June recap – Vector illustration, layouts, soul-crushing anime

Category : Monthly recap

I can’t believe how fast June went by. Holy hell. We’ve finally had our first few days of very nice weather and I’ve entered LEISURE MODE, which is both necessary and a bit dangerous.

Each year I get what I call my “corporate gig”. It’s normally mildly exciting but it pays the bills for a little while. This year, it consisted of two full weeks of cleaning up a storyboard and drawing assets in Illustrator. I have a complicated relationship with Illustrator. What it does, it does well, but it’s so counter-intuitive for someone like me, who is satisfied with half-assed scribbles on crumpled paper. Still. It’s over and done, and if anything, being away from my personal project for two full week just made me more motivated!

So speaking of which, I decided it was more than time to just start production for Utown. I did all the research necessary at this point, drew all the outfits and mapped out all the places. Leaping back into storyboarding was… interesting. At first, I completely botched the two opening pages. I had to go back and actually plan out the dialogues (am I ever gonna stop writing?!). After my friend Boum sent me her own scenario for her next book, I decided to adopt her two-columns format to plan out spreads instead of individual pages. Having logical-thinking cartoonist friends is pretty damn useful! Drawing layouts is extremely challenging for me, and I hadn’t done anything of the sort in more than a year and a half. But I’m closing in page 10 and I can already feel it getting easier. Since I put in the lettering as I go, it’s already starting to feel like a real comic. Exciting!

The sketches I’ve accumulated over the last few weeks will all go up on my Patreon at some point. I’m still icky about “exclusives” so I think I’ll settle for a mix of public, early access for now. It’s a LOT of managing, to be honest, but I feel like I have to regrow a fan base from the ground up. And this ain’t the good ol’ DeviantArt days anymore…

In other news: COMICCON! I’ve been invited as a guest artist at the Montreal Comiccon! This is a first for me and I honestly cannot wait. I’ll be there with books and merch. I’ll post my signing schedule and table number as soon as I have the info.

On a final note, one thing: Neon Genesis Evangelion is on Netflix, I hadn’t seen it, it has wrecked me. BUT: it has top-notch UI design and by far the best technical yammering of any sci-fi franchise I’ve seen. I would sit through an hour-long Eva launch sequence any time.

via GIPHY

So other than giant robots piloted by emotionally staunched teens, this is what got me fired up this month:

Reading: Still not done reading last month’s book because I’ve been biking so much, instead of commuting. No rush though!
Listening: Pup‘s Morbid Stuff for its nostalgic energy. But I gotta be honest, those Lo-fi hip-hop Youtube channels get a lot of air time because: work.
Watching: Good Omens, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I’ve read the book two times and sat through the radio-play. I couldn’t have asked for a better adaptation.
Artist: Kit Mills. Love love love love.


May recap – Grant update, Patreon, MCAF

Category : Monthly recap

May is one of my favorite month of the year. It’s the month of my birthday, all of the flowers bloom and it’s also the month of the MCAF Festival, Montreal’s very own comic event. I got my bike out for good, slammed into countless potholes already and got my first busted tire. One of many, according to my experience.

The month started on a low note. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get the government grant I applied for. Cue sad horn. Oh well! It hasn’t stopped me from doubling down and finishing the Utown scenario, after almost a year and a half of on and off work. I’m frightened by the length of this comic to be honest. I gotta think of a way to make this happen without driving myself into the ground. It always looks way worse on paper. Once I start layouts, I’ll have a much better scope of the work load. I hope.

Part of the plan to make Utown viable was to re-open my Patreon. I did so at the start of May and switched to a “Pay what you want” model. A friend of mine suggested this and honestly, it lifted a big weight off my shoulder. With this philosophy, I don’t feel guilty about my update schedule anymore. I don’t feel like it has to be yet another side hustle. The way I see it, it’s more like a production journal than an actual “pay-for-content” kinda setup. My first goal is to cover half of my studio rent with my Patreon earnings and thanks to some very kind and very generous friends, it might become a reality!

I might not have gotten the grant, but I won an award for Hiver Nucléaire 3! You lose some, you get some!

The end of the month of May means it’s time for the Montreal Comic Arts Festival! This year’s edition was insane. I sold ou books, made a bunch of dumb sticker packs, sold out as well, walked around, drank a lot of beer and had a great time. It’s by far my favorite event of the year. Everyone I know did really well and since it’s a small event, you can tell when everyone’s happy and enjoying themselves. It rubs on everyone else, tablers or visitors. Next year, for sure, I’m getting my own table. I have too much merch and not enough opportunity to sell it!

Lastly, out of the blue, I had an urge to draw something girly that was not a storefront. I guess it had been gnawing at me for a while because I finished this on two days; that’s insanely fast and focused for me. I’m really happy with it! (Print in the shop, as usual.)

I got a lot of freelance work lined up in June. Personal projects will have to wait. But for now, here’s what got me excited in May:

Reading: A Scanner Darkly, because it’s never too late to pick up some weird sci-fi/psychedelic Phillip K.Dick novel. Up to this day, I still haven’t seen the movie. Which is, if you know me, unbelievable.

Watching: Avengers: Endgame. Smart Hulk and Burnout Thor were the two things I didn’t know I needed in my life.

Listening: Long-time favs Holy Ghost! released a killer track called “Escape from Los Angeles from their upcoming “Work” album.

Artist: Matt Cook. Incredible sense of light. This guy is in a whole other league, especially given his subject matter.


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