Tag Archives: Keiren Smith

Nepotism Nerd Alert!

So, I’m married, I have kids and cats, and even a daughter-in-law.  Naturally, the family considers my interest in comics and pop-culture a weird novelty that they want nothing to do with.  I just have to compromise with them, and keep the Doc Savage posters in the basement and the Simpsons McDonalds Cups out of the kitchen.

Yeah, right.

My family is as deep into this stuff as I am.  Sometimes, MORE.

My daughter-in-law, Jessica Costley,  has set up a site to show off her mastery of the cake in general, and the geek-cake in specific.   Since I am Master of the Land of the Internet, I get to show off some of the special cakes that arrived at my house as beautiful artwork, which I then had to watch as they were EATEN RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES!!

Enjoy.  Envy me my world of exceptional baked goods!

This is a cake Jessica made for my teen son Taylor’s birthday earlier this year. He’s a huge fan of the cartoon show Archer. This not only has the tinfoil swan but (not shown in this angle of the photo, unfortunately) there are tiny little fondant ants surrounding it. I’m not sufficiently up on my “Archer” to know, but I am told that this will make Archer fans giggle with glee.  

ARcher cake

Archer cake from Taylor’s 17th birthday, February 2013

I get to eat things that look like this all the time.  Best eaten after defeating the Kang/Darkseid team-up that threatened two universes!

cupcakes

Superhero cupcakes done for an event at The Comic Book Lounge & Gallery, my local comic shop, downtown Toronto.

This isn’t a hobby, by the way, Jessica is a professional baker, so when she goes in to work, this is the sort of thing she does:

Doin' it like it's no big thang.

Doin’ it like it’s no big thang.

It’s the ‘geek’ themed cakes, especially for kids birthdays, that she likes to do though.

flash cake

Flash birthday cake

My sons are all huge video game fans and sometimes their birthday cake will reflect their latest favourite. Last year, Sean was all about Skyrim and Jessica was happy to oblige with this cake. The horns were primarily layers of fondant–Sean tried biting into one and his eyes crossed from the sugar rush.

Skyrim cake

Not sculpture, but cake.  Skyrim cake for Sean’s 13th birthday, September 2012

This year, Sean is all about Dark Souls. Jessica made this cake topper of Solaire of Astora for his cake.

Solaire of Astora

Solaire of Astora done for Sean’s 14th birthday, September 2013.  A Solaire this cute, you don’t eat all at once.

And now…for her latest piece de resistance! My pals Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey just met their fundraising goal for their Kickstarter project to reprint Nelvana of the Northern Lights comics. They had originally planned to have a party to lobby for funds–it ended up as a celebration of their success (although the Kickstarter is STILL going. Check it out and see what you can contribute–I think they might be adding in some extra goals as it continues). The highlight of the party (I’ve been told) was Jessica’s amazing cake.

Nelvana cake

Behold Nelvana, Cake of the Northern Lights.

So check out Jessica’s site, Jess Costley:  Cake Decorator.  And here’s the bestest part!  If you live in the Toronto area, you can order one of these delightful edible objects through her site!  Don’t stampede all at once, she’s only one woman.  All are served on a first geek basis.

Why should I be the only one getting to swallow Thor’s hammer every now and then?

(Straight line delivered…internet responds in five…four…three…)

And now, for further nepotism:

You guys already know my wife, Keiren is a comic book colour artist, and it’s always a joy to get to show off her latest work.

Page 4

There’s quite a bit of storytelling that the colourist is responsible for.  Getting your eye to move to the right spot, the right detail, takes as much skill as the artist drawing the page.  The lady is good at this stuff.

Page 7

These are preview pages from the new series “THE FIRST HERO”, from publisher, ACTION LABS.  The book was written by former Bootcamper Anthony Ruttgaizer, with art by Phillippe Sevy, covers by Lee Moder.

Page 9I’m lucky, I got to read the comic complete with word balloons, and it’s a heck of a ride.  You guys have to wait, and tap the floor nervously with anticipation.

Page 14The series launches in the new year, but I’ll come back to whet the appetite now and then.  There’s too many fun pages in this book to keep them ALL to myself, while I have access to the files….heee heee. The book is in the last hours of an IndieGoGo campaign so check out the link here and see what you can contribute ($5 gets you a digital download of all four issues) The F1rst Hero on IndieGoGo.

Heck…while I’m promoting…here’s a link to TY TEMPLETON’S COMIC BOOK BOOTCAMP,  my one-room schoolhouse teaching tomorrow’s comic book superstars.  New classes in pencilling start in a couple of weeks.  If you’re in the Toronto area, we’d love to have you!

This is called "branding" when I keep showing you this logo.  It's working...it's working...

