Thursday, December 19, 2013

The top page is set at the Waterworks near the end of the Queen streetcar line.  Just before we moved out west we had a going away party and invited all our friends - even the wacky ones! Our friend on the skateboard had nerves of steel - or he was just plain CRAZY!! He's still alive after his stunts with beer bottles, he later became an animator - a safe career path for him...

We hired a Daiko Japanese drumming ensemble to play at our party, and the location couldn't have been more perfect. The sound reflected off the art deco buildings, attracting many passers-by. As the sun went down the sky turned purple and pink, which matched the colour of the band members' t-shirts. Best partay EVER!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seeing Star Wars for the first time was a really big thrill for Ken, I liked it to, so we went to see it again and again.  The theatre was on the Danforth at the old Roxy Cinama. Smoking in theatres was okay back then... hard to believe.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ahhh... to be a kid again! Why don't they make jolly jumpers for adults? 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meeting Harlan Ellison was a real treat! I got the impression he was a bit of a showman - liked to draw attention to himself, kind of like Ken but on steroids... He loved to tell the most amazing stories and the way he told them was amusing and so very funny. He said he once mailed a dead gopher to someone who really pissed him off and he sent it by surface mail! Nobody messes with Harlan - he once sued AOL and won.

The stories went on till after midnight, when he finally slowed down a bit. Meeting a writer of his stature was such a great opportunity for me to speak up, he was so smart and interesting to talk to, and his wealth of knowledge, humour and creativity was inspiring. I never felt he talked down to me in any way. I guess that's why I felt comfortable around him, enough to have an intelligent  conversation and not worry about being judged. He was always interested in what I had to say, a boost for me, especially coming from a well-known writer like him.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Einstein quote is on one of my favorites, I can totally relate to it. The educational system I was in during the 60s and 70s, did not fit me, nor did I fit in. I felt stupid as I failed the first three grades of elementary school - who wouldn't! 
I'm re reading a book that had a huge impact on me called HUMAN INTELLIGENCE by Jack Fincher, it was on the reading list for Eric McLuhans class back in the late 70s. This book helped me come to the realization, that I was a right brain thinker in a left brain world. The book made sense, I was riveted when I read the book back then. Was it true, I was not stupid after all?!! 
In the page above I wanted to show the frustration I felt when I went to the bank. I was like the Stephen Leacock character in the short story called, MY FINANCIAL CAREER - that's me! Math was one of the casualties of a bad education system that didn't work for me.

Friday, November 8, 2013

In the top left panel I wanted to show how Queen St. West in the mid-80's was becoming the trendy fashion area it is today. The zeitgeist was changing - Club Monaco and other chain fashion stores were displacing book stores and cheap eateries like Barney's. In the late 70's the area was still an affordable place to live for Ontario College of Art students like us, and a haven for local bands like the Diodes, Johnny and the G-rays, the Viletones, the Dishes, the Cads, and Martha and the Muffins, who all played at local taverns like the Rex and the Black Bull, and of course in the infamous Crash 'n Burn Club (which was managed by Ken's oldest friend Ralph Alfonso, who was also our room-mate for a time). 

The biggest comic store in town was the Silver Snail, which remained in the area up until recently when the store was sold and the building was torn down. I took the photo above of the empty space were it stood for so many years. During the mid to late-80's alternative comics were coming on the scene and the Beguiling was attracting a new crowd, opening near Honest Ed's just as we were leaving Toronto to start our new life in Victoria.

The bottom panel shows us returning from an evening downtown - Ken's studiomate Paul Rivoche babysat for us and often drew bedtime stories  for Alex and Raymond. We did the same, which the guys just loved - and it got me drawing more. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This sequence is a continuation of the pages I already posted, were we had a huge garage sale before moving to the west coast. The thought of moving to Victoria was becoming a reality "the land of the newly wed and nearly dead!" I was a bit nervous about such a big move but that was tempered by the excitement of owning a home, half a block from Gonzales beach - the Pacific Ocean!!! The real estate market was depressed out their at the time, which enabled us to purchase our first house. We had to sell most of what we had, to make the move easier and cheaper. There were a few things from Kens' toy collection he couldn't part with, like this Japanese robot toy called Mighty Mazinger - thirty years later... we still have it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

These photos were taken with my iPhone at the New York Wizardworld Con. in July. There were two guys drawing these Zombie caricatures, they were amazing!!! They used Prismacolor Art Stix and Copic markers for the final rendering. I would have liked to have got one of me but the line up was huge - the artists must have filled their boots at $30.00 dollars a pop! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Well...I'm back!!! Sorry for the long wait, but being on the road for four months took a long time to put my life back in some kind of order. Anyway... I thought I'd start up again with this photo I took in Toronto, at Spadina and College st. All cities have characters but this one really baffled me! The blue duct tape? What's in the blue box? The thing on his head? The bowl? BIZARRE!!! The building in the background is the Silver Dollar hotel made famous by the Murray McLaughlin song.

