Saturday, February 16, 2019

Words and Pictures: Cartoonists of Southwestern Ontario Media Coverage

Guest curator and veteran graphic novelist Diana Tamblyn talks about this upcoming exhibition at Museum London, featuring 12 artists from the region. The exhibit runs from Sept. 15 to Jan. 13.

Southwestern Ontario comic creators featured in Diana Tamblyn-curated show at Museum London, Dan Brown, London Free Press, September 4, 2018
"There is no greater supporter of comic creators in Southwestern Ontario than Diana Tamblyn."

Museum London shines spotlight on SW Ontario cartoonists in new exhibit, CBC London radio interview, Afternoon Drive with Chris della Torre, October 2, 2018
SW Ontario is a hotbed for cartoonists. So says Diana Tambyn, guest curator of "Words and Pictures: Cartoonists of SW Ontario" at Museum London.

A Celebration of Draughtsmanship, Herman Gooden, October 7, 2018
"...a dazzling celebration of the comic book in all its convention-busting styles and forms. "

(Left to right): Diana Tamblyn, Joe Ollmann, Jesse Jacobs, Willow Dawson, Nov. 3, 2018,
Kristin Lee, Gazette
Wordsfest: London's growing comic culture, Kristin Lee, The Gazette, Nov 6, 2018
"Everything from mainstream DC and Marvel superhero comics to indie comics like Scott Pilgrim to small newspaper comic strips comes from the same place: the imagination. No matter how fantastical or meaningful, comics create an escape into an extraordinary realm."

Museum London marks Remembrance Day with artist's talk, Joe Belanger, London Free Press, Nov 8, 2018
"Museum London will mark Remembrance Day with an artist’s talk (Scott Chantler) about capturing his father’s war experiences in a graphic memoir."

Celebrating the craft of cartoons at Museum London, Whitney South, Tourism London, Dec 19, 2018
"Often overlooked as a dismissible or disposable aspect of pop culture, comic books have fought hard to find their place in the world of fine art"

 (Jennifer Bieman/The London Free Press)

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Words and Pictures: Cartoonists of Southwestern Ontario

Last year I was approached by Museum London (the local art and history museum in my hometown of London, Ontario), to see if I was interested in guest-curating an exhibit on comic artists. The Museum wanted to highlight some of amazing comic artists we have, but recognized they needed some expertise in putting together the show.

Of course I said yes! I was honoured to be asked and thrilled that the Museum wanted to dedicate a huge area of the Museum to the show which would run for over 4 months. Together, we decided to focus the show on cartoonists from the immediate area - Southwestern Ontario, and cartoonists in particular, as we are fortunate to have such an abundance of talent from the area 

Here's the description of the show that I wrote and was featured in the Museum London program and their website:
Jesse Jacobs, By This Shall You Know Him II, 2017, five-colour silkscreen print on paper by Strane Dizioni, Italy, Collection of the artist
Jesse Jacobs, By This Shall You Know Him II, 2017, five-colour silkscreen print on paper by Strane Dizioni, Italy, Collection of the artist
September 15 to January 13, 2019
North and Centre Ivey Galleries
Guest Curator: Diana Tamblyn

Until recently, comic books have regularly been dismissed as disposable, “low brow” items of popular culture, often overlooked in larger discussions of the visual arts. Within the past 20 years, however, comics and graphic novels (sometimes referred to as “sequential art”) have been recognized as a sophisticated art form, and cartoonists as artists.

Masters of the form, such as Jack Kirby, Robert Crumb, Herge, and Osamu Tezuka, are now acknowledged to be among the most recognized and influential artists of the twentieth century. Southwestern Ontario has produced some of the world’s most celebrated and innovative of these artists, of which twelve are featured in this exhibition: Marc Bell, Scott Chantler, David Collier, Michael Cho, Willow Dawson, Jesse Jacobs, Mark Laliberte, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Jeff Lemire, Joe Ollmann, Seth, and Jay Stephens.

These individuals work in diverse styles, some using the more traditional grid format, and others playing with and challenging the conventions of the comics form. Words and Pictures also examines how the region of Southwestern Ontario has informed and shaped their work, as it has for other creators like authors Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, and James Reaney, or visual artists such as Jack Chambers and Greg Curnoe. Although comics are popular, the process of creating and producing them is mysterious to many. Traditionally, comic books have been created by teams of people, such as a writer, a penciller, an inker, a colourist, a letterer, and an editor.

A cartoonist, however, is someone who for the most part takes on all of these roles. Words and Pictures reveals the steps involved in producing sequential art. Selected works—Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim, Jeff Lemire’s Essex County, Seth’s Palookaville, and many more—showcase original, finished comic book pages, thumbnails, preparatory drawings, printer’s proofs, and three-dimensional objects. Together, they offer insights into each cartoonist’s methods and approach, and show the care, detail, and artistry in each project.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Tingfest 2018

I was proud to help host and organize the 5th annual Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival at the ARTS Project in London, Ontario, from April 17 - May 5, 2018.

Tingfest 2018 poster by Billy Bert Young

An homage to Merle Tingley's (Ting) work and influence on generations of artists, Tingfest is a rare forum for emerging and established artists to present their work to the public, which is not normally accessible through usual commercial channels.

Centering around a gallery show, the festival features a pop-up shop, workshops, artist talks, and more. All programming is free, open to all ages, and held on-site at The ARTS Project.

2018 Featured Artists

Plus, as a special 5th anniversary feature, we bring SHUFFLE -a 4PANEL Project curated by Ting alumnus Mark Laliberte- to our gallery. SHUFFLE is a collaborative animation that features the work of London-connected artists Heidi Berton, Meg Dearlove, Ben O’Neil, and another Ting alumnus Owen Marshall.

Media Coverage

Festival Funders
Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario
London Community Foundation

Exhibition Sponsor
Heroes Comics

Website Sponsor

Program Sponsors 
Downtown London
L.A. Mood Comics & Games
London Comic Con
Forest City Comicon

Community Partners
London Free Press
Runciman Press
Chops Picture Framing Supplies
London Public Library
Western Libraries - Western University

Sunday, August 06, 2017

San Diego Comicon 2017

Dave and I in front of the Cartoon Network balloon display. It was so fun!
My husband Dave won 2 free passes, airfare and accommodation to San Diego Comicon recently ago in an online contest. After stressing for over a week about whether this was legit or now because the prize was too good to be true, we found that indeed the prize was real and was offered through what seems to be a fabulous non-profit organization - Travelling Stories (whose goal is to help kids fall in love with reading before Grade 4).

Needless to say - we had a great time! Dan Brown at the London Free Press even let us take over his blog for 4 posts to talk about our adventure. Thought you might enjoy perusing them.

Here are the links - enjoy!

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!