Sign-up for Cloudscape’s Cloudshops

If you wish to attend our free workshops on creating comics, sign up for them below:

  1. Writing Characters for Comics, August 26: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-writing-characters-for-comics/185074
  2. Drawing Characters with Strong Silhouettes, August 30:  https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-drawing-characters-with-silhouettes/185108
  3. Panel Composition, September 6: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-panel-composition-for-comics/185114
  4. Markers for Comics, September 13: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-markers-for-comics/185120
  5. Watercolour Tips and Techniques, September 20: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-watercolour-tips-and-techniques/185124
  6. Acrylic Tips and Techniques, September 27: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-acrylic-tips-and-techniques/185125
  7. Thumbnailing a Graphic Novel, October 4: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/cloudshops-thumbnailing-a-graphic-novel/185127
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Cloudscape Cloudshops: workshops in creating comics 1

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
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New member books available in Cloudscape store

We are happy to report that two more member books have been added to the Cloudscape store:

A Mad Tea Party by Jonathon Dalton

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.

 

 

White Rat and Other Stories by Matthew Nielsen

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.

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The TradeWaiters 51: “Fante Bukowski” by Noah Van Sciver

It’s like Goofus without Gallant. For this episode we read Fante Bukowski by Noah Van Sciver, a short, indie graphic novel about a failed writer who is basically the worst. Check out the book and then listen in to find out what Jess, Jon, and Jeff thought about it. We’ve got plenty of good writers’ tips to share, like don’t die, and manage your moose anger.

Also mentioned in this episode:
Blammo, The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln, and My Hot Date, also by Noah Van Sciver
As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Goofus and Gallant by Gary Cleveland Myers
Jon by Gale Galligan
Toast of London and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace written by Matt Berry
and Noah Van Sciver’s blog.

And our own projects:
Phobos and Deimos by Jonathon Dalton
Crossroads by Jeff Ellis
and Liquid Shell by Jess Pollard

Music by Sleuth.

Our next episode will be on I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura.

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

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Canadian Comic Conventions

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.

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Hipira

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.

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Book launch for latest Delilah Dirk – August 10

Join comic creator Tony Cliff to celebrate the release of his latest graphic novel, Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules.  Come for the signed, sketched-in books, stay for the company.

Time: August 10th, 7:00-10:00 PM
Place: Pulp Fiction Books at Main and Broadway, Vancouver

Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules is a bonafide globe-trotting, sword-swinging, tomb-raiding adventure, the third book in the critically-acclaimed NYT Bestselling Delilah Dirk series of graphic novels. All 240 full-colour pages are perfectly suitable for middle-grade readers and up.

For more information, visit the Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules event page.

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Feast of Fields – Broken Pencil

Jean Matthew reviews Sean Karemaker’s Feast of Fields in Broken Pencil #80:

“Autobiographical comics have never looked quite like Sean Karemaker’s Feast of Fields. The comic features wide, hand-drawn and intensely detailed black-and-white illustrations. Karemaker shares stories from his childhood, his time at school, and his evolving relationship with his mother…. The characters are constantly set as tiny figures in a large setting that span neighbourhoods, blocks, and intersections of an entire house…. Overall, Feast of Fields represents the deftness of a great writer and illustrator to translate highly personal anecdotes into a valuable reading experience. A truly great read and a promising start to this autobiographical comic series.”

For more, read “Feast of Fields Represents the Deftness of a Great Writer and Illustrator.”

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Last Look Trilogy

Review by Matthew Nielsen

The Last Look Trilogy (X’ed Out, The Hive and Sugar Skull) by Charles Burns follows a series of events and thoughts in the life of a young and somewhat unconventional artist named Doug, including his memories, fears, and ambitions. It is a surreal story in which the reader is taken back and forth between various points of a timeline, and even an alternate dreamworld. Reality and dreams are shown one after the other, and in which time and events are shuffled. As the story progresses, the mystery gradually dissolves, and by the end, all elements come together.

Burns makes several references to Tintin, such as the cover of X’ed Out bearing a striking resemblance to Tintin and the Shooting Star as well as evidence of Doug reading Nitnit comics in some panels. Burns also makes references to other comics, seen especially during the dream sequences in which the characters becomes stylized and drawn differently from the “real world” of the story.

Unlike the immense black and white intensity of Burns’ Black Hole graphic novel, the Last Look trilogy uses colour. However, Burns doesn’t hold back on detail, and there remain many strong and bold shadows. Burns’ approach to characters, especially the facial expressions (such as characters sometimes leaving their mouth open during a snapshot photo), adds a relatable kind of believability to the whole mixture.

All in all, if you’re interested in a surreal experience with timeline hopping and strong visuals, you might enjoy the Last Look trilogy.

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