Arts

Meet Wendy, a different kind of comic book heroine

You may relate to Montreal artist Walter Kahero:ton Scott's popular series more than you'd like

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A moment from the first edition of the Wendy comic. (Walter Kahero:ton Scott)

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If you haven't met Wendy, a strong recommendation before reading this post is heading here or here and spending at least a little time with her. The literal brain child of Montreal artist Walter Kahero:ton Scott, Wendy is the heroine of an eponymous comic book adventure about a young woman you may end up relating to a little more than you'd like. She dreams of contemporary art stardom, but those aspirations are "perpetually derailed by the temptations of punk music, drugs, alcohol, parties and boys." 

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Wendy originated — as many great ideas surely do —as a doodle on a placement at a diner. It was 2011 in Montreal's 
St. Henri neighbourhood, and Scott was spending most of his time "under-employed, in the music scene."


"I spent a lot of time at punk lofts by the traintracks, where crust punks, art students, and people who worked at Betsey Johnson would mingle in the same space," he said. "I was really fascinated with the contrast of different people — often the same age basically — all convening in a trackside loft, standing on muddy wooden boards next to a speeding train."

Wendy, Scott says, was born out of this universe.

"She has aspirations for art-stardom, but she is hanging out in a sh***y loft. As I have moved on into different experiences, Wendy has changed as well. Her experiences moving to different cities, experiencing different art scenes, dealing with depression, staying out too late, and learning lessons along the way is a reflection of my own life. With many exaggerations of course."

Scott said he made Wendy because he wanted to create something "non-serious." At the time, he was convinced that he had to make "serious" art if he wanted to be a contemporary artist, even though he admits he "had no idea what that meant."

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"I was producing all of this empty work that I supposed was appropriate for my ambitions as a 'contemporary artist,'" he said. "So, ironically, my 'non-serious,' 'non-conceptual,' 'this is just supposed to be funny' Wendy comic became more popular, and that was surprising to me. But I guess I allowed myself to be more honest through Wendy, and people appreciate honesty — most of the time." 

So what advice does Scott have for the Wendys of the world?

"Sometimes you have to be a goody-two shoes who believes in yourself to get anything done, even if it makes you seem self-righteous or annoying to cool people. In other words, you have to be a Sandy."

In the meantime, folks can experience a whole new side of Wendy when Scott takes the stage at Toronto's Rhubarb Festival fo Wendy's Revenge. It's "two-person performance featuring images, voice and sound," and he's bringing Wendy's space pirate alter-ego, Xendy, along with him.

"Xendy is searching for the source of her physical pain, so she goes on an intergalactic journey, to a planet made of Kombucha, and other psychic landscapes, to find the source of her agony and to destroy it," he explained. "Along the way she meets the Curator, the Ex-Boyfriend, and the Artist-In-Prison."

Haven't we all been there.

Wendy's Revenge. Created and Performed by Walter Kahero:ton Scott. Part of the Rhubarb Festival, running until Feb 27. Co-presented with Videofag. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto. 

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