14.Mar.2013 Nominations for National Newspaper Awards Include 13th Nod for Globe’s Brian Gable in Editorial Cartooning
Brian Gable of The Globe and Mail has been nominated for a 13th time in the National Newspaper Awards, the premiere prize for editorial cartooning in this country (Gable has previously won the category six times). Nominees are chosen based on portfolios of 5 cartoons submitted by their publishers. Former winner Guy Badeaux (“Bado”), editorial cartoonist for Le Droit in Ottawa, will emcee the 64th NNA gala in Ottawa, to be held at the Canadian War Museum on Friday, May 3.
The cartooning nominees are:
Serge Chapleau, La Presse, Montreal
Andy Donato, The Toronto Sun
Brian Gable, The Globe and Mail
Sequential congratulates them all!
Bonus: jury guidelines from the NNA website.
Editorial cartoons shoot straight to the heart of an issue. Sought here is originality, bite, humor and impact as well as quality of drawing. In this category entrants may enter five editorial cartoons to represent a body of work. To determine excellence in Editorial cartooning you might consider the following.
Is sustained wit evident in all of the work?
Is humor clever and biting? If satire is a factor, is it used effectively?
Is the work original in both its message and style?
Is a clear message conveyed?
Is work outrageous (and is that justified)
Is the cartoonist’s line and style consistent, distinctive?
Are caricatures of personalities recognizable and effective?
Does this work inform the reader, entertain the reader and achieve its purpose?
19.Oct.2012 Friday Flashback: Jimmie Frise, 1931
15.Aug.2012 Integrals of Luc Giard
A presentation of Luc Giard’s Art,
the first in a series of youtube collections giving an overview of his work since 1987.
“Présentation de quelques unes de mes créations. Les intégrales sont le premier volume d’un recueil qui vise à donner une vue d’ensemble de mon travail artistique depuis 1987.” - Luc Giard
Luc Giard’s art was first directly inspired by the work of Hergé & Tintin.
Years ago, he published a comic featuring the adventures of an impressionistically drawn Tintin cast as a crass Quebecois character, eating donuts and throwing curses in the street. Luc thought his work a homage to Hervé but Casterman Editions did not have the same opinion. Sued, Luc was forced pulp existing books and changed his Tintin to Ti-Coune, giving hi a cape and a mask, making a point about censorship.
Recent books are Pont du Havre [The Jacques Cartier Bridge], and Konoshiko (Les Impressions Nouvelles/The Impressions News), a new book to be published in France Octobre 2012 & Canada in Novembre.
15.Jul.2012 Comic Jams for July!
Before I dive into the listings, just wanted to point out,
i’ve moved the archive of the Old Monthly Montreal Comix Jams to here.
Ok, where to get your doodle on.
“Venez dessiner, discuter, lever le coude et libérer vos énergies créatrices en notre compagnie. Aiguisez-bien vos crayons et vos esprits, on compte sur vous!
An evening of good-humoured drawing, conversation and, incidentally, a tidy bit of beverage imbibing(coffee).
Bring your artistic weapons of choice, be it wits or brushes. Both, if you can manage it, at least for a while…”
Wednesday, July 25, 7 til 9:30pm @ Shanghai Restaurant, 651 Somerset St. W. Ottawa ON.
“Nothing says hot Ottawa summer like a rousing comic jam in the heart of Chinatown! July is traditionally an Open Theme/ Sketch night; so bring your imagination, non-traditional materials and have fun with fellow comic artists & writers!”
The Vancouver Comic Jam has not got a event page up yet but they hold theirs on the second last Saturday of the month ussually, or close to that. At The Wallflower diner. So i’d expect them to have it next weekend, on The 21st probably. Ask them on their group wall for details.
The Montreal Comic Jam hasn’t got an event page up yet either but it’s held the last Tuesday of the month, putting it on the 31st this month. Held at L’Escalier unless posted otherwise. The alternate Montreal event, The Atomic Comic Jam has not posted a date for their next either yet. They meet at the Atomic Café of course.
Do you make comics? Manga? How bout web comics? Or do you illustrate? Design? Animate? Storyboard? Write stories? Sketch? Doodle? Dream?
These can be solitary endeavors. Don’t have a breakdown alone! Share and learn at the Comic Artist BREAKDOWN – The first Friday of every month at the Anna Templeton Centre 7pm – 9pm
ALL AGES! ALL SKILL LEVELS! ITS’ FREE! (bring your own materials)
On the heels of the convention he hosted here in Montreal, Mosher is appealing to the Council to recognize cartooning formally and give the medium its own section in the grant structure.
He feels the form needs the support in light of the contracting print market, which calls for fewer political cartoons and strips. Right now the council funds Graphic Novels under the writing program, and would probably accept a cartoonist’s drawings under the arts. But cartooning and the publishing of cartooning is not recognized as its own art form yet. Sign the petition here if you like the idea.
04.Jul.2012 The C-List: Of Policarts, Prizes and Prints
The Vancouver Province
censored its political cartoonist
over threats from advertiser.
