Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kazoo T-Shirt

A perennial best-seller. Based on the Magritte "Ceci n'est pas un pipe" painting and done originally for the Toronto band Toca Loca. This design is available in Women's and Men's sizes.They are hand-screenprinted by Fresh Ink on 100% cotton pre-shrunk shirts and are only $20.00 each.

Women's Medium Size

Note, these are snug fitting and fit more like a small.

Men's Medium

Men's Large

Men's X-Large

T-Shirt Size
Note Preferred Colour Below

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Silver Surfer T-Shirts!

Based on my take of a classic Kirby pose, this design is available in Women's and Men's sizes.
They are hand-screenprinted by Fresh Ink on 100% cotton pre-shrunk shirts. Below we see my lovely Rosie modeling it. Cost is only $20.00 each.

Win a Free Shirt Contest
For a chance for a free shirt of your colour and size, just post a comment on this blog or RT my Twitter message by tomorrow, December 10th at 1:00 PM. You'll also get a copy of each of my mini-comics still in print. Contest is now over. Winner is Sookie Mei! Thanks to everyone for participating.
Sizes are Women's Medium, Men's Medium and Men's Large. Lots of colours available, but note that quantities are very limited, so get your order in soon so you're not disappointed!

Women's Medium Surfer Colours
Medium size only available. Note that these are a tailored snug fit. I usually take a medium, and this fits, but is more like a small size. If unsure, I would suggest the Men's medium.

At left are colours available.

Men's Medium Surfer Colours

Men's Large Colours

T-Shirt Size
Note Preferred Colour Below

Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man

Though I love super hero comics, I don't really draw much of them. The first time I did in a loooong time was for the Joe Shuster Awards last year when they asked artists to do their rendition of Superman (my fave).

I liked the experience and people seemed to like my take, so I've done a few more illos here and there, especially if I find myself stuck drawing one of my own stories and need to loosen up a little. Anyway, here's my take on everyone's favourite webslinger - Spider-Man.

Spider-ManUpdate - friend and comic blogger extraordinaire Alan David Doane did up this awesome colour version for me. What a treat to get it in my email. He got the feel of those Romita Sr. Spidey comics just right in the colour tone to me. That run has always been my favourite of the book. Thanks Alan!
Gerald Bull Project
So what's happening with that big graphic novel project you're working on you ask? Well, slowly but surely progress is happening. I did a big chapter breakdown recently where I mapped out exactly what would happen in each chapter of the book. When my lovely agent/editor Sam Haywood gently mentioned that if I did that story it would take me 10 yrs and would be 400 pages long, I had to agree it was too much.

I had done a traditional chronological take on the character and had put in way too many details as a result of the amount of research I'd done. It was hard for me to see the forest for the trees in terms of what was really important and integral to the story, and what could be cut.

Anyway, I finally figured out a better structure and did up a new chapter breakdown that got the thumbs up from Sam. The story is much more streamlined now and stronger. I had put the drawing on hold while I worked all of this out and am glad I did, or I would have had to toss all that work out.

So - back to the drawing board literally for me. I am re-energized and ready to go!

My daughter's best friend is named Griffin and I did this sketch to explain to Rosie just what a Griffin is. I'm going to run off some copies for Griffin and Rosie to colour together!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Trouble With Comics

Darwyn Cooke Storytelling Workshop
I recently got to attend a storytelling workshop with comic master (and friend) Darwyn Cooke, it was a great experience that I wrote a full piece on at the Trouble With Comics blog here.

Below is a shot of Darwyn reviewing work from my new GN from the portfolio review session of the workshop. Darwyn did a one on one with all participants, and we all got to see and listen in on all the reviews - this was just as educational as the formal workshop itself.

Diana and Darwyn This is actually the 2nd Storytelling workshop with Darwyn I've been to. The first was a much shorter one he did back in 2007. The write up from that session is here. I specifically remember that writer Nalo Hopkinson was in the audience then, which I thought was very cool!

Joe Shuster Awards & Speakeasy Show
Tomorrow night (November 5th) is the Speakeasy comic show in Toronto. I've exhibited at this a couple of times and it's always fun. The Joe Shuster Awards will have a bunch of pieces on display at the show. They have asked Canadian comic artists to do up their version of that old Canucklehead Wolverine, then the pieces will be auctioned later on eBay to raise funds for the awards.

