Monday, January 7, 2013

24-Hour Comic Challenge 2013

This past weekend, I participated in the 24-hour Comic Challenge in Toronto, hosted by the Comic Book Embassy and Comic Book Bootcamp. The challenge? Create a 24-page comic book in as many hours.

The event took place at the Comic Book Lounge on College, where 34 comic book creators sat down and did their best to meet the challenge. Some people finished their comic in only a few hours. Others took most of day. Several people didn't finish all 24 pages, though the work they DID produce was gorgeous.

For my part, I teamed up with Rebecca Slack (teams were allowed for this event). I wrote, she illustrated. I also handled lettering (which would explain, you know, the lettering) and even drew a three page sequence when the going got tough. We didn't come to the event with any material pre-planned, though we had worked out the best food to bring to ensure that I didn't get the runs partway through or anything like that.

I'm happy to report that we finished our comic (with a full six hours to spare!), which can be read below. Now, it would be easy to undersell this comic with words like "oh well, this wasn't bad for 24 hours" or humble stuff like that, but I'm not going to lie: I'm EXTREMELY happy with how this turned out. I think Rebecca fucking knocked it out of the park, and I still giggle at my own jokes. And for the record, yes, I realize there's a grammatical error on page four, but I caught it outside of the 24 hour window, and therefore didn't edit it.


























And that's it! Thanks so much to everyone involved. I had gone in to the event with a fair amount of dread, but the whole experience was an absolute blast.

If you want to read other comics created during the event, there's a list of all the creators who participated (as well as links to finished products) here. You should check it out; there's some great stuff there.

To read about the inception of the very first 24-hour Comic Challenge, check out Scott McCloud's blog here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Holmes Inc: The Rachael Wells Collection

Last year, I contributed a story to Holmes Incorporated, the annual anthology released by the Toronto Cartoonists' Workshop. Holmes Incorporated features the descendants of the great Sherlock Holmes, who solve crimes too bizarre for the rest of the world to comprehend. It's Sherlock Holmes with a James Bond twist.

Holmes Inc issue 2 cover, by Leonard Kirk
My story featured Elizabeth Watson, Holmes Inc. field leader and descendant of John Watson, who wakes up in a jungle after her plane is shot down. Some bad shit goes down, and basically it's awesome. My artist was Rachael Wells, with inks by Ty Templeton and letters by Keiren Smith. Rachael really put a lot into illustrating the story, and the results were pretty incredible:

And she even gave me the original art for this page!
Anyways, this past summer saw the release of issue 3 of Holmes Incorporated, and Rachael returned to illustrate her third story (she also had a story in the first issue). With three stories under her belt, I'm happy to say that she's reprinted them all (including the one written by yours truly) in one sweet comic.

And yes, I'm proud to say the cover is drawn from my story
If you're interested, you should definitely give this comic a look. In addition to reading my story, it's great to see how Rachael has really developed as an artist over the past three years. She's constantly pushing herself to try out new things and really challenge herself, like any great artist.

I believe you can purchase copies at the Comic Book Lounge, as well as through Rachael's etsy page. Check it out.

Also, you should definitely get your hands on the third issue of Holmes Incorporated. I enjoyed it a lot, perhaps even more so than issue 2 (though you didn't hear it from me), as many of the stories introduce much more emotional stakes than the crazy action of last issue. You can grab copies at the Comic Book Lounge.

Monday, September 17, 2012

UysFaber Day at the Comic Book Lounge

In my last post I mentioned an upcoming signing at the Comic Book Lounge in Toronto, and that I'd keep people up to date on any info that emerges. Well, the information has indeed emerged, and here I am, true to my word, keeping you as up to date as they come.

The signing is this Saturday, September 22nd, from 2:00pm until 5:00pm at the Comic Book Lounge. You can access the facebook page for the event here, and get directions to the Lounge here (hint: it's by College and Bathurst).

In addition to myself, also in attendance will be Andrew Uys (owner of UysFaber and writer of HardWear and Totem Sacred), DK Kartigan (editor and illustrator of HardWear), Rebecca Slack (HardWear illustrator), and Matt Salonen (Totem Sacred illustrator).

Comic Book Lounge - with couch for added lounging!
Come on down! Get some books signed by us! Get some great sketches from the illustrators! Get some shitty sketches from the writers!

