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Showing posts with label interviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interviews. Show all posts

Interview with Barney Smith of StoryComic fame

Barney Smith of the fantastic StoryComic site (https://www.storycomic.com/) was nice enough to have me on his show! And unlike some other radio/podcast shows, this was actually done live in front of the camera! Video! Shocking!

What is truly amazing to me is that Barney has now done 289 (!) episodes of his show. That’s 289 interviews of all kinds of writers and artists, many working in comics but certainly not everyone, and he does it with humour and grace along with a boatload of great questions, too. And since he’s based in Vermont, he’s also done a special subset of episodes that deal with creative folks that live in that state (I think about 42 episodes in that category). That is one hell of a lot of work and, as I noted to Barney, I’m not sure how he does it. A love of the medium certainly helps and he has that in spades, but still… I get tired just thinking about how I’d handle that many interviews, especially given all of the research and energy that goes into it.

And, of course, The Center for Cartoon Studies is based in White River Junction, Vermont. That’s important because the school, as they note on their website, “centers on the creation and dissemination of comics, graphic novels and other manifestations of the visual narrative” as is one of the few that do that sort of thing in North America. See? How cool is that?!

So, what do we chat about? Well, not only my background in art and comics, but also how I approach telling the stories I do. We’re talking art here (and by art I mean “art” that’s very broadly defined). In other words, there are no right and wrong answers to how one makes art. There are just tools and different approaches and a great deal of learning. Whew, boy, the learning truly never stops and that’s one of the joy (and, okay, one of the occasional pains) about art. I was delighted that Barney was interested in talking about this, mainly because I think it’s one of those things that can kinda get glossed over. In other words, how one (as a creator) thinks about and approaches the story they are trying to tell is very important. It’s very easy to confuse or otherwise lose the reader and, at least for my own work, I rarely want to do it and never want to do it by accident (for those interested, one of my most abstract stories is this older one, that really needs to be read at least twice to really “grok” what it’s about).

And, of course, we take a pretty deep dive into WOLF’S HEAD, my ongoing comics series, too. (and pssst! Don’t forget to check out the new snazzy trailer for it, too!)

Okay! With that out of the way, here is the interview itself from YouTube (and if this doesn’t play for you, you can jump directly to the interview on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P-TMAfNxMY). Alternatively, there’s also a terrific podcast version that you can listen to — or even download the .mp3. That’s on PodBean at https://storycomic.podbean.com/e/episode-289-wolf-s-head-when-an-ai-baby-teams-up-with-an-ex-cop-von-allan-exclusive-interview/

I hope you enjoy it! And many thanks to Barney for having me on to talk about a medium I love so much!

Talk Ottawa Interview

Teaser image and place holder for the Talk Ottawa interview with comic book artist Von Allan

One of my very first long form interviews and one that I thought was lost! This was done way back in 2008 with James Hendricks, then host of Talk Ottawa here in Ottawa, Ontario. This interview meant a lot to me since I was basically just starting out and he and the producers of the show were very open and welcoming.

James and I chat about comics and graphic novels, the challenges of being an indy artist, and the changing face of technology and how that applies to comics. We also do a deep dive into my very first graphic novel, titled “the road to god knows…”, that deals with parental mental illness. In the case of that comic, I drew on a lot of my own experiences growing up with my mom; she was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was very young. We talk about that, too.

Oh! My art that was presented in the original video was pretty rough, so I decided to update it with art revisions I did some years ago.

The player should work below. If not, or if you'd prefer to watch on Youtube, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS8ADTEwBcI

Recent Podcast Interviews with Von Allan

I've recently been a guest on three different podcasts chatting about comics, art, COVID-19, and mental illness. In no particular order, here goes:

I was interviewed by Tim Midura and Kyle Welch on their Pages and Panels Podcast. This is a wide-ranging discussion of comics, my ongoing series WOLF'S HEAD, the situation at Diamond Comic Distributors, the documentary film I AM STILL YOUR CHILD, and on and on! I really enjoyed this one and I think you will, too. The interview can be found at https://pagesandpanels.squarespace.com/blog/2020/6/12/pages-and-panels-vol-2-23-von-allen-and-wolfs-head or downloaded directly as a MP3 right here (just right click to download).

Not to be outdone, I was also interviewed on the Out of the Basement podcast. Out of the Basement is a local podcast from here in Ottawa, but with social distancing due to COVID-19, it was handled remotely. This chat ranges from comics to D&D and was a lot of fun. This interview can be found at https://outofthebasement.ca/pod/ootb/out-of-the-basement-podcast-episode-91/ or downloaded directly as a MP3 here (again, just right click to download).

