London Lesbian Film Festival 2016: A Great Success!

There were films. There was a reception. There was dancing.

There was brunch. 

And there was a whole lotta' fun and laughter in between! 

This past weekend marked the the 25th anniversary for the London Lesbian Film Festival. I was, once again, honoured to be asked to donate a painting for the live art auction at the Sunday Brunch. This painting is inspired by the great photographer/videographer, Kelly Baker, and is a nod to the 25 years the film fest has been taking place. At the bottom, if you look closely, there's even a little vignette of Ruby and Maud from the Koktail Kids.

The art piece I donated for the art auction at the 2016 London Lesbian Film Festival.

The art piece I donated for the art auction at the 2016 London Lesbian Film Festival.

It was an amazing weekend and so lovely to see so many smiling faces, both familiar and new. Already looking forward to next year! 

In the meantime, it's back to finishing up my graphic novel, Kite Dream, and getting ready for the upcoming Ting Festival where I will be showcasing the Koktail Kids for the comic and graphic arts gathering. Click Here for all the details on Ting Fest in London, Ontario and maybe I'll see you there?

Be well,

Maureen Riley

2016 Ting Festival in London, Ontario

The Koktail Kids will be making their first public debut:

Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival 

in London, Ontario.

It will be held at The ARTS Project from April 25 - May 21, 2016.

The event is  FREE and open to all ages!

Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival 2016 logo by Megan Arnold.

Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival 2016 logo by Megan Arnold.

The festival is named after Merle ‘Ting’ Tingley, who was the cartoonist for the London Free Press from 1948–1986. It's a celebration of his life's work and all those who are currently creating comics and graphic arts. This will be the third year that the Ting Festival has taken place. The organizer, Diana Tamblyn, came across the Koktail Kids and invited them to take part in the festivities.

The Ting Festival 2016 will feature:

  • Extended gallery hours at the arts project

    • Gallery hours during the festival will be 10am-6pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
  • Saturday May 7: Free Comic Book Day

    • Come hang out and chat with the artists, who will be mingling with the public and doing live demos. 
  • Pop-up shop

    • There will be a pop-up shop running throughout the festival where you can browse the wares of the exhibiting artists. There will also be a selection of books from Koyama Press, as well as comics and books from past Ting artists, publishers and writers.

Stay tuned, as the Koktail Kids are rumoured to be hosting a feature event of their own at the festival. Details to come!

Signing off (for now!),

Riley and the Koktail Kids



Koktail Kids: the backstory


The Koktail Kids are a set of characters that evolved out of Kite Dream, a graphic memoir that I am currently engaged in writing and drawing. Inspired by a set of cocktail accoutrements from the 1940's, I have been doodling Koktail Kids in the margins of address books and daily planners for decades. Kite Dream, a story about my life as an artist contained some sorrowful material; disease. death and loss. Koktail Kids became an alternate voice, lighter and playful through which I am able to describe the darker aspects of Kite Dream.

However, a few months into Kite Dream, the Koktail Kids began to rumble and protest, striking out on their own in projects that surprised me. A is for Albatross: An Alphabet of Murder and Mayhem with the Koktail Kids. is the first Koktail Kids project. The months of the year followed and they are running around now everywhere. Through and around all this the Koktail Kids are threading their own stories. They are irrepressible.  

An Alphabet of Murder and Mayhem created some characters; the gun toting lamister, the safe cracking yegg and my favourite, the Koktail Kid's version of the Ancient Mariner. In Kite Dream, the Koktail Kids represent me, my sister, her children and a small circle of friends and they do still but the Koktail Kids rampaging through my studio and beyond are rowdier, exuberant and uncontrollable.

I hope you enjoy the journey, because they sure will.


Riley & the Koktail Kids