Friday, December 26, 2008


Finally, several weeks late...talking about Comica! Sorry about that guys, wayyyy too much drama has been happening lately. (And also I've gotten addicted to Disney's The Weekenders, possibly as another way to drown my sorrows stress.)

Man, I had SO. MUCH. FUN. It wasn't like a con at all; there weren't any cosplayers or booths or even too many fanboys. It was mostly artists and writers and publishers and academics, but everybody was talking and hanging out with everyone else. I had coffee and cake with Paul Gravett!!! And an Italian lady who wrote a book on modern comics storytelling with a special chapter on Watchmen, and several editors and artists and...agh, fangirl overload!!!

Where do I start? I think we'll start with the people I met--like the lovely Sarah McIntyre, who is a published artist working mostly for the DFC, a weekly all-ages UK publication.

She was actually IN one of the Comica panels: 'Great British Comics - Past, Present & Future'! She's also put up a great account in her own LJ. Hers has pictures!

This is the day we met, at the Symposium for Archetypes and Stereotypes in Postwar comics. And here's the following Sunday, with Dave McKean, and then some great autobiographical artists, plus the winners of the Observer Graphic Short Story competition, Self Made Hero (the talents behind the Manga Shakespeare and Introducing... lines) and the heads and artists/writers of Classic Comics. Sarah's little pic of the last group was really cute and evocative...she drew it right there while sitting next to me, at a speed you wouldn't believe. On my other side was another amazing artist, a Dutch girl called Maartje Schalkx. She has the most amazing work, but she wouldn't let us peek at her sketches...maybe because her usual work is so carefully finished? I love the diversity of the artistic process.

At the V&A symposium I met some really amazing artists like Sarah Lightman and Corinne Pearlman, who do autobiographical comics. We got to talking with Paul Gravett and some other people about the female presence in fandom and the difference between female and male fans as opposed to fangirls and fanboys. Sarah and Corinne had excellent ideas for some future projects--more news on this soon.

I also met this amazing Libyan-British artist Asia Alfasi who is about a DECADE younger than me and has a) a manga short story in the Tokyopop Rising Stars UK anthology and b) a graphic autobiography coming out next April. Apparently Arabic kids grow up with manga as American comics are banned in their countries and she always thought manga was native to Arabic culture as she read stuff that was edited to change names and Japanese terms. It happened exactly that way in the Philippines with me! We bonded immediately--I feel so lucky to have spoken with her one-on-one. When she was in the panel her discussion was so frank and spirited, it totally energised the room. Being on the same panel as the famous Lise Mhyre of Nemi AND Corinne Pearlman might have been daunting but Asia was so bubbly and enthusiastic and earnest about manga as a bridge between cultures (and an antidote to bullying!) that I wished the panel was longer.

Then I went with this really cool academic girl to see Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie talk about Lost Girls. We couldn't stay for the signing, but we did get the books, and we went with Corinne to the Tube station at about 8.30.

All in all an entirely satisfying time. The only thing I regret is that I only went to two days; the rest were sold out! Next year I plan to book WAY in advance and save several days for it. I definitely look forward to meeting a lot of the same people there. Maybe next year there'll be more people to go with as well!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hooray new website is up!!!

Perevision: the art of Mahala Urra

I've finally fixed the front-page html that was causing so much trouble, and added navigation bars to most of the pages. Am almost done with the Swan Planet splash page, and expect links to the Companions and YOWIE! comics to be recoded.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I have election hangover. My friend from LA came over and we stayed up ALL NIGHT watching state after state roll over. It was thrilling, but even when Obama was up to 207 electoral votes I still couldn't bring myself to believe it. It was when the West Coast came in and the numbers rose like money pouring in on a charity auction that we shrieked with joy and hugged and jumped and finally got our faith back.

McCain's concession speech was incredibly gracious and honourable, and I felt a little sorry for him while he was blinking hard all through it. Not as sorry as I was happy though--because Obama came up a little later, and he was beautiful, and said such beautiful things...I was also on iChat with a friend in Singapore, and we pretty much wept all through the speech.


*dances for joy*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

book launch of Watching the Watchmen!

Brought: World's Finest and Watchmen, natürlich. Asked Dave Gibbons to sign World's Finest and talked to him about Justice League (the show) and we talked a bit about the ep based on his and Alan Moore's comic. I moaned that I couldn't find the issue and he told me where to get it in trade paperback. Then I told him I saw Alan Moore's cameo in JL--I thought it might have been a bit insulting, but apparently Alan Moore not only agreed to it, he was paid! I ♥ Bruce Timm et al. Dave Gibbons thought it was really funny too.

Had 3 cocktails: 2 Silk Spectres (Cointreau, Absolut Citron, something else and cranberry juice--quite strong) and a Dr Manhattan (Cointreau, bourbon, and some sort of orange liqueur--nuclear strong). They were created for the occasion and were absolutely free! Did have a lot of finger food--I didn't want to be too tipsy to speak to Dave Gibbons. (I was quite tipsy afterwards though)

Met some lovely people from Titan Books and Foyles who were just as nerdy as me. It's such a relief to go somewhere and be able to talk with people the same way as I do on LJ! It was the same big geekfest atmosphere as at a convention, only concentrated and intensified into less than 50 people. Everyone was a bookseller or a publisher, a publisher's representative or an author (except for Dave Gibbons' family). It felt really, really special and at the same time just as comfortable as a normal geekfest.

Oh, and the lovely, lovely Titan people are sending me my very own free copy of the book.

:D \o/

In conclusion:

If this made me as happy as it did, I can't wait for Himself's event!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

let's try this again...

Starting an open blog so people can keep up with daily doings. It's nice to have a journal that other people can read--will encourage me to keep a more regular record.

So to start out, here is something I've been working on lately...technical drawings for machines. Now that I'm fairly comfortable with human figures it's time to brush up on other things. (Admittedly the recent Bat-madness has had something to do with it...)

The bike is a Kawasaki tourer. :)

As for news: Neil Gaiman is coming for a Blackwell Halloween event! And there will be costumes!!! My friend/manager Sarah Tilley and I are thinking of going as Batman and Batman Beyond. More on this as it happens.