Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


Share |

One of the best things about doing indie-comics is the different artists that you get to meet along the way. Charlene Chua was exhibiting the same year as me once at the Speakeasy Comic Book Show at the Gladstone hotel, a combination of art show and mixer. And mostly what caught my eye were her women.

Using a combination of soft pastels and bold curves Charlene paints astonishingly sexy chicks. I later learned that most of her drawing is done on computer, in a style called vector art , which gives amazing control on a page particularly over the colour palette.

At Speakeasy, Charlene was showing off pages from her story in the anthology Liquid City , a collection of comics by Southeast Asian creators (she also had a story in the sequel). Charlene had just moved to Toronto from Singapore, now she's mostly doing illustration for children's books and magazines. But clients still compliment her on the sense of action and storytelling in her poses, even the naughtier ones. All this came, as she explains, with a little help from Marvel Comics...


WHAZAMO! Comics: Graphic vs Novels
Every TUESDAY and THURSDAY for the month of May, Open Book: Toronto will feature an original comic by a Canadian cartoonist. We asked them to share a story of one book that has inspired them as artists, as storytellers, as people. Together, their comics will open a window, a panel if you will, into the mysterious process of inspiration.

Click on the illustrations for a better look. (The images can be further enlarged by clicking on the icon with four arrows that will appear.)

1 comment

Great article.Hope to see more of Charlene's work soon.

donna l.

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.

Related item from our archives

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
Video blog:
Follow him on Twitter at:

Go to Ian Daffern’s Author Page