The Last One
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Comic Notes

And they lived happily ever after!


I started this strip over 9 years ago. Since then my mother’s passed away, I’ve fallen in love, gotten married, gone back to school, had a baby, another’s on the way, and yesterday was my 39th birthday. So, a lot has happened. It’s been nice to have this as a constant in my life, but I feel it’s time to move on. I’m going to try answer the questions I think you’ll have. Feel free to ask more in the comments section.


Why am I stopping?


Part of it is that I want to grow as a cartoonist. I want to work in other areas, like hybrid comics: part writing/part comics. Part of it is that I’ve been writing female-centric comics for so long, and now that I have a son, I want to write something for him. But I don’t want to change Princess Planet to be something new. I want to let it be what it is. There was a spark that made me decide to stop. My wife was looking at me colouring Epic Sail and said “You spend a lot of time on that”. I realized that I’ve set up a certain expectation of full-colour, 6 panel work with Princess Planet, and now I feel like exploring work that’s more immediate, and of varying length, and varying update schedules. I’ve never missed an update in 9 years, except when portioning out guest strips, and that took a lot out of me. It’s time for a bit of a vacation.


Will there be a collection?


I’ve pitched a collection to one publisher already, but who knows what will happen? If you really want a collection talk to your favourite kids book/comic book publisher and tell them to collect it. Put it on their radar. With my growing family size, I don’t have room in my apartment to store boxes of self-published books. If you want to be kept informed about possible collections, or other Princess Planet news, you can email SignUp @ theprincessplanet.com and I only email you if I have important Princess Planet alerts.


Will there be more Princess Planet?
I’ve made a 12 page pdf, called The Danger of the Dinosorcerer, with a self-contained adventure for Princess Christi and Princess Boo. I haven’t asked you guys for money before (except the few of you who bought prints at shows -thanks!), so I hope you don’t think it’s unclassy of me, but I’m offering it as pay-what-you-want download (minimum $1 Canadian). It’s all new material. So, if you want to use it as a tip jar, and give me some money in exchange for the enjoyment you’ve received from the strip, that would be much appreciated. If you just want to buy it to get 72 new panels of Princess Planet, that’s cool too. If you don’t want to pay anything, you’re not missing out on an integral story line or anything, and you can always reread this strip. You get it by clicking on this link.


I don’t think the website will have any new strips, but there might be new pdfs for sale – either because you demand it with your dollars/comments/emails, or if I get struck with a story that I just have to share. I’m not ending the strip because I feel like I’m done with the characters and world. I’m not sick, or tired or Princess Planet. I’m just interested in trying other things.


What’s next?
Over the past couple of years I’ve been working on a book for OWLKids, called Draw Out the Story: 10 Secrets To Creating Your Own Comics. I’m really proud of how it turned out. It focuses on how to tell stories with comics, rather than on teaching you how to draw. You can draw in any style, or write in any genre, and the book will be helpful. If you’re interested in the comic-making process, check it out. (And if you click on the link when you buy/pre-order it, I get a bit more cash than if you don’t). This link is to the softcover but there’s a hardcover too. I’ll be having a launch party for it on September the 21 at The Little Island in Toronto. It’s an amazing all kids comic shop on Bathurst St. Here’s a few sample panels from the book.


6-panel-speed


2-crafty-


8-brainstorm-words-tan-


Draw Out the Story: Ten Secrets to Creating Your Own Comics (Paperback)


List Price: CDN$ 12.95
New From: CDN$ 12.20 In Stock
Used from: CDN$ 0.01 In Stock


Beyond that, I’m not sure what my next big project will be. In my spare time I’ve been working on a video game with a programmer friend, but that is years away from completion. I’ve also been working on little strips here and there, and pitching full-length graphic novels to publishers. I’m also updating a tumblr off all the pop culture portmanteau I don’t use in Princess Planet. This strip has never been a place to drop a Star Wars or Doctor Who joke, so GarbageBarf has been a place to get that out of my system. What’s mostly taken up my time in the past year has been looking after my son full-time. My wife’s got the steadier income, so I’ve been looking after the little man and fitting in comics when he’s napping or visiting nana. And you can of course read my Alex & Charlie comic every month in Owl Magazine.


