Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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You don't get a lot of comics about poetry, but that's just the kind of artist Marian Churchland is. Her first graphic novel Beast followed a sculptress struggling with the creative process, as she tries to complete the portrait of her shawdowy, and most probably, magical patron.

It was set in Marian's actual neighbourhood in Vancouver BC, a uniquely Canadian locale that I don't think has ever been portrayed in comics, or captured so well.

When she's not creating her own fantasies, she makes time for mainstream comics work, drawing and occasionally writing about stomping elephant warriors (and the women who love them) for Image comics.

Marian's currently working on a new graphic novel, the subject of which is being left deliberately vague, but one she promises will have plenty of fantasy-type locales. For her Whazamo! Comic, she chose to share a story about a book of poems that has been with her throughout her life, with all the mutability that brings.

(Oh and she won an Eisner award for Most Promising Newcomer last year. How about that!)

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.

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