Word Vancouver this week!


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 Launches 2017 Millarworld Talent Search


Mark Millar, creator of such popular comic books as Kick-Ass, The UltimatesWanted, 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 Last year he put out a call for submissions, encouraging unpublished writers and artists to submit to the first issue of his Millarworld annual, and now he is looking for people to be included in issue two, which will be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.

For more information, view the 2017 Millarworld Talent Search press release, and then check out the writer & artist submission guidelines.

Good luck!

Comics in the Clouds begins this week!

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.

Cloudscape Comic Jam at 2016 Big Draw Vancouver

big drawNow 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.

Cloudscape Artists on Autostraddle


Autostraddle is an online magazine and social network for lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, and this year the 3rd Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Arts Awards have turned their attention to several comics by Cloudscape contributors!

  • Band vs Band, the music-related webcomic of Kathleen Jacques, has been nominated as one of the Favorite Episodic Webcomics.
  • Beyond, the queer-focused science fiction anthology co-edited by Sfe Johnson and featuring several other Cloudscape contributors, has been nominated for Favorite Comics Anthology.

Now that the nominees are up, you can vote for which one you feel deserves to win in each category. To show your Cloudscape solidarity, vote in the 2016 Autostradle Awards. Deadline for all voting is Saturday, September 24.

The TradeWaiters 21: “Bakuman” vol. 3&4 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

Our Bakumanathon continues! We read the third and fourth volumes of Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata and we invite you to join us as we check in with how our boys Mashiro and Takagi are doing in their quest for manga greatness. Also on deck are some in depth discussions of the differences between the North American and Japanese comics industries, and how to make sure comics only breaks your heart, not your hands. Our panelists agree, middle school marriage pacts and comics careers don’t mix.

Also mentioned in this episode:
Death Note, also by Ohba and Obata
Ranma 1/2, One Pound Gospel, Mermaid Scar, and Inu Yasha by Rumiko Takahashi
Shonen Jump
Gals! by Mihona Fujii
Soul Eater by Atsushi Okubo
A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima
Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura
Skin Deep by Kory Bing
The Violent by Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham
and this infamous schedule of a manga-ka.

Music by Sleuth.

Our next episode will cover V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

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

Cloudscape Comic Classes


The summer is ending and the autumn is beginning; for many people, this is a sad time – no more vacation, back to school. However, there are some pretty fun classes starting up soon, including many that Cloudscape is involved in:

  • Graphic Novel & Comix. Langara College is currently providing a whole 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, visit the Graphic Novel & Comix program website. Autumn classes start at the end of this month.
  • Comics in the Clouds. Jeff Ellis, Cloudscape’s founder and vice-president, will be teaching a series of workshops on creating comics at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre. Classes will be every Monday evening from September 19 to November 28. The workshops are free and there are still spots available, so if you are a young adult (age 15-24) and want to learn more about comics from someone with many years comic experience, sign-up on the Comics in the Clouds website.

Make this school year a little more exciting!

Cloudscape Books Nominated for the Gene Day Award!

Shuster award

The Joe Shuster Awards are a series of national awards that celebrate Canadians creating comics home and abroad. They have just posted the 2016 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:

  • Nemo BalkanskiThe Deliverer
  • Stephen GilbertColville
  • Kathleen GrosLast Night at Wyrmwood High
  • A. Shay HahnHomeless G-Men 1-3, Battle Rally 1-2, and Crypto-Zombic 1
  • Various: Clouscape Comics Collective Epic Canadiana Vol. 2
  • Various: Toronto Comics AnthologyToronto Comics, Vol 2

That means that out of a total of six nominations, we have two books published by Cloudscape (Wyrmwood High and Epic Canadiana), and one additional book published by a Cloudscape member (The Deliverer). Wow! Great work, everyone! We’re looking forward to see which of these books wins the award.

Moonshot Volume 2 on Kickstarter!

MoonshotThe multiple award-winning Moonshot: the Indigenous Comics Collection is back with a brand new volume of North American indigenous artists telling indigenous stories, currently in the middle of its Kickstarter fundraiser. This volume “centers around present-day indigenous spirituality and tradition. You will see what life and wonders exist now on this Earth, the spirit world, alternate dimensions and more through this gorgeous collection of original indigenous comic/graphic novel stories.”

The artists include:

  • Artist Jeffrey Veregge (Red Wolf, G.I. Joe, Transformers)
  • Artist Stephen Gladue (Cree Dancer)
  • Authors Sean & Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley (Lesson of the Wolf, Ajjitt)
  • Artist David Mack (Kabuki, Fight Club, Daredevil)
  • Author Elizabeth LaPensee (Copper Heart, The Observing)
  • Artist Haiwei Hou (Two Brothers, Ochek)
  • Illustrator Fred Pashe (SpiritWolf)
  • Artist menton3 (The Memory Collectors, X-Files, Silent Hill: Past Life)
  • Author Richard Van Camp (Tlicho Naowo, Three Feathers)
  • Artist Scott B. Henderson (Blanket of Butterflies, The Chronicles of Era)
  • Author Deborah L. Delaronde (Emma’s Gift, Metis Spirits)
  • Artist Alexandria Neonakis (Sweetest Kulu, Uncharted4) 
  • Artist Ryan Huna Smith (Tribal Force)
  • Artist Steve Keewatin Sanderson (Darkness Calls, Journey of the Healer)
  • Artist Weshoyot Alvitre (Little Nemo, Native American Classics)
  • And more!

Check out its Kickstarter page to get your own copy of this fascinating collection.


NOW Magazine’s Article on Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas

now magazine

Margaret & Johnnie

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 a Canadian icon. The collaboration between Johnnie Christmas and Margaret Atwood is one of the least likely you could imagine. Yet they’ve produced a small marvel of a comic book project, the first installment of Angel Catbird, about a gene-splicing experiment gone wrong and the superhero who emerges from the accident to fight the evil half-rat Dr. Muroid.”

For more, read the full article: “Unlikely Collaborators Get ‘Litter-Ary’ with New Graphic Novel.”