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Comics reviewed by Cloudscape members.

In the Shadow of No Towers

Review by Matthew Nielsen In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman explores the thoughts and personal experiences of the artist during and after the September 11 attacks. He was there in New York City when it happened, and witnessed the damage and chaos that took place. This is a pretty large book, about 26cm x 37cm (roughly 10 inches by 14.5 inches), and pretty thick despite having only 42 pages. This is because the pages are thick bits ...
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Exit Wounds

Review by Matthew Nielsen Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan is set in Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2002 and follows the story of Koby, a taxi-driver living with his aunt and uncle. He hears news of a suicide bombing in a nearby town and that one of the victims is currently unidentified. This news is brought to him by Numi, a young woman doing her mandatory military service. We discover early in the story that Koby rarely meets or talks to his father, and ...
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Cartoon History of the Universe

Review by Matthew Nielsen Larry Gonick has written numerous educational comic books, including The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, The Cartoon Guide to Calculus, and even The Cartoon Guide to Sex. But this review focuses on his most famous work, the six-volume Cartoon History of the Universe. To give an idea of the scale we’re dealing with, here’s a list of all the books in the series:
  • The Cartoon History of the United States (1987) - 400 pages
  • The Cartoon History ...
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Maus

Review by Matthew Nielsen Maus by Art Spiegelman is among one of the most famous graphic novels of all time. Available in either two volumes (Maus I & Maus II) or as The Complete Maus, this book is truly something special. This autobiography has Art Spiegelman's father, Vladek, recounting the hardships he faced before and during the Holocaust of World War II. This is the central story, but what is also told is Spiegelman's relationship with his father as he tries ...
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The Bible: A Japanese Manga Rendition

Review by Matthew Nielsen There are several manga Bibles out there, including Manga Messiah and The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation, and they are different enough from each other that I might write articles of each of them some day. However, for now here’s The Bible: A Japanese Manga Rendition, which features various contributing artists. If you’re curious, I was raised a casual Christian, and turned myself into a more serious Christian during my youth before becoming agnostic and ...
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99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercise in Style

Review by Matthew Nielsen Array Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style by Matt Madden is an exercise in taking a simple one-page comic and reinterpreting, reinventing, and even reincarnating it in many different ways. The template comic is 8 panels long. It depicts a man working at his desk, heading downstairs, answering a question from his girlfriend, and then opening his refrigerator. Pretty straightforward, right? However, the ways in which Madden adapts this template comic make each reiteration ...
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Palestine

Reviewed by Matthew Nielsen Palestine by Joe Sacco takes place in occupied Palestine and is set over the course of two and half months in the winter of 1991-1992 (around the end of the Second Intifada). This graphic novel is a fusion of journalism and comics that explores the country through a series of experiences, interviews, and slices of everyday life during the time Sacco stayed in Israel and Palestine. If you’re looking to hear a Palestinian side of the ...
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Kicking at the Darkness

Review by Matthew Nielsen This time we’ll take a quick look at the 24-page comic book Kicking at the Darkness by frequent Cloudscape contributor Colin Upton. It is a piece of nonfiction set on the European western front of World War II during 1944-1945, at the very end of the war. It primarily focuses on one of the earliest of the Canadian Army's encounters with victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Upton does an excellent job providing accurate details of ...
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Ghosts

Review by Matthew Nielsen Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (writer/artist) and Braden Lamb (colorist) centers around Cat (Catrina), a preteen, moving with her family from sunny southern California to gloomier, rainier northern California. The move is due to Cat’s younger sister, Maya, having been born with cystic fibrosis; the climate is supposedly healthier for her. They soon find that the small but friendly town they move to has a strong connection with ghosts and the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos ...
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Moomin and the Comet

Review by Matthew Nielsen The Finnish characters the Moomins have been featured in numerous comics, novels, animated shows, and even theatrical performances. However, the book we’ll be looking at today is from the original newspaper comics by the Swedish-speaking Finlander Tove Jansson. Moomins are creatures that somewhat resemble hippopotamuses, and live in the surreal valley of Moominland, along with many other unique creatures and peoples, such as the very small young woman Little My, who is in fact not human ...
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Seraphim

