Category Archives: Comics

It’s Comics, fool.

Journalists and Optimists Part 2: Dennis Schaal

As mentioned, recently, I had the great fortune to work with Veronica Chambers, author, journalist and Stanford Journalism Fellow, on her fellowship project Journalists and Optimists.

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Veronica Chambers

Chambers interviewed 3 prominent journalists, Gabe Spitzer, Dennis Schaal, and Rebecca Carroll about the ways they’ve pivoted their careers as journalists in the current hostile and at the same time fertile environment. I was dialed into the interviews and was able to make notes, and based on audio recordings, make a detailed visual record of each interview.

Here is my graphic recording of Veronica Chamber’s interview with Dennis Schaal (see my previous post for Gabe Spitzer’s interview):

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Journalists and Optimists: Veronica Chambers interviews Gabe Spitzer

Recently, I had the great fortune to work with Veronica Chambers, author, journalist and Stanford Journalism Fellow, on her fellowship project Journalists and Optimists.

VC photo Miami

Veronica Chambers

Chambers interviewed 3 prominent journalists, Gabe Spitzer, Dennis Schaal, and Rebecca Carroll about the ways they’ve pivoted their careers as journalists in the current hostile and at the same time fertile environment. I was dialed into the interviews and was able to make notes, and based on audio recordings, make a detailed visual record of each interview.

Here is my graphic recording of Veronica Chamber’s interview with Gabe Spitzer:

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ELCAF & Beyond

The thing about working on great projects is that it leaves little room to talk about the great projects you’re working on.  Same goes for great trips, and I have been privy to both, remedied in one blog post, right here, right now.  (I will TRY to keep it interesting, but lord knows you will be skimming it anyway. HIDE NOTHING FROM THE LORD. Anyway, let’s get on with it) IMG_9913-2 I recently contributed a comic to a BEAUTIFUL (yes, caps are necessary) private press anthology called Pack Mentality. It’s printed in the most stunning risograph you will ever see (by Toronto’s peerless press, Colour Code).  I have it on international authority that riso has never looked this good. International authority? Who thinks they are hot stuff? ME. I DO. I whisked Pack Mentality away to rainy, moderately weathered London, England for the East London Comic Arts Festival (ELCAF), where it was summarily praised.  Just look at it! Wouldn’t you? 11012517_10155633272705577_3899087376958630850_n 11351278_10155633272040577_638209227342712607_n 11227923_10155633271545577_4674968222645264913_n   ELCAF was dreamy, by the by. I sat next to Joe Sparrow, and was flanked by some amazing Italians.

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Left: The lovely Joe Sparrow. Right: Lovely Italians! Centre: My table, full to the brim. Blow: the ELCAF tote I never saw again. RIP, tote. We had a good one day together.

IMG_9889Hot Tip: The new trend is artist created Tarot decks. I saw at least 3 gorgeous decks from different creators.  Stunning, and legitimately great idea. The whole show is hosted by NOBROW, and honestly, the people who put it all together were a DELIGHT.  They took a lone Canadian under their wing, and we all drank pints and ate amazing thai food like only the British (and people who now live in Britain) can. Nicest, funniest, most relaxed people. IMG_9951 Look at these beauties!  Magic. Every one of them.

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Marseille. A little blurry, but you get the idea.

After that I went to Marseille! Beautiful everything! (Sky! Buildings! Sea! Vistas!) Terrible people! (Homophobes! Dickheads! Catcallers! Public Urinators!)   The difference was insane. How can such rude, leering, mean frat boys exist in this exquisite place?  It boggles the mind.  Fortunately, I was there with a like minded friend and we foraged our own little way amidst street harassment, heat, and scooters speeding from the sidewalk through red lights into oncoming traffic. Insane.

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Not pictured: The smell of urine

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Calm now, but in mere moments 5 scooters will rush out and plough you while swearing in french.

