Saturday, June 17, 2017

Eternal Romance, OSFS and Canada all celebrate anniversaries in 2017

Eternal Romance #1
2017 marks a number of anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of my supernatural comic book Eternal Romance, the 40th anniversary of the Ottawa Science Fiction Society (OSFS), and the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.

My roots are in Canada, comics and fandom, so there are lots of reasons to celebrate.

Forty years along, OSFS is not the same organization as when I first became involved years ago, and there's a reason for that.

In the early days of OSFS, fen (plural for fan) came together because there really wasn't anywhere else to go. We were seeking like-minded people who loved to read science fiction, fantasy and comic books. We were delirious with joy when we found others who adored Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and even wanted to dress up like characters from those stories.

We didn't have a con to go to and show off our costumes or shop for geeky things, so we created one: Maplecon.

Janet as General Leia at Ottawa Comiccon 2017
We did those things before they were cool. Now there's a comic-con every weekend, and a new Star Wars movie every year. I can walk into a comic book shop and buy a Green Lantern ring or a Wonder Woman tiara or a Spider-Man hoodie that makes a pretty good makeshift costume if I want to -- something that I could only dream of in my youth.

I remember OSFS members calling people who didn't share our passions "mundanes." The mundanes didn't get us. J.K. Rowling called these types of people "muggles" -- the ones who didn't understand or who didn't embrace the magic.

The mainstream has embraced the magic.

OSFS has had an impact. We have been the trailblazers. OSFS is not the same organization it once was, but we should recognize and celebrate what it accomplished.

OSFS gave us a voice, an outlet for our passions, and for many, lifelong friendships.

Happy 20th anniversary Eternal Romance, happy 40th anniversary OSFS, and happy 150th anniversary of Confederation Canada!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

General Leia makes for great costuming

One of the greatest gifts that Carrie Fisher bequeathed to fans is a Leia for all ages -- from rebel princess to rebel slave to rebel general in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

When I first started attending conventions, one of the best and most fun activities was creating costumes of favourite science fiction and comic book characters. (We called it costuming, not cosplay, back in the day BTW.) I even won some awards. While I never created or wore a Princess Leia costume, I am now of an age and body type that a General Leia costume suits better.

I am more of a costume assembler than seamstress, so I found pieces at the Value Village thrift shops. I searched the Internet to look at photos of the movie costume and kept my eye out for items. I am pretty happy with the result.

The first piece I found was the plum/purple vest - $6.49. I was actually looking for pieces for a Jyn Erso costume (which I have also been assembling), but grabbed this vest when I saw it.

The next piece I found were the boots - $6.99. I love the fact they are tall with flat heels and super comfortable.

I looked for some time, but could not find a jumpsuit or flight suit in my size at a reasonable price. What I did find was an army green shirt that fit well - Tommy Hilfiger - $11.99.

On a separate trip, I found army green cargo pants that are a close match to the shirt - $14.99.

Then I located a belt to complete the look - $3.99. It's not exactly the same buckle that General Leia wears, but it works fine for my costume.

I do not have General Leia's double sapphire ring. The button on the vest says Join the Resistance. The cost to date is under $45.

I'll talk about my Jyn Erso.costume - I'm calling it Jan Erso - at another time!

You can chat with me about costuming and comics at the Ottawa Comiccon, EY Centre, May 12-14, 2017. See you there!

-- Janet Hetherington

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Janet Hetherington & Ronn Sutton at Fan Expo Canada Sept. 1-4, 2016

Next weekend is Fan Expo Canada, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from September 1-4, 2016. Ronn Sutton and I are back again this year, and if you are at the con, we want to see your smiling faces!

Janet Hetherington (Artists Alley, P9B, South Building) - I will be bringing prints of my artwork from THE SECRET LOVES OF GEEKS GIRLS, copies of INFECTIOUS, OR SQUID-TONGUE SLEEPWALKING MONSTER APOCALYPSE, copies of ETERNALLY YOURS: ILLUSTRATED STORIES OF ETERNAL ROMANCE, DVDs and more. I will be taking commissions for artwork. Autographs are free!

Ronn Sutton (Artists Alley, P10A, South Building) - Ronn will be bringing prints of his artwork for MY FAIR ZOMBIE: THE MUSICAL (from filmmaker Brett Kelly), ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK, VAMPIRA, and SPACE GIRL. He will have copies of LUCIFERS SWORD MC and VICTIMS OF WAR, and more. Ronn will be taking commissions for original artwork.  Autographs are free!


Be sure to check out the special screening of GHASTLIES by Brett Kelly on Friday morning in room 707 at 11 am. GHASTLIES is an 80s-style horror film that's sure to be a cult favourite... in fact, I play a cult member in it! Visit Brett at his table in the North Building.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

OIAF animates Ottawa high schools

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), in cooperation with the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and MASC (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities), is bringing Animate Ottawa to a number of high schools across the city this spring.

