Artner-in-crime Kyle Burles and I canvassed all across Calgary to get our books into stores last week, and I will now share with you the stores that carry them!
But first, for you DIGITAL enthusiasts, all digital versions of our comics are currently available through IndyPlanet.com at: http://www.indyplanet.us/?s=Michael+McAdam — But look for an announcement about that coming soon!
CALGARY COMIC STORES: (From North to South)
2610 Centre St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2V4
Jay and Rob are great guys! Very knowledgeable and helpful and pro-indie!
424 10 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V9
Penny or John are usually working. Penny has great advice and is so helpful at getting your indie stuff on the shelves!
Redd Skull Comics
720A Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J4
Kelly is a wise man when it comes to indie comics. He helped us understand what retailers are looking for in indies, just as what we creators should expect from comic stores.
Phoenix Comics Inglewood
1325 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T3
Okay, you all have to harass Trevor to get his Indie section up and running. The problem is he doesn’t have a system for local creators yet, and we all need to get on him so he can get on it! Let’s all get our books in there, people!
7005 18 St SE, Calgary, AB T2C 1Y1
Chris the owner is often talked about as being a great friend to the local creators. I found this to be true!
One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is this:
“How come there are no girls in your comics?”
I need to explain, because this is important— and I never have time to really get into it when a reader stops by my table at a convention and asks this question.
The very shortest answer is: “There are girls in my comics. They just haven’t shown up yet.”
Now I need to explain that.
The reality is that I’m an average (ish) white dude and so all my experience and observations begin there. They don’t end there, they just begin there. So when I begin noodling a story in my head, yes, it does tend to start with Average White Dude personalities.
But then I start really thinking about story. About worlds. About situations and all the people around them until everything starts to gel, starts to feel real. And from that process comes diversity, because that’s what the real world is: diverse. Mulitcultural, multi-generational, multiple peoples and experiences.
And for me, the cardinal sin- the worst mistake- would be to write something, or someone, I can’t be genuine about. So when I plan a story, my first thought is not “how can I make this diverse?” My first thought is “what is this story about?” and once I’ve got that, the diversity flows naturally.
My half-Norse God, half-Canadian superhero Thunder, for example, is the story of a young man who has come back home to a world he no longer knows, trying to discover himself and trying to fit in. The first person he makes friends with is another dude. The first two people he has conflict with are also dudes.
This, to me, is organic; it is more likely that this hero will have conflict with men, and is more likely to befriend a man, first. Because that’s been my experience on how dudes operate.
However, we are up to issue 5 now, and we’ve seen two, maybe three days of the hero’s life— and we’re ready to expand our scope and see more of his environment and the people in it. Now, we will begin to see (minor spoiler!) that there are women in this dude’s life, in his circle, and we are going to explore that. But I had to get there naturally, it had to feel real, not “shoehorned” in.
Of course there are women in his world, in his circle, in his universe. But they are not tokens. They are not eye candy. They are people. They have their own stories, their own agency, their own being completely separate from, independent of, the hero.
I am a firm believer in, and yearn to one day pass, the Bechdel Test in my stories. But I have to get there naturally, in a genuine way; I won’t write something just to tick a box or fill a quota— I want to write a good story that includes the realest people I can imagine.
Likewise, my comic Spectrum begins with Average White Dude— who is gay. This means his world is already a bit more open to diversity simply due to the character’s desire to discover more about himself and the world around him. The girls in this comic (minor spoiler, again) will show up much sooner because in this case the main character is already associated with female friends and is through his own efforts and external circumstances being exposed to more than our aforementioned junior thunder god.
Also, Spectrum has a broader scope in terms of race and culture in its characters— not because I felt like “I should” or “I had to” but rather because it just made sense. It fit. It worked. And you’d better believe I will try my best to make sure those characters are as authentic, as genuine as I can possibly make them, because they are not “tokens of inclusivity” — they are real people.
So if you’re one of the people wondering when the girls are going to show up, rest assured that they’re coming. They’re already there, actually, you just haven’t met them— but I’m very eager to introduce you.
And if you’re one of the people who ask “How come there are no girls?” when what you really mean is “How come there are no boobs on your book covers?” Then you’re part of the problem, and you suck.
“We’re all here because we’ve identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. But that’s really only the first step. There’s an entire spectrum to our identities…which is why our symbol is the rainbow.” –Spectrum #1
Two Gargoyles Comics is proud to present to you all the first page of Spectrum, our LGBT-focus superhero comic!
Richie Sorensen is a young man who is just getting ready to come out, and is seeking a greater understanding of himself as a young gay man. But just as he’s introducing himself to the community, his life changes as he suddenly gets superpowers! As if high school, friends, and family weren’t enough to figure out..!
This comic is about the search for identity within the gay community. The struggles for coming out are not what they once were– but while there may be more freedom to explore one’s identity, there are other challenges such as “Where do I fit in to all this?” Explore with us, and find your place on the rainbow’s spectrum!
Come see us this weekend (INCLUDING THURSDAY!!) at the Calgary Expo! Writer Michael McAdam (Thunder, Gloaming, Twilight Detective Agency, Diaperman, Spectrum) and artist Jeremy Thew (Twilight Detective Agency, Diaperman, Spectrum) will be manning the table ready to sign copies of their comics!
There’s also other fun merchandise like the Superhero ABC’s, Superheroine ABC’s, Puck pucks, Gargoyles magnets and more! Come give us a look!
Show hours are: April 16 – 4pm to 8pm, April 17 – 12pm to 8pm, April 18 – 10am to 7pm and April 19 – 10am to 5pm! FOUR DAYS of awesomeness with Two Gargoyles Comics!
Two Gargoyles is venturing into new territory (for us) with our upcoming project, “Spectrum.” Written by Michael McAdam and illustrated by Jeremy Thew, Spectrum is about a young man who is coming to terms with being gay at the same time as he gains superpowers. In the past, comics have focussed on the coming out process, the sex, or gone right for the campy fun aspect of the gay community; SPECTRUM is about introducing the reader, through the eyes of its main character Richie Sorensen, to the entire rainbow of LGBT culture.
SPECTRUM will show as much of the slice-of-life of gay teens’ struggle to understand themselves, while parallelling those struggles with the hero’s (and heroine’s!) journey to realization of their full potential.
Get out your colorful costumes, and be prepared to find your best self along the rainbow road as you join the SPECTRUM!