Item! The big news this past week is that The Vancouver Province censored its political cartoonist over threats from an advertiser. Cartoonist Dan Murphy created a video parody of an ad by Northern Gateway oil-pipeline company Enbridge and Enbridge threatened to pull a million dollars worth of advertising if the paper didn’t remove the cartoon from its website. The paper removed the cartoon, citing copyright infringement:
Murphy’s video used an Enbridge (TSX:ENB) ad extolling the virtues and safety of the Northern Gateway proposal, a highly controversial pipeline that would bring oilsands bitumen from Alberta to West Coast ports. The cartoonist took Enbridge’s original animated ad and undercut the pastel images of trees and happy families with occasional dollops of oil and interjected voice-overs.
Item! The controversy was on everybody’s lips this past weekend in Montreal, where the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists had its annual meeting. The meeting was also the occasion for the launch of a new exhibit on Quebec’s policart tradition, titled Cartooning Calamities at the McCord Museum, accompanied by a book Caricature – Cartoon Canada, edited by Terry (Aislin) Mosher. According to the exhibits curator in Montreal Gazette,
Long snubbed by the art world, editorial cartoonists deserve recognition as artists who cut through political bafflegab and corporate spin to help us make sense of an ever-changing world, says Hardy.
“They’re people we feel are always on the lookout for us, to try to make sense of the complexities of the governments we live under,” he says.
Item! As part of the event in Montreal this past weekend, Drawn and Quarterly’s Chris Oliveros was on hand to flog some books and he and writer Brad Mackay happened to bump into former Prime Minister Paul Martin who waxed enthusiastic for Doug Wright! You can read all about it on the D+Q blog. Great photos!
Item! Bryan Lee O’Malley gives us a sneak peak of the cast of his upcoming 2013 graphic novel Seconds. A limited edition print of the drawing (200 copies) will be offered on a first-come basis at the San Diego Comicon.
Item! The nominations for this year’s Harvey Awards have been announced. There were some Canadians on the list, including Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly, who ironically received 3 nominations for Best American Edition of Foreign Material. (Does a Canadian publisher not count as “foreign” for a U.S. award? Granted, we are all “Americans” here but then shouldn’t Mexican, Argentine, etc, publishers be included?) In addition, D+Q books received nods in the Special Award for Humor (Kate Beaton), Best Graphic Album Previously Published (Big Questions and The Death Ray), Best Cartoonist (Kate Beaton), and Best Single Issue (Optic Nerve #12). Individual Canadian nominees include the aforementioned Beaton (who was also nominated in the Best Online Comics Work category), editor Michael Choquette (Best Anthology and Special Award for Presentation: Someday Funnies), and cartoonists Darwyn Cooke (Special Award for Presentation: Parker Martini Edition), Ray Fawkes (Best Graphic Album Original: One Soul), Kagan McLeod (Best Graphic Album Original: Infinite Kung Fu)), Ramon Perez (Best Single Issue or Story and Best Graphic Album Original: Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), and Jeff Lemire (Best Writer: Animal Man). Congrats to all seven Canadian nominees and best of luck in the final voting!
Item! In the other U.S. comics awards news, two Canadian comic shops have made the long list of nominees for the Eisner Awards Spirit of Retailing Award. The shops are Happy Harbor of Edmonton, and my own local comic shop, The Dragon of Guelph. Congrats to both shops!
Item!Today is a patriotic holiday in the U.S. Did you know that the U.S. national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was inspired by an event from the War of 1812? Also inspired by the War of 1812? A new graphic novel called The Loxleys and the War of 1812. As reviewed by Don MacPherson, the book features art by Claude St. Aubin, of Captain Canuck fame:
“…this was a time the Americans were trounced. Of course, the facts don’t necessarily bear that out; the script makes it clear both sides had their victories. But the Americans are also depicted as being uncivilized, unscrupulous and even barbaric at times. It’s hard to know how much of it is fact and how much is a matter of perspective. The Canadians and natives are portrayed as being ethical and honorable to the point of incredulousness, and the Americans as being greedy and hungry for territory they don’t need. It’s certainly an interesting change of pace, as Americans have been predominantly cast as the white knights of history throughout pop culture. It might make this something of a tough sell to an audience beyond Canadian borders.”
Item! Lastly, I saw this on The Comics Reporter today and had to share. The Australian Comics Journal is a blog/magazine devoted to “Australian Sequential Art” and chock-a-block full of great reviews and previews of great-looking comics you have never heard of. Always nice to see another English-language comics site devoted to a single country comics culture. Hail the Commonwealth of Comics!
05.Jun.2012 Hey Kids! Comics #45
Ah, comics comics comics. Yes.
Trying to get inspired to work on my own, looking at other peoples.
First something you should know about.
Aspen and DC Comics artist Oliver Nome was diagnosed with a brain tumour. His supporters are passing the hat here for help paying for his surgery and after-care. A cancer survivor myself and the privileged beneficiary of our wonderful Canadian healthcare system, I can’t say more how important it was not to have to worry about making ends meet. Got stupid lucky, had savings to cover the months I was unable to work at full steam and there were no hospital bills to speak of whatsoever. If you can, make recovery as easy for Oliver. They take both paypal and credit cards.
Noted: Oliver’s friends are using indiegogo.com for their fund raiser.
With a few distinct differences, including the option to be used for charity like this, and keeping whatever amount you do raise, even if less than your goal, Indiegogo is essentially the same thing as Kickstarter. Though fewer, a number of comics are funding creation or publication using Indiegogo. All to point out this link, all the independent creators at the moment seeking support in Canada. Here’s a link showing those that have used it in the past or already surpassed their goals. Think I’ll try funding a RevolveЯ print run with them this year.
