Anise Shaw

An Introduction to Graphic Novels: Character Design 3

by Anise Shaw

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

These lessons are intended for beginners, those just trying their hand at comics for the first time and feeling overwhelmed. Feel free to discuss more advanced concepts in the comments!

Lesson 3: Character Design

Old Woman, character design.

Storytelling is comprised of three main elements: a setting, a plot and some characters. In this lesson we will go over a working methodology for creating compelling and original characters for your own stories or for a collaborative project. Creating characters is a great treat, and often the favourite exercise of writers everywhere. There are many ways to examine, develop and refine characters, but designing them is a completely different subject. Before one goes down the path of character design, we must first understand the foundation of the practice: design.

Design is about developing a working method to suit a function or need, as each instance of your design method will be different. For example, you may be a character designer, but designing a character for a comic or a video game or a novel are three very different instances. The goal is to create one method that can serve all three best. Your method is what makes you an artist, not your skill, perceived talent or even ideas (we’re post modern, remember? All ideas are derivative anyways). What defines one artist to the next is how they work through the method of taking an idea and translating into their visual (or audio, or performance, or whatever) form.

In this lesson, I will provide a simple framework that is commonly used and you can build upon it yourself. This is where the whole “there are no rules in art” comes in. For every suggestion, the opposite, the negation or something slightly different will work as well. Never say to yourself “I have this great idea, but it doesn’t fit the framework I learned in that graphic novels class”. That’s bullocks. Frameworks are supposed to help drive, define and ground ideas, not limit their existence. Be flexible, and allow your method to grow and evolve. Self reflect on your method, write these reflections down and be observant. Like we briefly discussed in the first class, being an artist is not just a profession, it’s a state of mind.

So, without further adieu, the character design framework.

1. Identify and understand your design problem.

  • why are you making this character?
  • what are the restrictions you’re working in? Media, deadline, target age group, function, etc, are all restrictions.
  • Your design problem may be simple or complex, they are as different as snowflakes. Do be honest with yourself, and don’t make something more complicated than it needs to be.

2. Analyze the problem and break it down into simpler elements

Your problem is you need to make a protagonist for a graphic novel (of an undetermined genre), break it down into:

  • The character functions visually, therefore has to be visually appealing
  • The character will be seen and heard (through speech bubbles), and therefore has to display their personality visually and through dialogue.
  • The characters will be in a long form story, and therefore has to have a complex personality that can be slowly examined
  • The character will be in print and therefore must translate well into that medium, both aesthetically and conceptually (this is why I think 3D rendered comics tend to look strange, they don’t fulfill this need).

At this point it’s time to do some idea making, which will be covered later in this lesson. Remember how I said there are all sorts of exercises for examining, developing and refining a character? Now’s the time to use them. The framework assumes that at this point you’ve done some brainstorming and are then ready to:

3. Choose the best idea.

This needs to solve all parts of the original design problem you identified in step 1.

4. Draw the Character.

You should have already been sketching, trying out different things and playing around in step 2. Now it’s time to do a technical drawing of the character – the good copy. Draw your character from many angles, with different costume if necessary, and get a good feel for who they are.

5. Evaluate the results.

Ask others what they think. Get them to try and guess who the character is to see if your were able to accurately depict their personality visually. Talk to people you trust and who are thoughtful, not to people who will want to spare your feelings. This is not the time to get squeamish, you need a really good character.

6. Rework the design if necessary.

A very simple, yet important step. I often have students who skip this step because they are simply “ready to move on”. While that might be an accurate feeling for more completed work (like trying to resist the urge to go back and redraw the first 10 pages of your comic because you’re drawing has improved – that’s a “move on” moment), during the design process a small moment of reflection and reworking is necessary. Grab the red pen and make the changes that need to be made.

Now the process is finished and you should have a pretty good foundation for a character. In the next lesson we move into the hard part: making the actual comic.

