05 December 2009
19 August 2009
07 August 2009
05 August 2009
29 July 2009
18 July 2009
14 July 2009
09 July 2009
01 July 2009
30 June 2009
25 June 2009
13 June 2009
11 June 2009
04 June 2009
30 May 2009
29 May 2009
28 May 2009
27 May 2009
20 May 2009
18 May 2009
14 May 2009
12 May 2009
Friday night's opening event at Harbourfront included an address by Adrian Tomine and Seth, followed by an interview between Tomine and comic artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Seth's speech was rather protracted. Though I'm not a fan (obviously) of his tendency to deride people who wish to draw accurately or naturalistically in comic narratives, I did truly appreciate his observation that comics (cartoons, specifically) are a coalescence of graphic design and poetry. It's true. They can't quite be called drawing; cartoons are collections of shapes designed to represent people, places, things, and to convey a message, meaning, story. And it does become poetry, when one can successfully convey something human through a strategic co-mingling of non-human shapes. An excellent medium.
the event itself.
The festival was at the Toronto Reference Library, which is so my frequent haunting ground it was like showing up in my living room and inviting the public in for a look. The festival represented the same mix of exhilaration and melancholy I find doing all most book fairs this last while. Really overwhelming how much Good work there is, and sometimes hard to feel at home when what I'm up too seems rather out of place with the predominance of more cartoon-oriented comics. I also envy peoples' ability to tell stories simply.
The melancholy was, however, completely trumped by checking out the GOLD that is the work/publications of Tom Neely, Brett Warnock (Top Shelf), Dylan Williams (Sparkplug comics), Brian Musikoff and ever Shannon Gerard.
adolescence vs. real life.
And then there was Anke Feuchtenberger, (visiting from Berlin) who did a talk about her work. She and Renée French make me understand the phenomenon of fanboy-ism, when I actually went and lined up for the first autograph of my life. Embarrassing but true.
Anyhow, when Feuchtenberger was discussing her "W the Whore" series of books, it was commented on that the main character changes guise in each episode, almost to a point of being unrecognizable, except for her name. (In one of the books she looks a modern full-grown woman, in another a small child, etc.) This is only possible in visual narratives, as a written book doesn't do the work of description quite as accurately. A name is a name, and the reader fills in the rest.
The effect of this is of creating a really timeless narrative of this character in these surreal environments. Anyhow, this idea came up that during adolescence we live in a haze of clichés and ideas, and it is with adulthood that these are tempered by what is actually possible. Hence the development of this character whose only real consistency is through her name.
Just thought that was neat.
the word "hobby".
Feuchtenberger also pointed out whilst speaking on a panel about European comics that she still considers her comics-making to be a hobby. As the pay she receives is never commensurate with the work she does, she said that her books were really a "gift" to her publisher. (She is an art professor in Hamburg, I think, by trade) It was an important moment, to have someone whose work I revere a great deal point out that it is not her living; that comics are not a realistic trade. Yes, 35, and I still labour under ridiculous delusions, 'tis true.
There is no "arrival" in this business. Or rather, doing the work="arrival". It is easier to accept this, unfortunately, when it come from further up the proverbial ladder. It took some of the sting out of the word "hobby", to have someone use said word, who so obviously is dedicated to her work as Work.
The calibre of work at the festival, and the quantity of it made me realize how long it's been since I've been around people concerned with pictures/words co-existing as a medium, and was fundamentally inspiring. Thank God(s).
08 May 2009
07 May 2009
05 May 2009
04 May 2009
02 May 2009
28 April 2009
27 April 2009
26 April 2009
THAT is what I want to know.
24 April 2009
23 April 2009
Ass is ass. Doesn't matter how good the story is or the drawings look.
22 April 2009
The following are selections from said definition:
- operation of a force in producing movement or other physical change
- something to do or to be done
- literary or musical composition, product of any fine art as statue, picture etc.; person's writings, compositions, paintings, etc as a whole
- internal mechanism, moving parts of piece of machinery
- Engage, be engaged, in bodily or mental work; make effort; be craftsman (in some material)
- Carry on, manage, control; have influence or effect, exercise influence on; bring about, effect, accomplish, produce as result.
- gradually become (tight, free, etc) by motion
- Knead, hammer, fashion, into shape or desired consistency; artificially and gradually excite (person) into (a rage, etc)
- bring gradually to efficient state; elaborate in description; advance gradually to (climax); excite, incite, stir up, arouse (to)
- stir up, make up (materials), compose, produce, construct; study (subject) carefully and in detail.