Lookseelisten: Nicholas Rombes posted an interesting review on oxfordamerican.org of EU artist Gabriella Giandelli’s Interiorae, which was reputedly drawn to Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s first album, F# A# ∞.
Funny on the youtube: Writing Comics 101 with Ricky Lima, Fearless Fred, and Adam Gorham: Silver Surfer. Check out their book Teuton on BSC.
Comics! BD!: Associated with FBDM this weekend, was the launch of the Collectif BD Montréal-Lyon. A transatlantic project that unites 24 authors from the cities of Montreal [Qc, Canada] and Lyon [franc]. Daily during the month of June 2012, the collective will post original stories on the theme of City. Here’s a selection of the art so far. The latest by Richard Suicide, is about our mutual corner market store… I don’t think he likes it.
Lots more of that to come, check back here daily for the latest this month.
31.May.2012 Hey Kids, Comix! #44 | Drawing unrest
Hey, day one of FBDM is tomorrow!
Catching up on my irregular web comics posting, here’s a bit of what i’ve been looking at.
For one thing, i’ve been looking at these varitions on 22 Frames That Always Work,
the Brunetti version popped up in my social network streams and led to the others.
From the serious to the silly to the pornographic, all have a lot to teach about formalism.
Comics are about change and transitions.
Many 22 panels work, any cartoonists reading this, what are your reliables?
Thinking about designing a class around this,
not unlike Matt Maiden’s 99 ways to tell a story exercise.
You might have heard there have been some protests around Montreal lately.
Here’s some comics being created in sympathy and response to the issues.
Yvon is recently returning from retirement, and has been drawing
and posting some very good cartoons on the subject of the strikes on his blog here.
Dstrbo, aka Montreal artist William Daniel Buller, posted this 7 year old cartoon
about the last time Charest clashed with students,
reminding us this is not a new story.
My old freind Niall Eccles has been quietly [or at least not telling me] posting comics on a site here,
some really fine work as always. He posted a few rifting on the theme of the protests recently starting here.
Matt and I both have contributed work along with many others in Montreal and Quebec city,
as well as further afar via the net, to a not quite top secret project by
À l’atelier la Maison de la bande dessinée de Montréal.
I was invited to join in as well as many more online.
The guys are busy assembling the art for une manif de bonhommes,
I’ll post an update when it’s live, for now
there’s just this small sample up of what’s been drawn.
Ok, the first official version of the site is up!
look now, here, the cartoonist’s casseroles. Manif de bonhommes!
This is the 3rd in a string of BD projects from la Maison de la bande dessinée de Montréal
built around showing sympathy with the student come social civil rights movement
taking hold here in Quebec.
Like the marches it is ment to be an ongoing and evolving Manifestation,
casseroles are meant to be added over time.
Check out the Facebook event page here for information if you wish to participate.
Here’s a template for marchers.
this was the 3rd action
of la Maison.
And here, in the form of a blog - La hausse en question.
Here’s a few excerpts I found posted on contributors sites from both books. Some really nice work in them.
This is a comic about talkin’ money with police in Montréal,
By Chloé Germain-Thérien, one of several posts on the strikes by her.
This is « J’entends quelqu’un qui se moque » by Jimmy Beaulieu. Ever the romantic. Click on the page bellow to read the full comic.
Cathon Chaton did this very nice and eloquent strip expressing the democracy of free expression. Click on the art to read the full comic…
And rounding out this protest oriented posts, as I mentioned
I took some time out of working on my web comic Dream Life,
to join in and render a bonhomme for the manif. I plan to do a few more…
Some of the other artists who participated. I didn’t have time to post art from every one involved here but recently been looking at their sites. So should you! Go now.
Cédric Plante, Guillaume Pelletier, Luc Bossé, Martin PM, Nicolas Lachapelle, Sophie Yanow, & Zviane!
Many if not all are associated with À l’atelier la Maison de la bande dessinée de Montréal. I think I’ll have to vid an visit sometime soon. Great space and people.
Blogger Julia Caron posted about an expo at Galerie Morgan Bridge, and Jimmy Beaulieu‘s work on the theme of the student strikes in Quebec. The exhibit was part of the FBDFQ, the Festival de la Bande Dessinée Francophone, which ran last month. It’s always interesting to get the perspective of someone not totally dedicated to comics, but most of all I wanted to mention it for this image from the show that she posted. Check out the rest of the post for more of Jimmy’s work and Julia’s notes on it all.
Sequential’s own David Hains moderated this panle with creators Kate Beaton & Bryan Lee O’Malley. Part of the Bodies/City: A Symposium conference the panel tied that event with the next days New Narrative V presentations [more exclusively comics related than the first days events]. Conversation ran the gambit from what got them hooked on comics to collaborative work with others.
21.Apr.2012 Hey Kids! comics!
Oh my, it’s been a busy spring. Sanity is almost in sight, but I’m currently planing to probably undue that and go to Toronto in a couple of weeks for TCAF. Hey did you know Megabuss is having a seat sale now? Good cheep way to get there. Not going to be tabling I think, no new books – check out the RAID studio gang in the same spot as Transmission X has been in past years – I could sell prints but you know I just want to go see the show for myself this year. Taking in the sights and recording some of it for the site here.
