Just a reminder that Big Draw Vancouver, the annual celebration of drawing in everyday life, is this Saturday. There will be events all across the city in numerous community centres, museums, art galleries, and on the street, and we will, of course, be doing a comic jam 10:00-2:00 at Cloudscape HQ. Hope to see you all there!
There is still time to register for Langara College‘s autumn comics classes. The college provides an entire continuing studies certificate program on creating comics. You can take the whole program or choose individual classes that will help polish the particular comics areas that you feel need the most work. Courses are being offered in drawing, writing, lettering, life drawing, and adobe illustrator, and most of these are being taught by prominent Cloudscape contributors such as Jeff Ellis, Bevan Thomas, James Lloyd, and Mara-Dor Coman. This program has already been running for a year, providing an excellent grounding for aspiring comic creators from numerous veterans in the medium. For more information and to sign-up for the autumn semester, visit the Graphic Novel & Comix program website.
Jeff here. The guy who started pushing this crazy train until it picked up it’s own momentum. Some of you may have already seen our latest call for submissions, and I know many of you have had comments and questions. The two main one being; “I don’t think I can write a script in one month”, and “Is this the end of Cloudscape Comics?”.
I have two great answers to this. First, one month is not enough time, and we have decided to extend submissions into the end of November. Second, no, Cloudscape is not ending. It is however changing.
When I started this group, it was in the hopes of building a larger, more vibrant comic community, and to hopefully promote the works of the many talented comickers and cartoonists in the city of Vancouver. A goal I think we have been extremely successful at. I’ve been extremely proud to see early contributors like Angela Melick, Jordyn Bochon, Steve LeCouilliard and Johnnie Christmas have their careers take off in new and exciting projects outside of Cloudscape.
Over the years we’ve seen our Wednesday meet-ups grow beyond the capacity of the Grind cafe and the new opportunities presented by the Parks Board Field House program has allowed us to vastly expand what we do as an organization. Cloudscape has also been very successful at getting grant money from the city and province to run new and exciting programs like ‘Comics in the Clouds’ to teach comic making to youth and ‘Comics in Transit’ to put comic into public spaces.
Cloudscape has been playing host to a weekly meet-up for almost a decade, but on top of that we’ve also began monthly board game socials, and life drawing sessions and have been heavily involved in the workings and events surrounding the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival. We are teaching comics classes, and doing public art events. We’ve also launched the personal projects of some of our membership with titles like Una the Blade, Last Night at Wyrmwood High, and the Epic Canadiana series. In short we have expanded far beyond our initial mandate.
The Cloudscape board has multiple projects and events to manage now, and overseeing an annual anthology in addition to that has become difficult. It has also occasionally been a source for friction. As Cloudscape starts to fall into the role of publisher (in fact, we are the largest comic book publisher in BC), the lines between friends having coffee on a Wednesday night and editors overseeing artist have become more and more blurred. There can sometimes be a feeling that putting in enough time socializing at Cloudscape meetings guarantees you a spot in the anthology. Or worse, that there is nepotism within the board as far as what stories get accepted for the books. For these reasons, the anthologies have caused rifts within the community we are trying to build and maintain.
That is why we are ending our annual board-run anthologies, replacing them with anthologies (and other graphic novels) spearheaded by individual Cloudscape members. The original anthologies built Cloudscape Comics and gave many artists their start, but it is time to switch gears to what will be better suit our new status, and help us grow in directions we never thought possible. Making all future books organized by individual members rather than Cloudscape as a whole will relieve pressure on the board to do an anthology every year, and allow the board to instead focus on publishing the works of numerous creative BC individuals without fear of dividing the community.
More than anything, this is an opportunity for people in the BC comics community to step in as creative leads! The Cloudscape board will still oversee the events and activities that foster a vibrant comic-making community, and we will still continue to apply for funding grants and lend our knowledge and assistance to anyone trying to make their projects a reality. However, all future Cloudscape publishing will be selected on a project-by-project basis. This means that individual or teams will apply to the board for funding and assistance for relevant projects, and, if approved, it will be the job of that particular individual or team to see the project through to completion.
