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.
Hey remember the PAGE 100 PROJECT? Just pick a book, turn to page 100, and adapt it as a comic. Well I got someone sending me their Page 100 comic for the first time in ages. Gašper Rus in Slovenia contributed his adaptation of page 100 of Love by Slovenian author Marjan Rožanc.
Here are some preperatory sketches for chapter two of Fir Valley.
I am nudging ahead with the second chapter of Fir Valley, working on page layouts and pencilling. I guess I should get the first chapter (and other things) set up in the store so people can check it out. It continues to be decadent for me to have time to work on this. Time to go for a good walk every day. Time to spend with Manien.
As I work on Fir Valley, I am finding it is coming out quite serious, and hope that it isn’t too grim. Whenever I co-write a comic with someone else, it ends up having a lot of goofiness. So that is just something I am thinking about, balancing the serious with the silly.
I am considering colouring Fir Valley. I quite liked how the colours came out on my transit comic, and thought I might continue in that vein.
Here is a joke Manien made because she knew it would make me laugh (it did).
Here are some quick drawings capturing assorted singing and goofing around on a day Manien and I went on a picnic by the Olympic Village. I am enjoying drawing my slightly shaggy hair.
We saw four spiders that had all built webs around the same Awesome Spot.
I managed to get the first chapter of Fir Valley done in time for Word Vancouver. I will be there at the downtown library Sunday September 27, 11am to 5pm with these fresh comics for you to buy. Check out the swanky cover designed by my pal Josue of Fresh Brewed Illustration.
This Saturday is the Vancouver Comic Jam. Have I actually mentioned that I took over the running of the jam from Ed Brisson at the start of the year? It has been going well, and since May it has been quite exciting to be able to walk home from it in ten minutes. Check out all the pages from the August jam.
This Sunday I am going to the reception for this art show at the Seymour Art Gallery in Deep Cove. The show has 30 artists to celebrate the gallery having been open 30 years, and I have a comic in it.
Meanwhile I am busy working away on my new comic Fir Valley. I need to get it done next week to have it printed up in time for Word Vancouver on September 27. Here are some pictures of the work in progress. This is from the first page.