Legend is a comic book biography that follows Zanta in his own words from origin to exile.
“I wanted to learn more about his story,” says Kieffer, “and see what he was like one on one, and see beyond his character. But what triggered (my interest) was the fact that he was banned from the city and the subway. That made me rage out. I wanted a discussion to get going. What happened to him needs to be looked into and there needs to be an investigation.”
Zanta was well on his way to becoming a minor local celebrity when a series of bans were issued that would eventually see him barred from the entire downtown core of Toronto and its’ subway system.
And there was jail time – the notoriously overcrowded Don Jail, and the Toronto West Detention Centre, a maximum security prison. And there was solitary confinement. In one darkly humourous panel Zancai is asked what he did to earn jail time. “Doin’ push-ups man,” he says.
Taking three years to complete, the book is packed with thick pen strokes. Barred windows are everywhere in this claustrophobic cityscape. At first Kieffer was drawing them unconsciously, but when he realized what he was doing he put even more in. The city as a giant prison.
He has always been fascinated by street people, living all of his life in Cabbagetown. The gentrified neighbourhood of Victorian homes, sandwiched between two sprawling housing projects, has been home to more than a few wandering eccentrics. They seem much scarcer on the ground lately as new condos go up.
Kieffer wants the writers and advocates that got furious with him for his homeless guide to be equally outraged at those he believes took advantage of Zanta.
The question I’m asking is why aren’t people in the media talking about this as an issue? These so called activists…where were they? Anybody who worked to displace him from the city violated his rights. You can’t ban someone from public space, who is law abiding, nonviolent. To me it’s a freedom of movement, freedom of expression violation.
To people who found Zanta’s act overly aggressive, Kieffer is dismissive. “My stance on it is that if people in a city scare you, don’t live in a city. There’s a lot of craziness in the city. Just because Zanta is recognizable he gets banned? No.”
And David Zancai now…drugged, calm, under the watchful care of his mother. He takes pills daily for his schizophrenia. Kieffer believes the jail time broke him, particularly the solitary confinement.
“People would rather you sit around doing nothing…to a lot of people it’s better that he sits around watching TV. You’re being a good obedient citizen vegging out. It’s all about ‘get in line…get in line…’ I don’t think that’s better. ”
Zanta won’t be coming to town anytime soon.
12.Apr.2012 New Silver Snail Location: Yonge and Dundas
by Dalton Sharp
The new location of the Silver Snail will be at Yonge and Dundas according to a Torontoist report, ending months of speculation that started last spring when original owner Ron Van Leeuwen announced he was retiring and selling the business.
New co-owner George Zotti expressed mixed feelings.
“I hate leaving Queen Street…we’ve been here for 36 years always on this block, but circumstance dictates that we have to go so…a new store a new feel, a new look…a newer building… People don’t realize this, but all the rest of the building is falling down around our ears, so yeah we’re really excited about it. Terrified at the same time but really excited.”
Zotti’s history dates back to the early days of the Snail. Remarkably, he’s been working there since he was fourteen, excepting a six-year hiatus he joked as having a ‘real job’.
“I’ve been shopping here since I was eight with a really good friend of mine, and one day we came in and the owner’s wife said, “hey, do you guys want a job?” We went, “do we want to work at a comic book store?! Yes we want to work at a comic book store!” And so we just started working in the warehouse lifting boxes and sorting things in alphabetical order. Now…twenty some odd years later, I’m one of the co-owners of the store so it’s pretty cool.”
According to the Torontoist the 3,300 sq. ft. store will open by July first. It takes over a vacated wing of a building housing a diminished HMV store. Zotti said he was open to the possibility of an in-store cafe, gallery and gaming spaces. Store staff surmised about Captain Americanos and Flash-pressos. Their bookseller neighbours are the Hairy Tarantula comic shop, BMV, and the World’s Biggest Bookstore.
Deep thanks to Alice Quinn of Tdotcomics.com for a “joint interview” which was 99% her great work.
03.Nov.2011 TONITE: SPEAKEASY AND MORE TINTIN!
Take your pick of cartoon events tonight in Toronto. Speakeasy, “a night out for creative types”, has it’s annual comic book show tonight November 3rd, at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 7-11 p.m. Details.
