Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 - Hello 2012!


Time once again to look back upon the year and I'm happy to report it was, in the smooth crooning tones of Ol' Blue Eyes, indeed "a Very Good Year".

This year marked a first for me; for the majority of the year I worked almost exclusively on my own projects! It's a total dream come true and I'm very happy with the results, I hope someday this will be just a matter of fact. 

A few highlights of the year:

 - Going to Wizard Con in Toronto and hanging out with fellow Eisner Nom of 2010 Ken Nimura (I Kill Giants).

- Finished drawing the next Angora Napkin book!

- A road trip with Brenda to Ottawa and getting to couch surf and visit so many old friends.

- Seeing Metallica in Halifax.

- A 2 month summer Artist in Residence job in Summerside and getting a start on my next two major projects.

- Seeing my kids off to their first day of Kindergarten!

- Kate Beaton book signing in Halifax!

- Getting engaged!

- Christmas vacation sledding with my girls.

- The creation of Wine Club (Don't talk about Wine Club).

- Almost completing the colouring of the Angora Napkin book (10 pages to go)! 

And while no year is ever 365 flawless I do my best to make the best of things. I'm truly grateful to have such a great family, friends and time in which to work on my art. I feel so lucky I could burst!

2012 is going to be exciting! Hopefully a new Angora Napkin book will drop and I'll be well into the next project. It's unlikely I'll be able to have another self indulgent year like this anytime soon - gotta find a good paying gig as I've got a wedding to plan! 

See you next year! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Covered!

For a while I've been wanting to contribute a piece to the "Covered" blog (artists re-interpreting comic covers) hosted by Robert Goodin but never got around to it until recently. I knew just the cover I wanted to do, if only for the simple reasons that A) I'm a huge Indy fan and B) I remember buying this issue off the spinner rack and having my 10 year old mind blown finding a letter I wrote made it into the letters page! (I think I only ever wrote 2 fan letters in my time, this one and one to 'Groo the Wanderer' - which to my knowledge never saw print).




Original cover by Keith Pollard


(Click to embiggen)

(TRANSCRIPT: 

Dear Marvel: 
   The artwork in issue #28 of INDIANA JONES was excellent, and the plot was great. But I was kind of disappointed that Indy called Alec "crazy" when Alec jumped the horse across the cliff. I thought that Indy would have done the same thing without hesitation. Whatever happened to the old "Jones luck?"
   I'm a devoted Indy fan, and this is my first time writing.

   We hope it wont be the last, Troy! Regarding your observation, we agree. If Indy had been in control of the horse, he would have done exactly what Alec did. But he didn't know Alec had the skill to pull off a stunt like that. Indy's willing to risk his own life - but doesn't like someone else doing it for him!

END)

Yes, I am the eternal skeptic. Nonetheless, I was very satisfied with their reasoning behind Indy's actions in that particular thrilling adventure.

This was a fun little diversion, I'll probably do one again someday if the notion strikes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Lovely Assistant


I just passed the 100 pages mark colouring "Harvest of Revenge"! My kids have taken a real interest in colouring on my Cintiq so I let them help me out now and again. Ah these modern kids and their fancy colouring books - and check out the results! Not bad for a 5 year old lefty, she even signed her work! :D


Monday, November 07, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-Changes


Sorry about the blog neglect, life got really busy – let me get you up to speed:

A freelance storyboard gig came up and that pretty much kept me sleepless for the better part of September. The rest of October was a mixed bag of unfortunate events. Lets get the bad out of the way first -

My Father, who just turned 80, has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for some time. Things took a turn for the worse as eventually happens to people struck with this miserable disease and he has had to be taken out of his home and put in a manor. My amazing mother has done well to keep him home and care for him as long as she has but despite that it’s impossible not to feel like we’ve failed him somehow. Alzheimer’s is an absolutely awful way to go, and though he’s still here and relatively well in many respects it feels like the beginning of the end. It saddens me so much to see him fading away.


Next was the shocking news of the passing of my childhood friend Craig Arsenault at age 37. He fought a difficult battle with cancer and despite all hopes to the contrary lost the game just a few days before Halloween. Craig was one of the funniest, smartest and all around good guys on the block. I have a lot of great memories of Craig, he was a big part of my young life and I’ll never forget him. He leaves behind a lot of people of loved him and my thoughts are with his family and especially his young daughter Bella. None of us ever imagines we’ll check out so young with so much life left to live, I’m sure Craig felt the same. I miss you old friend, it’s unfair we should be robber of your presence so early.

***

Now onto the good news. November, I’ve been looking forward to for some time now and it’s off to a perfect start. My girlfriend Brenda Hickey and I took a trip to Halifax for her Birthday to attend the Kate Beaton signing at Strange Adventures. We were first in line (and the line was looong we discovered when we left) and happy to leave with a freshly signed copy of her brilliant ‘Hark a Vagrant” book.