Here's my contribution...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Word on the Street

Wow, it's been a long time since the last blog update, and there's much to write about. Let's get to the first order of business...

Word on the Street, September 27th, Toronto, Ontario
I will have a booth at the Word on the Street on Sunday, September 27th in Toronto. This is a fabulous street festival celebrating literacy and the written word. This is the 20th anniversary of the Festival and it looks bigger and better than ever.

Heavyweights like Margaret Atwood, Nicco Ricci and Kenneth Oppel will be on hand, but of special interest is the Comics and Graphic Novels Tent, presented in partnership with TCAF. The tent will have discussion panels and presentations by some great local talent and friends like Claudia Davila, Willow Dawson, Brad McKay (of the Doug Wright Awards) and Kevin Boyd (of the Joe Shuster Awards).

I will be in the "Fringe Beat" section at booth# FB14 (see map above). Lezley Davidson will be sharing the table with me and she will have very first book of her webcomic "Peeling Onions" on hand. I will have my minis for sale as well as t-shirts including the my popular "Silver Surfer - Kirby Style" silk-screened shirt. Best of all, WOTS is FREE for all to attend.

Draw Parker Contest
To celebrate the launch of Darwyn Cooke's new "Parker" graphic novel, Darwyn had a contest on his site encouraging people to draw their version of the character and send it in. Darwyn himself would hand-pick the winners. There was a really good response with a lot of artists participating. You can see the gallery here. Below is my entry.

I read "The Hunter" by Richard Stark recently in anticipation of the graphic novel and really enjoyed it. To me the character didn't come across as young and handsome though. He seemed like an older, rugged kind of guy, yet with a very magnetic personality.

In my drawing, I also wanted to get across his style of dress being rumpled, and a little worn. This is from a scene in the book where he is staking out a character...

I ended being disqualified from the contest being a "friend of Darwyn's". We get nothing but his love, apparently. I'll take it I say!

Other News

  • Here are photos from my signing with Willow Dawson at L.A. Mood. Carol and Gord were great hosts and it was a terrific signing. Thanks to everyone who came out. A bonus was spending time with pal Willow.

  • Here's a link to my interview with the National Post for TCAF. I was really happy how this came out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

L.A Mood, TCAF Wrap-Up & The Paris Guns

I think May 2009 will go down as one of my busiest months ever. I'm going to start from the top with what's still coming up, then work my way backwards through the month...

L.A. Mood Comic Signing with Willow Dawson
This Saturday, May 30th I will be signing with the wonderfully talented cartoonist Willow Dawson at L.A. Mood Comics & Games. I will be brining copies of all my comics for sale, some original artwork to view, as well as my new t-shirts I did up for TCAF (kazoo shirt, and Silver Surfer Kirby-style shirt) for purchase.

Willow will have her comic work on hand, as well as limited edition prints and buttons. We will be a captive audience from 12:00 - 4:00 PM at the store, so please come on by, say hello and feel free to ask us any comic questions you may have. The event is free and totally family friendly!

TCAF Wrap Up
So another TCAF has been and gone and as ususal lived up to they hype. Big kudos to Chris Butcher and the Beguiling for putting on such a great event. I have been a guest at every TCAF, and I have to say that this year was bigger and better in almost every way.

Especially impressive was the amount of media coverage the fest received this year. It totally paid off as the crowds were massive (as you can see from the photo above - I'm in the pink t-shirt). I think this video on (that even got Boing Boing'ed) really captures the feel of the weekend:

Highlights of the weekend for many, but here are just some:

  • Sharing a table with good friend and huge talent Frank Cammuso. My husband and I first met Frank and his wife Ngoc at SPX way back in 2003 I think, and we soon became fast friends. Since then we've hung out at many a con, and it's always a pleasure to chat with him, get his opinions on the industry and just generally to catch up.

  • Attending the Doug Wright Awards and seeing the surprise and joy on the faces of the recipients Jillian and Mariko Tamaki for Skim, Kate Beaton for Hark a Vagrant!, and Matt Forsythe for Ojingogo - all WELL deserved. Since I was a juror this year, I knew who the winners would be, but I was still totally nervous for all of them as well as the other great nominees.

