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christmas tara

Roberta's Space Adventure-- it's here!

Posted on 2009.04.02 at 19:51
It's been awhile since I posted about a new Galaxion page here (but they're still going! Every Tuesday and also the first Friday of the month), but today I've got something else to announce...

My book, she is out at last! Actually, it was probably out months ago, but I only just got my copies. Here it is, my very first not-self-published book (yaaaay! *waves arms like Kermit the frog*):

Roberta’s Space Adventure is part of the Grade 6 space book club unit Mission: Space in the Moving Up with Literacy Place program by Scholastic Education Canada. Comics in the classroom—isn’t that awesome? There are, I think, eight comic stories in total in the unit, all done by different artists. In the ongoing struggle to get kids reading, this is going to be a pretty good tool!

Roberta’s Space Adventure is a fictional story set sometime in the nebulous future (where I like to set all my stories!), but the purpose of it is to teach the reader about the Canadian astronauts. The two main characters, Roberta and Jof, live on a large Canadian spaceship (because of course we have one, in the future), and they are learning about their early space-pioneering ancestors. The more they learn, the more they appreciate how amazing those first Canadians to go into space—people like Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, and Chris Hadfield-- really were.

The story is 40 pages long, and there is additional biographical information on the astronauts in the back. I did the pitch, script, script rewrites, art, and colouring (but not the word balloons or the title design) all within the space of about 5 months, which for me is insanely fast—especially considering the weeks of downtime where I was waiting for editorial approval before I could go on to the next step. It was both hideous and wonderful, and I hated and relished every minute of it.

Unfortunately, the book is only available to schools and similar educational groups (meaning I can’t sell you one). So if you’re an elementary teacher or if you know one, you may be in luck! Oh, and I guess you probably have to be in Canada, too… though if you represent a school in another country and have a burning desire to teach your kids about the Canadian Astronauts, I suppose Scholastic won’t say no to you! If you are in Canada… please spread the word!

christmas tara
Posted on 2009.01.20 at 10:25
Wait, it’s Tuesday, right? That must mean there’s another new Galaxion page, right? Hey, you’re right, it does!

Of course, every Tuesday there’s a new Galaxion page whether I post about it here or not, but isn’t it nice when I get off my duff and do it? Yeah. We’ll try to get back into the habit.

Chapter 3 is quickly wrapping up, and I am on the verge of starting to draw Chapter 4—the script of which has been sitting around for over a year. It’s a funny thing about writing comics like this. The story takes so long to unfold—especially at the pace I’m going—that I’m trying to hold plot and character details in my head over the course of years. I mean, I know novelists face a similar problem, but this seems more drastic. I try to make copious notes, but things inevitably fall through the cracks.

The aggravating interesting thing about this long, drawn-out process (hey, bad pun! Score!) is that of course I change things as I go. When I get around to finally taking that script I wrote so many moons ago and turning it into visuals, I can’t help but want to tweak it. I get new ideas, I think of better dialogue, etc. The problem that I run into is, when I wrote the script originally I may have had a very good reason for writing it a certain way, and one year on I can’t remember any of those reasons at all. I’ve gotten into trouble more than once as a result of changing things all willy-nilly. Epic-length stories done as comics sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice—especially if you’re trying to pull it off without a backup team of editors and publishers and art assistants—it’s a screaming headache for all but the most obsessively organized. And no, I am not one of those.

Note to self: next time, try try try to stick to short stories!


New Galaxion, and... do I have to do this? ;-)

Posted on 2008.12.16 at 17:24
I've been a terrible LJ-er lately. When was the last time I posted something? Like, three weeks ago? How can I expect to be part of the new social media at this rate?? Ugh. I wonder if we're moving towards a world where the recluse writer will no longer be tolerated-- we are expected to blog entertainingly, and those who can do it well certainly reap the rewards. It's a funny thing, really. I think I fell into storytelling, first with prose and then with pictures, because I felt it was the perfect hobby for a person like me who was introverted and shy. I only had to be "on" a few times a year at conventions, where all my geekified social interaction happened in big concentrated lumps. But now, the advice given to those who wish to be successful in this webcomics business is to get yourself out there, blog blog blog, get on twitter, do podcasts, and for best results try to do it every day!! Oy. I'm just not built for this. Every so often (as has happened these past few weeks) I just need to go away and recharge.

But at least Galaxion has kept right on going! I may not be good at talking about my life, but I can talk about my story til your ear falls off. The Pathfinder story has wrapped up (read the whole short story here), and now we're into some holiday silliness!

Lego Aria

Galaxion? Oh, is that still going?

Posted on 2008.12.02 at 12:28
I swear we will be getting back to the main plotline real soon now. But in the meantime, please enjoy the new page!

And if you missed last week because I failed to post about it here, have a link to that page, too.

