Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ting! Comic & Graphic Arts Festival

After many months of preparation and planning, I'm happy to announce that the "Ting - Comic & Graphic Arts Festival" will be taking place in London, Ontario at The ARTS Project from April 22 - May 3, 2014.

Here are all the details about the event:
Named after famed London Free Press editorial cartoonist Merle (Ting) Tingley, Ting is a 2-week festival showcasing comic and graphic artists from London and the greater Southwestern Ontario area, past, present and future.

Centering around a gallery show at The Arts Project, the festival will also feature workshops, panel discussions, a pop-up shop and more. The dual purpose of the festival is to provide a forum for artists to present their work to the public not normally accessible through normal commercial channels and to raise awareness of The Arts Project, a non-profit arts incubator based in London, Ontario.

Featured Artists:
The Festival will feature the work of many talented comic and graphic novel illustrator including Ting himself:
  1. Aaron Costain:
  2. Marc Bell:
  3. Scott Chantler:
  4. Willow Dawson:
  5. Jessica Desparois:
  6. Antony Hare:
  7. Jesse Jacobs:
  8. Mark Laliberte:
  9. Jeff Lemire:
  10. Gabrielle Norwicki:
  11. David Poolman:
  12. Jay Stephens:
  13. Diana Tamblyn:
  14. Merle Tingley (Ting):[Merle%20Tingley]&search-alias=books-ca

There will also be a spotlight on Koyama Press, a Canadian press who has published works by 3 of the participating artists (Aaron Costain, Jesse Jacobs and Mark Laliberte).

More About Ting:

Merle Tingley (Ting) was the editorial cartoonist for the London Free Press for almost forty years (1948-1986). He won national and international awards for his art, and is regarded as the dean of Canadian newspaper cartoonists. Ting's attention to detail and craftsmanship characterize his work. Over the years, his whimsical, down-to-earth humour attracted a loyal following among thousands of readers, not only in the Free Press but across Canada in more than 60 weeklies and dailies, which carried his syndicated material.

His famous cartoon mascot, Luke Worm, is immediately recognizable. The "Merle Tingley Cartoon Collection" at Western University includes more than 5,000 drawings, travel assignment articles, awards, photographs and correspondence. Not only do the drawings have substantial intrinsic value as original art, but they also form a rich primary source of social comment and criticism on a local, provincial, national and international level.

More About The ARTS Project
We are London’s arts incubator, sparking creativity, while supporting emerging and developing visual and performance artists.

The ARTS Project (TAP) exists to provide a public gallery and black box theatre option for emerging and developing artists. Incorporated as a not-for-profit in 1999, TAP exists to support and encourage this group of innovators and up-and-comers, providing opportunities where they can affordably work, share information, learn new skills, exhibit and perform their art, getting feedback while educating and enriching our community.

Our heritage building built in 1870 was originally a hotel and has been renovated to include 11 artists’ studios, two galleries and a 100-seat black box theatre as well as offering programming in both visual arts and theatre.

Picks for Best Comics of 2013

Comic book website Sequential just presented a series called "The Janus Project" where comics professionals selected their favourite comics of 2013 while also looking forward to things to come in 2014.
  • Here's a link to my picks, which include Rutu Modan's "The Property", Michael DeForge's "Kid Mafia" and Joe Lambert's "Annie Sullivan".

Monday, November 04, 2013

November 2013 News & Updates

Gerald Bull
Some exciting news. I received probably the best review I could imagine of my graphic novel about Gerald Bull a few days ago when Robert Bull (one of Gerald Bull's sons) wrote me an email to say:

"I love the book. I had a lot of fun reading it, and I think my dad would have loved it too!"

I asked for Robert's permission to post his reaction and he graciously agreed. In my mind Gerald Bull has been unfairly depicted in Canadian history .The Bull family were gracious hosts to me when I visited them and interviewed them in doing research for the book a few years ago. Their reaction to the book has been important to me, and I'am so very pleased with this response.

Graphic Novel Availability
You can pick up "Gerald Bull & the Supergun" at one of these locations below. I also have some availability of the limited, signed version available for sale direct from me here.
I'll be in Toronto in a comic of weeks and will try to drop off some copies at some stores there so keep your eyes peeled for updates.

I'm still working on getting the regular version of the book (with ISBN number and everything), available for sale on regular online channels like Amazon and Chapters by Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 2013 News & Reviews

Here's some recent news articles in which I've been featured or quoted in...
Further Thoughts on Female Superheroes and the Movies
The BBC article is really good and to prep for it I did a lot of thinking on the subject. Not all of my comments made it into the article of course, and since I have my own forum here, I thought I'd post some further thoughts here.

Obviously super-hero movies have been dominating the big screen for the last number of years in terms of global popularity, box office returns and sheer number of films being released. There are multiple super-hero movies coming out each and every month now it seems - it's astounding.

