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Isabelle Melançon
18 August 2013 @ 03:51 pm

Madoka-themed art always makes me happy. I can't wait to watch the new movies based on the anime series.

So, for anyone wondering, the Gaiman thing was amazing. He read extracts of his new and upcoming books, and answered questions in a devilishly adorable manner. There was even a bit of Doctor Who talk. Very cute! I am quite smitten.

This weekend has been full of people. I headed out on Saturday with a friend to the center of town. We forgot there was an anime con and a gay event happening at the center of town this weekend. So we bathed in a sea of costumed, happy people having fun twice. In both cases, it was kinda suffocating but awesome. Unfortunately, we didn't have access passes for either events, so we just contemplated the fun in the crowd on the sidelines. My breath got taken away by the vision of the greatest Asuka (evangelion) cosplay i've ever seen.

In less fun news, i've been told at work that my fatigue was influencing the quality of my work at the bookstore, so i'm determined to take more vitamins, to go to sleep earlier and take more walks in the next couple of weeks. See if anything improves. Lately, i'm not sure if the fatigue is 100% work/comic work related. I feel like something else is off. I've also been getting constant headaches, so maybe a little something has been off in my body and needs to be re-aligned. We'll see.
Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
06 August 2013 @ 11:37 pm
 So, lack of posting again. I'm sorry. Lately, it feels difficult to put one word in front of the other. Which is probably why i've been preferring tumblr-slash-deviant art where I can just silently toss drawings into the internet's void. I feel like I lack things to say. Generally, things go well, but i've been just working, sleeping and drawing day in and day out. I'm attempting to finish some comics. It's going well. I'm not feeling stressed in the least. I do feel a bit like a printer though.

At least I still have time to draw some magical girls. I've been obsessing over that genre lately.

Tomorrow, I get to meet one of my heroes. Neil Gaiman is coming to Montréal to talk about his new book and I managed to get tickets. I'm really excited. I love him because he's the type of writer I want to be. One that calculates when he writes his stories, so that every detail matters and is awesome. Not to mention his love and knowledge of mythology is impressive. I'm just... really psyched for this!

I'm putting the finishing touches on the inking for the final page of Namesake's third book. It's like, woah. I can't believe I managed to draw this much. This is like... 300 and then some pages of comics. It's far from being over, but I think at this point I know i'm going to see this through. I'm proud of myself for getting this far. There was a few slip ups along the way, story and art wise (and management wise, sorry about the kickstarter being slow, you guys). But still, I think we did good. Working on a webcomic is special, because it's more then a storytelling platform. It's a freaking masters class in comicking. Working every day, interacting with artists online, you are just always learning and improving. And you are never as close to your readers as you are on the internet, and they teach you a lot when they interact with you. Oh. And shipping is fun to mess around with.

It's cool during the night now. I love this time of year where I can just open the window and be snug in the blankets and feel awesome. This is a good month, you guys. 

Because it opens with a confty bed and some Neil Gaiman. Hee.

Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
13 July 2013 @ 08:10 pm
 So for some reason, I wasn't really able to log into my account, and now I can, with the exact same password. No idea what happened there. 

So what's new, what's new?! Well, I started watching that new anime every one is raving about : Attack on titan. It's basically a story about a bunch of giant killers trying to survive in a merciless world thanks to big walls. It's good. I'm not... hugely into it. Something about it bugs me. It might be the hero. But in any case, it's nice to see an action show that respects it's female protagonists. It does have a different flavour then most of the anime released this season, and i'm always happy with something different!

I'm also deliriously happy that the How to train your dragon 2 trailer is out because hot damn I  want some of the amazingly animated flying action. The internet was somewhat baffled that Hiccup seems to have grown in a way that can only be qualified as the Neville longbottom effect. Awkward to hotty or your money back. I look forward to more dragonesque adventures. Too bad I need to wait about a year for it. 

I'm also casually taking advantage of the current sales to stock up on sweater for next winter. My workplace is really cold in the winter. I now have adorable sweater in all the colors of the rainbow. Aw yeah. 