Oh and yes, I think i’ve mentioned it already but also there is not going to be a pulp edition this year, just don’t have enough human resources on hand to make it this time. Think you will see something in print again but only when we can do it right.
So all to say, don’t be surprised if my comics posts like this continue to be erratic in the near future.
Lots of talk about boycotts and ethics, and being a moderate I often find myself in the hairs between absolutes.
I just found this, going to go read it next – a set of scanns of a a keynote speech by Frank Miller to Diamond Comic distributors retailers seminar,
June 12th, 1994. That should be interesting.
Any who, this is about comics, not blogs about comics!
Ty posted this pointed strip for BunToons today
about the whole creators rights and dastardly publishers
and court cases and IPs, with the qualifier of
“CAUTION: Satire and irony ahead”.
…I thought it made a good additional note
to this series of Burning Itch cartoons
from Richard Pace. In order of appearance,
Also political, but less bellybutton comics related, Colin Upton posted a few old cartoons on G+ including this one. He wrote “These are cartoons I did for Degrowth Vancouver, a local free paper devoted to slowing down rampant developement. Political caricature is not something I do often (indeed I was asked to “tone down” the orginial drawing I did of mayor Robertson) but I gave it a shot. The paper also includes cartoons by rabble rousers Ted Dave, Andy Singer & Julian Lawrence! And it’s free”
And now for something more casual,
also the west coast.
Jason Turner posted
a new bit of True Loves 3…
…oh, well. Hmmm. Ok how about this,
something from that other J.Turner, James Turner? The one in Toronto?
He recently started a new Max Zing strip at Drunk Duck. This is the 5th…
“Fun to attempt the strip format.
One, two, three, zing(er).”
New Digital Book!
Marrowbones, by Eric Orchard. Just released digitally, issue #1 clocks in at 47 pages for a scant 2$.
The tale is a horror book aimed at kids that has been an idea for some time in the head the author!
Here is an interviews, a review, something short from Eric they call an essay…?
and some peeks at the art pulled from all over.
Looks pretty good! Hope it sells well for him,
this is a special close to the hart kind of project!
Also have high hopes for the whole digital sales factor myself…
…so go, support Eric and read your kids a scary bed time story!
Benchmarks are good.
Last bit i’ll add is one for me too,
Dream Life has reached 100 pages! yay!
ok, that’s it for now!
18.Apr.2012 art-making for Kids! Monastiraki boutique
Monastiraki boutique’s next round of classes are coming up.
I think we make more canadain comic books by making more canadain comic book artists, so art classes early, get them hooked young eh?
This is getting to be a regular thing at the boutique, they report having had a lot of fun and is looking forward to more! Here’s the details.
Classes run from May 12th – June 3rd.
Saturday mornings 10:30 – 11:30
is for 2 – 4 yr olds with a parent
Sunday mornings 10:30 – 11:30
is for 5 – 8 yr olds (on their own)
$60 all materials included. Pre-registration is preferred to secure a spot.
Billy has told me in the past it’s a popular thing with the local moms so if you want in probably you should not dally.
Happen to be in the area? Drops-ins are $18 per class, if space is available!
They have plans to hold classes for older kids too so we’ll keep you posted.
15.Mar.2012 2011 National Newspaper Awards Nominations
by BK Munn
The nominees for the 2011 National Newspaper Awards were announced earlier today. In all, 71 finalists for awards were announced in 22 categories. More than 1,300 entries were received for the awards, founded by the Toronto Press Club in 1949.
The National Newspaper Award in the Editorial Cartooning category is considered the most prestigious award for that job in this country.
The finalists in each category will be presented and honoured and the winner announced at the 62nd gala awards presentation on Friday, April 27, 2012, in Toronto.
The nominees are:
Gable has been nominated for a 12th time. He has won cartooning six times. A gallery of the nominated cartoons can be viewed here.
13.Feb.2012 Blaine MacDonald, 1937-2012
by BK Munn
Political cartoonist Blaine MacDonald died February 6 in Hamilton. The colourful MacDonald, who signed his work “Blaine”, was the cartoonist for The Hamilton Spectator for 30 years until his retirement in 1993.
Born and raised in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Blaine dropped out of art school and drew his first cartoons for The Cape Breton Post where he worked for several years. In 1961 he moved west and landed a temporary gig filling in for Globe and Mail cartoonist Jim Reidford before being hired at The Hamilton Spectator, where he remained for his entire professional career. It was at the Spec where Blaine built a large local and international following, churning out cartoons on all subjects during the years of Diefenbaker, Pearson, Trudeau, Kennedy and Nixon.
In 1963 Blaine was reportedly the Grand Prize winner at the first Salon de Caricature in Montreal. His work was syndicated internationally and he published two collections of his cartoons, winning the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s highest award for political cartooning, in 1974 and 1982. In 1969 he won the coveted Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Cartoonist Society in the U.S. His work also appeared in high-profile U.S. magazines like Time and Playboy. Most recently, Blaine was honoured at the 2011 convention of the Canadian Editorial Cartoonists.
