Upcoming Events

The Ottawa Comic Jam's next meeting will occur Wednesday August 29th, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Shanghai Restaurant
651 Somerset St W Ottawa ON

Jam Theme: Telepathy: "My Mind To Your Mind".

Contact: Sue
ottawacomicjam (at) gmail (dot) com
613. 501. 6862
Also check out the Facebook group 'Ottawa Comic Jam' for event listings.


Jam Policy

Please note: This is a friendly, open group of comic enthusiasts. Hurtful or disrespectful comments during a jam, or purposefully creating insensitive or hateful artwork will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave if you are disruptive or disrespectful to fellow jammers.


Comic Jam: FAQ

(inspired by the House of Twelve's catchy FAQ--tx!)

What is it really?

A Comic Jam is when a bunch of cartoonists gather and draw comics together. There are jams in a lot of major cities in the States and here in Canada. There are monthly Toronto and Montreal jams that have been going on for several years. The Ottawa comic Jams have been going on in one form or another since 2000, but the current incarnation has been regularly meeting at the Shanghai Restaurant since May 2009!

How does it work?

"Bring a nice piece of paper, divide it up into segments, and start drawing (painting, colouring…). When you have filled one square you pass it to someone else and they fill the next square and pass it on. There are no rules, styles vary, stories unfold, people fall in love, wars break out, the world is knocked off its axis, Days of Our Lives is still on television, shit is fun."
Thanks to: Aimée van Drimmelen' Montreal Drink & Draw

In general, jams proceed with several people working on each others' stuff. Someone draws a panel, then passes it to another person and they draw the next panel, keeping the story going, then when they finish, it gets passed to another, and another and another until everyone has drawn in it and then it comes back to the start.
Depending on how late it is, the jam starts all over again. There are usually 5 - 8 stories going around at once so depending on the size of the group, no one should have to wait too long for a page.  

Why do it?

It's fun to draw together with other creative people, and it is also fun to do so in public and drink beer (or what have you). I have been hosting the 24 Hour Comic Event at DragonHead Studio for a couple of years and it is a blast :-) Westin Church and I, along with other folks have also held infrequent “Drink and Draws”. This is sort've an expansion of that idea.

Why are we gathering in a restaurant? Why not a community centre on a Sunday afternoon?

You don't need to drink in order to be able to draw, but for a jam, it seems to lubricate the Muse and make her a little more generous. The majority of animation artists and comic artists I've spent time with enjoy a pint, and some more memorable “Drink and Draws” have happened in bars, including unforgettable jams with Mik Casey.  The Ottawa Comic Jam covers different themes on a monthly basis and some of them are of an adult nature. However, the Orleans/ East Comix Jam is geared more for all-ages and is currently looking for a new locale.
Can I draw Wolverine?

If you'd like to; go for it. Comic jams tend to be “anything goes”. The ones I've done have mostly been autobiographical, more indie-styled, but if you like drawing superheroes, why not? It's for fun for goodness sakes'. Over the last while, iconic characters have appeared in our jams. Try not to let worry over trademarks or 'what-will-people-think" stop the flow of your creativity. At the end of the day, the jam artwork is all public-domain, so don't lose any sleep over it :-)

How many people actually show up to this thing?

The current Ottawa Comic Jam fluctuates between around 12 - 20 people, depending on availability, driving conditions and whether we are competing against a variety of events (festivals, playoffs etc etc).

Can I be a complete jerk? I mean it's funny to be a jerk, right?

In general, artists, comic or otherwise, tend to be an easy-going group that gets boisterous as the evening continues.  But barring the usual shenanigans, no, being a jerk is not funny or cool. If you're being threatening, incredibly disruptive, or disrespectful, you'll be asked to leave.

I'm a little nervous to come out to a Jam...

Unless you're being a complete jerk (see above), approach the Jam with your art-making tools, enough dough for a couple of drinks and a song in your heart. You are coming to a place to draw and have fun. It'll be ok.

I might actually make it! Should I bring anything?

Most importantly, bring yourself. As well, it would be good to bring basic cartooning stuff: pencils, erasers, pens. You can go crazy and bring brushes, nibs and ink, or whatever you think you might need. 110 lbs. white card stock is what we tend to draw on, so don't worry about paper for the jam itself. If you want, you can also just bring a sketch book with removable pages. And cookies. You can bring cookies :-)

Do you have publishing rights to my fine art?

No one does. It has always been an unwritten rule that whatever is done at the jams, becomes the property of the jam and has no copyright and is public domain. This is our gift to the world, or we're too stupid (or lazy) to fill out paperwork. At the end of the evening, I collect all the artwork and scan it, later posting it to the official jam site for everyone to enjoy. I will do my utmost to credit individual artists' and their work, but if I overlook something, simply email me and let me know.

FAQ Comic!

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