Later that evening I proposed to Brenda and she accepted! (Sorry to upstage you Kate!) Anyone who has met Brenda knows what a lucky guy I am – she’s a complete goofy sweetheart and I love her madly. The past few years I’ve spent with her have been some of the best of my life and I’m so happy to imagine that trend continuing on for the rest of my days. Thank you Brenda, I love you!!!


And as for the next Angora Napkin book? Well, I’m on page 92 of the colouring and still clinging to the remote hope it’ll all be done by years end. I’ve enlisted two helpers, but I fear this will in fact slow down progress as they’re still working on staying within the lines. Nonetheless, they figured out how to pick colours and flip the pen around to erase so you never know. Maybe they’ll teach me a few tricks!


Thursday, September 01, 2011

PACE - Wrap up

FINAL REPORT
September 1, 2011

            It’s with a heavy heart I gave up my keys to the West End Cottage, 471 Notre Dame Street, Summerside. This had been my home away from home for the summer of 2011 and it was an opportunity unparalleled in my experience.
            My original and primary intention during the residency was to begin work on my next major graphic novel entitled “The Allusion of Life”. This and so much more came out of my time as the PACE Artist in Residence.
            Meeting with the people at Wyatt we planned out the two months events. I spent 2 hours of almost every day out on the streets of Summerside as part of the ‘Arts in Motion Festival’, letting people know about the PACE Program and talking about my work. This worthwhile event did much in the way of drawing people off the beaten path and into the house to see the artwork and it’s development.
As well I also held a presentation for a group of video game summer students talking about the art and design that parallels the gaming and animation industries. I was unexpectedly invited by local kids to help spray paint the graffiti wall at the park (didn’t have time unfortunately) and hosted a ’24 Hour Comic Marathon’ which turned out to be a massive success!
It’s worth mentioning this event further, as it was a definite high point of the Residency. I had a group of talented people take part (A film director, a tattoo artist, an animator from Ottawa and local comic artists) in each creating a 24-page comic in 24 hours! We livestreamed the entire event over the Internet and had plenty of people and media check in on our progress as the hours wore on. It was a lot of fun and I’ve heard some of the participants say they’d like to do it again!
Events aside, I myself am beyond pleased with what I accomplished with my time. I’ve written over 40 pages of the first draft of “The Allusion of Life”, did plenty of concept drawings and even the first 2 finished pages from the book!
Also, I began work on an “Angora Napkin” adventure comic strip - completing seven strips and numerous bits of pin-up artwork that will be included in the next book. I even managed to get in a little oil painting late one night with the company of a friend who was trying his hand at abstract art.
Some days I worked without interruption and others there seemed to be a flood of visitors to the property. Some local people came in to see what was going on after seeing it reported on the CBC, many just fell upon it by chance or word of mouth. I had visitors from as far away as San Diego, Maine, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The PACE Artist in Residency program was an incredible experience; I’m excited for the next artist to be able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. My undying thanks go out to the PEICA, The City of Summerside, Wyatt Heritage and all the great folks who helped bring this fantastic project into existence!




Monday, August 29, 2011

PACE: August 29th -31st Schedule: FINAL WEEK!

I'm down to my last few days as Artist in Residence!!!! Wow, those two months flew by!! So, last chance to come by and see what I've been up to this Tuesday & Wednesday.

Be sure to come by the house from 4:30 6:30PM on Wednesday for a free BBQ meet and greet, check out the artwork and meet the next Artist taking over the space in September!
SCHEDULE August 29th - 31st
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 9:30am - 3:00pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - PARTY!

*All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!


Monday, August 22, 2011

PACE: August 22nd -28th Schedule

SCHEDULE August 22nd - 28th
Monday: 9:00am - 2:30pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:30am - 5:00pm

Friday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm


*All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!

Monday, August 15, 2011

PACE Schedule: Aug 15th - 18th

Short week this week due to the Charlottetown Parade on Friday and my kids birthday party on Saturday!


SCHEDULE August 15th-18th

Monday: 10:30am - 3:30pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 3:30pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - 5:00pm (or later)
Thursday: 9:30am - 5:00pm

*All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!

Monday, August 08, 2011

CBSW 2011 Wrap Up, PACE Schedule Aug 8th-13th


COMIC BOOK SHARK WEEK 2011 IS OVER!

I hope you all had a productive CBSW last week. How did you rate? I'd lump myself in as "Mako", but only because of the 24 Hour Comic Marathon, the rest of the week was a jumble of distractions I couldn't get away from. In any case, I'll be ready to tear into CBSW 2012 like a wounded seal next year!