  • I have to hand it to the Doug Wright Committee for totally doing the evening up right at the Jackman Hall in the AGO with emcee Don McKellar. The Billy Crystal type opening video for the best book award was hilarious, and the Q&A with Seth and Brad McKay about the Collected Doug Wright book was really illuminating. I can honestly say that Seth's comments on how he designed the book have made me think differently about book design.

  • Party at The Pilot put on by Chip Zdarsky. This was a great time and it seemed like just about all the guests and their friends showed up!

  • Finally catching up with fellow cartoonists, friends and comic fans is really what it is all about. There are too many of you to mention here, so please take my thanks to everyone who came by and said hi.

The Paris Guns
Finished in time for the London Studio Art Tour, Chapter One of my longer Gerald Bull story is out! Called The Paris Guns, this chapter works as a complete story in and of itself and takes place in France during WWI. Below is the cover.

Monday, May 04, 2009

London Studio Tour Wrap-Up

The London Studio Tour just finished up yesterday, and I am still in recovery mode.

This is a free self-guided tour where local artists open up their studios to the public for a weekend. It takes every year in London and is a great opportunity to meet local artists. I have attended before in the past, but this is the first year I participated, so I wasn't sure just what to expect.

Crowds were quite steady each day (Friday night, all day Saturday, all day Sunday), and we were fortunate to have a great weekend weather-wise. I'd say there were hundreds of people who came through my studio stop. For a set-up I had 20 art pieces for sale that varied from comic panels, to full B&W illustrations, to landscapes both in colour and black and white (all framed and hung gallery-style by me and Dave). The landscapes were definitely the most popular. The one in particular that was in the brochure I think I could have sold a few times over.

It was a great experience, but also a lot of work in terms of producing new artwork, framing art, and tidying up and organizing studio. I heard from some other artists that traffic overall was a bit down this year - perhaps due to the recession? But all told I sold 4 pieces and 81 comics which I think is very decent!

Thanks to friends and family who helped out in shifts for crowd control, good company and support! Thanks also to those who came out!

See website for details on all participating artists. There was a great mix this year of different styles represented.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

London Studio Tour

I am happy to say that this year I've been accepted into the juried London (ont) Studio Tour. The tour has been operating for (I believe) over 20 years now in London and provides Londoners with the opportunity to visit the working environments of local artists, learn about their creative process, meet the artists, and purchase some original art!

The tour is self-guided and the artists work in a variety of mediums such as drawing, painting, printmaking, stained glass, ceramics, sculpture and woodworking. I have attended a number of years and have always really enjoyed it. It's pretty casual, very well-attended and free. The artists always seem to be happy to have so many people looking at their stuff.

I will have some of my comic work on display, including pages from my Gerald Bull project, as well as some landscapes in pen and ink and oil pastels for sale. Below is a Muskoka drawing I recently finished for the show.

Muskoka in the Fall
This is the first time a comic artist has participated in the tour and I am anxious to see what people think. I plan on doing up hand-outs of my comic process as I find people are generally curious as to how a page goes from script, to original art, to its final printed form.
  • Here the link for the official London Studio Tour website, which has a pdf of the brochure that shows the location of each artist's studio, as well as a bio for each artist.
  • The tour takes place from Friday, May 1st - Sunday, May 3rd.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Watchmen - By the Pool

How big is the Watchmen phenomenon? How about this - a few weeks ago we went on a family vacation to a small Mexican island off of Cancun called "Isla Mujeres". The island is reached by ferry and is just 4.5 miles long. It's still a working fishing village, and there are no American restaurants chains there (yet).

Sitting around by the pool, what did I see but this startling sight:Woman reading Watchmen by the pool
A woman reading the graphic novel casually by the pool! In all of my vacationing days I have never seen a guy (who wasn't my husband or brother-in-law), reading a graphic novel by the pool or on the beach, much less a gal. I had to have Dave and Rosie pose in the pool nearby so I could get a photo of it. She then proceeded to have this conversation with her guy friend:

Girl: Have you ever read a graphic novel?
Guy: No.
Girl: They're good you know. They are a bit confusing to read at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's fine.
Guy: I don't know if I would like any of them. I've heard of that one you're reading though.
Girl: Well, Gary has been reallly raving about this book forever. He bought it when it came out like in the 80s or something. Anyway, I was curious about it and he got it for me for Christmas. It's good, and the movie is coming out on March 6th.

