TCAF, Diaspora and my first piece of press.

This past weekend I traveled home to Ontario for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. It’s the best clusterfuck of comics around. I prefer it over other conventions like Fan Expo because it’s comic-specific and features tons of independent creators alongside established industry luminaries and publishers. Fan Expo and the like feel garish in comparison, trying to cater to everyone at once and being more about merchandise than actual content.

I got a decent haul of comics from indie creators I like and new ones I just found. People are making amazing work and beautiful printed objects that are really inspiring. It’s days later and my head is still spinning. It’s got me thinking about how to take my own comics to the next level (for me) and how to make an attractive finished item and not just a bland stapled thing.

I’ll be posting some quickie reviews of the comics over the next while, both to promote the beautiful work I’ve been enjoying reading, and to sort out what I take away from it. Stay tuned.

Next on the agenda is my ongoing webcomic project Diaspora. Tonight’s update has 3 new pages, getting issue 1 up to the 20 page mark, which is a nice little milestone for me. I have the rest written but still don’t know how many pages part 1 will work out to. Click the image to go check it out!

I’m getting into a new creative groove and am trying to go with it and get as much new work done as I can. I’m in a new place and need to meet people bla bla bla, but for now, this glorious desolation is working in my favour, leaving me alone with my work, which is a big part of what I wanted in moving out here (to Montreal).

Finally, my good friend Graham from Highbrau Magazine contacted me out of the blue to congratulate me on a review published in the latest Broken Pencil Magazine of my 2013 sci-fi comic Midcourse. The review isn’t online so I transcribed it here:

This sci-fi tale recounts the misadventure of the crew of the space ship Nomad. During a routine collection stop on a distant asteroid, the crew discovers the mining robot has been clogged up by a mysterious object. They bring the obstruction aboard the ship for further analysis, and that’s when things start to go wrong.

The close-quarter pressure of living in a space capsule make interactions tense aboard the Nomad, and under the influence of the mysterious object, things take a turn for the worse. The artifact itself – resembling a small submarine – seems inert, and for some reason is spot-coloured a different hue in each chapter.

The art is simple and cartoon-ish but well rendered figures give it a lively feel. The story flows well thanks to clear dialogue and orderly panel layout on the half-size pages.

Midcourse is a good read, with plot twists that surprise and lively art that keeps it from being too dark. Definitely worth getting for the sci-fi fans and anyone who enjoys a good story.

-Rod Dickinson

Now you’re wondering how you can buy this acclaimed comic book. I’m happy to let you know they are on sale and operators are standing by to take your order right now. Simply click here, and be the first on your block to read Midcourse. I don’t mind being a salesman when it’s actually my own work I’m peddling.

The stars look very different today

I’ve made some big changes. After finishing school, I moved to Montreal. I’m wrapping up Mute Swan / Trumpeter Swan with Steve. I’m doing more work on Diaspora, working on new pages, writing, and fixing up old pages. I’m writing new stuff that I’m not happy with yet. I attended my first event at Drawn and Quarterly which has my head swimming. I want to go to more. My new life here is off to a quiet but solid start. I’m also living alone for the first time which is a nice life milestone for me. My life is the most together it’s ever been.

Movin’ on up

Whattup, Internet. I’ve fallen behind on Diaspora but have finally got page 9 ready. It’s intricate and took forever but I’m reasonably happy with it. I’m currently drawing the next page, and hopefully colouring will fall together quickly now that I’m past more meticulous things like a city-wide hero shot. Click the image to go to the new page, or click HERE to start the comic from the beginning.

 

I’m also trying to figure things out for my upcoming graduation exhibition in March. UWAG hosts the fourth-year grad exhibition every year and I don’ really know how my work fits into a gallery setting. I’ve got some related sculptural ideas that tie in both with Diaspora and some other ideas I’ve been throwing around about human impact on the world, and expanding that world to reflect our expanding reach into the cosmos. I’ll keep you updated as I work it out.

I’m also excited about new creative possibilities with friends old and new. I just need to make time to meet up with folks and then actually follow through on our plans. Time management is always the pickle. Now I’m going to go eat.

The bleeps, the sweeps and the creeps.

New stuff up on what. One new page on Diaspora. More in the pipeline.

It’s Halloween weekend. I went to two very different parties. Had fun at both. Except the second party ended up at some bro party in Laurier land and I was reminded how much I absolutely hate males. I then ate a lot of pizza.

Today I wrote some letters to friends. Friends are good to have. I don’t really care to make new ones these days, which is maybe sad, but I definitely want to strengthen my existing friendships. Sometimes it feels pointless, though, with everyone I know in Waterloo cycling out every two years. It seems appropriate for me to duck out as well once I finish school. I plan to airdrop resumes from coast to coast. I’m sad in advance to leave, but I really have no clue where I’ll be a year from now. I feel like life has thrown some major seismic shifts my way, but I also feel it’s nothing compared to what lies ahead. Thinking about it is overwhelming. Time for some Doritos.