Review by Matthew Nielsen Seraphim: A Tale of Love and Courage is a pair of concurrent ongoing webcomics by Anat Rabkin, updated with one page for each comic each week. At the time of this writing, both A Tale of Love and A Tale of Courage have just over 200 pages each. The two stories are set several centuries apart in a warrior’s guild in Constantinople. Both stories follow young men, orphans who have been taken in by the guild ...
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Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free

Review by Matthew Nielsen Tintin is such an iconic character in the comics medium, almost everyone has heard of him, and most have read at least a couple of his albums or seen one of his movies. But The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free by J. Daniels (a pseudonym) approaches the character from a very different (and utterly unlicensed) direction. Produced by Attack International in 1988, Breaking Free takes Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Herge's general drawing style, and puts them ...
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Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!

Review by Matthew Nielsen Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman is a big book. It's about 36x26cm (roughly 10x14 inches), so when you open it, it’s going to be twice the width. However, the book's comics make full use of the pages. This book includes a brief biography of the artist, as well as examples of his early work. We even see the original short Maus comic that led to the world-famous graphic novel ...
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From Hell

Review by Matthew Nielsen From Hell, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell, is one of the longest single-volume graphic novels I’ve read. With an average of 8-9 panels across 520 or so of those pages, the book features roughly 4400 illustrations, all meticulously researched with technical detail and history accuracy. This is the story of Jack the Ripper, one of the most infamous serial killers of all time. It is also a story of the victims of ...
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Mom’s Cancer

Review by Matthew Nielsen Mom's Cancer by Brian Fies is a very moving story of a mother in her sixties being diagnosed with cancer and how her three children do their best to help her. It is an autobiography told by Brian, the eldest of the mother’s children. Events start at the home – the first page showing the mother suffering some kind of stroke. It doesn’t leap to the hospital right away, but instead first shows how the family ...
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Heart of Darkness

Review by Matthew Nielsen Based on the Joseph Conrad novella of the same name, the graphic novel Heart of Darkness (adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and illustrated by Catherine Anyango) is about a man's journey up the Congo River during the late 19th-century Belgian colonial period. The protagonist, Marlow, works for an ivory trading group, and has been given the task of meet with Kurtz, an exceptionally “efficient” obtainer of ivory. As the story progresses, the reader is introduced to more ...
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Black Hole

Review by Matthew Nielsen Black Hole by Charles Burns is a story of teenagers, drugs, and an STD called the “Bug,” which gives whoever has it a random physical mutation, anything from small growths on the back to antennae coming out of the forehead. Not your X-Men sort of deal; no superpowers, only deformities. The story follows a handful of characters who are doing their best to cope with the unforgiving life teenagers have to live. Needless to say, the ...
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Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, Making Comics

Review by Matthew Nielsen Scott McCloud's trilogy of Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics are all excellent works. They are a great collection of essays entirely in the comics format, entirely about comics. The first book, Understanding Comics, published in 1994, focuses on the history, perception, and communication of comics, as well as a sophisticated interpretation of the medium as a whole. It is an amazing tool for both comic beginners and those more experienced with comics. If you ...
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Tamara Drewe

Review by Matthew Nielsen Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds is a story centred around a writer’s retreat in the English countryside. It starts off from the point of view of university professor Glen, and then moves on to the retreat’s de facto manager Beth. We also see things from other people’s points of view at various times throughout the story. This gives us a wonderful chance to know what everyone is thinking. When you open the book, you’ll find a ...
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Boxers & Saints

Review by Matthew Nielsen Instead of just reviewing one graphic novel, I reckon I’ll review two! Boxers & Saints are two stories by Gene Luen Yang set before and during China’s Boxer Uprising (the uprising from 1899 to 1901). Both books share numerous characters while taking place on different sides of the events. The Boxers wished to fight foreign influence (such as cultural oppression, opium, and Christianity) whilst the Saints wish to remain steadfast in their beliefs and convictions. Yang does ...
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The Quest for the Big Woof

