Pop Print Culture Conference and other ramblings

Last week the University of Alberta’s department of English and Film Studies hosted the Pop Print Culture Conference, which included several events focused on comics. Wednesday afternoon featured a panel discussion with several academics presenting papers about comics. The presentations were fairly interesting, but the crowd was comprised mostly of academics, so the question period was focused mostly on the presentation that busted out references to things like semiotics. Afterwards I met with Orion Kidder, the organizer of the comic portion of the conference and the editor of Pop Cult Comics, the comic anthology that was created for the conference. I drew a one page story called Apocalypse Hockey for it that I’ll post on the site soon-ish. I like getting paid substantially for two hours of work. After that I had a long conversation with Andrew Foley (writer of The Holiday Men) about web-based comics and his work as an editor.

Thursday was a lot busier. Andrew Foley and I teamed up to take on Rudi Gunther ( of Deathworld fame) and Bob Prodor (a local art dynamo) in a comic battle overseen by Jay Bardyla of Happy Harbor Comics. We were defeated narrowly, but revenge shall be had. Afterward Jay and local author Minister Faust did a seminar on the importance of community the arts, which was more interesting than it might sound.

The most interesting part of the day, though, came after the seminars, when I realized that an editor from Dark Horse Comics was in attendance. I’ve never showed my stuff to a comic company before, but it was a really valuable experience. Rachel, the editor (editress?) looked over my sketchbook and some of the comic pages that I had on hand (and by I, I mean Jay happened to have some copies of Tales From The Harbor with him that had my stuff in them). Her critiques were incredibly helpful in showing me what I’m doing well and what could use work. I’ve actually already started incorporating some of her suggestions into the upcoming Rent-A-Thug story, “King of the Streets”. Which you’ll be hearing a lot about in the near future, since I’ll be starting to post it next Wednesday. It looks like it’ll last a good two months or so, based on the script so far.

Anyhow, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. See you tomorrow for the final Rules For Criminal Success strip!

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