Evan Waterman, Cloudscape member and manager of our website, has just released Turn the Page on Kickstarter. Turn The Page is a 32 page, kid-friendly, picture book with a goal of getting the reader to “turn the page” to help advance the story. Many stories feature interesting characters and a fun plot, but few achieve a real connection with the child reading them. Turn The Page encourages that connection. By directly engaging with the the book, readers will see their actions have an actual impact on the story itself. They get to help save the day! To buy the book and numerous other goodies, visit the Turn the Page Kickstarter.
Call for submission for a new comics anthology. Local Haunts will focus on obscure creepy stories from the cartoonists’ own community: “ghost, cryptid, and spooky stories from hometowns around the world. A ghostly figure that haunts the town’s oldest graveyard, the house everyone knows to avoid, the trails no one takes after dark… we want the stories no one outside your hometown really knows about, but should.”
Do you know of a good local ghost or monster story that you think more people should know about? Then visit the Local Haunts website for more information and check out @localhauntsbook on Twitter. Deadline for all pitch submissions is September 25.
We are excited to announce that more graphic novels by our members can be bought from the Cloudscape store:
Teach English in Japan
Story by Jonathon Dalton & Jeff Ellis, art by Jeff Ellis
A dramedy about the trials and tribulations of experiencing a new country. James Kelly is tired of struggling at a minimum wage job in Vancouver and moves to Japan to become an English teacher. Things are off to a rocky start with some mistaken identities and bureaucracy. As well as a man named James Friesen. Watch our hapless characters find their footing in the Land of the Rising Sun. Welcome to Japan! Gambatte!
Much the Miller’s Son
by Steve LeCouilliard
Much never wanted to be an outlaw! He is a nervous young man who has never even left his family home. But when circumstances conspire to make him one of Robin Hood’s merry men, Much finds himself on the run from the Sheriff of Nottingham and hopelessly infatuated with Maid Marion. Sherwood Forest will never be the same again….
It’s almost the end of August, and that means it’s almost the end of Cloudscape’s summer sale! As the last day of the month, Friday is the final day to take advantage of $5 off most of our anthologies and graphic novels. Stop by the Cloudscape store and build up your Cloudscape library at a great price!
On July 14, Cloudscape hosted the TGD2S Family Comic Jam & BBQ, where trans, gender diverse, and two-spirit families participated in a fun-filled afternoon of comic art. It was a lot of fun, and many of the children there participated in both comic jams (where each person draws a panel of a comic before handing it over) and exquisite corpses (where each person draws a part of a picture without knowing what had been drawn before).
Here are some of the great art we got:
If you wish to attend our free workshops on creating comics, sign up for them below:
- Writing Characters for Comics, August 26: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-writing-characters-for-comics/185074
- Drawing Characters with Strong Silhouettes, August 30: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-drawing-characters-with-silhouettes/185108
- Panel Composition, September 6: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-panel-composition-for-comics/185114
- Markers for Comics, September 13: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-markers-for-comics/185120
- Watercolour Tips and Techniques, September 20: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-watercolour-tips-and-techniques/185124
- Acrylic Tips and Techniques, September 27: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-acrylic-tips-and-techniques/185125
- Thumbnailing a Graphic Novel, October 4: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-thumbnailing-a-graphic-novel/185127
Once again the comic creators at Cloudscape are offering Cloudshops, various free workshops in which experienced comic creators teach aspiring cartoonists about the numerous aspects of the comics medium. Each Cloudshop is held at Cloudscape HQ (5955 Ross Street, Vancouver) from 7:30-9:00 on its respective day, and provides a combination of lecture and workshopping, allowing you to both hear from the expert and put their lessons into practice. It’s a great opportunity to develop your comic-creating talents in numerous directions.
The upcoming Cloudshops are as follows:
- August 26 – Writing Characters for Comics with Bevan Thomas
Learn how to build believable and dynamic characters whose strong needs will drive the plot of your comic or graphic novel. Compelling comics need compelling characters that readers will remember and care about.
