Friday, August 01, 2014

Joe Shuster Award Nomination

Super happy to say that my book: "From Earth to Babylon: Gerald Bull and the Superun" is nominated for a Joe Shuster Award! It's for the Gene Day Award in self-publishing. So exciting!

Congrats to all of my fellow nominees.

Gene Day Award (Self-Publishers) / Prix Gene Day (Auto-├ęditeurs)

  • Jordyn Bochon – The Terrible Death of Finnegan Strappe: The Claw of the Earth #2
  • Antonin Buisson – garder le rythme
  • Stephen Burger – TALK!
  • James Edward Clark – Evil Issue 2
  • Cloudscape Comics Collective – Waterlogged: Tales from the Seventh Sea
  • Steven Gilbert – The Journal of the Main Street Secret Lodge
  • Mike Myhre – Barbaric Sword of Savagery
  • Diana Tamblyn – Gerald Bull and the Supergun Vol. 1
Related article
  • Shusters recognize best in comic creators’ work - London Free Press, June 13, 2014
    "As if we needed more proof that Southwestern Ontario comic creators punch above their weight, now come the nominations for the Joe Shuster Awards, where names such as Diana Tamblyn, Emily Carroll and Jeff Lemire crop up in a number of categories..."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TCAF 2014 Wrap-Up

Another TCAF has come and gone. I've gone to every single one and I think this is the 7th one I've exhibited at.

I've loved it since the very first one in 2003 when it was in the basement of a church - my table mate was Anders Nilsen, some O'Malley kid was scribbling in the corner and I got Michel Rabagliati to sign and sketch in a Paul book to me. TCAF  has always been my favourite comics show (and my most successful one), and this year was no exception.

I brought 35 copies of my Gerald Bull book and came home with two. I sold 15 mini-comics, with the most popular one being my Banting comic (which I just did up another print run of) - that book just sells and sells. So all in all, about 50 books sold. Not my best year (that was in 2007 when I sold over 100 books/comics), but not bad TCAF, not bad.

Friday

Photo swiped from fellow cartoonist Scott Chantler
My pal and fellow cartoonist Scott Chantler and I scarfed down some Mama's pizza, then ran over to the Opening Night Kick Off Event at the Reference Library which was terrific! Raina Telgemeirer moderated a panel with Lynn Johnston and Kate Beaton and it was a totally packed house. All three were delightful, but I have to say there is a special place in my heart for Lynn - what a talent!

Of note was that Lynn Johnston said her favourite ever "For Better of For Worse" story was the one about Lawrence coming out. Still a classic.

I found myself nodding in agreement when Kate Beaton explained that as a young girl seeing Lynn's comics in the paper everyday had a big impact. It was the exact same thing for me - Lynn Johnston was successful, talented and the only female cartoonist I had exposure to or knew of for quite a number of years. Seeing someone do the thing you want to do, and realizing it is possible is a big deal for a kid.

The other thing that really resonated with me was when Kate Beaton said that she identifies with the artist kid in the class who is particularly happy to meet her (and who the other kids in the class identify as "the artist"). She was that artist kid when she was growing up too.

It struck me that TCAF is made up of hundreds of these kids, all grown up. No wonder there is such a feeling of camaraderie, joy and wonder to the weekend! We all share similar life experiences and passions. We were all that kid.

Afterwards was the show set up. While waiting for the "Learning Room" area to be ready (since all books that were shipped ahead of time were stored in this room), I sat and chatted with cartoonist Dan Goldman. I follow Dan online but we'd never met before. One of the great things about TCAF is meeting cartoonists "in real life" whose work you admire. He has a brand new book out "Red Light Properties" and I heartily recommend it. He's also a real nice guy.

Saturday

Ltd. Ed. TCAF Parker print
Leaving the hotel I was mistaken for Jillian Tamaki in the elevator (I take this as a huge compliment, but other than the fact that we're both female cartoonists with dark hair, we don't look much alike). I spotted Lynn Johnston having breakfast in the hotel restaurant and passed Jeff Smith coming in from a walk. Sooo many cartoonists just swarming downtown Toronto - I love it!
In the morning before it got busy, I sat and chatted all too briefly with Marsha Cooke, one of my fave comics people in the world! A good hour later - her other half, Darwyn finally sat down at his table to a long line-up of fans. He had so many cool, exclusive items available just for TCAF. I had to pick up one of these sweet Parker prints (at right).

My hubby Dave made it to the show at around 4:45 PM, so he had about 15 minutes to look around before we headed out to dinner with the D&Q gang. I got to sit beside Mimi Pond, which was a thrill. She's as funny and charming as you might expect. Then we all hoofed it over to the Marriott for the Doug Wright Awards.

My Nipper piece
The Doug Wrights were super smooth (no fire alarm this year), and Scott Thompson was a hoot. Don McKellar jumped in at one point to help Scott out with pronunciation of nominee names - it was very funny. Scott should always host the show, then have other previous hosts jump in like this.

I had finished colouring my "Nipper" Kickstarter piece the night before in my hotel room. Cutting it a little close? Yes.