Click here to be taken to the Bootcamp site for a description of the next classes.

There might be cake.

Ty the Guy, nepotism promotions OUT!

Comic Book Marathon Bun Toons! YAY!

First we toon.  Then we talk.

And thus, Canadian Splendor is born.  

 

websize

Right now, in Toronto, my wife Keiren is at the COMIC BOOK LOUNGE AND GALLERY (387a College Street, at Clinton) presiding over yet another wildly popular COMIC BOOK MARATHON, for dozens and dozens of local creators to show off their skills and stamina.

marathon logo

When the art and stories come in from this latest one, we’ll put some of it up here and at the school’s website and all over the darn ‘net, don’t worry.

But the last marathon was the first time my wife sat down and participated, rather than just running it.  She produced about ten or twelve scripts for short autobiographical comic stories, most accompanied with simple artwork.  There was no talking her into running the strips with her original art, but she was willing to let me finish up one and put it up here.

I started with the one you just read because it was the shortest, but I’m going to do a few more over the next few months, just you wait.  I loved them.  I didn’t change anything, I just inked her drawings with a bold line and some minor details. There’s one about a road trip Keiren took in high school with her best friend that I will be doing finishes over her layouts for in the next few weeks.  I couldn’t do it today because it’s five pages long and I didn’t have that much time…but it’s great!  Some are funny, some are poignant, some are really personal.

Who knew I was married to Canada’s Harvey Pekar?

I’m wondering what she’ll be creating and bring back with her today!  If you’re in Toronto, head over to College and Clinton, bring a pencil and a sandwich, and see what new majestic tale Kerien and the rest of the cartooning legions of the Big Smoke are spinning now.

lounge

Ty the Guy OUT!

Comic Book Marathon Bonus Moment:

comic book marathon

The first person to tell me Mad Magazine isn’t a comic book gets punched in the throat.

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cartoons of steel link

For last week’s MAN OF STEEL based Bun Toon, click the title above.

For the Bun Toon archive, click the Bunny Toon

For the Bun Toon archive, click the Bunny Toon

marathon logo

For some of the work produced at the big 24 hour marathon in January, click here.

 

24 HOUR COMIC CHALLENGE

24 hour comic day logo_header

 

 

THIS Saturday, January 5 2013, more than thirty creators are going to gather at the home of The Comic Book Lounge & Gallery and Guerilla Printing for an event hosted by my Comic Book Bootcamp, and my studio-mates, Comic Book Embassy. It’s our first ever 24 Hour Comic Challenge Marathon!

Obviously, it’s a take off on Scott McCloud’s 24 Hour Comic Day, which was back on October 20. At the time, we were still getting our workshop space organised, and I think it was the weekend between a couple of comic conventions…all in all, everyone we knew said they were too busy to think of participating.

So, we decided to wait until now, and run one as a way to jump start everyone’s creativity for the year. For those who have always wanted to do a comic book but have been putting it off–jump in feet first and just do it! For some of my students who have been working hard on their skills for the last year, this is a chance to show them off and give them a good workout.

All of Comic Book Embassy will be there participating in the Challenge. Keiren and I will be there as hosts, although I’m thinking that eventually I’ll feel like I have to pick up a pencil and do some drawing myself. Might end doing a bit of live Bun-Tooning during the night.

The participants’ list is now closed, but we’re hoping that if you’re in the neighbourhood, you’ll drop by to say hello, check out the various creators and see how they’re doing with this completely arbitrary and self-imposed schedule! 24 pages in 24 hours! Can they do it? Come down to 587A College Street West, Second Floor, Toronto, Saturday January 5 10:00am to Sunday January 6 10:00 am, and find out!

Ty the Guy OUT!

And for your bonus comic moment:

Hourman_Vol_1_24

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FAN EXPO CANADA 2012: Thursday

And…it’s here!

Starting at 4pm today, it’s Fan Expo. I’ll be there the whole weekend, today Thursday August 23 to Sunday August 26. Today will be a quiet day–I’ll be sketching, signing and telling stories. I’ll have a couple sketchbooks, some Bigg Times, and some copies of Bill the Boy Wonder:  The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.  And I’ll have a stack of my original art to sell as well.

 AND don’t forget–if you’re interested in taking any of my classes at COMIC BOOK BOOTCAMP, you can ask me or Keiren Smith about them, at P30A/B. Come by and pick up a flyer.

Ty the Guy OUT!!

Holmes for the Holidays! Well, Labour Day, anyway!

It’s that time of year again!  When the stunningly skilled graduating class of my Comic Book Bootcamp courses show off their scriptin’ and drawin’ Bona Fides  in another ALL NEW 80 page GIANT issue of mystery-solving Holmsian magnificence.

