Brandt is a student at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, in the late 1990s. She is a native of Nictaux Falls, Nova Scotia, and a graduate of Middleton High School. She starts out as a general arts student, but later focuses on stats, and eventually graduates as a Bachelor of Statistics in 2000.
Brandt is outgoing, blonde, somewhat athletic, fond of beer, a bit of a matchmaker, and plays the guitar. She is attracted to the odd. She is a body person. Many of the gags concern eating, sleeping, exercise, amorousness, exhaustion, sneezing, ovulation or what have you. Zinck has written, "The long title of the comic would be Evangeline Brandt and the Mind-Body Problem."
Zinck began Evangeline Brandt soon after she enrolled at Mount Allison in 1995, and has been revisiting and expanding Brandt's adventures ever since. The cartoon first appeared in the student newspaper The Argosy in 1996 and subsequently in the Halifax independent paper The Beach Whistle. Several collections have been published, or are planned.
Originally, Brandt looked like this:
Now she looks like this:
Most Brandt gags and story arcs are easy to date. Here is a rough guide:
First Year (Fall 1996 Term): Freshman woes: troubles with roommate, tests and term papers, embarrassment around professors, booze. Sixteen of these cartoons are collected in the mini-comic Evangeline Brandt. Longer story arcs: looking for ghosts, big snowball fight, Nilla the post-nihilist.
First Year (Spring 1997 Term): Coffee house rumble.
Summer 1997:Evangeline Brandt à Louisbourg. This is intended to be a full-colour BD, but to date there is only one cartoon.
Novyy Vavilon, or New Babylon, is a 1929 Soviet film about the Paris Commune, with music by Shostakovich. It's chock full of striking compositions, many borrowed from late-19th century French painters, and the black and white photography is wonderfully rich. Look at that wine bottle. I'm trying to figure out the best way to draw this. Ink is obviously the thing for the black and white contrast, but charcoal would seem to be the best way to get at that nightclub atmosphere. Here's a first pencil attempt.
A number of the Gothic Revival buildings along Wellington Street feature stone ornaments in the form of leafy balls, situated at the base of the arches framing exterior doors. You can see another one, carved like a bunch of thistles, on St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (and in the photo titled Medieval Ottawa a couple of posts ago). What are they called?