Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo! Profiles: Rebecca Kraatz

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Rebecca Kraatz

Open Book is celebrating the outstanding graphic novels and comics published here in Ontario and throughout the country with Whazamo! profiles, contests, videos and a series of original literary comics curated by Vepo Studios. Check out Open Book's Whazamo! page all month long to keep up to date.

In today's Whazamo! profile, artist and cartoonist Rebecca Kraatz describes the vintage décor of her workspace, her creative sparks and her new graphic novel, Snaps, a multi-layered magic realist narrative that unfolds through diverse snapshots and pulp dialogue. Snaps was just published by Conundrum Press.

Open Book:

What is your most recent publication, and what are five words you would use to describe it?

Rebecca Kraatz:

Snaps was released in May, 2011 by Conundrum Press. Five words to describe it are: 1940s, Vancouver Island, short stories.

OB:

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

RK:

The words.

OB:

What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

RK:

I write using my typewriter; I doodle, draw and read.

OB:

What does your work space look like?

RK:

It's furnished with a drafting table, a 1940s chesterfield, a 1940s vanity dresser which I use as a desk to write at, a shelf with paper, books, pens and paints and a 1900s cabinet where I keep my collections of old magazines, patterns, catalogues, photo albums, books and vintage fabric. I don’t have anything up on the walls.

OB:

What medium do you most often work with?

RK:

I alternate between wood and paint or ink and paper.

OB:

Why do you think graphic novels are finally gaining popularity?

RK:

Perhaps because there is a wider variety than there used to be and so they are reaching more people.

OB:

Who is your favourite graphic novelist?

RK:

John Porcellino, Lynda Barry and Lynd Ward.

OB:

Where can we find more of your work?

RK:

On my website, www.rebeccakraatz.com, and in select comic and book shops.


Rebecca Kraatz is an artist/cartoonist who lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She won a Doug Wright Award in 2007 for Best Emerging Talent for her first book, House of Sugar. Her new graphic novel, Snaps, takes place just before, during, and after the Second World War in a tiny town on Vancouver Island. The complex narrative is a period piece told from various points of view, in the Modernist literary tradition, and sometimes the characters and their stories overlap in intriguing ways. The style is magic realism combined with pulp dialogue. There are soldiers, tough working women and children, who present their slice of life stories in a brief two or three pages, almost in a photographic way (hence the title). Sometimes dreamy, sometimes surreal, this graphic novel will further establish Kraatz’s reputation as a writer-centric artist and a talent to watch. Visit her at her website, rebeccakraatz.com.

For more information about Snaps please visit the Conundrum Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Amazon.ca.

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