Review by Matthew Nielsen The Quest for the Big Woof, written by Lenny Henry and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse, is a British comedic graphic novel from 1991 about the life and mind of Lenny Henry. The story is pretty straightforward: Henry is in the process of writing gags for his upcoming stand-up tour, but he is hit with a severe case of writer’s block. So one day God shows up to help him. Not in a religious praise-Jesus kind-of-way, but ...
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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

Review by Matthew Nielsen How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less is an autobiographical graphic novel by Sarah Glidden that explores how she, an American with Jewish heritage, went on a birthright trip to Israel in March, 2007. The birthright trip is a charity-funded service that allows any Jewish person from anywhere in the world to receive a free trip to Israel, possibly in hopes that they may choose to move there. During the birthright tour, Glidden is ...
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Our Cancer Year

Review by Matthew Nielsen Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner (illustrated by Frank Stack) is an autobiographical book by two writers at once. Harvey and his wife Joyce tell about a year in their lives in which they move house and work at their jobs, and then, as the title suggests, cancer comes along to make everything all the more complicated. What I love about this graphic novel is how detailed the narrative is! We learn about ...
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True Loves

Review by Matthew Nielsen True Loves by Jason Turner and Manien Batoma is a romance comic set in Vancouver, Canada, that tells the story of True, the owner of a used clothes store, and Zander, a grocery clerk with a positive attitude. The story starts with True in a relationship with Dirk, a busy and well-to-do man, but the two aren't on the same wavelength. When Zander comes into play, True finds that he’s someone she can relate to more ...
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Three Shadows

by Oliver McTavish-Wisden Once in a while, a work of art comes along to remind me about the expressive storytelling elements that can only be found in the medium of graphic novels. In Cyril Pedrosa's graphic novel, Three Shadows, he explores the question “what price would you pay to save your child?” ...
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Darkness Calls

by Bevan Thomas Darkness Calls by Steven Keewatin Sanderson is a powerful comic book that confronts psychological issues facing aboriginal youths today ...
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Cloudscape’s Top Ten Comics of the Decade

In true collective fashion, we over at Cloudscape headquarters put our heads together this week to come up with a master list of what we consider to be the top ten comics produced in the 2000s. Five of us each came up with our own independent lists (which can be found on the forum) and then those lists were compiled together through a top secret mathematical formula. The results are here! ...
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Articles by Cloudscape Members on various topics surrounding comics.

Observations on the American Manga Market

by Aliena Shoemaker July 20th, 2010 There was a time when the local Borders was the only store in my city that carried manga (Japanese comics) in the trade paper back format. The titles the store carried were limited to a grand total of about five. The titles included had either been readily available to the North American audience for multiple years via their on-screen adaptations (such as Dragonball Z) or they were the most popular titles in Japan at ...
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Fallen Heroes

by Bevan Thomas June 19th, 2011 The comic series The Boys, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, brings us numerous superhero teams with strangely familiar names: Fantastico, G-Men, Payback, and above them all is the Seven orbiting in their satellite headquarters: Homelander, world’s greatest hero, Queen Maeve, mightiest of heroines, Black Noir, the dark detective, the Deep, lord of the watery depths, Jack from Jupiter, alienesque crime-fighter, A-Train, fastest man alive, and Lamplighter with his magic lamp. The champions ...
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Golden-Age Superheroes

by Bevan Thomas September 24th, 2011 The Golden Age of superhero comics existed from the end of the 1930s to the beginning of the 1950s, with the bulk of it revolving around World War II. Superheroes have never been as popular since. There was something about the second War to End All Wars that made the general population respond to the superhero aesthetic in a way they haven’t done since. While now the superhero comic medium is defined by two ...
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Super-Why?

by Jonathon Dalton October 14th, 2011 If you spend as much time on the internet as I do, you’ve probably seen a lot of frustration lately on the subject of superheroes, particularly regarding DC Comics’ recent relaunch. Even when I was a regular superhero reader DC was never my thing, so I’ll leave it to others to respond to the New 52. But lately, a lot of the blogs I’ve been reading end with a question: “Why read superheroes at ...
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Articles and news stories about Cloudscape, plus interviews with its members.

