Colin's Comment

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This is me at the opening of the "Tribal" group show at the tart gallery way back in... 1998 was it? Anyway, I'm pointing at my work, "Tribal Salaryman", one of my earliest paintings, of a heavily scarred, tattooed and pierced managerial white collar worker. I was really trying to comment on how ubiquitest and banal that these so-called symbols of non-conformity had become. A surprising amount of people asked me if this was a portrait of someone real. Me, I can't get a tatto, piercing or nothin', sensitive skin you see. I get rashes from shirts, band-aids and glue. I have rashes on my fingers that are pretty much chronic. Also I cannot grow a beard or any decent amount of facial hair. When I was a kid I wanted sideburns like Michael Nesmith of the Monkees when I grew up.

It makes me sad.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hello, I’ve been away for a couple days, been busy…. And blame the heat wave we are currently suffering here on the lower mainland. I can deal with most things, I’m not a big fan of “uphill”, but the heat just knocks me out and I don’t feel alive until the wee hours. Up until 5AM, out of bed by 2PM. It’ll take a while to adjust to the heat!
But on to other things...

The Stalker Report!
Handy guide for anyone who wants to be were I go and soak up the radiance of the glory that is me! I do hope you know I’m kidding… anyway, I’d go to these events even if I wasn’t going…

On Thursday I’ll be giving a half hour talk about my life in comics to Julian Lawrence’s evening cartooning class at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design down on Granville Island along with my colleague Robin The K. It’s not open top the public of course but if you are interested in taking Julian’s course (which I understand is quite good) in the future contact him at:

And don’t forget the Bucky Fleur Twins BBQ launch for the first 3 in a series of 25 hell passports at Lucky’s this Sunday July 2nd at 3pm, I’ll be there selling and signing my copies of my Hell Passport!

Recent Works by Forg
Thursday, July 6th, The Sidebar 523 Seymour & Pender (Malone’s Pub)
Richard Forg is an old friend of mine and one of the most vivid characters in comics! World hopping comics artist (Laundryland, Liaison’s Delicious, Forg, and a host of self-published titles) and animator (Dragonbooster) in the two-fisted tradition of Gauguin, Forg is one of the most generous and entertaining people I know. He also is a very talented artist who’s work has been underrated and all but ignored, his fast and loose but exact artwork has taken on every subject from erotic, historical, science fiction and the everyday. I’m not sure what these pieces are but I’m sure they’ll be well worth checking out!

