My Life in Comics

Winnipeg writer David A. Robertson shares his favourite comics while touring Maxx Collectibles

The Indigenous writer of more than 25 books shares five comics he loved reading.
David A. Robertson is the author of numerous graphic novels, including Will I See?, Betty and Sugar Falls. CBC Books caught up with Robertson at his local comic book store to learn about the comic books he loved reading as a kid. 4:48

David A. Robertson is an author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. The multi-talented writer of Swampy Cree heritage has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Aloneillustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA book Strangers.

CBC Books caught up with Robertson at Winnipeg's Maxx Collectibles to learn about the comic books he enjoyed reading over the years. Watch the tour in the video above and check out his picks below.

The Amazing Spider-Man series

The long-running American comic book series Amazing Spider-Man features teenager Peter Parker as the fictional superhero Spider-Man. (Marvel Comics)

"Spider-Man was my first love. Peter Parker was a regular kid. He was kind of a dork, who was insecure and just lost his uncle. I connected with that. The humanity of him just felt so real in a way." 

ElfQuest series by Wendy and Richard Pini

ElfQuest, created by Wendy and Richard Pini in 1978, is a fantasy comic book series about a society of elves and other fictional species who struggle coexist on an Earth-like planet. (Dark Horse Comics)

"The first time I started reading comic books that weren't about superheroes happened when I read a series called ElfQuest. It was a graphic novel series about a bunch of half-elf, half-wolf beings. The whole series was about them trying to reconnect with their ancestors. Something about that really spoke to me. It is so good. I still have it, and my brother and I still fight over who owns it. But we read that one like crazy together."

The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller 

Created by Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns is a 1986 four-issue comic book miniseries starring aging superhero Batman. (DC Comics )

"This is what they should have based that Batman v. Superman movie on. They should adapt this into a movie — this is the definitive Batman graphic novel. This is probably one of the best graphic novels ever created. It's so incredible. It has complex yet clear narrative and character development. Frank Miller is one of the best graphic novelists ever. He finds new and interesting ways to depict superheroes we love, while staying true to the character but showing us surprising new things."

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is an encyclopedic guide that features detailed biographical information of the characters found in Marvel Comics publications. (Marvel Comics )

"I truly connect to characters with really thought out back stories. I've always loved Marvel's 'who's who' handbooks. You got to learn more about their background, their super powers and how much they can lift. It sounds a little dorky but knowing that Spider-Man can lift 10 tonnes and the Hulk can lift 100 tonnes is something I loved learning about. I love stats."

The Transformers series

Originally published between 1984 and 1991, The Transformers was an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. (Marvel Comics)

"I love The Transformers. I loved the cartoon, the animated The Transformers movie and the Marvel comic book. The comic book series was great because you had a bunch of robots who had personalities and distinct characters and backgrounds that I just loved.

David A. Robertson's comments have been edited and condensed.

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