Colin's Comment

Friday, October 20, 2006

Canzine West this Sunday at the Cambrian hall,
215 East 17th Ave. (near Main)
Admission $5 (and you get a copy of the latest Broken Pencil)

Last years Canzine West turned out to be the surprise of the year, I went with low expectations 9i hadn’t seen much in the way of advertising) but it proved to be a packed event with tables groaning under the weight of comics, zines and art books. I urge anyone who can get there to attend, I’ll have a table along with many of Vancouver’s best small press talents!

On Saturday at 7PM (I think) at R/X Comics (Main near Broadway) will be the launch of the second “You Ain’t No Dancer” comics anthology published by Ed Brisson (Who also published Jason Turner’s graphic novel, True Loves). After the launch we’ll be going to the Jolly Alderman for the monthly cartoonists jam!

Hullo you lovely, lovely people! Once again it’s been a busy week in my otherwise aimless existence! A couples weeks ago I was incapacitated with the first serious cold I’ve had in years, hating myself for my indolence and causing me to miss thanksgiving at my mum’s place in Sechelt (for our American friends, Canadian Thanksgiving is a month or so before the American one, I can only imagine because the growing season is shorter up here in the Great White North) Thanksgiving is after all, a harvest ceremony). My brother and mother kindly agreed to postpone thanksgiving for a week so I could attend so last Friday I, still feeling the lingering affects of my cold, took the three bus rides and a ferry voyage to Sechelt just before it turned cold and wet. It was so mild I sat on the open top deck of the ferry the whole voyage, taking in the breathtaking scenery. Had a nice relaxing time, helped mum to understand her computer better, showed her how to send E-mail and I bookmarked this here blog for her to visit so I have to be careful what I say. Hi mom! Talked about the usual stuff, art, politics, family, history and crosswords… I helped her with her crosswords in my sleep. While I was napping on the couch mum was wondering aloud “Derek and the …?“ and I cried out “Dominoes”! Mum even had something nice to say about her own cooking! My brother Leslie joined us on Saturday, just in from his job at the stamp store. I had to go Sunday night, it was so cold and wet I feared I might easily relapse into a cold but duty calls!

That duty was to speak at Julian Lawrence’s cartooning class at the Emily Carr College of Art And Design, something I’ve been doing for a while now along with Robin The K, another fine local cartoonist and one of the many Robin’s in the Vancouver comics scene.
I went done early, beautiful Fall day, picked up several of the play Mobil Specials that just came in (although why the Gladiator figure was armed with a generic broadsword and not a Roman Gladuis (short stabbing sword) is beyond me). I had tea at my favourite local café, the one under the Granville Bridge that no one else seems to know about. I had quite a search to find Julian’s classroom but I got there in time.

I talk about my life in comics, tracing the development from comics I read as a kid, to the undergrounds, alternative, European and Japanese comics that have influenced me. Robin talks about developing and promoting her “Clip and Save” weekly strip. I was in particularly good ramble that night, with an (hopefully) entertaining mixture of reminisces, anecdotes and onions. It’s so hard to know sometimes if the students are really engaged with what we were talking about but we had a lively Q&A session so I think we must’ve done well. By the end of it I was feeling a little dizzy. Robin kindly gave me a lift home after a visit to Kinko’s.

Tuesday I was at a play with my mother and brother at UBC’s Student Theatre, “By The Skin of Our teeth”, not bad although I thought the play rambled in parts. My mum is terrified of being late so we met for dinner at UBC two hours before curtain! Mum than came over to my place to stay the night, always tricky because she and I are world class snorers but I managed to get a pretty good nights sleep. The next day I made breakfast and we went to Best Buy to exchange her I-Pod like thingie for a real I Pod. There was nothing wrong with it, it’s just that she and the people in Sechelt she hired couldn’t get it to work. As you can imagine this took forever but she did it. I saw her off on the bus to the ferry and went to meet radio show host Robin at R/X Comics. The jammy bastard had just returned from New York and SPX (East Coast Small Press comics convention) to promote Inkstuds the radio show, with stories of what he’d seen and who he’d talked too. I’ve only been to SPX once but I know it’s a great convention!! Robin brought back a lovely Ivan Brunetti print! I bought the latest collection of Yoshihiro Tatsumi stories, “Abandon The Old In Tokyo”. Tatsumi pioneered adult stories in Japanese comics, creating grim and moving portraits of people surviving in the harsh conditions of post-war Japan. Recommended.

Today on the radio show we interviewed Chester Brown who is in town for the Vancouver Readers and Writers Festival! Chester of course was on the top of our list of interview subject and I thought it went splendidly. I learned about some of the things that had left me puzzled about “Louis Reil”, especially about the emotional detached depiction of the characters. Afterwards Serena, Chester’s “minder” from Raincoast Books gave us a ride back to my place and Robin, Chester and I enjoyed a round of ice water (neither of my guests drink tea and making tea is about all I know how about being a host). Robin had to go and Chester and I gossiped about cartoonists we know and had a good conversation about attitudes and ethics which I won’t get into here but it was interesting and often challenging. Tomorrow (Friday) Chester will be doing a presentation on “Louis Reil” at the readers and Writers festival and Serena got me a press pass so I’ll let you know how that goes… as you can see from the header it’s going to be another looong weekend in the Vancouver comics scene!
I go sleep now…


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