As Peter Desbarats and Terry Mosher noted in their book The Hecklers, Blaine was “a master of brush technique.” His cartoons, falling somewhere between Duncan MacPherson and Jack Davis in style, are a mass of thick and thin brush strokes. The faces of his caricatures have a layered, oatmeal-like quality, enhanced by an arsenal of textural details, ranging from folds to cross-hatching to a fascination with wood grains.
Blaine also won many accolades from his peers and from the political figures he lampooned. He was a friend to the young Sheila Copps in her journalism days and a mentor figure to The Spectator’s current cartoonist, Graeme MacKay.
In his personal life, Blaine cultivated a wild appearance, with a fondness for colourful apparel, cars, and motorcycles. He was a black belt in karate and a guitarist/songwriter who reportedly recorded with Canadian singing icon Anne Murray.
In recent years, Blaine had suffered a stroke and undergone heart surgery, with the resulting partial paralysis giving him trouble speaking and breathing. A resident of the Macassa Lodge retirement home, Blaine was taken to Juravinski Hospital after watching the Superbowl, where he is said to have died peacefully with his family at his side. Blaine is survived by his second wife Ildiko Horvath, a son and daughter, and four grandchildren. A funeral service was held February 10th.
It’s not hard to find tits in mainstream comics. Lots and lots of big, round, almost nude tits. On the covers, in the pages, everywhere.
Seldom being used in their primary biological function – feeding babies – but mostly and exploitatively, in their secondary sexual context as eye-grabbers. Attention-getters. Fun bags! Bursting out, all over the place, barely covered at all.
Be it kid-oriented or not, making the most of scantily clad superheroes is just something comics do. It’s enough to make even a straight man puke sometimes.
So, it’s kind of funny – though not surprising to me really – that anyone working in the fandom world would be up in arms over someone “exploiting” Breastfeeding of all things, as depicted in this piece on the left by Calgary artist Fiona Staples for her collaboration with Brian K. Vaughan, “Saga“. I’ve seen bras that cover less than that baby does.
To be fair Dave Dorman is by far one of the more modest and tasteful artists out there. So I won’t push the hypocrisy angle, much. And it seems maybe he agrees or at least has backed away from this complaint because he seems to have taken down the post where he railed about this. But all the same this came from the very same person who enjoyed I’m sure, rendering this [sic].
In his post he was put off it seems by the juxtaposition in the context of some PR material in USA today, of the image on the left against quotes from Brian K. Vaughan saying…
“I just miss the days when I was a kid where you could pick up a No. 1 comic and it’s not a reboot or a relaunch or something.”
But this assumes
-Brian K. Vaughan put together the promo package, creating the juxtaposition in the first place.
-Vaughan meant for this specific title to be for the very young – rather than as I read it, a new book and not a reboot of something.
-Or that it’s somehow distasteful for young readers to see a woman breast feed!
Context is all, so it’s worth pointing out the quote was followed with…
It’s also a universe that he has been imagining since he was a kid. But it wasn’t until he had his own children that the story of Saga came to life.
“There are a lot of stories about having children, but they’re always comedies,” says Vaughan, 35, father to 1-year-old Alec and 8-month-old Wilhelmina. “It’s like the birth of a child is the end of drama. But I don’t think that’s true.”
There was some joking about a bit of feminist overreach [the woman who can do everything], and swipes at her modesty. Please, part of the reason there are few wallflowers in the superhero world is that we know instinctively modesty does not plausibly go along with being a super heroine most of the time. Modesty and realistic goals are only part of comics as ironic counterpoints to the commonplace outlandish, over the top, and unrealistic expectations. So, sure, let’s have some interesting modest characters. But these are very weak complaints.
By his now-deleted response, clearly he’s amongst those who tend to equate breast feeding with the taboo – to be hidden rather than viewing it in the contemporary context of a symbol of feminine power. He’s probably not alone. Being born in the 70s I have to admit I feel a bit uncomfortable when a woman breast feeds in public around me, even as the child of hippies, I don’t really know what to do with my eyes!
So I avert them by default and admire their liberty and the whole giving life thing without staring. That’s real life and I think the respectful default when in doubt. But not because it’s shameful, because it’s intimate. I don’t ogle couples kissing in public either. But we’re past the point I think where PDAs are widely thought to be immodest. This image challenging the taboo on public acts of motherhood is only exploitative
because if we’re not quite over that irrational double standard yet, and if there is no substance to it in BKV’s pending comic…
This is a book by Brian K. Vaughan? You know, the guy who gave us Y the last man?
Do we really think it’s just a cheap shock value comic cover? Or is it a statement about how he’s going to tell this story?
This is a piece of art – yes a promotional image – meant to establish a fictional mythical character as much as to sell books. So we’re clearly invited to look. Social modesty is forgiven. Grabbing our attention and telling us as much as it can without telling anything at all is the whole goal. So pragmatically why should this image be more taboo than boobs being exploited in all the other ways they are in comics? By even Dave?
This is meant to set the tone for what Brian wants to be seen as an unconventional notion of what it is to be heroic. It’s really quite powerful and if this helps sell the books it will also introduce a more rounded notion of the feminine power myth to comics readers – young and old alike. If we’re going to have sex in comics - and I think we’re long past the point of that being the conversation – then how about let’s have some nurturing in there along with all the wank-fest matter?