I Love work.
Everything should involve work.
20 April 2009
A while back I made mention of my Draw Cuter Things campaign, and perhaps this is what prompted the subject matter, tho' of course never far removed from my trademark Bleak.
In my dream there was a bird bleeding to death that flew in the door and landed in my apartment (which of course wasn't my apartment) I was horrified, grabbed it and put it out the door into a flower pot, so it had somewhere to nest while I called the SPCA (or whoever one calls). It came back in and there was blood Everywhere. I put it out again.
Then I was lying on the floor looking at a baby bunny that came out of nowhere (oh cuter things) and the bleeding bird came back in and settled on my back and would Not be removed.
I wonder if anyone can be committed based on random blog entries like this.
So as with life, so with Art.
18 April 2009
17 April 2009
10 April 2009
Boring details about my eating habits, followed by the revelatory nature of High Park and the humble tomato.
08 April 2009
07 April 2009
05 April 2009
02 April 2009
01 April 2009
31 March 2009
Why does navel-gazing get such a bad rap? (skip past pictures for actual post, my dear english reader(s))
29 March 2009
28 March 2009
(address taken out 'coz in these days of wine and google, nobody's safe!)
I asked the handful of people I know who are living in NY, but none were responsible. I found out, incidentally, that a friend of mine who teaches comic stuff in NY in fact gets his students to make comics based on overheard/unfinished conversations of strangers.
Anyhow. The handwriting is Really Familiar. And tho' the mystery is half the appeal, I can't stop wondering. I've had it perched on the shelf above my drafting table since.
Then this morning I think I got it.
KATHY H., IS THIS YOU?!?!
I have all your other postcards somewhere, SOMEWHERE, but I have four suitcases of old letters and can't find them to double check. SEVENTEEN YEARS, if so. COOLLL!!!!
...beauty is something to be found, rather than passively encountered...it requires us to pick up on certain details, to identify the whiteness of a cotton dress, the reflection of the sea on the hull of a yacht, or the contrast between the color of a jockey's coat and his face. It also emphasizes how vulnerable we are to depression when the [painters] of the world choose not to go on holiday and the pre-prepared images run out...
25 March 2009
This photo found whilst going through reference material. Don't remember it being taken AT ALL, or who took it, even. I always find it odd when that happens.
24 March 2009
This shot also from the Spring Equinox on Toronto Island on the weekend. (The best shots aren't mine; this for now.)
About this fire.
I Love fire, and I Envy it too.
It's so astounding to me how it's Just Fire. Everything/everyone can sit with each other, strangers, say nothing, do nothing, for hours, just staring at fire. There are no questions, no doubts, no debates.
It's Peace in the face of something so Fundamentally Dangerous.
Somehow it feels like all the answers are in that.
How can fire breed calm, in such an effortless way? HOW?!? 'Coz it does. I could stare at it Forever and Happily so.
22 March 2009
How people can resist it at all, ever, is just Simply Beyond Me.
photo by Chriz Miller
15 March 2009
13 March 2009
11 March 2009
09 March 2009
Last night I lay awake wondering if this is in fact a good thing.There is alot of ordinary life to be lived, what does one do with it all in contrast?
Anyhow. I'm without my computer for a week due to a faulty logic board, which keeps it from going to sleep. (Here I thought it was just taking on its owner's characteristics)
Needless to say being at the mercy of other peoples' computers at work and otherwise is going to drive me just shy of Completely insane. God. Where's that heroin, again?
Of course this bodes well for drawing, so yay!
05 March 2009
Dearest reader(s), do remember, if you like what you see, you can still buy a BOOK (yes, a real printed book of the matter) from ME! They are available here.
Just think: you can bring books to bed with you, while Top Shelf 2.0, is restricted to computer viewing. (Unless, forsooth, you are prone to bringing your laptop to bed. If this is the case, likely you have far more entertaining materials on there than my small booklets, and can therefore feel free to forgo the rest of this posting)
03 March 2009
Which means they have know me over many chapters, really.
Here's to sending that in the mail.
(click on image for full size)
02 March 2009
There are five archival boxes of completed drawings in my home. At least a dozen more drawings/paintings on the walls. We won't even attempt to count the books, visual ephemera at least 500 postcards strong, etc etc.