Moby Dick

Review by Matthew Nielsen

The original Moby Dick by Herman Melville is, in many ways, a very large book about a very long voyage. It is well known as a tale of grudges and the price of vengeance; the story of the Peequaad whaling ship, their intense captain Ahab, and the mysterious white whale Moby Dick, all seen through the eyes of our main character Ishmael. The cartoonist Chabouté has created a very loyal adaptation of this journey, abridging it where necessary but keeping the majority of the key moments intact. Instead of the full body, we are left with the skeleton and main organs of the story, which still provide a satisfying retelling. As with any adaptation, it is very different from reading the original book. It certainly would be very difficult to match the feeling of that long and contemplative tome that examines many things personal, spiritual, biological, and universal.

What stands out the most in Chabouté’s adaptation is the artwork: harsh black and white portrayals of ropes and sail, man and boat, birds and beasts. On top of that, the character design — especially the faces — are what I find most appealing. The artist is not afraid to focus on a scene by using numerous panels. Where many other artists might only give a panel or two, Chabouté can spend several pages on the exact same event. This allows for a great pacing, and even though the graphic novel cannot live up to the original novel’s great length in it’s entirety, these extended sequences of pure silence and scenery allow for a patient reader to experience at least part of that original timing.

All in all, I strongly recommend Chabouté’s adaptation of Moby Dick to both those who have read the original book and those who have yet to read it. I feel it would satisfy both parties.


This Saturday, Johnnie Christmas will be signing copies of “Firebug” at Pulp Fiction Books

Where: Pulp Fiction Books , 2422 Main Street
When: March 24, 7 PM – 9 PM
On this Saturday, prominent cartoonist and Cloudscape contributor Johnnie Christmas (Sheltered, Angel Catbird) will be signing copies of his new graphic novel, Firebug, at Pulp Fiction. Drinks and books and good times to be had, see you there!

In Firebug, a volcano goddess named Keegan is loose in the world, and the prophecies are unclear whether her coming will bring humanity’s destruction or salvation. In the shadow of a sacred volcano, from which Keegan derives her powers, lies the ancient city of Azar. Holding the key to the mysteries of her past, Keegan and her friends must get to Azar before it is overrun by a horde of forest monsters. Meanwhile, the nefarious Cult of the Goddess has plans to summon forces as old as time to extinguish Keegan’s flame permanently.


Save the Rio Theatre!

The Rio Theatre needs your help! Recent zoning changes have attracted the attention of developers who want to buy the Rio and tear it down for a new development project that would leave a big cavernous hole on the corner of Commercial and Broadway for years, and there is only one way to stop them: the Rio needs to buy the building. To do that, they  need to raise a $3 million down payment, which they hope to with $1 million from donors plus $2 million from private investors.

The Rio Theatre is one of the last remaining indie theatres in Vancouver. It is an award-winning live performance venue/single-screen cinema that has become a centre for indie performance arts in Vancouver. If you want to help support the Rio Theatre, visit the Save the Rio Theatre Indiegogo page and help spread the word. There’s  a lot of great perks to buy on their page, such as Rio year-passes, tickets, and various goodies donated by local businesses. More importantly, you’d be doing your part to keeping alive such a pivotal part of Vancouver’s art scene.


Cloudscape’s Comics in Transit Gallery Reception

Where: Laura C Muir Theatre, Douglas College
700 Royal Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 5Z5

When: Monday, March 26
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

On March 26, join us for an exhibition of all the posters from our “Comics in Transit 2017” posters at the Douglas College Muir Theatre Foyer.  Nine Canadian refugees had their epic stories of struggle and survive converted into dramatic comics by nine BC comic artists, and these nine stories were scattered around bus shelters all over Vancouver in October, 2017.  This gallery reception will be our first time showing them all together! Come down to Douglas College for a drink, a chance to purchase Cloudscape books, and a chance to see the full posters and meet the artists! For more information, visit the Gallery Reception Facebook event page.


Kickstarter for Toronto Comics: Osgoode as Gold

Toronto Comics is back again with a new anthology on Kickstarter featuring 24 fresh comic stories from Toronto-based indie veterans and first-time creators. From the strange giants that prowl Kensington at midnight, the vengeful Pacific Mall dance mafia, or the dragon-hunting wannabes working Queen Street, they’ve got stories inspired by every part of Canada’s largest city.