And more Tintin stuff: a lecture by noted Tintinologist Michael Farr tonight at 8 p.m. at Lillian H. Smith branch, 239 College St. Details.
If you miss it, here’s a link to an interview by Gian Ghomeshi.
02.Nov.2011 TONITE: TORONTO DRAWS TINTIN!
The month long Toronto Draws Tintin show at Steamwhistle Gallery has it’s Opening Party tonight.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 7pm-11pm. The Steamwhistle Gallery is located at 255 Bremner Blvd (near Skydome) and is free to attend. The show features 81/2X11 Tintin related drawings that will be auctioned at the end of the month in support of The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund. Cartoonists include Chester Brown, Michael DeForge, Joe Ollmann, Zach Worton, and Faith Erin Hicks. Details
29.Sep.2011 Rock N’ Write Over: The Partnership Behind the New Comic About Jerusalem, Street Messiahs and Madness
by Dalton Sharp
The early evening crowd at Toronto’s Cameron House pub is packed so deep it’s pushing out the front door. The usual torch and twang. Eugene Zhilinsky spots me immediately, the nerd in the middle of a music show reading a comic book. We’re meeting along with his collaborator Kimberley Whitchurch to talk about Rock Testament, the book I’m conspicuously holding.
The back room of the pub is empty save for a necking couple and a woman sleeping in a booth. In the front, a new band has taken the stage. A girl with the saddest voice in the world croons. It’s fitting to talk here – Rock Testament is a riff on the mystery of music and the people it attracts.
Set in Jerusalem circa 32 A.D., the story centres on David Ro, a street profit proselytizing the revolutionary power of a new sound – rock n’ roll. “Words don’t matter! Not even in music – you can even sing in tongues!” says a follower. “Awop-bop-a-loo-mop Alop-bam-boom!”
“All of my life I was listening to music”, says Zhilinsky, a Russian-born architect renderer who lived in Jerusalem for twelve years. He plays piano and bass, but chose a career in architecture over music. “I’ve always made friends with musicians.” Many of the characters in the book are taken from sketches he drew at parties with the DooLee Band. They call their sound Drunk-and-Brass. “I have no idea what that means. It’s some modern musical term. It sounds like Rock Steady and Ska, but a little bit different.”
Time is elastic in Rock Testament, and reality…in flux. Rock n’ roll exists alongside Roman soldiers. Bands jam with actual instruments, the ancient kithara, as well as invented ones, the kumkumahr, shaped like something from Dr. Suess. “You always have to have some mystery, because otherwise it’s going to be carnet des voyages, otherwise it’s going to be travel sketches at best.”
Jerusalem has had a profound influence on Zhilinsky. “It made me forget all about St. Petersburg! The first time I walked around there I thought, ‘wow! This is real ancient history. This is 1001 Nights, this is Lawrence of Arabia, and here I am in a white suit!” His friends can’t understand why he left the sun swathed city for Toronto, a work addicted city of naked branches and slush, but he credits the move for finally getting the comic out. “Only here did I make something with a completion to it.”
With Rock Testament finished he posted on Facebook: “Would anyone like to proof read my book?” “Sure”, thought Whitchurch. They had first met at a Dr. Sketchy’s gallery show opening. They both had drawings in it. Dr. Sketchy’s is a burlesque model sketching group. Whitchurch, an accomplished caricaturist and illustrator herself, admired his drawings of Frenchie Fatale and Paralee Pearl. “I thought ‘who did this? I have to meet this person!’ It turned out to not be proof reading. I rewrote everything,” says Whitchurch. (more…)
01.Sep.2011 Let’s Go Crazy: An Interview with Sarafin
Interview by Dalton Sharp
Hospitalized for over a year at Toronto’s notoriously dreary Queen Street Mental Hospital, cartoonist Sarafin coped by drawing. At first she filled notebooks with scribbles, but she began to get her creative groove back, creating a comic strip series based on characters she’d developed in high school.
The manga-styled heroines of Asylum Squad struggle with everything from flaming horse head demons to talking plants…and always their own sanity. Though fictional, much of the strip’s insight comes from first-hand experience.
Is it painful writing this strip?
It was actually very liberating when I was in the hospital writing it. It was my only way of really expressing myself without fear of being oppressed in any way by the staff.
