Saturday, January 07, 2017

2016 Wrap-Up Part 4: Carte Blanche & Rosie's Stories

My favourite creative project of the year was my "Rosie's Stories" piece for Carte Blanche magazine. I was asked by Georgia Webber (herself a talented cartoonist), to submit a comics piece. There were really no constraints other than the work should be new (not previously published).

The Inspiration

A source of constant job and inspiration in my life is my daughter. She is hilarious, witty, charming and full of fun. At the end of the year last year, she had brought home some diaries from school - each kid in the class had to write a daily entry in a workbook about anything they wanted. I read through the entries and found many of them to be thoughtful, deep and funny.

I asked her if it would be OK if I illustrated some of her entries. She was all for it so "Rosie's Stories" was born. There's 5 strips in all, here are just a few... Click on an image for a larger version.

2017 and Beyond

I did a few more projects in 2016, but they haven't seen print yet, so I'm holding off writing about them for now. For 2017, I will continue to work away on my Gerald Bull graphic novel and am looking to firm up some exciting collaborations! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

2016 Wrap-Up Part 3: Sequential Fiction

The same weekend that WordsFest took at Museum London, the Forest City Comicon was happening at the London Convention Centre. A busy event-filled weekend that November 5 & 6th was!

On Saturday, November the 5th, I went down to the Convention Centre to check out the show and to be a guest on a live edition of Sequential Fiction, a weekly podcast dedicated to comics and pop culture. It was a lot of fun.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016 Wrap-Up Part 2: WordsFest

This Fall, the 3rd annual WordsFest took place in London, Ontario and I was happy to participate once again. I moderated the graphic novel talk with writer Mariko Tamaki and cartoonist Teva Harrison and illustrated the cover to the WordsFestZine.

In Conversation With Mariko Tamaki & Teva Harrison

WordsFest is local literary festival that celebrates creative ideas, artistic expression, and cultural diversity. Words features emerging and established writers from London, Canada, and beyond. The festival takes place over a weekend and is chock full of programming, special events and readings.

Traditionally the fest has at least one graphic novel related panel and they've had stellar guests - the first year the fest hosted Joe Sacco, last year was Phoebe Gloeckner (which I was also lucky to moderate the talk for), and this year was Mariko Tamaki and Teva Harrison.

In Conversation with Mariko Tamaki and Teva Harrison

Mariko Tamaki writes fiction, YA and comics. Her books include two of my all-time favourite graphic novels Skim and This One Summer. She has a brand new book out called Saving Montgomery Sole and is currently writing Supergirl for DC Comics and Hulk for Marvel Comics.

Teva Harrison is an artist, writer and cartoonist. She's the author of the bestselling, critically-acclaimed hybrid graphic memoir, In-Between Days. The book was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. 

I've moderated just a few talks in my life, and it's something I take very seriously. I think to be respectful to the artist and to the audience that you should really prepare, do your research, know the work and ask thoughtful (and original) questions. When talking to cartoonists or artists, I also think it's vital to show examples of their work - how can you take about a visual medium without showing the visuals? So, I like to prepare a slide deck and time it as best as possible to my questions. It's actually a lot of work, kudos to excellent moderators out there!

Moderating a talk with 2 people has its own unique challenges. I wanted to make sure I gave equal time to Teva and Mariko & showcase them both properly. Luckily Teva and Mariko are not only supremely talented women, but are also extremely articulate, funny and charming! There was a good turn-out for the event, a big line-up at the autography table for Teva and Mariko afterwards, and all and all I think turned out very well!

An extra bonus was grabbing some frozen yogurt with Teva and Mariko. I know Mariko, but had never met Teva, and Teva and Mariko had never met before! Getting to hang out with them a bit over the weekend was the highlight of the festival and two lovelier people you could never meet! I highly recommend all of their work!

WordsFest Zine Cover

Cover to this year's WordsFestZine
I was commissioned to do the cover of WordsFest's Zine this year. I didn't know what the content would be beforehand, so I needed to come up with an image that could represent a number of different things. Because the festival takes place at Museum London, I thought about the location, (and of course the arts). I love, love, love Tom Benner's rhino statue that sits in front of the museum.

