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CBC All In A Day Interview

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Giacomo Panico on the fantastic CBC radio program All In A Day. Giacomo is currently guest hosting the show while regular host Alan Neal is away.

Giacomo and I discuss Metal Gods, comiXology and their nifty Submit program, and the Corel Endowment for the Arts award that I won for my Metal Gods comic book. The interview was recorded on June 18th, 2014, in studio at the nifty CBC Broadcast Centre here in Ottawa.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here or by clicking play on the embedded player below.

Two Local Artists Receive Corel Endowment for the Arts Awards

Ottawa – June 18, 2014 - The Council for the Arts in Ottawa (CAO) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Corel Endowment for the Arts Awards. The Awards were presented at the Council for the Arts in Ottawa’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Eric Julien /Von Allan Studio received support for his sequential art project Metal Gods. Combining visual arts and literature, Von Allan will produce an ongoing full colour periodical that engages the reader through action and adventure while tackling economic issues.

Composer Elise Letourneau accepted her award that will contribute towards the completion of a concert-length requiem to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the École Polytechnique tragedy. Titled Requiem for Fourteen Roses, the work will include a vocal soloist, choir and instrumental musicians.

Tom Pierson, CAO Board Member and Chair of the Awards Committee presented two $1,000 awards. “We were very pleased that our endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa was able to provide $1,000 to advance the work of two local artists. We look forward to seeing how each of these projects will unfold.”

The Corel Endowment for the Arts was established at the Community Foundation of Ottawa in 1997 through the combined fundraising efforts of the CAO and Corel Corporation. The annual interest is used to assist artists of all disciplines. The first awards were presented in 1998. To date, the fund has contributed to 41 artists’ projects.

Established in 1982, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to promoting the local arts in the Ottawa region. The CAO recognizes excellence in the local arts community through its awards program that also includes the Victor Tolgesy Arts Award, The CAO Mid-Career Artist Award, the RBC Emerging Artist Award, and the CAO Business Recognition Award.

For further information contact:

Peter Honeywell, Executive Director
Council for the Arts in Ottawa
2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, K1N 6E2
(613) 569-1387
peter@arts-ottawa.on.ca

Talk Ottawa interview with Von Allan


This is an interview I did on the Talk Ottawa program a few years ago. I was just starting out so the art is a little rough, but it was still really enjoyable to do. And since it's about an hour long, host James Hendricks and I covered a lot of ground. The video can be found on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRisOujGI2E or by viewing in the player below:

Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award

Von Allan standing beside the Ottawa Arts Council's banner
Tonight at the Council for the Arts in Ottawa's AGM, I was awarded the 2014 Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award.  The award was specifically granted for Metal Gods and I'm very, very proud of that.

I wasn't the only winner. The Council for the Arts in Ottawa gave out two awards this year and the other went to composer Elise Letourneau. Ms. Letourneau won for "Requiem for Fourteen Roses." 

More information about the award can be found by visiting http://arts-ottawa.on.ca/awards/awards-corel-en.php


I'll have more information about the event as soon as I can. Suffice to say it was a very lovely night and I'm really, really pleased to have won the award.

Update: here's video my lovely wife shot of my acceptance speech:

Metal Gods Issue 2 Cover

A quick peek at the cover of issue 2 of Metal Gods!  Or to put it another way: Nick and Lou fight WHO?

ComiXology is already processing it, so I'm really hoping we'll go live by the end of June.  Fingers crossed!

Metal Gods Issue 2 Cover by Von Allan
/

Media Release for Metal Gods

Front cover for Von Allan's Metal Gods Issue 1
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 11, 2014 – Von Allan, an Ottawa-based artist and comics creator, is using the action and adventure comics genre to deliver some real-world commentary in his brand new series, Metal Gods. Unlike many other mediums, comics are generally perceived as being approachable and accessible, which makes them perfect for talking about contemporary issues; often the best stories are the ones that speak to the reader and are grounded in reality even as they entertain. The first issue of Metal Gods, in a digital-first format, arrives on the popular comics platform comiXology, through comiXology Submit, on June 11, 2014.

