I have nine comic books in print currently, from graphic novels to handmade minis, all self-published. The books are listed below in in roughly chronological order. You can see samples (and in some cases all) of them, by going to the highlighted links for each book. My most recent release (April 2018) is the third book of The Quadra Cats webcomic, The Feline Federation, which is the series I am concentrating on currently.
I have two webcomics:
Mermaid Music, currently on hiatus while I am making a novel adaptation;
The Quadra Cats, also currently on hiatus, but soon to resume.
As is usual with webcomics, these will open to the latest page; use the navigation buttons under the comic page to go to the beginning, previous, or next pages, or the comic archives to find a particular page.
All my comics are “all-ages”, and by that I mean they’re safe for the kiddies — no swears, no overtly sexy stuff (sorry; but there might be romance and occasional innuendos!), no violence, horror, or gore (although Spam does get tossed through the air in one scene but he’s OK) — but they’re just as much fun for adults. That said, each book has particular appeal to specific audiences, which I’ll note below.
I’ve participated in a couple of anthologies published by a comics collective I belong to, Kraken Komiks. “Root Redwing and the Thieves of Kettle Bay” takes place in the world of Mermaid Music, set some years earlier than the main story. “Jurassic Lark” is a silly romp with dinosaur characters and an ending with a twist. I had great fun participating in Hourly Comic Day in 2018 with an autobiographical story featuring the Quadra Cats. At some point I’d like to compile these as a collection or as zines on their own, but that’s in the future.
If you are interested in learning how I make comics, I did a series of blog articles about the process for my comics classes.
Spam and the Sasquatch (2014) — My first graphic novel, done in collaboration with award-winning fantasy and science-fiction author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Spam the Cat is a purranormal detective, who has starred in several previous non-graphic-novels by the author. In this adventure, he finds himself, with his sidekick Renfrew the Raccoon and Rocky the Vampcat, investigating a mysterious intruder in his town. You can view samples of the art by clicking the name of the book or the picture.
Spam and the Sasquatch sells for $25.
Full colour, 68 glossy pages, softcover, perfect bound (means it has a spine)
Audience: all-ages, I’ve had great comments on this one ranging from a 3-year-old to an 80+ year old. The main characters are talking animals, and the story is aimed at anyone who likes a good adventure and appealing characters.
Telling Tales (2013) — My first comicbook, a collection of short stories that I did during the Comics and Graphic Novels program (see bottom of this page for more on that). This includes Mak, Horse Sense, Tam Lin, Cougar Annie, and several one-page comics. You can see a gallery of the art at the link above.
Telling Tales sells for $12
Full Colour, 32 glossy pages, softcover, saddle stitched (stapled) binding (like traditional comic books)
Audience: As a kind of stylistic sampler of my work, this has a little something for everyone: history, cats, riding lessons, fairies!
Muse (2015) — Iris the Art Muse started making her appearance when I issued myself a drawing-a-day challenge. This is her first book. She informs me that there will be more, if Melody the Music Muse doesn’t interfere too much (and she’s a bit distracted with space-going cats and mermaids at the moment). Muse is online at the link above, so you can read it all there if you like, but it’s a nice little book which would make great presents for all your artist friends! Buy lots and save on mailing!
Muse sells for $10
Full Colour, 16 heavyweight matte pages, softcover, saddle stitched (stapled) binding
Audience: this one will be more appreciated by folks who are artists themselves — again, it’s safe for all ages, but the kids probably won’t get a lot of the jokes. Unless they are artists. In which case, buy them this book to let them know what lies ahead!
Mermaid Music (2015) — Book One, “The Call of the Sea” — I’ve been putting this online as a webcomic (the title link will take you to the site, on the latest page), so you can actually read it all online right now, but it’s soooo much nicer to hold it in your hands and feel the lovely glossy cover and admire the rich colours of the pages! Book Two will be released when I get it done — it keeps expanding! Eventually, I hope to issue the whole series as one graphic novel, but that’s a couple of years down the road.
(UPDATE: I’ve decided to wait to release the rest of Mermaid Music in print until it is finished in its entirety, at which point there will be a Kickstarter. In the meantime, follow along as the story develops on the webcomic. And—I only printed 250 of this first chapter, so they will be collectors items!)
Mermaid Music sells for $15
Full Colour, 38 glossy pages, softcover, perfect bound
Audience: an all-ages. The protagonist is a girl in her late teens, in a culture where gender-parity is the norm, so I think it will particularly appeal to girls and young women who like adventure stories. The webcomic fans, however, seem to be all over the map, both male and female of all ages, so by that evidence, this is a comic for everyone, especially if they like sailing ships and mermaids.
Takeout Planet (2016) — The first book of the Quadra Cats! It all started with making Quadra Cats cartoons for our local neighbourhood newspaper, which took on a life of its own, and you can now follow the ongoing story of the Cats’ adventures on their webcomic, which I’m collecting as print books chapter by chapter.
