Happenings – The Dragon Mini-Con – Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The Dragon – Spring Mini-Con – Sunday, March 4 from 1-5 pm

6 great creators!

Becky Cloonan – Conan #1 book launch
Ross Campbell – Glory #23 book lauch
Francis Manapul (Flash)
Marcus To (Huntress, new artist on Batwing)
Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing)
Agnes Garbowska

Time – Sunday, March 4 from 1 – 5 pm

Location – The Dragon – Old Quebec St. Mall, 55 Wyndham St. N., Guelph, ON

There is a Parking garage aoff Macdonell Street & 2 hour free parking in the downtown core.

2010 & 2011 Eisner Award Finalists, The Dragon is proud to host a stellar lineup of creators for our March 4th in-store event.

Come to Guelph, get great access to top talent, check out our new store location and our awesome selection of Kids comics, Independent comics and Self-Published comics and zines.

Follow us on twitter: @dragonguelph

Our website: www.thedragonweb.com

Our Facebook page

What happened to February?!?

My apologies for the lack of posts of late, but I just wanted to provide a quick update:

- The nomination process is still underway for the 2012 awards. The nominating committees still have another month or so to deliver their selections for the various categories, and we are still planning to announce them in early April.

- Lots of upcoming events that will no doubt keep many people quite occupied — in March there’s the Toronto ComiCon. In April there’s the FDBDFQ in Quebec City, the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con, the Kazoo! Fest in Guelph, Fan Expo Vancouver, and the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. May sees Free Comic Book Day, TCAF, the new Ottawa Comic Con, and Anime North. Chances are I’ve missed some! The ones in bold are the ones I’m going to try and go to this year, a couple of them I’ll be there for sure, as I’ll be working on them.

- There’s been a lot of talk about what is and isn’t allowed for creators using licensed characters  I’m more inclined to suggest patience and that if you are concerned that perhaps you are violating a publishers copyright and trademarks that you seek some clarifications where possible, and if you don’t get them that you concentrate on using your own creations or use generic subjects and/or public domain characters, or those characters where there are no permission issues. Better to err on the side of caution, even though it may be a non-issue.

- Sequential mentions that a possible library strike has the potential to derail TCAF in May, let’s hope that a solution is found and that this is averted. With all of the planned launches around that event in early May, I sincerely hope that there is a back-up contingency plan in place in case it does happen. Knowing the folks who organize the event, I would surmise that this is under control.

- Don’t forget that this is a leap year — Wednesday, February 29th is also new comics day! Enjoy the special day by going in to support your local retailer.

The Song of Otto Features Reimagined Roncesvalles Village

Image

The Song of Otto, originally published as a prose re-imagining of the medieval epic Le Chanson de Roland, is now being serialised on HiLobrow.com as a comic.  The original story having been set in Roncesvalles, France, The Song of Otto takes place in a futuristic Roncesvalles Village, depicting the final crusade of a group of kids led by a boy named Otto.  The first installment of the comic was published Monday, February 12th and the series will run for nine consecutive days. 

The artist, Frank Fiorentino, is an OCAD graduate and freelance illustrator now living in London, England.  The author, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, is a novelist and short fiction writer teaching at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph.

You can follow The Song of Otto here.

Help “Little Heart” Anthology get published! Featuring Emily Carroll!

Here’s another great project that needs your help! Little Heart is a comics anthology created to show support for marriage equality. It was initially created to raise awareness of a coming referendum in Minnesota, but it’s spread much wider. It also happens to feature JSA winner Emily Carroll and her fiancee Kate Craig, as well as many other great artists, plus a forward written by TCAF co-founder Christopher Butcher. The campaign is doing quite well so far but needs all the support it can get. Head over to Kickstarter to donate!

Happenings: FDBFQ – April 11-15, 2012 in Quebec City, QC

It’s a milestone year for the annual Festival de la bande dessinée francophone de Québec (which roughly translates as the Quebec Festival of Francophone Comics)  which is scheduled to run from April 11th through to April 15th in Quebec City. The details on the event have yet to be released, but given the star power the event has drawn in the past from Quebec and the European comics scene, one would expect to see a lot of the stars of the BD community there.

The Prix Bédéis Causa, for the best Francophone comics from Quebec and abroad will be presented at the FBDFQ. If they follow the normal pattern, the nominees will be announced in early March. The nominees are selected from new releases published between March 2011 and February 2012.

