Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Graphic vs Novels! Comics vs Books!

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It's amazing to be back for a 3rd year of Whazamo! here at Open Book: Toronto. The past year has seen comics crack end-of-year top-ten charts; become bestsellers, and appear on CBC Canada reads. Ontario publishers even started offering courses to help editors keep up with the whole books-with-pictures phenomenon!

And the Toronto Comic Arts Festival just keeps getting bigger, with international guests and a fantastic list of new books being launched this weekend. All of this has given us the chance to showcase Ontario's finest cartoonists and comics creators, through interviews, profiles and web-documentaries. But this time we're doing something different...

Our first year, we were hassled by transit police, climbed trees, and ran with girls who refused to do what their told.

Our second year, we crashed TCAF to meet stalwart self-publishers and weekly web-comics creators.

Now in our third year we're giving the reigns back to the cartoonists themselves.

Every TUESDAY and THURSDAY for the month of May, Whazamo! will feature an original comic from creators like Michael Cho, Agnes Garbowska, Kalman Andrasofszky, and Marian Churchland.

We asked the creators to share a story of one book that has inspired them as artists, as storytellers, as people. We are opening a window, a panel if you will, into the mysterious process of inspiration. It's a force that knows no bounds and stretches across mediums and diverse experiences. And for us, it's a bit of an experiment, in some cases we don't know what we'll get back. But that's really the beauty of comics--when you combine art and storytelling, anything can happen.

Stay with us!


The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Ian Daffern

Ian Daffern directs and produces documentary videos and writes about books and comics for places like Quill and Quire, The Globe and Mail and The National Post. He's also half of the mighty writing team behind Freelance Blues, your favourite new supernatural-horror-comedy comic (tm).

His website can be found here at
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Go to Ian Daffern’s Author Page