April Recap – Getting out there

Category : Monthly recap

Hello hello! Spring is in the air, there are glimpses of greenery in the trees and I walked around wearing a t-shirt and no jacket yesterday. Oh yeah, May is here! April was filled with events and social outings, which were very welcome after our endless spring-ter (spring and winter at the same time) spent hunched over, rushing to finish Utown.

Speaking of which, it’s really, really, really done. For real. I sent the files over the printer at the beginning of the month, we got the proofs back, the promo material has been printed, posts have been made; now all is left to do is wait for the launch. Normally, I should get the books at the end of the week or early next week, which seems absolutely unreal. Comics!! I also uploaded the last pages of the webcomic on Patreon and for the wide public. Two years and a half of bi-weekly pages and 203 pages in French and English later, it’s DONE. I wrote about what it was like, maintaining a webcomic in 2020 vs 2012 in a long post on Patreon. Spoiler: I’m not doing it again anytime soon! So yeah, all I’m thinking about now is the actual book and the launch night, which will take place in real life. The event is here by the way, if you’re in Montreal around this time. Come say hi!

We also had the launch for 420 Grammes, the book I illustrated and talked about in the last recap. The event was a success, lots of old friends showed up and I had a wonderful time. Three days later, I left for Quebec City to attend the Salon International du Livre de Québec and the Québec BD Festival. Aside from the holiday edition Comiccon last December, this was my first time back at an actual, pre-pandemic sized book fair. Yo, there were a LOT OF PEOPLE! I was happy to be back behind the Front Froid/Nouvelle Adresse table and I marvelled at how far our little publishing house had come during the past few years.

After doing almost three years of heavy, weird bilingual promo for Utown, I’m once again in a language conundrum. I’ve been writing on the internet in English for so long that I kinda expect everyone to just… be able to read it. But as my books are getting a lot more traction in Quebec, I always feel bad about doing most of my posts in English or sometimes, English and French. And since I wanna start relying less and less on social media, this blog and my Patreon posts are becoming more important than even. But honestly, I can’t translate everything I write, it’s just too much work :/ This is why I’m testing a French-language newsletter, that will be kinda like these recaps, with added announcements. French-speaking readers can sign up here!

Lastly, I drew a print of our local snack-bar, the Pataterie (which you can buy here). The co-owner wrote me this morning and said he loved it! Turns out, everybody loves getting fanart, its universal. Speaking of which, two of my friends composed and recorded a song inspired by Utown. How awesome is that?!

Oh yeah, I got an old of film developed! Some of ’em turned out okay!

So that’s it for now! May is gonna be in-sa-ne, with Utown premiering at MCAF, the launch, and other comic-related activities spread throughout the month. I’m looking forward to talking about everything in the next recap! In the meantime, here’s what got me excited in April:

On the big screen: I went to see Everything, Everywhere, all at Once. I hadn’t been this hyped about a movie in a long, long time. The VFX were done by FIVE PEOPLE?!

On the little screen: Russian Dolls is back, Nadia is the chic-goth hot mess I wish I was (but also, not really) and the series starts off perfectly. I found the ending rushed, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Everyone on Twitter is screaming about Our Flag Means Death, the pirate rom-com we didn’t know we needed BUT DID. It’s an absolute delight!

On the even littler screen: Hey, can we agree that Katsuhiro Otomo is the best draftsman of our era? Cartoonist Kayfabe did a read-through of his out-of-print artbook and I’m still not over it. As I’ll never be over Akira and why it looks the way it does. Film photography Youtube is just the most soothing place to be on the internet. I enjoy watching KingJvpes thrifting and talking about plastic boxes with lenses.

No music recs this month; I’ve been living in almost total silence for the past two-three weeks? I think my ears needed a break!



March recap – That damn swab, making a book, going out.

Category : Monthly recap

Hiyah! I hope everyone’s doing good! It’s lovely lover here, the breeze is gently pushing flurries of leftover garbage from the winter around. A gigantic discarded mattress bloomed right outside my front yard. Trash season is truly a sight to behold in Montreal.

