Swan Song Artist List

We are excited to announce the list of  contributors for Swan Song, the next Cloudscape anthology:

  • Alina Pete
  • Anat Rabkin
  • Angela Melick
  • Annalise Jensen
  • Anthony Biondi
  • Arden Belfry
  • Bevan Thomas
  • Drew Gilmour
  • Ed Appleby
  • Emily Cowan
  • Hanna Myers
  • Ian Thomas
  • Jasmine Shuett
  • Jason Wilkins
  • Jeff Ellis
  • Jess Pollard
  • Jessie Davidge
  • Jeri Weaver
  • Jonathon Dalton
  • Karen Shangguan
  • Kat Kelsay
  • Klara Woldenga
  • Michael McGuire
  • Monica Disher
  • Oliver McTavish-Wisden
  • Patrick Wong
  • Reetta Linjama
  • Riley Masters
  • Sam Keating
  • Sfe R. Monster
  • Simon Roy
  • Tamiko Masters
  • Yashaswi Kesanakurthy

Many of these talented people have tables at VanCAF, so stop and see them this weekend.


VanCAF After Party

Once the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival ends, Cloudscape Comics & VanCAF present the official VanCAFter party this Sunday at the EXP Restaurant + Bar on 309 West Pender Street in downtown Vancouver.

From 6pm until 7:30pm, all VanCAF artists are invited to a private EXP party celebrating comic artists writers and creators! Then after 7:45pm we swing open the doors to all con-goers and lovers of comics!

Comic trivia will begin at 8pm with some cool prizes to the winners! So bring your comic nerd crew and play some trivia while enjoying our two exclusive VanCAFter Party drinks: the Last Panel and Blue Pencil.

Hope to see you there!


VanCAF is this weekend!

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is this weekend, Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21, at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Yale Town. This is Vancouver’s biggest comic convention dedicated to indie comics, self-publishers, and individual creators, and, as always, Cloudscape is prominent featured. We have our own tables (table H5 in the gym) and numerous prominent Cloudscape contributors (Jonathon Dalton, Steve LeCouilliard, Johnny Christmas, Nina Matsumoto, Kathleen Jacques, Alina Pete, and more) have their own tables as well. Many of our contributors will also be giving talks and workshops on the various parts of the comic process.

If you want to get more involved in Vancouver’s comic scene, discover exciting new indie comics, and chat with your favourite creators face-to-face, then you should stop on by.

Hope to see you all at VanCAF!

 


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Review by Matthew Nielsen

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayaeo Miyazaki present a world in which several centuries ago, great god-warriors roamed the world and engulfed everything in flames. When the flames faded, a vast poisonous forest appeared, guarded by enormous insects. Humanity’s numbers have dwindled severely, and most live beyond the poisonous forests – in the deserts and on the mountains. The Valley of the Wind is one such place. And it is here that the Valley’s princess, Nausicaä, begins her journey through nature, conflict, and hope.

Nausicaä is immense. Most pages consist of 10-11 panels; thus the book is bigger than the usual tankōbon (the pocket-sized manga books usually 5” by 7”) with pages of 7” by 10”, allowing for full appreciation of Miyazaki’s intense details. With Nausicaä, not a single page is wasted. At no point did I feel there was any time-consuming filler: everything had a purpose. The action scenes were intense, the dialogue scenes were informative, and pacing was juuuust right. Furthermore, each of the seven volumes had their own build-ups and climatic moments, and each major event was more impressive than the preceding one. It is clear that what Miyazaki delivers in his films is also, well and truly, delivered here in this manga series.

Compared to a feature film, Nausicaä’s story lasts much, much longer. On top of that, the amount of characters we discover, the detail to which they are developed, the world that is shown to us, and the deep journeys into mind, soul, ethics and conflict are all phenomenal! You may be familiar with the animated film adaptation of this story, of the same name. It too was created by Miyazaki, along with the forerunners of Studio Ghibli (and is often considered to be Studio Ghibli’s first feature film). However, despite having the same creator, the animated film has significant differences, primarily due to the story length limitation. It would probably have taken three to five films or even an entire animated series to fully tell the original story as it appears in the manga series.

Essentially, what Miyazaki did with the movie version was rearrange various characters, with motivations altered, which created a sort of “alternate reality.” The most similarities are in the first two of the seven volumes of the manga, with similar events happening. But after that, whilst the film goes one way, the manga series goes another. Despite being different from the original source material, the animated film is still incredible in its own right, an absolutely amazing piece of art.

I strongly recommend you watch and read this story if you haven’t already. If you enjoyed Miyazaki’s animated film masterpieces like Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke, you will not be disappointed with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind . It is truly a memorable experience.


Kickstarter for Beyond 2: A Queer Post-Apocalypse & Urban Fantasy Comic Anthology

Frequent Cloudscape contributor Sfe Monster has launched the Kickstarter for Beyond 2: Queer Post-Apocalypse & Urban Fantasy, the second installment in the award-winning series of queer SF comic anthologies edited by Sfe Monster and Taneka Stotts. The Kickstarter not only features Beyond and Beyond 2, but numerous other high-quality goodies. So stop by the Beyond 2 Kickstarter page and do your part to support this great graphic novel.


