Tag Archives: David J. Cutler

Toronto ComiCON: the morning after. Ish.

It’s Monday and we’re back in full work mode…hard to do after a busy and wonderful weekend at Toronto ComiCON but that’s what a comics creator has to do in order to get to go to these conventions!

Toronto ComiCON is a renaming of what was the Fan Appreciation Events of previous years, from the same company that produces FanExpo Canada. This year’s event featured more ‘name’ guests than usual. All the comics guests were still gathered together in one area, in rows of tables with those who had paid for their tables clustered in the middle. The ‘name’ guests were all on the far left of each row, so that their fans could line up against the wall and not block the aisles at all. It was a good system–although with the other end of each table being closed off by a booth that meant that all the other artists had to push past that name guest to get out.  I had some fear that my bag would swing off my shoulder and I would thwack Phil Jimenez across the head or knock over Mark Bagley’s standee.  (And I discovered quickly that I’m a lot more claustrophobic than I would have guessed–seeing the hordes blocking the only free end of the table as they waited for Jiminez and George Perez was a bit overwhelming at times).

There were a lot of familiar faces at our table–Gibson Quarter (a frequent collaborator of mine, a former student of Ty’s at TCW, and a collaborator with both of us on the Holmes Incorporated books); David J. Cutler (one of Ty’s former students, the artist on The Northern Guard, and currently working with me on Heroes of the North’s  Nordik:  Chilling Me Softly). On the other side of Ty was the inimitable Leonard Kirk, and then Mr. Phil Jimenez.

Across from us were the Teuton guys for Big Sexy ComicsFearless Fred Kennedy and Adam Gorham. I did pop by to say a quick hello, but they were busy with fans and questions, so I mostly left them be. George Perez was at the end of their table, easily identifiable by the big smile and the amazing shirts (a pattern of M and Ms the first day, and I believe a pattern of toy robots on the Sunday).

Got to meet and briefly chat with Claudia Davila (writer/artist of the kids book Luz See The Light) at a moment when she wasn’t busy with fans (or her daughter who was there on the Sunday in a wonderful fabric crown of pale purple with a big gold star and a long pink cape). On Sunday, I introduced myself to her husband Michael Cho and got to talk to him for a while. He and Ty had never actually physically met in all the years they’ve both been at Toronto cons so I introduced them. The result was a very energetic and passionate conversation about their favourite years of Jack Kirby’s  creativity (Ty said ’71-’76 stating that most people would prefer the 60s ,  but Michael was in complete agreement until Ty said “The Demon”.  There they parted ways…)

Wonder Woman by Michael Cho--I spent the whole con eying this. I've promised my daughter that I'm getting this for her next con...

I tried to wander around the con a couple of times but it was BUSY!! (My stories of conventions necessarily end up being pretty myopic as I spend most of my time at the table or wandering to another creator to chat for a while.) I mostly stayed with Ty to chat with people and answer questions for when Ty was too busy, to watch his space or David’s and Gibson’s (nice feeling to sell some of the prints that I’d coloured!)

Pencils Gibson Quarter, Inks Guillermo Ortego, Colours Keiren Smith

Ty made a run on Sunday to find Quarter or Dollar comic bins. He came back awed by the impressive pile he’d picked up from a bin of DIME comics. Dime comics!! Usually, he regards Quarter Comics as  The Best Purchase Ever and has reluctantly moved up to Dollar Comics in recent years. When he discovered the Dime Comics, I was stunned that he left any behind.

Over the two days, I waved quick hellos at various creators–but it was so busy with appreciative fans that there wasn’t  a lot of chance for conversations. That was saved for dinner on Saturday night. Local creators Agnes Garbowska and Francis Manapul let Yanick Paquette in on the location of one of their favourite restaurants (a Thai place down on Queen’s Quay) where they were awaiting Marcus To and Marco Rudy, so Yanick showed up with Gibson Quarter, Richard Pace, Phil Jiminez, Paolo Rivera and his partner April, and me and Ty.

We had a great time–lots of good food and, as is always the case after a long day at a con, sharing stories of some of the more interesting sketch requests (okay we’ve all heard about the honey guy, and the glue guy but…camel toe? Really?), battle stories and more. We even had a brief discussion of American politics (that was before we’d met up with the whole group–there were half a dozen of us in a bar awaiting drinks and I can’t remember what Phil Jiminez said but there was this great moment where everyone there realised that Phil had just opened up the conversation to something that would make Ty inordinately happy! Ty, son of a former radio and newsman, loveslovesloves to discuss politics, most particularly American politics. It was an energetic and rowdy fun conversation.)

Constant loud admiration has its benefits!! After commenting on Richard Pace's "Classic Mythology Odin" on his deviantART and posting it on Tumblr, Richard gave me a print!!

All in all–exhausting but worthwhile.  It’s always a bit strange for me at conventions–I prefer to let Ty make all the conversation so I have to really try to “put myself out there”. This works well in limited bursts–I’d try to meet a creator and say hello, and if their eyes shifted off to the side for the slightest moment, I’d have a brief panic that I was taking up too much of their time and melt away. On the other hand, I do like to warn people that if you make the mistake of talking to me, I’m likely to talk your ears off–one of the reasons people have trouble believing I’m as shy as I swear I am.

Ty and I still have loads of work to do before we catch up–two days away from our desks is a lot. But Ty made a point of telling me how glad he was that we ignored our deadlines and went out to dinner with everyone.  We were only sorry to have missed out on other opportunities to hang out, but we did have kids waiting for us at home…

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Northern Guard #2 hits stores TODAY!

So, I was just joking last week–wondering whether anyone was paying attention…yeah, that’s it.

But I’ve been assured by the manager of a Local Comic Book Store that he was actually holding copies of Northern Guard #2 in his hands as he typed me a message–awfully nice of him actually to handicap himself so. Hard to type with one hand given over to so much glossy goodness.

Stores open soon–be there or be…um…maybe online ordering it digitally?

Northern Guard #2

I’m going out on a limb here to say…I think, I really really think, that Northern Guard might possibly potentially perhaps be coming out this Wednesday. I’ve just seen a fourth review, Moonstone Books lists it as “Now Available” so…that’s what I think.

With that in mind, here’s a couple of pages to whet your appetite and help you plant the name firmly in your brain so y’all can run to Your Local Comic Store on Wednesday and buy yourself your own copy! Yay!

Comics are Good!

Northern Guard #2

written by Ty Templeton with Sam Agro,

art by David J. Cutler

cover by Jason Edmiston

letters/colours by KT Smith

FAN EXPO CANADA 2010

Friday August 27

I stayed home with the younger kids, sent Ty and the teenager off to the con.  Thought about all the things we wanted to do to get Ty ready for the show which we ran out of time and to do…

Neither Ty nor the progeny like to take photos, so I relied on the world to post some pics. Here’s one of Ty, chatting people up at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop booth, by a member of TCW/Holmes Incorporated Rachael Wells.

Ty at TCW booth (photo by Rachael Wells)

Saturday August 28

Two hour drive to get into Toronto from Mississauga/Oakville border…normally a 25 minute drive to the Convention Centre. Thank you , Summer Construction season which saw the one exit for the Canadian Exhibition closed which meant everyone had to exit at Spadina and double-back–which meant that the bulk of our time was actually on that off-ramp.

By the time we got to Simcoe Street and realized the South Parking Lot was closed, drove up and found the North Lot the same, Ty literally just jumped out of the car at the stoplight while I scuttled around to the driver’s seat! Luckily he was able to just be Ty and actually force his way into the Con…minutes later, I’d parked and discovered that the con had been shut down by the Fire Marshal and that many, many people had to leave the building before more could get in. I hightailed it off to Guest Relations to get a badge which had the power to get me up to the con floor.

Too hot and sweaty and cranky to wander, I sat at Ty’s seat in Artists’ Alley, went over once to TCW to see how Ty and Gibson Quarter were doing as they signed copies of Holmes Incorporated and promoted the school.

Gibson Quarter and Ty Templeton at TCW booth

That was my one foray out–I tried to go down Artists’ Alley once to say hi to people, managed ten feet…then realized it would be quicker just to turn around and go sit down.