The weather is teasing us these days, sending enough snow a couple weeks ago that I felt it necessary to shovel, then melting away. The meteorologists promised a storm over the weekend, but we got rain instead. This morning we had a slight dusting of white stuff, but it's gone now. At this time of year when the temperature is hovering so close to the freezing mark I find rain depressing (not to mention cold and dreary), and of course we all are wishing for that magical White Hogswatch Christmas. Everyone tells me to be careful what you wish for, but... ah, what the hey. C'mon, weather gods! Send the snow our way!


I almost forgot to say...

Posted on 2008.11.21 at 17:06
If there is anyone who, after reading my last post, was planning to watch this week's episode of The Circuit: I should let you know that the producer, Khaleel, emailed me to let me know the segment on ebooks with my "30 seconds of fame" in it has been rescheduled to air Dec 5th. For the moment, anyway. I'll let you know if that date changes again!

christmas tara
Posted on 2008.11.18 at 09:33
Sorry for not posting last week, but I think I used up all my reserves of sociability on an interview for a TV show called The Circuit*. There's only so much an introvert can handle before she needs to crawl into her cave for awhile, y'know? ;-) I'll try to be better next week!

So, in case you missed it, there was a new Galaxion page last week, and there's also a new Galaxion page this week!

And on the topic of getting my introverted little self out into public, I also made an appearance at the Guildwood Library (our local branch of the Toronto Public Library system), talking to 5th and 6th graders about making comics!

Guildwood is a small branch, and there were about 60 kids who came out from a nearby Elementary school, so they really had to sit tightly packed. Considering they had to sit so uncomfortably for an hour, they were extremely well-behaved! And they had lots of questions, mostly about working for the big comic companies, which of course I have no experience with. Yeah, I remember when I thought comic creators were swimming in fame and fortune, too! But what impressed me most about these kids was how many raised their hands when I asked them if they'd ever read a comic. I know I wouldn't have gotten that many positive responses ten years ago! I know we always hear about how the comic market is slowly growing and reaching a younger audience, but for me, that is proof. And I strongly believe it is the teachers and librarians, and their ever-increasing willingness to put comics in front of kids, who we must thank for this. So: thank you!

*OK, you wanted to know about this TV thing. If you happen to get the cable channel SPACE: The Imagination Station, and I suspect you have to be in Canada to get it, you can tune in to their weekly sci-fi/media/games news show called The Circuit. I am told that this Friday's episode, 7:30pm EST, will have the segment about ebooks, which I was asked to speak about. No, I don't own a Kindle ('cause I'm in Canada), or any other sort of ebook reader, but I was asked for my opinion anyway. The interview was filmed on location at the Silver Snail. I don't know if I'll be able to work up the nerve to watch it (though I'd have to go over to a friend's house to do it, since we only get "basic" cable), because I expect I will look and sound like a doofus. :-P

Lego Aria

New Galaxion!

Posted on 2008.11.07 at 08:19
New page!

I've also included the answers to the Halloween costume puzzler, for those of you who were stumped.

Bleah. We are a house of illness, if you will forgive me stepping into whiny mode for a minute. My 4yr old daughter was in and out of the E.R. on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning with either her first asthma attack or a mild case of pneumonia (it's a wait-and-see, but given how quickly she responded to the antibiotics as opposed to just the puffers I'm guessing the latter). Which made our attempts to follow the election returns and watch the speeches a little more, uh, "thrilling" than we would have preferred. She's much improved, but now we all seem to have come down with colds and/or sore throats. Well, everyone being me and the two kids-- so far David is symptom-free. I just hope we can all get back up to full speed before I run out of Galaxion buffer!

Lego Aria

New Galaxion!

Posted on 2008.11.04 at 08:33
New page! It's not much more than walkin' and talkin', but we do get a glimpse into the working relationship between Scavina and Darvin.

And now... because you can't get away from this today, no matter where you go...

I'm living in Canada, but even though we already had our federal election we a few weeks ago we seem almost as wrapped up in the presidential race as the Americans. But we can't vote in this one-- we're stuck just watching with nervous anticipation. So if you live in the U.S. and are registered, let this be one more small reminder: go out and vote today. All I can do today is make comics, but you can make history.


You call that a costume?

Posted on 2008.10.31 at 07:53
I didn't advertise it in advance because I wasn't sure I'd finish it in time, but after much colouring angst it's done. So here we go...

A Halloween special!

Well, whaddaya expect? It's not like they can just pop in to the nearby WalMart to pick up a costume and accessories! :-D

Lego Aria

New Galaxion!

Posted on 2008.10.28 at 20:43
I gots your new page right here!

Hey, I was listening to Episode 60 of the Art and Story podcast hosted by Mark Rudolph and Jerzy Drozd, and this ep featured an interview with veteran animator Tom Sito. Any of you out there who do comics for fun and/or profit might enjoy hearing this one, too! It was really fascinating listening to his thoughts on craft and process-- animation has a lot in common with comics, obviously, but his perspective is different enough that I felt like my horizons were broadened, just a little but more. He was very entertaining. I really liked the discussion about finding "the big moment" in a story, the moment that the audience will remember-- and it may not even be the big finale or anything-- and how that's where you need to focus your creative energy, to connect with your audience. Or readers. Neat stuff.

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