It's become an iconic landmark of London, and I've always wanted to draw it. This was my chance! I'm happy with how it came out.

The final issue features poetry, fiction and non-fiction by writers like Penn Kemp, Tom Cull and even Canadian poet laureate George Elliott Clarke.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

2016 Wrap-Up Part 1: 4Panel

This year I didn't make as much progress on part II of my Gerald Bull book as I would have liked, but I did work on it and I did do some other art projects that I'm proud of.

I thought I'd share some of these projects in some 2016 wrap-up posts, starting with my piece for 4Panel.

About 4Panel

4Panel is a website project created by interdisciplinary artist Mark Laliberte. Participating artists have to deal with the constraints of 4 panels (of equal size). Other than this, there are no other "rules" to follow - comics can be colour, black and white, formal, abstract, literary or conceptual.

In conjunction with the 4th annual Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival in London, Ontario, 4Panel featured Ting participating artists Megan Arnold, Sarah Scope and myself.

Here's my piece, entitled The Heart of London:

Diana Tamblyn - the Hart of London

About the Heart of London

I wanted to feature a London-related strip and thought of my early artistic influences - who are namely Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe and my uncle - photographer John Tamblyn.

Jack Chambers is primarily known as a photo-realist painter, he also did surrealist work and did a number of experimental films - most notably the film "The Hart of London". Stan Brackage said that it was "one of the greatest films ever made".

The film is shown in black and white and colour, and includes found news footage, as well as film shot by Chambers in Spain and in London (Ontario). Chambers lived a few doors down from where I grew up in London. He was a charming, loving family man and was the first "real" artist I had ever met. He painted my hometown and made it look familiar, but also magical. He made being an artist a tangible, possible thing to me.

So - my strip is a tip of the hat to this film, and to Chambers who is an ongoing inspiration for me.  

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Ting - Artwork and Programming 2016

The gallery show makes up the focus of the Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival. Most of it is for sale, and it's a great place to pick up original art, like this great piece I got below from local cartoonist Megan Arnold.

I'll Never be a Celebrity Cartoonist, Megan Arnold
There is a pop-up shop that features work by the participating artists as well as from local small publishers and Koyama Press (because Koyama Press is Canadian, has supported the Fest from Year One - and is well, awesome).

Photo by Mr. Tristan Clark, from LondonFuse
The festival also has a rich stream of workshops and programs that are held on-site at The ARTS Project, and are FREE and open to all ages. Here's the programming that was presented this year. Planning is already underway for next year!

2016 TingFest Programming

Kids Reading & Creation Zone - Open to all during the Festival
Drop in during our regular hours with the kids and visit our Reading & Creation space. The space featured a selection of graphic novels to read and enjoy provided by the London Public Library. A colouring station kept the little ones busy with fun, comics-related activities they can create, colour and post on our comic wall.

Opening Reception - FREE. April 30 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
About 200 people attended the opening reception of the festival this year to check out the artwork, mix and mingle with some of our Ting artists, and enjoy our signature “Tingley” martini at our cash bar.

Animation Night - FREE. May 6, 7:00pm
Janine White, Vincent Marcone, Sarah Legault, Bob Klanac
An evening of film shorts directed by Sarah Legault and Vincent Marcone. Sarah is an award winning filmmaker whose stop-motion animation Dear Love was awarded Best Animated Short Film at the 2014 Toronto Independent Film Festival. Vincent is a graphic artist, film director, and musician with the band Johnny Hollow. Firefly, a stop-motion animated short explores isolation and unsoundness of mind, and The Lady ParaNorma is a digital animated short about an eccentric lady, narrated by the godfather of goth music, Peter Murphy. The screening was followed by a Q & A with Sarah, Vincent and Janine White, the composer for both films and the lead singer of Johnny Hollow.
Q&A was hosted by music and film journalist Bob Klanac.