I'm happy with how it came out though, and it did get shown on the screen with all the other cartoonist submissions. Chester Brown's one is of course, the best one.
Then we hit up the Pilot for Chip Zdarsky's party. Since we're old, we stayed for a few drinks then went back to the hotel to crash. We did get to congratulate Chip on being a New York Times' best-selling artist though. He was hilarious as usual.

Sunday

In the morning Dave and I went for breakfast with good friend Frank Cammuso and his family. This was one of our favourite parts of the whole trip - it was great catching up. We love you Frank, Ngoc and Kai!

I've always been fortunate enough to be in the "main drag" section on the first floor of the Reference Library. This year, being in the "Learning Centre", I was in a small room off to the side of the winding staircase on the first floor. Though there was obviously a lot of care taken in choosing creators for this room, (I had awesome neighbours like Matt from Hic and Hoc & Yeti Press), but we definitely didn't get as much traffic as the main areas.
Saturday was crazy BUSY on the main floor, but my Sunday was actually busier than Saturday this year, maybe because people were "finding" us after making the full rounds. I say this because even up to the last hour on Sunday, people were coming into the room saying they didn't know our room was part of the show.

In the afternoon I did a panel on non-fiction comics and that went really well. A stellar group of cartoonists were on the panel and moderator Brigid Alverson did a terrific job. We could have easily talked for another hour! The best part? A guy came up afterwards and said he'd like to get a copy of my book. I happened to have one on me, so was ready to sell it to him. Then he introduced himself as Ken Steacy! Of course, I just had to sign it and give it to him - he's like Canadian comics royalty! What a nice guy.

All in all, it was a great show, and lots of good friends dropped by like David Collier, Jaime Colville, Tom Spurgeon, Emily Pohl-Weary and Steve Manale.

Caught up with lots of others like Willow Dawson, Claudia Davile, Michael Cho, J. Torres, Ed Kanerva, Natalie Atkinson, Aaron Costain, John Martz, Matt Forsythe, Annie Koyama, Scott and many more!
Finally I picked up LOTS of amazing comics! Kudos to the Beguiling, Chris Butcher and the TCAF team. Another banner year.

My TCAF haul. So many good comics!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

All TCAF all the Time - TCAF 2014 Info

One of the biggest and best comic shows of the year is coming up in Toronto in just a few short days - the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (or TCAF for short), and I'm happy to be an exhibitor once again this year!

I'll be on the first floor at the back of the room near the winding staircase, at booth #166.


I'll have some limited edition Gerald Bull books with me along with any minis I have currently in print. Maybe I'll also bring some t-shirts? If anyone has any special requests (colour, size), let me know and I'll make sure to pack one up for you.

My pal and fellow cartoonist Scott Chantler has this to say about the show and I couldn't have said it any better (basically the show is my favourite and it's the BEST):

"Patterned more after literary festivals, TCAF is devoted entirely to showcasing the breadth, diversity, and quality of work being done in the comics medium. Upwards of 450 cartoonists from around the world will be in attendance, hand-picked by TCAF’s curators to represent an astonishing cross-section of the art form... Whether you’re into kids’ comics, literary comics, Manga, European comics, superheroes, web comics, non-fiction comics, non-narrative comics, etc, you will find what you’re looking for at TCAF."

I'll also be on a panel on Sunday, May 10th at the Mariott, the official convention hotel right next door to the Reference Library. It's right after the Spotlight on Isabelle Arsenault & Fanny Britt, so come for that, and then stay for my panel.

Here are the details:

History/Nonfiction Comics
Sunday, May 11th - 12:15-1:15pm, Mariott 100
It could be argued that contemporary graphic novels have broken into the mainstream literary world thanks to their unique ability to vividly recount the best and the worst of the human experience through autobiography, memoir, and history.

Join moderator Brigid Alverson(Comic Book Resources) as she interviews some of the top contributors to the genre, including Nick Abadzis (The Cigar that Fell in Love with a Pipe), Meags Fitzgerald (Photobooth: A Biography), Nate Powell (March), Diana Tamblyn (Gerald Bull and the Supergun) and Nick Bertozzi (Lewis and Clark), and Tyrell Cannon (Victus). Discover how to consider, collect, and curate real-life tales of times past to make them new again!

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: http://www.aaroncostain.com
  2. Marc Bell: http://marcbelldept.blogspot.ca
  3. Scott Chantler: http://scottchantler.com
  4. Willow Dawson: http://willowdawson.4ormat.com
  5. Jessica Desparois: http://jessicadesparois.yolasite.com
  6. Antony Hare: http://ahpi.ca
  7. Jesse Jacobs: http://onemillionmouths.blogspot.ca
  8. Mark Laliberte: http://www.marklaliberte.com
  9. Jeff Lemire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Lemire
  10. Gabrielle Norwicki: http://www.tindaisies.com
  11. David Poolman: http://www.davidpoolman.com
  12. Jay Stephens: http://jaystephens.com
  13. Diana Tamblyn: http://www.dianatamblyn.com
  14. Merle Tingley (Ting): http://www.amazon.ca/s?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=TING%20[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).
See: http://www.koyamapress.com

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".