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.
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).
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.
Here is a song by I’m from Barcelona. Violins (or Violence?)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And a run down corner of Krugersdorp in South Africa.
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.
I was looking for something to draw while I listened to this great You Made It Weird podcast with Raghu Markus and Duncan Trussel. Hm, I wonder where some characters end up in the next chapter of Fir Valley?
Here is a comic I drew back in August, asking my nieces (8 and 5) what should happen next.
And that was going to be the end, but then when I showed it to the younger niece, she was heartbroken that I had used her sister’s suggestion for the last panels instead of hers. So I drew an alternate version with her ending, and she added some drawing to it as well.
Further collaborations with young relatives, I made these stop motion animation shorts with my niece and nephew (11 and 8) on the Island last week. Our time was short and we unfortunately were not able to get to finish the story.
Strangely when I received that recent Page 100 Project submission, I had been considering doing one for the book I was reading. So I went ahead and did it, here is my adaptation of Page 100 from Paul Theroux’s “Blinding Light“. We begin as the main character Slade is coming down from a datura experience.
I did this in Manga Studio, and it is the first comic I have done using that program. I also have a very old tablet without a lot of sensitivity, so my lines have a certain Sharpie-like subtlety to them.