Moving Again

September 25th, 2016

Oh has it really been that long since I have posted anything here? In that time Manien and I have bought a new place in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, and had it torn apart and almost re-assembled. We are moving there tomorrow! It is quite close to the park that was Guelph Park, now renowned as Dude Chilling Park. There is a nice little farmers market there on Sundays.

I am chugging away at Fir Valley. More than 70 pages drawn. Suddenly rushing towards the big climax. Hopefully once we get moved I will be able to focus on the drawing more. Below is the big opening of chapter 6.

Fir Valley View

Ontario and TCAF 2016

May 20th, 2016

I had a decadent two weeks in Ontario before TCAF to visit my family. This gave me lots of time to wander around Guelph and Stratford. I went on some nice walks, and ended up on some streets I had never walked in all my years living in Guelph.

Guelph Stairs

I also had time to relax and do fun things with my family. My brothers and I made up D&D characters and had an absolute hoot. An old pal happened to be in town, and we had a nice visit with him. I had living room dance parties with my younger brother and my Mom, playing old records. I got out and did some landscape painting with my older brother, which is such a satisfying thing to do.

Painting with my brother

I managed to finish up some autobiographical stuff and put together Vinegar 38: Return of the Fluff Headed Man. Due to a strangely confused copy shop I ended up having to fold and staple them myself. Since my long arm stapler was safely back in Vancouver, I did it up old style, banging the staples through into cardboard and folding them in by hand.

vinegar 38 stapling

And then it was time for TCAF. On the Friday I ran into Jeff Ellis and took him to one of my favourite dingy old bars, the Duke of Gloucester. It is a block from TCAF and a block from the hotel where I was staying. We had a beer, and watched strange music videos a guy was playing in the corner. Then it was time to set up and head off to the opening party at the Pilot. TCAF is getting so big these days that it is easy to see people only in passing or miss them all together. That first night I said hi to Annie Koyama and Nina Bunjevac, but then didn’t see them again for the rest of the show. I managed to miss Box Brown all together. At the Pilot I saw lots of friends from Vancouver and Jim Munroe and Joe Decie and met many other interesting folks.

TCAF 2016 The Pilot Welcome Party

TCAF 2016 Yonge Street is full of stars

The first day of the show was crazy busy. I barely left the table. I had truly delightful neighbours, Tess Eneli Reid and Estrella Vega. Both of them had these amazing fold out comic/print projects that just blew people away all weekend.

TCAF 2016 My Table

TCAF 2016 Second Floor Salon

After the show I was heading out to dinner with my old Toronto Comic Jam comrades Dave Howard and Dalton Sharp, and another jammer Zann. We went to the Artful Dodger, where Dalton and I used to meet every week to do jam comics with Dave Lapp. Just by chance, I ran into Dave Lapp outside the bar! It was obviously fated to be, so he joined us too. We drank and chatted and jams were jammed. It was so great to hang out with them all (even if the pictures here came out less than great).

TCAF 2016 Artful Dodger

TCAF 2016 Artful Dodger

TCAF 2016 Bee Jam

TCAF 2016 Worm Jam

Sunday was a cold and miserable day, it even snowed a bit. The show was a little quieter, and I managed to do a few quick runs to buy some comics. I didn’t even make it off the second floor though, never mind checking out the new venue up the road at the Masonic Temple. I did get nostalgic for all the great bands I saw there back in the day when it was the Concert Hall. I saw someone with a Pixies t-shirt who also saw them there in the early 90s. Later in the evening Matthew Daley and I got downright misty eyed thinking of how much we love seeing live music, what an incredible experience it can be.

Another dinner with different old Toronto pals. Another TCAF sendoff party. It was an awesome time.

And now it is on to…

VANCAF 2016 floorplan

Fir Valley Spring

May 1st, 2016

Very exciting, I have chapters 2 – 4 of Fir Valley printed up, just in time for me to head to Ontario for visits and TCAF. Check that out! Also I found a nice rusty horseshoe at a local antique shop (Bakers Dozen, which has great window displays).

Fir Valley Chapter 2 - 4

ALSO exciting is that I have a backup story in Ed Brisson’s “The Violent” from Image Comics that comes out May 4. It is a full colour five pager that ties into Fir Valley.

The Violent #4

Here is a song by I’m from Barcelona. Violins (or Violence?)

Slow Down, Stuff, Popeye

April 21st, 2016

I am just finishing up drawing Fir Valley chapter 4. About a quarter of the way through the book! I am on track to have chapters two to four printed up for TCAF (May 14 – 15). I am having so much fun drawing this book. I am looking forward to a vehicle in chapter six. Here is the cover of the second collection. Also, an exciting announcement: Cloudscape is going to publishing the book later this year!

Fir Valley 02

Slow Down
I live in a pretty busy neighbourhood, and the traffic can get pretty intense. People getting crazy over parking and turning and busy intersections. I have seen the aftermath of a lot of accidents, and witnessed a couple since moving here a year ago.
So, as I’m walking around the neighbourhood I constantly see people driving, agitated and impatient. Going TOO FAST for a residential neighbourhood. And I think at them “SLOW DOWN”.
In the past months since I have not been working, I have had the decadent opportunity to slow down. If I go for a walk, I am not in a rush. I don’t necessarily take the most direct route. When Manien and I are poking around the neighbourhood, we just stop to enjoy any interesting things we see.
And so I think people need to slow down. When they are in such a rush I always think “The only thing you are rushing to is… the grave.” Slow down. Enjoy this while you’re here. Appreciate where you are. Notice as things change with the seasons. Have a leisurely meal. Enjoy the leaves sprouting, the tidal levels changing.