Been trying to practice digital coloring. Mostly, i've been trying to find a style. It took me a while to find a style with my inking, so now I guess i'm up to colors. I'm currently insanely jealous of people who master color. Darn you talented rainbow tamers. Darn you all.

I've also dusted off a couple of my old projects. It's pretty much the season to go back to poking things other then Namesake. I'm pretty excited about it.

Here are a couple of things I drew but could not post due to whatever ate (or attempted to eat) my account.

DoodlesCollapse )

Anywho, looking forward to adrawing this week, and maybe thinking of checking out Pacific Rim, the Evangelion of the West. 

Been enjoying the sun a lot. Cuz you know, it's not snow. Yeeeah.


Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
17 June 2013 @ 08:34 pm
 For some reason, i'm really focusing on period costume art right now. I got a couple of new books with gorgeous dresses, and i'm just going nuts. I honestly think that if I wasn't doing comics i'd be in fashion/costume design because noting makes me as happy as designing clothing. 

So far, June is disappointing. I was hoping to be able to run along in the grass under the warm, warm sun, but so far, i've been feeling like a cold, wet dog. It's rainy and brisk here in Montréal. I miss you, sunlight. Thankfully, strawberry season has started, so if I can't have sunlight, I can at least eat something that reminds me of it. Seasonal strawberries are much smaller and tastier then the big imported winter berries we get all year long. I adore it.

In other news, since all of facebook knows, may has well spill the beans.

Yup, i'm engaged. To "Link" as you folks know him, with whom i've shared 10 years of my life. He's a good fellah, and i'm happy about it. It's going to be super duper small and nerdy as far as weddings go for economical and personal reasons. But yay! Rejoicing is to be had! Whoop whoop!

Have some of the results of my historical costume obsession : A special Namesake update featuring Emma and Warrick in 1900 clothing and the cover of chapter 15 which just debuted recently, inspired by a pin-up girl seen in said design books :

Montréal and internet folks may have trouble catching me this week because i'm headed at my parents. But i'll be back! I'll be back for all of youuuuu!

Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
29 May 2013 @ 07:08 pm
May was pretty crazy. I'm glad it's almost over. Work was crazy since the schools are finishing up their budgets. Home was crazy because art and cons and contracts. This was a rough month. Thankfully, after this last con this weekend, it's vacation time! I'm going to take some time to hang with friends and visit New York. Woot woot. I just finished packing my suitcase - starting tomorrow i'm going to be in the states for a week.

Despite the serious busy crazies, I took a day mostly off for my birthday. I was indulged by my boyfriend and got to see Epic. For anyone interested, Epic was pretty decent, probably Blue Sky's best up to date. Rich world. Kinda felt like a mix between Narnia and Ferngully. The characters are really fun, the forest world is gorgeous and this movie wins the prize for "best use of product placement in plot" (it's an iphone - keep your eyes peeled for it). The villains could have used more work. There's this weird trend lately in animated features where the villains are kinda weak-ish (they lack motivations and backstories). The best one I saw lately was the Wreck-it-Ralph one, who was pretty scary.

In other news, I drew a lot of fanart lately, to produce for cons. I did a few non-fanart things, mostly educative stuff. I really love doing prints or posters with lists, or diagrams, or maps. Sorta like "all the types of time travel" or "Types of swords." This time, I made one about Lolitas, as in the Japanese fashion trend.

Full poster under cut.Collapse )

It's a fashion trend I adore, because it's basically like small pockets of history, walking around, inspired by Rococo and Victorian fashion and design. I wanted to draw two posters, one showing the different types of Lolitas, and the other showing the proper layering required to achieve the Lolita look. So far, i've only done the "type" one, but it's a good start!

Technically, only 4 "types" are actual types, the others are more like themes. The main 4 types are classic, punk, gothic and sweet.

I posted this on tumblr and it got like 8000 notes, so this bodes well for con sales...

Welp, off I go! Time to zip up my bags and prepare for adventure. 

See you all later!

Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
17 May 2013 @ 04:03 pm
So, i'm pretty sure that's the longest i've ever gone without updating my LJ. Stuff got pretty crazy in the beginning of May, as predicted. Convention stuff started, so i've been going a bit nuts mixing preparing convention materials with comic pages. I've also been doing a lot of school contracts and administrative contracts, so i've felt glued to my chair. Good thing the weather has been moody lately. Because having gorgeous days while being trapped on a chair is torture.

Last week, I went to TCAF and shared a table with the creators of The End, a sci-fi webcomic. The artist, Ran, gave me some wonderful fanart of Namesake :

As always, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival was intense and amazing. I met so many friends while I was there. I also got to meet one of my comic heroes Boulet (and gave him a copy of Namesake, which was a bit nerve-wrecking! Aaah!) I got less books then last time. Last time, I filled an entire suitcase. This time, I only got 12 books. Pretty tame. We also had a large gathering of comic artists at a Korean Barbecue which lead of of them to write the most hilarious restaurant review i've ever read.

Now that's i'm back, i'm still sharing my time between contracts, comic pages and convention preparations. I've done a couple of mini prints, both fanart and fairy tale stuff.

This piece is inspired by one of my favorite fairy tale figures : Baba Yaga, an old witch who lives in an enchanted forest, rides a mortar instead of a broom, lives in a house with chicken legs and usually has three magical sons. I have an obsession with witches in general, but something about this old Russian spell caster really captures my imagination. Basically, this is a young version of her. I always loved stories about people gradually turning into witches or monsters...

And of course, I drew some doctor Who. 

And some Homestuck, although I don't know the story very well, I love the character designs : 

Now i'm working on some pony prints and possibly something with Madoka.... Hummm.

Back to work!

Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
27 April 2013 @ 11:28 pm

I posted this on tumblr recently... It's the resume and an illustration I drew of a story I wrote as a pre-teen :

Life is pretty hard for Josephine, fourteen. Her mom accidentally killed a witch, and is now turning into one. There’s boxes everywhere in their new house, formerly her uncle’s. He’s still around though. He’s the fire spirit in the hart. A couple of the boxes went missing, taken by the power-hungry miniature warlocks in the attic. To top it off, Josephine has a big magical key for an invisible door, and a crush on a strange boy who eats fairies. And it’s raining.

Josephine and the house nobody wanted is a story I wrote in junior high. It was heavily influenced by all the European comics I read as a kid, but I still love it and feel the need to draw these guys once in a while. I should definitely revisit it once day.

I wrote a ton of stories when I was a kid and teen. Sometimes I feel the need to revisit them. None of these stories are that good. Several have predictable twists and turns, and sometimes completely rip-off stuff I was reading at the time. But each story has a little something I can build upon, which is why I keep my kid notebooks preciously.

Lately, i've been poking at my muse a lot, trying to find new things to do with my comics. I've been thinking that I wanted to try the one-panel webcomic format some artists have been doing (namely Emily Carroll and Michelle Czajkowski). It's a format that works nicely for visual storytelling, and seems to work well for kid's stories. I've seen it used for a couple of French comics too, such as Yaya's Ballad, that use one to three panels per page in these small, rectangular shaped pages : 

I really like this format. I really, really want to try it.

Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon

Still working on making a zillion pages. Creating buffers is long!

The new Game of Throne episodes are quite tantalizing. It's too bad I don't have cable. I'll most likely do what I did for the first two seasons - watch them online and then buy the DVDs. I really like the ladies in this show. Especially Sansa and Dany, who display opposite spectrums of badass.

Last week I went to a Draw and Quarterly event : a talk by Alison Betchel (mostly know as the comic origin of the Betchel test). I picked up her books while I was there. I mostly knew her for her strips called Dykes to watch out for. This is my first time reading her graphic novels. The first, Fun Home, is about her father. The second, Are You My Mother, is about her mother. In both cases, it's also about how Alison grew up, about the evolution of her sexual identity, and the evolution of her general identity. I love the spot color used in both books. I love the drawing style that reminds me of classic strips drawings like those of For Better or for Worse. It really adds to the story, i'm not sure why. Maybe because cartoon strips are so associated with family life? The story is very interesting too. It's unique, just like it's composer, which is appropriate since it is her life. The book also analyses literature and the value of the memoir genre. In general - a great read. Cannot recommend enough.