Some of it is pretty raw.
I was at 1001 Queen for quite a while because I was so ill that I was completely detached from the world around me and I didn’t know how to relate and ended up on a schizophrenic unit.
My diagnosis was schizoaffective disorder…it’s like schizophrenia with a better prognosis for recovery.
I’m of the mind a label is just a label, its not like a diagnosis of cancer where you can actually see the illness. I treat it like I treat the fact that I’m a Taurus, it’s a way of classifying me, but it doesn’t mean it will always be that way.
But that’s why I was there. I was completely plagued with delusions, hallucinations and voices. And I kinda lost my ability to draw for a while, so it was also my way of getting back creatively.
What’s the feedback been?
I have fans who are doctors, who are psych survivors, and who are happily consuming pills. I have fans from all different areas in the mental health field.
Doctors have particularly liked the fact that it’s an accurate depiction of what it’s like to be psychotic. Most people hear the word psychotic and they assume it means Charles Manson or somebody who’s violent or bloodthirsty.
Psychosis means losing touch with reality, so it’s like you’re in your own little world. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to hurt anybody, but that’s the stereotype of it.
The mental hospital you were in is now being torn down and redesigned…
Because if you’ve ever seen the inside, especially the wards, it literally looks like a jail. It does. It’s cinder block everywhere, there are bars on the… (more…)
At Openbook: Toronto this month it’s all about that book. The one that got under your skin, that became part of you, and in part fuels the comics you make. The site posts a new comic about an artist and his book each Tuesday and Thursday in May as part of its’ Whazamo! Ontario Graphic Novel Month, described by Openbook as an online comics celebration.
Already posted are Agnes Garbowska, Philippe Girard, John Lang, Fiona Smyth, Kalman Andrasofszky, and Michael Cho. Still to come are David Collier, Hyein Lee and Tory Woolcott. http://www.openbooktoronto.com/whazamo
Openbook has also done a video on the theme:
A TCAF trailer I worked on with Vancouver-Toronto animator Michael Darmanin for Dave Lapp’s Children of the Atom. Man, we had a few late nights trying to get this thing out on time! Yes, the word ‘narrative’ is misspelled. Yes, it will be corrected after the alchoholiday that is TCAF is done.
10.Mar.2011 New Nina at Propeller
Original art from Nina Bunjevac’s work in the Winter 2011 issue of Mineshaft Magazine, along with a couple of pages from Lorenz Peters, is included in a group show running at Propeller Gallery, 984 Queen St. W., Toronto, until this Sunday March 13th. Hours are 12 to 6 daily, and 12 to 5 on Sunday. This is a rare chance to look closely at these unbelievably intricate originals.
Set against Toronto’s fledgling Queen St. West art scene in the 1970’s, Aurora Borealice follows Joan Thornborrow Steacy’s journey from shy self doubt to full engagement with a rapidly changing world. The autobio is told through the fictional character of Alice, who meets Ken Steacy (Joan’s real life future husband and Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Famer) and his comic-obsessed friends Paul Rivoche and Dean Motter.
Branded as stupid in grade school, Alice finally friends Eric McLuhan, a teacher who recognizes her talent. The CN Tower is being built, Marshall McLuhan is lecturing, and everything seems possible.
Dalton Sharp spoke with her by phone in Victoria.
To start off could you tell me a bit about how this project came about?
Umm.. oh boy…
Sorry to be so broad!
It’s been in my mind for quite a while, and when the graphic novel medium came on my radar I realized it was perfect to articulate this story. Then it was, “okay, can I do it?” That’s the question.
I did a book for my Dad’s 100th birthday in 2006, (The life of “Junky Jack” Thornborrow: a Century of Hardship, Laughter, and Recycling) so that gave me the confidence to do my own book as a graphic novel.
“I don’t know if you can imagine being in school and being bored out of your skull and not doing very well and failing and failing and failing because it just wasn’t interesting to you and then…”
Was it a true graphic novel or sorta an illustrated story?
It was an illustrated biography. I had to think about all the stories he told me when I was a young girl that stayed in my mind; I had this visual for them. Basically the book is each decade…his life coming over from England as a boy, and then emigrating to Hamilton, and all that… I made it into little slices of his life and then illustrated them, these stories.