Persepolis

Review by Matthew Nielsen

Available as both two volumes or a complete edition, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran before, during, and after the Iranian Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s.

The book covers many years of Satrapi’s life, from her as a young child through to her early twenties. Throughout we also learn about Iran and how the nation, its people, and everyday life changed during the shift from the Shah’s rule to the Islamic Republic. Satrapi tells of her journey, beliefs, political views, and behaviour, about being raised by supportive avant-garde parents, and about how her family had to hide their efforts and ideas from the powers that be. A large portion of the book also focuses on Satrapi’s time in Austria as an expatriate, and the trials she faced there.

The story is told very well, and we quickly get to know much about Satrapi’s personality, experiences and family. The art is quite stylized with a kind of “naive art” feel to it.

If the style appeals to you and if you’re curious to learn more about some of Iran’s history told through the eyes of Satrapi, then this book will be for you. I very much enjoyed reading it.

On top of that, there is the animated film Persepolis, written and directed by Satrapi along with Vincent Paronnaud. It is loyal enough to the book that you’ll get the same story from watching it, but different enough that you’ll get an alternative, but possibly equally enjoyable, experience.

 


The TradeWaiters 32: “Your Lie in April” vol. 1 & 2 by Naoshi Arakawa

Today on the TradeWaiters, we jumped head-first into some shoujo manga with the first two volumes of Your Lie in April by Naoshi Arakawa. Join us as we immerse ourselves in classical music, middle school romance, family drama, and the fine art of panel-to-panel transitions. We also officially welcome Jess Pollard as our fifth podcast panelist!

Also mentioned in this episode:
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques
Smith Vs Smith by Matt Smith
Cynthia Lin on Youtube
the Process Party podcast by Mike Dawson and Zack Soto
My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko
and this comic about flute choir by kgros.

And our own projects:
Phobos and Deimos by Jonathon Dalton
Crossroads by Jeff Ellis
Lunar Maladies by kgros
Wasted Talent by Angela Melick, and
Liquid Shell by Jess Pollard.

Music by Sleuth.

Our next episode will cover Wendy and Wendy’s Revenge by Walter Scott.

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


Vancouver Public Library Seeks Graphic Novel Writer-in-Residence

Do you write and illustrate graphic novels?  Vancouver Public Library will host a resident graphic novelist between Aug. 28 and Dec. 15, 2017 as part of its Writer in Residence program. This program promotes Canadian writing and literature to Vancouver citizens by fostering greater public appreciation for Canadian writing, providing opportunities to interact with the resident author, and providing the space, time and resources for a Canadian author to write.

The Writer in Residence will develop exciting public programs and provide advice to emerging writers through one-to-one consultations and group workshops, as well as outreach to targeted communities. This full-time position (35 hours/week) requires 40 per cent of the author’s time be spent on library programs or projects, leaving 60 per cent of the work week available for creative writing.

This would be a contract  position paying $4,250/month. The Vancouver Public Library is interested in hearing from a wide variety of graphic novelists. Whether you write comics, non-fiction, young adult or children’s graphic novels – whatever genres you choose to work in – they want to hear from you.

For more information, check out the Vancouver Public Library’s Writer in Residence – Call for Expressions of Interest 2017.


Ghost World

Review by Matthew Nielsen

Ghost World! Daniel Clowes’ classic graphic novel is the story of two young women in their teens: Enid and Becky. Clowes is very good at capturing how people (at least certain people) talk about others and the world around them. The main characters feel that a lot of these people lead sad and creepy lives. But surely that’s how many of us see the world? We see others as rotten, crappy, lame, or weird as all hell. You might not want to admit it, but plenty of people out there freely say it casually among each other, and this story certain shows you that side: the personal conversations we have with our closest friends about those we like to feel superior to.

The art is done in black, white, and a funky aqua or something. I love it! Clowes does a great job capturing all the sorts of facial details and expression, making them often gross, weird, or surreal. But that’s life — there is a lot of grossness and weirdness in the world. Some artists might polish away some of these things, making their characters all look more charming, but Clowes keeps the strangeness all there. Though sometimes the faces look a bit derpy, but that’s realistic enough too. All this reminds me a lot of Daria. So yeah, if you liked Daria, there is a good chance you’ll like this, but Ghost World is a bit meaner in comparison.

If you’ve seen the Ghost World movie, you’ll find that the book is in many ways quite different, and the arc goes off in a different direction. Just keep that in mind if you already saw the movie.  Not sure how much you’ll relate to the main characters of Ghost World, but maybe it’s worth finding out. Give it a look!


Bones of the Coast – Fake Geek Girls

Fake Geek Girls is a podcast that explores pop culture from both a fan and critical perspective. Its “Children’s Horror” installment looks at Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Over the Garden Wall… and Bones of the Coast!

“If you like ‘earthy’ horror… it’s very, very Pacific Northwest…. The anthology takes what I love about the Pacific Northwest: the dreariness; it’s dreary but it’s also vibrant because everything is green…. It takes that and the fact that it can be very damp and very isolated. I really, really enjoyed that.”

To hear more about Bones of the Coast and other horror, check out Fake Geek Girls #53: Children’s Horror.