The buskers weren’t even good. One dude hitting some drum thing with a stick. All day!  Who is paying for this? Where is the showmanship?  One juggler, standing next to two of his stoned bros, looking terrifying.  Mothers were ushering their children away.  Who would ever approach you with money?!  Baffling.  Poor Marseille. Poor Marseille that also has this, IMG_0016 and this IMG_0064 and this and this, IMG_0152 IMG_0148all just lying around for you to behold. SO PRETTY. The plus side of this loose approach to regulation and law, is being able to go on board a tourist boat to the Chateau D’if: IMG_0107(Real location of the fictional Count of Monte Christo – one of my favourite books!), with your own wine ($4 for an excellent bottle), cheese ($3 for a sublime round), and glasses, and just enjoy them openly.  It’s inconceivable that you could do such a thing even on the Toronto Island ferry. The big downside is the garbage and omnipresent smell of urine. OMNIPRESENT.  Everyone is peeing in the street and it rarely rains.  So you get a sort of piss-seasoned patina on EVERYTHING. And it’s hot everyday. So the whole city becomes an aromatherapy stone soaked with the piss of the ages, released by the heat. Welcome to sunny Marseille! But who can complain when you can swim in THIS water? IMG_0169 (Everyone, is the answer.) London and Marseille were the big legs of my trip, but on the homebound portion, I stopped in Barcelona and Lisbon.  Quick notes on each: Barcelona IMG_0266 IMG_0296 IMG_0219 IMG_0194 Impossible to walk even one block without seeing something amazing. SO BLOODY HOT. I am so intolerant of heat. This was a real problem and impediment to my enjoyment of its obvious beauty. Also the omnipresent message that Barcelona is VERY SAFE… but watch your belongings at all times. Don’t carry your passport or valuables with you. Just keep a wide berth around you and don’t let people brush up against you.  Keep your credit cards in your butt crack and then wear a heavy coat to cover your butt. But, really. It’s very safe. I managed to not be robbed or pick pocketed in anyway, so I guess they were right. But my credit cards will never be the same… Lisbon IMG_0357 I fell in love. The air is fresh, the colours are so… SO. IMG_0349 IMG_0343 Old buildings mixed with surprisingly clear and modern graphic design.  The metro was so easy to navigate, a child could do it – No – The better acid test: a car-spoiled aging boomer could do it.  The airport metro station had some of the most pleasing caricatures I have ever seen. IMG_0325And these are not vinyl transfers, they are TILED INTO THE WALLS. Each one is a notable Portugese figure – writers, economists, play-wrights, artists, scientists, etc.  THIS is what well done tourism should look like: a classy, integrated, beautiful immersion into the culture that is interesting for its own sake, not for the social obligation a tourist must feel to stand and read some historical placard. It’s the perfect addition to their clean and amazing subway system – a sublime use of the line up every metro using tourist is forced to stand in to buy their (affordable!) ticket to get into the city. Look at these funny, expressive figures!  Notice the subtle names below them! Figure out for yourself that these are famous figures!  Ignite your curiosity about a city that asks you in with so bold and yet so quaint an invitation.  I fell in love.IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0326 IMG_0327

IMG_0335This was my room. It was 24 euro a night. I went to a market and ate the nicest lentil daal I’ve ever had, and drank a little cervesa for 1.50.  There was a notable police presence, but I’d say the same for everywhere I was, except London. In Lisbon, from what my non-Portuguese speaking ears could tell, the people felt really comfortable giving the police what for. I saw two instances of people ragging out the cops in annoyed tones and receiving measured responses. So that’s something. Then home! IMG_9883I have to thank Jerkface readers for being so cool about the suspended break- as a web comic reader myself, I know it can be annoying to wait but I assure you I am grateful, and used my time to the utmost. Up next for me: I’m helping wunder-curator Mia Neilsen (of the Drake hotel) install her curatorial genius at the WAYHOME festival’s VIP tent.  There’s an illustration for real estate agent Linda Mayer to go with the logo I made for her last year.  There’s an update of an existing logo for Vancouver theatre company Skinny Walrus. Now, with a podcast!   Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 5.27.09 PMOh and did I mention the anthology I’ll be doing with MARGARET ATWOOD?  Not just her and I, of course.  Hope Nicholson of Bedside Press has put together an amazing group of women writers and artists for the anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, and I am delighted to be contributing a comic alongside amazing contributors like… well, have a look at the 200+% funded kickstarter (which ends this week, so get in on it while you can!), and be wowed.  I am also going to be drawing another ending for Ryan North’s upcoming choosable path adventure. He did it with Hamlet. He did it with Adventure Time… now it’s Romeo AND/OR Juliet’s turn.  Look for that in the foreseeable future.