And he lived to see it which was remarkable and…
…and I had an opening in Waterdown, the town I grew up in. Friends, family and people who were just curious about this book came, and it was just an amazing experience. I think that really solidified my confidence in myself to move on to the next level, which is what I’m doing now with Aurora Borealice, so yeah…
And I felt that both projects were exactly what I needed in this time of my life. Writing has always been difficult for me, but I think I was ready to do it. I had a lot of determination to pull it off.
Why’d you choose a graphic novel rather than a book or film or…
I’ve always drawn little drawings of different situations. Whenever I’d go on a trip I’d do some little drawings of that trip, little highlights and I just figured, “well, they’re just my little personal drawings.” I wouldn’t want to show them to anyone beyond my self and friends.
Then I realized well that’s my style and I should just go with it. When I started reading graphic novels like Paul Moves Out and Blankets, and Raymond Briggs is one of my big influences, I saw that he kind of drew similar to the way I would draw and I thought, “well okay, um, let’s try to make a story.” It was very challenging to put dialogue in, but seeing that I was married to Ken Steacy for 35 years, and I’ve been around comics for that long, that really provided some of the background that I needed to do this.
I’ve never been really a fan of mainstream comic books, but when graphic novels came into existence I said, “oh my God this is it! I love it. I love it. I loved the quirky little drawings that people drew, that were very sincere, that were just wonderful, not highly polished and rendered. Then I just started doing my own.
I thought it was funny in the book where Alice is annoyed by comics, meanwhile the story of her life is actually being told in graphic novel format!
It’s kinda ironic. Trying to communicate something in words and pictures – I did find it very fulfilling and I’m totally addicted now.
Yeah, too bad it took me this long, but anyways… I’ve had many careers along the way, but this I find the most interesting.
Ken is a very good sounding board. When I do find myself in a box and I can’t get out of it, and I’m not sure how to proceed I do ask him for help.
Sometimes if he tries to come in too soon, when I’m still kinda working it through that’s not good, but he is very helpful in many ways.
It’s really convenient to have a comics guy right there.
Yeah, my editor, and art director, and I get to sleep with him!
Ha ha! Editors with benefits! Ha ha.
It is good in a lot of ways, but I need to make sure he isn’t the dominant influence on me, because this is my work, y’know?
There’s a scene in this book where Ken is upset because his drawing partner (Paul Rivoche) has drawn him as a sort of Neanderthal and I thought it was an interesting scene, because it shows that depicting people can be a double edged sword…were you nervous drawing people that were real…wondering what the reaction would be?
Yeah I was very nervous. I presented Eric McLuhan with a copy of it last summer when I was in Toronto and I mean, it was like, “oh God you’re going to love it or hate it. I hope I didn’t make you look dorky!”
What was his verdict?
He went away, and I was holding my breath on this, and I got an email, and it was just amazing high praise! I was flabbergasted, and so pleased, and so relieved. You can imagine.
Paul Rivoche, some of the pages…he has not seen the whole and I don’t know what he’s going to think. I tried to get a hold of him last summer and it didn’t happen, so I’m just holding my breath on that one too.
Um, I’m curious about these…so over the years you were drawing wherever you happened to be in a sketch book?
Well, they were just watercolour paper or something small.
I did it a little comic strip back around 1980, I guess it would be before I had my son. There was a trip that we took to BC, we were living in Toronto at the time, but we went to visit Ken’s parents and Dean Motter and Cathy came on this trip down to California with us, right after Mount St. Helens blew up. In fact it blew up while we were there.
18.Feb.2011 Grawlix Comics Anthology #0 Now Online Free
The Grawlix anthology I helped publish last spring sold out, so I’ve put the printer’s proof up online here. The next issue is out this spring.
Exhibit Runs February 19 to March 13
National Post cartoonist Gary Clement’s Dark Energy runs February 19 to March 13 at Toronto’s Loop Gallery. A special Q&A session with Clement and reporter Peter Kuitenbrouwer will take place March 5 at 3 p.m. Read the Post’s interview with him here.
16.Feb.2011 Grey Zone: A Conversation With Mark Laliberte
Where did you come up with the title Grey Supreme?