Here’s a list of notable BD releases by Quebec creators in 2011, most of which are eligible for consideration. All of the list below are eligible for consideration for a Joe Shuster Award in various categories (Artist, Writer, Cartoonist, Cover Artist, and Comics for Kids). They cover the gamut from serious, artistic comics, to humour publications for children. In between there are autobiographical, historical, action-adventure, crime, horror, science fiction, and much, much more: expect to see many of these mentioned on this site as the nominations for the Bédéis Causa, Bédélys and Joe Shusters are announced this spring.

TITLE PUBLISHER
À LA FAVEUR DE LA NUIT LES IMPRESSIONS NOUVELLES
ACADEMIE DES CHASSEURS DE PRIMES T.2.5: EN VACANCES! LES 400 COUPS
ARIANE ET NICOLAS T.6 : LES TOILES MYSTERIEUSES LES 400 COUPS
ASPIC: DETECTIVES DE L’ETRANGE T. 2: L’OR DU VICE QUADRANTS
ASYMPTOTE T.1 : LA FIN DU MONDE LES 400 COUPS
AU PAYS DE LA MEMOIRE BLANCHE SARBACENE
BIODOME T.1: DANS LE SENS DU POIL BOOMERANG
BONI T.1: LE BOUT DE LA CAROTTE EDITIONS PREMIERES LIGNES
CHRONIQUES DE JERUSALEM DELCOURT
CHRONIQUES SAUVAGES GLENAT QUEBEC
COEURS D’ARGINE PREMIERES LIGNES
COMEDIE SENTIMENTALE PORNOGRAPHIQUE SHAMPOOING
CONVENTUM DELCOURT
CRÉPUSCULE DES DIEUX T.5: KRIENHILDE SOLEIL
EL SPECTRO T.1: LES MUTANTS DE LA LUNE ROUGE LOMBARD
FAUNE TOME 3: SABOTS DE NEIGE LA PASTEQUE
G8 GLENAT QUEBEC
GANGS DE RUE T.1: LES ROUGES CONTRE LES BLEUS UN MONDE DIFFERENT
GOBLINS T.5: LA FLEUR AU CANON SOLEIL
HAVEN T.1: L’EXIL ÉDITIONS SOLEIL
LA BETE DU LAC: LE GARDIAEN GLENAT QUEBEC
LA MER LA PASTEQUE
L’AGENT JEAN T.1: LE CERVEAU DE L’APOCALYPSE PRESSES AVENTURE
L’APOGEE DES DRAGONS T.1: L’HERITAGE ANCESTRAL SOLEIL
L’ASTARAH PREMIERES LIGNES
LE DEMON DU HOCKEY GLENAT QUEBEC
LE DRAGON BLEU ALTO
LE FOND DE TROU LA PASTEQUE
LE TESTAMENT DU CAPITAINE CROWN T.1: CINQ ENFANTS DU PUTAIN SOLEIL
LES COLLINS T.1: LE DERNIER SOUPER AXAR PRODUCTIONS
LES NOMBRILS TOME 5: UN COUPLE D’ENFER DUPUIS
LES VOISINS D’EN FACE T.1 BOOMERANG
LIONEL ET NOOGA T.2: FAHRENHEIT 14 LES 400 COUPS
MADEMOISELLE T.4: L’ARME FOETELE GLENAT QUEBEC
MILE END POW POW
MOTEL GALACTIC POW POW
NOCTURNE LA PASTEQUE
OBJETS LA PASTEQUE
PAIN DE VIANDE AVEC DISSONANCES POW POW
PAUL AU PARC LA PASTEQUE
PHOBIES DES MONENTS SEULS POW POW
PSYKOPARIS T.1 SOLEIL
QUI EST ANA MENDIETA? REMUE-MENAGE
RADISSON T.3 – COUREURS DES BOIS GLENAT QUEBEC
RAPA NUI T.1 : DECOUVERT CLAIR DE LUNE
RECONQUETTES TOME 1: LA HORDE DES VIVANTS LOMBARD
REWIND GLENAT QUEBEC
SECTION DES HOMICIDES T.1 : FUREUR MEURTRIERE LES 400 COUPS
SIMON NIAN T.3: L’EXPOSITION MAUDITE GLENAT
TITI KRAPOUTI & CIE T.2: L’EXODE DES CERVEAUX GLENAT QUEBEC
UNE ANNEE EN QUARANTINE LES INTOUCHABLES
WHITE CROWS T.1: COEUR D’ACIER SOLEIL
YUNA T.3: L’OMBRE DE LA TARASQUE SOLEIL

Happenings: Kazoo! Zine & Comic Expo April 14, 2012 in Guelph, ON

Poster designed by Camp Pepper.