I didn't get as much done on my graphic novel as I would have liked to this summer, but now that I'm settled into my own studio, I'll resume posting pages. I plan on having it completed soon, as I only have about ten more pages to go. The French version of my first book is done!!! thanks to my friend Danielle Richard.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I know it's been a long time since I've posted but  we've been on the move for the last few months and will be till the end of August. Ken and I went to Winnapeg, NYC, Halifax, PEI since the last time I blogged - my head is spinning!!! We're back in Toronto now but later today we're off to Prince Edward County then to Ottawa then back to Toronto till the end of the summer. So, I won' t be posting much till September when we return to Victoria... Back to normal!!!
Have a great summer!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


 Ken and I are now in Toronto till the end of the month. We've  rented a  small place, and it's kind of  like being students again, going to the laundromat, having to wash dishes - no dishwasher!! It's not so bad, I'm kinda liking the novelty - for now!  It's good to not take what we have back home for granted - we don't have a car here so I do a lot of walking and ride buses, streetcars and the subway, so it's always interesting to people-watch.

The neighborhood we're in has a Portuguese bakery that we frequent, Ken especially likes to go and mingle with the locals but I think the woman that works there thought he was a bit strange when he asked if they make sandwiches... she said "of course we make sandwiches, you just have to ask!" after all, the buns, cold cuts and cheeses were all in plane view...duh? When Ken told me this, I had to laugh! I know he was just trying to make conversation - awkward... but he's so sweet.

Anyway, I'm trying to finish off my book while I'm here but it's going slowly, lots to distract me! We also rented a short term studio space because only one us can work at the apartment at a time. The space is called RAID and there are about ten full time comic artists and graphic novelists, as well as a few that drop in like us, when in town. Ken likes the area because it's close to little Italy - a foodie paradise!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hi all!

 I'm in Cambridge Ontario now, staying with my friend Cathy who I've know since grade one!!! If you go back to my archives in Jan. you'll see a class photo I posted, with her and me in the back row next to the teacher. I lost touch with Cathy for many years, then reconnected the year before we moved to Victoria in 1987, we've remained friends ever since.
 She introduced me to live theatre and when ever I came back to Ontario to visit, she would take me to Stratford or The Shaw Festival to see a play. The first one we saw was The Inspector Calls by J B Priestly - I was riveted!  After that I got  into reading plays,  I devoured work  by Hedrick Ibsen. The Enemy Of The People was one of my favorite plays and when I found out the Movie Jaws was based on that play, I was facinated. Ibsen  told stories of ordinary people, were as Shakespeare focused on Kings and Queens and their ordinary human traits that determine  fate.
Every year when I visited Cathy we would see more plays and of course I couldn't wait to see King Lear at Stratford . One year we took Alex and Ray to see Macbeth, I figured it would capture there interest because it had the highest body count!!!
Any way, at that time, plays seemed to me to be  the best way to tell a story, so I attempted to write a play way back in the 90s. I wasn't sure how to go about it but I had some good influences to help me with the process, I kept reading more plays and going to see more live theatre.   I felt comfortable with writing dialog, it was good practice to get me writing.  One day I may dust off the play I wrote called "Don't Let Go Of The Rope", I filed away in my closet. Who knows, it may appear in my third book.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I have no idea how to post photos from my ipad to this blogspot. I'm so frustrated with this I want to screem!!! I admitt I am a ludite but I do try hard to figure things out, my computer is in Victoria and I won't see it again till late August so I better figure this out soon. At least I have wifi here at my sisters place till Mon, then I'm off to see my brother for a few days - no internet there, maybe that's not such a bad thing! Anyway enough of my rant. I would love to show pictures of my ventures but if I can't do that, I'll write some words, how boring is pictures! Oops... I know, no more rants!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The pages below below are some of last in my book, where we're getting ready to move to Victoria in 1987. At that time the Punk scene in Toronto was being paved over by the new music of the time , brake dancing was big and so was the boom-boxes that delivered the new sound, Rap was emerging and was the new kid on the block! Alex and Raymond were five and two at this time and we had lost interest in the new music scene and started to sell a lot of our records - portable caset tapes were becoming popular with the young people. We were thirty two and feeling our age, so, what did we do? We moved to Victoria "the newly wed and nearly dead!"

This is the last sequence I'll be posting for a while. I still have about five pages to do before I finnish off my book. I was hoping to get them done before we left for Ontario but that didn't happen :^( so now I'm on the road  till August. TCAF was the first convention we did - it was amazing!!! There were 400 artist there this year . I'll try and post some photos during my trip... if I can only figure out how to on my I pad! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm off to Toronto tomorrow.  TCAF ( Toronto Comic Art Festival) is this weekend!!! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Here are some pics I took at FanXpo inVancouver - another comic convention, at it's finest!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Anyone who has lived in Toronto knows that it snows a lot and how squished you get in the subway! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In this sequence, Ken's dad Charles comes out to visit, and my dad is showing him the little house we use to live and the bus he used as a workshop. My dad was as much interested in Charles as as he was interested in my dad - they hit it off really well. My dad was the salt of the earth and Ken's dad was a man of the sky. Charles was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and with NATO, and he flew some amazing planes during the 50s and 60s and had some great stories to tell. My dad started his scrap metal business in the 50s when the military decided to turn  the Avrow Arrow into scrap metal! That scrap ended up in Hamilton at the same place my dad took his scrap cars they turned into cubes that were then recycled into raw metal again. Defasco and Stelco kept the two major steel plants smoking!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Seeing that it's Easter weekend, I thought I'd show this sequence. My Mom always made great dinners but the holiday dinners were extra special. I dedicate these pages to my Mom, in loving memory.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Beam me up Scottie! This was a fun page to do. based on one of my favourite episodes of Star Trek; The City On The Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison. On this page we're discussing our upcoming trip to the San Diego Comic-Con, and on the way back a visit with Harlan. Ken had already worked with him and I was just about to meet him, and was a bit nervous, yes, but I was getting use to meeting a lot of well-known writers and comic-book artists. 

