Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo! Celebrate Graphic Literature Series with Patrick Kyle

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Patrick Kyle

Whazamo!, our month-long celebration of Graphic Literature at Open Book, is halfway over but we've got lots more amazing comic art to share with you. Today we speak with Patrick Kyle who, along with Ginette Lapalme and Chris Kuzma, created Wowee Zonk 4 (Koyama Press).

The Wowee Zonk series has been a champion of unconventional comics work and Canadian content from its inception as a hand-printed zine in 2007. Since that time, Wowee Zonk has grown exponentially; spanning three issues, it has published the work of eleven up-and-coming Toronto artists. The third issue was published by Koyama Press in 2010 and was nominated for the Pigskin Peters Award (which recognizes non-traditional and avant-garde comics) at the 2011 Doug Wright Awards.

In his responses to our questions, Patrick tells us about the importance of doodling, living in an Ikea catalogue and some of his own favourite comic artists.

Open Book:

What is your most recent publication, and what one sentence you would use to describe it?

Patrick Kyle:

My most recent publication with Koyama Press is Wowee Zonk 4, which was published in June of 2012. If I had to describe it in one sentence it would be: An anthology of artists presenting unique approaches to storytelling and image making.

OB:

When you're working on a project, which comes first — the words or the images?

PK:

Drawing is the most exciting part of comics for me. I do initial drawings and the dialogue and story are inspired by the images.

OB:

What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

PK:

Drawing! I spend a lot of my time doodling when I’m not working. If I feel like I can’t be creative I can usually sort that out with casual drawing in a sketch book or I’ll work on another project where I have to draw or think in a different way. I try to keep my creative juices in a constant flow!

OB:

What does your work space look like?

PK:

Right now it’s pretty tidy; my apartment just got renovated. It used to be dingy-but-charming and now it’s Modern-Rustic. I bought a lot of Ikea furniture a while ago so it’s a little cataloguesque. I have a computer station, a drafting desk where I do all of my drawing and a couple of flat files where I store my finished work. I’m thankful that I’m on the third floor of a building and my studio gets a lot of natural light.

OB:

What medium do you most often work with?

PK:

I mostly work with a brush and ink. When I’m doing fine art or illustration stuff I use acrylic paints, acrylic matte medium and photocopies.

OB:

Graphic novels seem to be steadily gaining in popularity these past few years. Why do you think that is?

PK:

This is a complicated topic and I’m sure a lot of people have given it a lot more thought than I have. I think that Graphic novels eliminate the stigma of juvenilia in comics. When you give it a spine and can put it on a shelf it somehow seems more legitimate or literary. Secondly, publishers have a commercial incentive to make books with spines so that they can be carried by big box bookstores.

OB:

Who are some of your favourite graphic novelists?

PK:

I’m a big fan of Chester Brown (Ed the Happy Clown especially), Any collection by Julie Doucet, Marc Bell’s Shrimpy and Paul and Friends and Agony and Amy and Jordan by Mark Beyer.

OB:

Where can we find more of your work?

PK:

You can find my fine art and illustration stuff at my website http://www.patrickkyle.com. I post comics and other jokey stuff on my tumblr page at http://puketrick.tumblr.com. Of course I’ll be exhibiting at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May where you can buy copies of Wowee Zonk 4 as well as my self-published monthly comic Distance Mover and my graphic novel Black Mass.


Patrick Kyle is an artist and illustrator from Toronto, Canada. His self-published comic book series Black Mass was nominated in the best emerging talent category in the 2012 Doug Wright Awards and the Outstanding Series Category in the 2012 Ignatz Awards. He is the Co-editor of Wowee Zonk, an anthology that focuses on avant garde and non-traditional comics.

For more information about Wowee Zonk 4 please visit the Koyama Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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