Monday, 27 August 2012

Articles, Reviews and Rare Published Work

This is a detail from my first-ever published work... a guest spot in Toronto's news and entertainment weekly, NOW Magazine, from 1989--I was seventeen years old, and I remember carrying in a stack of them to my high school drama class!  People were puzzled then, as they are now (but vaguely supportive.)

Here are some links to my first published work, some articles and reviews from my days in the early 1990's Montreal underground comix scene, and one brief return to form ten years ago.

(Just click on the highlighted text if you'd like to download larger files of these images!)

My first published work - "Boony Boy Encounters the Rational Thought Process"  (NOW Magazine - Toronto - Vol8-No7 - Jan 5-11 - 1989)

And now jumping ten years forward again it is 2012 and I am looking forward to launching my graphic novel THE CLIFF--Books 1&2 on Saturday, October 6 at the TRANZAC club in Toronto!  (Details in previous post.) 

Hope you can join me, if you'd like to be there!

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Launch set for the official release of THE CLIFF-Books 1&2!  The graphic novel will be available for discounted cover price, and in this bohemian setting there will be drinks and live music by violin virtuoso Ezra Azmon and others.  Matthew Brown will be there to sign, draw and chat.
Hope to see you there!

Sat., Oct. 6, 2012, 6pm-midnight at the TRANZAC, 292 Brunswick Ave., Toronto, Ontario.  Click here for directions!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Know your Penguinistas!

In THE CLIFF-Book 2: The Inner River, our intrepid travelers get tangled in a civil war. It is time to know intimately the other faction--that representing "freedom and passion"--the Penguinistas.

Javier--can sing, dance and saw
with a vengeance.


Spingy--brother of Spangy.


Spangy--brother of Spingy.


Radulovich--son of the great stone mason;
first squirrel to swim the English Channel.

Mordecai--pensive and emotional;
prone to drunken lectures.


"Big Bob"--enjoys poetry and long walks
on the beach.


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Know Your Posse!

In THE CLIFF-Book 2: The Inner River, our intrepid travelers get tangled in a civil war.  It is time to know intimately one of the factions--that representing "law and order"--Sheriff Raymont's Posse.

Raymont Raymont--born illegitimately in the tiny hamlet of
Pornhill and raised by sparrows, he rallied the lawless
ranks to become the first Sheriff of Nexus Island
and the Equivocal Smattering of Miscellaneous
Territiories, Etc.

Carlos Carlos, a.k.a. "The Artist," also
a collector of fine porcelain

Friedrich Cavalier, a.k.a. "The Playboy," also
an amateur rapper.

Betchabottom Dolla, a.k.a. "The Loanshark,"
formerly a children's librarian.

Dickburg, a.k.a. "The Dick,"
professional henchman.

NEXT : We meet the sworn enemies to Sheriff Raymont's iron rule... the Penguinistas!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Where does THE CLIFF come from?

The Cliff is old. 

Nobody knows how old.

But bits and pieces of THE CLIFF come from...

a) Children's literature and movies such as

Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking-Glass" ... Surreal encounters and baffling characters by the dozen...

C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia"... The evocatived titles say it all... "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Voyage of the Dawntreader,"  "The Magician's Nephew," "The Silver Chair," "A Horse and his Boy," "The Last Battle"...

Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer's "The Phantom Tollbooth"... A child's adventure through alternate dimensions and states of mind, where the depressing world of some adults is not hidden.

Harry Nilsson's "The Point"... Amazing animated movie and record album about how conformity sucks, narrated by Ringo Starr...

Miyazaki's "Spirited Away"... A world within a world within a world, where the building itself is a character (the Bath House for the Spirits, depicted below...)

b) The Lower Don River in Toronto, Canada

Back when I drew THE CLIFF-Book One: My Helicopter, I used to go for walks south of Dundas St. West, past Queen St. West and down to the lake in this beautiful post-industrial wasteland where nature lies panting under a highway overpass...

c) An 18th Century Collection of Maps of the Travels of Vietamese Officials in China...

d) The Tower of Babel ...

The Tower of Babel
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

"The story explains the confusion of tongues: variation in human language. The story's theme of competition between the Lord and humans appears elsewhere in Genesis, in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The first century Jewish interpretation found in Flavius Josephus explains the construction of the tower as a hubristic act of defiance against God ordered by the arrogant tyrant Nimrod. There have, however, been some contemporary challenges to this classical interpretation, with emphasis placed on the explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity mentioned in the narrative (v. 1, 4, 6). This reading of the text sees God's actions as not a punishment for pride but as an etiology of cultural differences, presenting Babel as the cradle of civilization (in contrast to the alternative Priestly traditions in Genesis 10)."

e) The Blue Cliff Record ...