Me eavesdropping in background while wearing my Black Freighter baseball hat I got off of eBay (no joke) - "It is, I didn't even have that date memorized! That's coming up soon!

Girl: Anyway, this is good. I've read a couple of other graphic novels too. I've read V for Vendetta, and the Dark Knight. There's just one more I'm interested in reading though - it's called Preacher.
Guy: Hmmm. Never heard of it. Want to get some lunch?
Girl: Sounds good. Is it too early for a margarita?

If I hadn't have witnessed this scene, myself, I would have never have believed it. It's some kind of sign of the Apocalypse or something....

Don't tell me that movies don't have an impact on graphic novel sales. This is proof positive!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February Update

Lots of news to report since it's been awhile since my last update. I vow to better for 2009!

Doug Wright Awards
First up, I am happy to report that I am a juror for this year's Doug Wright Awards, which celebrate excellence in Canadian cartooning. The awards will be handed out the weekend of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, at the AGO's Jackman Hall on Saturday May 9th.

The other members of the jury are Bob Rae, Andrew Coyne, Martin Levin and fellow cartoonist Joe Ollman. Holy cow, what a list! I am a bit intimidated by the company but I am confident in my knowledge of the subject matter covered (comics)!

The evening will also feature a Q&A with Seth and writer Brad Mackay who will be talking about the new Doug Wright collection, published by Drawn & Quarterly and launching that evening.

This brings up this spring's Toronto Comic Arts Festival - my favourite comic festival evah! This year looks to be bigger and better than ever and takes place at the Toronto Reference Library, May 9-10. I will be a guest again this year and will be sharing a table with the wonderfully talented Frank Cammuso.

I am going all out for TCAF this year. I will have a new mini, which will be the first chapter to my Gerald Bull GN. I will also have at least one new t-shirt design and hopefully a few other goodies.

The Surfer
Silver SurgerThis guy just may be the new t-shirt design. Based on the Kirby version of course.

Finally, last month I did up a list for Alan David Doane at Comic Book Galaxy of my most anticipated GN's for 2009. Here's my list:

- Scott Pilgrim Vs. the Universe, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Oni Press (out now) . O'Malley has turned the Scott Pilgrim book releases into an event. I think a lot of people anticipate these like you do a major movie release. I'm sure this will be THE book at the Feb NYC Comicon (which it was - natch).

-George Sprott by Seth, published by Drawn & Quarterly (due May)
Okay, I admit I actually didn't read this when it came out in serial form in the New York Times. This is an expanded and re-mastered version though, so will be even better than that version I'm sure. Plus you can't beat having it in book form. I'm really looking forward to it. I loved, loved, loved Wimbledon Green and this story seems to be in the same vein.

- Cecil and Jordan in New York, by Gabrielle Bell, published by Drawn & Quarterly (due March)
I think this was originally solicited for November of last year and I was bummed when it didn't come out. I love Gabrielle Bell and I think she's just getting better and better. This collection of stories features full-colour work by her that looks really lovely. The one short story has been adapted by director Michel Gondry.

- Nancy Volume One, by John Stanley, published by Drawn & Quarterly (due June)
Continuing in the new tradition of all the reprints coming out (Popeye, Little Orphan Annie, Peanuts), this book reprints some of the classic Nancy strips with an eye-catching cover design by Seth.

- Ten Against the World, by Scott Morse, published by Red Window (due Summer 09?)
Morse just wrote about this project on his blog. It's to be a 160 pg Kirby/Toth inspired monster comic set in the 1950's. He is doing the whole thing with his cintiq in two-colour. Not sure when it will be out. Maybe for SDCC? He also might release instalments online. It will be printed by his own Red Window press (which often gets distributed by AdHouse Books). Stop right there, you had me at Kirby/Toth.

- Parker, by Darwyn Cooke, published by IDW (due Summer '09)
It's to be four full-length graphic novels that adapt the Parker crime books.I am a big enough nerd that I even bought the promo art cards done for SDCC off of eBay. They're gorgeous!
This is a project made for Cooke and I can't wait to get it.

It would be well worth your time to see all the suggestions that ADD lists at his blog from lots of other contributors.