By Salgood Sam
So how you doing?
Almost anything would be understandable. Millions will be life threateningly ill and many will die. And Comics are far from alone in this shared peril but the direct market is in crisis, spring shows are being canceled and the year is largely in doubt for the convention and festival circuit!
Essential workers are under intense stress and most non essential day jobs are in work from home mode or simply shut down, many workers laid off. While freelancers are in an all too familiar state of peril, somewhat more accentuated than usual. Ok. So how you doing? I’m, OK? Personally safe and well, so far mostly.
Before I get into the fun stuff, a few important things.
You’re probably stunned, and potentially in trouble. That’s ok. Normal even in this situation.
You are enterily justified in feeling anxiety or depression, seek support and help if you need it for that. Make sure you’ve checked in with your family and friends, and check out the Emergency Response Benefit page here to see if you can get help on that front.
You’ll want to investigate other local opportunities and resources for dealing with all this, be smart about it and look it up. I’m no expert but there’s growing resources for all these things, start with this page for broad questions, and then read laterally in all your subsequent investigations.
Best advice for dealing with Physical Spacing, is act like you already have it and don’t want to spread it to others. It will protect you and others best to be on that level of mindful guard.
I’m at higher risk myself so generally staying in! Stay the fuck in the house! Sing it from the rooftops!
But I do go out for errands every 4 or so days, a week if we can. Actually mostly normal for me? Ange on the other hand is having trouble with it, most the fact that it’s obligatory. My 30 years of working for home makes that not such a shock to my system.
I will go for a journey this weekend into the wilds, I need a long walk. So covering up like the invisible man to journey north some few neighbourhoods away and acquire hand made masks I ordered from a former student. To fetch home and sterilize to use, and wash along with my hands when I return from future adventures out and about, along with anything I might have brought home with me.
Also made a high alcohol content hand sanitizer with aloe vera gel. A modified version of another recipe, upping the alcohol to the WHO-recommended concentration: three-quarters of a cup of isopropanol to a quarter of a cup of aloe vera gel. And we put diluted dish soap in spray bottles to mist everything that comes in.
But mainly? At my desk as always, making art, writing new online versions of my classes and hoping we’ll be able to survive the next two years, and watching in classical awe as the world turns.
Be prepared, be safe, flatten the curve and think about the bump.
On the up side if there can be one, many are turning to creative means to make use of their time now, take their minds off or discuss the current reality. So where will comics fit in all that?
Creatively I know for my own part I rewrote the end of a short 4 page story for LETTRES À MONTRÉAL, and was inspired to make comics inspired by the times myself. I sprung for a year of Pro Zoom to facilitate teaching online and the school I’ve been working at is making the jump to online teaching.
So IMO, this is a serious test, it’s really bad.
But this is not the Apocalypse.
So for the sake whatever can be facilitated right now by it as a means of joy and amusement–and the hope to earn our keep as creatives,
here’s the C-List!
May you find many interesting and entertaining things. Share this wildly with your friends and across all the socials. FYI a week ago we posted one like this curated by Brendan.
I’ve trawled over the last couple weeks FB page posts and elsewhere shared on social & the net. Some of it reflects current events some not, but this is a snapshot of what I can see of Can-comics right now! Enjoy!
“Mini Motion Picture Purgatory! Remembering Montreal’s amusement park La Ronde, back when everybody used to rub shoulders with each other willy-nilly, in goofy teensploitation movie BREAKING ALL THE RULES (1985). Care of Canuxploitation.com”
…he’s been documenting the latest real world journey via his comics too! He’s getting help from his Dump n’ Draw alumni Raphaele Bard and she also drew the part of the same story here as well! Check this out.
Item: if you’re familiar with the QC publisher POW POW and would like to get to know it’s authors better, they’ve been hosting quarantine live streams on their youtube channel here intermitetly!
Item: Ad Astra Comix has created a free to use Mutual Aid poster you can use to help inspire communities to help eachother even as they stay safe and keep an appropriate physical distance.
You can find the figure on it’s own here to customize for use for your own #mutualaid local org’s efforts.
She’s working on and about to finish up a longer comic that emphasizes this idea! Check out her feed for lots of progressive left comics goodness.
Item: Claudio Ghirardo’s experimental surrealistic webcomic “An Amsterdam State of Mind” is available for viewing for $2 monthly.
The story of a middle age illustrator who travels to Amsterdam as a way to reflect about his life choice to be an artist and finds healing in the power of art.
Item: Canada’s premier political cartoonist Michael de Adder has had several zingers for this last couple of weeks. Dark times make for buisy political cartoonists eh? Here’s some of my favorites in a gallery.
Item: Dave Cooper did a series of sketches of his “80s Crushes”. This is 1/6.
