Friday, December 24, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
I recently was (very kindly) given the Doonesbury 40-year retrospective book, which was an amazing surprise. I used to follow Doonesbury pretty ferociously when I was a kid, back when I followed comic strips. I used to save the comic sections of the paper in a banker's box, and re-read the Doonesbury strips pretty regularly, trying to keep track of the ever-expanding cast. I don't think, at that point, I realized it was a liberal satire of conservative America. I just liked the drawings, mostly. Really dug how Garry Trudeau drew eyes.
But his recent interview with Stephen Colbert made me really excited about this retrospective book. He's been doing the daily strip for 40 years! I get bored of my comic work after an issue or two. And I remember how much a struggle it was to do weekly strips of the time-traveling comic adventures of Mort 'n' Newton for my student paper, Imprint, when I was in university. Forty years of daily comic strips is immense!
The book is pretty immense, too, at about 10 lbs! I had a hard time carrying it home. And it's structured interestingly, too, set up by character, rather than chronologically. The coolest part is a big fold-out in the centre that tracks all the characters, their relationships, their histories. It's crazy!
I'm looking forward to delving into the monster book and re-reading some Doonesbury. And now I'll probably understand more of the politics. Anyone else read Doonesbury? Or anyone read comic strips? I used to love them, but haven't read them for years. Any recommendations?
Doonesbury has a good website, too.
I recently turned 30 and I decided to look through some old sketchbooks and journals of mine to see how far I have come. So many memories come floating back. Some of these entries were pretty entertaining so I thought I'd share a few of them with you.
Back in grade 9 I used to give girls notes with a secret code. I also used that code to write a secret journal entitled "Do Not Read." Only certain people were allowed to read the secret decoder wheel that I made in ceramics class.
I translated a few of these entries and it turns out my head was in a strange goth phase. A potent combination of listening to too much Marilyn Manson and not getting laid.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Last summer I got to work on the exclusive comic for the Canadian GI Joe Convention. You can find copies sold here at a special holiday price, or at the Silver Snail in Toronto. It's a pretty fun project considering the fact that I've been a fan of the GI Joe brand since I was three and a half years old. I'm still busy working on comic shorts to the Canadian GI Joe series for the Joe Canuck newsletter. The new editions will later be collected into another comic exclusive for the 2011 CanJoeCon.
Here's the further adventures of the Canuckleheads featured at the end of every Joe Canuck newsletter:
Slaughter makes a cameo in...Exclusive Training
Spot all the other cameos in ...Uninvited Guests
Zombies!!!...The Osiris Egg - Part I
The Osiris Egg - Part II
For those wondering what's happening with AWOL'd, stay tuned for updates....
Monday, December 13, 2010
The remainder of my post is tied to my forthcoming young adult book, The Dead Kid Detective Agency. It's set to hit bookstores in Fall 2011 (I'm still mid-edit). The book is primarily text, but I've been working on some spot illustrations for here and there. I'll post some of those later, but first, some character designs for all the dead kids.
There's Cyril, the dead United-Empire-Loyalist kid:
Tabetha, the dead former-slave kid who came to Canada via the underground railroad:
Morna, the dead, recent-Scottish-immigrant kid (circa 1910):
Kirby, the dead quintuplet:
And Derek, the dead, almost-modern-age First Nations kid:
There's also, of course, our living protagonist, October Schwartz:
Any suggestions? It's not too late to change things up a bit. I feel like Derek may need something more distinct to his design. He looks very generic to me at the moment, even with a severed head.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
These four were for "French Homework" a textbook by Scholastic.
And this one was for The Canadian Sportsman. The article was about how horses that harness race have to retire after a couple of years.
Also remember to check out my webcomic "Corporate Life" with writer Apollo. A new strip is released every Wednesday, check it out: http://ninjacat.ca/Corporate_Life.html
Monday, January 11, 2010
Obviously, this explicitly references Shepard Fairey's iconic Obama illustration. And after I whipped it up this weekend, I realized someone had beaten me to the punch: Darrin White made this 'Nope' poster over a year ago.
While I think White's illustration is great (and probably a better representation of the Prime Minister than my drawing), I think my one's a bit harsher (and more T-shirt-worthy). And I like that I stuck to the colours of the Canadian flag.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
I'm working with poet Natalie Zina Walschots, who is composing a collection of poems – romantic/erotic odes to various comic book supervillains. As with Elyse Friedman's project, I offered to do some sample illustrations to include with her manuscript submission. Some of the results are below.
I'm not sure how I feel about the results. The finished illustrations look more comical than actually sexy. But maybe that's what I wanted? It's hard to say. The Darkseid one isn't even sexy. More creepy. (Clearly I need to do more research in the world of male erotica.)
Friedman wrote a screenplay called 'The Laws of Motion,' and it did get made into a film (starring Matthew Perry, even!) with a different title. But the final project deviates pretty widely from the original script. She got in touch with me about working on making the screenplay into a graphic novel. So I did thirteen sample pages that Elyse will be submitting with the script to publishers.
It's interesting working on someone else's script. I think it exercises different drawing muscles (for lack of a better term) than drawing your own work. Most notably, it doesn't allow you to 'cheat'. Working on my own stuff, I'll plan layouts and scripts in ways that work with my drawing strengths, but I don't have the same luxury when working on someone else's script. Does anyone else feel the same way?