Also, it looks like Comics North, located in Sudbury, is carrying our books as well. If anyone finds themselves in Sudbury in the next little while (maybe for the Sudbury Film Festival this weekend?) you should visit them and pick up some HardWear. And watch my mom's movie while you're at it!

Friday, August 17, 2012

HardWear #3 On Sale

Last month saw the release of HardWear #3 by UysFaber comics. Like the issue before it, it featured one of my stories, the second in the Spectrum series. Once again, the art is by Rebecca Slack. It's twice as long as the story in issue 2, and I feel is significantly stronger. And the cover! Mamma mia.

Can we get a shot of the cover illustration, please?


HardWear #3 is on sale for $3.50 and can be purchased at various comic book stores, such as Paradise Comics, Stadium Comics, CyberCity Comix, Red Nails II, and Comics N More.

UysFaber didn't buy a table at FanExpo this year, but I believe that there will be a signing at the Comic Book Lounge sometime in September. I'll keep you informed as the details present themselves.

In the meantime, check out some of the articles I wrote at UysFaber these past few weeks, including a review of Avengers, which was fantastic, and the Dark Knight Rises, which was poo poo potatoes.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dear Bane

(WARNING: DARK KNIGHT RISES SPOILERS)

Dearest Bane,

Glad to hear that our plan to detonate a nuclear bomb in Gotham City is progressing well. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous about Operation: Rig Entire City with Explosives, especially when the police commissioner stumbled across our underground operation, but it turns out I needn't have worried, as no one on the force believed him. You'd think they'd be extra careful after the Joker managed to plant explosives not only on multiple passenger ferries, but also a hospital as well. But I digress.

The reason I'm writing you this letter is because I've just heard that you've managed to cripple and capture the Batman. Congratulations, that's wonderful news! He's the one man who could have thwarted our plans, so as you can imagine this is a huge load off of my mind.

Now, that being said, it's important that we don't let this opportunity go to waste. I know that the sensible thing would be to kill him, but I also agree with you that his “punishment must be more severe”, as you like to point out. I think we're both on the same page that the best way to get revenge on him would be to chain him up and force him to watch a television broadcast of his precious Gotham slowly destroying itself over a period of five months. So let's go with that.

This brings me to my next point: imprisonment.

I know you're kind of keen to keep him in that one prison you spent most of your life in. You know, the one with the big open hole to climb out of. I understand your sentimental attachment, but it's absolutely crucial, and I can't stress this enough, that Batman be unable to escape. It's for this reason that I suggest we keep looking for other options. Preferably something with, I don't know, a roof.


I know, I know. You like the hole. It gives people “hope” that they might escape, which makes their despair sweeter or something. I get that. I do. But that only works if it's a false hope. If a fucking 8 year old can climb out of the prison, you know what that means? It means it's time for a new prison.

I have a feeling that I might not be able to sway you on this. If that's the case, may I humbly make a few other recommendations?

1. Post guards somewhere in the prison. We've got a whole lot of mercenaries at our disposal – so many that we can sacrifice them in a plane crash if we want. Can we maybe spare a handful of them to watch over this guy? Even just one would give me much more peace of mind. He doesn't even need to be able to stop Batman from escaping. It'd be enough just to keep us informed if Batman does climb out of the prison. Or even to fix the television if Batman destroys it. After all, if he can't watch his city's turmoil, then what's the point of any of this?

2. Can we maybe get rid of that rope? Not the one the prisoners use for climbing, I get why that one's there (give them hope, etc. etc.). I'm talking about the one above it. The one at the lip of the well. Maybe I'm neurotic but what if some villager or something stumbles across the prison? All he'd have to do is throw that rope down and everyone would be able to escape.

3. I'm super psyched that you broke Batman's back – that gave us a huge leg up. That being said, can you please, please, please not give him a cell next to anyone who could potentially fix him up? You know, like a prison doctor? I'd also rather you don't bunk him with anyone who happens to know your one weakness. That shit could really bite you in the ass.

I know it sounds like I'm being overly critical, but you should know that I really do appreciate all the work you're doing. We're making great progress, and will probably have the nuke in our hands soon. Father would be proud.

Best wishes,

Talia

P.S. In regards to your last letter: I'm certainly very flattered, but I value our friendship too much and would hate to jeopardize it.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Post Convention Wrap-up



Photo by Dennis Gonzales. View his photography here.