March came to a screeching halt after testing positive for COVID earlier this month (not before giving it to my best friend, during her birthday dinner :/ ). I was out of business for 3-4 days, but it ended up feeling like a regular flu (hurray for getting my three shots!). In the meantime, I worked on the Utown cover and watched an embarrassing amount of Kuroko’s Basketball episodes.

The cover and back cover of Utown are done! As for the interiors, I got my first round of feedback from my editor and made a few changes in dialogues throughout the book. The printed version is gonna end up being a little different than the webcomic, but that’s part of the plan! The files are going to the printer on April 7h, so this is the last stretch. I’ll post the cover as soon as I can on Patreon, as well as inside illustrations, breakdowns and processes once the book is over!

After being stuck in isolation for a week and a half, it felt good to go see a live show, get together with friends in a cottage and go to a book launch. Next week, I’ll be at the Salon du Livre in Quebec, and I’m looking forward to signing books again 😀

A lot of really good stuff came out this month, so here’s what got me excited during March!

In my ears: Bodega’s Broken Equipement is way better than what I expected and has been on heavy rotation for 2 weeks. Yard Act, a recommendation from a friend: witty post-punk with great lyrics, and a few danceable songs. Franz Ferdinand released a great compilation of their best work and it hasn’t aged a day. I would’ve bought it if I hadn’t grabbed the first album like, 2 days before at the thrift store.

On TV: Kuroko’s Basketball, as I mentionned earlier. Taylor Tomlison’s Look at You standup special, which is right up my alley. Ahhh, self-deprecating jokes about therapy end medication are the best 😀 . I also watched Turning Red, had a blast and immediately put on the Backstreet Boys after the movie was over.

Artist: Stranger wolf, a Montreal-based illustrator that kicks ass! Check out her print shop as well!


Annonces – Sortie de Utown, festivals, 420 Grammes.

Category : Conventions

Allô tout le monde! Y’a pas mal de choses qui s’en viennent alors voici un p’tit compte-rendu de ce qui se passe avec Utown, mes autres projets et moi.

Si vous le saviez pas, Utown (version française), sort en livre au mois de mai, chez Nouvelle Adresse. Le livre part chez l’imprimeur le 7 avril, faque je suis en plein rush de fin de production. La couverture est presque terminée, les intérieurs ont été corrigés et j’vous jure, ça va être un beau p’tit pavé de 224 pages. On check encore pour les dates et les évènements entourant le lancement, mais j’vais vous tenir au courant, promis!

Le webcomic tire également à sa fin, avec seulement quelques semaine de mise à jour. Je planifie de publier beaucoup de stock sur Patreon pendant et après la fin du webcomic. Des making of, des concepts, des illustrations en avance, etc. Pour vrai, c’est encore le moment de joindre mon Patreon. J’espère sincèrement continuer à m’en servir!

Avec le printemps arrive le temps des festivals, et festivals il y aura, oui médame. Je vais être au Salon International du livre de Québec et au Festival de BD de Québec les 8 et 9 avril prochain. Chez l’éditeur FonFon en premier lieu, pour promouvoir Bertrand et Moi, un livre jeunesse que j’ai illustré l’an passé, accompagnée Bertrand Gauthier le samedi. Je serai également chez Front Froid/Nouvelle Adresse pour signer Hiver Nucléaire ou des chèques sans provisions, selon vos préférences. Le reste du temps, vous pourrez me voir errer dans les allées, un sourire béat au visage (sous le masque) Voici donc mon horaire de fin de semaine:

Samedi:
Front Froid: 11h30 à 12h30
Fonfon: 13h à 14h

Dimanche:
Fonfon: 12h à 13h
Front Froid: 13h à 16h

C’est plus loin, mais je vais aussi être au Festival de BD de Montréal (27 au 29 mai), avec Utown comme nouveauté. Je vais annoncer mon horaire en temps et lieu!

Finalement, l’essai 420 Grammes a été dévoilé la semaine passée. Écrit par un de mes meilleurs amis, Philippe Meilleur (ami), 420 Grammes est un p’tit livre qui porte sur le parcours de l’auteur à travers 15 ans de dépendance au weed. Et euh, j’ai été là pendant pas mal de ces années-là! On a donc décidé (à jeûn!) de faire ce livre ensemble, avec lui au texte et moi aux illustrations. Le livre sort le 20 avril dans toutes les librairies et les magasins Prohibition (ben non).

