Montreal Mini Comic Con

  Memo Man! His weapon is Post-It notes.

 Azazel gets good news

Zombie caricature (this dude was totally into it) 

The Red Hood 

Rebel Blood-style zombie moose

The Montreal Mini Comic Con was yesterday! The show went very well; it was the best mini-con I've had in a few years. Thanks very much to everyone who came to my table. I sold out of most of my books and did a bunch of sketches (many for new fans, which is great). Met Marvel artist Nick Bradshaw, who was very cool. We had a nice chat about N.C. Wyeth, and Wolverine.

Now comes the big push before Christmas; finishing up freelance design and illustration work, clearing my commission list (thanks again, everyone!), and finishing up letters for the next issues of Bedlam, Dia de Los Muertos and a new unannounced book.

It's been a hard year, but it's been a very good one. I am very grateful for my fans, my students, my friends, and my family; I really couldn't do any of it without you.


It was my mom's birthday this week, so I drew her up a little inkwash drawing to put in her card. I coloured it this morning, and here it is. I love you, Mom!

Breakfast on the Death Star

Recently, my good buddy Josh Stafford contacted me about donating some artwork. The excellent Mayfair Theatre in scenic Ottawa, Ontario, is running an IndieGoGo fundraiser to pay for a new digital projector. Since the Mayfair needs the projector to continue running, and since I want the Mayfair to continue to run, I said 'yes'.

"Breakfast on the Death Star" will be available to bid on at the silent auction being held December 1st and 2nd at the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa. It is acrylic, 11"x14". If you are unable to attend, I highly suggest adding a few dollars to the Mayfair's IndieGoGo campaign.

Mayfair force be with you!

Pirate-style wanted poster

My excellent nephew Dane turned five years old this past week. I wanted to do something nice for him, but nothing cool immediately jumped to mind. I'd done the map of Blackbeard for him previously, so I thought I'd stick with the piratical theme and struck upon the notion of doing a wanted poster for him.

The idea came to me as I was watching Aardman's excellent The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists for the umpteenth time with my mother. Wanted posters are a big part of the plot (with the Pirate Captain's wanted poster starting out at a pathetic 12 doubloons and increasing exponentially as the movie goes on), so I started with the original design of the Pirate Captain's wanted poster and made it unique to Dane.

I took a piece of heavy 11x17 Bristol board and soaked it in tea (decaf, the wretched stuff). After it dried, I went over it with dirty ink for the greyscale stuff and thick black ink (using a brush) for the important stuff. I was pretty happy with it, it's a neat-looking piece with a good sense of scale. I had planned on folding it up but I was so happy with it that I made a cardboard carrying case for it, as my mother was taking on a plane with her.

My sister-in-law sent a charming little video of Dane opening up his gift (which included a DVD of The Pirates! and a skull-topped pencil) and it made my day. Thanks to director Peter Lord and writer Gideon Defoe for making a great movie that continues to inspire me, and thanks to pirates (who know why they're the best).

Montreal Comic Con roundup

Another Montreal Comic Con has come and gone. The show has ballooned from less than a thousand people only a couple of years ago to something like 20,000 people. That's great for the city and the show itself, but I definitely felt the growing pains this year. Sales were lower than last year, which were lower than the year before that. I think the show is entering that comfortable sweet spot for bigger guests, but it's becoming less profitable for fellows like myself.

Here's a sample of the sketches that kept me busy all weekend. Thanks to everyone that came out to see me and pick up some comics, pages, and sketches from me.

 Spoiler Robin


Solid Snake 

The Spectre

Batman Beyond 

Shepard (from Mass Effect) Gangnam Style

The Spectre

Ariel (from Green Wake)

Speaking of Green Wake... Kurtis Wiebe won the Shuster Award for Best Writer on Saturday night! Since Kurtis couldn't be at the show, I accepted on his behalf. Very proud of him and very proud of the book.

Other highlights of the show included the three panels I did on Saturday; my own panel on Making Comics (the class I teach at Syn Studio), the Elephantmen panel with my excellent friend Richard Starkings, and the Ben Templesmith panel. Ben is a tremendously clever and fun guy, I had a great time chatting with him all weekend. I also had the great pleasure of meeting the tremendously talented Mark Chiarello and seeing the unlettered, uncoloured pages from Hellboy in Hell #1 (thanks to Christine and Mike Mignola for such an honor). I spent a bit of time with Darwyn Cooke and he told me some good news about upcoming Parker projects. Very exciting.

