Books

15 Canadian comic book creators you should know

Here are 15 major and indie comic book writers and artists that you should be reading.

Here are 15 Canadian comic book creators you should know, from indie comic creators to Marvel writers.

Ho Che Anderson

Ho Che Anderson is a comic book creator based in Toronto (Fantagraphics)

Ho Che Anderson is the Toronto, Ont.-based author of numerous graphic novels, including the Martin Luther King biography King and the horror thriller Sand & Fury. His 2018 book, Godhead, is a gritty sci-fi graphic novel about how society reacts after a powerful corporation creates a device to communicate with God.

Ryan North

Ryan North is an Ottawa-born writer (Connie Tsang, Marvel)

Ryan North is a comics creator from Toronto, Ont. He rose to popularity with the webcomic Dinosaur Comics, featuring a neurotic, wordy T-Rex. North's comics for Adventure Time, Jughead and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, have received three Eisner Awards. He has also written two "choose-your-own-path" books, To Be Or Not To Be and Romeo and/or Juliet, parodying Shakespeare's famous tragedies. His latest book is How to Invent Everything, a guide on how to rebuild modern civilization for lost time travellers.

Chip Zdarsky

Chip Zdarsky is a Toronto-based comic book writer and illustrator. (Marvel, Chip Zdarsky)

Chip Zdarsky is a comic book writer and illustrator born in Edmonton and based in Toronto. The creator with a quirky sense of humour has worked on books such as the award-winningSex Criminals, Kaptara, Jughead, Howard the Duck, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man and Daredevil.

Fiona Staples

Fiona Staples is a Calgary-born comic book artist. (Image Comics)

Calgary-based comic book artist Fiona Staples is the artist behind Saga and is the person who was tasked with turning iconic redhead Archie Andrews into an object of desire when Riverdale was launched as a remake of the old Archie Comics. Staples is also the award-winning illustrator of books like DV8: Gods and Monsters and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

Mariko Tamaki

Mariko Tamaki is a Toronto-born artist and writer. (Mariko Tamaki, Marvel)

 Toronto-born artist and writer Mariko Tamaki has written for both Marvel (X-23) and DC Comics (Supergirl). Tamaki wrote the graphic novels Skim and This One Summer, which were illustrated by her cousin Jillian Tamaki. Skim received the Doug Wright Award for best graphic novel, the Ignatz Award and the Joe Schuster Award. This One Summer won the Eisner Award for best graphic album: new in 2015. Both books were shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text. Tamaki is also the author of the YA novels (you) Set Me on Fire and Saving Montgomery Sole.

Faith Erin Hicks

The Divided Earth is a graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks. (Nathan Boone, Raincoast Books)

Faith Erin Hicks is an Eisner Award-winning comics creator known for books like The Adventures of Superhero Girl and Friends with Boys. The final instalment of her acclaimed Nameless City trilogy, The Divided Earthfeatures the two misfit friends, Rat and Kai, in a tale that wraps up the popular middle-grade fantasy graphic novel series. In 2019, she released her first YA novel, Comics Will Break Your Heart, about a young girl named Miriam from small-town Nova Scotia, whose grandfather was the co-creator of a hit comic series.

Seth

Clyde Fans is a comic by Guelph, Ont. artist Seth. (David Briggs Photography, Drawn & Quarterly)

Gregory Gallant, known professionally as Seth, is a cartoonist who hails from Guelph, Ont. He has has contributed to publications like The New Yorker and New York Times Magazine and twice won the Doug Wright Award for best book. His latest work, Clyde Fans, illustrates the quiet desperation of two brothers struggling to keep their family's increasingly irrelevant business afloat. The artist has a large cult following for his 1990s comic book series Palookaville and his retro drawing style.

Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton is comics artist from Nova Scotia. (Kate Beaton)

Kate Beaton is a cartoonist from Nova Scotia who launched her career by publishing the strip Hark! A Vagrant online. The sassy historical webcomic gained a following of 500,000 monthly visitors and was eventually turned into a bestselling book. Beaton's success continued with the comic book Step Aside, Pops! which landed on the New York Times bestseller list and garnered Beaton the 2016 Eisner Award for best humour publication. Beaton has also published two children's books, King Baby and The Princess and the Pony.

Johnnie Christmas

Johnnie Christmas is the illustrator behind Margaret Atwood's Angel Catbird. (Avalon Mott, Dark Horse Comics)

Vancouver-based writer and artist Johnnie Christmas is the creator of comics like Firebug, Sheltered and Pisces. He is the illustrator of Angel Catbird, a graphic novel series written by novelist Margaret Atwood about a cat/bird/human superhero. He most recently worked on the Alien 3 comic book series.

Aminder Dhaliwal

Woman World is Aminder Dhaliwal's first graphic novel. (Drawn & Quarterly, Kenneth Hung)

Aminder Dhaliwal is a Canadian cartoonist and animator from Brampton, Ont. Dhaliwal's webcomic Woman World has a devoted audience of over 150,000 readers. Woman World skewers perceived notions of femininity and contemporary cultural icons. In 2018, she published the Instagram comic as a book.

Jim Zub

Jim Zub, is a comic book writer and artist from Toronto who writes the Marvel Comics book Champions and more. (Marvel, jimzub.com)

Jim Zub is a Toronto-based comic book creator who has written the comics Skullkickers, Wayward, Dungeons and Dragons and for the Marvel Comic books Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers and Champions. He recently helped create the character Snowguard, Marvel Comics' new Inuk superhero from Nunavut.

Jeff Lemire

Jeff Lemire is a comic book creator from Ontario. (Jeff Lemire)

Jeff Lemire is a New York Times bestselling comics creator whose books includes Roughneck, Essex CountyThe Underwater Welder and Gord Downie's Secret Path. He has also worked on Justice League and Green Arrow for DC Comics and Hawkeye and Extraordinary X-Men for Marvel. In 2017, he won the Eisner Award for Black Hammer in the best new series category. Essex County, an emotional story about a rural community in southwestern Ontario, was defended by Sara Quin on Canada Reads  in 2011.

Nalo Hopkinson

House of Whispers marks Nalo Hopkinson's debut in writing comics. The series will be illustrated by Dominike Stanton. (David Findlay)

Nalo Hopkinson is an award-winning speculative fiction author who made her comic writing debut in 2018, creating a Sandman spinoff called House of Whispers with illustrator Domo Stanton for DC Comics. She's known best for the classic dystopian tale Brown Girl in the Ring, which won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest and was defended on Canada Reads in 2008 by Jemeni. Her other works of fiction include Sister Mine, Midnight Robber, The Chaos, The New Moon's Arms and Skin Folk.

Bryan Lee O'Malley

Bryan Lee O'Malley is a London, Ont.-born cartoonist, best known for the Scott Pilgrim series. (Getty Images, Oni Press)

Bryan Lee O'Malley's career in comics took off after publishing Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, the first in a Toronto-centric series about an indie music-loving nerd who must defeat his girlfriend Ramona's seven evil exes. The bestselling books later became a film starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Brie Larson. O'Malley followed up this success with the acclaimed graphic novel Seconds  and now works on a series called Snot Girl with Leslie Hung.

Meredith Finch

Meredith Finch is a comic book writer from LaSalle, Ont. (Meredith Finch, DC Comics)

Based in LaSalle, Ont., Meredith Finch has made a name for herself in the comic book world as a writer for several comics, including DC Comics' Wonder Woman series. Her 2017 creator-owned comic Rose is a fantasy series that combines her love of mythology with modern issues. 

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