Item: Cameron Stewart’s take on Death of the Endless.
Item: Indiesourus Andrew Hand, purveyor of horror comics like Beaver Damn says he’s got to update his online store but he’s been doing a lot of sketching and documenting his descent into madness. Be a ray of blood red light in the darkness and hit up his shop for some orders!
Item: Andy Belanger has been posting fun pinups and showing off some of his design work for his current gig over on Instagram. Seems very well suited to the alter ego of Animal Bob Anger. I’m not sure but I think Andy is the first and only crossover talent that bridges the worlds of Comic and Costumed Wrestling? Why have the Kayfabe guys not done a shoot interview with him already?
Item: The 24 hours of comics at the end of the world event went ahead in virtual form this week with the results published Friday morning on toutestfoutu.com. Lots of comics for you to check out there! The constraint was: J’AURAIS VOULU. I WOULD HAVE LIKED.
Item: The newest episode of Speech Bubble features and interview with cartoonist and colour flater Becka Kinzie. Check out the library here, aside from one with me you’ll find some of the best interviews with comics creators ever!
Item: True North Country Comics Podcast has been putting out shows pretty fast and furious the last few days; Scott Chantler talks about the creative process behind his jazz opus graphic novel ‘Bix’; Caitlin Major’s Top 10 Go-To Comic Book/Graphic Novel List; Jed MacKay talks about Taskmaster, Black Cat and support for comic book stores; Writer J.M. Frey discusses different approaches for comic books and novels; and a roundup of New comic books from Canadian creators here. And MORE!
Item: The Audio Adventures of Auroraman continue with a new episode posted last month.
Item: Ryan North reminds us he wrote 3,570 different comics with the EXACT SAME ART!
He’s been doing it over 16 years so only half as crazy as that sounds.
Dinosaur Comics is as always here, ready to make you chuckle.
Item: Savage Chicken Comics as always, is the much more amusing than dilbert gag strip you need in your life.
Item: Convention organizer and former retailer Kevin A. Boyd spotlighted three books he thought you should know about on his social media,
CAMP SPIRIT (Top Shelf) by Montreal artist Axelle Lenoir.
JIA AND THE NIAN MONSTER (Dark Horse) written by DH Publisher and founder Mike Richardson and illustrated by Canadian artist Megan Huang.
And AFTERLIFT (Comixology) written by Chip Zdarsky, with art by Jason Loo and Paris Alleyne.
Item: Dominic Bercier wants to remind you all he’s made the Mirror Comics archive free to download, from the PopTerra Collection to other more recent gems, including Dominion Jack #0 w/ Jack Briglio, The Bird Caller w/ J.F. Martel and Mission AZ w/ Kristopher Waddell.
Item: They got some love from the Flipside Focus podcast, and Wanderingnerdgirl.com reviewed Project I.M.P.A.C.T. here, “Project I.M.P.A.C.T. evokes a nostalgic feeling in me, like a modern take on comics of the past, if that makes sense. All in a good way, of course. Something about it gives me Suicide Squad vibes when it comes to the style and team, along with Watchmen, though the story isn’t anything to do with either of those comics. It’s much lighter in subject matter, etc. The comparison is more about quality and style.” – Get the books via Comixology here.
Items: There’s a fair number of active KS crowdfunding efforts for Canadian comics going on, here’s a few highlights.
– Shadow of Alexandria, a historical fiction LGBT comic set in Ancient Egypt. By Chelsi Robichaud, she’s planing to hire an artist if and when the KS pans out.
– Death Row Sorcerer is a 48-page psychedelic supernatural comic about crime, prison and black magic! By Ottawa artist Nick O’Gorman & co-written by Kurt Belcher, and it’s being Kickstartered here!
– Imaginary Forces is a contemporary fantasy comic book with a strong late 80s/90s influence. Think Stranger Things meets Shazam! By Robert Policicchio and artist Marty Loreno.
– The Corsair is a 72 page watercolor Historical Adventure Graphic Novel. A tale of pirates, privateers, and plunder. By Tarek and artist Vincent Pompetti, from Toronto based Black Panel Press. The art looks lovely on this one!
Item: Last, here’s another comic I made in response to the Covid19 crisis. Inspired by something my freind Sherwin Tjia — author of Plument and other fine comics and books — said online once.
FYI I’ve been live streaming my own work a lot more lately keeping my ProcessPod uptodate, and my art classes at Syn Studio are going fully online now too, you can sign up for those here!
Take care, and wash your hands!
Salgood Sam aka Max Douglas: Max founded Sequenail in 2002, and is a Montreal based creator with 30 years of comic making madness under his belt. He started this site to increase the visibility of creators like himself, and help encourage a stronger more diverse regional comic market in Canada.