Luckily, I had company at the table, and lots of people came by to see Ty and stayed to chat. More than a few even came to see me–I lettered six of the stories in Holmes Incorporated, and some of the contributors came by to introduce themselves and thank me. Once they’re all big stars they’ll understand that they don’t even need to know the letterer’s name–the lowest of the low on the comic book totem pole! (Unless your name is Richard Starkings or Todd Klein. Or Chris Eliopoulos. Or…) But Christopher Yao gave me a copy of his book, Fauntkin:  Journey to the Electric Horizon, and Adam Gorham of Big Sexy Comics came by to chat.

I was sitting next to David J. Cutler, artist for Northern Guard. David was selling prints of Bucky O’Hare, He-Man and Bizarro (and Bizarro Krypto which prompted one young girl to squeal, “what’s wrong with that dog?”). I have fond memories of sitting on the sofa with Kellam singing the Bucky O’Hare theme song with him, so I bought a print for him. David and I normally spend a bit of time on Facebook arguing over something I’ve posted or claimed…it was nice to get a chance to talk in person, although he was incredibly busy with commissions and selling his prints. Check out David’s blog, Drawings for Humans, for a look-see at his prints…and leave him a comment.

David Cutler hard at work

Gibson Quarter was on Ty’s other side, but he was off signing with Ty, then off to moderate a panel, so I spent time chatting with his beautiful daughter and watching fanboys try to figure out how to chat her up themselves. Although more than a few were equally taken with her dad’s art. Check out Gibson’s eponymous art blog, to see what he has for sale…he’s thinking about adding a PayPal account so you can buy a print even if you can’t make it to one of his appearances.

Jason Edmiston and his wife, Tanya, were on the other side of David Cutler. Tanya is a favourite with those in Artists’ Alley–that might seem obvious when you see her (beautiful and incredibly sweet) but she usually comes bearing trays of cookies and muffins. Jason is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in–and one of the best. He’s currently working with Ty and David, doing the covers for Northern Guard. Check out his art site for more of his work.

I left the show at 5pm to pick up my kids and pass them over to their sister-in-law for the evening…when I left, word was that 1000 people had to leave the con for anyone else to be allowed in. There was not only an entry line for people wanting to buy tickets, those who had pre-purchased tickets…there was a heckuva line for the re-entry folks. The show closing time was pushed back an hour to try and accommodate some of those who had waited in line to get in  for nearly three hours.)

Kellam at The Silver Snail booth

(Ran into my son, as I was leaving, working at The Silver Snail booth. Nice surprise as I had thought he was at the store location all weekend. )

Sunday August 29

(brought the kids in. It was so crowded and so busy at 11am when we got there an hour after opening that the kids were actually taken aback, and it took them awhile to warm up to the idea of wandering around. Luckily, Tanya had some muffins to keep them occupied. I tried walking around with the kids a couple of times, but gave up pretty quickly and let them roam wild and free. They would come back periodically to drop off free posters and stickers they’d acquired and try to convince me of the toys they desperately had to have. Kate bought a print from Archie Comics’ artist, Dan Parent and got a signature, which thrilled her no end. Taylor’s best purchase was his Ellis Bullshifters t-shirt (Left 4 Dead). Sean just loved the whole world and the whole day and the Halo Reach game and the cool this and the cool that. And he bought a Transformer which I was assured was the best Transformer ever.

Got to chat–albeit briefly–with Gabriel Morrisette, Rob Pincombe, and Richard Pace.

All in all, seemed to be a pretty good con for many…Ty didn’t do as many sketches as he has in the past, nor sold as many pages, but his students all did well promoting themselves and their work, so  he was pretty pleased.


Coming soon!

I’ve been working on a project that has been looooooooooooooooooooooooong waiting to get to print, but has been solicited and is on it’s way…

Formerly known around our house as Johnny Canuck and the Guardians of the North ( I thought it sounded like a slightly pathetic ’70s Canadian rock band who would Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald), the project has been renamed North Guard by the publisher, Moonstone Books, and the first issue comes out in November. I’ll post details as we get closer but for now, here’s a cover (with which I had absolutely nothing to do but weigh in on Ty’s font choices and the colour), by the amazing Jason Edmiston,

and the alt-cover by the interior artist, David J. Cutler,

Issue #2 has been solicited, so the cover for that (again by Jason Edmiston) is online.