Edmonton is rich ground for comics culture, and it feels like there’s a lot going on these days:
– Take Andrew Foley, for example. He co-wrote Cowboys & Aliens, which has been made into a big, big movie. I first came across him on Twitter and started following him because I thought he was clever. He is. So’s his blog. His next book, Done to Death, is coming out in September. Here’s a video of him, done back in April by Jasmine Franklin of the Edmonton Sun.
– Then there’s Nat Jones, creator of ‘68, a zombie story set in the Vietnam War. Nat, photographed above by Brittney Le Blanc at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in June, is a recent immigrant to Edmonton from the United States. His presence is bound to enrich the city’s already strong comics scene through his teaching in the new Digital Illustration and Sequential Art diploma program at Guru Digital Arts College. Guru, which is run by my friend Owen Brierley, has become an incubator for all kinds of cool people and projects in this city, and I’m looking forward to seeing the art that emerges from this program.
– Mike Winters’ Cartoon Machine is a must-read. Tragically, Mike lives in Toronto now. But he used to live here, and he makes fun of Edmonton a lot (affectionately, I think), so he counts in my books. McScoop is, of course, my favourite.
– Inglorious Hipsters, a new web comic by Jeremy Die and Gregg Beever, launched July 4 and has four episodes under its belt. The blog also features their previous comic, Dead-Beef, which was new to me and also worth a look. There’s a video about them on the edmontonian, and Gig City did a funny story about them, too.
– For comic-book news and reviews, read Suzette Chan, one of the editors responsible for Sequential Tart. I didn’t know about that webzine until Andy Grabia drew it to my attention. Andy is curating a show for the U of A Libraries based on the collection of Gilbert Bouchard, possibly the greatest lover of comic books and graphic novels that Edmonton has ever known. Watch for it in November.
– Speaking of Suzette and Gilbert, shout out to The Gateway, where we all served as editor-in-chief back in our respective days. The University of Alberta’s student newspaper has nurtured many an artist over the years, including Fish Griwkowsky, Stephen Notley and the aforementioned Mike Winters. Also, Space Moose. Perhaps you’ll find the next big thing in today’s Gateway comics.
(Addendum: Andy adds Nathan Fairbairn, a Gateway alum who works for Marvel and DC, and is married to my former Gateway colleague Rachel Sanders, who recently profiled indie music in Edmonton for CBC Radio 3. Andy also notes David Berry, another expat, whose graphic novel, We Hate This Place Here; It’s Our Home, is all about Edmonton.)
I’m sure there’s plenty more going on that I don’t know about, so let me know what I’m missing in the comments below or on Twitter. I’m not so much an aficionado myself, but I’m definitely an aficionado of comic-book aficionados.
A few more short snappers:
– Alex Abboud has a thoughtful and detailed post on what $100 million could do for downtown if it were spent on stuff other than the arena.
– Mack Male has a couple of well-illustrated pieces on the Capital Boulevard remake and the problem with downtown parking lots.
– Duncan Kinney has an incisive response to all the complaining about mosquitoes.
– And you can now watch four episodes of The People That Touch Your Food, a pretty funny Edmonton-based web series set in a restaurant. It has a Twitter feed now, too.
For more media goings-on, check out Mack’s Media Monday.