Back to business! Bedlam #1 is on its way and I'm supplying the letters for it. It's some of Riley's best work yet and I can't wait until its unleashed on the world.

Montreal Comic Con & Comics Alliance

First up, a big 'thank you' to Lauren Davis at Comics Alliance: she wrote a very complimentary article about my work on September 1st. The article can be read here. I am flattered and amazed that one of my favorite sites about comics took the time to talk about what I do. Thanks again, Comics Alliance!

I am a guest of the Montreal Comic Con again this year. This has been my go-to show for the last four years; Montreal is my home now and it's been amazing to see the show go from a couple thousand people at most to the media event it has become.

If you are interested in tracking me down at the show, here's how to find me:

I will be at table 1710, next to the intimidating Mark Chiarello. I will also be at two panels: I am running one myself called Making Comics (Saturday, 11 AM) which will be about making your own minicomics, and I will be moderating the Elephantmen panel with the marvelous Richard Starkings at 4 PM on Saturday. Don't miss 'em, there are a lot of surprises in store.

I will be selling minicomics, comics, trade paperbacks, and doing sketches in varying sizes. I will also have a unique item this year: if you purchase something from me, you will get a card with a website and a password on it. This combination will allow you to download and unlock a pdf with a brand-new 8-page Archie Snow story! I completed the story a while ago for an ill-fated anthology, and it has sat on the shelf for long enough. I am doing a Montreal Comic Con exclusive cover for the PDF: this will not be made available again after the show and I am limiting the cards to only two hundred and fifty.

Here is a sneak peak of the exclusive cover:
Come early, I will not be reserving these. When they are gone, they are gone.

Hope to see you at the show!

Warm-up sketches

For the last two weeks or so, I've been taking suggestions for warm-up sketches on Twitter. It's been fun, and I've gotten some really great suggestions. Here's a bunch of them.

Dave Matthews as Batman (this is what got me started)
 Ace Hart (from Dog City)
 Zombies crawling out of sunken voodoo cemetery with a ghost pirate ship in the background (my nephew is the best)
 Hulk vs. Ikea
 Black Canary (some artistic license taken here)
 Mary Poppins of the Borg
 A Frankenstein's monster made out of other monsters

If you have an idea, tweet at my (@kellytindall) with the hashtag #warmupsketch and I'll select my favorite.

Dragon country

A couple of weeks ago, two of my favorite ladies got married. Many congratulations to Ari and Cynthia; you couldn't ask for nicer friends and their reception was one of the all-time great parties.

As soon as I heard that they were tying the knot (they've been engaged for awhile), I knew I had to make something for them. My first inspiration was a Victorian-style portrait, Mike Mignola-style, with the two of them in formal garb surrounded by creepy kitsch like skulls and portraits of the long-dead and velvet curtains.

I had nearly finished the roughs for that idea, but like most things Mignola-style-but-not-drawn-by-Mignola it felt derivative; Mignola's so iconic in the way he works that he's nearly impossible to ape.

I was at a loss when my excellent wife said, "Why not do one of those shots of people surrounded by piles of dead things?" I interpreted this to mean the turn-of-the-century sepia photos of hunters, so that's what I ended up referencing.

So much character in this dude! He looks as dangerous as a schoolteacher but his kills speak for themselves. Since the girls are such avid gamers, especially fantasy, I thought that their prey shouldn't be tigers or bears but something more fantastic; something like a dragon.
 I created the piece using inkwashes, and then I stole a technique from my pal Tim Sale; I used instant coffee to make sepia tones for the final piece. The colours scanned badly; the real illustration looks much jazzier.
 The final piece of the puzzle was a slightly distressed, older-looking frame.

We went over to the girl's place for a BBQ last weekend and they had the piece up on the wall, and I'm still pretty pleased with it. I'd like to do more drawings like this; it was a lot of fun to experiment with media and draw something outside of my comfort zone.

Ari and I were out in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago for the awesome Ottawa Comic Con; I have a lot of photos of my sketches to post, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Soon!

Mighty pirates!

I love pirates. If I could draw nothing but pirates all day, that'd be the best life ever.

So, here's a couple I've done recently. The first two are the hero and villain from The Secret of Monkey Island series, my all-time favorite computer games and the games that got me into pirates to begin with. Ron Gilbert is one of my heroes.

The last pirate was created by my four-year-old nephew Dane, who told me a long story about Skully the fifty-armed flying ghost pirate who he expected to see in Mexico. I don't know if he did, so I drew a version for him.