Ya gotta love that cover by Mississauga neighbour, and bouncing Bootcamp Alumni Adam Gorham (artist for Big Sexy Comics’ TEUTON series, when not knocking a Holmes cover out of the park for the team!).

Like Game of Thrones, only better.

But back to these characters:

art by Daniel Wong, colour by K.T. Smith

Issue three is heading to the printers as we speak, and I’ll be showing off some pages from the delightful contributors in the next few days.  Check back often and be the first on your interweb to see these new creators before anyone else finds ‘em and hires them away to run Marvel Comics.

And if you’re interested in joining the all-scriptin’, all-drawin’ elite team of artists and writers,  classes continue in September.  All ages, genders, orientations and and sizes are welcome, but we allow only one attitude past the door:  You must be willing to participate.

Click on the magic logo, and find about the next courses being taught at the school! We’d love to have you join.

Who knows, maybe next ish, you’ll have a story in the fourth book of the series?  We’ve already helped launch a career or two around here.   Stay tuned for the next batch of stars.

Holmes Inc. art by Gibson Quarter, colours by Keiren Smith.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Holmes Incorporated Moment:

Last Year’s striking cover by Marvel X-Factor artist Leonard Kirk!

Eternal Love Bun Toons! YAY!

Whatever you say, dear.

Maybe this will explain things.   I’m not sure what else will…

I’m just happy the magistrate didn’t order me to stop drinking or gambling, or I’d have nothing left to bring me joy.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your LOVE and MARRIAGE Comic Book Bonus:

Does anyone enter marriage with their eyes open?

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For last week's controversial Trayvon Martin Bun Toon, click above.

For every Bun Toon ever, click the controversial rabbit.

Nepotism Friday! Keiren Smith edition!

I always talk about how busy I am around here, creating fine comic book based entertainment for the masses with all those crazy knucklehead characters I get to write and draw….

Like my wildly hysterical script for Avenging Spider-Man #8, (cover by Shane Davis, interiors by Matt Clark), due in stores in just eleven weeks! Silver Sable and Doc Strange Guest Star! Order yours today!

…but my wife has been doing so much colouring work around the funnybook biz lately that this month, she’s got more to read out there than I do.

So, because you should love her as much as I, I’m showing off some pages from her most recent work, with links to where you can read it online.  Who says my home in Toronto isn’t the House of Ideas?  Oh, this Cease and Desist order from Marvel  does.    Well, OTHER than this legal restraint?  Who?  Who?

First up:  A few teaser pages from a HEROES OF THE NORTH story about their characters Nordik and Eightball, available as an online comic book before the print edition comes out later (from Ardden Entertainment; the first omnibus collection sold out, so grab the second one as soon as you see it!-kts).  Read it while it’s free, fans, it just went online a few days ago.

I LOVE the blues she chose.  The pencil and ink artwork is by my friend David J. Cutler, who did the fun-but-hard-to-find-a-copy-of Johnny Canuck and the Northern Guard comic book with me last year.  I just can’t seem to quit David J., but one look at these pages and you can see why I’m a fan.

The lesson of this tale seems to be:  Ladies, dress warmly for cold weather.  Either that or it’s a thrilling murder mystery with cool action sequences and gunfights and stuff, like a good comic book should be.   All in glorious colour for LESS than a dime!  Beat that!

I dig the first panel on this page!

So click on over and read this story and show our Canadian comic book creators a little love.  It’s even better with the word balloons, though it covers up the pretty drawings and the pretty colours.

Keiren also just finished colouring a project called “Taking Flight” for writer Stephen Sutherland and artist Garry McLaughlin, who hail from Glasgow, a town with even more foreboding weather than Toronto.

If you're getting a "Frank Quitely" vibe, you're not alone.

This is the just the first three pages.  It’s available for pre-order at Laser Age Comics, but it won’t be printed up until April 9, so you’ll have to pace and bite at your nails until then.  I really like the colour work my one-and-only did on these pages.  The sense of quiet and peace as this character learns what it’s like to fly is really brought across by the palette she chose.

Here’s a page from a YMCA comic book project Keiren finished a few weeks ago…

The Adventures of Y Guy, written by another Holmes Inc. alumnus Kathleen Gallagher

Pencil art by Christopher Yao this time around…an alumnus of the Holmes Incorporated comic books I put out every year with the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop.  You can read the story here, and pick up the comics at local YMCAs in the Toronto area.

Just so you don’t think I’m a completely lazy sod, I have an issue or two of Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures coming up that I’ve done script and art chores for a story, as well as an issue of the Simpsons I wrote and drew, due in stores any time.  And my OWN Heroes of the North 12 pager in the pipeline for early summer.  Oh, and don’t forget tasty, tasty BACON!! (more on this as it crisps and develops).