“In Metal Gods, I really want to play with comic book action and adventure tropes but I also want to write stories connected to the real world.” said Allan. “I love the classic silver-age Marvel comics work by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko, who wrote stories that lived right in the contemporary zeitgeist of 1960s America. Their stories took place in real time with the characters living in real cities, ageing, and going through the same things at the same time as their readers. And the stories were grounded but also filled with action, adventure, and escapism. I'm very pleased that Metal Gods is in the same vein. My characters will be dealing with the reality of life in 2014 but, at the same time, they'll be laughing a lot, loving each other, and running from a whole lot of villains and monsters.”

Metal Gods is the action/adventure story of two ordinary people dragged away from their everyday life of work, school, and bills into a fight against evil. The story is set in modern-day Ottawa and follows Nick Connelly, a mechanic, and his girlfriend, Louella “Lou” Amos, a university student, whose lives are fairly ordinary until Nick's parents vanish. Nick and Lou set out to find them, expecting yet another church or pyramid scheme, only to realize that the situation is far more serious. Nick and Lou must find a way to defeat zealous cultists, supernaturally altered humans, well-armed thugs, and a powerful corporation, as they attempt to save his parents and possibly even the world. Metal Gods is a series about personal strength, good and evil, and persistence in the face of huge odds.

“I love the themes of heavy metal,” Allan continued. “Album cover art, demonic entities, kick-ass heroes, and the working class theme that was especially evident in the early days of metal. Putting that into comic book form is a challenge, but something that I've been wanting to do for a few years now. And 'Metal Gods' as a series is approachable enough that someone doesn't need to be a fan of metal to enjoy each issue; they'll have fun with it no matter what. On top of it, my last few graphic novels have all featured kids and teens and, though I loved doing the all-ages work, it's been a lot of fun to spend time with grown-up characters. I get a kick out of writing a tough-guy adult main character in Nick and an equally strong female one in Lou. And even Nick and Lou themselves are really part of the modern zeitgeist with their bi-racial relationship, equal partnership, odd jobs, and economic and school worries."

Metal Gods has an ISSN of 2292-7654, ISBNs of 978-0-9781237-6-5 (Issue 1) and 978-0-9781237-7-2 (Issue 2), a suggested retail price of $0.99 US per issue, and is presented in full colour.
Metal Gods Issue 2 Cover

About Von Allan: Von Allan has been living and breathing comics in the Great White North for a number of years and has built an active and well-respected presence in the larger comics community. He has written, pencilled, and inked a number of short stories and two full-length, original graphic novels. Both books were well received by fans, retailers, and critics and continue to sell today: the road to god knows..., the heartwarming story of a teenager growing up with a schizophrenic mother; and Stargazer, an all-ages sci-fi/fantasy adventure.

About ComiXology: ComiXology has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become a top ten grossing iPad app in 2011 and 2012 and the top grossing non-game iPad app in 2012 and 2013. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from over 75 publishers – and independent creators as well – comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. ComiXology is based in New York City, with an office in Los Angeles. For more information visit www.comixology.com.

Contact:

Sam Boswell
c/o Publisher
Address P.O. Box 20520, 390 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1N 1A3
Email media@vonallan.com

Sample Images from issues one and two (please click on each image to open larger versions):

Issue 1 cover of Von Allan's digital comic book Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal Gods Sample page from Von Allan's Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal GodsIssue 2 cover of Von Allan's digital comic book Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal Gods

Metal Gods Issue 1

Front cover for Von Allan's Metal Gods Issue 1

Metal Gods Issue 1


Price: $0.99 – Ages 17+


Please note: we do realize that comiXology uses DRM. We're exploring DRM-Free options (as detailed ), but for now there isn't a true DRM-option.

Synopsis:

Nick and his girlfriend, Lou, weren't expecting to run across cults and devil worship when they went looking for his wayward parents. They also weren't expecting demonic possession, heavily armed thugs, and car chases...or that they would end up starting a battle that just might save the entire world! More information about Metal Gods can be found by reading the .