C’est ça pour le moment. À plus!


February Recap – Cafe sketches, zigonnage, second-hand everything

Category : Monthly recap

Hello everyone! February brought with it the end of most pandemic restrictions over here. Dinners with friends and family happened, we started drawing in cafés again (it sounds more pretentious than it is) and I feel generally good! If winter could end somewhere in the next century, it’d be very swell.

As I’m writing this, Utown is about to be shipped to my publisher for review. I spent the month tweaking wonky artwork, fixing faces and changing bits of dialogues here and there. And adding a third shade of halftone because I’m a dummy who can’t let go until the end apparently! One of my favorite Quebecism is the verb “zigonner“, which means to tweak and waste time doing a menial task. Let me tell you that I’m zigonning the hell out of that book right now. Announcement! Utown (in French) is gonna drop somewhere early/mid May, just in time for this year’s FBDM/MCAF. I am losing my goddamn mind with excitement, I cannot wait to hold that book in my hands and promote the shit out of it. Now if I could just decide on a cover…!

Madame Bruno, the best/most useless assistant

With Utown out taking less and less space in my schedule, I started drawing for myself more. A trip to a local thrift store prompted me to draw last fall’s Outfit of the Day lineup, just like the one I did in summer. I find that drawing these is very fulfilling exercise and it always makes me feel better about myself. The power of art, amirite?

I’m almost done ripping my awkward, indie-sleaze-ish CD collection and doing so made me realize there are a lot of forgotten bands I still really, really enjoy listening to. One Saturday afternoon, I went to one of the few surviving used music/book store on the Plateau and spent an hour browsing for the fun of it. I know I sound like a raging nostalgic (I’m not the only one), but I couldn’t afford to shop at HMV for new releases until well into my college years so second-hand shops were where I built a resemblance of musical culture. Plus, with what went down with Spotify over the last few weeks, owning my music feels I dunno… right. Plus, they look dope.

L’Échange on Mont-Royal.

So with that, January III -I mean, March- is here. Here’s what got me excited during January II, The Revenge – I mean, February.

Reading: Karl Kershl’s Abominable Charles Christopher, all three issues. It’s my first time reading them cover to cover in 2-3 sittings and what a treat.
Watching:
Why do we Care if Movies are “Realistic”, an 11-minutes essay by Patrick Willem that kinda blew my mind. I started thinking about my work on the whole realist/formalist spectrum and I had a moment. He also thinks Marvel movies look like shit, and yeah, can’t disagree.
– Cartoonist Kayfabe’s Print Magazine episode, in which the guys go over the super niche, 1988 special edition of the magazine, entirely devoted to comic books. As someone who used to pour over graphic design magazines, this episode was pure delight. The ads!
Listening: Not just old stuff, I swear! Gravity Licker by Clear Capsule. Gotta love a band that makes up their own sub-sub-sub genres on Bandcamp *rolls eyes*. Montreal’s own tragic romantic figures The Dears are still Very Good. A comprehensive guide to King Gizzard’s discography made me 1. Like them more 2. Fear them more.

Cool art, bro: Libby. Cute cozy art! Artists need to get proper portfolio/gallery pages for chrissake’s./rant


January Recap – Cold prison, the pile, daydreaming

Category : Monthly recap

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing good! As I’m writing this, Quebec is sluggishly getting out of yet another round of curfew and restaurant closings. I can’t wait to draw with some friends over beer and coffee again, guh!

Normally, I open with some weather news because 1) I like small talk 2) if you lived here, you know how it rules over every other aspect of our lives and 3) it’s basically free complaint-fodder. But this month man, this month was TEDIOUS. January is never fun, but a wave of relentless, bitter cold just swooped over the city for weeks and made getting ready for each outing a part-time job. Some days I decided just not to go out, which I never do and opted to stay inside, huddled around my space heater.It was rough for the morale but I think the worst is behind us (hopefully!)