Along with some instruction from Ty there will be a live model to draw. For this session Ty has booked model/dancer/burlesque performer Rubie Laframboise.
The class is $25/hst for THREE HOURS, 7-10pm.
You can just turn up at the door (still $25/hst) but attendance IS limited. Students need to be able to gather ‘round the model easily to follow Ty’s instruction.
A compliment to Ty’s Drawing the Human Figure from Memory, this sneak peek workshop provides the next step to successful, more realistic depiction of the dynamic comic book character focusing on anatomy, light and shadow, drapery, and movement. It will focus on work done from live models with anatomy instruction before each drawing session. Any level of skill is welcome.
Date is Wednesday, January 11
Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
587 College Street (at Clinton).
Meant to post about this sooner: Full discloser I filled in for an inking class lase year, seemed to go well! Though i punked out and missed the semester end wrap party. Lame!
Montreal : Storytelling through Comics – Comic Book Making Class – Syn Studio
The winter class is on Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. starting January 19 and continuing for 10 weeks.
Fee: $330 + materials.
Spaces are limited
and this class fills up fast!
Deadline: January 11, 11:59 P.M. IN 3 DAYS
Course Description: A general course, teaching broad aspects of comic book storytelling. We will explor character development, dramatic story structure, & snappy dialogue. Plus easy-to-follow rules of thumb on sequential narrative, tips for eye-catching inking, clean lettering, and enhancing mood through colour.
The course is ideal for beginners, as well as seasoned pros already working on their own comics and looking for constructive critique.
About the teacher: Kelly Tindall is prolific. A dedicate comic authour and illustrator.
He’s the creator of Archie Snow, That’s So Kraven! with Trina Johnson. And has contributed to Green Wake and Machine of Death. He’s a popular teacher at Syn Studio. And has given lectures at Dawson College & during the Montreal Comic-Cons.
You can register via their site online ici.
02.Jan.2012 2011: The Year in Review
2011: The Year That Comics Died
by BK Munn
(Or, The year that comics died, were born again, mutated, limped along in zombie form, and continued dying at the same majestic pace.)
Some notes on the year that was from the vantage-point here at the blog about Canadian comics culture.
1. What is comics, anyway?
For the last 3 months the following books have sat on my desk, waiting to be reviewed on Sequential: Melamine Car Bomb by Mark Connery, OMAC #1-4 by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen, The Klondike by Zach Worton, and Drag Bandits by Colleen Frakes and Betsey Swardlick. So, what do a punk collection of street art collected by doodle-king Marc Bell, a Jack Kirby homage penned by DC Comics publisher Dan Didio and José Muñoz-plagiarist Keith Giffen, a historical graphic novel released by A-List publisher Drawn and Quarterly, and a crowd-funded comic book about transvestite highwaymen edited by indie-cartoonist Box Brown have in common? Fucked if I know.
This is the quandary faced by anyone attempting to get a handle on the world of North American comics, circa 2011. What constitutes comics? Where are comics going and how can one humble little news blog cover the whole thing? It’s a fragmented world, to say the least. Print publishing, including books, newspaper comic strips, and traditional comic books, seems to be on its last legs. A new wave of digital and web comics are heralded as the future and a comics design and art aesthetic dominate our visual culture. What we used to think of as comics seems almost dead and buried, and yet comics in their various aspects have never been more ubiquitous, ambitious, and overwhelmingly beautiful and emotionally powerful (not to mention, financially successful). How do we reconcile the comics industry with “comics”?
In this year of revolution, war, reaction, and financial collapse, comics have been our mirror, our diversion, our comfort, and our despair. Cartoonists have taken to the streets, enlisted in the Canadian debacle in Afghanistan, were bombed, arrested, and fired. Cartoonists made us cry. But outside of very few publications, these events were not reflected in the comics of the past year. Instead we got, for the most part, teen-oriented manga, bestselling zombie comics, superhero reboots, golden age reprints, overhyped non-fiction memoirs, literary adaptations, and young adult fantasies.
The highlight of 2011 for the Sequential blog was the Toronto Comics Arts Festival and the publication of the third annual print edition of the Sequential magazine. For TCAF we provided extensive coverage, including a round-table overview, while the print magazine included tons of previews and actual comics highlighting many of the attendees of the festival.
As for the regular blog, Sequential featured a number of interviews representing a diverse cross-section of the comics landscape, including talks with Eugene Zhilinsky and Kimberley Whitchurch, Sarafin, Shannon Campbell of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, Rebecca Kraatz, Jesse Jacobs, Benjamin Rivers, John Martz, Joe Sacco, Joan Steacy, Mark Laliberte, Dylan Horrocks, and Nick Maandag. We also offered reviews of books by Maurice Vellekoop and various Koyama Press titles, Lorenzo Mattotti, David Lester, Joe Ollmann, George Walker, Keith Jones, and Steve Ditko. Sequential ranked the Canadian Comics of the Decade, and reported on future books by Emily Carroll, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Jillian and Mariko Tamaki.
In publishing, the Marvel Boycott began and spread to Canada, and the company cancelled perennial sad-sack Canadian punching bag Alpha Flight. Jay Stephens ended his Oh, Brother! comic strip, the Xeric grants ended, Udon phased out pamphlet publishing, New Reliable Press ceased operations, and the Comics Code finally died.
