Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


Share |

Kalman is a comic book illustrator, and a concept designer for video games, television, those looking for imaginative fantasy or science fiction creations. He has a particular knack for the details that make a genre hero memorable.

What are they wearing? Who cuts their hair? And where did she get that sniper rifle?

From thigh-high space boots to hipster Russian-army hats, Kalman's thinking about this stuff. It's what made his art memorable on Marvel Comics's more offbeat superhero series like NYX, and X23 (featuring Wolverine's female double, actually a clone, oh never mind). Style reveals the ways characters think of themselves; how they want to be treated; telling as much about their interior life as anything they would say. Particularly in a visual medium such as comics.

But it's all in the service of storytelling: how these elements combine to create a convincing world, one that will pull the reader in, allow them to lose themselves. Sort of like what happened to Kalman, when he first read The Neverending Story.

WHAZAMO! Comics: Graphic vs Novel
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.)

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