To be honest, the timing of this awful cold snap/lockdown wasn’t too bad. I doubled down on work, having literally nothing else to do, and finished inking Utown on January 6. 203 pages of inked comic look real sexy, so I did what every cartoonist do and took some pictures of The Pile. The amount of love I got after posting them really lifted my mood! As we speak, Utown is, in all intent and purpose, done, with only minor corrections left to put in. The post-prod stage–between finishing the pages and the actual launch of the book– is such a weird liminal space. I want to celebrate the most mundane milestone (because I’m exhausted and proud of my work), knowing well that from now on, I’ll have less and less control over how things go. It’s a hell of a ride!

If you want to take a peek at what it was like, inking all these pages, I made a TikTok account on which I uploaded most of my process videos. Watching someone work is like special ASMR for me, so I hope it’s pleasant to you as well. I hope to do more of these in the future!

Bertrand et Moi, the book series I illustrated for FonFon came out in stores too! So between raking my brain on how to illustrate the cover of an essay on weed without being too obvious, promoting the books and finishing Utown, you could say it was an eventful start of the year. The way I like ’em 😛 I still took some time to finish this Edwin picture I had lying around. Drawing for fun is fun!

And as if my office wasn’t messy enough, I started another kind of pile. I could put the CDs back in their box (I will) but I like having having ’em around. I don’t miss post-college Cab, but I still like her tastes in music! Don’t mind the late 90’s Canadian alt-rock gems, I was a teenager at one point too 😛

Reading: Annulé(e) – Réflexion sur la cancel culture, by Judith Lussier.
On the small screen: Deadly Class: visually stunning, but trashy AF. I’m glad I read the comics first, so I was ready for the incredibly bleak tone and gory content of the show. What a fucking shame they pulled the plug after one season though, I really liked it. Killer soundtrack as well! I also binged Midnight Asia and it made me miss food and people and events and the general concept of fun.
Listening to: See picture above 😛 Other than that, the new Billy Talent (Crisis of Faith), which has one of their best song but a lot of their worst ones -_- I found that Meat Wave’s (god that name) Volcano Park EP tugged at similar heartstrings than Billy Talent but did it better.
Artist: Wonderful, wonderful alariko. Their artwork is like therapy.


2021 Recap – 2022 Goals

Category : Monthly recap

Hello everyone! It’s January first and we’ve been slapped with a 3 week curfew over here. I’m in my pyjamas, coffee by my side, blasting some music and even though he situation’s a bit bleak right now, it’s time to look back at the year, with its highs and lows. That exercise alone always makes me feel better!

January
  • After years of smug resistance, I buy a used display tablet from a friend. It takes me 0.3 seconds to fall in love with it.
  • I get commissioned for a comic for la Maison de la littérature in Québec City and I do the cover of the Débrouillard’s special Art edition.
February
  • I work on another comic, this time, for the FBDM’s “X” anthology. It’s my favorite commissioned comic in a while.
  • Utown gets nominated at the Sequential Art Awards!
  • Meanwhile, I start notice how increasingly awful I feel in the morning. I book an appointment at a sleep clinic and get diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. It sucks.
March
  • It’s peak pandemic bullshit, I get tested after close friends catch it. There’s still a curfew in effect, I only see friends outside.
  • I buy new running shoes and set a running goal for the year.
April
  • I start working on a kid’s book project called “Bertrand et Moi”.
  • I draw a new iconic storefront for a pop-up event in St-Henri.
May
  • Suddently, everything happens! The Montreal Comic Art Festival is online again this year, so I do a few talks and live drawings.
  • We have the pop-up event and it’s a success!
  • I also get my first vaccine shot. Things are finally starting to look up, the province-wide curfew is lifted on my birthday.
June
  • Boum and I give a lecture on webcomics and online promotion.
  • Utown is coming along great.
  • I have my first real panic attack in years, after weeks of horrible sleeping patterns. At this point, the CPAP machine and me are NOT on friendly terms.
July
  • I get another Aggretsuko cover gig!
  • Summer is full of bike rides, running and visits to my friend’s house (with a pool!!)
  • I also buy 35mm film for my old camera and start taking photos again!
  • After discovering podcasts and soundtracks for sleeping, I finally start having restful nights again.
August
  • One of my best friend talks to me about an essay on weed he wants to write and I agree to illustrate it. We get a publishing deal like, ridiculously fast?! I immediately start sketching, while working on the kid’s book. Being an illustrator is weird.
September
  • I find a weird, goblin cat (but I return it to its owner… sniff).
  • I talk to Front Froid about a potential Hiver Nucléaire anthology.
October
  • I work on everything, but I’m starting to get nervous about the deadline for Utown.
  • I bring a few pages to ink at a cottage retreat with friends.
November
  • I do another (!!) Aggretsuko cover, a new holiday card for the Comiccon in December and I plan and promote the shit out of my Thanksgiving Etsy sale.
  • Axelle and me decide to pull the plug on the comic pitch we’ve been working on for the last few months. Sometimes you gotta pick your fights!
  • Since I’m also in charge the book layout for our weed essay, I dust off my graphic design degree and browse fonts for hours. I profess my undying love to InDesign once more.
December
  • First Comiccon in more than two years!
  • I finish writing and storyboarding the last Utown chapter.
  • The omicron variant sweeps over Quebec and until two days prior to Christmas, I don’t know if I’ll be able to see my family or not. No one shows symptoms so we get together.
  • I pencil a few pages (and drink wine) between Christmas and New Years. Curfew is reinstated and we’ve come full circle!

