Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Comic Strip Superstar Semi-Finalist

And then there were 50 …

Comic Strip Superstar CompetitionOn Monday afternoon, I received an email message notifying me that my comic strip, Above the Fold, has been selected as a semi-finalist for Comic Strip Superstar, an international search for the next popular comic strip artist, sponsored by Andrews McMeel Publishing and hosted by!

Monday just happened to be Thanksgiving here in Canada, and so I’m very thankful to seasoned Universal Press Syndicate editors, John Glynn and Lee Salem, who narrowed the pool of 250 quarterfinalists down to 50 semi-finalists.

I’m also very honoured (humbled, nervous, and proud) knowing that my submission will now be judged by popular comic strip creators Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse), Scott Hilburn (The Argyle Sweater), and Mark Tatulli (LiĆ³ and Heart of the City). Together, they will choose 10 finalists and post feedback for each on where customers will then have the opportunity to view the finalists and vote for their favorite.

Due to contest rules, I cannot post any of my Above the Fold comic strips that I submitted; however, here’s a sneak peak of the strip’s title design and synopsis for you and my other loyal reader to enjoy … (Hi, Mom!) ...

Above the Fold is a wise and witty comic strip that editorializes our world through the socially networked minds of media-savvy middle-schoolers. Equipped with cell phones, digital cameras, text and other devices, these young leaders of tomorrow don’t just passively observe what’s happening around them; they create, interact with, and report on it. They are the news! And they’re determined to rise Above the Fold!


In the spirit of the month, I’ll be sharing some sweeter goodies with you VERY soon, so please be sure to check back around next Monday.

In the meantime, you can click the following links to find a rough pencil sketch of “Ace” (one of the strip’s main characters), and a coloured graphic of “Ace” standing beside his best friend, Giles F-o-s-t-e-r ... Oh bother, I'll let "Ace" have the honors ...

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

2D Character Animation Skills Challenge - District School Board of Niagara (DSBN)

I've graciously accepted an invitation from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to return as the judge for this year's 2D Character Animation Skills Challenge. This competition is part of the Board's annual technological skills events throughout the Niagara region, in which gold medalists advance to the Ontario Technological Skills Competition (OTSC), and potentially the Canada Skills Competition (CSC) and WorldSkills Competition.

This will be my fifth consecutive year volunteering as a judge for the animation challenges, and so I'm grateful to the Board for their continued confidence in my judiciary skills. You can download a copy of the 2009 Challenge Scope from DSBN's website to see what the 2D Character Animation competition is all about.

In addition to judging, I will also be the 2D Character Animation Tech Tuesday presenter in about two weeks. During this session, I'll be providing students with mentorship in Flash Animation, as well as general animation tips and advice.

Here are the details from DSBN's Tech Tuesdays Calendar...

2D Character Animation
Date: October 27
Time: 3:30pm
Location: Grimsby Secondary School
Host Teacher: Scott Miller
Presenter: Mike Cope

From the Board's website ...


DSBN Tech Tuesdays provide students with opportunities to participate in after-school enhanced skills training sessions in the various Technology sectors. Sessions will provide students with opportunities for hands-on experiential learning and mentorship from people working in related industry careers.

Students will also benefit from extra training to develop and hone their skills in anticipation for this year's Skills Challenges.

To Register for a Tech Tuesday session, please see your Technology Teacher!

Some suggested sites of interest for students, parents, and teachers ...

DSBN Technology
Skills Canada
World Skills International

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope