Tag Archives: Leonard Kirk

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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Holmes Incorporated #2 Cover

Pencilled and inked by Leonard Kirk, coloured by me. Book is officially launched July 22 with an Open House at Toronto Cartoonists Workshops new studio space (587 College Street West–for those of you in the GTA who want to stop by, see the space, meet the instructors and students, pick up a copy of the book!).  Read all about the project over at the Holmes Incorporated comic blog…

The new space sounds pretty amazing–it will be utilised by The Joe Shuster Awards for gatherings (The first one will be July 15:   Joe Shuster Awards–presentation to Toronto Winners and a Wrap Party); Guerilla Printing is moving into the space; and (yes there’s more!) there will be a framing store…name not yet announced. And the space will be used for monthly Industry Nights for those in the comics, illustration, animation fields beginning August 22.

 

Holmes Incorporated #2 Pin-Up

A pinup I coloured for the Holmes Inc. website promoting the upcoming second issue of the comic. Done for Toronto Cartoonists Workshop, Fit to Print class…four months of working together with an industry professional (this time out, Ty Templeton) to create a comic book from start to finish, simulating the “real world” of comics publishing.

The pinup is drawn by Daniel Wong—whose art has to be seen to be believed. When he first pulled out his portfolio to show his art (part of the process was for the artists to show off their ability to do sequential work, giving the editor and asst. editor a chance to see what their styles are like so as to know what writer/story to pair them with. It also gave the writers a chance to see what artists to jockey for…), people thought he’d “copied” someone else’s art. I actually had a confused moment where I thought he was keeping posters and pinups in his portfolio along with his art. Everyone—editors included—were flabbergasted to discover, nope, this is just what comes out of Daniel Wong’s hands! This will be his first professionally published gig (?)—but it certainly won’t be his last…

And, I’m clearly getting “spoiled”—I’m off to colour a cover pencilled and inked by the one and only Leonard Kirk.