Highlights

  • The little community that formed around Utown on Patreon and on social media. Each comment, each reaction is a little gift 🙂
  • Utown is gonna be published!
  • Buying more albums on Bandcamp, reading reviews, discovering new artists and generally getting more excited about music.
  • Biking up the mountain became an activity that I actually looked forward to!
  • Getting back into photography as a hobby is really fun!

Lows

  • Obviously, getting diagnosed with sleep apnea was a huge blow.
  • Pandemic fatigue, anxiety about *points everything* and using the CPAP machine made me very aware of my squishy insides. 3 AM online queries about heart diseases became a regular occurrence.
  • Between the housing crisis, artists getting ripped off by NFT platforms and the frustrating fight for our own neighborhood’s right to peace and quiet, 2021 has been a ripe year for outrage. It’s kinda exhausting.

Goals

I reached a few of the goals I set last year, so that’s encouraging! Here’s what I wanna accomplish in 2022.

  • Draw for myself after Utown is done. Fanart, illustrations, random characters, doodles, etc. After 3 years of black and white comic, it’s time to start playing again.
  • Do things more mindfully.
  • Run a 10k by the end of the season and bike to unexplored lands!
  • Fall in love with movies again.

Final thoughts

The Utown page update schedule is how I kept track of time over the last two years, one chapter bleeding into the other, month after month, scheduled update after scheduled update. Working from home during months of lockdown became very, very repetitive. So, going from mad production mode to book launch mode is gonna be a huge change of pace and honestly, I’m looking forward to it. Can you believe it? I have four books coming out next year. FOUR!! With that said, I think I need to take a break from comics for a while and try new things. So as always, thanks for reading and sticking by. Have a great 2022 everyone!


December Recap – Tabling, race to the end of the year

Category : Monthly recap

Hi everyone! I’m in full annual recap mode so I’ll get December out of the way for now.

The month started with the holiday edition of the Montreal Comiccon. It was my first convention in person since the start of the plague, so needless to say I was vibrating the week before. I had a huge table all for myself, new comics, new prints, a new holiday card and… a mask at all time. It kept the con-crud at bay at least!

Other than that, December was a race to the end of the year, with many projects heading towards completion. I put the finishing touches on the last Utown chapter storyboard (and had a little cry about it). Not thinking constantly about what happens next in my comic is gonna free up so much mental space, I might start renting it.

A few days before Christmas, Covid cases started to spike out of control, tests were nowhere to be found and I didn’t know if I was gonna see my family or not. I was hit with a wave of mental and physical exhaustion that signalled that it’s indeed, the end of another pandemic year. I drew for myself, made gifts (which always cheers me up), watched a bunch of movies and tv and ended up seeing my parents and my sister anyway.

