kelly chen


Kickstarter for “Halfsoul,” a fantasy-based graphic novel exploring mental health


For the month of May, SWKart is running a kickstarter for a graphic novel entitled Halfsoul, which deals with mental illness within a fantasy context. The story is set in a world where it’s possible to trade half of one’s soul for the power to grant one’s wish. Those who do become “halfsouls” and are often hunted for elimination. Follow the journey of four halfsoul hunters, with their own personal and questionable histories with halfsouls. What appears to be black and white becomes a story of vulnerability, mental illness, and recovery.

SWKart is run by Kelly Chen, who recently graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. When asked about her motivations for creating Halfsoul, she replied: “One of the things I’ve noticed is mental illness/ trauma stories tend to focus on the tragedy without much focus on the recovery. I don’t want Halfsoul to follow that path. It’s never a clear-cut journey to recovery, but I am trying to write the story with a focus towards recovery.”

To learn more about this compelling local graphic novel, visit the Halfsoul Kickstarter page.

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Cloudscape’s Cloud Shops 2

Are you already making comics, but want to take it to the next level? Or perhaps you’re a writer or an artist, but comics are a new challenge and you’re looking for some professional advice? As always, Cloudscape Comics is here to help you learn! We are pleased to present our first ever workshop series for developing youth and adult comic artists. Cloud Shops is a series of free lessons delivered by talented, established comic artists living in British Columbia that will cover all topics related to comics creation, from typography and digital inking to anatomy, storytelling, and even learning how to create sculptures of your characters from modelling clay.

The particular workshops will be:

  • Aug 24 – Jeff Ellis – Manga Studio
    Learn some tools and tricks for making comics using Manga Studio (aka Clip Studio), from thumbnailing to penciling, inking, colouring, and lettering.
  • Aug 31 – Jade McGilvray – Sculpture and Bust Making
    Learn how to create sculptures for art references, wargaming, or just for fun!
  • Sept 6 – Anat Rabkin – Excel For Cartoonists
    Bookkeeper (and Cloudscape treasurer) Anat Rabkin will teach you how to use Microsoft Excel to manage your art career and keep track of your self-employment income.
  • Sept 7 – Jade McGilvray & Hannah Myers – Drawing Human Anatomy
    Improve your ability to draw the human figure by going over how humans are actually put together.
  • Sept 14 – Kathleen Jacques – Lettering and Typography
    No comic is complete without lettering. Learn how to make your text pop, your sound-effects carry weight, and your pages sparkle.
  • Sept 20 – Kelly Chen – Making Minis and Zines
    Learn how to bind and assemble various kinds of zines and minicomics!
  • Sept 21 – Steve LeCouilliard – Storytelling for Comics
    Tighten up your storytelling chops with veteran comicker and animation storyboarder Steve LeCouilliard.
  • Sept 28 – Vanessa Kelly – Composition
    Study how to better compose panels, choose moments, manage transitions, and arrange your pages. This is the fundamental anatomy of the comics medium.
  • Oct 5 – Alina Pete – Drawing Four-legged Animals
    Drawing animals is hard! Learn how to better draw horses, dogs, cats, tigers, bears, and any other four-legged friends.
  • Oct 12 – Jonathon Dalton – Perspective
    Spend some time polishing your backgrounds with some handy tricks for drawing any number of vanishing points with as few headaches as possible.

Hope to see you there!

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