ECCC 2017

Cloudscape will be on hand at Emerald City comicon at booth 1623 with members Hannah Meyers, Monica Disher, Jonathon Dalton and myself (Jeff Ellis). If you will be there then come on by and say hello! ...
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“Epic Canadiana #2” Wins 2016 Gene Day Award!

Exciting news! Epic Canadiana #2, our second serving of exciting tales of Canadian superheroes, has won the Gene Day at the Joe Shuster Awards! The Joe Shusters honour excellence in Canadian comics throughout various genres, with the Gene Day specifically awarding a graphic novel that has been self-published outside of ...
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Cloudscape Books Nominated for the Gene Day Award!

The Joe Shuster Awards are a series of national awards that celebrate Canadians creating comics home and abroad. They have just posted the Array Shuster Nominations, which list the best Canadian creators and comics of 2015. The nominees for this year's Gene Day Award (which honours self-published Canadian comics) include: ...
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NOW Magazine’s Article on Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas

Toronto's NOW magazine features a cover article about the new graphic novel collaboration between Canadian icon Margaret Atwood and Cloudscape artist Johnnie Christmas. "He's young, she’s not. She’s a cat lover, he’s a dog lover. He’s a modest, relatively unknown graphic novelist, she’s one of the world’s best-known writers and ...
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People Are Talking About “Comics In Transit”

Cloudscape’s “Comics in Transit” keeps on rolling! Comics have been popping-up in bus shelters all over Metro Vancouver,  one-page stories created by such prominent local creators as Nina Matsumoto, Johnnie Christmas, Steve Rolston, and many more. We’ve been getting a lot of attention, including more buzz in the Georgia Straight and an extensive ...
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BC Tourism Talks BC Comics

Cloudscape president Oliver McTavish-Wisden recently wrote an article showcasing comics in BC that was featured on the BC Tourism website: "Most visitors to BC come for the gorgeous natural scenery, renowned dining scene and local culture. But in addition to these iconic BC attractions, there are plenty of opportunities for ...
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Cloudscape Comics Featured in “The Province”

Cloudscape Comics is featured in the Province! The newspaper talked with Jeff Ellis and Oliver McTavish-Wisden about Cloudscape's goals, its involvement with the city, Mega Fauna, and, of course, VanCAF and our upcoming launch party. To read the article, visit "Cloudscape Comics Shows Its Silver Lining of Talent." ...
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Mega Fauna Launch

Cloudscape members Jeff Ellis, Bevan Thomas, and Kathleen Jacques are interviewed by Cheryl Minns about Mega Fauna and its launch for Douglas College’s Other Press. May 5, 2015. READ THE ARTICLE HERE. ...
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Sneaky Dragon Interviews Jeff Ellis

Our founder and president, Jeff Ellis, is interviewed by Ian Boothby for his podcast Sneaky Dragon, discussing Cloudscape Comics, comics collectives in general, and Jeff’s own webcomic Teach English in Japan. June 28, 2014. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE. ...
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CBC Radio on Epic Canadiana

Board member and author Bevan Thomas is interviewed by Sheryl McKay on CBC Radios’s North by Northwest, talking about Epic Canadiana and other Canadian superheroes. April 19, 2014. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE. ...
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A Label for Comics, by Comic Artists

Cloudscape members Jeff Ellis and Mara Coman are interviewed by Myles Wirth about their contributions to Cloudscape and the various events our organization has become involved in. February 15, 2014. READ THE ARTICLE HERE. ...
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Go! Vancouver by Shaw TV Interview

Board members Jeff Ellis and Bevan Thomas are interviewed for Shaw TV’s Go! Vancouver about Cloudscape, Epic Canadiana, and the power of collaboration. February 5, 2014 ...
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Vancouver Courier Interview

Bevan Thomas is interviewed by Cheryl Rossi about Cloudscape’s anthologies and what it provides to both its members and the community. October 24, 2013. READ THE ARTICLE HERE. ...
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Cloudscape Comics on the CBC!