Step 2 Expanded

The design problem in our class is simple. We need to come up with a character (or a few characters) that can be the cast of our comics. All of the above expansions that I outlined in step two still apply. While comics have a literary component, they are visual as well. The visual design of our character is going to be as important as their literary content.

When at this step of the design process, ideas are king. We want to have many of them and have the freedom to develop them in different ways. I have some exercise suggestions, but there are many more available online, in books and from other artists. Feel free to add these to your library of idea generating methods.

  • Observation. The goldmine of ideas. Wei and myself come up with great characters by just observing people in public, on transit or in cafes and letting our imaginations run wild.
  • Brainstorm with others. Get into the mode where nothing is unacceptable and no idea is too wild and just run with it. It’s amazing how differently two people think, and putting them together can yield fantastic results.
  • Locate reference materials. Pictures, clippings, movies, television, books, magazines. Everything is reference. It’s not just visual either, characters in other novels can start as the foundation for something new.
  • Use word play and mind mapping. Automatic writing is fantastic. We’re in idea mode, turn off your critical brain and let things flow. You can scrutinize later.
  • Fantasize about your characters. Daydream scenarios, think of how they would speak. You can even turn them into temporary imaginary friends. Anything to get the ideas going.
  • Look for symbolism and myth. Archetypes can make very solid character foundations.

Sketching Your Character

Character sketches

You need to get that pencil moving. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, stays in your head. That’s a terrible place for ideas. Write and draw on the same pages, don’t pre-organise yourself in the idea stage. Story ideas don’t need to start in a word processor on the computer and characters don’t need to start hand drawn (why not try some collage?). Here are some things to think about with the visuality of your character:

  • Shapes. Play with them, they are powerful tools. Their counterparts are scale and proportions, so play with those as well.
  • Expression exercises. Try the 25 Expression Challenge, a popular meme on Deviant Art. I use it all the time.
  • The five dot exercise: Get someone to draw five random dots on a piece of paper. You then choose two of the dots to be hands, two to be feet and one to be the head of your character. Now you have to draw your character in those constraints (you can get some great, twisted positions).
  • Add and subtract elements from a sketch. Either physically with an eraser, or by redrawing.
  • Shift elements, reshape, skew, squash, stretch, etc.

Character Design Exercise

We’re going to create a character for our graphic novel project that we will start in the next class. You may follow this process or a different process for other characters, but for now we’ll try out a pre-described method to see how the process works.

Our design problem: we need to create a visual, drawn character for a graphic novel that will serve as our protagonist. We need to finish this in roughly a week.

We break it down into the following elements:

  • Our character is visual and needs to be visually appealing
  • Our character will be drawn repeatedly, and can therefore not be too complicated
  • Our character will be the protagonist, so they need strong desires and conflicts and a concise history.

Example Mind Map


Start with a mind map, starting with the character’s role in the middle: protagonist. Begin associating words and writing them down. Think with your senses as well as your imagination, and don’t censor yourself. When you are finished, it’s time to refine the mind map. Circle the words that stand out to you, that describe a character you would be interested in. Don’t worry if other will be interested at this point, if you’re not then there’s no point in choosing it.

Create the physical character, with words and sketches:

  • General physical description
  • Body type
  • Proportions
  • Material make-up (is your character flesh, robotics, alien, or anything else?)
  • Gender
  • Surface texture
  • Colour
  • Facial Structure
  • Movement (how does your character physically carry themselves?)

Create a character history. A character’s life never begins at the beginning of your story, and the most believable characters will act in ways that expose their past experiences. Character histories are important, but don’t need to be complicated. Look for elements that will create desires and conflicts, the essence of any plot. You need to describe the following:

  • Your character’s personality
  • a quick timeline of your character’s past, present and future.

Lastly we’re going to do two things – the 25 Expression Challenge for your character. Don’t be discourages if you don’t finish them all, just try as many as you can. Don’t pick expressions that you think will suit your character, pick them at random.

Then we are going to start thinking about character motivation. I want you to three short paragraphs. Each will a single event from the character’s life told from three different perspectives:

  • Telling the story to a stranger. How does your character want to be perceived? How much information are they going to reveal?
  • Telling the story to a close friend. How will they confide in them?
  • Telling the story to themselves. What would they never tell to anyone else.

