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Spring Time is Convention Time!

Welcome to Spring, 2015.

The time of the year when the snow gives way to flowers and other missing treasures in the front yard. The time of the year when the weather turns mercurial… warm one hour, freezing the next. Also, the time when comics artists gear up for convention season.

Guin and I are gearing up for Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA, March 27th – 29th. You can find us in Artist Alley, B-07. Here’s some of the new stuff you’ll see at the con:

2015 Monsters & Dames illustration: Queen Lily sends the Giants into Battle!

We are creating a series of buttons for our book (a new one for each convention we attend this year). The first button is Princess Lily! We are giving them away free with any purchase (or if you ask nicely!)

2015 Appearances:

Our Emerald City Adventures!

We’ve been going to comic conventions for years (decades even) to set up shop, sell some art and meet and greet. However, there isn’t anything quite like going to a convention when you have a book out.

Emerald City is one of our favourite conventions to go to! It already boasts huge numbers, proximity, and a host city that is a lot of fun to hang out in. Also, it’s a comic-centric convention which means not having to battle video game, movie and toy vendors (and the booth babe armies they employ).

Comics and stories is the name of the day and that’s how we like our conventions!

But what made this convention special was the launch of Beautiful Scars to the world!

The book might be so small, but the box is so heavy!

Boom! and Archaia had a huge presence in the convention, setting shop in skyway, connecting the artists in two rooms. It also meant that we got to hang out with our peeps (and they shipped our heavy books for us!). So good to hang out with Mel, Tay, and Irene!

Our Archaia peeps and family!

Conventions are about connecting with people. We were proud to have our students set up shop and show their wares (Mariya Olyshevska, Amy Clare, Cole Pauls), but a big thanks to Louisa Tsui for holding down the fort while we did the errands that needed to be done.

Too cool for school…

We had a wonderful time hanging out with our art friends! Special shout out to David and Julia Petersen, Mike Yamada, Victoria Ying, Becky Dreistadt, Frank Gibson, Stuart and Steve Ng (let’s grab dinner again soon!), Ryan Hill, Jen Vaughn, Matt Bogart, Scott and Georgia Ball, Royden Lepp and Britney Lee… talking shop, comics, and the value of foam core is always a great time! We also got to meet new artists at the show: Braden Lamb, Shelli Paroline, Brandon Graham, and Cil Cheung. We have the coolest art neighbours!

Day 1

Beyond signing our books, the commission work, and the many Jimmy John’s sub runs, we wanted to thank all of the people we’ve met over the weekend who generally wanted to read our book. One story that stood out came from meeting Ketty, a young gentleman who read our book and felt a special connection to the book on the spot. The book reminded him of his grandfather and we all shared a moment we’ll never forget. Needless to say, I’ve never drawn with that much water in my eyes… Hopefully the drawing has dried out.

Day 2

So thank you all for coming to visit us in our little corner of Artist’s Alley. It was a convention we will never forget. And Ella, we’ll draw you another Superdog next year!

Day 3. See you next year!

Up next… San Diego Comic Con! We can’t wait.

 

OMGYAY

I received my preview copy in the mail today! (It hasn’t made it all the way to Canada yet, poor Durwin.) It was the most exciting moment I’ve had with this book so far. We worked so long on this book, to get it finished and then proofed and edited, to finally have it in my hands as a finished thing is an incredible feeling.

So incredible that it deserves a ridiculous animated gif!

omgyay

Click to play!

Only about 6 weeks until it can be in your hands as well. Yes!

Keep Warm These Holidays!

Guin and I have been doing holiday cards for a while now. The general work flow is that we realise that the Holidays are coming, we panic, and then we create a card.

This time, we combined two of our favourite things for this year’s card: movies and sweaters.

So welcome to our Christmas Story sweater pattern! We hope it keeps you warm on these holidays.

Fah rah rah rah rah! Rah rah, rah rah!

D+G

(If someone actually turns this pattern into a sweater, scarf or stocking, send us a pic and we’ll post it!)

 

Beautiful Scars on Multiversity Comics

beautifulscars-exclusive

So now it begins…

As soon as Guin and I uploaded the last file to Archaia’s FTP site, an uneasy feeling came over us. Is this it? Are we done?

For the past three+ years, we’ve been at this graphic novel. We were working on Beautiful Scars when we got married. We were working on Beautiful Scars when we moved to Canada and helped to set up an illustration program at Emily Carr University. We were working on Beautiful Scars every spare weekend, after every spare hour after grading, and every spare minute in between classes.

And now it’s all grown up. Off to the big bad world. And like the proud parents we are, all we can say is: GET A JOB!