In convention news, besides our TCAF roundup, we covered Fan Expo and a number of other events, including Wizard dropping its Winnipeg con, and a new Vancouver event announced its intentions. Venerable comics retailer Silver Snail moved and upstart Little Island opened.
The comics journalism world was rocked by the news of cartoonist and publisher Dylan Williams death, and the illness and hiatus of beloved comics newshound and critic Tom Spurgeon. Wizard Magazine imploded, and The Comics Journal received a new transfusion of talent.
3. “The Comics Industry”: Culture of Fear
I’ve been doing this year end review thing for Sequential since 2006 and the theme every year since then has been how comics, and especially the tiny world of Canadian comics, have been growing from strength to strength, becoming more popular, and becoming more accepted by what remains of mainstream culture. The evidence is always anecdotal, based mostly on industry hype and the generally blinkered view of someone (me) who spends his spare time trolling Google news for tidbits about graphic novels publishing and blog reviews. Even so, there is no denying that, despite some major successes and crossovers in the larger public consciousness, 2011 was also a year of diminished expectations. The new permanent recession economy means that our (that is “the comic book industry’s”) highs will be less high and successes will be less successful. Despite the early Christmas that comic book shops received in the form of a temporary return to 1995-era levels of sales and excitement (not to mention the 1995-era eye- and mind-bruising stories and art typical of the Image-dominated superhero comics of that time) with DC’s “New 52″ initiative, comics sales and the audience in general seems to have been shrinking for years and the trend continued in 2011. We just have to look at the numbers that comics distributor Diamond posts about sales to see how small the traditional “Direct Sales” comic shop market is, with a basic audience of little over 100,000 people in North America for even the bestselling $3 monthly comic book. This is not a mass market but a boutique industry. And that goes quadruple for Canada.
Of course, what I like to think of Canadian comics culture is much larger, even if you don’t include the audience for superheroes, and factoring in the readership for digital and webcomics, people who buy graphic novels and manga in bookstores and take them out from libraries, and those who attend comics and pop culture conventions, the world of comics is much larger than the world of the comic shop and superhero fandom. Larger for certain, but is it 10 times larger?
In regards to the actual economics of the Direct Market in Canada, I can only reiterate what I noted in last year’s report. Within the general downward decline, anecdotal evidence suggests a sort of homeostasis within the comic shop economy. There hasn’t been an avalanche of store closures, but few new stores opened and current owners aren’t exactly buying luxury Batmobiles. Ditto for the larger book market. We haven’t had something like a Borders bankruptcy, but a major Canadian book distributor (H.B. Fenn) did go under, and traditional small bookstores are closing left and right. The print book seems imperiled, yet everyone is still talking about reading and the business of digital.
Indeed, the industry seems to be contracting in very specific ways, with layoffs, book cancellations, and an eye for the corporate bottom line becoming the new norm; recessionary business strategies tailor-made for the tightly-squeezed boutique publishing/R&D organelles that DC and Marvel constitute in the larger Warner-Disney constellations, and within the larger “content producing” industries in general. Most comic creators, as Marvel illustrator Dale Eaglesham noted last week, are working in a culture of fear, wherein it seems the next digital announcement or quarterly report could signal the end of a way of life that has existed for a small number of artists and writers churning out a very specialized form of genre entertainment off and on for 60 years.
In terms of specific publishing enterprises in Canada, nothing really seismic was recorded on the Sequential Richter scale this year; the same handful of English-language publishers (Conundrum, Drawn and Quarterly, Koyama Press) lead the pack in terms of locally-produced comics, graphic novels and related publications, with a few small presses, vanity presses, self-publishers and even large-ish dilettante international concerns shepherding the occasional graphic memoir or young adult fiction to bookstores. And the same is true for Quebec. Sure, many new young cartoonists came out with impressive work and many older lions fought hard to maintain primacy, but the tiny game board on which this artistic to and fro took place remained largely unchanged.
Which brings me to my next category:
4. Newsmaker of the Year: Drawn & Quarterly
Over the past 20 years, Montreal publisher Drawn and Quarterly has evolved from a one-man show responsible for a marginal anthology to a major book publisher with an international roster of artists in its catalog and an industry dominance that puts it in the forefront of comics publishing worldwide and dwarfs at the same time as it inspires its competition locally in Canada. The dream team of founder Chris Oliveros, co-publisher and publicist Peggy Burns, ex-Highwater Books publisher Tom Devlin, and a ragtag cohort of editors, designers, translators, booksellers, and dedicated interns make the modern D+Q a beehive of comics greatness and news-iness.
It’s a trifle unfair, you might mutter, to award a publisher and not one of its individual authors the newsmaker trophy, but when I really sat down to think about it, looking over the past twelve months of comics coverage on Sequential, around the web, in print and other media, no other entity really dominated the consciousness of the Canadian comics imagi-nation. From the announcement of a new Seth book that kicked off the new year to the publisher’s recent crowing about six out of its twenty-four 2011 titles (one-quarter of its output) ending up on the New York Times graphic novel bestseller list, D+Q had a banner year in terms of publicity, corresponding sales, and public engagement. Sure, any one of those bestsellers deserves special consideration this year, and any one of their creators would make for a fascinating profile here, but whether it’s the mega crossover success of Kate Beaton, Dan Clowes’s canonization, or Chester Brown’s massive signing lines despite a controversial book about prostitution and Libertarian candidacy, Drawn and Quarterly’s quality control and tireless, Napoleonic-quality publicity efforts are the common thread behind these successes, almost above and beyond the skills and personalities of individual artists. Even tangential stories this year, like Seth’s Harbourfront prize win or the announcement of Conundrum Press signing Michel Rabagliati, are in some part D+Q stories. Seth, Rabagliati, and Conundrum had good years, sure, but D+Q had a better one. The Canada Reads horse race? Jeff Lemire got booted off the island but still sold books; Chester Brown and D+Q got a boost for Louis Riel, without it making it to the island at all.