As part of Kazoo! Fest 2012, the Zine & Comic Expo will be held on Saturday April 14th in Guelph. The website will be updated soon with registration info and more information such as guests attending. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the Zine & Comic Expo please email kazoo.zine (at) gmail.com.

The Kazoo! Zine & Comic Expo is brought to you by our friends at The Dragon in Guelph, sponsors of the Comics for Kids Award and the Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing.

Happy 75th Birthday Prince Valiant!

The 1st strip by Canadian cartoonist and JSA Hall of Fame inductee HAL FOSTER debuted February 13th, 1937.

Excerpt from the Hall of Fame biography of Hal Foster by Phil Latter:

In 1937, Foster went to The United Features Syndicate, with his well-structured Derek, Son of Thane newspaper strip concept, with hundreds of conceptual drawings and notes. The title was later changed to Prince Arn, and then, later, to Prince Valiant. United Features Syndicate, however, turned the feature down! Foster then took it directly to the world-renowned tycoon newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. “Prince Valiant in The Days of King Arthur” first saw print on Feb.13, 1937.

JSA Status Update

Things may seem a little quieter than normal here at JSA central, but things are currently quite busy behind the scenes.

1. The nomination process is now underway – thanks to the feedback we received from creators and fans, the nominating committees are now reviewing the published materials from last year and have until the end of March to produce their short lists from which we’ll come to a consensus on who will be nominated this year.

Watch for the announcement of the 2012 nominees sometime in early April 2012. Ceremony is scheduled for September 15, 2012 in Montreal.

2012 Categories:
Outstanding Artist/Artist Team
Outstanding Cartoonist
Outstanding Cover Artist
Outstanding Writer
Outstanding Webcomic Creator/Creative Team
* Comics for Kids Beginner
** Comics for Kids Intermediate
Harry Kremer Retailer
Gene Day Self-Publisher
+ Hall of Fame

*/** To be determined by the nominating committee based on the number of eligible books. If there are enough for two categories, there will be a split between those written for beginning readers, and those written for older children.

2. Convention season is quickly creeping upon us. Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver are all gearing up for some major comics events between March and May. Toronto alone has one per month starting in March — PLUS Free Comic Book Day 2012 (on May 5 EVERYWHERE across Canada and the world).

Help Publish Murder Book Vol. 3!

I’m a big fan of crowdsourced comics, and here’s a chance to help out a JSA nominee! Ed Brisson’s fantastic Murder Book series has already had two issues published, and now Volume 3 is coming out in March. You can help out for $7 and get a fresh, signed copy when it’s printed, shipping included! Or even better, throw in a few dollars more and you can get the back issues of Murder Book as well as Ed’s amazing Acts Of Violence anthology.  It’s a great way to get money directly to the creators. Check it out at Indie Go-Go and choose your level of support.

New DC projects announced for Marcus To and Bernard Chang

With the Huntress mini-series coming to it’s conclusion in March, DC Comics has announced that artist Marcus To will be taking over the artistic reins on Batwing with the 9th issue.

Batwing #9 - cover by Marcus To

Bernard Chang returns as artist of DC Comics Presents with it’s 9th issue, for a story arc that focuses on the daughter of DC villain Vandal Savage, written by James Robinson.

 

Hourly Comic Day!

You may not have known it, but February 1 was Hourly Comic Day! This started officially last year, curated by the brilliant John Campbell, creator of Pictures For Sad Children. This year saw over 200 participants, and several Canadians joined in on the fun. The rules are simple: chronicle each hour of your day with a comic. There’s some great insights on the creative process here, and lots of cathartic venting as well. It’s a fascinating exercise, and well worth looking into. The whole forum is available here, but here’s a few of the Canadians who participated!

J. WojtysiakGothbunnies

Brian EvinouPsychic Drama

Ryan PequinThree Word Phrase

Boum  - Boumeries

Jennifer BarrettWerebears and Only Children

Dragon Lady closes

Joe Kilmartin, at the counter for the last day of business.