THANK YOU!


I want to thank all of the readers who have been involved in making this a fun experience. I really enjoyed the banter we got going. I enjoyed seeing you riddle out the extra gags. I think there was only one troll in the run of the strip. So I want to thank all the commenters, especially those who got into the double digits: Ribuprissin, RavenBlack, ColdFusion, Golux, mdf, Lars, Hoppy, Reynard61, Nonsensicles, Lightbulb, Scarodactyl, Proteus, Alice Quinn, Anonymous, Bok, Anton Sherwood, Blue Night, Daniel, Dante Wynter, Varkarrus, USB, Sam, Kim, The Blonde One, das, littebeast, sirbacon, Emma, Toner, DSil, Aeonsama, Tamfang, Jai, KNO3, Mary Tee, Philosopher Zurg, CatzCradle, and Fat Sweaty. And thanks to everyone who drew Fan Art for the strip: Lars, Daniel, Hambot, and Kathleen! Big up to the people who covered the strip, El Santo at Webcomics Overlook, Alice Quinn at TDot Comics, Hansel Moreno at ReadComicBooks and Jenn at The Dragon podcast. Thank you to the readers who came back to read the strip but didn’t feel the need to comment; the silent majority is much appreciated. A HUGE thank you to everyone who referred a friend and recommended someone else check out the strip. I want to thank my friends and peers for supporting me with encouragement, and guest strips, especially Steven Charles Manale who put up with me calling him for help with punchlines a lot. All the Transmission-X crew. And of course to my amazing wife, who helps me figure out what is funny and what is not. You are all awesome wizaardvark warbarian typhoonicorns!


Dungeons and Dragons and Lego

 

For the past several months I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 with a new group of great players. As their DM (game referee) I had everyone make their characters out of lego minifig parts, so that when we enter the combat part of the game we have little figures to do battle. I thought since my current ongoing story line is so D&D inspired, that I’d share some photos with you. Here are some of the classic Monster Manual denizens they’ve had to duel with (or might in the future).


Beholder


Medusa


Mimic


Minotaur Skeleton


Lich


Warlock


Harpy


Cyclops


Mermaid


Centaur


Valkyrie


Roper


Green Slime


Skeletons with undead turning touch


Salamander

The Secret Saturdays

 


My cartoonist friend Jay Stephens made an awesome cartoon show called The Secret Saturdays about a monster-hunting family. Actually, they’re cryptid hunters. Cryptids are monsters that supposedly exist in our world, like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster. I only recently finished watching the now cancelled series. It blew me away with the awesome things they did with the characters over two seasons. There was a lot of growth and surprises while having a satisfying freak-of-the-week story for each episode. If you haven’t seen it, you should give it a shot, and by “shot” I mean several episodes because the larger storyline elements don’t become apparent right away.


The above image is from the Secret Saturdays’ comic that DC put out. I don’t actually own any of these comics yet, but I did buy the original art of this cover from Jay at TCAF last year. It hangs on the wall of my studio, above my monitor. I’m looking forward to tracking down these comics.


The other reason I bring up the Saturdays is that it was about a year ago that I realized that the mother character, Drew Saturday, actually looks a lot like Princess Christi. Jay and I were working on our projects in isolation from each other and don’t believe either of us was influenced by the other, but it’s weird the similar wavelength we were on. Black and orange jumpsuits with white blonde hair? Jay and I used to have our comics (Oddville and Princess Planet) run in the Toronto Star’s kid section so maybe some of osmosis worked its magic?


TCAF 2011 round-up

 

Last weekend’s Toronto Comic Art Festival (TCAF) was amazing. Great creators. Great organizers. Great audience. This was a panel I was on with my favourite and funniest comic friends, Jay Stephens, Eric Wight and Steve Manale. We made some comics with suggestions from the audience. The festival is getting really good at programming and making space for kids thanks to Scott Robins.



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TCAF

 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I will be at the Toronto Comics Art Festival this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library. I’ll be on the main floor in the Transmission X room (Learning Centre 2).


