Yesterday I visited the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, an event I look forward to every year because I usually find it incredibly inspiring. This year I had less time than usual because I am currently working very hard on my thesis, but I nevertheless made some great discoveries, such as the Quebec-based artist’s Carlos Santos’ graphic novel Silent Worlds, which seems to be in some ways analogous to Jacques Tati’s film Playtime (in that its “story” focuses not on characters but on places. I also love its long intellectual analytical essay in the back pages, something which seems distinctly European as most North American comics artists prefer to say nothing at all). I also discovered that me and Carlos use the same pen: a 0.25mm Hi-Tec-C (although he uses it to draw EVERYTHING – and he doesn’t even do pencils first – while I mostly use it for cross-hatching and for doing rough work)
A number of people had interesting graphic novel projects that were not yet completed: Mark Hensel’s Vortex, Marnie Galloway’s In the Sounds and Seas (both of them told me they were hoping to finish it by next year), and Evan Dahm’s Vattu (which I’ve been following online for a while). I bought one of the Adventure Time comic collections written by Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics fame). It deserves all the good reviews.
Theo Ellsworth was also there, with several longer and shorter works that may eventually be combined into something larger like his previous graphic novel, Capacity. The Understanding Monster, book 1 was there and looked fantastic, but I purposefully avoided reading too much of it so that I could properly enjoy it when the collected edition is released. Theo’s book Capacity is one that I really like, and it was a bit strange to actually meet him in person after feeling like I already somewhat knew him through his work. Sorry that I came off a bit awkward, Theo!
So far this year I haven’t done too badly at my goal of updating The Brook’s Reflections once a week every Wednesday (well, not as badly as in prior years, anyway). I’m going to try to keep this up so that I can have enough comics to collect them into a small book, get a table at TCAF 2014 and sell a few of them. All of which would be a first for me, but they are necessary small steps.
So, did anyone else visit TCAF this year?
I’ll be without internet for a month, so no updates. Hope to have a lot of material by the time I return, however.
Not everything is in place yet, but this site is now generally functional.
I’ve had the idea to start one for quite a long time. Soon I will bring the archive up to date, and begin posting new material. I don’t know how often, yet. We’ll see how things evolve. I sketch down a comic once every few days; polishing it up takes longer, but not as long as it once did.
The title “The Brook’s Reflections” was chosen because the comics I draw don’t have consistent characters or worlds; rather, they are concentrated glimpses of what I see around me, varying in style and subject matter. So it seemed like the only title that made sense.
I chose to use the stripShow plug-in instead of the more commonly-used ComicPress. Its only disadvantage may be that the selection of preconfigured themes is much smaller. But in my case, I prefer a very simple interface anyway.