On August 31, our president Jeff Ellis was interviewed about Waterlogged on CBC Radio by Sheryl MacKay of North by Northwest. You can download the full interview at the North by Northwest podcast archives ...
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Cloudscape Comics featured in "Inside Vancouver"

Inside Vancouver featured an interesting article on the Vancouver field house residency program, the city making park field houses available for artist collectives, with a big focus on Cloudscape: "Did you know that you can learn about the basics of comics drawing or traditional Aboriginal weaving after, say, a game ...
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Inside Vancouver Arts in Parks

Miranda Post discussed Vancouver’s artist field house initiative with a focus on Cloudscape. August 12, 2013. READ THE FULL ARTICLE. ...
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Comics with a Cause in the Georgia Straight

Rodrigo Caballero, creator of Comics with a Cause, was recently interview in the Georgia Straight about Branded, the graphic novel he's creating (with Cloudscape artist Reetta Linjama) that addresses violence against women ...
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Comics With A Cause interviewed at VanCAF

ArrayGeeks Media interviewed Comics With A Cause founder Rodrigo Caballero and Cloudscape artist Reetta Linjama at VanCAF about their upcoming Branded graphic novel, currently engaged in its IndieGogo fundraiser ...
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The Georgia Straight Cloudscape’s Comic Jams

Gregory Adams talked about Cloudscape’s history, the show at the Ayden Gallery, and our seventh anthologyMay 16, 2013. READ THE FULL ARTICLE. ...
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Georgia Straight publishes article on Cloudscape Comics!

Gregory Adams of the Georgie Straight stopped by the launch party of our art show Stratus at the Ayden Gallery, where he studied our art and interviewed many Cloudscape members. Here's the article that resulted from it: "Since its inception, Cloudscape Comics Society has galvanized local cartoonists into creating ...
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Cloudscape Comics Discussed on Broken Frontier!

Jason Wilkins discusses Cloudscape on the comics website Broken Frontier: "Located in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, the Cloudscape Comics Society is doing comics right. A non-profit group dedicated to producing high quality, well-crafted, intelligent comics, the CCS provides a forum and an outlet for up-and-coming creators to hone their craft ...
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Broken Frontier Secrets of the Sea

Jason Wilkins discussed how Cloudscape developed and what the future holds. May 9, 2013. READ THE FULL ARTICLE. ...
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Cloudscape Features on Comics News Sites

The fundraiser for Cloudscape's latest book, Waterlogged, is discussed on two comics news sites: Broken Frontier and Shelf Abuse ...
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4Geeks Media Interview

4Geeks Media interviewed several Cloudscape members at their new HQ. January 10, 2013 ...
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Cloudscape in the News

Recently, Cloudscape has been attracting people's attention, and has been featured in numerous forms of media. On Wednesday, our founder Jeff Ellis was interviewed by Stephen Quinn on CBC's The Early Edition radio show. Furthermore, our latest book, Giants of Main Street, was discussed by Ryan Ingram on The Snipe, ...
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TCAF 2012 Interview

Alice Quinn interviewed Jeff Ellis at TCAF, the Toronto Comics Art Festival. May 23, 2012 ...
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21 Journeys Nominated for a Gene Day Award

Cloudscape's most recent anthology, Array Journeys, has been nominated as a finalist for the Gene Day Award! The Gene Day Award honours Canadian comic book creators who self-publish their books. Everyone over at Cloudscape HQ is really pleased. The only thing that could make this better is to find out ...
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The Peak on Cloudscape Comics

Will Ross of The Peak posted an article on Cloudscape Comics, including excerpts of an interview he did of Jeff Ellis and Jonathon Dalton. February 20, 2012. READ THE ARTICLE HERE. ...
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Interview with Jeff Ellis

by Bevan Thomas At one of Cloudscape Comics’ Wednesday meetings, I sat down to chat with Jeff Ellis, the organization’s founder, as around us numerous fellow cartoonists worked on their own projects. In many ways, Jeff’s appearance captures the archetype of the “geek” in the best possible way; a slim, ...
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Interview with Jeff Ellis in the Fabler