The Quadra Cats, named after the street that is the centre of our neighbourhood village, is about two ordinary housecats, Tux and Jazz, who suddenly find themselves, unbeknown to the rest of the world, as impromptu ambassadors for Earth and local guides to Alien Cat, a tourist from another planet. Along the way they meet Scatcat, an alley cat with an attitude, and the four cats begin the friendship that will carry them into the future.
Takeout Planet sells for $12.
Black and White; 24 pages on matte paper, soft cover, saddle stitched.
Audience: everybody! The cats and their friends will appeal to kids (what kid wouldn’t love an alien cat?) but it’s not just for them — the humour and situations are layered with real-life nuances that will be appreciated just as much by adults.
Spaced Out (2017) — the sequel to Takeout Planet! In the continuing saga of our neighbourhood feline heroes, Jazz, Tux, Scatcat, and Alien Cat launch into galactic civilization and the future of Catkind. Follow their continuing adventures on their webcomic, of which this is the second collection.
Spaced Out sells for $12.
Greyscale; 24 pages on heavyweight matte paper, soft cover, saddle stitched.
Audience: everybody! This is very much an all-ages book; the cats and their space adventure will appeal to kids, with humour that will be enjoyed by adults.
The Feline Federation (2018) — third in the Quadra Cats Series, in which our space-faring quartet discovers the meaning of gravity, the oneness of being, and galactic bureaucracy! As with all the other books, you can also see this adventure online (but it is such a treat to hold the lovely physical books in your actual hands!).
The Feline Federation sells for $12.
Greyscale; 24 pages on heavyweight matte paper, soft cover, saddle stitched.
Audience: everybody! This is very much an all-ages book; the cats and their space adventure has great kid appeal, with humour that will be enjoyed by kids and adults.
The Compendium of Galactic Felines (2018) is a companion volume for the Quadra Cats series. It’s not quite a comic, more of an illustrated tour guide of the Feline Galaxy, hand-bound as a 8.5×5.5″ mini-comic. It’s in black and white, so can be coloured if so desired. Pictured above: the front and back cover spread. You can see all the drawings on the Facebook Page album I made for them.
The Compendium of Galactic Felines zine sells for $10.
Black and White interior, 20 pages, printed on 32 lb premium presentation paper with heavier-weight cover, stitched by hand with dental floss (!) The text is a bit more sophisticated, vocabulary-wise, than the Quadra Cats books, but would be a great opportunity for reading aloud and explaining the terms to younger children. Both kids and adults will enjoy colouring the drawings.
Practice (2016)—this unassuming little (5.5×3.5 in.) book came about thusly:
Each year in February, Opus Art Supplies issues a 28-day challenge; in 2016, Leap Year, there was an optional 29th day. The mandate is simple: make art every day. I took them up on their daily prompt words, and this book is the result. The originals were done in a Moleskine Japanese Album, the pages of which are a continuous sheet of paper folded accordion-style, in ink and blue and red pencil. You can see all of the original book images on my Facebook Page in the album I made for them, which I added to each day. The pages in the print book have an added border to make them look antique-ish, to go with the cover, with the prompt word at the bottom:
Practice sells for $8 — order lots for presents!
Full Colour, 30 pages on glossy paper, soft cover, saddle stitched
Audience: While this is perfectly child-safe, and I think little children would enjoy the drawings, the humour is more accessible to older kids, teens and grown-ups. There are literary, folkloric, and film references that might be enjoyed by those with more life experience. But let the kids enjoy it too, and practice drawing by copying the pictures!
“Every artist needs to practice. Like musicians or dancers, visual artists need to keep our minds and muscles tuned lest we get rusty.” — from the afterword
My latest handmade comic is a tiny thing, but it is mighty in colour and cuteness. Measuring only 4×4″, it’s the result of the same art challenge that resulted in Practice. You can read the story in the Facebook album I made for it.
The story, put together in poem form from the prompts given by the challenge, stars Cat, a white feline who lives on the beach. One day as he is amusing himself with the things he finds there, he finds something unexpected — true love!
Cat on Beach, 28 pages, hand-bound, 4×4 inches, sells for $10.
Audience: A sweet story that cat lovers of all ages will appreciate.
All comics are available at conventions I attend, or directly from me; if you want a book, hit the “drop me a line” link in the top menu and let’s start a converstaion! I can take paypal, and shipping is according to what it costs to send it to your location.
About me and comics—
It’s now been over seven years since I made a sudden shift in my (then) 35-year art and illustration career to make comics. Here’s what happened:
In December 2011, my friend Joan Steacy happened in to my studio during a studio tour and told me about a new program she and her husband Ken Steacy were putting together at Camosun College here in Victoria, BC. It was to be a full-time, one-year certificate program, and sounded really exciting, but I thought that was a bit of a radical departure to be embarking upon at my age. However, Ken was also doing an evening continuing-ed class, a much smaller commitment of time and money, and I thought it would be fun and maybe give me some new angles on storytelling for illustration. Little did I know that I was about to finally discover what I wanted to do when I grew up!
I finished the evening course, signed up for the year’s program, and after graduating from that, took a year’s mentorship with the Steacys. And now I’m a cartoonist!