After this, you should have a character that’s good to go for a final, good copy drawing! Feel free to post your work, sketches, mind maps, writings and finished drawings. I’d like to see how other people design their characters!

Part One | Part Two | Part Three


An Introduction to Graphic Novels: Basic Cinematography and Perspective

by Anise Shaw

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Lesson 2: Basic Cinematography and Perspective

Now that we have practiced going from panel to panel, now it’s time to focus on what will go in those panels. Let’s think of our panel as the frame of a photograph, and what we choose to put in is the same process as what we choose to take a picture of. Therefore, our frame is a camera. We want to use this camera to capture points of interest and to effect our story in different ways. We can accomplish this by using Point of View (POV) to our advantage.

Even though we are working with a two dimensional medium, we have to think three dimensionally. Cinematography is this process, and we need to consider three different perspectives (or axis).


This is moving the camera on the Y axis, or up and down. In drawing, this is directly related to where we put our horizon line, so keep your shot in mind when you begin a drawing using one or two point perspective. The extremes of moving the camera in this way are:

Bird’s Eye View

When we look down on a scene like a bird, we are looking from bird’s eye view. This is a great way to show the layout of a space, but also carries with it the feeling of being larger than life. The bird’s eye view is both whimsical and analytical, and can quickly create a sense of dissociation with a scene. Bird’s eye view is accomplished by placing the horizon line around the top of your page, or even higher and off the page.

Worm’s Eye View

This view is from underneath, and allows the reader to feel small and overpowered. The worm’s eye view is effective for showing the impact of a structure or scene and it’s imposing nature. Using this perspective often will create a sense of foreboding and perhaps even helplessness. We can make a worm’s eye drawing by place our horizon line low on our page.


picture drawings!

Eye Level

Eye level, or anything around eye level, is a perspective that creates a strong sense of reader identification. This is how we see things everyday, and we feel like we’re a part of these scenes when we see them in comics, movies and television. Perspectives hovering around eye level are the most popular, as having an extreme feel to your scene is usually reserved for particular moments. We create an eye level drawing by placing the horizon line around the middle of the page.


This is moving the camera on the Z axis, or back and forth. We change the distance of our drawings by drawing elements larger and cropping them.

I draw fastThree different distances in sequence

There are different distances and different ways to use them. Choosing your distances will be of huge importance, so don’t be afraid to play with them. Here are the different kinds of distances:

  • Long shot: this is a shot that allows you to show a significant amount of background. Use these to establish location, positioning of characters and to distance the reader from the characters. Perhaps even to create a sense of isolation
  • Medium shot: a bit closer, we don’t see as much background and a character or object is framed as the focus of the drawing. Medium shots are great to show action, two or three people physically interacting, or someone interacting with the surroundings. Medium shots are one of the most common, I know I like to use them a lot.
  • Head shot: a picture or panel of a character or subject where it fills the whole picture. Usually from the chest up on a person. Background is minimal or non-existent, and you don’t want to cram too many people in.
  • Close up: focusing the camera closely on a person or object, usually for dramatic effect.


This is moving on the X axis, or around something. We change our rotation to get a better look at something, to look at something from a character’s perspective, or a whole host of reasons. Changing the rotation of a drawing may help it to go from sterile to dynamic. In wondering why a picture or panel isn’t working, try to shift the rotation and it will most likely fix major composition problems.

Use rotation to your advantage in storytelling.

The Static vs the Dynamic Camera

Keeping the “camera” in one position for a series of panels is using a “static camera”, while changing height, distance and rotation from panel to panel is a “dynamic camera”. Using either method will have a different effect on your story and pacing. There are comics that use one or the other exclusively and many mix the two techniques together.

