Sunday, September 23, 2012

Highlights from Star Wars Celebration VI

I finally have the chance to blog about my experience at Star Wars Celebration, after a month of recovering from taking it all in. Saying that "Star Wars CVI was a blast" is an understatement, it was awesome in so many levels. I got to see actual movie props up-close, chat and party with a lot of other friendly Star Wars fans, meet Star Wars celebrities, check out the deals on Star Wars merch at the exhibition hall, and attend some entertaining panels.

My highlights (and in no specific order):
-Watching the Clone Wars season 5 premiere on the big screen with other Star Wars fans.

-Attending the insightful Ian McDiarmid interview.
-Checking out the Seth Green and Matthew Senreich's Star Wars Detours project panel.
-Donald Faison making a surprise appearance at the Star Wars Detours panel (he does a voice in the new cartoon series) and he threw out free prizes which one Admiral Ackbar plush doll landed right on my lap!
-Being part of the Diorama Workshop exhibit.
-Seeing other attendees wear my Diorama Workshop T-Shirt design around the convention floor.

-Hanging out with Roxy the Rancor.
-Being entertained by Smuggler's Gambit, a radio-drama style show of one of Han Solo's adventures featuring the voices of the Clone Wars and David Collins (Force Unleashed's Proxy) as an impeccable Han Solo.

-Anthony Daniels stopping by the Diorama Workshop
-Attending TheForcedotNet Party, bumping into Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni and F/X supervisor Joel Aron, voice actor Tom Kane (Clone Wars' Yoda and Academy Award announcer), chatting with Forcecast hosts JimmyMac and Jason Swank, as well as Fanboys director Kyle Newman and RalphMcQuarrie.com's Paul Bateman!
-Being inspired by all the rare and fascinating items at Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit, such as rare artwork, movie props like the Artoo in X-Wing droid hatch and Death Star pieces, and unproduced collectibles like the Droids and Ewoks action figures.




Now I'll be counting the days to Star Wars Europe II in Germany! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Diorama Workshop T-Shirt for Star Wars Celebration!

It was ten years ago when I saw Frank Diorio's diorama workshop build Mos Eisley spaceports at Star Wars Celebration II via the web. Ten years later, I'll be heading to Orlando for my first Star Wars Celebration and of course, one of the activities I'll be looking forward to is the Diorama Workshop's Return to Tatooine event. When Frank tweeted an open-call for an artist to help out in a project, I jumped to the chance (without knowing that Lucasfilm would be involved)!

Frank wanted to do a spoof of Iron Maiden's Killers album cover but with a Tusken Raider rocking out with a gaffi stick. I was also working on the Canadian Joe Con 2012 comic at the time, so I did two quick sketches for Frank's approval. Frank mashed up the two sketches together for the Tusken Raider to look balls to the wall.

To my surprise, my sketches needed to be approved by Lucasfilm ... and they loved it! Wow! All my attempts to become a Star Wars artist through my webcomics at LooHarvest.com and winning the StarWarsDayTO poster contest, it was this T-Shirt project that put me on Lucasfilm's radar. You can't imagine how excited this news made me feel!
On to the coloring stage, I wanted to bring the spirit of heavy metal and rock-and-roll but it came across as too dark and red as hell. I lighten it up a little with some yellow and orange to get Lucasfilm's okay.
Here's the final design that will be worn by some of the staff at Star Wars Celebration, including myself!
 Looking forward to wearing mine around the convention! Let's hope I don't accidentally mess it up with glue and paint at the Diorama Workshop. And fingers crossed that this is only the start between me and Lucasfilm... Dear Lucasfilm, please check out Loo Harvest Chronicles.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Canadian Joe Con 2012

July has been a busy month at the library because of children's programming and keeping the kids entertained during their summer holidays. On top of that, I've been penciling, inking, coloring, and lettering the comic book scripted by Ryan Costello for this year's Canadian Joe Con. It's been a really hectic month but I'm pretty happy with the finished product.


Above, the filecard art to this year's exclusive convention set. From left to right: Black Ice with head design for the action figure's head-sculpt (the Star Wars fan in me added a little Boba Fett flair to the front), Joe Canuck, Retrofit, Traction, and H.A.G.A.R.
Below, from inks to final colors of page 1 and 2.



We're so lucky to have IDW's GIJoe artist Robert Atkins draw an amazing cover for this comic, which makes the Canadian GIJoe comic book look even more official to me!
Now I'm free to enjoy the rest of the summer and hang out with my friends and family who I've neglected this past month. Sorry! Also, I'll have some time to work on backlog pages to Loo Harvest Chronicles for its mid-September return!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Star Wars crafts in the Library

Working in children services of the Mississauga library has its perks, especially when I'm a huge Star Wars geek! Last Wednesday and today I had the pleasure of running TWO Star Wars craft workshops as part of our summer programming: a Clone Trooper action figure workshop and a Republic Gunship vehicle workshop.


Above are examples I made for the kids. The Clone Trooper was made using pipe cleaners through bendy straws, color paper for the chest armor, and felt for the battle skirt. A fellow Star Wars fan from Texas helped cast the Clone Trooper helmets out of resin. Plasticine is good substitute for a head if you don't have any resources to cast resin.

Here are a couple of troopers done by the kids. I love their creativity. Especially the menacing trooper with the green lightsaber.
A juicebox, color paper, glue, and a strip of cardboard was used to make the Republic Gunship craft.
Below are some amazing, colorful designs of the Republic Gunship.