Toronto Comics: Osgoode As Gold is 220 colour pages of all-new comics, brought to you by 50+ local indie veterans and first-time creators. With a cover by Irma Kniivila (Ms. Marvel, Deadpool) and a foreword from Chip Zdarsky (Jughead, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man), this book is a celebration of the talent and diversity of Toronto’s comics community. To get your own copy of the anthology (or other great graphic novels from Toronto Comics), visit the Osgoode As Gold Kickstarter page.


The TradeWaiters 45: “Castle Waiting” Vol. 2 by Linda Medley

In today’s episode our panelists finish out the extant volumes of Linda Medley’s Castle Waiting with volume two. This volume answers questions about the Doctor, Simon’s father, and Jain’s childhood. We also discuss the most important parts of history, fairy tale endings, where we hope the series will go next, and cartoonist death pacts.

Also mentioned in this episode:
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino
Townsends on Youtube
Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower
Berlin by Jason Lutes
Shadoweyes by Sophie Campbell
Thieves and Kings by Mark Oakley
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency produced by Max Landis
Firewatch by Campo Santo
One Day at a Time written by Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce
Night in the Woods by Alec Holowka
Materwelonz on Youtube
Roman Holiday directed by Willian Wyler

and Linda Medley’s Patreon page

And our own projects:
Phobos and Deimos by Jonathon Dalton
Crossroads by Jeff Ellis by kgros
Jam’s website
and Liquid Shell by Jess Pollard.

Music by Sleuth.

Our next episode will be on Louis Riel by Chester Brown.

You can also follow the TradeWaiters on Tumblr, Soundcloud, Twitter, iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.


Four days left in “Monsterella” Kickstarter!

BC comic creator Nevin Arnold, who drew the cover for Cloudscape’s Epic Canadiana #2  (as well as co-authoring one of the short stories) is Kickstarting issue 2 of Monsterella, his action/adventure/horror/sci-fi anthology inspired by spooky and action-packed magazines of the 1970’s like Vampirella, 2000 AD, Creepy, and Eerie.

This 40 page sinister second issue revolves around the continuing adventures of Montrossa Rella, AKA “Monsterella,” the warden of an intergalactic prison planet, where the galaxy’s worst of the worst monsters are imprisoned and isolated from the rest of the universe. All hell breaks loose when an unexpected revolt overthrows her, and threatens the safety of the entire galaxy.

There are only four days left in the Monsterella Kickstarter, so if you wish a copy of issue 2 or some of Nevin  Arnold’s other great comics, then visit the Monsterella Kickstarter.


Memories of Outer Space

Review by Matthew Nielsen

Memories of Outer Space by French creator Enki Bilal is a series of short sci-fi themed stories. Each has its own sick little twist and turn which, coupled with Bilal’s detailed and brutal artwork, creates an often skin-twistingly strange feeling when read. Bilal’s approach at drawing people and characters is bold, prominent, and often proudly ugly. In other words, he is unafraid to show people’s wrinkles, blemishes and all bodily faults — in contrast to the very smooth and clean look of, say, most anime or North American cartoony styles. Alongside such intense characters are multiple examples of beautiful backgrounds, interiors, and landscapes. It’s a great combination.

This review is short because the book itself is short too. The more I say about it, the more I risk spoiling its contents. But if you’re up for some mysterious journeys across the stars with trickery and brutality guaranteed, then this book is for you. I quite enjoyed it myself.


“Sparks” by Ian Boothby and Nina Matsumoto

Eisner-award winning Simpsons artists and Cloudscape contributors Ian Boothby and Nina Matsumoto recently published Sparks! from Scholastic, a young readers graphic novel about August and Charlie, two cats who meet as fellow prisoners in a secret animal testing laboratory and then build a mechanical dog suit to perform acts of heroism. Sparks has gotten a lot of attention from numerous reviewers, and the magazine Quill & Quire described it as “the kind of story that, despite its zaniness and hilariously overstuffed plot, makes you genuinely care about the complicated friendship at its core…. Boothby keeps a lot of narrative plates spinning without breaking a single one. Matsumoto’s bright, dynamic, and cartoonish illustrations, though vaguely reminiscent of a certain show about a dysfunctional Springfield family, are a perfect fit with the text.”

Sparks has been so popular that it’s  #3 on the best sellers list for Canadian kids books this month! For more information on this compelling graphic novel, check out Scholastic’s Sparks page.


Comics in Transit now displayed at Cloudscape HQ

Our latest Comics in Transit told the tales of many refugees in comic form, stories of their trials and tribulations coming to Canada. The comic pages were large, as each one was put in bus shelters for the public to read. Now the comic are available at our studio. To see more, check out the Cloudscape Instragram page, and then stop by our headquarters to read these compelling stories in person.