The grey zone between art forms is what I’m interested in. I’m a practicing visual artist and comics is an interest. Increasingly there are people crossing those lines. Those overlaps are what interest me. That grey zone by definition interests me, so I just like the term. Not White Supremacy or Black Supremacy, but Grey Supremacy.
Yeah, it’s interesting because there’s a history of ‘gallery artists’ taking imagery from comics, like Roy Lichtenstein, but it seems to be now there’s a few artists entering into that form and doing the actual…going through the mechanics of making a comic instead of just taking individual images. Do you have any theories about why that’s happening now?
I think that Lichtenstein’s a very interesting example in terms of art history, because he approached comics as this novel thing and did some interesting things with it, but always very much positioned himself as a visual artist slumming in this sort of lesser medium. And that proved to be false in a way right?
Comics have their own legacy and history. I think when people look to other genres and other mediums and other kinds of histories now they’re doing it with a different intent. High and low isn’t as crucial or critical. Nowadays it’s from a genuine connection to these minor histories, and I think the results on the surface may look the same, but the kind of intent and depth of where they can go is a lot different.
What’s your attraction to comics?
I’ve dabbled with comics since my teens really. I was born in Windsor which is very close to Detroit, and it was an interesting area for the underground comics scene. One of the main reasons was because [of local printer] Preney Print and Litho. When the black and white explosion happened in the late 80′s and early 90′s everything in North America was being printed in Windsor, shipped out and never really coming back.
I remember calling this print place realizing that all these books that were hard to find were being printed in my hometown. They explained to me that you can’t buy from us because we’re just printing, but I developed an early fascination with print, and with what was going on in comics, and it sort of became a habit to visit this print shop.
They would give me offcuts of Cerebus the Aardvark phonebooks and things like that, and as an artist they eventually became my landlord. I lived in the same building that they stored the books in so…
I could always sort of sneak down, and peak at what was being printed, and use the material as necessary.
At the same time as an artist, I was breaking away from my singular interest in comics and becoming interested in photography and collage and sound. As I took on all those new streams, the idea of sequential language was always an interest for me…and collage, which is sort of what comics to me act as. From panel to panel there’s a kind of mental collage happening.
I discovered the collage observation by accident. I was talking to somebody involved in film. [She told me] you could never do [what comic panels do] in a movie, it would just look like…it would flicker.
I’d always thought of comics moving like movies, but apparently they don’t.
Yes. Film is based on a very specific singular pacing of time, 24 frames a second or whatever it is, and comics can continually change pace between panels. An artist can be pacing a certain way, and then between two panels jump 100 years or whatever,or back and forth in time, so it’s irregular.
There has always been a bit of a divide between superhero comics and I guess alt or whatever you want to call the non-superhero comics, and now with comics that are more attached…have one foot in the art world…do you think there’s another divide opening…a third possibly? The art books…?
I don’t pay much attention to mainstream comics on the whole, but I know that there are more than just superheroes in that market. Similarly in the alternative market there are superheroes…people playing with the mythos from the last 20 years, from the Watchmen on, and doing some really interesting things with it. And then there’s all the rest of the stuff, and I think it can probably divide quite evenly into mainstream and non-mainstream.
The divide you’re maybe talking about is…when someone makes a comic there are only so many potential venues for the work. Certainly the printed form has been an area of interest, but also now the internet has become an area of interest, and perhaps the gallery has become an area of interest. It’s kind of like another form to apply the work to, and people are starting to play.
I wish there wasn’t as much of a divide. I don’t really read superhero comics anymore, but I mean there’s a rich history there. I wish there wasn’t…um, I dunno… anyways…that’s just my little wish for the world. (more…)
The Toronto Comic Jam runs this Tuesday January 25th, at the Imperial Pub, back room, 54 Dundas St. E, right across Yonge-Dundas Square from the Eaton Centre, from 7 p.m. till midnight. Paper provided, bring your own pens. Full newsletter here: http://tinyurl.com/4bnb2aj
21.Jan.2011 Winning Streak: An Interview with Nick Maandag
Nick Maandag’s comic about a streakers club has won a Xeric grant. In Streakers, three men, menial workers by day, dedicated streakers by night, search for their Holy Grail - ‘the perfect streak’. The Xerics are financed by Peter Laird, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to help cartoonists self-publish their first professionally printed books.