With the release of the 21 Journeys and Exploded View ebooks, the Fabler blog spent some time with President Jeff Ellis asking about the production of 21 Journeys. In particular there is a small discussion on using IndieGoGo as a fundraising platform and our experiences with the service. Kevin D:Do ...
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Anime Evolution Interview

Lee Tockar interviewed Jeff Ellis as part of the Anime Evolution convention. July 11, 2010 ...
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Toronto Comic Arts Festival Interview

Mark Medley of the National Post interviewed Jeff Ellis about the Toronto Comic Art FestivalMay 7, 2010. READ THE INTERVIEW HERE. ...
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Alternate Press Expo Interview

Cloudscape was one of the various groups interviewed by Jennifer Chan of SFStationTV at the 2009 Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco. October 28, 2009 ...
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Broadcast Comics Interview

Jeff Ellis and Colin Upton were interviewed by Broadcast Comics for Shaw TV. June 15, 2008 ...
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Reviews of Cloudscape’s numerous anthologies.

21 Journeys – Broken Frontier

Jason Wilkins at the comic news website Broken Frontier reviews Array Journeys: ...
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21 Journeys – Comix Cube

In the Comix Cube, Kevin Czap reviews Cloudscape’s Array Journeys ...
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Bones of the Coast – Marie Does Book Reviews

Our horror anthology, Bones of the Coast, was reviewed by the blog "Marie Does Book Reviews": "Bones of the Coast is an awesome, scary, beautiful anthology and I have mixed feelings about it. Good mixed feelings! All of the stories contained inside are both ...
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Bones of the Coast – Vancouver Is Awesome

The blog Vancouver Is Awesome has posted a review of our latest anthology: Bones of the Coast. Reviewer Bob Kronbauer: "wound up being completely engaged from cover to cover, partly due to the great writing and eclectic styles of more than 20 artists, but ...
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Epic Canadiana #1 – Broken Frontier

The comic book news website Broken Frontier has a short piece on Cloudscape's Canadian superhero anthology Epic Canadiana #1 ...
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Epic Canadiana #1 – Speculating Canada

Derek Newman-Stille at Speculating Canada had much to say about Epic Canadiana #1.  ...
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Exploded View – This Week in Webcomics

Jackson over at This Week in Webcomics reviewed Exploded View ...
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Giants of Main Street – Broken Frontier

Jason Wilkins of Broken Frontier reviewed Cloudscape’s fantasy anthology Giants of Main Street. ...
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Giants of Main Street – The Snipe

At The Snipe, Ryan Ingram discussed Giants of Main Street. ...
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Mega Fauna – Broken Frontier

Jason Wilkins of comic website Broken Frontier reviewed the anthology, Mega Fauna. ...
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Una the Blade – Broken Frontier

Jason Wilkins at the comic news website Broken Frontier reviews Steve LeCouilliard's Una the Blade: ...
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Waterlogged – Broken Frontier

Jason Wilkins of Broken Frontier delivers a review of Waterlogged and he's certainly impressed with what he sees ...
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Waterlogged – Sequential Tart

Waterlogged, our seventh anthology, is reviewed Sheena McNeil of the prominent comics website Sequential Tart! ...
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Waterlogged – Wildfire Effect

A Waterlogged review by Stephanie Scott, social media marketer and digital storyteller ...
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Videos Cloudscape members have been involved in.

Ron Vark: A Comic Legend

A mockumentary about Ron Vark, Vancouver’s most influential, most controversial, and most insane comic artist.

Written by and starring members of Cloudscape.

Warning: Contains swearing.

A Man & A Cape

Our collaboration with the Vancouver B Movie Factory, a local society of indie filmmakers, for the fourth episode of their TV show. In A Man & A Cape, a young outcast discovers a cape that takes him on a strange and frightening adventure, an adventure that shifts between live-action film and sequential comic panels created by Cloudscape’s talented artists. The episode, which was shown on ShawTV, features both the movie itself and the process of its creation, plotted and filmed at Cloudscape Comics HQ.

To watch just the completed movie, visit A Man & A Cape. And for more B movie creations, stop by the Vancouver B Movie Factory.