This was an amazing night. The guests showed behind the scenes footage and stories including what it was like to work with Peter Murphy. Here's their short film The Lady ParaNorma below, which is also a beautiful book.

Free Comic Book Day – Meet the Artists! Free. May 7, 11:00am to 4:00pm
The City of London shut down the a block of the main street downtown for Free Comic Book Day.
Dundas Street was closed to traffic between Richmond and Clarence for the 15th Annual Free Comic Book Day, and the ARTS Project is in the middle of the comic book action! Many of our Ting artists had their comics, prints and art for sale at the Ting Pop-Up Shop! On hand were be: Megan Arnold, D.S. Barrick, Doug Rogers, Erin Elston, James Kirkpatrick, Sarah Legault, Tim Levins, Vincent Marcone, Scott MacDougall, Maureen Riley, Aidan Urquhart and Mark Victor Young.

Comic Jam and Mixer - Free. Tuesday May 10, 6:00 – 9:00pm
A Comic Jam and Mixer was hosted by Brahm Wiseman of Heroes. An event for all ages, this was a creative event where artists and comic enthusiasts can socialize, have a drink and collaborate on a single comic. Brahm Wiseman is the owner of Heroes, and was the recipient of the 2013 Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer at the Joe Shuster Awards.

4-Colour Inspiration – In Conversation about Comics and Art - Free. May 13, 7:00pm
Josh Lambier, Maureen Riley, James Kirkpatrick, Aidan Urquhart
Comic books used to be considered disposable, low-brow entertainment. Today though, artwork by cartoonists such as Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware and Seth are featured in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney, the MoMA, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Aidan Urquhart, Maureen Riley and James Kirkpatrick discussed how comic books inspire or contribute to their work, and the boundaries (if any) between “fine art” and comics. Moderated by Josh Lambier from Arts & Humanities, Western University.

We were fortunate to have Western University tape the talk in its entirety. You can view it below. You may need to turn up the volume on your speaker as the ARTS Project is a beautiful spot, but does have some creaky floors!

Graphic Novel Book Buzz - Free.  May 14, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Have you read all of Jeff Smith’s Bone series? Wondering what to read next? Linda Ludke, Collections Management Librarian at London Public Library spoke about some great graphic novel picks for ages 7 to 12. Get the inside scoop on upcoming releases.

KA-POW! Creating Comic Strips - Free. May 14, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Do the kids in your life love comics? Designed for ages 8 and up, KA-POW! Creating Comic Strips is the essential workshop for kids who want to build their own comic strip from the bottom up. Taught by storyboard artist and cartoonist J.R Faulkner (Knight & Dave, Promises Promises) this workshop coverrd the basics of story, characters, and drawing techniques. Faulkner has been an instructor of animation basics at Sheridan College and conducted workshops at the Toronto Public Library the London Public Library.

Small Press Spotlight - Free. May 17, 7:00pm
Sandra DaSalvo, Executive Director of the ARTS Project introduces Moderator Dan Brown, and guests Mark Victor Young,  Scott MacDougall, DS Barrick and Chris Runciman
Do you have a comic or graphic novel you want to publish? An in-depth discussion on publishing took place with Christopher from Runciman Press, Mark Victor Young from Levins and Young and the team from Lucky Unlucky. Hosted by Dan Brown of the London Free Press where he writes frequently about graphic novels, pop culture and local personalities. Q&A followed.

Bryan Lee O’Malley Signing - Free. May 20, 4:00 – 6:00pm
Moderator Brian Garside Interviews Bryan Lee O'Malley
Straight from Los Angeles, former Londoner Bryan Lee O’Malley (cartoonist of Scott Pilgrim, Seconds and Lost at Sea), made a special visit to the ARTS Project to help close out the Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival. The event began with a Q&A moderated by Brian Garside, producer of the podcast Sequential Fiction. Followed by a signing hosted by Brahm Wiseman of Heroes. This was a great cap to the Festival. Bryan was incredibly generous with his time in the Q&A and the book signing afterwards.
The line-up for the book signing went all the way to the door. Bryan stayed until every last book was signed and took selfies with those who wanted one with him.