A veteran of photocopied mini-comics, Maandag is earning his best sales yet with a story that continues his interest in quietly desperate characters. Humdrum and unnoticed, they need to get naked to get seen. Currently it’s only available from the zine rack at the Beguiling comic store in Toronto, but the professional printing this year should bring a wider audience.
Dalton Sharp spoke with him about the power of letting it all hang out.
So why streaking?
I really like the idea of streaking, although I’d never do it myself. I just thought it’d be a good subject for a comedy. I was at a baseball game one day with my friend and we were talking about streaking, and it just suddenly hit me that it’d be a good story about a group of streakers, and I started thinking about who the characters might be.
Did you do a lot of research for it?
At first. I thought I’ll do a lot of research and really get to know about the history of streaking, and I’ll read books, and watch documentaries, and all that. I actually started doing that, and I got really bored so I just said, “screw it I’ll start writing it. Who cares?” Because once I started and the more I thought about the story the more I realized I didn’t need to do a lot of research because it really wasn’t about streaking.
It wasn’t about the history of streaking or anything like that, it was about the characters and the story which just happened to be about streaking so… I did a little bit of research, like I read the Wikipedia article on streaking and some other things like there’s a few blogs out there dedicated streakers put in entries like, “oh, I hit the public school today. It was a good streak.” Things like that or, “I went on a night time streak, two people saw me. It was a big thrill.” I found that more interesting. These modern streakers who blog about it I found that more interesting than the history of it. So I read some of that stuff just to get an idea of what goes on inside a streakers mind and why they do it. But as far as the history goes I didn’t do very much research.
Comics is a way for me to unleash my id, and say things that I wouldn’t normally say as a reserved person. Act out things I’d like to act out I suppose.
So there really are these…it really is an underground cult activity?
It’s much more underground than it was in the 70′s, but yeah, there are these clusters of people out there. There’s different kinds of streakers. You have your attention seekers who do it at the sporting events. On the other hand you have these people who do it more for the thrill of it. The fear of getting caught gives them a thrill. It hasn’t gone away. Of course it never will. There are still clusters of people out there.
Yeah I was thinking…is it an art form? I mean it does what artists do in that they’re exposing themselves and they’re seeking attention. So it has this…if anything it’s the ultimate art form…
Yeah I would classify it as art. I don’t know if streakers would consider themselves to be artists. Guess I have a pretty broad definition of art so I would group them in there.
I think it’s a recent phenomenon that you have Golden Palace and companies like that paying people to streak. Do you think that’s corrupting the purity of streaking?
The Xavier character in the book would be outraged by that because he takes the art form of streaking seriously, so he would consider that guy to be a sell-out clown or this horrible person who’s corrupting the art form. I’m personally not offended by that, because I’m not a streaking connoisseur like the Xavier character is.
For a comedy about nudity this story is strangely sexless.
If you’re a real streaker…the official definition of streaking is that it’s not supposed to be erotic. You can’t be doing it for sexual or erotic reasons. That’s the standard definition. And that’s why the Xavier character doesn’t consider Doug to be a true streaker because he’s in it for his jollies. He likes to expose himself to girls. If you read books or articles on streaking by streakers they’ll say it’s nudity, but it’s not sexual. It’s about screwing with people or about having fun or political reasons.
So 1974, as you point out in the comic, is the pinnacle of streaking [‘s popularity], and there’s that famous photo with the [British] bobby covering the guy’s crotch with his helmet, and everyone’s smiling and it all seems good fun. From there it seems to…now in the States if you get convicted of streaking you’re declared a sex offender.
Only in some states though.
Did you note that intolerance happen too? As it peaked as a fun fad and…
Things just seemed to get more conservative after that time period. (more…)
12.Jan.2011 The Comics of James Turner: The Silver Snail’s Tiff Preney Asks Him About Cute Aliens, Smoking Zombie Nazis and the Future of Comics in the Age of the Internet
The conventions of Flash Gordon and other space cowboy comics turn inside out in James Turner’s Warlord of Io. The star of the graphic novel is a reluctant villain more interested in playing video games and becoming a rock star than intergalactic domination. Tiff Preney, internet sales-guru for the Silver Snail Comics, spoke with James Turner, in a wide ranging conversation.
