I was pleasantly surprised by the Montreal Comic Con. I had high hopes because, as Kevin said, the intention this year was to try and fuse the bande-dessinee/euro scene with the anglo/american comic scene that is the staple of comic events across North America.
A number of top notch Canadian creators who work in Europe were present, such as Denis Rodier, who has transitioned from an inker of american comics to a euro creator of wonderfully different genre work, and Jacques Lamontagne, who has been nominated for a Shuster Award three times to recognize the the beautiful albums he’s creating for the euro market.
My intention of attending the event was to interact with Canadian creators, retailers and publishers that I’d never met before, to discuss the small role the Canadian Comic Book Awards play in the Canadian scene, and to find ways to work with them in the future. I see the Joe Shuster Awards having the potential of bringing together the stakeholders of the various scenes, and working together to build and promote comics in Canada. That is part of our inclusive process; very Canadian, no?
I’m going to be lobbying this event to grow in the BD/small press/self-publishers arena, as the Montreal/Quebec scene is filled with creators doing great little comics. I will also be marking Promo 9a Art & Festival de la bande dessinée francophone de Québec to my calendar.
I purchased the brand new, hot off the presses Académie des chasseurs de primes: Tome 2 by Benoit Godbout, Michel Lacombe and Yanick Champoux. Benoit was kind enough to provide me a sketch inside. I also took this opportunity to express my admiration to Michel for the wonderful inking work he has done the past couple of years.
I also purchased Aspic, détectives de l’étrange, drawn and coloured by the super-talented, and vastly unrecognized (despite those previous Shuster nominations), Jacques Lamontagne. (written by native of France, Thierry Gloris.) Jacques was very generous with his time, and did a lovely watercolour drawing in my personal copy.
I will direct you to the preview pages at L’Soleil, so you can have a look at the artwork that will surely generate a fourth nomination for Jacques in the artist category, and perhaps in the colourist category as well.
Aspic is currently slated for two volumes, and the market will determine if there are any more.
I also purchased The Mind’s Basement by Simon Chartrand. I was attracted to the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac feel of the book, though Chartrand uses a chunkier line rather than the wispy, thin style of Jhonen Vasquez.
One major draw for my attending was the presence of Barbara Canepa, of Skydoll fame. A wonderful book that was recently reprinted in English by Marvel. I will admit to waiting a very long time in line just for the opportunity to meet her and I was very fortunate to receive a wonderful drawing, too.