- August 30 – Drawing Characters with Strong Silhouettes with Reetta Linjama
Practice drawing figures for your comics that have dynamic and distinctive shapes. A good character ought to be recognizable from just their outline and their body language. Learn tricks used by cartoonists and animators to get that job done. Attendees can, if they want to, bring (digitally or on paper) poses/characters that they want tips on.
- September 6 – Panel Composition for Comics with Kelly Chen
Panel composition is one of the most important tools in comics. Hone your skills at panel organization and how to place in your panels for effective storytelling. Some topics includes: elements of a page, flow, things to consider before you start paneling and so on.
- September 13 – Markers for Comics with Jonathon Dalton
Learn the basics and some advanced techniques with markers (Copics, etc.) for colouring comics. Whether you use them for every page or just the occasional illustration, there’s a lot more to using markers than just colouring in the lines. Bring your own markers if you have them, otherwise materials will be provided.
- September 20 – Watercolour tips and techniques with Hannah Myers
Watercolours are notoriously difficult to control but this workshop will set you up for success. Learn about the best materials and tools to use as well as methods and process that make working with water colours fun.
- September 27th – Acrylic tips and techniques with Lisa Lindsay
Learn all about how to work with acrylic paints, from tips and techniques to tools and materials. Lisa Lindsay will walk you through her process including the work that happens before painting starts.
- October 4th – How the HECK Do I Thumbnail a Graphic Novel??? with kgros
So you’ve drawn a bunch of short comics & are ready to dive into something longer. Maybe you’ve got an idea for a story, and maybe you’ve started scripting it, but you’re not sure how to move onto the next step. This workshop will guide you through several different ways to bring your comic script from ideation to thumbnails. kgros will show you how to set yourself up for success before you start drawing your dream graphic novel!
We are happy to report that two more member books have been added to the Cloudscape store:
A science fiction thriller in which Connie and Matilda Sakura, two perfectly ordinary genetically-engineered girls, struggle against numerous threats. Their parents fought a war in space against giant alien robots, but that was a long time ago. Unfortunately for the next generation, there’s a revolution brewing in Earth’s unstable political climate, and one group of teenage revolutionaries in particular has their eyes set on any Genie they can get their hands on. When Matilda’s boyfriend (ex-boyfriend) kidnaps Connie, her older sister has to figure out a way to rescue her. Even though she’s the one without any useful genetic abilities.
This bundle of comics features The White Rat (a look into the lives rats live), Why? (a semi-autobiographical mini comic about someone’s thoughts and inner struggles), The Fallen (a silent tale of the afterlife shown in powerful inked illustrations) and NJ’s VanCAF Adventure (an autobiographical retelling of the artist’s experience during the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival of 2018). Also included in this bundle are two randomly selected mini-prints of illustrations by the artist.
If you create your own comics and intend to sell them at conventions, there are a couple of Canadian comic conventions you may be interested in:
- Toronto Comics Art Festival. TCAF is the biggest indie comics convention in Canada. It is celebration of comics and graphic novels and their creators, which culminates in a two-day exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of comics creators from around the world. Other festival events include readings, interviews, panels, workshops, gallery shows, art installations, and much more.
- Prairie Comics Festival. It’s a Winnipeg comics convention in May celebrating the best in comics creation, a great opportunity for artists, writers, and publishers to interact with fans, promote their material, sell their wares, and meet other creators. Eligible content includes webcomics, print comics, graphic novels, zines, comics in non-traditional formats, and cartoons.
Both of these festivals are currently open for application, so give them a look.
Review by Matthew Nielsen
Hipira, written by Katsuhiro Otomo and illustrated by Shinji Kimura, is a charming children’s book about the adventures of a young vampire. Kimura’s artwork is vividly colourful, rich and finely painted. It is also stylised in a fantastic, crooked sort of way, somewhat reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The book is short, but the stories are appealing and fun, and a lot is achieved. It’s good for adults who can appreciate the art, and also good for the kids who want adventures.