Wizard World Toronto 2012 has come and gone, and while it's left me completely exhausted and dead inside, it was a lot of fun promoting UysFaber. A big thanks to anyone who came by and had a chat with us about all things geek (a disproportionate amount of that being Mass Effect 3). An especially big thanks to anyone who decided to give HardWear a shot. If you picked up the book at Wizard World, let me know what you thought. I'm hoping to have a booth at Fan Expo in August, promoting HardWear issue 3, which will blow the past issues out of the water, trust me.

Here's a sketch of Scarecrow, courtesy of HardWear artist and editor DK.

In other news, casting's begun on Petty Thieves, a short film I co-wrote. It's exciting seeing this project enter the pre-production stages and really start to take shape. This is probably because it means that, as co-writer, most of my hard work is done, and I get to sit back and watch Daniel Warth do all the heavy lifting. You can find out more about Petty Thieves by clicking on the link to the right, which will take you to our facebook page.

I've also got a new review for Kid Icarus: Uprising up on the UysFaber site. Check it out.

Finally, I'm making it my mission to beat every numbered Final Fantasy (minus XI and XIV), Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid game. It's not a very productive use of my time, sure, but sue me. Two nights ago I beat Final Fantasy IX, making it the third FF under my belt, joining IV and XIII. Even though the game is over a decade old, its great gameplay and excellent charm instil in it a kind of timelessness, one that I'm glad I got to experience.

Next up, Resident Evil.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An open letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee

Dear Sirs,

You probably don't know me, but my name is Aaron Feldman. I'm 25 years old, and live in Toronto, Canada. I'm writing to you today because I would like you to consider my name when deciding on the nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. I am currently unemployed.

I have always cared deeply about those less fortunate than me. In fact, my parents tell me that when I was five years old they took me to a mall Santa. When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him world peace.

Even though helping those less fortunate has been an interest of mine for a long time, it wasn't until only a few years ago that I began putting my philanthropy into action. In 2010, I participated in my first endeavour to make the world a better place; in order to stop child abuse, I changed my Facebook profile picture into that of a cartoon character. I chose the character Braveheart the Lion, a member, appropriately enough, of the Care Bears. Thanks to the new profile picture, I managed to prevent what I can only assume to be countless cases of child abuse across the world.


While this act alone would probably have been enough for me to comfortably associate myself with the Tutus, the Mandellas, and the Gyatsos of the world, my work did not stop there. Fast forward to 2011, when I decided to turn my attention to Prostate Cancer. In order to combat this wicked disease that claims probably-a-lot of lives a year, I, for the first time in my life, spent the month of November growing a moustache. This was not without its hardships, as within only a week the moustache had become a bit itchy. By two weeks, it had become very itchy. But I persevered, because of my devotion to the cause. By the end of the month, my moustache had become a force to be reckoned with, one that I’m sure gave comfort to any prostate cancer victims who happened to come across it.


Some people may have been satisfied with their contributions at this point, and they wouldn’t be wrong. But awareness campaigns, as far as I’m concerned, are like Pringles. One is never enough. After that, I became something of a Mother Theresa, only instead of focusing solely on lepers, I was spreading awareness for EVERY cause. Changing my profile picture to the colour pink for Breast Cancer. Changing it to a photograph of a grandparent for Alzheimer’s. Tweeting the lyrics to John Lennon’s Imagine to raise awareness for war mines. Changing my profile picture back to pink to support the search for a cure for homosexuality. As far as I was concerned, there was no such thing as a disease with too high a profile.

However, the crowning achievement in my campaign for world embetterment came only a few days ago, when someone posted a video by a group called Invisible Children, talking about the violence in Uganda, where children were being abducted and forced to fight in Joseph Kony’s militia. Not only did I watch the entire (29 minute!) video, but once I got to the end of the video, I stretched out my right index finger (my “awareness finger” as I like to call it) and clicked on “share this video”. Problem the fuck solved.

Now, I know that there are many great candidates for this prestigious award, and will not be sorely offended if you decide to overlook my accomplishments. After all, Gandhi never received a Nobel Peace Prize for all the work he did on behalf on the Indians (sorry, “Native Americans!”). That being said, I can honestly think of no better candidate for the job.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go send a needy child a picture of my favourite food.

All the best,

Aaron Feldman