Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo! Profiles: Marta Chudolinska

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Name: Marta Chudolinska

Hometown: Toronto, ON (as well as St. John's, NL; Vancouver, BC; Mississauga, ON; Warsaw, Poland)

Website: www.backandforthbook.wordpress...

Role: artist

Latest Work:Back + Forth, The Porcupine's Quill
available at

What’s It About in a Nutshell:
Back + Forth is a story told without words. 90 black and white linocuts tell the story of a female character as she travels mundanely through her day and mysteriously through time and space. Set simultaneously in Vancouver and Toronto,Back + Forth uses distinct Canadian landscapes to touch issues of identity, sexuality, loneliness and loss.

What first inspired you to create comics or graphic novels?
I read Archie comics as a kid and my brother's X-Men and other Marvel titles. Comics have always been on my horizon but it wasn't until I studied with wood engraver and book artist George Walker that I was inspired to create a full-length graphic novel.

What for you makes a comic or graphic novel AWESOME!?
So many things can happen to make a comic awesome: a striking or unique visual style, a strange narrative, .... The comic Amy and Jordan was awesome because of the heavily stylized borders and gutters. Dinosaur Comics is awesome and the images never change! Comics are so amazingly different. It's always great when someone plays with an element you had never considered before.

What subjects are you obsessed with?
Love. Canada. Psychology and the workings of the brain. Perception. Bicycles. Time Travel.

If you weren’t doing comics or graphic novels, what would you be doing?
I would be drawing in the margins, on the sidewalk, on foggy windows. I draw compulsively and love books, so nothing makes as much sense as graphic novels. However, I also moonlight as a painter, printmaker, bookbinder and aspiring librarian.

What is your favourite Canadian graphic novel, or What’s your favourite graphic novel of all time?
There are so many, but Epileptic by David B. stands out as particularly influential. It opened my eyes to how graphic novels could express ambiguous ideas in a visual way. In terms of Canadians, I think Joe Ollman tells the best stories. This Will All End in Tears is an excellent book, though immediately many others come to mind.

What are you working on now?
I have several new projects on the go, including a new book of prints based on my experiences living on the East coast last summer and an explicitly-themed collaboration with a few exciting, young book artists in Toronto. I'm also starting to make pop-up books, which is insanely fun.

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