Some news about our book: The book is now slated to hit stores in MARCH of 2014. This means we may have copies in time for Emerald City Comic Con, our first con of the year!

Also, we were just interviewed by the good folks at Multiversity Comics. Thanks to Matthew Meylikhov for asking some fun and deep questions!

Also, did you know you can follow Perpetual Flights on Facebook? Give us a like!

The Magic of Mary Blair

MB-drawing-table

This week was Mary Blair’s birthday. She was born in 1911, so this would have been her 102nd one. I didn’t even realize until I saw a post on Facebook, and thought it would be a great time to talk about her. Because I always want to talk about her.

blair-alice

If you’re not aware of her work, or aren’t one of the 15,971 people on Facebook who have “liked” Mary Blair’s page, she was a phenomenal artists who worked for the Walt Disney company in the 1940s and 50s, working on films like THE THREE CABALLEROS, CINDERELLA, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and PETER PAN. blair-mermaids

Her style was ahead of its time, blending modern, bright color with simplified, graphic shapes. She also produced illustrations for children’s books, advertisements, set designs, and Disneyland attractions including It’s a Small World, which is the closest we’re going to get to living inside her head for a few minutes. Her work continues to look super fresh and contemporary even today.

blair-smallworld

I want to go to there.

I think I have wrote about her on here before at some point, but it’s always good to talk more and spread the Gospel of Blair. Everyone has that artist that became a huge influence in their life, and was a litmus for their work. A turning point. For me, that was her.

I can’t remember exactly the first time I saw her work. I think Durwin showed me her first, and it was love at first sight. Her work taught me so much about color and how to use seeming disparate color with great results. If you look at her paintings, she uses bizarre color choices, ones you wouldn’t think to put together. I was always timid about using color, often sticking to analogous or otherwise limited palettes because I couldn’t get the riotous riotous color I wanted to behave the way I wanted. It would always end up looking like a hot mess. Her color, the absolute fearlessness and joy with which it seemed to be approached with, inspired me to take chances. It also taught me the value of…well, value (no pun intended). Her colors only work because she had such a strong sense of value. They don’t fight with each other. It always has a clear sense of focus. It seems effortless, but in reality it shows what a master of color she was. I learned that she was highly influenced by the Fauvist movement, and I can definitely see that in her work. I still have a fairly extensive image morgue of her work that I turn to for inspiration when I’m stuck.

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the Disney archives while with the Hartford Art School MFA program a few years ago and got to see her work up close and in person. I couldn’t believe how many pieces that I had admired, or works from series that I had loved, were just…there. Hanging on the walls. It was an amazing experience. I just wanted to absorb them into my skin, to take them home with me (but of course I could not, or risk Disney Jail. Worse than Real Jail). She inspired me to think about my work more cinematically – to set a stage and tell a story with color.

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This nondescript building houses the most amazing things.

Mary Blair also had a phenomenal sense of shape. I love how simply she can describe a shape and have it just work, whether it’s a figure or a castle or anything else in between. Her characters come to life, in their extreme two-dimensionality, and jump off the page. They aren’t the best to literally animate, however, and I have read that the animators struggled with her designs on occasion. BUT, she could capture the essence of a character or a scene so well. It’s harder to be simple and effective; a lot more is forgiven or hidden with complexity. I think that’s one of the reasons her work resonates with so many people – it’s simple, straightforward, and has nothing to hide. It’s perfect.

image

 

This is a postcard from the Mary Blair exhibit in Japan, that I didn’t get to see in person (my super wonderful husband bought me the set). It sits on the corkboard right by my desk to serve as constant inspiration. We all need reminders of what to strive for in our work, and though I have many art heroes that I look up to, she’ll always be the biggest to me.

 

 

Comic Con 2013 Update! (Artist’s Alley II-21)

So as we round third and head for Comic Con, we wanted to share a preview of our wares:

As well as a preview of our group postcard set (done in cahoots with Chris Moeller, John Van Fleet and Scott Hampton, guess which one’s which):

We also wanted to announce our signing times at the Archaia Booth (#2635) for our upcoming graphic novel Beautiful Scars:

Thursday, July 18
10-11am
6-7pm

Friday, July 19
10-11am

Saturday, July 20
5:30-7pm

Sunday, July 21
3-4pm

Besides hanging out in Artist’s Alley (#II-21) selling prints, promoting the book, and drawing commissions, you can catch us at our Using Panels to Shape Visual Storytelling talk/demo on Sunday, July 21st at 11:30 am – 1:15 pm, Room 2.

Stop by and say hello!

D+G