Oh and I got a new computer, but it’s as underwhelming as a desktop PC can be. But hey, I can play games on Steam now!

Next post is gonna my end-of-year recap, which I always love writing. Stay tuned! Until then, here’s what got me through December.

Reading: Zviane’s bonkers Football Fantaisie. A one of a kind, brick of a comic, truly one of the best book I’ve read in the past years. A master class in comic!
Watching: The Matrix Reloaded and Revolution, back-to-back. Way better than what I remembered! Aggretsuko season 4, as soon as it landed. I also finished Centaurworld, and really, really enjoyed it!
Listening: To my friend’s best-of 2021 playlists (I also made one!). And this really good playlist of music that the Beatles were influenced by.


November recap – Screaming, mostly

Category : Monthly recap

Hello! Exceptionally, there won’t be any real monthly recap this month. Honestly, I’m finishing projects as we speak, so I think it’s futile to tell you that I’m working on Utown, for the 95th consecutive month. To prove my point, here are three pictures to show of how things are going right now.

I’ll have more to write about at the end of the year, when I do my yearly recap. Until I catch my breath, here are a few things I’ve been listening to while working!

  • Maintenance Phase, the most excellent podcast about debunking fad diets, cleanses and proving how harmful fatphobia is.
  • Parquet Court’s new album, on its way into my top 5 of the year. And oh my god, I just checked their tour dates and they’re coming heeere aaaah!!!
  • Songs mentionned in High Fidelity. I dunno why this movie popped up in my mind lately. Maybe that’s what I get from drawing self-entitled assholes who smoke indoors and record shops.
  • Kid A Mnesia, the anniversary edition of Kid A and Amnesiac, Radiohead’s stellar “sister” albums.
  • Speaking of which, Rob Harvilla did an episode on Creep on his podcast and as usual, it’s absolutely fantastic. I can’t enough of him revisiting his youth through music (and self-depreciation). He also made an episode on Celine Dion, oh yeah.


October recap – Crimes, long hours, ends and beginnings

Category : Monthly recap

Hello everyone, Happy Halloween! This year, I’m dressing up as a tired cartoonist with a deadline for a 200-pages comic and many, many more projects. And it’s not a figure of speech, I DO have a costume ready 😛

You probably guessed by this time that I spent all of October hunched over the penultimate chapter of Utown. I managed to pencil, ink, letter and tone all 21 pages in the same amount of days, weekends included, from morning to night. Now, I’m just stating a fact, not complaining! I’m close to finishing my project, so while this is hard on the body, I’m just having a blast. To keep me glued to my chair, I decided to start watching a French-language cop drama we get here called District 31, while I was working . A lot of people made fun of me (it’s considered really cheesy) but it was just engaging enough to stop my brain from getting bored of drawing. I normally don’t watch anything while on the job (you end up half-watching and half-working) but considering the state of fatigue I’m in, I allowed it. I dream of police precincts a lot now, though.

My friend Mel was able to book our now yearly cottage getaway for 4 days. It felt nice to relax for a weekend, even though I had brought a few pages to pencil (but no computer!) and well… you can hardly call this “work” now, can you.

Some projects are starting, some are ending! My friend Phil and I met with our publisher concerning a book project (hint about its subject: it’s coming out on April 20th…) and I’m jumping on the illustrations full time next week. Bertrand et Moi, the children’s book I’ve been illustrating this summer, is done! Done done! I can’t wait to reveal some of the illustrations!

Oh, and some smart people talked about Hiver Nucléaire during a presentation held at la BAnQ (National Archival Library), as part of a lecture on dystopian cities in comics. Good thing I had a mask on because I had a huge smile all throughout the talk! I can’t believe my books were used a thesis subject, holy shit!

So yeah, that’s been my month. Energy is low, but morale is good! Here’s what kept me going this month.