The Monkey Island dudes were drawn with ink and markers; Skully was done in my sketchbook with colours and textures done digitally.

Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate (and Murray the skull)
LeChuck, zombie pirate
Skully, the flying ghost pirate

The Monkey Island drawings are 9x12, full colour on Bristol. If you're interested in purchasing one, shoot me an email at kellyATkellytindallDOTcom. The Skully drawing is for Dane.

Walter: Campaign of Terror

I finally righted a wrong from fifteen years ago last month: I bought myself the complete Walter: Campaign of Terror by John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke off of eBay. I remember seeing the solicits for this book in, what, 1995? 1996? at a run-down comic shop in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, but I never tracked it down and oh! how it needled me. Needled me for years.

Why would a book about a guy named Walter bother me so? Easy, mister. Walter is a spinoff of The Mask, which is one of my all-time favorite comic-book runs. The Mask, The Mask Returns, and The Mask Strikes Back are three of the funniest, smartest, and best-drawn action comics I have ever read. The writing is crisp and witty, the art is hilarious and detailed, and the mood is absolutely sublime. Those who only love the character from the (quite good) Jim Carrey vehicle from 1994 would be smart to check out Dark Horse's The Mask Omnibus, Vol. 1 which features all three. You won't regret it.

But what about Walter?

Walter was the main antagonist of all three series. A hulking, nigh-indestructible mute monstrosity, Walter was the only man who could hurt someone wearing the reality-warping Mask (known locally as "Big Head"). Upon conclusion of The Mask Strikes Back, Walter abandons his murderous campaign against The Mask and went into politics.

Yes, politics.

Walter: Campaign of Terror is about Walter's sally forth into the ludicrously dangerous race for mayor. He is surrounded by a chatty and mixed group of sycophants, liars, and thieves which include a wealthy dwarf, a hitman who's had too much plastic surgery, and a little girl with murder on her mind. Walter wades through them all, taking enormous amounts of damage and uttering not one single syllable. It's a fascinating and peculiar satire; I recommend tracking it down.

And the ads... There are ads in Walter for books ranging from Hellboy: Wake the Devil (who?) to Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (what?). It's a who's who of late nineties Dark Horse goodness: there's even an ad for the live-action Barb Wire movie! Reminds me fondly of wandering through the Dark Horse section of Another Dimension Comics in Calgary during breaks in class at ACAD in the early 2000's.

John Arcudi is currently writing (the absolutely amazing) BPRD: Hell on Earth, and Doug Mahnke is a superstar artist at DC. If you want a good look at where these two titans cut their teeth, look no further than the adventures of a green-headed lunatic... or, if you're adventurous yourself, the campaign of terror of a brute named Walter.

As always, I can be found elsewhere on the net at the following:

• My portfolio
• My Tumblr
• My deviantArt page
• My webcomic That's So Kraven!

Johann Kraus / brief update

Wow, what a month. I'll do a proper writeup of what I've been doing for the past few weeks. It hasn't been fun and it hasn't been easy and I hope you never have to go through any of it.

Decided to get back into the groove after reading the terrific B.P.R.D.: The Long Death #1 this week. The only active superhuman member of the team, Johann Kraus, takes center stage yet again as the B-plot involving Captain Ben Daimio, Daryl the wendigo, and a certain 15-foot jaguar god begins to wind down. I eagerly anticipate issue #2 as much as I dread it.

Johann got snazzy new duds in the recently-concluded B.P.R.D.: Russia and I was itching to draw it.

Since it's been awhile, here's where you can find me elsewhere on the net:

My website (with portfolio)
My deviantArt page
My Tumblr
My recently-concluded webcomic That's So Kraven!

As far as other news: I lettered and coloured Green Wake #10, the final issue, which comes out very soon. It was daunting taking over from regular colorist Riley Rossmo for an issue but he's also drawing something like five books so he needed a breather. The issue is very good; Kurtis and Riley wrap the story up very effectively. Fans will not be disappointed.

I'm also lettering Riley's upcoming book Rebel Blood (the first issue comes out in March) and I hope you check it out. It's Riley's first work as writer as well as artist and it's a surprisingly sophisticated book (considering it features zombie wolves and men with deer heads and rats with eyes growing out of their backs).

I made a cameo in today's Princess Planet (written and drawn by internet buddy and fellow new dad Brian McLachlan). I am the unlucky fellow in panel one. Thanks again, Brian!