All-Canadian Heroes 2

So I’m currently putting together the roster for the graphic novel anthology All-Canadian Comics, and have been sent a wide variety of heroes, all compelling and all very Canadian.

Here’s a sample of the ones we have so far:

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  1. Johnny Canuck (by Bevan Thomas and Jeff Ellis): Canada’s living legend, who helped drive back the Nazis in World War II and now returns to confront modern foes.
  2. The Loon II (by Bevan Thomas and Jeff Ellis): The scourge of the Montreal underworld, a mysterious lunatic vigilante with unknown ties to the Loon of the 1940s.
  3. E. Pauline Johnson (by Shannon Campbell and Reetta Linjama): One of Canada’s first national poets, who in this universe was a prominent reporter of BC superhumans at the dawn of the 20th century.
  4. Ikniqpalagaq (by Bevan Thomas and Jeri Weaver): Half-human daughter of the North Wind, guardian of the Arctic and all its secrets.
  5. The Energy Trader (by Morgan Wolf and Cody Andreasen): Mild-mannered Torontonian transformed by an evil corporation into an energy conduit.
  6. Canada Jacques (by Bevan Thomas and Ksenia Kozhevnikova): Perhaps the first Metis gay-activist superhero.

There’s still room for more!

Giants of Main Street

In answer to our request, many talented artists have together shown us many of the giants that wander Main Street.

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Respectively, the artists are:

  • Cole Penton
  • Reetta Linjama
  • Christine Eberle
  • Mara-Dor Coman
  • Jeff Ellis
  • Oliver McTavish-Wisden

Thanks, guys!

Anyone who missed submitting this time around, we are calling for another round of giants. So send us your giant in an urban setting and we will post it next Wednesday!


Draw a Giant for Giants! 2

Greetings Cloudscape and other giants!

As part of this month’s mission in drawing attention to our upcoming Giants of Main Street anthology, we are initiating “Draw a Giant” week.

Draw a picture of a giant, any giant, and send it to me, the Cloudscape webmaster, at [email protected]. In keeping with the theme of our book, the giant must be in some sort of urban environment. Besides that restriction, let your imagination run wild. The deadline for submissions is the afternoon of Wednesday, April 11.

We will display all giants on our website and vote on the best one. What do you stand to gain? The adulation of your peers and the excitement of furthering the Cloudscape experience.

Don’t hesitate. Send us your giants today!

Fundraising for Giants

Giants of Main Street, Cloudscape’s sixth anthology, is almost ready to go to press, and so we are currently raising funds to pay for the book’s printing.  If you wish to help support our latest anthology, then you can do so by either by donating money directly to Cloudscape (handing it to Jeff Ellis, Jonathon Dalton, or Christine Vivier) or by purchasing books and art created by various Cloudscape members. Various Cloudscape creations can be bought from the Cloudscape Shop at Etsy as well as from Cloudscape’s IndieGoGo campaign. For discerning connoisseurs of independent comics, libraries of previous Cloudscape books and the contributors’ own artistic pursuits can also be purchased at Indigogo.

Do your part for the Giants cause!

Article on Cloudscape in SFU Newspaper

The Peak, SFU’s newspaper, just published an article by Will Ross on the development of Cloudscape Comics and 21 Journeys:

It began as a series of informal weekly meetings among comic enthusiasts, but when the turnout exceeded expectations, the concept of Cloudscape Comics turned into a reality. “I thought, ‘We’ve got enough people here, if you take a book, and we split it up, five pages per person, we can probably print a book,'” said Cloudscape founder and president Jeff Ellis.

Founded in 2007, Cloudscape Comics is a community of Vancouver comic artists dedicated to giving worthy comics support. “Comics are, if you can believe, not a real money-making venture,” said Ellis. The non-profit society grants its artists exposure by releasing comic anthologies, each with a host of contributing artists and unifying them. When they cleared all of their stock of 250, another anthology followed. “We sold out of all our books and thought, ‘Well, let’s try this again,’ and that was Historyonics, the second book. We decided to push a little further, so we went to a bigger printer and sprang for maybe a thousand books.”

Their latest publication, 21 Journeys, is about traveling, but that theme leaves ample room for creativity. “You have straight-up stories from a bus, and then you’ve also got serial killers and people with obscure psychological disorders and suicide attempts, historical remembrances,” said Ellis. “So it really covers a large gamut.”

To see the rest of the article, read “Clear Skies for Cloudscape Comics.”

Writer seeking collaboration for biographical comic

A published writer is working on an interesting graphic novel project and is in need of a comic artist to collaborate with:

A “coming-of-age graphic novel with an Armenian storyteller and a Canadian writer[.] It’s a tale about a young woman who lives through an earthquake, war, near-starvation, death, destruction, economic upheaval, collapse of the USSR, a new social system, corruption and nepotism… and yet never completely loses hope for a better future. Despite her dismal circumstances, she experiences wonderful moments of humour, love and happiness. This is a true story, along the lines of The Diary of Anne Frank and Persepolis. We are open to artistic styles (with the exception of manga or big buxom babes).”

The writer is working with the Armenian woman to tell her story and wants quality art to accompany it. Consult their website for more information.

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.

Jeff Ellis

In many ways, Jeff’s appearance captures the archetype of the “geek” in the best possible way; a slim, bespectacled bright-eyed man with a mouth rarely far from a gentle smile. He is approachable and unassuming, even shy, and yet when he speaks, his words are confident, thoughtful, and earnest. Dedicated to his own projects, but always interested in the works of others, welcoming to new associates but always loyal to old ones; perhaps he above anyone else embodies the creativity and openness of Cloudscape.

“You’ve spent most of your life in Vancouver?” I asked.

“Yeah. I grew-up here. Though I did live for two and a half years in Japan, from 2004 to 2007.”

“What made you decide to go to Japan?”

At this question, Jeff dropped his gaze in slight embarrassment. “I wanted a fresh start.”

“A fresh start?”

“I’d graduated from college,” Jeff began, “a three-year program in graphic design, and couldn’t find a job. Any art job, I mean. I was working retail and was sick of it; I wanted a change. A friend of mine had gone to Japan before and had found it easy to get a teaching job; so she suggested I give it a shot.”

“Did you have an interest in Japan before talking with your friend?”

“Sure. Actually, I was studying the Japanese language at the time. I had been unemployed for a few months and another friend had recommended that I take a class since it would add structure to my life.”

“Yeah, it is really important to incorporate structure if your life is otherwise without it,” I said. “You must have adapted well to Japan, considering how long you stayed there. What about the country did you love the most?”

“I loved riding the trains to and from work; the subway and light rail system there is amazing!” Jeff smiled dreamily. “I also really loved that there were ancient Shinto shrines everywhere. If you ever needed a quiet place to meditate, there was always one nearby. Oh and the food; Japanese food is great! And I ain’t just talkin’ about sushi.” He laughed. “I loved oyako-don, tako-yaki, and yaki-nikku. I guess in general I loved the peace and tranquillity, and that everyday seemed a new adventure.”


"Ghost Tales" Anthology

Gurukitty Studios recently published Ghost Tales, a “haunting collection of ghost stories submitted by comic artists from all over the world.” It has a wide variety of tales that range from the humorous to the horrifying, and includes stories by Cloudscape members. “Revenge of the Ghost Spider” by Reetta Linjama is a comedic tale of a spider’s phantom that haunts the man who squashed him. “Bewitching BC: Ghosts in the Capital,” written by Bevan Thomas and illustrated by Jayleen Weaver and Donut, explores the various ghost stories and urban legends found in the city of Victoria. Visit the Gurukitty Store to purchase your own copy of Ghost Tales.