Beyond the initial funding approval, all other creative decisions will be left up to them, including picking the artists and approving the stories. It is our hope to continue publishing all manner of comic books, and details on how to pitch a comic project to Cloudscape will be posted in 2017. We are definitely interested in publishing more anthology projects as long as someone not on the board is willing to act as the main editor and be the main drive behind it.
So this is an exciting time. We’d love for you to be a part of our ‘Swan Song’ and if history has shown me anything, it’s that this will be our best book yet!
Listen to the drops of rain against your window flickering a staccato rhythm. Hear the Spanish guitars strumming by the campfire, blowing the cobwebs away. Sailors humming a shanty as they pull into harbour, while nearby, the beat of the drum at the potlatch. Now imagine the slow pull of orchestral strings, followed by the hypnotic drone of a sitar. From beneath, an old synthesizer accompanies Inuit throat singers as they create a wall of sound. DJ’s from Japan scratch their records for the drop of a Latin hip hop verse. The Balkan brass section flourishes and the Norwegian metal bassist grinds. The banjos rise and the didgeridoos soar. All the sounds of the world converge into a sound so immense that it can been seen by the naked eye! But this is not the true finale, only the overture to Cloudscape Comics’ latest anthology: Swan Song.
Swan Song will be a music-themed comic anthology communicating the beauty and power of music through numerous styles. This full-colour anthology will feature stories about the innumerable effects that music can have on human beings and how it can change our world in uncountable ways. The stories may take on any mood (comedic or serious), be fictional or non-fictional, and may explore any genre (in both the narrative and musical sense), as long as the story features music as a central theme.
The anthology will pay $50/page to be divided equally among the particular story’s contributors. Stories must be no longer than 10 pages long, and at least one of the main contributors (either the writer or artist) must currently be living in or have previously lived in British Columbia. The book dimensions will be either 10” x 10” or 12” x 12”, to emulate the shape of a record sleeve. To apply, please submit a general synopsis of the story, a full script, your biography and 4-5 samples of comic art to [email protected] by Wednesday, November 30th, 2016.
Peelers is an upcoming horror film being locally distributed and promoted. It’s a movie in the style of the Evil Dead series and is looking for a comic illustrator to help create a tie-in comic to promote the film.
About the Film
Peelers takes place on the closing night of a small town strip club when a group of unwanted guests arrive and all hell breaks loose. Club owner and ex-ball player, Blue Jean Douglas, is the heroine who rises to the task of protecting both her girls and her bar from psychopathic infected killers who will stop at nothing to slaughter everyone.
This relentless horror feature has been described as “Rodriguez meets Tarantino” and “Not just a great indie film, but destined to be one of the funnest films of 2016.” Currently riding a world tour of film festivals, Peelers has won Best Feature Film at Shock Stock Film Festival, Best Horror Feature at Indie Gathering International Film Festival, and Feature Film 2016 at Shock & Gore Film Festival. It has also been nominated for several awards including Best Actress and Best Actor at British Columbia’s Leo Awards and Best Horror Feature at Palm Beach International Film Festival. Peelers will have its International Premiere at the 36th Annual FantaFestival in Italy, followed by its special screening at the top horror festival in the world, Sitges Film Festival in Spain.
Peelers will be premiering in theatres across Canada in January, 2017, and coinciding with that will be a limited edition printed run of a Peelers comic book distributed to 20 comic book stores across Canada to coincide with the markets in which PEELERS will screen theatrically. The comic book will also be available online for download on ComiXology.
The comic will be 10-20 page, with each page 6.625″ x 10.25″. The artist will be paid for his or her work. Work on the comic will start October 1 and it will be sent off to the printers December 15 so that it can be launched with the film premiere opening in January, 2017.