Lastly, the always lovely Kevin Midbo had me on to chat about the early stages of COVID-19 and how it was effecting folks in my neighbourhood here in Ottawa. Kevin is great and the discussion, while short, was terrific. It can be found at https://www.vancouverislandmentalhealthsociety.org/artist-and-comics-creator-von-allan-on-life-during-covid-19/ or downloaded directly as a MP3 right over here.

Interview with True North Country Comics Podcast

I recently did a Skype interview with the fantastic John Swinimer, host of the True North Country Comics Podcast. John and I covered a range of subjects, including my recent comics work (WOLF'S HEAD!) as well as the documentary film I'm a participant in (I AM STILL YOUR CHILD). We also talked about mental health and mental illness in general and how my mom struggled with schizophrenia, a pretty vile disease.

I love talking comics and creativity and this interview has quite a bit about that, too! There is something about storytelling, and comic book storytelling in particular, that I find exciting. I think the visual language of comics is endlessly fascinating, something I hope that I bring to my own work, not to mention how comics unites words and illustrations in a really neat way.

John was a great host and hopefully I did a good job as a guest. Give it a listen, eh? The MP3 for the podcast can be found at the links above or directly at https://truenorthcountrycomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Von-Allan-Jan-2019.mp3

CBC Montreal interview with Von Allan on Homerun

Just prior to the screening of the documentary film I AM STILL YOUR CHILD in Montreal as part of the 2018 Low-Beer Memorial Lecture (photos from the event are here), I scampered over to CBC Montreal to do an interview with Sue Smith on the drive home show "Homerun." And thanks to the CBC's Loreen Pindera, I now have an audio copy of the interview I can share!

You can listen to the interview by clicking here or by clicking play on the old timey audio player below.

Low-Beer Memorial Lecture Photos

As I noted in my last post, I was invited to participate in AMI Quebec's 2018 Low-Beer Memorial Lecture that featured I AM STILL YOUR CHILD, the documentary I'm involved in. The screening and subsequent panel discussion was held at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Concordia University's Loyola campus in Montreal. It was a terrific evening. Possibly the best part for me was just being able to reconnect with so many of the awesome people who were involved in the film (writer/director Megan Durnford, producer Katarina Soukup, designer Sara Morley, as well as film participants Jessy Bokser, Marie Leavins, and Rebecca Heinisch). And to meet new people, including our fantastic moderator Loreen Pindera of the CBC and AMI Quebec's Dr. Ella Amir.

What follows are various photos of the event. These are courtesy of myself, I AM STILL YOUR CHILD's twitter page, and AMI Quebec's Facebook page. The panel (from left to right) featured Rebecca, Marie, Loreen, Megan, and me.

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

2018 Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture photo

Ottawa Arts Council Interview

Jennifer Clark from the Ottawa Arts Council was nice enough to do a short interview with me. We chat about comics, my background, current projects (including I Am Still Your Child, the documentary film I'm involved in), and a few other odds and ends.

Click the image below to visit the Ottawa Arts Council site (or just click the link here: https://ottawaartscouncil.ca/en/council-news/blog/councilspotlight-von-allan)

I think it turned out great!

Screencap of Ottawa Arts Council Interview with Von Allan

Potential Repercussions - Documentary Short

As I noted previously, the filmmakers behind the documentary I AM STILL YOUR CHILD have released a number of short supporting videos, including the one embedded below. The entire series can be viewed on their Youtube site and add up to over 30 minutes of bonus content. While the documentary is only available for streaming inside Canada right now, the short videos should be watchable anywhere in the world.

In this short, the three subjects of the film (Sarah, Jessy, and myself) all talk about the repercussions of living with a parent who has a mental illness.

Maintaining a Relationship with the Ill Parent - Documentary Short

In conjunction with the documentary I AM STILL YOUR CHILD, the filmmakers have released a number of short supporting videos. The entire series can be viewed on their Youtube site and add up to over 30 minutes of bonus content. While the documentary is only available for streaming inside Canada right now, the short videos should be watchable anywhere in the world.

I embedded one of these shorts below. Titled "Maintaining a Relationship with the Ill Parent," it showcases all three subjects of the film. For my part, I talk about my mom and her sensitivity and compassion. And, as a special bonus, Corbin makes an appearance!

CBC Arts Profile on Von Allan

This is a short (approximately 4 minute) CBC Arts profile on yours truly. In it, I discuss art and comics, growing up with a parent that's mentally ill, and also my process of making art. I should add that this short is actually part of a larger documentary, titled I AM STILL YOUR CHILD, that is available to stream anywhere in Canada right now. Information on viewing it in other parts of the world should be known soon. The documentary's official website is a good way to keep on top of this.

