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!
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 9 pages long (and an odd number of pages), 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.
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.
The Kickstarter for Bones of the Coast, Cloudscape’s latest anthology, has ended, and it earned $48,438 from 1,362 backers! That’s 166% of our initial goal of $29,200! We surpassed all three of our stretch goals, resulting in extra money for our contributors and a spot foil & spot gloss for our anthology. You’ve helped to make Bones of the Coast not just a reality but a phenomenal success. Thanks to the enthusiasm of our backers, Bones of the Coast will be the first Cloudscape anthology to pay all of its creators a professional rate for their contributions to the anthology.
Cloudscape’s fundraiser for Bones of the Coast closes on August 18. That means there’s only three days left to pre-order our exciting new horror anthology, featuring such comic greats as Simon Roy, Renee Nault, Alina Pete, and Sean Karemaker! Pick it up at the Bones of the Coast Kickstarter page while there is still time.
On August 20, Cloudsape’s own Jeff Ellis will be teaching a how-to-draw-comics workshop at the Bill Reid Gallery. This class is directed towards children ages 9-14. Tickets are $30.
When: 1:00-4:00 PM
August 20 (a Saturday)
Where: Bill Reid Gallery
639 Hornby Street,
This weekend is the Vancouver Comics Art Festival at the Roundhouse in Yaletown! VanCAF is Vancouver’s terrifically popular free convention devoted to indie comic creators. Stop by to discover lots of wonderful new graphic novels, meet many of Cloudscape’s contributors, and visit the Cloudscape booth (Table F1) to grab some Cloudscape anthologies at special sales prices. Hope to see you all there!
The start date for Comics in the Clouds, Cloudscape’s new comic-creating class, has been pushed back a week so it’ll be starting on the 11th of April, rather than the 4th. That means there is still time to register for it! It’s open for anyone aged 15-25, and is free to attend. Plus, all participants get to be part of an art show and print their own mini-comic. So don’t delay. Sign-up for an exciting program.
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.
Date: Monday evenings (April 4 – June 13, but no class May 23)
Time: 4 pm – 7 pm
Place: Cloudscape HQ, Memorial South Park Fieldhouse, 5955 Ross Street
To register, visit Vancouver: Comics in the Clouds.