Crazy Comics Weekend!

This past weekend I drove down to the big smoke and was lucky enough to attend two fun comics events.

The first was voting on newspaper panel comics for the National Cartoonist Society‘s annual Reuben Awards. This was my first time as an NCS member voting on a category and it was tough work! We had almost 30 submissions to sort through and we had to bring it down to just 3 finalists (…and then of course,  one winner) Fortunately, if you had to spend an afternoon judging comics you couldn’t ask for a better group than these…Mike Cope, Sandra Bell-Lundy, Lar deSouza, Bob Kain, Patricia Storms and Leif Peng. It’s always fun hanging out with this group and Friday was no exception.

Mike and Katie with someone called Oscar at the Autodesk offices in Toronto

Debbie Talking about her upcoming book I’m Bored

On Saturday I was lucky enough to get invited to the first ever SketchBook event in Toronto at the Autodesk HQ on King Street East. Mike Cope, Patricia Storms, Katie Shanahan and myself were guests of one of the day’s outstanding speakers, Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Debbie’s talk was incredibly fun and like the other speakers, served as an inspiration for all. Along with the excellent speakers, there were prizes, give aways, tours of the Autodesk offices and 4 Wacom Cintiqs to play around with. It was fun just stand by the Cintiq area and watch each artist play around (the screens were connected to two huge flat screens so everyone could see the drawings take shape. I don’t have a Cintiq yet but hopefully someday if I save my pennies) I really got a sense of how switching completely to digital could speed up my work flow. Also, Skottie Young made a good point during his presentation…going digital took some of the fear out of wrecking a drawing and let him experiment more. (sometimes with paper and pen you can push a drawing too far or lay down a crappy line and totally wreck things)

Debbie’s photo of myself, Mike, Patricia and Katie

Patricia and Mike watching the Cintiq drawings

Afterwards we were lucky enough to get treated to an incredible 12 course dinner at Lee’s restaurant a few blocks away. World renowned chef, Susur Lee wowed us all and capped off a really fantastic afternoon.

The menu with a doodle after each course…we’re cartoonists…we can’t help it

Many thanks to Chris Cheung and the SketchBook team for a truly memorable day! Funny enough, I actually already have SketchBook Pro on my iPhone, iPod and on my iMac but have only briefly played around with it. However, after Saturday’s event I really got a sense of how I could make it more important tool for my comic and this blog. I’m looking forward to exploring it more!

The only downside of it all is having to go back to my less than fabulous life…I had hotdogs for dinner tonight people! HOTDOGS! ….sigh

To see a much better blog post, with better pictures and a full account of the day swing on over to Debbie’s Inkygirl blog

..and look for Debbie’s new book, I’m Bored, with author/comdian Michael Ian Black (due out this September)

Crikey! That’s a good size blow fish you got thar!

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