Big shout out to all the participants of the 24 Hour Comic: Brenda & Carloyn Hickey, Peter Murphy, John Dohe, Sue Marsden, Pat Brunet, Christina Gaudet and the official 24HC mascot Sneakers! It was a blast peeps, you were a great bunch to hang out and draw with, let's do it again next year! 

So what else did I get done during CBSW? I'm still spending the summer at my home away from home as the Artist in Residence in Summerside and taking part in the Arts in Motion Festival daily. I managed to draw and ink an Angora Napkin pin up, did a lot of writing on my next book and some brainstorming for another Angora web comic. I even managed to fulfill the CBSW caveat and include a shark drawing in my 24 Hour Comic! Not too shabby.


SCHEDULE August 8st-13th

Monday: 9:30am - 4:00pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 11am
Wednesday: 9:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 5:00pmFriday: 9:30am - 4:00pm, 4:00pm at Lefurgey Centre Arts in Motion wrap event
Saturday: 9:00am - 3:00pm


* From 11:00am - 1:00pm Tues-Thurs I'll be available at Spinnakers Landing as part of the Arts in Motion Festival.

**All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

COMIC BOOK SHARK WEEK! 24 HOUR COMIC! PACE SCHEDULE!

COMIC BOOK SHARK WEEK
JULY 31st to AUG 7th

That's right chums, it's the kick off to CBSW 2011 and I'm going at it like a school of Mako's on a wounded seal. Yes, it's that special time of the year when comic creators across the globe work themselves up into a creative frenzy and become productive killing machines!

Find out more about this annual event HERE and then GET TO WORK!

So on top of working on the first draft of my next book, taking part in the Arts in Motion Festival, drawing, inking, sketching and painting I plan on hosting a 24 Hour Comic Party at the West End Cottage in Summerside! 


The history and rules of the event can be found on Scott McCloud's website.

Bring paper, pens or whatever you like to draw with and on and be ready to go at 9:00AM sharp Thursday, August 4th. Then get ready to crank out the pages without stopping for 24 hours! (I've done this twice before, it's grueling but fun in a group). NOTE: table space at the cottage is limited, if you have a portable drawing table - bring it! 

CBC TV was by last week and did a small segment on the Artist in Residence program, check it out:


That's it! See you at 471 Notre Dame St. during the times listed below. 
And have a GREAT WHITE SHARK WEEK!


SCHEDULE August 1st-6th


Monday: 9:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Thursday: 24 HOUR COMIC 9:00am to 9:00am Friday
Friday: CLOSED FOR SLEEP!
Saturday: 9:00am - 3:00pm


* From 11:00am - 1:00pm Mon-Wed I'll be available downtown Water St. as part of the Arts in Motion Festival.



**All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.


OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!



Monday, July 25, 2011

PACE: July 27th-29th Schedule

SCHEDULE JULY 27th-29th
Wednesday: 9:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 5:00pm (or later)
Thursday: 8:30am - 11am, 1:00pm - 5:00pm (or later)
Friday: 8:30 - 11am, 1pm - 4:00pm

* From 11:00am - 1:00pm Wed-Fri I'll be available downtown Water St. as part of the Arts in Motion Festival.

**All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

PACE: July 20th-23rd Schedule

SCHEDULE JULY 20th-23th
Wednesday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm (or later)
Thursday: 8:30am 11am, 1:00pm - 4:30pm (Then off to see Harry Potter!)
Friday: 9:30 - 11am, 1pm - 5pm (or later)
Saturday: 9:00am - 4:00pm


* From 11:00am - 1:00pm Wed-Fri I'll be available downtown Water St. as part of the Arts in Motion Festival.


**All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.


OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 471 NOTRE DAME ST. next to the CREDIT UNION PLACE.
Come on down, check out the art, chat & have a coffee!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

PACE: July 11th-16th Schedule

SCHEDULE JULY 11th-16th
Monday: 9:30am - 3:30pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm (or later)
Thursday: Closed due to Metallica
Friday: 12:00pm(?) - 5pm (or later)
Saturday: 9:00am - 4:00pm

*All time are tentative / flexible in that I sometimes need to run errands or whatever, but I'll do my utmost best to be there for the listed hours. I'll update any changes should they arise.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

PACE: Dispatches from the WEC - Part 1

SCHEDULE JULY 7th-9th
THURSDAY: 10:30am - 5:00pm (or later)
FRIDAY: CLOSED
SATURDAY: 8:30am - 12:00pm

My first week at the WEC (West End Cottage) is nearing it's end but thankfully there's still plenty of time to go. My Residency runs until the end of August and I'll be spending most of that time in the quaint little home you see below:

471 Notre Dame St. Summerside, PE

So far I've been mostly occupied with moving in and setting up shop, figuring out what I need and what I forgot to bring. I'm pretty much up and running now and look forward to getting down to business just as soon as I finish this post. 