Animate Ottawa is an in-class presentation that gives students the opportunity to explore animation and make their own film all about Ottawa. Participants watch a program of independent animation to get inspired, then create their short film under the guidance of an animation expert.

“We’ve always loved doing outreach activities with students, and we’ve always wanted to collaborate with MASC,” says Kelly Neall, Managing Director at the OIAF. “Animate Ottawa provided us with the perfect opportunity to do both, and highlight the City as well.”

Through Animate Ottawa, students will create a short film exploring what they love about Ottawa. The OIAF will use these films to introduce Ottawa to the hundreds of out-of-town visitors that the Festival brings in each year. Organizers have already visited two schools and the results are impressive!

Animate Ottawa begins with a screening featuring a variety of independent short animated films curated by OIAF’s Artistic Director, Chris Robinson. The 40 minute program includes a number of works from the National Film Board, from the macabre (The Big Swing, Paula Gillgannon) to the adorably absurd (Git Gob, Philip Eddols). Also featured is the accomplished Paper Man from Glebe Collegiate’s David Borish as well as innovative, low tech, personal films like Helen Hill’s Mouseholes. The goal is to present a program that is designed to inspire students to make a film. Many of these films use simple methods such as cut-outs and found objects, techniques students will be using themselves.

After the screening, students participate in a light table workshop with animation expert Tina LeMoine from MASC. Using natural materials such as pine needles, grains, sand and adding cut out characters, students will manipulate objects on a light table and film them. Students will be encouraged to watch and correct their actions.

The OIAF is excited to bring Animate Ottawa to schools free of charge, giving students the opportunity to experience the world of animation and immerse themselves in the creative arts.

This program is made possible with the financial support of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and the cooperation of MASC and the National Film Board of Canada.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976. OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub, with a total attendance of 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world.

This year’s festival runs from September 21-25, 2016. For more information about the Ottawa International Animation Festival, visit

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Voting is INFECTIOUS! Buy screenplay via Amazon through June 30 in ALL GENRE SCREENPLAY CONTEST

Buy. Read. Enjoy... and help Janet win!

Janet Hetherington's sci-fi horror comedy screenplay INFECTIOUS or SQUID-TONGUE SLEEPWALKING MONSTER APOCALYPSE is now part of Dizzy Emu Publishing's 2016 ALL GENRE SCREENPLAY CONTEST.

From April 1 through June 30, 2016, visit or and download a digital copy or buy a paperback version of INFECTIOUS. Every purchase brings Janet a step closer to winning the competition.


Your very own copy of the sci-fi horror comedy script INFECTIOUS or SQUID-TONGUE SLEEPWALKING MONSTER APOCALYPSE by Janet Hetherington, in its original screenplay format. Cover design by Janet Hetherington.

SPECIAL OFFER - Free gift!

If you buy a paperback copy of INFECTIOUS and bring it to a convention that Janet is attending, Janet will autograph it, give you a free gift and do a free sketch.

If you download a copy of INFECTIOUS and come to a convention that Janet is attending, tell Janet what you think at the show and she will give you a free gift.


Some dreams won't stay buried.

Dross College isn’t known for its scientific research, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any secret experiments going on. Journalism major Will Atman learns the awful truth when a strange creature bites his friends, his girl and his brother, causing them to sleepwalk and act out their buried dreams. They sing, they dance, they even do lab work… and they do it all while dead asleep. Can Will stay awake long enough to stop the spread of the monster squid-tongue?

From Janet Hetherington, creator of Eternal Romance, writer of the Elvira, Mistress of the Dark comic book and contributor to The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

Twitter: @bestdestiny



INFECTIOUS or SQUID-TONGUE SLEEPWALKING MONSTER APOCALYPSE has already been awarded second place for best feature screenplay in the 2015 Zed Fest Film Festival, and was a semifinalist for feature screenplay in the 2015 Eerie Horror Film Festival. Warning: Story involves college kids fighting a weird creature, so some coarse language.

Thank you for supporting my work! -- Janet Hetherington

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016 and thanks 2015!

Zed Fest - Discovering the cult movies of the future
It's 2016! I'm wishing everyone a happy, healthy and productive new year. I also want to say thanks to everybody who helped make 2015 a memorable year.

Just as it appeared my screenwriting was pushing through -- Jesse James: Lawman with Peter Fonda and Kevin Sorbo premiered in May 2015 and my sci-fi horror comedy Infectious or Squid-Tongue Sleepwalking Monster Apocalypse took second place in the Zed Fest Film Festival Screenplay contest in December -- my comics work was again in the spotlight.

Available as 11 x 17" print
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, edited by Hope Nicholson, made a huge Kickstarter splash and was released in December 2015. This comics/slice of life/confessional anthology garnered attention around the world, and my Lichtenstein-inspired art was featured in a New York Times online article about the book. I was just one of many, many talented women (including Margaret Atwood) contributing to this, and I was pumped to attend the book release on December 9 at Page and Panel in Toronto, The anthology will be re-released with a new cover by Dark Horse Comics in October 2016. Many thanks to Eisner Award administrator Jackie Estrada for providing an interview for my story. I have made an 11 x 17" print of my full-page "See ya, babe!" faux romance comics art that appears in the book that I will have with me at comic shows.

Speaking of conventions, Ronn Sutton and I enjoyed attending Toronto Comiccon, Ottawa Comiccon, Prose in the Park, Fan Expo 2015 and Ottawa Pop Expo, and I learned a lot at Story Expo in LA. Ronn also enjoyed a successful signing of his Lucifers Sword MC graphic novel at Ottawa's Comic Book Shoppe on Bank Street in February.

Ronn had a busy year too, completing illustrations for the Lucifers Sword MC book, which came out in January, the Victims of War comic book written by ret. Col. Pat Stogran about Canadian veterans, which came out in November, and three episodes of the TV show Natural Born Outlaws, playing now on the American Heroes Channel in the U.S. and the History Channel in Canada.

Ronn and I greatly appreciate that we were able to collaborate with many other fine creators to do the things we love to do and have them reach you in 2015. We look forward to an exciting 2016! -- Janet Hetherington

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ottawa International Animation Festival highlights: Meet the filmmakers and more

Join animation aficionados at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation film festival, taking place from September 16 to 20, 2015, at multiple venues across Ottawa, Canada.

Among the highlights for 2015 is Meet-the-Filmmakers which gives OIAF ticket-holders a rare chance to meet some of animation’s greatest talents up close. Moderated by OIAF Artistic Director Chris Robinson, audiences will be introduced to a variety of filmmakers whose short films are featured in one of seven official short film competitions including the Shorts and Series For Kids competitions.

Audiences are encouraged to ask questions and share comments or opinions about the films featured the night before.

“Meet-the-Filmmakers is a fun, informal event which lets animation fans get a behind-the-scenes look at some of their favourite films from the best animators in the world,” says Chris Robinson. “It’s incredibly rare to get such high-profile animators together in one place to answer questions about their latest projects.”

Canadian filmmakers attending this year’s Meet-the-Filmmakers presentations include Isaac King (Toronto), and Claude Cloutier, Theodore Ushev, Pierre Hébert, Nicolas Ménard, and Julien Grey (Montreal). International speakers include Ely Dagher (Beirut, Lebanon) and Patrick McHale (New Jersey, U.S.A) among others. Meet-the-Filmmakers takes place Sept. 17-18 at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts (310 St. Patrick Street), and from Sept. 19-20 at the Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Avenue).

Several other presentations designed for audiences to learn more about their favourite companies, schools, and personalities make up OIAF programming this year.

Other 2015 Highlights:

  • The Animation Pimpcast With Chris Robinson: Presented by Animation World Network on Thursday, September 17 through Sunday, September 20 at select times at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, writer, programmer and OIAF Artistic Director Chris Robinson sits down for informal chats with four of animation’s top filmmakers, including Leah Shore, Kaspar Jancis, Michèle Cournoyer, and Bruce Bickford.

  • Michael Kurinsky: An Artists Growth at Sony Pictures Animation: On Thursday, September 17 at 2:45 p.m. at Château Laurier, Michael Kurinsky shares insights and learnings from his experiences as visual development artist on Sony Pictures Animation’s first feature Open Season, art director on the Studio’s comedy hit, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and his current role as production designer on the upcoming Hotel Transylvania 2, in theaters nationwide September 25.

  • Toon Apprentice Day: On Friday, September 18, high school students interested in animation can watch animated films from around the world and attend presentations by some of Canada's top animation schools. This free all-day event is held at the National Gallery of Canada (380 Sussex Drive).

  • TED-Ed: Where Education Meets Animation: This educational presentation takes place on Friday, September 18 at 5:00 p.m. at the Arts Court Theatre. It includes a screening of selected work followed by a discussion of TED-Ed’s production process and some of the unique creative challenges faced when creating animation for educational purposes.

  • Indie VR: The Oculus Rift Experience: On Saturday, September 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Arts Court Theatre, a panel of independent artists, including Framestore’s Nick Fox-Gieg, stop-motion filmmaker Brett Long, Toronto Animated Image Society President Madi Piller, and Passion Pictures Creative Director for Commercials Saschka Unseld, discuss how artists and storytellers work with virtual reality technology to create new experiences.

  • Masterclass: Bruce Bickford: On Saturday, September 19, at 3:00 p.m. at the Arts Court Theatre, legendary storyteller, clay and line animator Bruce Bickford will give a tutorial on the various morphing techniques he has developed over his career.
Tickets are available for purchase at until Friday, September 11, and will be sold at the Box Office at the Arts Court Studio thereafter. Tickets start at $13 for the general public, or $9 for seniors, students, and members of the Canadian Film Institute. Festival passes are also available.

For a complete list of scheduled talks and guest speakers, visit or download the official OIAF app for the latest updates and information.