Sunday, November 14, 2010

TEUTON Issue Two

There's no denying it's been a very long time since my last update. Truth be told, so much time has passed that I almost forgot I started this blog. That being said, it's high time I reveal what I've been up to!

What now feels like an eternity ago I began my career in comics with the self-published book, The Vampire Conspiracy. Along with writer/director Marc Morgenstern, we launched the 120+ page OGN at the 2009 Toronto Fan Expo. What a time that was! Reaching that point was extremely important for me. Illustrating the book took about nine months, and during that period there were many sleepless nights where completion seemed impossible, my will to finish waned, and the idea of being a professional artist seemed unrealistic. Secretly I felt inadequate for the task at hand and would often be paralyzed in fear before a blank page. Nights would go by without much being done because of all that, and ever present was the sound of a ticking clock. Indeed, before landing the gig on TVC, I had only ever completed eight sequential pages one long ago summer. Suddenly I was charged with completing a staggering one hundred twenty pages--plus a cover! Was I up to the task? Well, yes, as it turned out, despite my troubling neuroses.

Like I said, completing the book was a big step for me personally. It takes a lot of discipline to finish any project and at that point I lacked any discipline whatsoever. Consequently, the book garnered some attention from other indie creators at my level of skill and experience--people just taking a stab at telling stories in comics with ambitions of moving on to grander things. I was lucky enough to meet many wonderful writers and artists, some of whom I've even had the privilege of working with. Chief among them are McHozer Comics, an indie imprint based in Mississauga for which I did an uncompleted short story titled To Whom It May Concern. I've also done work for a talented writer by the name of Phil McClorey who spins his own brand of pulpy horror with his imprint Furious Comics. My collaboration with Phil can be read in his Book of Methuselah #4; an eight page short called Quork. I think you'll dig it.

While doing these shorts, however, I had a constant craving for telling long form stories, or full issues in a series. I wanted my name on something big, bad and bold. As luck would have it, the opportunity to work on such a book was given to me by none other than Fearless Fred of 102.1 The Edge. Fred had recently moved to Toronto to start his new gig at The Edge, and one of the many goals he had upon settling in was to establish his own brand of comics. Little did he know I would be here to welcome him with open arms.

I loved Fred's antics on his afternoon broadcast. When I heard him mention his love of comics I decided to contact him about checking out The Vampire Conspiracy. In truth it was shameless self promotion, but that same afternoon he surprised me with a job offer: art chores on a Medieval epic about the knights of the Teutonic Holy Order. The guy was just so plainly cool I almost wanted to poke him to be sure he was real. Very modestly he shared with me his story idea and his vision of a brand called Big Sexy Comics. You see he had this story in mind that pits mortal men against a pantheon of gods that was yet untapped in comic books, or so we think. So Fred welcomed me to BSC, and together we created Teuton. Nearly a year after starting work on book, we launched the title and the brand at the 2010 Toronto Fan Expo, a convention that attendees will remember as an unholy cluster-fuck of greed and comic book geekery.

I encourage you to read the entire first issue of Teuton for free at

During the time it took to complete my big, bad comic I did a very smart thing and enrolled myself in the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop. Dear Reader, if you have any interest or aspirations to create in the field of comics, I highly recommend checking out the TCW. Under the tutelage of Ty Templeton, I learned the fundamentals of storytelling in comics, as well as the ins and outs of the business itself. Investing myself in the TCW's programs sharpened my skills beyond what they were merely months before.

Not long after finishing my program at the school I was contacted by the faculty to participate in their first ever publication. The aim was to showcase students who advanced in the TCW's numerous programs, as well as to promote the school itself. Thus Holmes Inc was created: conceived and edited by Ty Templeton and featuring original stories written and drawn by TCW alumni. I worked on a story called The Fingerless Prince with scribe Heather Emme, and it was an absolute blast to draw. That 52-page giant issue was also launched at 2010 Fan Expo.

There, I think we are pretty much caught up. Currently I am working steadfast on the second issue of Teuton, which will be available online for free by December. I promise to post some sneak peeks soon!

Until next time...

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