Kyle Baker in Halifax! Tomorrow!

The incomparable KYLE BAKER will be speaking at the Halifax North Branch Library tomorrow afternoon! Baker, as you probably know, is an incredibly prolific writer and illustrator, who has won every comics-related award there is and worked for every publisher and company in the business. I just read (or in some cases re-read) a bunch of his stuff including Nat Turner, Why I Hate Saturn and The Bakers books—all amazing, and each totally different from the last. Baker's work is as diverse as it is brilliant.

Baker's talk is part of a day-long Graphic Novel Camp—an event providing education about comics and celebrating the medium. LBW's BFFs Mike Holmes and Faith Erin Hicks will also be there, as well as Kate Beaton (of Hark! A Vagrant fame), and the wonderful Rebecca Kraatz (if you haven't read her book, House of Sugar, do it! And check out the beautiful wood-burned images on her website. Looking at them is like a present you give yourself).

For more information about the Graphic Novel Camp event go here.

This is event is free! So come by! 

Come Travel Light: This American Drive

Hooray! This American Drive is here! Halifax comic book superstar and Living Between Wednesday BFF Mike Holmes made a book, and I finally have it in my greedy little Gollum hands. I've been super stoked about this awesomely illustrated and brilliantly designed book, so I'm now cradling it in my arms and whispering "my precioussss." You know, treating it how I normally treat the cat.

This American Drive was originally a comic that appeared in Halifax's alt weekly, The Coast. The graphic novel is fattened up (like it's been eating too much White Castle) with a more in-depth story, including Mike's charming prose and more great illustrations.

The book follows Canadian, Mike, and his Texan girlfriend, Jodi, on a three week road trip across America. Mike perfectly captures of the unique experience of Canadians traveling in America. It's so similar and yet so different, like you accidentaly met yourself when you went back in time and you forever altered the future world. The USA is Canada Earth 2.

Mike and Jodi travel from the Halifax to Texas, taking in all that America has to offer.

His observations are spot on—they get waved through the boarder with barely a glance at their passports after weeks of worry, they squeeze into tiny but shockingly cheap hotels rooms on the side of the interstate, the drink $1 PBRs and they have a better time at Cooter's than at the Grand Old Opry.

We all know that the best part of any road trip is sampling the local cuisine and This American Drive serves up some delicious junk food porn, as Mike describes every barbequed rib dinner, plate of biscuits and gravy and basket of deep fried pickles that he and Jodi eat.

The title is an homage to the most essential of road trip items—podcasts of This American Life, and like its namesake, the book reminds us of the beauty and humour that can be found in the mundane, from a great cheeseburger to a funny looking cactus.

Invisible Publishing is taking This American Drive on their own little road trip. It'll be launched this Sunday at Word on the Street in Halifax (and your LBW writers will be there too with Strange Adventures and Nimbus Publishing), and in Ontario and Quebec next week.


Mike Holmes Rules!

I wanted to share this awesome sketch that local cartoonist all-star Mike Holmes did for me. I asked for a sketch of me having a beer with Hal Jordan. Here it is:

Pretty great, eh?

He also just did this amazing poster for an upcoming show, featuring Windom Earle, Wordburglar, The Gideons and my band (The Stolen Minks). I'm Batman on the poster.


I've said it before and I'll say it again, DC needs to hire this guy to draw Teen Titans.

To see the fantastic comics that he's done for the local weekly paper, check out his Flickr site. His ongoing True Story series is especially awesome, which has him drawing true stories that people send him. Here's the story that I sent him:

So, in summary, Mike Holmes is awesome.

Ohhhhhhh Canada

Oh the posts I had planned for this week.

As you probably know by now, I hit the road tomorrow for five weeks with my band. Because this blog will be largely neglected during this time, I had planned to go out with a bang and throw down some of my biggest and best posts ever during the past few days.

Sadly, that was not in the stars for me. Instead, horrible stomach flu...or possibly food poisoning... was in the stars. Now, I haven't had a stomach flu since I was ten, and as far as I know I've never had food poisoning. While I appreciate that the timing wasn't bad compared to, say, having a stomach flu while touring, it still kinda sucked a lot. And thus, the blog goes unupdated as I head into the wilds of Canada.

In my absence, I turn to some of my real-life buddies to pick up the slack. All three have excellent comic blogs, know far more about comics than I do, and should be encouraged to post more.

My friend Jonathan Munroe, and his friend Paul, have a blog called Paul and John Review, which has, with time, pretty much turned into John Writes About the Legion of Super Heroes. It's great.

Dave Howlett, manager of Strange Adventures and all-around decent guy, just moved on over to Blogger from Livejournal with his blog, All This and Earth-2. You can get your weekly review fix there.

And my pal Ben Jeddrie, who also works at Strange Adventures with me and who makes those awesome Stolen Minks animated videos, writes Good Book Readin'. Particularly good if you are interested in Christian Archie comics. And who isn't?

So there are three solid up-and-coming comic bloggers that you can check out. And if you happen to be in any of the cities my band is playing on this tour, please come out and say hi! I'll be the one behind the keyboard! Probably wearing a t-shirt with a superhero on it.

Here's the amazing poster that Mike Holmes made for us with all the tour dates:

Any of those dates are subject to change. If there are any changes, we'll be posting them on our official tour blog.

I'll certainly be reading everyone else's blogs from the road. Especially since I won't have any new comics to read until I get back! Ack! I do have some Showcases that I'm bringing along, though. It's a good time to catch up on some reading.

Oh! And to everyone who mailed me CDs for the trip! Thank-you so much! I am making mix CDs for you, and had planned to mail them out before the tour, but my CD burner has crapped out on me. I assure you, my mix CD is awesome, and is worth the wait. Sorry about the delay, but your CDs are appreciated and I look forward to listening to them in...Manitoba. Or wherever.

Well, I guess that's it for me then. Stay out of trouble, everyone. I'll be back near the end of August. Maybe there will be the occasional post here before then. I hope so.

Irate Canadian Lass

Well! Not only do I get quoted in the New York Post today, but I get described as an "irate Canadian lass." Honestly, have any three more beautiful words ever been strung together?

Superstar artist Mike Holmes drew this little picture of me as an irate Canadian lass. Because he rules.

Also...DC should hire him and have him draw Teen Titans. For real.

And I'm going to make buttons that say "Irate Canadian Lass."