Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily? A Not So Gentle “Dream Life”

In Salgood Sam’s words, Dream Life is “an unconventional narrative–what I’ve been calling neorealist comics. It tells the story of five childhood friends, loosely based off Peanuts archetypes, as they confront derailed expectations, reality checks, ethical & physical traumas, and loss. It showcases some richly drawn and hopefully narratively subtle pages, designed to lead you through and show the story in a lyrical fashion.”

Of Salgood Sam’s artwork, just google “Dream Life: A Late Coming Of Age” (or watch the YouTube vid above)–his style is incredible. His crowdfunding has been written about (that third link should be required reading). In his early days, he drew the work of Warren Ellis and Clive Barker through Marvel. Lately, as part of his next-to-no-sleep work ethic, he posts illustration instructionals on YouTube.

Dream Life is a beautiful book, with a minimalist cover and satin finish. BRAG: In my copy, le Montréalais drew my portrait–yay Kickstarter!

Me on a bookplate, by Salgood Sam

Me on a bookplate, by Salgood Sam

The surreal permeates a book otherwise grounded in reality, and it’s a wonderful experience for the reader. Most remarkable to me is its emotional depictions: the drudgery of the cubicle farm, being blindsided by sexual assault (the threat is palpable, though not ‘graphic’), rekindling friendships, and the hard, cold brevity of its few violent scenes.

Dream Life is a work of art. The best thing, though? There’s more story coming.

Find Dream Life: A Late Coming Of Age here.


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Sketch Lottery – Dennis the Menace

Thought I’d share this.


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The beauty of comics.

Jess Smart Smiley: the Internet Version

I love what comics can do and I love teaching this comics workshop.

Yesterday we were talking about panels and when to use larger or smaller panels. We found this page from Craig Thompson’s Blankets, where we see a thin panel of Craig’s mom waving goodbye, and then a large vignette of Craig driving away, leaving his mom alone in the parking lot.


The “waving goodbye” panel is quick. Fleeting. The panel with mom left alone has no borders, which allows time to float all around and fill up the empty spaces of the page and book. The vignette sits at the bottom of the page, like an unresolved thought on which every other thought is built. The larger panel gives us much more to look at, and we spend more time in that panel, looking at the details of tire tracks in the snow, the empty vehicles in…

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One Set of Footprints ~ Distractionism

One Set of Footprints ~ Distractionism

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2014-04-14 · 11:22 pm

American S.W.A.T. & the New Warrior Cop

Radley Balko’s must-read article on inspired this webstrip about U.S. police mission creep; i.e. domestic law enforcement’s militarization, lack of training, & willingness/eagerness to sidestep around America’s Fourth Amendment.

An excerpt:

By the end of the 2000s, police departments were sending SWAT teams to enforce regulatory law. In August 2010, for example, a team of heavily armed Orange County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies raided several black-and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Orlando area…

(P)olice held barbers and customers at gunpoint and put some in handcuffs, while they turned the shops inside out…

By all appearances, these raids were drug sweeps… (b)ut in the end, thirty-four of the thirty-seven arrests were for “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor…

(P)olice didn’t even attempt to obtain a legal search warrant. They didn’t need to, because they conducted the raids in conjunction with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Despite the guns and handcuffs, under Florida law these were licensure inspections, not criminal searches, so no warrants were necessary.

The article is excerpted from Balko’s “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.”

Canada is but a few years behind the ‘progress’ of our southern neighbours.

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Springwater Township’s Ethics Problem

I made this strip a few days before the Sept 17 Springwater Township council meeting, even though I promised myself that I was done with time-sensitive material. Oops.

In Springwater, we have issues with the quality of our elected representatives. Rick Webster, Councillor Ward 3, announced his intent to submit a disturbing motion, seconded by Deputy Mayor Dan McLean. In cases of perceived slander or libel against a council member, it would obligate taxpayers to pay for the lawyer(s) hired to sue constituent(s) on behalf of that elected council member. I know a local lawyer who worked on a recent libel case that billed roughly a million dollars. Funny, we trust our reps to spend our money with wisdom–like it was their own–yet Webster is unwilling to spend his.

That’s one problem.

He had the vocal support of nearly half the council, including the Mayor Linda Collins & Deputy Mayor McLean; one vote short of passing.

That’s another problem.

So, Webster et al are cowards with their money. After public outcry, like a champion of the people’s interest (eyeroll), Councillor Webster withdrew the motion so it couldn’t go to vote.

That’s a third.

Shall I mention the Midhurst Secondary Plan? I don’t know enough about MSP to critique it, but here are links. My understanding is that our elected officials refuse to consider another course–one that doesn’t add tens of thousands of residents to the community (can we say ‘increased tax base,’ quickly followed by ‘pay raise’?) and place unrealistic strain on local natural resources–especially given the views of residents. The province recognises local growth as poorly planned, & its mandate is to limit growth. The talking head lawyer (rather than an elected representative) claims the opposite, that the province has mandated the area’s growth & expected population (approaching 30,000), essentially an order to pave wetlands. At some point in the future, council members will get to say, “We didn’t say that.”

As addressed in the comic strip, certain members of the Springwater Township council are bullshit artists who would dare quash dissent, like the temporary dictators they imagine themselves to be, but we force them to wear their adult pants & suffer the indignity of ignoring criticism.

We little people are cruel that way.

B/c ignoring the wishes of the electorate is a smart move for those who will campaign for reelection a year from now </sarcasm>.

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Just When You Think There’s a Nonsequiter

ben-rivers-matt-daley-hyein-lee-frances-lee-jam-comic-2013-09-13-p01From Benjamin Rivers’ tumblr comes this jam comic by Ben, Matt Daley (recent Joe Shuster Award winner – yay!), Hyein Lee and Frances Lee.

Eggs FTW!

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