On the small screen: I already answered that above, but I squeezed in the second Kid Cosmic season. I’m taking a lot of mental notes from this show.
On the big screen: Dune, what else. I won’t even attempt to review it because the best summary has already been written.
Artists: Okay, listen to this. Last week or so, someone comments on my Instagram page saying they’ve been following me and reading Utown on DeviantArt as a teen (it was text at that time). He then says I inspired him to pick up pen and ink and I think “aww, that’s cute”, as I check out his stuff and *insert spit take* HOLY CRAP!! HE’S SO GOOD! Like, I’d rather have him do my comic than me- good. Check out Giles Crawford, is all I’m saying.
And check out C.M Thomas on IG for spooky, slightly unsettling photos on this Halloween day!


September recap – Cat-goblin, photos, end-of-projects

Category : Monthly recap

Hello, bonjour! September was on steroids, I feel like 4 months happened at once. I’m writing this on a rainy Saturday morning, and I can guarantee a nap WILL happen in a the near future.

The month was off to a weird start when one afternoon, as I was getting out of my apartment, I almost tripped on a tiny cat-goblin right outside my front door. It was clearly lost, so I took it in, started to look for its owner and pretty much had the most exciting week-end in a long time. Part investigation, part you know… having a cat in my house for the first time ever! I eventually found its owner, a neighbour, but I had a good cry the night before we parted. Yuki (its real name) was one ugly-cute cat with bad breath, but dear god, what an adorable little critter he was. I’m glad he was reunited with its owner at the end though!

I spent most of the month working on the Utown chapter 8 storyboard. It took so damn long, I must be the least efficient person at layouts ever! At least I’m fast when it comes to pencils and ink, so that’s a slight consolation. Only once chapter left after this one! When end of project fatigue settles in, I remember that I got very good news concerning Utown this month 😉 More later…!

Utown in a nutshell

The four Fonfon books are also almost done as well. I think I colored something like 34 pages in two days this week? I put on District 31 (a daily drama show with cops that has like… 900 episodes) and just… work work work! Anyway, I can’t wait to be able to show some of the illustrations!

And remember when I said I’d taken my old film camera out? Well, I got 3 rolls of film processed and I think I still need a lot of practice! I’m so used to being in total control of my medium and getting immediate result (digital art will do that) that this whole process feels very strange to me. Humbling, that’s for sure. The important thing is that I had fun going out on photo safaris throughout the city.

Will I ever recover from September? Of course I will! In the name of ART!! Here’s what got me excited this month!

On paper: The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller. Fun fact, it’s my first time reading a Batman comic! Analog Photography, by Andrew Bell. It’s like graphic design/film photography porn.
On the little screen: Finished bingeing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and got my sleep schedule back.
At the THEATRE!: Le manuel de la vie sauvage. Great adaptation of a great book. I can’t remember the last time I went to see an actual play so this was really refreshing!
Artist: Ash Szymanik. I love the clutter she draws and the proportions of her animal characters. It’s very charming!


August review – It’s too hot, working anyway, Swiss cheese

Category : Monthly recap

Hello everyone! As I’m writing this, we just came out of a 2 week-long, insufferable heatwave. It was so hot that every patch of vegetation pretty much died, and the trees started losing their leaves. I was losing my mind. Working on a warm display tablet became a chore and I fled to my friends swimming pool whenever I could. Thank god it’s over (for now!)

I still managed to get some work done, sluggishly. I finished and sent my Aggretsuko cover in a record time. The FonFon kid book is coming along great, with the sketches done and approved for all four books. While that’s going on, I’m also working on illustrations for a book about WEED. Because apparently I’ve become someone who does kid’s books one day and draws chain-smoking stoners the other day. Everyone seems to be fine with this so *shrug*?!

Also, I went out and bought film for this little beauty again. Not sure at how it’s gonna turn out (I already ruined a film, which got me in a bad mood for DAYS), but I’m having a lot of fun rediscovering photography.

And as you can tell, it’s a bit of a theme…

Lastly, I filled a page of my big, doodle pad! For me, it’s the equivalent of finishing a sketchbook, except it’s all on one page. When there’s no more room, I get the x-acto knife out and cut out whatever sketch I deem worthy of scanning. There’s something incredibly satisfying about salvaging the good parts and being left with the paper equivalent of a Swiss cheese afterwards. It’s silly, but crumpling the rejects with no afterthoughts feels great. Not everything has to be shown!