On the subject of comics, I was surprised to learn that a rather dated French comic series (from the 70's) is being currently addapted to the big screen in an american/korean co-production. The original comic is called "Transperceneige", which translates to Snowpiercer, the title of the movie version.

The film is set in a future where a human engineered Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snow Piercer, a train that travels non-stop around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. The train is divided into a harsh class-system. The story is difficult to describe because it's so ambient in the books. Basically, picture this as a strange mix of Space Opera with the Hunger games. It's got virtual realities, revolutions, weird science, military conspiracies, religious sects, everything. The movie looks like it's going to kick-ass with it's multi-cultural badass cast.

I'm looking forward to it because, let's face it, more cool European comics SHOULD be adapted in big budget movies. There's a lot of stories in European comics that are unique. It's a group of comics that needs more translations and adaptations because it's chock full of amazing things for all ages.

I just hope that in the Snowpiercer that upgrade the gender roles a bit though - because in the 70's comic version, all the guys are stoic badasses and all the girls and sexy emotional minxes. So yeah.

Isabelle Melançon
12 April 2013 @ 01:24 pm
Been working on pages lately, i'm trying to build an efficient buffer for May, when i'll be out and about at conventions and stuff. 

Aside from that, i've been working on costume designs, since most of the characters are getting a new wardrobe in the next chapters. I LOVE designing clothing. It is my favorite thing. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't go to fashion school or something. Designing weapons and clothing is something I love. I could have been a costumer or something *laughs*

I've also been re-watching Futurama while I ink and honestly, Futurama is still one of my favorite shows. I love how it's funny and sad at the same time, I love the characters, I love the silly-retro-futuristic universe....

I wanted to share with you guys a really great post by Gail Simone - an american comic writer - about breaking into the comic world. A lot of these ideas can also be applied to the writing and publishing world in general. She's a great lady. I adore her!
Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.
Isabelle Melançon
05 April 2013 @ 07:04 pm

We grew up believing no one would love us.

Don’t tell me that hurts less then a broken bone. (X)

I was really touched by this poem by Shane Koyczan about bullying, it made me want to draw this picture. It's the type of subject that really makes me want to take arms and defend the weak, the depressed and neglected. Because it reminds me a bit of my own life, but mostly, because it reminds me of the harsh lives of so many of the people that are beloved to me.

The characters in the image are a bit the... stereotypical underdogs, in a way. People with disabilities. People who are punks and geeks. People who are homosexuals, people who are minorities in mostly white schools, people who are told they aren't pretty... And people who are punished because other people want to own them. When I first drew them, they seemed a bit too much like stereotypes, but then again, those are the types of people who are still getting the raw end of the deal. It has not changed yet. It changed in a couple of spots. A few towns and schools got better. But you still have so many places where black kids are called dirty, where girls are raped and then threatened to hold their tongue,  where people don't want to touch the "kid with the weird hand" because they are afraid they will catch something. As it turns out, people are so afraid of what's different, that what is different has not yet changed, despite us suppose to have had evolved. Sexism, ignorance and racism is not gone. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems strong. I want to fight it when I can, by treating kids in school well, by letting them talk, and in my art. 

Long story short I suppose... injustice and bullying bothers the hell out of me. If you can donate to an organism that helps kids in your area, please do. 

In other news, seems I need new glasses. *sigh* A new pair is always an expense, but my eyes are my main tool, so I need to treat them well. I have a bit of a minor infection thing too, due to the dryness in the air. Urgh, my poor eyes. 

I also finally saw les Miserables... It wasn't bad. They really sing all the time though. I would have appreciated less songs and more spoken dialogue. You know, make the songs seem more pretty and epic rather then the constant dispensers of story. I got a bit tired of the constant close-ups too. I was, however, really amused by Javert extremely romantic song about catching people. Javert wants to catch people so hard.
Posted to both Lj and Dreamwidth.