Nov 21, 2009

Canada 3/3

Why is this blog post so much later then the other two? It just is. Shit happens. Blogging isn't a paying gig for me, so, sorry about being late.

What did I learn from Canada? To relax. Have fun. Follow my own ideals. I always seem to have a little ball of stress inside of me. Leaving the country, to a place that doesn't have the stick up it's ass like the US, gave me a new out look on the US and my place in it. Without being to narcissistic, the United States is the center of the world. In entertainment. As a super power. This time period's Rome. Which I realized is very stressful. We have to be the BEST, better then everyone else. If someone gets something you want, they took it. They were lucky. They think they are better then you! And I can't handle it any more.

What has happened to our country. We use to want to follow in the foot steps of Lewis and Clark, Johnny Appleseed, and, or course, cowboys... be your own man, do your own thing no matter what others think, explore the unknown. Where have all the cowboys gone? What happened to the pursuit of happiness? As a country we hate and fear the lone wolves, the ones that think and do things their own way. We hate what we use to love, and aspired to be.

Canada (bet you thought I got away on a tangent didn't you) still follows their heroes, the frontiers man and the lumberjack. Self made, independent men. Every country has their heroes to follow. The English have King Aurthur, and knights. The Japanese have the samurai. Ect. These heroes, these archetypes, help form our mind set.

What happened to the United States? Canada still has the frontiers man. What happened to the cowboy? How did our icon for independents, being self made, and doing your own thing... turn into a joke. I think the problem came when Regan and W. Bush called themselves cowboys, and used that image to get themselves elected. They USED the cowboy like a cheap whore. They weren't cowboys. They embodied group think, fear of the individual, and the needing to be popular.

We're left with a prevented version of our hero. No honor. No sense of self. No anything. People follow the example of the trust-fund child getting fucked on camera. The balloon boy family, famous at any cost. More people look up to Jason Voorhees and Jigsaw, then anyone worth a damn.

That's what I learned from going to Canada.

Nov 12, 2009

Canada 2/3

C4 was great. My best show money-making wise. And one of my top favorites over all. What was so good about it, you ask? Well, the general atmosphere that I talked about yesterday was present. It was nice not having, as many, snobby comic fans walking by. The kind who walk away in disgust when they find out you don't draw Batman.

The convention was about the size of Fallcon, but with many more people attending. There was a greater diversity attending as well. Age, race, and gender balance.

Was there negatives, sure. But I'm not going to dwell on them to much, they were few and far between. Will and I sat back to back with a.. less then pleasant artist from New York. That's the worst I'll say.

The comic scene in Canada, at least Winnipeg, doesn't have that interlockingness that cities here in the States have. Which is both good and bad. Good: far less drama, and he said she said. Bad: less support for each other.

There wasn't very many people doing it all themselves, like Will and I are use to. A lot of people were shocked that we write, pencil, and ink our own stuff, let alone design and print it on our own as well.

I only bought a handful of stuff; a Smurf with a canvas and a paint brush, a copy of Captian Canuck #1, banana pocky, a sumi-e ink kit, and a print.

I met a lot of Canadian comic artist. I'm only going to talk about the ones that really blew me away, just cause I don't have time to talk about EVERYONE!

The print I bought was by Aaron Navrady. He was a great guy from Calgary. He does bio comics about his travels all over the world. He's a hell of a nice guy and a fine illustrator. With a number of comics on Top Shelf 2.0 and a fat list of illustration clients, this is a guy to watch.

Another guy I met was GMB Chomichuk, who runs Alchemical Press and has a project called the The Imagination Manifesto. This guy does some cool horror, surreal type work. He was another super nice guy, and one to keep an eye on.

Some times you meet someone at a con, get alone. Then after the con is over you realized you forgot to trade comics or even contact info. Well, it happened to me. There was a Muslim woman that was a hoot, again so nice, it's Canada... it's a given. She did some fun work, and would love to keep in touch with her. SO... if anyone reading this from C4 knows the artist I'm talking about PLEASE point me in the way of a web site or e-mail address.

Was C4 good? Hell YES! Would I do it again? HELL YES!!! But... it looks like I'll be moving to the west coast this summer, so it may not be possible. More on that later.

Nov 11, 2009

Canada 1/3

Over Halloween weekend I was up in Winnipeg, for The Central Canadian Comic book Convention... or C4, with Will Schar.
Instead of posting one long post, I'm going to break this into three smaller ones, 1) About Canada, 2) About C4 and the people I met, 3) What I learned from it all.

I've never been out of the country before. It comes with my poorer, more white trash, back ground. Been all over the United States, but never outside of it.

I found Canada to be so much more layed back then the US. No one I met was judgmental, or had a "we're the best in the world" stick up their ass. Maybe it has to do with them having free health care, who knows. Everyone was nice, and not in that superficial "I really can't stand you" kind of way. But NICE nice.

At one point I was asked how crime really was in the US. When I said that crime was higher then Canada, and that some friends and I have been mugged before, they had a genuine sense of worry. Asking if I "was okay". Even after telling them "YES, I'm fine, it was a long time ago", they seemed concerned.

Being in Canada I realized how many Americans walk around with a sense of entitlement. But not about the things we should feel entitled to, like health care or education. Americans feel they are entitled to act like assholes, but not have people act like assholes to them. After overcoming hardship, instead of hoping that no one has to under go those same hardships, most feel that if they had to live with out something as a child or live through this or that, then no one else is entitled to forgo those hardships.

Canadian food is much better, they don't have artificial coloring, or use corn syrup as much. Instead relying on natural colors and sugar. Their laws for livestock is higher. And did you know that in Canada clear drinks cannot have caffeine in them, unless marked as an energy drink? Therefore Mountain Dew in Canada has no caffeine. Anything with chocolate is also marked as an energy "whatever". I got a candy bar out of a venting machine, and it said "energy bar".

Their advetisments have a LOT more cartoon characters, which is super cool.

I liked Canada. It was great to leave the country, even if it's one that is like America in many ways. I could talk a lot more about this and that but it would get boring.

Tomorrow I'll post the next part.