  1. The static camera: showing small changes, slowing down the story, and emphasizing detail. The static camera can help you avoid melodrama when a tense moment has arrived, and be used to help the audience absorbed dense pieces of dialogue
  2. The dynamic camera: shows large actions well, creates drama and movement and helps to give an otherwise bland bit of sequencing a bit of visual interest.

The point is to try to keep balance for your story. If your story feels like it’s dragging, add a few camera changes. If it has an “action film” feel where it’s completely unnecessary, slow it down with a static camera. There is no “right formula”. Do what feels best for your story and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Exercise 1

Draw a four-panel comic of a person ordering and receiving coffee from a barista. Keep the panels evenly sized and the camera static on a particular point of interest. Describe to yourself how you feel about the sequence, pacing and cinematography.

Exercise 2

Draw another four panel comic with the same story. Continue to keep the panels evenly sized. This time, change the camera angle every panel to use the dynamic camera.

Panel Size

Comics have a special relationship to cinematography that television and movies do not. A television or movie screen is uniform, but we comic artists have the option of changing our panel sizes.

You remember last class when we discussed going from panel to panel occupying time? The same principle applies here, except the single panel also occupies time as well as the transition. As such, longer, more horizontal panels feel like they take “longer” than smaller, more square or vertical panels.

It’s very common for stories to start out with a long, horizontal panel, usually in a long shot format. This is called the establishing shot, and it allows our reader to get a sense of the story setting before being thrown into what the story is all about.

Exercise 3

This time when we redraw our 4 panel sequence, I want you to focus on panel size. You may extend your comic into 2 or 3 rows if necessary. The choice of dynamic or static camera (or a combination of both) is also up to you.

Tips for Perspective

  • Buy a good perspective book, don’t try to memorize the rules. You might break your brain.
  • Consider your horizon line for a moment, where you place it has importance
  • One point perspective will connote a feeling of traveling, or having a road laid out for you.
  • Two point perspective doesn’t tend to connote movement, but more the weight of objects themselves.
  • Use perspective to draw characters as well as background, or your characters will look like they’re pasted on.

Good luck and keep drawing!

Part One | Part Two | Part Three


Weekly Comic Round-Up

Here’s the latest thing that happened last week in Cloudscape webcomics:

1. A Mad-Tea Party by Jonathon Dalton. The New Youth decide their policy on nonhuman prisoners.

2. Teach English in Japan by Jeff Ellis and Jonathon Dalton. James starts teaching sooner than he expected..

3. Wasted Talent by Angela Melick. Eating jelly beans.

4. Ed’s R Us by Ed Appleby. Some elves aren’t big on Star Trek.

5. Sam and Fuzzy by Sam Logan. The Ninja Mafia Service is morally uplifting work.

6. Gobbleknoll by Sydney More. More problems with the carnivorous hill.

7. Homo Erectus by Sydney More. Canada has dirty birds.

8. Even in Arcadia by Anise Shaw. Even at the best of times, fae knights are intimidating.

9. Titanzer by Kevin Wilson. Giant Robot fist-fight!

10. Two Keys by Chloe Chan and Aliena Shoemaker. “Chapter 13: Two-Faces.” In which Colin and Lucas take the scenic route.

11. The Mystery Adventures of the Scout by Oliver. Leathertongues is not a nice man.


An Introduction to Graphic Novels: Sequences 1

by Anise Shaw

July 6th, 2011

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

These lessons are intended for beginners, those just trying their hand at comics for the first time and feeling overwhelmed. Feel free to discuss more advanced concepts in the comments!

Recently I was asked to teach an adult graphic novels class at Bonsor Community Centre in Burnaby. I jumped on the opportunity to work with an adult group, something that I don’t always get to do. As I was creating my lesson plans, I immediately had the idea that I should also put them on the Internet for others to follow along with the class. I also gave out my website address so my students could come back here to refresh their memory and look for supplementary material.  These lessons were originally posted to my website, Epidigm, but I thought that people who frequent the Cloudscape website might also find them useful.

Feel free to follow along with these lessons. I will be including the exercises and projects we did in class so you can do them at home as well. If you want to post links to your results, I may be able to come by and give critique (which is a hugely important part to learning, don’t avoid it!).