Publishing Information:

Metal Gods Series ISSN 2292-7654

ISBN for Issue 1: 978-0-9781237-6-5

Full-Colour

24 pages (19 story pages)

Credits: 

Written and Illustrated by

Edited by Sam Boswell

Sample Images:

(please click on each image to open larger versions):

Issue 1 cover of Von Allan's digital comic book Metal GodsInside front cover of Von Allan's digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1Page 1 from Von Allan's digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1Page 2 from Von Allan's digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1Page 6 from Von Allan's digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1Page 9 from Von Allan's digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1Page 14 from Von Allan's digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1

Tip Sheet for Metal Gods

Digital comic book Metal Gods Issue 1 Cover by Von AllanSeries Synopsis:

Nick Connelly was a hard-working guy; he'd been a heavy metal roadie, a mechanic, a steel worker, and even a volunteer firefighter. He liked his adventures blue-collar and down to earth...unlike his wayward parents, Art and Wanda, a flaky duo whose own adventures took them from one charismatic charlatan to another. Nick and his girlfriend, Lou, were used to the postcards they got, filled with glowing words about the newest savior; Nick and Lou rolled their eyes but Art and Wanda always came back eventually, a little lighter in the wallet but happy...until, one time, they didn't.

As the weeks and months passed without any sign of the pair, Nick and Lou finally packed up the ole van and set off to find them...and what they found was worse than they could've imagined. Art and Wanda hadn't just taken up with another religious salesman in a cookie-cutter suburb somewhere...this time they'd sworn allegiance to a truly evil force; an ancient demon that existed only to tear the universe apart. Wipe out humanity. Poison the world. And it had the power and minions to do it, too. Nick and Lou only had each other to draw on...their courage; their love; and, of course, their van.

So, it's Nick and Lou against zealous cultists, supernaturally altered humans, well-armed flesh 'n blood thugs, and a powerful corporation, each of whom wants the demonic power for themselves. And the prize? Not just the safety of Art and Wanda...but the future of the entire world.

Sales Pitch:

It's a real-time/real-world story starring two ordinary characters, Nick and his girlfriend, Lou, who end up fighting monsters, cultists, and corporations...at the same time as they deal with families, jobs, rent, and school. The two characters feel like people you know...if people you knew were late to work because a demon had dislocated their shoulder the night before. It's real life with a huge helping of adventure and fun.

Author Bio:

Von Allan has been living and breathing comics in the Great White North for a number of years and has built an active and well-respected presence in the larger comics community. He has written, pencilled, and inked a number of short stories and two full-length, original graphic novels. Both books were well received by fans, retailers, and critics and continue to sell today: the road to god knows..., the heartwarming story of a teenager growing up with a schizophrenic mother; and Stargazer, an all-ages sci-fi/fantasy adventure.

Publishing Specs:

  • Format: Digital Comic Book
  • Series ISSN: 2292-7654
  • ISBN for Issue 1: 978-0-9781237-6-5
  • ISBN for Issue 2: 978-0-9781237-7-2
  • ISBN for Issue 3: 978-0-9781237-8-9
  • Release Date (first issue): June 11, 2014
  • Trim Size (PDF): 6.625” by 10.25”
  • Suggested Retail Price: $0.99
  • Art: Full colour
  • Audience: 17+
  • Genre: Action and Adventure
  • Written and Illustrated:
  • Editor: Sam Boswell
  • Distribution: comiXology and Ingram Content Group
Features and Selling Points:
  • Full colour artwork
  • Very low price point of only US$0.99 per issue
  • Ongoing periodical story available approximately monthly
  • Original story and characters, with emphasis on strong female characters, good writing, and the action/adventure genre
  • World-wide distribution via comiXology Submit and the Ingram Content Group
  • Promotional website regularly updated with artwork, background material, blog posts, and other extras
  • Issue One synopsis: Nick and his girlfriend, Lou, weren't expecting to run across cults and devil worship when they went looking for his wayward parents. They also weren't expecting demonic possession, heavily armed thugs, and car chases...or that they would end up starting a battle that just might save the entire world!
  • Issue Two synopsis: The only thing standing between Nick, Lou, and a romantic evening was one last errand for Nick's auto-mechanic boss. It was supposed to be a simple matter of seeing whether an ole wreck was worth restoring...but it turned into a confrontation with the cultists and a deepening of the mystery around Nick's parents' disappearance.
Features and Selling Points:
Media Contact:

Publisher:
  • P.O. Box 20520, 390 Rideau Street
  • Ottawa
  • Ontario
  • Canada
  • K1N 1A3

Sample Images from issues one and two (please click on each image to open larger versions):

Issue 1 cover of Von Allan's digital comic book Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal Gods Sample page from Von Allan's Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal GodsIssue 2 cover of Von Allan's digital comic book Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal GodsSample page from Von Allan's Metal Gods

Metal Gods Issue 1 Cover

Metal Gods Issue 1 Cover by Von Allan

As we get closer to the official announcement of Metal Gods appearing on comiXology, I wanted to start posting some images from the first issue.   I actually want to start posting some behind the scenes stuff, too.  Partially because I like seeing "process work" of other artists and partially because I think it's fun.  And hell, fun is what it's supposed to be about, right?  So over the next while, we'll take a look at pencils, inks, lettering, as well as final colours of various pages and panels from Metal Gods. 

Hopefully that'll be interesting.  I work in a bit of a weird way; I like using my arm to rough in pencils so all my thumbnails and layouts are done with ye olde pencil and paper.  Then I scan 'em in and do a lot of tightening up with digital pencils in Manga Studio EX 4.  Then the lettering, inking, and colouring is all done digitally.  But I also bounce around a bit and try out different ways of doing things.  I'm a big believer in the mantra "tools and not rules" and it is really fun to experiment and see where things take me.


There's that word "fun" again.  Ack, it's infectious!  But that's a big reason why I wanted to do Metal Gods.  Fun!

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TV Interview

Von and Metal Gods

Von Allan author photo for the Ottawa-based newspaper Perspectives Vanier

Publishing Information

ISSN 2292-7654

ISBN for Issue 1: 978-0-9781237-6-5

ISBN for Issue 2: 978-0-9781237-7-2

ISBN for Issue 3: 978-0-9781237-8-9

About Metal Gods

Nick Connelly was a hard-working guy; he'd been a heavy metal roadie, a mechanic, a steel worker, and even a volunteer firefighter. He liked his adventures blue-collar and down to earth...unlike his wayward parents, Art and Wanda, a flaky duo whose own adventures took them from one charismatic charlatan to another. Nick and his girlfriend, Lou, were used to the postcards they got, filled with glowing words about the newest savior; Nick and Lou rolled their eyes but Art and Wanda always came back eventually, a little lighter in the wallet but happy...until, one time, they didn't.

As the weeks and months passed without any sign of the pair, Nick and Lou finally packed up the ole van and set off to find them...and what they found was worse than they could've imagined. Art and Wanda hadn't just taken up with another religious salesman in a cookie-cutter suburb somewhere...this time they'd sworn allegiance to a truly evil force; an ancient demon that existed only to tear the universe apart. Wipe out humanity. Poison the world. And it had the power and minions to do it, too. Nick and Lou only had each other to draw on...their courage; their love; and, of course, their van.

So, it's Nick and Lou against zealous cultists, supernaturally altered humans, well-armed flesh 'n blood thugs, and a powerful corporation, each of whom wants the demonic power for themselves. And the prize? Not just the safety of Art and Wanda...but the future of the entire world.

Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts

Council for the Arts in Ottawa logo

Metal Gods has been funded by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa through the Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts.

Biographical Info


Von Allan - Writer and Artist

has been living and breathing comics in the Great White North for a number of years and has built an active and well-respected presence in the larger comics community. He has written, penciled, and inked a number of short stories and two full-length, original graphic novels. Both books were well received by fans, retailers, and critics and continue to sell today: the road to god knows..., the heartwarming story of a teenager growing up with a schizophrenic mother; and Stargazer, an all-ages sci-fi/fantasy adventure.

Sam Boswell - Editor

Sam Boswell has been finding dangling modifiers, correcting spelling, and fixing misused apostrophes in fiction, non-fiction, university theses, graphic novels, technical manuals, and government bureaucratese for almost 20 years. She lives in Ontario, Canada, and, when she's not solving language problems for other people, she can be found deep in a book, untangling yarn, or digging in the garden.

Von Allan Studio Homepage

Von Allan Studio link