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This is an excerpt from the graphic memoir Tina’s Mouth written by Keshni Kashyup and illustrated by Mari Araki. I haven’t read it yet, but I really want to – especially since I am working on a project that deals with telling the true stories of South Asian teenage girls in Toronto. Tina’s Mouth is about a 15 year old girl, living in Southern California with her intellectual Indian family. She’s in high school and her English teacher introduces her to the writing of Jean-Paul Sartre.

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Tall Grasses

March 16, 2012

A scene from an inner monologue about creativity, loneliness and searching.

Chris Ware

February 1, 2012

And you thought you were weird…

Bildungsroman

January 31, 2012

In literary criticism, a bildungsroman or coming-of-age story is a literary genre, which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood; thus character development becomes extremely important. This image is from Marjane Satrapi’s graphic narrative work Persepolis.

What triggered your growth from youth to adulthood? I’ve been wondering about this question for many years – my Masters thesis was partly about individuation. At this point in my life the things that have changed and affected me the most have been romantic relationships. That’s where I have gone to fall and ultimately resurrect. For others I am sure tragic catalysts come in all forms: death, loss of innocence, abandonment, fear, loneliness etc. Ultimately those dark places are what propel you to crawl forward into the proverbial light.

Suffragette City

January 9, 2012

Hyena in Petticoats is a new graphic novel by Willow Dawson about Nellie McClung. McClung was a Canadian feminist, politician, and social activist. She was a member of the Famous Five and famously petitioned the Supreme Court of Canada to recognize women as “persons”. Hyena in Petticoats looks like an amazing read and I can’t wait to savour the graphics.

Brecht Evens

January 7, 2012

I picked up The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens. It’s a beautiful book/graphic narrative that’s done in watercolor, pencil crayon and white ink. I am really inspired by how he draws people, his compositions and his use of colour. The way he draws night and dark shots is also brilliant! There is so much thought and love for the figures in his work.

Lynda Barry

January 6, 2012

To continue my thought from the post below regarding Graphic Women, I wrote a short piece about how the women described in Chute’s book use comics and graphic narratives to resolve their demons. Here is an excerpt from that piece:

Lynda Barry (100 Demons); Alison Bechdel (Fun Home); Phoebe Gloeckner (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis). These women have depicted their personal stories through an aesthetic and voice all their own and are individually and collectively changing the nature of the medium. These graphic narratives, are autobiographical memoirs that materialize the physical, emotional and psychological violence from domestic childhood environments. Representing themselves and documenting real life events through both writing and drawing, their works challenge readers to confront difficult and uncomfortable subject matter such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as oppression and war. Representing the unrepresentable, these works are all painfully honest recollections of past memories that are laden with desire, pain, sadness, humour, resilience and truth. Refusing to be identified as victims of trauma, Barry, Bechdel, Gloeckner and Satrapi use the medium to give ownership to their lost childhood voices and to reconcile their pasts, while consciously looking towards the future and establishing their value and presence in the world.