To see more tutorials about making comics, check out Cloudscape’s Comics 101 page.

Introduction to Graphic Novels

Before we get started on the actual learning, sometimes it’s nice to understand why you might be taking this course. I like to ask a few preliminary questions to find out what we already know.

  • Why are you interested in making graphic novels?
  • What is a graphic novel to you?
  • What do you hope to be able to do after these 8 weeks are over?

A graphic novel is a long form comic that can be about any subject your heart desires. The graphic novel has become a popular medium due to its breadth of content and long, involved storylines. Many graphic novels are one shots, like Craig Thompson’s Blankets, while others are serialized. In this class I will get you started on starting your own graphic novel, but we will not have time to do more that a short story.

In this class, I will consider you a comic artist and help you from that context. The next question, of course, is what does it mean to be a comic artist?

  • We think in sequence and pictures
  • We are prepared to show our art to a wide audience
  • We work in a reproduced medium, and must always have technical restrictions in mind
  • Our goal, no matter what kind of comic we make, is to make something clear, understandable and interesting.

Being a comic artist will take a bit of extra work, and there are things you can do outside of class to help improve your skills and get you into the mindset of making comics.

  • Try to do life drawing, I like to go once a week whenever I can.
  • Your sketchbook is your lifeblood, have one with you all the time. Having a pencil in your hand and actually drawing in this sketchbook will help too.
  • Spend time pulling apart TV shows and movies, comics’ sister sequential mediums, shot by shot. How do they deal with the camera, audience, story, etc?
  • Copy down conversations, listen to how people speak.
  • Read actively, especially comics, and pull it apart.
  • Start small. Short stories, one page comics and work yourself up to something bigger.


We’re going to study six sequence transitions as discussed by Scott McCloud in his book Understanding Comics. The essence of a comic is its panels, and the magic between those panels is our sequence. All of a reader’s assumptions happen during this sequence in what is called closure. Closure is our ability to take similar looking images and create a relationship between them. I highly recommend picking up a copy of McCloud’s book, as it’s essential reading for all comic artists.

McCloud has conveniently categorized these six transitions for us, but it’s important to remember that all categories are meant to be broken. By learning how to use these transitions, you may warp them to whatever benefit they will serve for your comic making purposes. Our panel is time. The particular unit of time that the panel takes-up is dependent upon its transitions.

Moment-to-moment sequence from Alan Moore’s “Watchmen”

1. Moment to Moment

This is the transition that uses the least amount of time; changes in panels take only seconds.
Moment to Moment transitions help to give a “slow motion” feel to a comic, making each second an important one, and bringing each action into stark relief. A great use of moment to moment transitions is to slow down the pace of a comic, and allow the reader a moment to breathe (haha, moment).

Action-to-action sequence from some old “Iron Man” comic.

2. Action to Action

This is often the transition you may find yourself using the most. This is because it uses closure to show the action of the body while not being as painfully slow as a moment to moment transition. With Action to Action, our first panel is the beginning of the action and our last panel is the end. We may need to put panels in between depending on the complexity of the action.

Subject-to-Subject sequence. “Psycomm” can be found at

3. Subject to Subject

We can push action in our panels one step further by using a Subject to Subject transition. Working within a singular subject or idea, this transition shows whatever might be necessary to get the idea across. This is also where we start to see subjective action, which is really prominent in Japanese comics.

Scene-to-scene sequence from “Watchmen”

4. Scene to Scene

All of the transitions up until this point have dealt with small amounts of time. However, Scene to Scene deals with jumps between large amounts of time and/or space. The scene to scene transition is a powerful tool that we can use to transport our audience to different times and places, with little to no explanation as to what has happened in between. Masterful use of the scene to scene transition even allows a comic writer to compress time, dealing with multiple moments at the same time, as shown by Alan Moore in Watchmen.

