Name: Caanan Grall
Type of Creator: Cartoonist (that means I do it all! “No man is an island?!” Cartoonists are an island.)
List your work:
Max Overacts – Webcomic
Celadore – previously of DC Comics and its Zuda imprint, now back home where it belongs
One issue of Atomic Robo’s Real Science Adventures (pencils and inks)
A story in Scratch 9 comics (pencils, inks and colours)
3 stories and co-creator of Monster Elementary
A back-up story in Giant Days Holiday Special 2016 (pencils and inks only)
What was the first comic you read?
Peanuts. Or Asterix. I don’t know, I was likely about 3 years old.
What inspired you to make comics? A specific story? Writer? Author?
Peanuts. Or Garfield. Or Donald Duck Comics. I copied all that stuff when I was super young. One of my earliest attempts at a comic strip was about a family of creatures that were a blatant rip-off of the terra-firmians in that one Duck story where they go to the centre of the earth. Less well-read people might have seen that one on Ducktales. 😉
What do you like about comics? What is it about them that interests you? Inspires you? Moves you?
I like how they’re a direct link to a single person’s philosophies and observations. (You can tell I very much come from a cartoonist background, yes? That statement certainly doesn’t apply to superheroes!)
What is the most important thing people need to know about comics?
They are capable of anything.
What comic would you recommend to a first-time reader?
Depends how old they are? No, wait… Mine!
What medium do work in? Pencils? Ink? Digital?
I mostly use blue pencil and fineliners on bristol. I am practising my brush work, but am nowhere near confident, patient, or good enough to put that to my comics yet.
For the writers: pen or keyboard?
All my strips are written in my sketchbooks. Sometimes with thumbnails to work out a tricky shot, or staging (where the characters are in relation to each other) but mostly just scrawl.
What’s the first thing you do when you sit down to work? Do you have a routine?
Just get to work.
Do you have a set work space? Where?
I have a standing desk that I draw at, and my computer where I sit to colour. They’re side by side but I’m adding an extra desk to the basement where there are no distractions for when I really want to get down to it.
Do you listen to music when you work? Other background noise?
Podcasts when I’m colouring. Nothing when I’m drawing. Fast paced music when I have a deadline.
Wanting to grow but also wanting to stay fast.
If you had to pick one comic as a favourite, what would it be?
What is the:
Most romantic comic you’ve ever read?
Love and Capes by Thom Zahler
Most exciting comic you’ve ever read?
I read Bone as it came out in singles – I’m old! – and that got pretty exciting toward the end.
Making Comics by Scott McCloud. Anyone who wants to make comics needs to read that.
Calvin & Hobbes beats out Peanuts for burning shorter and brighter. If you mean, comic books? Major Bummer.
I’ve never been scared reading a comic. It’s not really what I read. It’s scary, some of the things that get published, however.
Laika by Nick Abadzis, hands down. I blubbered for 20 minutes as I finished that book! Luckily, I was on a dark bus with a booklight so no-one could see me.
Who is your favourite comic character?
Slapstick. But only from the original 4 issue limited series before Marvel ruined the character. I only say this because I feel I could do a GREAT Slapstick series.
What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with and why.
Oratory skills, for the obvious reason of being able to talk people in to trying my comic.
What three words would you use to describe your work?
Could be better.
What is your favourite place to go in Calgary?
Just discovered Fish Creek Provincial Park! I wanna go back there more. Nature is awesome.
Future projects you are working on/would like to work on
I want to get back to Celadore one day – do at least the three next chapters Zuda never picked up. I also have some kids picture books I’d like to do, a novel that ties in to Max Overacts, and various other extra things that tie in to Max.
You are stranded on a desert island, you must have:
Which 3 comics?
Peanuts. (That’s a lot of comics!) Bone. Major Bummer.
Which 3 albums?
Khin Myint – Beautiful Catastrophe (little album I picked up off a supporting act from an even smaller gig in Melbourne AGES ago. I’ve never seen him release anything else.)
Robyn – Body Talk. If I’m stranded on a desert island I’m gonna want to dance like nobody’s watching.
The Beatles Blue Album. Classics are classic for a reason!
Which 3 movies?
The Iron Giant. Back to the Future. Tomorrowland (I know it’s only new and most people hated it, but I am not most people, and if you’re stuck on a desert island, you could use some hope.)
Which 3 foods?
Bacon cheeseburgers. Capricciosa pizza (but only as made from my many local pizzerias from back home in Oz). Dark chocolate bullets.
Which 3 television shows?
Lost. Wonderfalls. Press Gang. (Look it up. You won’t be sorry!)
And which 3 people would you be happy to be stranded with?
My wife and son, obviously.