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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

STGCC 2016: GBA XPOST // The diva speaks to Brooke Allen


*Article is cross-posted. Original by the ever-fab Diva!

Have you been counting down to Red Dot Island's geekiest event of the year?


Red Dot Diva has been keeping track of the countdown. And it's now 31 days to STGCC! The pop-culture event is held at Halls E and F, Basement 2 of MBS' Sands Convention Centre on 10 & 11 September.


A list of interesting and well-known guests ranging from comic book creators, concept artists and illustrators, toy designers and cosplayers have already been announced, and among them is Brooke Allen, one of the creators of award-winning graphic novel series "Lumberjanes", published by BOOM! Studios.

Red Dot Diva loves her lively quirky art style. Peek into Brooke's tumblr and you'll spot drawings of monsters, funny animation gifs, a peek into her various works in progress, and many tributes to her pet dog, Linus. Brooke not only draws, she also crafts unique resin figurines and collectibles!
  
To get more local fans acquainted with Brooke and her work, Red Dot Diva got her to answer a few nosy questions:

Red Dot Diva: How would you describe "Lumberjanes" to new/ future readers? 

Brooke: "Lumberjanes" is light hearted all ages comic that centers around five girl scouts who fight monsters, solve mysteries, and champion friendship above all things! If you’re a fan of Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, or Saturday morning cartoons in general it should be right up your alley.



Red Dot Diva: When you started drawing professionally, was there a conscious method/ technique you used to have your art evolve to become more and more "you"? As in, something that would be instantly recognized as Brooke Allen's artwork. 



Brooke: Initially when I started drawing professionally, I gave very little conscious thought to my own style, I mostly was just focused on drawing something that looked appealing to me. Working on "Lumberjanes" I had to adapt my own natural style to accommodate Noelle Stevenson's covers and character designs resulting initially in a kind of a clunky hybrid but the more I drew in this style and refined it I felt pretty comfortable. I think my best work is in the later issues. My style nowadays is dynamic and energetic like earlier work but I’m trying to reign it in and refine some of the sloppiness. Ultimately if people look at my art and liken it to a Saturday morning cartoon both in style and in spirit then I’d be pretty happy. 

Red Dot Diva: "Lumberjanes" has touched the lives and imagination of so many girls and women readers. Has the success made a big impact to any of you and the other creators’ thought process for the series? 

Brooke: I think the success was definitely not something I was ready for and suddenly I felt very much like I was learning how to draw these characters and this world under a spotlight. But I think the success has had very little in the way of changing the initial outline or feeling of the story, if anything it's just put the pressure on to make it better, more thoughtful, and more inclusive. 

Red Dot Diva: Who are some of your comic book creator heroes? 

Brooke: Such a hard question! I have so many comic book heroes but a few are Chynna Clugston, Claire Wendling, Cyril Pedrosa, Enrique Fernandez, Akira Toriyama, Katsuhiro Otomo and Walt Kelly. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my cartoonist friends like Coleman Engle, Paulina Ganucheau, Carey Pietsch, Carolyn Nowak, Natalie Andrewson, Rebecca Mock, and Jen Bartel.... And I could go on! 


Some Street Sharks by Brooke Allen



Red Dot Diva: Before making your way here to Singapore, have you asked around to see what interesting things you could do and try while you are here? 


Brooke: I have! I don't know anyone personally who has been (I'll feel like quite the tourist with my Lonely Planet Guide to Singapore in hand) however I have had some lovely recommendations from helpful people on Twitter (thanks guys!). I love nature so I will definitely be checking out the zoo (I hear it's one of the best in the world!) and botanical gardens. I'll definitely have to seek out any local shops selling toys and comics. And last but not least: food! I’m pretty intrigued by the carrot cake and I might just have to waive my vegetarian diet to try out this Chicken Rice I’m hearing so much about (sorry Chickens)! If anyone has some other great recommendations don't hesitate to tweet me at @brookeaallen on Twitter.  

Red Dot Diva: That would be the easiest thing for us to do! We love our food, so you will definitely find people who will be very eager to take you around to their favourite food haunts! 

This will be Brooke's first time visiting Red Dot Island, so please make her feel super-welcome at the convention! For fans who like to get their sisters, daughters or young female friends started on a comic book series, buy them a "Lumberjanes" comic and get them to come to STGCC and meet Brooke

Also, go on... feel free to make your best carrot cake, chicken rice and local food recommendations to Brooke on Twitter. Red Dot Diva knows you have your favourite hawker stalls right at your fingertips.

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toysetc: That is a challenge I gladly take up. The best carrot cake in Singapore? That's either Bedok or Red Hill easily but be prepared to have your insides well-oiled from the experience!


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