Inkstuds being interviewed and on the road to Toronto

It isn’t often that I do interviews, since I seem to be the one asking the questions. For my trip to TCAF, I did a couple of interviews for some good Canadian publications. First off, is Broken Pencil. It’s short and sweet, but hopefully interesting.  Secondly, The National Post in Canada, did a lengthy series of interviews with attendees at the festival. The questions were the same for everyone, and since I am not a cartoonist, I hope my answers conformed ok.

TCAF was really amazing for me. I interviewed the insanely talented Michael Deforge and the very inspiring Ho Che Anderson this week, as well as a couple of panels at TCAF proper. My first panel was with Paul Pope and Dash Shaw. It was really great. Paul seemed to open up quite a lot and Dash was intelligent and inspiring as always. The second panel I did was “Comics and social media” with Kate Beaton, Ray Fawkes, Jeff Rowland, Rich Stevens, and James Sturm. I was a little worried that it would be a train wreck, with five panelists, but it was quite excellent. Gina and Christopher picked a perfect group of folks for it. All the panelists are very intelligent creators that have a lot to offer as well as a fantastic sense of humor. I am hoping both panels recorded nicely. I won’t know until tmrw, but will try and get it posted as soon as possible.

I spent most of the weekend with the creators at Conundrum Press, including publisher Andy Brown, and cartoonists Joe Ollman, Sully, and possibly my new favorite person in comics, Phillipe Girard as well as Simon Bosse.

Some of the events I attended were very inspiring. James Sturm gave a very fascinating talk in regards to his Market Day book. It is a fantastic book and you should really read it. Vancouver buddy Miriam Libicki, presented as well, and it was great to see her in this context. She has really come into her own over the last four years since I first came across her comics at Vancouver’s humble conventions. The following night was Daniel Clowes’ talk, which was more excellent than i could of imagined. There is no arguing his importance in comics and he is obviously a man that loves comics. The talk was a conversation that included a slide show of his own work as well as work that has influenced him. You know when someone starts out a talk with the first page of Wally Wood’s My World, it is going to be interesting. Meeting him is a highlight for me personally. Reading a Velvet Glove Cast In Iron many years ago, probably wrecked me for life, by tossing my 15 year old mind into a completely new world and moving my comic obsession from the childish into the host of this fine radio show.

The Wright Awards were also fabulous. All the winners are well deserved and represent not only some of the best in Canadian comics, but also the best in comics period. Seth, Marc Bell and Michael Deforge really represent the modern Canadian identity in comics; uncompromising, developed and advanced work. Seth’s acceptance speech was quite inspiring and poignant. I was really struck by the passion when he stated – “Do your work for yourself–don’t think about what others want you to do.  There’s no point in doing the work if it isn’t done the way you believe it should be done.   Don’t strive to be a professional–think of yourself as an artist.” Seth is an important modern creator who not only creates excellent comics but also talks good comics.

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