What is your educational background?
My background? I went to OCAD, (it was only OCA back then), it wasn’t a university, and then I got my BA at the University of Guelph. They had a deal where you can get your degree if you go there for 1.5 years. So I took a lot of courses along the line of sociology, psychology and political science, and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun.
How long have you been living in Toronto?
Well, I grew up in Mississauga and I’ve been living downtown for the last 12 years I guess.
Do you think Toronto contributes to your creativity/story ideas at all?
I’d say yes. One fellow I was reading on Freakonomics, was hypothesizing that cities are creative hubs, and the people you meet in an urban centre, all the different walks of life, all the different paths you can pursue in media.
Any specific places do you find influences your art?
Well, the gallery scene is something to visit, and the Beguiling and the Silver Snail, and TCAF.
Quoting Dave Sim, “why have you chosen to do all your comics using computer graphics?”
I’ve been working on the computer for oh, over 15 years now, and when I started I found it very difficult. When I was at Guelph, I discovered printmaking and got really into it. And I guess, moving a little bit away from things like water colour and paint, where you’re directly in contact with it, and you’re moving to printmaking which is you do the board and then you’re printing it too, so then you have direct contact with it, the actual sheet …… so I guess I’m steadily moving away from direct contact with the paper, the artwork.
And after I was using the computer for awhile, initially I would have a drawing table beside my computer and I would paint stuff and scan it in. And now I am completely digital and I tried going back to drawing and painting and I can’t do it anymore. I want an “undo” button.
The Torontoist website has named cartoonist Jason Kieffer a 2010 villain in its’ annual list of local heroes and villains. Emily Landau writes,
Not only is Kieffer’s book an exercise in how not to raise awareness of a social problem, but representing real people in a bizarre tourist guide of where and how to find them—it even has maps—is inherently problematic. In Rabble, we have a group of vulnerable subjects, many of whom work and sleep on the streets. An encyclopedic catalogue of their weaknesses and idiosyncrasies could even potentially target them for violence or persecution. It also shows, of course, a gross disrespect for their privacy.
Complete article here.
09.Dec.2010 TADDLE CREEK #25 CHRISTMAS ISSUE: PETER BIRKEMOE INTERVIEWS DAVE LAPP, ETHAN RILLY COMIC
What’s going on these days? Everybody’s interviewing everybody in comics! Whatever the reason, Peter Birkemoe is a welcome addition to the pile-on. A longtime comics art collector and owner of The Beguiling comic store in Toronto, he’s eminently qualified for the task. Lapp talks about the dark times, following the break-up of a nine-year relationship, that fueled his Children of the Atom comic strip.
In contrast, Ethan Rilly’s sunny new comic, helps lighten the mood.
The issue is in stores with cover by Gary Taxali, and illustrations by Jason Kieffer and Matt Daley. Complete back issues are stored here.
It’s not uncommon to think your boss is a monster.
It is uncommon to know your boss is a monster
and have to slay him …
the premise of Freelance Blues.
The six part comic series by Ian Daffern and Mike Leone follows a working stiff’s journey job to job across America to see his dying grandfather. And yes, his every boss is revealed to be a rampaging monster.
Dalton Sharp spoke with Ian about monsters, family, and life on the indie comic circuit.
Where did you get the idea for Freelance Blues?
Let me turn the question around, and ask you why you want to interview me about the book.
1) Twenty years ago I was doing similar zine format comics … I just sorta like the idea of checking out how it’s going for younger cartoonists on the business side and the actual job of getting the books out.
2) I also like the idea of … I’m just curious … I see monsters all over the place … I’m a fan of the canceled show Reaper. Do you know Reaper?
3) And just the idea of the family dynamics of the characters in the story.
So the supernatural thing, how we’re doing it as a business, and how the family dynamic works with it too … ?
Great. I’m really glad that all works. That’s all the things we kinda baked into it, if you know what I mean. While I was in university Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on the air and I watched the Hell out of it y’know …
So I was right picking up on that!
Definitely. I loved the metaphors they were playing with. I loved the smarts behind it. Buffy was all about the monsters of growing up, the monsters of high school.