As noted in the accompanying CBC article, the documentary I AM STILL YOUR CHILD gave me an opportunity to revisit the artwork from my graphic novel the road to god knows.... This is mainly because the original graphic novel was published in 2009 and the film premiered in 2017. That's a long time and my art has grown and developed between those two dates. For those who'd like to learn a little more about this, I did a short essay discussing the changes (including direct comparisons with the art).

If the player doesn't work, you should be able to find the video here.

Metal Gods TV Interview

Cross-posting this from the Metal Gods website. On Friday, July 25th, I was a guest on the Rogers TV program Daytime Ottawa. It's a really neat show that I believe has been on air for about a decade now. I've been a guest in the past, but it's been a few years so it was nice to be back.

Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV

Here's an interview I recently did on the Rogers Television program "Daytime Ottawa." Co-host Derick Fage and I chat about the Lulu Awards controversy, my graphic novel the road to god knows... and the launch of my new graphic novel Stargazer at Ottawa's Perfect Books.

CKCU FM's Sound Mind

The ever lovely Heather Bruce has hosted a radio program dealing with mental health on CKCU for the past number of years. The show is called Sound Mind and is incredibly important. I believe that mental health is one of the last major taboos in contemporary Western society and it's really nice that Heather helps destroy some of the stereotypes that surround mental illness each and every week.

You can listen to the show by clicking here or by clicking play below.

She was nice enough to have me in as a guest and we chat about the road to god knows..., comics, graphic novels, schizophrenia, and how humour sometimes helps get people through bad times. And for this one Moggy was available to take some photos of the broadcast, too!

Von on CKCU's Sound Mind

Von on the Air!

CHUO FM's Click here on my Rasputin's art show

Mitchell Caplan did a solo interview with me for Click here, too. This was for an art show I had an Ottawa's legendary Rasputin's Folk Cafe. I'm still deeply indebted to owner Dean Verger for being one of the first people to take a chance with my art and put it up on his walls. The interview can be heard right here. Or just click play below.

Rasputin's will always hold a very special place for me. See, my mom and I used to live pretty close to it (just a few blocks a way, in fact) and while money was always tight for us we would occasionally drop by for a tea and maybe a dessert. Dean had a special way about him even then and he had a knack of making one feel right at home. Even as a kid, it seemed pretty special.

While it's difficult to bring this across in words, I'm fortunate to have a bit of Youtube video (see below) to play to give you a better sense of what Dean is like. At least, what his onstage and at work persona is like.

If you're ever in Ottawa and are looking for a place with a bit of a different vibe, you could do far worse than dropping by Rasputin's. It really is a neat place to sit back, listen to some great folk and Celtic music and have a nice bite to eat. I don't think you'll regret it.

You can either click here to go to the page directly or just click play below.

CHUO FM's Click here

One of the other artists involved in the Parkdale Gallery show was Cristian S. Aluas and he and I did an interview together on the CHUO radio program Click here, hosted by Mitchell Caplan. Mitchell has been hosting the show for quite some time now (a decade? Maybe?) and it's become an institution in Ottawa art circles. It can be heard every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. You can listen to the interview right here or click play below.

CKCU FM's Friday Special Blend interview with Von Allan

Susan Johnston, the wonderful host of the CKCU radio show Friday Special Blend was nice enough to host both myself and James Robinson, owner of Ottawa's Parkdale Gallery for a gab fest. We chat about art, comics and the road to god knows.... You can listen to the interview by either clicking here or just by clicking play on the little audio player right below.

Sue was actually nice enough to have me back on the show more recently. That interview can be found here.

CBC Ottawa's All In A Day

I had a very nice chat recently with Adrian Harewood, the host of the CBC Ottawa radio program All In A Day. This was actually a very special moment for me; I've been a long-time fan of the show and I actually listen to it quite regularly while I'm working away at my drawing board. Needless to say it was both cool and intimidating to be invited in as a guest. I think I managed to over my nerves pretty quickly and we proceeded to discuss comics and my art show at the Parkdale Gallery. You can listen by clicking right here or by clicking play on the little player below.

Roger Television's Ottawa Living with Von Allan

This is an interview I did for the television program Ottawa Living for Rogers Television. This was done at the Parkdale Gallery and thanks again to the fine folks there for letting me use their gallery space to do this piece.

If you can't see the video for whatever reason, you can click here and go to Youtube directly.

Wolf's Head by Von Allan

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

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I Am Still Your Child Trailer

Documentary Film Excerpt