We know where we are, what has happened, and how we feel in this aspect-to-aspect sequence

5. Aspect to Aspect

Our fifth transition is a bit of an anomaly. While all of our previous transitions have dealt with the passing of time, Aspect to Aspect deals with no time at all. It effectively freezes time to establish a mood, feeling or emotion of a scene. Think of this transition as “the wandering eye”, looking around and taking quick snaps to understand what’s going on. Aspect to Aspect has not been a popular transition in most mainstream North American comics, mostly due to page count. Japanese comics and graphic novels, with their longer format, use aspect to aspect as a tool to help the reader become emotionally invested in what is happening. The master of the aspect to aspect transition will use it to help pace a comic, create a mood and establish something that has happened all at once.

6. Non-Sequitur

The final sequence places panels together with no relationship to each other. McCloud argues that the existence of non-sequitur sequences tells us something important: that no matter how dissimilar two images are, when we put them together we automatically start to look for a relationship. This is a crucial point to remember, because it means that during our quest for clarity, we don’t have to over explain. In fact, we can explain very little and readers will look for the understanding themselves.


Today we’re going to warm up with a simple exercise. We’re going to write a short one page comic, in which something simple happens, and we are going to focus on using at least three of the above transitions. Extra credit for anyone that uses the first 5 and an extra point for anyone who throws in a non-sequitur. The story of this comic is not so important as mastering the sequence of the panels. For now, keep your panels a uniform size to help emphasize this sequence. When we finish, we will take a look at what everyone has done and quickly discuss it.

Basic Drawing tips

  • Hold the pencil loosely and at least 2 inches away from the shaved wood of the tip. We want to put little pressure on the pencil while we are sketching
  • Create the overall page first, the meta details like quick panel layouts, main foci, speech bubbles and general shapes. Then move into the details.
  • Your eraser is not for erasing mistakes, it is a broom to be used to clean up your sketching work.
  • Draw lightly, or you will absolutely regret having to erase anything
  • Use your whole body to draw. Sit comfortably. Use your shoulder and elbow for large details and your wrist and fingers for small details.
  • Stay loose at the beginning, refine later.

Recommended Reading for Sequence

  1. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  2. Bone by Jeff Smith
  3. Anything by Jamie Hernandez
  4. Nausicaa by Hayao Miyazaki

Good luck and keep drawing!

Part One | Part Two | Part Three


Weekly Comic Round-Up

The latest news in Cloudscape webcomics:

1. Teach English in Japan by Jeff Ellis and Jonathan Dalton debates the Japanese work ethic.

2. Wasted Talent by Angela Melick shows how the riot in Vancouver gave a lot of buildings frowny faces.

3. In Ed’s R Us by Ed Appleby. Ed gets to change his hockey jersey back.

4. Sam and Fuzzy by Sam Logan reminds us that a dinosaur with a monocle controls everything.

5. Gobbleknoll by Sydney More. a rabbit tries to get Gobbleknoll the carnivorous hill to eat him.

6. Even in Arcadia by Anise Shaw reminds us that bigotry is everywhere. Perhaps even in Arcadia.

7. Titanzer by Kevin Wilson. “Thud!” is not a good sound.


Weekly Comic Round-Up

Here’s the latest thing that happened last week in Cloudscape webcomics:

1. A Mad Tea Party by Jonathon Dalton, a bus’ path is disrupted by a political march.

2. Teaching English in Japan by Jeff Ellis and Jonathon Dalton, James gets more of a feel for Ricky’s teaching style.

3. Wasted Talent by Angela Melick, the social effects of moving cubes is discussed.

4. Ed’s R Us by Ed Appleby, a larper throws a fireball at an elf.

5. Sam and Fuzzy by Sam Logan. Fart Trap.

6. Gobbleknoll by Sydney More. Rabbits must face a carnivorous hill.

7. Homo Erectus by Sydney More. Flawed garments.

8. Even in Arcadia by Anise Shaw. They won’t let her shop!

9. Titanzer by Kevin Wilson. Giant Robot attacks!


30 Days Project – Day 8

The Thirty Days Project is a practical way to fight Option Paralysis.