Stuff
A friend is moving and posted online about moving, struggling with what to get rid of. During our move last year, I got rid of a lot of stuff, but I still have a lot of stuff. My family in general has problems with getting rid of stuff. Recently I have considered that I might be more open to getting rid of more, if I am moving again. And that made me think that we get so attached to all our STUFF. It is nice, things that remind us of our past. But we hold on so tight. And not just our physical stuff but our history and grudges and so on. We don’t let stuff go. We should. We should let go of it all.

Popeye
That said, I was watching Popeye again the other day. When I was ten years old, I became obsessed with the movie well before it came out. During this viewing, Manien was heard to ask what got me so obsessed with it. As far as I can recall, it was a short news item in Electric Company magazine. I was a big fan of Mork and Mindy at the time, and so the idea of Robin Williams starring in a comic based movie was quite exciting to me, even if I had no notion of Popeye at that time.
I got the soundtrack album. I got the photo book. I got the making of Popeye book. A book about the history of Popeye. I drew my own comic about a sailor named Norm, which was basically just me paraphrasing a comic from the photo book. Sadly many of these artifacts have been lost to time.
When the movie finally came out, it did not even come to the city where I was living. I had to drag my family to the next town over, where we saw a matinee in a tiny multiplex theatre with two other people in the theatre. I wasn’t even sure what to make of it, finally seeing the peculiar Robert Altman picture.
Over time my love of it has only deepened though. The first movie I ever got on DVD, purchased along with Punchdrunk Love the day it came out on DVD. I can watch it endlessly, singing along. Almost in tears because it makes me so happy.

Time Travellers

April 7th, 2016

I haven’t been drawing a lot except for Fir Valley lately. I am currently inking chapter four. My plan is to have chapters two to four printed up in time for TCAF, May 14 – 15. I should be inking right now!

Here is a little comic I drew this morning. I may also put together an issue of Vinegar for TCAF as well. But that may be pushing it.

Time Travellers

Another Year, Another Sketchbook

March 11th, 2016

My sketchbooks seem to last me a year. I like the thick books that open flat, so I guess they have a lot of pages. Here are my last few pages, including the traditional last page self-portrait.

Halloween

Bronson

Panning for Gold

Me - March 11, 2016

Leap Day

February 29th, 2016

Happy Leap Day! Manien and I are having kangaroo burgers for dinner.

I am just finishing up Fir Valley chapter three, so that is coming along. I am planning to print up the next chunk for TCAF and VanCAF in May. Here is a page I was pretty happy with.

Fir Valley page 28

The other day I drew some of mud flats shanty shacks from North Van, back in the day. It is possible there is a similar settlement coming up in Fir Valley.

North Vancouver Shack

Here is a small comic about a recent ferry ride.

Windy

I was watching a documentary about the Talking Heads from 1979. So young, so post-artschool. I tried to draw them, but was only happy with the way Jerry came out.

Talking Heads 1979

The past few years I have made a new music mix in the spring. This one ended up merging with an idea I had to do a Leap Year themed mix with all jumping/leaping songs. I found there were only a handful of songs with “jump” in the title that I actually knew. Manien and I were enjoying the new OK Go video, which led to us enjoying some of their classics, so they got thrown into the spring mix as well.

Sketchbook

February 10th, 2016

Getting close to the end of a sketchbook. I think it was the same last year, I was just about done one a year after I had started it. And so I have been doodling, when I should be working on Fir Valley! You can see me getting mesmerized drawing all those little trees.

Walking Woman

Angel

Doc Strange

Robot

Hourly Comic Day 2016

February 2nd, 2016

It was that time of year again yesterday – Hourly Comic Day! The tenth year of it, by my calculation. Below are the comics I drew through my day. Watch me struggle with how to draw my current shaggy hair!

I was looking back at past years, and it is interesting to see where I was at each year. Working. Not working. Working somewhere else. Last year we were getting ready to move.

My comics from 2015.
My comics from 2014.
My comics from 2013.
My comics from 2012.
My comics from 2011 are MIA.
2009 here. 2008 here. 2007 here. And way back to 2006 here.

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 8:00am

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 9:21am

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 10:00am

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 11:21am

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 12:42pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 1:39pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 2:51pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 3:24pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 4:20pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 6:00pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 7:12pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 8:10pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 9:20pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 10:23pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 11:11pm

Hourly Comic Day 2016 - 12:41am

Sunrise Walks

January 13th, 2016

I am reading this book by Geoff Dyer Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room which is his appreciation of the classic movie Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker. I saw this movie around 1997 and recalling it vividly brings back the setting I viewed it in: My friend Stu’s living room. Probably it was a grey Sunday afternoon, still hung over from our excesses the night before. Stu’s place was generally a filthy mess, with dirty cat hair covered clothes on the floor, every surface covered with dirty dishes, empties, overflowing ashtrays. Actually it was a perfect set and setting to watch a long dream-like movie with characters moving through ruined buildings.

Oh, happy New Year. Look at us, here in 2016. I have been on a little break from working on Fir Valley while I draw a short story. The short story is actually Fir Valley related. Here is a drawing from it.

Minor Infractions

In the late December Lull, I was chilling a bit, doing some drawing, and trying to figure out landscapes, and space, so I was back to drawing North Vancouver houses.

North Vancouver 27

North Vancouver 28

And a run down corner of Krugersdorp in South Africa.

Krugersdorp 02

Some days when Manien works, we get up at 5am. If I am particularly inspired, I get myself out the door for an early walk such that I will be out when the sun comes up. And it is like this video.

I was out for a Sunrise Walk this morning. I was trying to remember this song by Le Tigre.

Through a couple of brain steps, I then had this Beck song going for a while.

Somehow that worked its way over to this Wintersleep song.

I also had Hang on to Your Ego in my head for a while.