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Alice Quinn of TDotComics

The world of comics has exploded into pop culture in recent years. With the success of films like The Avengers and TV shows like The Walking Dead, the overflowing crowds at comics conventions all over the world, the impassioned communities surrounding Canadian institutions like Drawn and Quarterly and ongoing discussions in various media surrounding the nature of fandom/nerd culture, the world of comics has, in some ways, become more accessible to the neophyte than ever before. However, it’s also a vast and sometimes impenetrable realm, with an intimidating amount of literature, artists, storylines and characters to learn about. Where does one begin?

Alice Quinn wants to bridge this gap between the superfan and the comics n00b through the creation of a new web series called the Quinntessential Comix Introduction Series. She’s the dynamo behind TDotComics, a website that covers comics news and nerd culture in all of its iterations – film, manga, television, gaming – through reviews, articles, blog posts, event coverage and even a podcast. Through the site, Quinn has also begun organizing and hosting events like Star Wars Day TO.

Near the end of last year, Quinn – who had already been filming and hosting interviews with comic creators on Vimeo – decided to parlay this work into a web series called Quinntessential Comix, interviewing the likes of Chester Brown and Bill Willingham (Fables). The series also features a Book Club where Quinn, her friends and collaborators meet to discuss graphic novels they’d read, often with hilarious results.

“There is this huge disconnect between the people who make comics and the comics culture spawned from comics,” Quinn says. “I like interviewing the creators to explore that connection, and bridge the gap between the creators and the culture.”

The first run of the series has drawn to a close (you can watch complete episodes here) and Quinn decided she wanted to return to the format – with a twist.

“The (Quinntessential Introduction Series) is a project that has been bouncing around my head for a while — there are a lot of people who have a passing interest in comics; they have seen some superhero films and want to know more,” Quinn says. “The Introduction series aims to bridge the gap between newcomers to the comic culture and veterans, as well as to expand the knowledge of current comic readers. ” Each episode of the show will explore a genre or topic within comics, with a brief look at the medium’s history and evolution, along with recommended titles.

This Saturday, Quinn is holding a fundraiser for the new series at the Comic Book Lounge and Gallery (587A College) where attendees can commission local artists like Brian Evinou, Megan Kearney, Savannah Macintosh and many others to create personalized sketches on site. All proceeds will go to helping the show achieve a higher quality of production — Quinn wants to create a physical set, opening theme and animation and invest in recording and audio equipment.

After watching an episode or two of Quinntessential Comix, it’s abundantly clear that this is Quinn’s passion, and she addresses every subject with enthusiasm and delight. This is a worthwhile event that will enable her to share this passion with the rest of the world, like all good, smart, awesome nerds should.

“I never would have gotten this far or been this ambitious without the support of the comics community and all the individuals who make it special, ” Quinn says. “I am so very lucky to have these people in my corner and in my life.”

Here’s the Facebook event for the Quinntessential Comix Fundraiser, taking place this Saturday at the Comic Book Lounge and Gallery (587A College) from 2pm – 7pm. If you’re not able to attend, go visit TDotComics, why don’t you? You can also follow TDotComics on Facebook and Twitter.


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