Yesterday afternoon, Debbie and I headed over to 609 College for the final open hours of John Biernat’s Dragon Lady Comics and Paper Nostalgia.

When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was that the familiar window had been covered by old newspapers. Inside, manager Joe Kilmartin and long-time employee Dave MacPherson were overseeing the packing up of the comic bins, putting them all in long boxes and putting them in the back for when they get picked up to be taken to Kitchener on Saturday and into storage. It was a bittersweet moment — everyone was in good spirits, laughing and joking as things got put away – commenting on this cover or that, looking over a stack of vintage war related magazines and comics, and discussing various items that had been discovered during the month-long process of emptying out the back storage room and the basement. We talked about old employees, and who had been in over the past month or so, and there were a few “whatever happened to?” questions.

Deb was excited by the classic Sgt. Fury comics Joe had near the front. Joe and DL employee Jessica are in the background

We spent some time discussing what of the old bins and racks we would need to move over to the new Comic Book Lounge location (at 587A College) and looking over the remaining graphic novel stock to see what we could use in the new store.

Over the next few days, the staff will be emptying out the remaining bins of old magazines and paper nostalgia, prepping them all for the move to Kitchener. They’ll be clearing out the bookshelves and packing them up to go to Kitchener or to the Lounge. Member files not picked up will be moved over to the Lounge as well.Everything has to be out by this Sunday.

At the end of the day, after Joe had locked the door, a man and his son were peering in through the door and wondering why the window was covered in newspapers. After we told him what was going on he said “I remember when this store opened up here on College… I stopped buying comics long ago, but this is my son and he would have been born shortly after you had opened here (his son looked about 14 or 15), but I’m trying to get him interested in comics, so this is disappointing we can’t go here anymore. We always talk about Superman when we pass by your window.” (The DL window had a Superman standee in the window). When we told him that the new store would be opening up next week, right next to the Mad Italian restaurant, you could see his son was getting excited. “We’ll be by to check it out next Friday when we’re here for dinner”.  “Can I bring one of my buddies?” his son asked, “he’s also into comics.

And so it goes… as one door closes, another is about to open.

Deb and Joe after locking up the store. The end of an era.

Hark! A Vagrant takes a … long period of slowness ?

All of her superstar success has resulted in Kate Beaton being offered a whole whack of new and interesting jobs. Jobs that will interfere with her work schedule on the webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, and she wants to let all her fans know what’s up.

Kate will be moving to Toronto, and working on a variety of long form projects.

“Webcomics are often cited as the future of comics and the internet and I don’t know what else, but the fact that no one has retired from them yet means that I, at least, rest a little uneasy in these shoes sometimes if only for the lack of having a dependable compass by which to steer the ship. I just want to make the best decisions I can, so that I will be around longer, making drawings and comics and writing and other things that I hope people will enjoy. “

Kate has aspirations to do other work, and has a desire to profit from her success, rightly so. The one aspect I find most interesting is the desire to placate the anonymous internet masses, a group that will surely turn their back on you the moment they lose interest and see something else shiny, which makes sense becauseit is these same internet masses that launched her into the cartooning stratosphere.

Despite her consternation, “I’ve been pacing the room about what decisions to make. … Anyway: to be honest with you, I’ve taken on freelance work in the past years and that’s been well and fine, but I’ve never given other long term projects a chance, because I can never detach myself from the website”, Beaton will be wildly successful in these new projects. Have faith, Kate! If you lose some of your internet-only fans, you’ll gain fans through these new paying jobs, and the success will continue.

People love cat jokes!

So it’s true…. DC Announces “Before Watchmen”

Rumoured for months, DC has officially announced the 2012 initiative to revive the Watchmen as an expanded franchise beyond the original Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons/John Higgins mini-series and best-selling graphic novel with a series of interconnected prequel mini-series.

Darwyn Cooke is involved and is doing a six-issue Minutemen mini-series, as well as writing a 4-issue Silk Spectre mini-series for artist Amanda Connor.

For Immediate Release:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).

BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo

MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke

COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones

DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes

NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert

OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee

SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner

Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.

“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.

“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

Rich Johnston is collecting quotes from the creators involved over at Bleeding Cool.