I'm a writer and illustrator. I help make animated shows and children's books and comics. I live in Montreal and Toronto.
When did you decide to make your own comic book and when did it really happen in a professional sense?
I've always wanted to make my own comics. My first book, Ojingogo, came out in 2008 with the wonderful publisher, Drawn & Quarterly. After that, I worked in animation for a while, but now I'm making comics and picture books again. I'm currently working on a picture book with Lemony Snicket called The Bad Mood and the Stick and I'm also writing a graphic novel about a trip I took on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
What is more difficult for an artist / author – to create a comic book or sell it? Is it a long way to become recognizable on the comic book market?
I don't know if I am recognizable. Comics is a small market, so it's really not healthy to think about how to sell your work. Like anything, it's probably best to focus on making the best work you can - and then if it's good, it will hopefully find readers.
Do you think illustrations is a vital element in every book? What advantages, do you believe, good illustrated books have over books without any pictures?
With comics there's always this balance between the text and and the visuals. Some books are just beautiful aesthetic experiences. Some are more richly written. There is room for both with comics. My first books, Ojingogo and Jinchalo were fun aesthetic exercises for me. But now that I'm older, I'm more interested in the mechanics of writing.
Ojingogo and Jinchalo
Can you think of some independent bookshops in Canada where one can buy comics books and chat with other comic nerds?
- The Beguiling - Toronto
- Librairie Drawn & Quarterly - Montreal
- Porte de Tete - Montreal
- Lucky's - Vancouver
- Strange Adventures - Halifax
I'm sure I'm missing some but these bookshops are all super inspiring and supportive of their communities.