I stole the name from this book.

The Blue Cliff Record is a collection of Chán (Zen) Buddhist koans originally compiled in China during the Song dynasty in 1125 and then expanded into its present form by the Chán (Zen) master Yuanwu Keqin.

Monday, 13 August 2012

MURDER IN VARANASI - New Faces in the Book

Now that THE CLIFF-Books 1&2 is available online, there will be a real-world launch with musical entertainment and drinks some time in October, 2012... still in the planning process. (Watch this space for more info!) 

Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek at some characters whom Mutt Blue, prince-in-exile and Poopsie the Penguin, Private Invesigator and Unwitting Messiah, will probably run into in THE CLIFF-Book 3: Murder in Varanasi and THE CLIFF-Book 4: Heart of Brightness ...

Rebecca Nurse - Poopsie the Penguin's
secretary and "Girl Friday."

Honky the Pig - childhood friend to Poopsie
the Penguin; now a professional assassin.

Laxmi - the mysterious former courtesan
to detergent millionaire Linux Fan Belt...
holder of many secrets.

Ganga - daughter of Laxmi;
a very bright and quiet girl.

Anita - daughter to Sheriff Raymont Raymont
of Nexus Island and the Equivocal Smattering
of Miscellaneous Territories, Etc., and a
member of the Penguinistas.

More new characters on the way!!

Friday, 10 August 2012


Today I got my first copy of  THE CLIFF-Books 1&2 , hot off the digital press!  And joining me to read it was my flightless-waterfowl-alter-ego friend, Poopsie the Penguin.

(Poopsie the Penguin toy prototype by Laird Henderson , 2003.)






Tuesday, 7 August 2012

One More Tip of the Sword

Yatala the Giant from Osamu Tezuka's "BUDDHA: Volume
4--The Forest of Uruvela," pg.332, 2003

One more intentional nod from THE CLIFF-Books 1&2 to a comic book master whose work inspires me does not reach quite as far back as my childhood... it reaches back to me in 2006 walking from the University of Toronto's Architecture, Landscape and Design building down to Pages Bookstore on Queen St. West (now a condo showroom...!)  I had a chunk of change in my hand... the long-awaited student loan instalment.

Did I spend it on architecture books?  Save it for my rent?  Invest it in a defense fund?  No!  I bought the entire phone-book sized set of  Osamu Tezuka's epic BUDDHA... a comic book chronicle of the Buddha's lifetime and many other lives interwoven, some of which were purely from Tezuka's imagination.  (Tezuka is the godfather of Japanese comic books.)

Below, from my own new comic book is a penguinista who emerges from behind a tree to shock the intrepid trio of travellers--Mutt Blue of the Cliff; Partridge Bark of Cornea and Torvek Rotinski of Skullborough-- and attack Sheriff Raymont Raymont's posse.  It is a tip of the sword to Osamu Tezuka's "BUDDHA," which is an incredibly moving masterpiece.

Big Bob attacks Sheriff Raymont's posse

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Fan Belts R Us

Linux Fan Belt, ex-business partner
of the late Carlos Brown

In THE CLIFF Book 3: Murder in Varanasi, the millionaire Carlos Brown (featured in the previous post) is sadly found murdered.  However, while Carlos may have died alone, he certainly did not live alone.  Featured above is Carlos' ex-business partner in the Wishy Washy Detergent empire, also his childhood buddy and philosophical sparring partner: Linux Fan Belt.

Linux Fan Belt as a youth, propounding
an important point

Linux Fan Belt, of course, has a sister--Luxy Fan Belt.  They grew up together with Carlos Brown and Poopsie the Penguin in Varanasi, although on different sides of the tracks.  It is Luxy who first approaches Poopsie the Penguin via her niece, Mei Mei Castiglione to solve the crime of her ex-husband's murder.  Did I forget to mention?  Luxy Fan Belt was, up until recently, married to Carlos Brown.  After his dog disappeared he broke up his business partnership with Linux Fan Belt, and Luxy divorced him.  But all those details are covered, and more, in THE CLIFF: Book 3, Murder in Varanasi

Mei Mei Castiglione,
Luxy Fan Belt's niece
from Moronto

Linux's sister, also Carlos Brown's ex-wife--
Luxy Fan Belt

Why are Luxy's once beautiful features now covered by bandages?  This and other surprising revelations are sure to be forthcoming!!