Chicken Game in Humber Literary Review

Seeing my own artwork in print does not get old.

This summer I did another comic with the award-winning, magical author of SKIM and This One Summer, Mariko Tamaki. It’s a one-pager called Chicken Game and it’s in the Fall/winter 2014/15 edition of the Humber Literary Review.  ON STANDS NOW!

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Remember that messed up fad (in my school it was in Grade 8) where everyone in your school started choking each other to the point of passing out, just for fun? Aren’t kids great?  Teachers would have to have “a talk” about how incredibly dangerous this is because somehow keywords like “choking” and “passing out” weren’t big enough clues.  It seems like every kid everywhere had some version of this.   This is what Chicken Game is about.  There is some salty language, so be aware, read with care.

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Nope. Not bored of seeing that yet.

There’s also an interview. With me!  A little yakkety yack, a little blah blah blah.

ComicsQ&A_WEBBig props to amazing artist Adrienne Chalaturnyk, and librarian/hair queen Kathleen Scheaffer for their hand modelling.  My hands are so tiny and mal-formed I am always in need of help in the hand drawing department.

 

Totally reasonable

I’m not going to comment further, but I made this drawing in response to the wonderful Dr. Nerdlove’s tweet:

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… so i made this:

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Which if you don’t know, is based on this:

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I thought it was such a funny idea, but then got scared of some kind of retaliation… I am hoping I am low radar enough to not get noticed! Just what an artist craves!  But it’s idiotic that I am afraid to post this, so I am doing it.

Keep your chins up, all you “SJW”s and “FemiNazis”.

Update: So far, the feed back is pretty much this:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.44.33 AM(YESSSSS)

 

 

Girl Gang

What’s better than a powerhouse gang of awesome girlfriends? I don’t know if anything is. Sync those cycles (bicycles or… other cycles) and ride out, girls. I did this illustration for a Simpsons themed art show (Fun Fact: it did not get in.) but I like it so much I want it to see the light of day.

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I wrote a very vomit-inducing statement to accompany it, and no, you don’t get to see that. My hatred of sincere, existential, culturally nuanced, jargon-filled artist statements is perhaps what keeps me from achieving success.  YES. THAT MUST BE IT.

Jerkface A-Hole: A Comic

No, no, not you!  Jerkface A-hole is the name of my webcomic. It’s been running for a little while now, but so have I (running my arse off) and I realize I haven’t mentioned it here.  The neglect ends now.

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Jerkface is a teenager and jerkfaceahole.com is her comic diary, written/drawn in-class and coloured entirely with highlighters and whatever else is in her backpack.  She lives with her aunt (The Aunt), a bouffant real estate agent with whom she has little in common. Here’s a little sample page:

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The comic updates 3 times a week, Monday to Wednesday. You can like it on Facebook and get updates there, or on twitter @FirstClassAhole. (Can you believe that “@jerkfaceahole” was taken?! It’s as though the internet is getting used up or something. Incensed!)

Descant 164: Cartooning Degree Zero

It’s funny when the end date of a project that once seemed far away catches up with you.  The release of the cartoon/comics/graphic novel issue of Descant magazine is one of those things.  The issue contains a comic called Christie’s Smile that I worked on with Mariko Tamaki (whose comics SKIM and This One Summer with art hero Jillian Tamaki are magical and not to be missed). This is a panel from Christie’s Smile:

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According to the back of the issue: “In “Christie’s Smile,” Mariko Tamaki and Gillian Goerz tap into teenaged impressions of beauty and the great lengths some will go to embody them.”

The issue is out now and it looks amazing, thanks to Trevor Abes and a host of other geniuses. The launch party was great (despite odd nature of reading comics aloud), and if you like high quality things in your life, I urge you to pick up a copy at your local retailer.

Ta-dah!

Steph2_Cropped.Pencil.LRezSteph.Rough.LRez

 

This time, it’s my pal Steph! I laid the pencil over the painting to fight the wimpyness of watercolour alone. Shazam!

Lazer Pointer

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This is one of those times where I like the rough a little better than the final. The painting is fine, but the who-gives-a-shit expression on the sketch got away from me a bit.  This is a sort of inspired-by portrait of journalist, karaoke savant & all-around-awesome person Kelli Korducki and she did not give me her permission to draw it, so let’s hope she likes it.