On Saturday I went to a party for Robin and Robin. You see, the Vancouver comics scene has plague of people named Robin. There’s Robin the Fish (although nobody really calls her that, not even behind her back), Robin the K (artist/cartoonist), Robin Thompson (cartoonist and birthday boy) , DB Robin (host of Inkstuds radio show), Robin Bougie (zinester and cartoonist) and Robin’s friend Robin… the first, Robin Fisher, is leaving us to go to Montreal, reportedly Canada’s comics hot spot and Saturday was her send off
before she leaves us in a week. I think we in Vancouver haven’t really stopped to think about how important Robin has been to the cartoonist scene and what we owe her. Robin has an enthusiasm for comics that borders on the unhealthy, she brought boundless energy and commitment to the work she did here. I first remember seeing her working at Book & Comic Emporium years ago, always ready to draw customers attention to the good comics and supportive of local small pres and zinesters. She went on to work at R/X Comics where her knowledge and love of all kinds of comics helped to make R/X less of a store and more of a community centre for the local comics scene. However, her biggest achievement was the creation of the Onomanaphia Show, A radio show about comics, that ran for years on UBC radio. Now, admittedly talking about comics on the radio is a little like dancing about architecture but through a combination of interviews (with folks like David Boswell, Harvey Pekar, Canadian comics historian John Bell) , comic reviews and discussions the Onomanaphia Show promoted the idea that comics were indeed worth reading to a general audience. As far as I know it was the only weekly radio show about comics in Canada. the She had a few co-hosts in her time there, I joined as a co-host around 2000 as a moderating influence, but once again it was Robin’s boundless enthusiasm for comics, toys and Terri-Panda’s that brought listeners back. More than once I was told by people with no interest in comics that they would tune into the show just to hear us banter back and forth. Once again Robin was at the centre of something that evolved into a rallying point for the Vancouver comics scenes as just about everyone in comics was interviewed at one point or another! She also has written comics and edited two fund raising graphic novels for Little Sisters gay and Lesbian bookshop, still being harassed by Canada Customs, “What Right?” and “What’s Wrong?” on censorship and transgression. After years of effort understandably Robin burnt out on the radio show, which was taken over by another Robin and renamed Inkstuds. I’m still on it, along with co-hosts Don King and Robin the K and the focus has shifted more to interviews and creating a web presence, but all of this is merely building on what Robin Fisher started. I’d like to thank Robin here and now for all her efforts and wish her well in Montreal, I’m sure we’ll be hearing from her when she gets a show there! I would’ve said all this at the party but well, when your surrounded by a bunch of stoned cartoonists for whom ball busting is a form of high art it’s best not to betray a hint of sentiment. Best of luck Robin!
Where’s my jacket?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It’s summer…
hottest day of the year so far here in Vancouver… my poor flowers are wilting, the cat is snoozing flat out in the shade… I'm eating strawberries and ice cream... can we please stop talking about hockey now? I mean it. I’m sick of bloody hockey! For months it’s been hockey hockey, hockey hockey, hockey hockey hockey hockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockey… gasp… hockey…hockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockeyhockey! And when your tired of hockey there’s more bloody hockey! On the CBC TV sometimes it’s hockey every day, the month of June is almost entirely devoted to hockey, hockey games, hockey on the news, Hockeyville Canada and soon to come, Hockey, a peoples history. It’s inescapable, especially for people like me who are not tapped into the glorys of the 500 channel universe! I made a choice, I had to decide if I wanted money for cable TV or books and I choose books! I get six channels, one in French and another multi-cultural, Global (or Fox Canada as I call it) is a joke, The A Channel is admittedly weirdly eccentric and CTV… well… so it is on the CBC I depend for most of my TV entertainment and hockey robs me of news, documentaries and screws up Coronation Str so badly (I’m not getting up at 7:30 AM on a Sunday) that I’m way behind. Their one good show about hockey, the mockumentary "The Tournement", was canceled. Some of you by now must be questioning my patriotism, if not my manhood. When I’ve confessed a disinterest in hockey to strangers they assume I’m an American; how could you be a Canadian and not love hockey? Well, I don’t, I’ve tried watching hockey recently and just don’t get it. A ceaseless mad scramble for the puck (and i can see the puck, I'm that Canadian)occasionally highlighted by brawls between overpaid thugs. I don’t get what a band of mercenary players who might well be traded next season has to do with my hometown and it’s self-respect. Perhaps it has to do with growing up with a brother who’s mental health depended entirely on his team winning. If they won, he was angry they didn’t win more desisively, if they lost he would rage in a fury that shook the whole household. Plus he would always cheer on teams that were anyone but his hometown of Vancouver, when the NHL team in Winnipeg (our birthplace) folded he stopped watching NHL games altogether as a protest. To this day he refuses to watch NHL games. Hockey is about selling beer and drunken rowdy fans breaking stuff, after some of the playoff games in Edmonton the police arrested hundreds. I suspect that if the Oilers had actually won the Stanley Cup Edmonton would be a pile of smoking ruins right now. I do realise that this is the CBC’s only chance to make some money before the next budget cuts from Ottawa, so I do not begrudge them some revinue generating hockey coverage. But it’s nearly July, it has to end! You’ve had the season, you’ve had the playoff’s, the NHL awards, enough Don Cherry to choke a horse but now I switch on the news and what do I see? Hockey trades. Vancouver’s hero, Todd Bertuzzi, that towering example of fair play and sportsmanship, is being traded to some other team where he will become somebody else’s hero. And I’m supposed to care? Be fair, hockey fans, give the rest of us a break! It’s only, what, two months until the beginning of the next season, then we can do this all over again. Be reasonable! And would it kill the CBC to put on more curling coverage?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Full frontal nudity!
It’s a lovely day out here in Lotus land, sunny, but not yet too hot to be comfortable. Lomu, my furry alarm clock, got me up to let her out onto the porch so she could chitter at the passing birds so tantalisingly out of reach… bloody birds, all that chirping and birdsong can get quite loud! I can hardly hear the traffic noise and the leaf blowers. Me, I did my yoga and Tia-chi. What’s that I hear you say? What’s that fat, cynical bastard (me) doing yoga and Tia-chi for? Has he become a new age, a herbal-hippy-piss-water-tea drinking sandal wearing pot-headed mush brain crystal gazing, tree-hugging… hippy? No! No I say! Okay, I do wear sandals occasionally but that is fir strictly medicinal reasons. No, I took up yoga and Tia-chi for very good reasons, mostly I was afraid that if I didn’t do something to limber up I was going to become so stiff and inflexible that I wouldn’t be able to bend down to tie my boots. And Tia-chi? Well, I thought it would help me improve my balance and the fact that it is indeed a martial art that might come in useful against violent a-holes (such as one of my neighbours numerous threats to stuff various objects up my posterior for crimes against humanity like sweeping with a broom or using a stapling machine… for a obvious homophobe he is obsessed by the subject of my ass) that are usually put off by my impressive size and nasty glower, but one cannot depend on a bold front forever. I don’t get into the mumbo-jumbo, charkas and chi, but I still think the exercises and meditation are of value stripped of their spiritual baggage. And the meditation is nice, I could use a bit of peace of mind, I like the breath work particularly. So, a few months ago I started taping yoga and Tia-chi programs off the Multi-cultural channel, which incidentally completes my world by showing South Park at night. I used to tape two yoga programs but I gave up on the “yoga-for-jocks-and-circus-freaks” as it was too tough on the knees, with my girth there’s many of these things I cannot do but I try my best. Same for Tia-chi, Helen Liang may make kicking over your own head look easy but I’m not there quite yet… but I’ve got a mean “push hands”. I do one yoga and two programs of Tia-chi, 24 and 48 form, usually several times a week when I’m at home. Oh yes, I also do it in the nude… hahahahhaha! Suckers! Try to get that image out of your head!
Oh, a couple things, I haven’t yet mentioned that my web site has moved too:
I’d like to thank Erez Segal who has kindly lent me some space for my web site, Upton’s Universe and also helped me to get this here blog up and running. I’d also like to thank Donna Barr and her web guy Eric Schnieder for hosting my web site up to this point and thanks also to Hanspeter Kriegl over there in Graz, Austria for designing my original web site with me, he did all the difficult technical stuff. I’d also like to thank Alex Boswell for helping me with the repairs to the web site which are still ongoing… I think that’s everyone…