Creative people often have the luxury of being able to do anything but just as often end up doing nothing. Thirty Days Project is thirty deadlines; finish a piece of creative work by then end of each day. Visit their website to see more work from a diversity of artists and creators!

We are the team for the Cloudscape Comics Society! Here is what we’ve challenged ourselves to for today:

Jeff Ellis

Visit my website at

Reetta Linjama

Knights 7 & 8 ! (Click to see them big.) Yaaay, I sketched 2 knights today so I’m going to say I kind of caught up with my crazy yesterday.

For my knight-themed 30 Days Project with Cloudscape.

website / sketchblog / deviantArt / Tumblr / Twitter

Anise Shaw

Day 8 of the 30 Days Project. A mountain scene from Chengdu… I think 😛

For day 9, I’m going to do a Starcraft 2 environment. Mostly because my favourite SC2 caster is called Day[9] >.<

My comic!

Kevin Wilson

Day: 8 out of 30
Robot: Great Mazinger

Got jealous of Nuu’s young Magneto and Charles Xavier, so I tried my hand at some cute.

You can find my giant robot comic at, my tumblr at, and my portfolio at

Moses C


My terrible, terrible obligatory rock pun for the 30 day challenge. Enjoy, and I’ll have more tomorrow. 😀


PS. Again, my art is available at and

Bevan Thomas

Challenge: To every day do a section at least 300 words long of “World that Was,” my story about Brigida Byzantium’s childhood in a locked room with only her brother for companionship. The story will be written as a dramatic monologue.

World that Was Part 8
Brother, oh my brother, I am so afraid.

What will happened now?

About Cloudscape

The Cloudscape Comics Society is a Vancouver non-profit dedicated to supporting local comic artists. We publish anthologies, hold meetings and workshops and work with other community groups to promote comics. We meet weekly at the Grind Gallery and Cafe on Wednesdays at 7:30PM.


30 Days Project – Day 6

The Thirty Days Project is a practical way to fight Option Paralysis.

Creative people often have the luxury of being able to do anything but just as often end up doing nothing. Thirty Days Project is thirty deadlines; finish a piece of creative work by then end of each day. Visit their website to see more work from a diversity of artists and creators!

We are the team for the Cloudscape Comics Society! Here is what we’ve challenged ourselves to for Day 6:

Jeff Ellis

Visit my website at

Reeta Linjama

Marionette knight with neon accessories, for day 6 of my knight-themed 30 Days Project with Cloudscape.

Marker madness

Sooo laaate >[ Yesterday was so crazy. But, next one up sometime tonight.

website / sketchblog / deviantArt / Tumblr / Twitter

Anise Shaw

Environment 06 for the 30 Days Project. The Market from Monticlaire in Even in Arcadia

I’m behind 🙁 Oh well, not going to deter me from going forward. I’ve learned that failures in deadlines are just as important as successes and I must not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

As such, there will be no day 7 for me. Day 8, here I come.

Kevin Wilson

Day: 6 out of 30
Robot(s): Cutman and Garada K7

Cutbros gotta stick together.

You can find my giant robot comic at, my tumblr at, and my portfolio at

Moses C

This is a panel from my upcoming webcomic, The Prince of Trinita (
I finished flatting it and this character’s expression struck me as youtube poop-ish (If you’re not familiar with Youtube Poop, look it up on Youtube, and try to stand the non-sequiteur insanity that follows).
Anyhoo, enjoy, and I’ll have more amusingness tomorrow!


PS. Aside from the site for my webcomic listed above, you can also find my work at and

About Cloudscape

The Cloudscape Comics Society is a Vancouver non-profit dedicated to supporting local comic artists. We publish anthologies, hold meetings and workshops and work with other community groups to promote comics. We meet weekly at the Grind Gallery and Cafe on Wednesdays at 7:30PM.


Weekly Comic Round-Up

Once again, here’s what Cloudscape webcomics have been most recently been up to in this last week, in no particular order.