The long days of summer are slowly fading and I can’t use the heat as an excuse to procrastinate and eat ice cream sandwiches for much longer. Still, this is what I liked this month!

On the big screen: This month, I also made a grand return to the MOVIES. And by grand, I mean, seeing three movies in two weeks. Suicide Squad was okay, not great. Free Guy was way better, thanks to Ryan Reynold’s performance. Green Knight though, was the ultimate palate cleanser. I’m really happy I saw it in an actual theatre!
On the small screen: Still bingeing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because it’s a show where literally EVERYTHING happens, all the time.
In my ears: Nothing Much Happens, the podcast that got me out of a god-awful loop of night-time anxiety attacks. It’s what I needed to stop hyper focusing on my breath and heartbeat and I can’t recommend it enough.
Under my thumbs: Been playing Sonic Mania a lot and it’s kicking my ass. I used to power through the original Genesis Sonic levels like it was nothing but now, holy shit! It’s way tougher?! I’m having a lot of fun though! And I got into Rounds, a rogue-like(ish) VS shooter by Landfall Games, who did Stick Fight, a game I played A LOT LOT LOT in the last year!
Artist of the month: Sometimes, an artist who’s good at pretty much everything appears on my radar. This time, it’s Dinah Kalaha! She has a super energetic line and a sense for concept work. I love her stuff!


July Recap – Summer blues, sketches, smog

Category : Monthly recap

Hiya everyone, welcome to the dog days of summer. We have no term to describe the middle of summer up here in Quebec (‘cept the Construction Holidays, which isn’t as poetic). I always get the summer blues around this time of the year; most of my friends are away on vacation while I sulk at home because I don’t drive. I’ve been biking a lot, to see parts of the city that are actually nice for a change. It’s good for my glutes and my mood!

I had a little freak out about deadlines earlier this month (crunching during the summer is kinda disheartening, see above) but everything’s starting to fall into place (it always does). All I can do now is wait for my publishers to come back from vacation and look over the sketches I’ve done. Those include a new cover gig for Aggretsuko! I obviously can’t show the ongoing cover, but here’s a glimpse at the first cover I did for them, last year!

2021 is also the first year where most of my projects are actual books. It hit me not too long ago, and honestly, I’m very happy that I get to illustrate books and make comics for a living. Post-college me wouldn’t have believed it was possible!

Oh and I’ve been taking so much pictures. There was a great apocalyptic smog over Montreal a few days ago and I thought it’ be a great idea to go for a jog, ruin my lungs and take a few pics. I messed around in Light Room a bit but I got mad at how bad my old iPhone for pictures. I’m thinking about going back to film for now, but what I really want is a medium-level digital camera. Alas, I can’t justify the expense right now -_- Until then, I took a lot of pictures with the intention of drawing characters in them… when I get the time!

Oh and here are a few doodles from the scratchpad.

I’m looking forward to August, my second favourite month of the year. Here’s what I’ve been up to in July!

Reading: The Deleted Years, a great article about all those forgotten and lost MP3 files between Napster and iTunes Music and the arrival of Spotify. I have a tiny iPod which is full of music I don’t own anymore. The Rapture, Maximo Park, Friendly Fires, Ladytron, etc. Thank god I kept my CD collection up to this day.
Watching: Loki, one of my favorite Marvel “thing” so far. I even made old school desktop wallpapers with the ending credits. James Acaster’s Repertoire is wonderfully fringe and funny. And lately, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D got me hooked, even though I can’t get over how absurdly good-looking everyone is, for no good damn reason. A hacker chick who lives in a van can’t look like she’s going to Coachella on episode two.
Listening: No Swoon, which I purchased after just one glorious listen. That good. Waaves has a new album, rejoice! Mark Ronson’s interview with Damon Albarn is crazy inspiring. I have the utmost respect for team players like these two, who thrive on being curious and collaborating. One sounds like a toothless scholar, the other, like a stoned prodigy. Very surreal!
Artist: Micheal Sweater. I have a soft spot for comics about dirt bags and I love his style!


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