But you guys get enough of me around here.

Check out the work of my own personal comic book colourist (her deviantART site), and let her know she’s pretty good at this gig.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your Keiren Templeton-Smith Bun Toon Bonus Moment:

One of Keiren's first appearances as a bunny in a Bun Toon from the early 90s!

Signal Weak…

…but will soon strengthen.

After a long couple of weeks, Ty’s finding himself a little more buried under his workload than usual (especially after spending four days away in Montreal, two of those at the wonderful Montreal Comicon)…so he asked me to post a quickie message to say,

“Today’s Bun Toon is delayed–but will be up later today!”

Have faith, Faithful Bun Toon Readers…and maybe read some past Bun Toons to fill the void. (Personally, I recommend, “The Honest-to-God True Life Adventures of the Freelancer’s Wife”)

Keiren

FanExpo Saturday!!

Today is a busy day for Ty at Fan Expo Canada 2011.  For sketches, signatures and stories check his table at P-O57A. If he’s not there, I should be and can give you a sense of when he’ll be back (or I’ll just tell some stories of my own!).

From 12-1pm, you can find Ty in Room 717, teaching a mini Comic Book Bootcamp. (Just a taste of what you get if you sign up for the workshop Ty teaches through Toronto Cartoonists Workshop. Next class starts September 12; spaces are limited).

The magic begins at 4pm in Room 717. For those of you wondering just how Ty and Dan Slott come up with characters for their stories, make sure to check out Superhero Stew:  Create a Character with Dan Slott and Ty Templeton. (**Not sure yet who is replacing Dan for this workshop, if anyone)

(and, it has nothing to do with Ty–or Dan Slott!–but I will be moderating Watercolour Masterclass with Jill Thompson, 6-7pm, in Room 717.)

Keiren

Happy Birthday to my favorite comics professional! YAY!

This post is unforgiveably late in the day, but better late than never.

Script: Mike Marano. Art: Alex Greychuck. Letters: K.T. Smith. You think it was easy fitting all those word balloons on that page and not cover up a single figure?!?

Today is the birthday of my favorite comics pro: a letter and a colorist named K. T. Smith, who has done more for Canadian comics and cartoonists in the last few years than most of the trees in Quebec. (That’s not even counting her Marvel and DC credits!)

Script: James Cooper. Art: Daniel Wong. Letters: K.T. Smith

It’s one of the unknown truths that bad lettering can make a good comic look amateurish, and great lettering can make a second rate comic look professional.  And sometimes the letterer has one of the most crucial jobs on the page.  This is entertainment that has to be read, and if you can’t read it, you can’t be entertained by it.  Smith has pulled off some of the most impressive rescues I’ve seen, finding every single space possible for word balloons, and making crowded pages looks smooth and easy.  And it’s something NOT easy to do.

Script: George Olenick. Art: Sam Agro. Colours and Letters: K.T. Smith

Here’s a gig for a comic series called “BLUE REMOTE” where the editor asked her to make every page predominantly blue in the colour scheme (to remind you of the title, I suppose) and it comes across as natural, without calling attention to itself.  That’s not easy to do.

Art: Gibson Quarter. Colours: K.T. Smith

And when she’s allowed to pick the palette herself, I LOVE the colours she chooses.   Dig that polluted sky in Mega-City 1.

Script: Ty Templeton. Art: David J. Cutler. Colours and Letters: K.T. Smith

There’s a reason I’ve hired her for a couple of jobs myself.  Her bold choices remind me a little of the bright styles of old-school comics, while still making those subtle effects common in modern comic shine.

Script: Ty Templeton. Art: David J. Cutler. Colours and Letters: K.T. Smith

There’s more going on in these pages that the reader knows.  Any fool can put colours on the page with photoshop, but it takes skill to move the eye in the right direction, to keep from overwhelming the pencils with meaningless spots of contrast.  She’s good at the subtle stuff.

Art: Leonard Kirk. Colours: K. T. Smith

All right.  That’s enough gushing.  I just wanted to show off why I’m so fond of Smith’s work, and wish her a happy birthday.   I’d tell her myself, but she’s upstairs colouring and lettering a pile of pages for “HEROES OF THE NORTH” (the multi-media Canadian super-hero project I was blogging about on Tuesday) that are amongst the best pages she’s ever done.   I’d post them here, but it’s not my project, and I can’t exactly give out sneak peeks without the editor’s permission.  But I’ll let you know when it’s done, ’cause you guys will love it.

Happy Birthday, Keiren.  I’d have married you even if you WEREN’T a skilled professional, but it sure helps when I have deadlines.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Keiren Templeton-Smith moment:

Yeah, she’s THAT gorgeous, too.