Certainly, D+Q isn’t exactly leading the charge to publish a ton of hot new talents –people like Emily Carroll, Jonathan Dalton, Michael DeForge, Patrick McEown, and Ethan Rilly are all being published elsewhere– but they still found a place in their schedule for a solid debut by Zach Worton and a successful sophomore effort from Pascal Girard. As well, D+Q’s stable were essentially the stars at TCAF and other big events, and D+Q did keep up with some trends, keeping a finger in every pie whether it was manga translation (a potential book of the year with Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths), classic strip reissues (Doug Wright), webcomics (Kate Beaton), and digital (Chester Brown, initially).
With no close rivals, the publisher looks positioned to continue its dominance of hearts and minds in the years to come, continuing with longterm reprint projects like the John Stanley Library, Moomin, Gasoline Alley, and Nipper, and expanding its catalog to include major U.S. talent like Gilbert Hernandez, at the same time as it maintains its gold standard in terms of Canadian graphic novel production.
Every year we can get some sort of sense of the best comics of the previous year by looking at the various awards handed out in Canadian comics in 2011. And the winners were:
As always, we end our year in review by remembering those who have left us over the previous year, including cartoonists, writers, and cultural critics.
Alvin Schwartz (1916-2011) creator of Bizarro Superman
Norm Muffit (1942-2011) political cartoonist for northern newspapers
Gordon Reid (1936-2011) Calgary political cartoonist
Bob Monks (1928-2011) Windsor historian and cartoonist
Charlie Bell (1916-2011) Regina policart
Clement Sauvé (1977-2011) young Montreal comics illustrator
John Gallant (1917-2011), co-author, Bannock, Beans, and Black Tea
(thanks to David Hains, Robert Pincombe, Salgood Sam, and Dalton Sharp for their contributions to Sequential throughout 2011!)
10.Nov.2011 CLLDF Incorporates with New Directors
Just received this from the folks at the CLLDF…
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund announces that, 22 years after forming as an ad hoc fundraising organization in defense of a Calgary retailer charged with selling obscene materials, it has at last been formally incorporated.
CLLDF Board of Directors member Derek McCulloch says, “It’s a long overdue step, and one we hope communicates our intention to grow the Fund as a bulwark in the defence of free speech in Canada.” McCulloch added that while the Fund has been incorporated with bylaws outlining its mission as a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the free speech rights of Canadian comics professionals and fans, its status as a charity is pending. “The paperwork is in at Revenue Canada,” McCulloch said. “We hope to have charitable status before the end of the year.”
The move toward formal incorporation comes in the wake of the CLLDF’s involvement, in partnership with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, in the defense of an American citizen facing criminal charges in Canada for comics brought into the country on his laptop.
At the same time, the CLLDF announces that it has expanded its Board of Directors from three members to five. Joining founding Directors McCulloch, Leonard Wong, and Paul Stockton are two prominent Canadian retailers: Jay Bardyla of Edmonton, Alberta; and Jennifer Haines of Guelph, Ontario.
Jay Bardyla is the founder of Happy Harbor Comics, the award winning comic shop located in Edmonton, Alberta that works tirelessly to promote the craft of comics to schools and libraries through free presentations and who keeps its doors open to creators of all types to put their books upon their shelves. A 30 year collector, 24 year employee and 12 year owner in the comics industry, Jay believes he has only begun to understand the industry he loves dearly and looks forward to many more decades of learning about the medium, inspiring others to create comics and to protecting the hobby.
Jennifer Haines opened The Dragon in September 1998 in Guelph, Ontario. Since then, it has gone on to become the Echo Reader’s Choice best comic store in the area in 2009 and 2010, as well as an Eisner finalist in 2010 and 2011. Jennifer has an M.A. in Classical Studies, as well as a B.Ed, which has led her to form comicsintheclassroom.ca, a resource for teachers and librarians. Additionally, she works closely with schools and school boards to help them design specific graphic novel curricula. When she’s not in the shop, she works as a teacher, primarily of Latin and Drama.
“I’m very pleased to be a part of such an important organization,” Haines said. “It is vital to protect our freedom of speech by working on cases such as this one. Despite no longer needing the Comics Code to publish and sell comics, it seems comics are still the focus of attack by government agencies as a result of a historic misunderstanding of content. Therefore, we must continue to work to clarify the nature of comics in order to preserve our freedom to produce them, without fear of retribution.”
McCulloch says, “We welcome Jay and Jennifer to the Board and very much appreciate their willingness to give of their time and their expertise in support of this important mission. We look forward to working with them in defense of free speech in the months and years to come.”
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defence of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities. Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities. To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to clldf.ca.