View from the front porch

I've covered the walls with original artwork from the first Angora Napkin graphic novel along with tumbnails and roughs for those pages. There's almost half a dozen sketchbooks full of Mygrain comics and other junk to flip through. I've even brought along some canvases in case I get the urge to do some painting. 

I started this painting years ago... Will I finish it??

I'll post my tentative schedule here the first of every week. This is open to the public so come on in, I'll make you a coffee while you read a comic, check out the art or watch the Angora Napkin cartoon! Who are you to resist?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

It's Canada Day here in Canada! My you find a hobo in your bathtub on this special day!

Wow, the next two months are going to be a blast! I'll be starting my PACE residency "officially" on July 4th, but I expect it'll take until the following week before I actually get set up and a schedule worked out. I'll be doing a lot of blogging during my time in Summerside and have a lot of fun events in the works so keep checking back for updates!

Speaking up updates, I'm pleased to announce that I'm (as of yesterday) half way done the colouring stage of the next Angora Napkin book! I managed to finish 24 pages in June, much better then the previous month. Well, it's all down hill from here, right? Right?

Friday, June 24, 2011

PACE Artist in Residence July-August 2011

I've received word that my proposal to the PACE Artist in Residency program has been selected for the July - August slot! More details once I get them but in a nutshell I'll be spending most of the summer (should it ever arrive here on PEI) in Summerside making art and comics in a public venue! I am super stoked about this project and can't wait to get more details to share.

My residency begins July 4th, so forget about the Royal Visit that day and come to Summerside and take in some comics instead!

"We Love Comics"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hockey and The Evil That Men Do.

This will be, without a doubt, the only time I'm ever going to blog about Hockey.

This may startle you, but I'm a Canadian and not a hockey fan. I could care less about the Stanley Cup. In fact I spent last night's final game of the playoffs watching LOST re-runs. But this morning I get to witness Vancouver, the sore losers of last nights game:


This really got me thinking about our WIN / LOSE culture and I believe this is why I have such an aversion to institutionalized sports. The concept of Good Sportsmanship, humility and grace are ideas long since abandoned in our society. 

Hockey is a game, not a religion. Games were at one time meant to be fun and challenging. Somewhere along the lines the notion of "Winning is all the matters" took over and is now seems to be the primary psychological motivation behind coaches and fans alike and not the basic love of the game.

The problem with institutionalized sports, as opposed to say chess or Scrabble, is that while an individual player my take their loss with grace and humility the external forces of fandom are beyond that persons ability to influence and as such you see the results in the above picture. A few bad apples ruining it for the rest of us.

Now, I'm not particularly good at sports in any way but I enjoy playing them provided it's fun. If you only Play To Win against me the fun has left the game.

So here's a radical idea: what if players and fans alike could win or lose with grace, respect and humility towards their other team? What if the defeated side can feel disappointment yet cheer for the success of the opposition? Why have things degraded to such a neanderthal clubbing match with victory the only point of the endeavor? 

People have a very messed up perception of what success means in this world.

Until things change, and I don't ever expect that it will, I'm going to keep my nose out of Hockey lest it gets broken but some idiot and be thankful I don't live in a town where my car gets set on fire when the local sports team loses. 

Make love, not Hockey

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Meet The Podcrastinators & SCG

Last week found the illustrious Brenda Hickey and myself in the heart of Conservative Canada (Ottawa) were we slept on many a couch (Thanks peeps!) and held book signings. And by signings I mean one.

One of the highlights of our travels was doing a podcast with the infamous ("more then famous") Andre & Mike of The Podcrastinators - Ottawa's favorite Podcast straight from the heart of Wellington Diner!

Don't miss a moment of this almost 2 hour podcast, but if you must cut to the chase then Brenda and I make our appearance around the 39:00 mark:

The Podcrastinors: Episode Sicks


Full disclosure, Mike and I go waaaaaay back. For example, check out this bit of collaborative 'gold' from 2000:



Kudos to Mr. Andre for the slick edit on the interview, there was a lot of noise and interruptions that vanished in the post production phase and made the interview nice and tidy.

One final shill, you can pick up a copy of Mike's new book "The Open Door and Other Night Time Tales of Terror" (TODAONTTOT for short?) by clicking on the the spooky book cover below and steady yourself to never sleep again!


Keep reading!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Something's brewing over at www.angoranapkin.com!

JUNE 1st, 2011... THE BEGINNING of the BEGINNING


I've been busy re-vamping the Angora Napkin website lately and have some fun stuff in store for you soon!

In case you're interested, I have a very limited few remaining Angora Napkin T-shirts left. Last chance to get one before they're GONZO!

Check it out starting June 1st!