I will be doing a draw/talk on the Saturday in The Appel Salon–Novella Room on the library’s second floor with my favourite, funniest kids cartoonists friends.


2-2:45pm: I Made a Funny: Turn Jokes into Comics
Are you a class clown? Are jokes your thing? Join cartoonists Steve Manale, Brian McLachlan, Jay Stephens, and Eric Wight for some wacky hijinks as they help you brainstorm the funniest jokes ever and then make your very own three-panel, gag comic strips!


Also I will have some copies of my book of Pop Culture from a Parallel World of drawings I’ve been posting on my illustration blog.

TCAF appearance and Japan roundup

 

On Mother’s Day weekend I will be at this event:



The Toronto Comic Arts Festival
Saturday May 7th, 9am-5pm
Sunday May 8th, 11am-5pm


@ Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St., Toronto, Canada
416-533-9168
Admission to TCAF is Free.


I will be doing hideous caricatures, selling stickers, prints and comics. If you’re in town, you should totally swing by! I’ll be in the TXcomics room on the main floor.


Japan Fundraiser update


Last weekend’s artist party raised $20,000 in donations to the Red Cross. I had a great time drawing beautiful ugly people and hanging out with artists.  Here’s one of the watercolours I donated for the auction:



and some of the hideous caricatures I sketched



And thanks to excellent photographer Paul Hillier for this great photo of me enjoying the day.

Japan Fundraiser

 

This Sunday there is a talented group of Toronto artists getting together for live art and silent art auction to benefit Japan. I’ll be there from 3-9 drawing, probably water colours. If you’re in town be sure to drop buy and get some good art for a good cause.


Sunday April 18, 12noon-12 midnight


Revival Bar, 783 College St.


Stickers!!!

 

I just got some totally boss stickers made up of the Princess Planet characters for you to play with. I will be selling them at Wizard World this Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20. Hopefully, I will also get some set up at the store should you non-Torontonians wish a set to brighten your binder.

December art shows: Krampus and Ron Artest

 

This month I participated in two art shows. One was about Krampus, the evil yang to Santa’s yin. If you’re naughty he will whip you and possibly take you to hell in his basket.


‘Krampusnacht Art Show’
Dec 2, 2010 – Jan 10, 2011 at RESISTOR GALLERY
284 College Street 2nd Floor, Toronto


This was my piece


Then there was the show about NBA star Ron Artest. He has started a brawl with the home team’s fans, drank Hennessey at half time, wore a Jersey with the number of weeks Thriller was at the top of the charts, applied for a job at Circuit City to get the employee discount, won a championship with the Lakers and is auctioning off the ring for mental health charities. He’s the most honest man in sports. While everyone else is talking about giving 110% and capitalizing on their chances, he’s ignoring the script and being genuine. That’s why I chose to paint him with all sorts of colourful, weird and wonderful things coming out of his mouth.


‘Loveable Badass: Artists on Artest’
Dec 18-22, 2010 at NARWHAL ART PROJECTS
680 Queen Street West, Toronto



There was a lot of press for the show, and the man himself even showed up to see what the deal was. Press reports can be found here and here as video, here, here, here, here, here and here.


I got to talk to him for a bit and he was really down to earth and friendly. He told me he started out majoring in art but found it too hard so he ended up taking math because it didn’t conflict with his basketball schedule. I told him I started out playing hoops but gave it up for art and he laughed. “It’s all cyclical”. Me and one other friend used to have hoops up at the end of our driveways and played a lot of 1 on 1 and 21. While I love watching hockey I prefer to play basketball. Are any of you sports fans?


Happy Holidays!

 

I hope everyone has a happy winter break whatever you’re celebrating, whether it’s Chanukkah, Christmas, New Years, Kwanza, or just time off work/school.



Fan Expo

 

This weekend (Aug 27-29) I’m at the Toronto Fan Expo, probably the biggest comic/nerd con in the city, if not country. Drop by for a hideous caricature, print, sketch or down low (high fives are old news).  In other news, I just got back from a long weekend in Reno where I played mini golf with a two headed dragon.