The Song of Otto Features Reimagined Roncesvalles Village

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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.

Toronto Jewish Film Festival–People of the Comic Book Sidebar Series

 

Toronto’s 18th annual Jewish Film Festival features, this year, a Sidebar Series entitled “People of the Comic Book:  The Creators of Superheroes, Graphic Novels & Toons.”  Curator, Ellie Skrow, of TJFF highlights the Jewish role in comics and sequential art in her notes here with special mention, of course, of Jewish, Toronto-born creator, Joe Shuster.

A full listing of events in this TJFF Sidebar Series can be found on the official website here. “People of the Comic Book” kicks off Sunday, April 18th at Al Green Theatre at 11am with a ticketed free talk by Paul Buhle on “Jews and Comic Art” followed by a ticketed free forum discussion featuring Buhle, Harvey Pekar, Ben Katchor and some special guests in the same theatre at 4pm.

The film showings in this series begin on Monday, April 19th and wrap up Sunday, April 25th.  Of special interest is Canadian filmmaker, Ron Mann’s documentary “Comic Book Confidential,” showing Tues, April 20th at 2pm.  For tickets and further information on all TJFF events and screenings, please see the Toronto Jewish Film Festival website.

Joe Shuster Awards ceremony, after party & Word on the Street photos & report

(Ye Editor’s Note: The JSA’s Director of Publisher Relations Allison Covey is well-known for her photo-blogging, as she is very involved in a number of different activities and organizations. She just posted her photos from the Awards ceremony and Word on the Street which we thought you might enjoy!)


The 2009 Shuster Awards were held at the University of Toronto’s Innis Town Hall which was a great venue. The auditorium was the perfect size and gave things a more official feel than in years past where they were held at hotels and the library.


Jonathan Llyr of Hardcore Nerdity and SPACE was our host for the awards. He did a great job! I also loved the presentation behind each speaker. It’s adapted from the poster created by Francis Manapul and Agnes Garbowska.


Jason recorded the ceremony. You can access video and audio of the ceremony and see the full list of winners here.

I was on the committee that nominated the webcomics for the jury as well as another one that selected The Harry Kremer Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer Award. Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart won best webcomic. He wasn’t able to be there so Andy B. accepted the award for him wearing a Cameron Stewart mask. Hilarious!

Legends in Victoria, BC won for outstanding retailer. They were so excited, it was awesome to see. :) The store kinda reminds me of The Beguiling here in Toronto in that they stock a lot of unusual and indie stuff, not just superheroes and major publishers.

I’ll let you read about the awards on the official site or this is going to be a really long post. They went very well and I was especially impressed with the fact that everyone seemed very at ease when accepting. So many folks are terrified of public speaking that you really never know what you’ll get when you ask someone to say a few words but we lucked out for sure. :)

After the ceremony had concluded, everyone moved into the Innis Cafe down the hall for some socialising, snacks and and oppotunity to pick up artwork and books. Prior to the ceremnoy, the Visions of an Icon: Wolverine art was on display in the lobby.


I organised the food with another volunteer which was enthusiastically gobbled up. We served some cold cuts, fancy cheese + crackers, deviled eggs, croutdite, lumpia and samosas. I bet you can guess which dishes I brought. ;)


The crowd mingling. The awards are open to the public so there were quite a few curious comic fans and students amongst the nominated creators, their friends and family.


The program featuring the art by Francis and Agnes. We should have prints of the artwork (minus all the text) available soon.


I love Cakewrecks so I was secretly pleased but we made sure to cut and serve these gems before anyone else could snap a picture of their own. ;) Oh man, where to start? The alignment, the colour or the spelling?

I went to bed late after helping pack up and woke up early to get downtown for the Scotiabank 5k. Ack! I ran for the Toronto Vegetarian Association and met my fundraising goal. :) Interestingly enough, only 2 of my donors were vegetarian. Thanks to everyone who sponsored me! Running a 5k was one of my goals/resolutions and now I’ve done it! I had run Bloody Cross with the Corps before but this was sooooo different.


After the run and some lunch, I dashed home, showered and went back downtown to Queen’s Park for Word on the Street, a Canada-wide book and magazine fair. The Joe Shuster Awards had a booth there selling books from recent nominees and hosting creators for autograph sessions.


Jason Truong in the JSA booth.


Creators sketching and signing for the public. (On the left that’s Faith Erin Hicks and her friend, and beside her (centre) is David Day.


TCAF sponsored a Comics and Graphic Novels Tent where there were panel discussions and book readings.


Kevin [info]kev_the_mev takes part in a panel called “Oh Canada. Surveying the Landscape of Canadian Comics” hosted by Sequential. He represented the Joe Shuster Awards.
Click here to download a full audio recording of the panel, courtesy of Jamie Coville.