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This is a picture of me begging for change outside the Tart Gallery from the 2003 Drippytown Comic launch party, which just goes to show that alternative comics is not the path to fame and fortune that some of you might have assumed...

“A Death in the family” (working title)
Today is new comics day, but it is also bagel day at Solly’s bakery down at 8th and Yukon. I go down there every other week or so to get my dozen bagels for $6.25,. You have to get there “early” (mark you early for me is early in the afternoon) to get the best selection. I remember when I was young my sister Elizabeth accused me of anti-Semitism because I liked my bagels with bacon and eggs for breakfast. She wasn’t being serious, she was just looking for something to argue about, which is what life was like in my family, a constant battle of intellectual needling and sibling rivalry. But this is the sort of memories I have to pick and choose from as I compose my graphic novel which covers years of my life and that of my family, the accident that led to the death of my sister Elisabeth 2 ½ years later. Which anecdotes to keep, which to discard as I try to explain my family to the world without creating the wrong impression… I mean, I know and understand my family in a way that someone reading my work doesn’t, I don’t want to use my work as some sort of payback. So, it’s tricky, to be as honest and truthful as possible while hopefully not causing my living family members pain and the not to malign the dead whom cannot answer back…
It’s also some of the fastest and best writing I’ve done.
I feel strongly about it, I’ve doubted the wisdom of doing this at all, but so far it feels right in a way that’s so impossible to explain sometimes. When deliberation is essentially meaningless, when something just appears on the page from somewhere that is instinctive.
Still, it’s going to be a long time finishing, I have more than forty pages written and roughed out, many more written. I have no idea how long it’s going to be. I’m looking through my diary minicomics from the time, trying to figure out what to leave in and what to leave out. Sometimes I think of comics as diagrams , a simplified rendering that explains reality clearly and concisely . I’m hoping the story will do the same and not just be a mass of disconnected anecdotes… wish me luck!
Oh, I also went to my comic shop, R/X comics on Main at Broadway but there were no comics for me this week, just Robin DB busting my balls… I had to cut back on my spending on graphic novels. Then I go next door and buy “A Clash of Fundementalism” by Tariq Ali at Pulp Fiction! Ahhhh!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hi... this is my second blog... what to say? I hope to use this blog to give people news about me and my projects, like the Hell Passport I just did for a project of Jo Cooks which will having a BBQ launch party at "LUCKY'S COMIC ART GALLERY at 3972 main street, Vancouver B.C. running from July 2nd til August 5 th. The Opening BBQ (the one you been wait for all year) is July 2nd 3:00 til BUCKY FLEUR TWINS leave". I also received "The Totimorphous" in the mail, that's a story I illustrated for my old friend GX Jupitter-Larsen (the story will also appear in the upcoming Drippytown comic 2005). I painted a pirate babe for the upcoming Pirate show (July 21st-23rd at the Marine Club, 573 Homer Str, Featuring the music of the Highballs) and I'm busy at work on an autobiographical graphic novel which is about the period of my life bewteen my sisters car accident and her passing away. No idea how long this is going to be, I've written and pencilled over 50 pages already. Plus I'm painting a 15mm Seven Years War Russian army!

Sometimes I may be moved to foist my opinions on world events and such upon the world, I hope nobody will be too offended!
Oh yes, I'm a regular co-host on Inkstuds, a show on UBC CITR 101.9 FM Thursdays at 2PM Pacific time, about comics where I help interview folks like Rick Geary, Spain, Mark Kalesniko, Evan Dorkin, Bob Fingerman and others. We have podcasts,

Hello world! This is my blog. Evan Dorkin once told me that Alternative cartoonists spend more time on thier blogs than doing comics. Now it's my turn!