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About Von Allan

Little Von AllanVon Allan was born in Arnprior, Ontario, Canada. When he was still very young, his parents separated, and he spent the remainder of his youth split between a troubled mother and a gruff father. In 1980, he and his mother moved to a working class neighbourhood in Ottawa. Coping with bullying and harsh teachers, Von found refuge in books, comics, science fiction, and wrestling. Like many others of his generation, Star Wars and Star Trek had huge influences on his psyche — but he also turned to the caped superheroes of comics for help when the world seemed a less friendly place.

As he grew older and his confidence grew, Von began to seriously consider a creative life — in 1994, he started outlining several stories that he'd had in his head for years. That same year, he was hired to run Perfect Books, a small independent bookstore in a middle class neighbourhood of Ottawa. Through hard work, and an unerring book-sense, he turned the store into a successful literary destination for the area. It was there that he met his future wife, Moggy, although it took a year for the friendship to evolve into a relationship.

Modified photo of Von Allan After many years of running the store, Von began to realize that his writing had been moved to a backburner — too much creative energy was being expended on the customers during the day and there wasn't any left at night for his own work. After putting their heads together, he and Moggy decided that he should pursue his own work.

He scaled back his hours at the bookstore and started looking closely at his journals and story ideas; however, there was a catch. Everything he'd written, every idea and every character, was highly visual. He would have to learn to draw in order to express his creative visions. At first, even drawing a simple circle was tough going — years passed, pencils snapped, pads of paper were flipped and replaced, ink and paint were bought, and Von gradually got better. And eventually, through hard work and determination, Von got to the point that working in comics became a reality.

A little bit more about Von can be found on Lambiek's wonderful Comiclopedia site at https://www.lambiek.net/artists/a/allan_von.htm

Von currently lives in Ottawa, Canada, with his writer/editor geek wife, Sam; a husky-mix, Corbin; and one feisty young lady cat, Mabel.

Awards and Grants

Council for the Arts in Ottawa logo and the City of Ottawa logo
2014 recipient of the Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award.

2019 recipient of the CBC Trailblazer Awards. I also discuss the award a little bit more here.

2020 finalist of the Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award. A media release can be found here.

2020 recipient of an arts funding grant from the City of Ottawa. More details about that can be found at https://www.vonallan.com/2020/08/city-of-ottawa-grant-support.html.

The link to the PDF announcement can be found on the City of Ottawa’s website at https://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/documents/files/2020_Summary_report_EN_FINAL_FINAL-s.pdf

Documentary Film Project

Von has been fortunate enough to be involved in a documentary project titled I AM STILL YOUR CHILD focusing on the children of parents with mental illness (COPMI). The trailer is above and more information regarding the film can be found at the official website.

Author Publicity Shots

Links to Hi-Rez versions can be found by clicking on each photo.
Von Allan, graphic novelist and comic book writer, in his studio.Von Allan, graphic novelist and comic book writer, in Studio

Von Allan, graphic novelist and comic book writer, sitting outsideClose-up on Von Allan, graphic novelist and comic book writer, in his studio

Wolf's Head by Von Allan

Link to Von Allan's Wolf's Head comic book series

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City of Ottawa Grant Support

Von Allan Studio gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the City of Ottawa.

City of Ottawa logo

Creative Commons License

I Am Still Your Child Trailer

Documentary Film Excerpt