 
 
 
The pink one with the hearts is my favorite. I can imagine this Gunship being exclusively used to transport R2-KT with vital information.
Right before the Republic Gunship workshop started I told my program-helpers, "We must make sure all the kids are following the instructions to a T, so by the end of program they will be so happy about their creations that they'll want to play with it in the library." After the program, I took a peek outside of our craft room to see a bunch of excited kids running around with their Gunships, playing out their own battles in a galaxy far, far away. Usually, I'd tell kids to not run in the library but I made an exception for this one occasion.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

From defective clone to story-time guy...

My Loo Harvest Chronicles webcomic series is somewhat of a diary of mine. Since the start of the series I've used it as a cathartic device to retell my heartbreaks, rejections, and hang-ups in a Star Wars setting. Even though I have plenty more material to write and draw into LHC, I felt my comic counterpart Jacen needed to explore the happier side of life. So if you ever found LHC a little depressing for the last 18 or so pages, there are brighter days ahead.
One of my life's enjoyments is working in the library with kids and starting later this month, you'll get to see some of the fun things in my job, as well as some of the challenges.

Here's a preview of what you'll see in the upcoming Loo Harvest Chronicles pages:

Public library on Cloud City. The building design is slightly inspired by the one I actually work in.

Loo Harvest Chronicles will run up to July 30th then a month long break in August (month of my birthday and Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando!). The series will resume on September 3rd.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Star Wars WEEK!

I had a blast with my friends Jeremy and Dila in an evening with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Sci-Fi Spectacular at Roy Thomson Hall. We were graced with the presence from internet meme guru aka Sulu aka Clone Wars' Lok Durd aka George Takei and the marvelous renditions of classic sci-fi themes from Star Trek, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, and Star Wars! I don't care what others say about The Phantom Menace, I think Duel of the Fates is one bad-ass piece! And since today (May 1st) is 501st Day, members of the 501st came out for photo-ops! I felt like a kid standing beside them for photos.
Friday is May the 4th (be with you), also known as Star Wars Day TO! To celebrate the day, I featured the event in Loo Harvest Chronicles. Can you spot all the cameos in this page?
Hope to see you all at Star Wars Day TO in the Toronto Underground Cinema! Also, you can find me at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in the Toronto Reference Library this whole weekend. Stop by table #215-216 and pick up my comic postcards of Loo Harvest!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Upcoming Events with new promo postcards!

I recently prepared new promo postcards for Loo Harvest that I'll be giving out at two upcoming events: Star Wars Day Toronto on Friday, May 4th at the Toronto Underground Cinema and Toronto Comic Arts Festival on May 5-6th at the Toronto Reference Library. Come find me and say, "Hi!". Thanks to Guerilla Printing for printing these out!

And here's a better image of the promo art:

Friday, March 16, 2012

R.I.P. Ralph McQuarrie, 1929-2012

Ralph McQuarrie was a true illusionist in cinema history. His hand painted matte pieces were grand and believable in the Star Wars films and still hold up to today's standards of CGI. His vision of a used, gritty, lived-in look in the Star Wars galaxy is one of the reasons that attracted me to Star Wars than any other science fiction. Thank you, Ralph for imagining a fantastical galaxy I can always dive into when I need an escape from the 9-5 work life!

TOP - RMQ's concept art of a landing pad on Cloud City
BELOW - my tribute to Ralph's piece in an upcoming page of Loo Harvest Chronicles.

TOP - Ralph's concept art of Alderaan
BELOW - My poor man's version of Ralph's Alderaan piece also found in an upcoming page of Loo Harvest Chronicles.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Quinntessential Comix #16, featuring me!

I had an awesome time chatting with Alice Quinn on Quinntessential Comix about my Loo Harvest webcomics, European comics, and Star Wars. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My entry for Star Wars Day TO

Star Wars Day TO is running a poster contest for their event and here's my entry. Since 2012 is the 35th anniversary of a New Hope, I thought of paying tribute to one of the early scenes in the film. There's going to be a voting process on the Star Wars Day TO Facebook page. If you dig my entry, go to this Facebook link and click "Like". Voting will take place 'next week' (Feb 27-Mar 2?).
Star Wars Day TO is an annual event that brings all the Star Wars fans together to celebrate the day May the 4th (be with you). I had a blast last year with their fan film screenings, costume contests, trivia, prizes and even an appearance by the 501st Legion. This year is promising to be even better. I even heard they invited some special guests. Fellow Toronto-based Star Wars fans, hope to see you all there!

Friday, January 20, 2012

My break-ups will look better in the Special Edition.

On the day before that holiday with the hearts and stuff (sorry, I'm not that familiar with the holiday), I'll be launching my new weekly webcomic series "My Life In A Galaxy Far, Far Away Loo Harvest Chronicles". Since the holidays, I've been busy building a backlog of comic shorts that captures a slice of my life and putting it in a Star Wars setting. Make sure to check out the new series at on Monday, February 13. But for now, read the prequel here!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Loo's Misadventures in the Star Wars galaxy...

A while ago I tweeted: "Out of curiosity, who'd be interested in seeing comics about my past misfortunes/mishaps in a Star Wars setting?" I wanted to see if there would be an audience out there that would dig what I've been working on since late-December. Luckily, enough responded to ensure I'm on the right track (otherwise I'd be the only person who would find this entertaining).
I'm aiming to make this a weekly addition to Loo Harvest and I promise the series won't be depressing. Expect it to launch on February 7th!

Me battling a rancor. I know... I didn't actually encounter a rancor, it's a metaphor to a past event.

Phantogram makes an appearance as holo-musicians.

Shaun Hatton (Electric Playground) in the orange also makes a cameo!

-Jason