Today I've been working on a few more pages of us visiting Ellison Wonderland, Harlan's home, where we fall into the rabbit hole!!! Just a reminder that the pages I'm posting are not in any order, and the word balloons will be added later, when I've completed this book - soooon!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

In this sequence I wanted to get across my fear of banks, or rather how intimidating I felt going into one. Later in life I read My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock, a wonderful short piece that I could totally relate to.  Math was not my strong point, which was compounded by my bad education - no wonder I wanted to shrink and put my money into a sock! I had a math teacher in vocational school that gave up on our class and decided to talk about politics instead, then when it came time to be tested, well, you can imagine the results. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

I'm taking a different approach in how I finish the pages of my second book.  I have about twenty pages in various stages of completion, so I'll be posting more as I finish them. 
This page is when we went to San Diego Comic Con, back then I had no interest in comic conventions. I was more interested in venturing out of the comic con I did not feel a part of, so I went for a walk. I wanted to educate myself in books I thought were important and challenging to me, so I picked up a copy of Plato The Republic. I didn't have an understanding of the beginnings of western culture but I was curious to find out more. Anyway I bumbled along and thought it was interesting to read, even though I didn't understand it fully. The cowboy in this sequence was posing as a wax figure, I thought he looked so real and I had never seen anything like it before, so, I decided to touch it. The joke was on me - a bit of American western culture. Ha Ha Ha!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This is me as a teenager, just goofing around in the junkyard. My dad wasn't very organized with tires, they were randomly stacked everywhere! The house in the background was our first home, which was quiet small with just one room we all shared, and at the time this picture was taken my dad used it to store more junk. We had no plumbing til the early sixties, that's whats so funny about this picture - we really didn't have "a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of!" which was one of my dad's favorite expressions. 

You can imagine how difficult it was for my mom  raising four kids, but the wood-burning stove kept us warm in the winter and I don't remember ever going hungry. We eventually moved out of that little house into to a bigger one, that still remains today. That's where my brother Ed lives now, he's a hard working guy just like my late Dad, the salt of the earth. It's always comforting to visit him in the summer, and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to return to the place I grew up. Who would have thought I'd be writing about it all these years later?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Looking back at my grade one class picture, on the bottom row you see a boy with glasses named Kenny - not Kenny Steacy, but it's amazing how much he looked like Ken in the photo below taken around the same time. I found this interesting because Kenny was my first crush, and he used to walk me home from school and buy me liquorice! One of life's amazing random co-incidences.

And who would have though I'd still be friends with Cathy, the girl beside me next to the teacher. We were both born in December, the smallest kids in the class - and we're the same giggly girls we always were! It's funny how I remember certain things in my school days, like playing in the snow at recess. I loved to carve objects out of the hard packed snow. Another thing that sticks in my mind was when I made a telephone, one for me and one for my friend Cathy, then we would chat about things. The kids today probably make cell phones. Later on in my sculpting career I did a sculpture titled Phonehenge carved out of lime stone with a Photoshopped background.

I was also commissioned to do this marble sculpture, titled Orpheus. Carving it reminded me of the sparkly snow in Ontario, which is much easier to sculpt! It doesn't snow much here in Victoria but when it does I really love to see the individual patterns of the snowflakes. I read some books that got me thinking of how we are very much like snowflakes, all the same but differing in the paths we take in life, the fluctuations we encounter on our journey making us who we are. For further context I highly recommend these two books: The Turbulent Mirror, and Looking Glass Universe, both by John P. Briggs and F. David Peat.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

This was my grade one class and my first experience with school - I'm on the top row, second from the right. closest to the teacher. I failed that year and had to repeat it, that's what the system did back then. I was younger than most of the students because my birthday was Dec. 31st, being born two weeks prematurely. It's interesting to think that had I been born "on time" in January I would have had an advantage and it's quite possible I would've passed. But instead, I continued to fail - both grade two and three, and had to repeat those as well. Little Alice started falling through the cracks in the educational system.

My graphic novels have been the perfect medium to explore what happened after that, but ultimately I think it's ironic that my experience in school gave me the motivation to tell my story. In a sense, my books are my thesis, the story of my journey done in a non-academic way. This year I'm entering into my second term of teaching at College, so I'm still in a classroom after all those years - it certainly has its challenges, but I'm really loving it!

As Robert Louis Stevenson said; The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings!