September recap – In motion, 35mm fun, Dawn Valley

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August Recap – Season change, 35mm fun, Dawn Valley

Recap

Hi there, fellow kids! I hope you’re all doing well after what has been a very moist month of September. I’ve been focusing on my mental and physical health a lot, making some changes, generally working a little less but seeing more real humans. Everything is falling into place for what will be a very busy end of year. It’s time to pick up the pace a bit!

I talked about my upcoming sketch/art book last month and it’s coming along very nicely. I scanned and cleaned all the sketches, about 70 different ones in total and put together a nice cover. For the first time, my sketchbook is gonna have a title! It’s gonna be called “Inky Fingers” because I make an absolute mess of my hands each time I pick up a pen. Here are a few examples of what’s gonna be in the book.

This month, I spent a lot of time out and about, taking pictures with the ol’ Olympus and the new (old) Ricoh point-and-shoot I got from the good folks over at Club Photo 35. Biking on a nice afternoon with a camera around my neck is honestly the activity I enjoy the most. Not even drawing manages to put me in such a focused, quiet headspace. I was dropping one film after the other at the lab this month; it’s tough on the wallet but nice on the soul. I post my best photos on Instagram!

Back before the pandemic, Axelle and I worked on a comic pitch aimed at the United States market. Long story short, it blew up in scope and size and we decided to pull the plug after making nine full-colour pages. I’ve been posting sketches and character designs on Patreon and if you’re contributing, you’ll get to see the whole pages in the next two weeks! 

Announcements

The Hiver Nucléaire collected edition is coming out October 24th in stores! I got my hands on a copy and holy shit you guys… it looks so good. The all-white cover came out great. The new paper, the remastered colors and the new font make a world of difference from the original printed versions. I hope it will please new and old readers alike! Still no date for the launch party, but I’ll keep you posted!

Remember that Craig drawing I did last month? Well, I made a print of it after all. Not only that but I got a fresh batch printed and ready to be hung in your living room/darkest closet. Check it out!

One last thing: I decided to do OC-Tober, a self-absorbed version of Inktober during which I’ll draw most of my original characters from different eras. I’ll post one every day on Instagram and Twitter if you follow me on there!

That’s it for September, guys! I’m gonna eat squash soup for every meal until I turn orange. Until then, take care!

Reading: 

  • I just finished Jade City by Fonda Lee and I LOVED IT. Imagine a classic Hong Kong gangster movie but everyone wears magical jade stones and are really good at punching. I can’t wait to read the second volume!
  • Trashed by Derf Backderf. Part documentary, part journal comic on trash collection and our fucked up relationship with our garbage. I swear I could smell the truck through the pages.

On the small screen:

  • Shameless was a huge inspiration for Utown and since day one, Lip Gallagher was my favorite character. When I saw that Jeremy Allen White held the main role in The Bear, I was immediately piqued. And man, that show did not disappoint. Not only is it wonderfully well written, but the editing and the choice of shots (hands doing things, a straight shot of a piece of background, fast cuts of Chicago streets, etc) made it feel very comic-like. One of my favorite series of the year!
  • I fell back into Taskmaster because I’m a sucker for problem-solving. I wonder how well I’d do on that show?

In my ears:

  • Wilderness of Mirrors by the Black Angels. It’s the fuzzy soundtrack to a gang of very-cool looking villains (possibly with dark magical powers).
  • Warpaint’s Radiate like This goes down like the smoothest, mellowest cold beverage. It’s perfect “at home” kinda music.

Music related: People are ditching Spotify to save their love of music. I think it’s totally okay to casually use Spotify to listen to cool playlists but discovering new music requires time and a bit of dedication. My friend’s recommendations rarely disappoint (they know me!) and result in purchases more often than not. I hope to achieve the same here, ‘cause sharing is caring!

Cool artists of the month:

  • Violaine Briat makes a comic about a couple who encounters the weirdest/sweetest neighbour ever created in comics in my opinion. I read through the entire archive of Rodney R. Rodney in the middle of the night this week and I’m still thinking about how clever it is.
  • I discovered Yonil’s work through the latest True Grit’s brush set. I love the lo-fi, nervous line work he does.Good stuff!


Taking the “fine” out of “confinement”.

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This is an obligatory update, after (a mere) four days of self-isolation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to take some time to write about the current status of things, and how this unprecedented event will inevitably affect my future projects.

First of all, I’m fine! Almost everyone at Studio Lounak (the studio I share with a bunch of other amazing artists and entrepreneurs) decided to stay at home during the two-week quarantine period. The elevator buttons alone are probably a hotbed for nasty diseases… Now, I’m used at working from home. But working on a 12.3 inches Surface is… really taxing on my shoulders. I really do hope we can safely go back to the studio soon. But meanwhile, here’s my home setup, with Sasuke as my judgemental boss. He knows when I’m dicking around on the internet.

As of now, all comics or books events are being cancelled. TCAF made the announcement yesterday, and it was the one that hit the hardest so far. I’m not too hopeful for MCAF, our own outdoor comics festival. It’s really a bummer because I booked my own table for the first time at this event. I was really looking forward to MCAF (FBDM) to promote Utown and of course, make a bit of money. This, along with the loss of income due to the closing of the school I teach at, is… not fun.

The upside to all of this is that since I’m stuck at home with a sub-par working station, pretty much the only thing I can do is WORK ON UTOWN! YAY!! Okay, I -could- probably honor my other contracts but for now, Utown is the one of the things that brings me the most joy and comfort.

So that’s it for now. I don’t know what the next weeks will be like. I’m in a good enough position, with a project in production and contracts that, so far, are still going through. The school I teach at is closed for another week and there is no way to tell how this will affect the rest of the year.

My print shop is still open, even though my merch and shipping supplies are at the studio. In these weird, bizzarro times, it’s very awkward to ask for contributions. But even if it’s only one dollar, please consider joining my Patreon. Working on Utown is what gets me through the day, even though it’s not –useful– or –life-saving-. Just knowing that there are people out there reading it is so, so important.

One last thing! The English version of L’Esprit du Camp, Camp Spirit, by Axelle Lenoir, (colors by meeee!) is coming out in a few weeks. The timing is Not Great but it is what it is! I had a glimpse at the actual book yesterday and WOW! A nice, thick brick that holds both volumes into one glorious book. Pre-orders are opened!

That’s that! Support independent creators if you can! And stay safe everyone 🙂


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