Voila! Let us next volunteer V for Vendetta, the volume by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. But are they visionaries viewing behind the veil, or vandals giving voice to violence? Join Jonathon, Jeff, Angela, and kgros as we debate the merits and shortcomings of this dark and gritty and deeply political graphic novel. The discussion ranges from violence against women and anarchy as a lifestyle, to a movie with the same name and an internet movement with the same face. But don’t worry, we still have time to talk about the fan fic possibilities and our favourite spiral staircases.
Also mentioned in this episode:
Watchmen, Swamp Thing, From Hell, Tom Strong, AARGH, and The Mirror of Love, also written by Alan Moore
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood and Johnny Christmas
Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
and Lunar Maladies by kgros.
Music by Sleuth.
Our next episode will cover Cul de Sac: This Exit by Richard Thompson.
This week is Word Vancouver, Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading. Held at various venues throughout the city, this festival promotes books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests.
Of particular note is the main event this Sunday, at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Throughout the day there will be numerous free readings, writing workshops, panel discussions, musical performances, and more. In addition, numerous exhibitors will be displaying their work.
Cloudscape will have a booth there and we will also be running a 12:15 panel on “Comics and the Creative Process.” The panel features Cloudscape contributors Jonathon Dalton, Bevan Thomas, and Hannah Meyers, and will be moderated by Jeffrey Ellis.
Also check out “Comic Artists Present,” a series of comic presentations in the library’s Peter Kaye Room:
COMICS ARTISTS PRESENT (Hosts: Robyn Hanson and Trevor Battye)
11:00 am Chalk Talk with Lynn Johnston
12:05 pm Faith Erin Hicks
The Nameless City
12:30 pm Tony Cliff
Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling
12:55 pm Sean Karemaker
The Ghosts We Know
For more information, check out the Word Vancouver schedule of events. Hope to see you all there!
Mark Millar, creator of such popular comic books as Kick-Ass, The Ultimates, Wanted, and Kingsman, has announced a new talent search. Last year he put out a call for submissions, encouraging unpublished writers and artists to submit to the first issue of his Millarworld annual, and now he is looking for people to be included in issue two, which will be published next year.
“I’ve always been very precious about letting other people do my creations, but the industry always need new blood and last year’s entries were just beyond stellar,” said Mark Millar. “Comics have been really good to me and I want to do what I can with my limited time to help other creators get into print. The response for the Millarworld Annual 2016 search was astounding, and we published creators from as far afield as New Zealand, India, and Nigeria. We had a really diverse group of talent in there, but I’d like to get even more female and minority group creators published this time. This year we’d like to see greater representation across the board, and uncover more hidden talent from all walks of life.”
Millarworld is looking for six writers, six artists, and a cover artist for the Millarworld Annual 2017 – all will be paid full professional rates. The deadline for entries is November 30, 2016. All entrants will be judged by a selected panel and the winners will be announced on December 23, 2016.
Starting this week, Jeff Ellis, Cloudscape’s founder and vice-president, will be teaching Comics in the Clouds, a series of workshops on creating comics at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre on 7646 Prince Albert Street, Vancouver. Classes will be every Monday evening until November 28 and are free to attend! Students will draw and produce their own mini-comics, as well as create one-page comic art that will be displayed at a final gallery exhibition hosted in partnership with Artquake. There are still six spots available, so if you are a young adult (age 15-24) and want to learn more about comics from someone with many years of comic experience as Jeff, sign-up on the Comics in the Clouds website.
Now in its 6th year, Big Draw Vancouver is an annual celebration of drawing in everyday life that works to reconnect everyone with the power and creative pleasure of making marks. On October 1, there will be events all across the city in numerous community centres, museums, art galleries, and on the street. They will be numerous workshops developed by professional artists, encouraging people to draw in many new and exciting ways. As part of this day-long, citywide event, we will be doing a comic jam 10:00-2:00 at Cloudscape HQ. People of all ages are encouraged to stop by to create comics and chat with Vancouver-based comic creators.