1. In Teaching English in Japan, by Jeff Ellis and Jonathan Dalton, James K tells the kids something about himself. 

2. In Even in Arcadia, by Anise Shaw, a woman eats a plum in front of some impressive airships.

3. In Sam and Fuzzy, by Sam Logan, Sam and Fuzzy become popular video game characters illustrated by Shortpack‘s David Willis.

4. In Wasted Talent, by Angela Melick, we are educated in hockey lore.

5. In The Adventures of Gog Mulligan, by Sydney More, Gog encounters a strange lady.

6. In Ed’s R Us, by Ed Appleby, Ed visits a comic shop.

7. In Much the Miller’s Son, by Steve LeCouilliard, Much is lost again and Book 3 ends.

8. In Titanzer, by Kevin Wilson, people discuss the ramifications of an alien invasion.


30 Days Project – Day 5

We are the Cloudscape Comics Society! Here is what we’ve challenged ourselves to for Day 5:

Jeff Ellis

Day 5: Patrick Sundstrom
Visit my website at

Reeta Linjama

Birthday of a Knight — Day 5/30 of my knight-themed 30 Days Project with Cloudscape happened to be Donut’s birthday, in honour of which I drew her as a knight. (Thanks for letting me post this and congrats again, 😀 )

She’s always chastising gravity, so obviously Gravity is her steed. Well, I forgot to draw reins on it, but Donut can just point her Starbucks Birthday cake pop to the direction she wants to go and Gravity will follow it. It seems like a hungry horse.

website / sketchblog / deviantArt / Tumblr / Twitter

Anise Shaw

Environment 05 (totally cheating again) – by Anise

This page has so many backgrounds and so much painting for it that it totally counts as environment practice.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

From my comic Even in Arcadia.

Kevin Wilson

Day: 5 out of 30
Robot: Combattler V
My status: Blugh

Poor Batty, still thinking yoyos are cool. Now if he used a scooter…

You can find my giant robot comic at, my tumblr at, and my portfolio at

Moses C

And now, ladies and gentlemen, an Oni (Japanese ogre) eating ice cream. Hey, even monsters like an icy treat every once in a while.


Once again, you can find my work through and Oh, and on DA, I have a contest on! For points! Check it out! 😀

Bevan Thomas

Challenge: To every day do a section at least 300 words long of “World that Was,” my story about Brigida Byzantium’s childhood in a locked room with only her brother for companionship. The story will be written as a dramatic monologue.

World that Was: Part 5

Ama, you are there? I am not alone? Oh praise – should I say “praise God?” Was he what brought you back to me, and thus is virtuous, or did he hide you from me and thus is vile, or did he do both and thus is fickle?

Oh, he plays with us, for he thinks us so little, trapped in the walls of the world, deep in the darkness. But we’ll show him, won’t we, my brother? Yes, we’ll show him that we have strength, that we have power. He created us and our pitiless prison, but we can overcome. We can be free.

He built our base bodies, yes, and our solid cell, and maybe the god of this world has power over them still, but oh my brother, there is one thing he cannot control, and that is our minds. They remain ours.

Sit in the centre, back to back, so our spines touch, so our heads meet.

Clasp your hands in mind, oh my brother, then close your eyes. Think and dream. Dream together. We have clawed at the wide walls, at the solid cell, unless our nails broke and bled. We screamed, we shrieked, until our throats almost split.

Fists cannot free, shrieks cannot save. But maybe our thoughts can rescue us.

Our prison has been prepared, our bodies bound, but God or demon or whatever built this dungeon dark cannot master our minds.

Where fingers failed, thoughts will succeed.

What do you dream of, my brother?

What do you dream? Let us dream it together.

What do you dream? I dream of… dream of….

Oh my brother, what is that that lies before us?

About Cloudscape

The Cloudscape Comics Society is a Vancouver non-profit dedicated to supporting local comic artists. We publish anthologies, hold meetings and workshops and work with other community groups to promote comics. We meet weekly at the Grind Gallery and Cafe on Wednesdays at 7:30PM.