There are so many now, that a new one is no longer "special" or an "event" though. It's got to be something really special now for me to make the effort to see one in the movie theatre, or even at all now. I even specifically made of a point of steering clear of the new "Man of Steel" movie all together, even though Superman is my favourite comic character because it just seemed so dark, bleak and violent. Completely contrary to what I think the essence of the character is - hope, goodness and light.

Superhero Movies Not so Different From Other Genres
I think that super-hero movies are no different from other genres in terms of depictions of women. How many action, fantasy, sci-fi or even dramatic movies feature women in a leading role? Very, very few I'm afraid. We are lucky if a woman even gets a good supporting role these days, whether the movie is the Avengers or Lincoln. Hollywood seems to continue to believe that the only people who see movies are young men, though looking at the box office, you could paint a different story. Just look at how "The Butler" is doing vs. Kick-Ass 2 right now.

 Hollywood likes to point to the failures of "Supergirl", "Elektra" and "Catwoman" as proof that superhero films with a female lead can't be successful. The problem is not that these films had a female or male lead, it's that they were just plain bad movies!They also carefully side-step other huge financial bombs that have done real damage to the studio that produced them like the Lone Ranger, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex and John Carter.

Every time a movie featuring a woman in a lead role does well, it seems to be a complete surprise and is considered an "anomaly", like Bridesmaids, the Help, or just about any movie starring Meryl Streep.With the success of The Hunger Games, Brave, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and even the Resident Evil movies, I think we're at the point that Hollywood can no longer see these successes as strange one-offs. Women and men will see movies with a strong female lead if the script, cast and production are stellar.

Strong Female Superheroes
Strong female superheroe characters do exist from Spider-Woman, Zatanna, Harley Quinn, Black Canary, She-Hulk and the Black Widow (who should have been played by Angelina Jolie not Scarlett Johansson), to name a few.
Mac cosmetics released a "Wonder Woman" line a few years ago that was a roaring success. They had a top comic artist do the artwork (Mike Allred), and Wonder Woman was not sexualized but depicted as a strong female character. Limited edition t-shirts, bags and cosmetics sold out within a week (I was able to nab a tee).
Wonder Woman by Mike Allred for Mac Cosmetics
They are following this up with a Betty and Veronica line. This is a company that understands and embraces the power of strong female icons. They got it 100% bang on.

 If I were in charge, here is what I would do
  • Get Joss Whedon to dig out his Wonder Woman script that he worked on for years that no-one green lit. Then, let him do what he wants. He's earned it and with Buffy he's clearly proven he can write/direct strong female characters.
  • Introduce the characters of Oracle and Batwoman to the new Superman/Batman movie. Then give each one their own film to be directed by a independent filmmaker or a foreign film-maker with a smallish budget (say $50 million).
  • Oracle movie could be straight up crime drama/CSI style. Very gritty, character-driven with excellent supporting cast that includes detective Renee Montoya. How about Kathryn Biegelow to direct?
  • Introduce She-Hulk in the next Avengers movie, then give her her own movie. She is a strong, sexy, funny, smart character.
  • To a Black Widow movie with Black Widow as a mature, older character. She is a globetrotter and war-weary spy. She should be played by someone who can be smart, devious, strong. Angelina Jolie. Then give it to JJ. Abrams. Alias was the TV show he cut his teeth on.
  •  Finally, 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.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

From the Earth to Babylon: Gerald Bull and the Supergun Debuts

So - multiple rounds of copy editing have been completed. Files have been formatted, then formatted a few times, then a few times more for good measure!

And now, here's the cover and the official description with some preview pages too!

From the Earth to Babylon: Gerald Bull and the Supergun
by Diana Tamblyn

Mixing the fascinating approach of historical journalism with a mesmerizing biography comes the wild and crazy, true story of Gerald Bull.

A historical graphic novel based on the life of Canadian Gerald Bull—considered to be one of the most brilliant scientists of the twentieth century and whose work affected the course of two modern wars. Bull’s research led him across the globe, from Canada, to the Pentagon, to Barbados, to South Africa, and finally to Iraq.

This volume tells of how this “boy genius” of rocket science experienced early success with the launch of HARP (the High-Altitude Research Project) with McGill University, to owning one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated space programs with the Space Research Corporation. 

>> 3-page pdf preview
>> Buy it here

Copy editor: Ed Kanerva
Designer: Dustin Harbin
88 pages, B&W interior, colour cover.
Price of ltd. edition version of 200 copies, $20
Book 1 of a 2 volume series.

The book can also be purchased at Heroes and LA Mood in London, Ontario, and Strange Adventures in Halifax.

Further Info
I'll be posting more detailed information on dates and availability as I have it.