Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo! Comics: Michael Cho

Share |

I met Michael Cho at one of the first TCAFs, where I picked up a tiny mini comic called Night Time. It made an impression; not just the art, but a first person voice that captured the thrill and freedom of being a teenager (it's kind of like Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs' before 'The Suburbs').

Around the city, Cho's two-tone illustrations have graced section headings at the late-departed Pages bookstore and books like Owl's Max Finder Mysteries. More recently he's been doing covers for comic collections for adults and younger-readers, and if we're lucky, he'll soon release his sketchbook of Toronto's back alleys .

All this makes Cho an artist to be reckoned with. For this project he chose the book Our Lady of the Flowers written by French author Jean Genet while he was in prison. The story is powerful, personal and definitely for mature readers, or as Cho says, "It's not like I'm doing a piece on Winnie the Pooh or anything." You can find more of Cho's work here:


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

I like Cho's dramatic and striking artwork.Very compelling.

nick a.

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