Books·Fall Book Preview

21 Canadian comics to watch for in fall 2021

Here are the comics we can't wait to read this season!

Here are the Canadian comics we can't wait to read this fall!

Work for a Million by Amanda Deibert & Eve Zaremba, illustrated by Selena Goulding

Work for a Millions is a comic by Amanda Deibert and Eve Zaremba, illustrated by Selena Goulding. (McClelland & Stewart)

Work for a Million is a detective noir graphic novel set in the urban 1970s. Helen Keremos, a private detective, is hired by Sonia Deerfield, a rising pop star who has just won a million dollar lottery prize and is currently being blackmailed. The two women are drawn closer together through the twists and turns of the blackmailer's dangerous pursuit. 

When you can read it: Aug. 10, 2021

Eve Zaremba is the author of six mystery novels featuring detective Helen Keremos, first introduced to readers in 1978. She was a founding member of the Broadside Collective, which produced a monthly feminist paper in Toronto from 1979 to 1989. Born in Poland, Zaremba emigrated to Canada in 1952 after a stint in the U.K.

Amande Deibert is a comic book and television writer based in Los Angeles.

Selena Goulding is a Canadian illustrator and comic book artist from Vancouver Island, currently living in Toronto. Susanna Moodie was her first full-length graphic novel. Her illustration work has also been showcased in the Dark Horse Comics anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

Sweet Tooth: The Return by Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth: The Return is a comic by Jeff Lemire and José Villarrubia. (Jamie Hogge, DC Comics)

Sweet Tooth: The Return re-imagines Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth mythology, taking elements of the original series and remixing them into something familiar, but totally new. At the centre of a divided world and a planet long ago past the point of devastation, a child who didn't ask to be born into any of this has no choice but to try and forge some life for himself.

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Lemire is a comics artist whose work includes RoughneckEssex CountyThe Underwater Welder and Gord Downie's Secret PathEssex County was defended by Sara Quin on Canada Reads in 2011. Lemire lives in Toronto.

Borders by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

Borders is a graphic novel by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan. (CBC, HarperCollins)

Borders is based on a short story written by Thomas King in 1993, and was adapted as a graphic novel by illustrator Natasha Donovan. It's about a boy and his mother who try to take a road trip from Alberta to Salt Lake City. When they reach the American Canadian border, they identify as Blackfoot — causing problems and putting the pair in limbo between Canada and America. What unfolds is a powerful story about justice, identity and belonging.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

King is an influential Canadian American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. His bestselling books include Truth & Bright Water, The Inconvenient Indian and many more. His latest, the novel Indians on Vacation, won the 2021 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. 

Donovan is a Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver. She has illustrated several graphic novels, including the Surviving the City series by Tasha Spillet and Brett Huson's animal series, which includes The Sockeye MotherThe Grizzly Mother and The Eagle Mother. She also illustrated the cover for The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills and her work appears in the anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Helem by Stanley Wany

Helem is a comic by Stanley Wany. (Conundrum Press)

Helem was created while Stanley Wany was in a hallucinatory state​​ and sleep-deprived. It relies on a propulsive graphic narrative and evocative illustration to tell the intensely personal stories of two characters at a crossroads. The nearly wordless stories in Helem delve deep into the internal lives of their characters.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Wany is an Afro Canadian artist from Montreal who is now based in Ottawa. His practice includes graphic novels, pen and ink drawings and paintings. Wany's first graphic novel, Agalma, was nominated for a Doug Wright Award.

Library by Michael Dumontier & Neil Farber

Library is a comic by Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber. (Michael Dumontier/Neil Farber, Drawn & Quarterly)

Library is a collection of paintings by two of Canada's most influential contemporary artists. From the simple premise of the book title comes a series of funny images. Book covers with titles painted in simple handwritten fonts are displayed on brightly coloured hardboards. Each book forms part of an ongoing series Dumontier and Faber started in 2009.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Dumontier and Farber are founding members of the art collective The Royal Art Lodge and have been collaborating on art projects for more than 15 years.

Dumontier is a contemporary artist based in Winnipeg. He is best known for his minimal paintings and collages.

Farber is a contemporary artist based in Winnipeg. He is best known for his ink and watercolour drawings.

Coming to Canada by Starkie Mak

Coming to Canada is a comic by Starkie Mak. (Karl Yeung, At Bay Press)

In Coming to Canada, Starkie Mak captures a tale of the immigrant experience from the eyes of a child. Paying homage to the children's books that have moved many, Mak uses brush strokes and calligraphy to evoke the turbulent emotions and difficulties a child must experience when having their little world upended to have a foreign world unfold before them.

When you can read it: Sept. 25, 2021

Mak is an artist, writer, illustrator and art teacher for children. Her paintings have been exhibited across Europe and Asia. Mak moved to Toronto from Hong Kong in 2018.

Weeding by Geneviève Lebleu 

Weeding is a comic by Geneviève Lebleu. (Conundrum Press)

Weeding is a satirical portrayal of feminine archetypes in the social landscape of the 1960s. Martha hosts a group of middle-aged women at her suburban home on an autumn afternoon. The day takes a sudden turn when Elisabeth, an estranged friend, turns up unexpectedly — and she isn't the only unwanted guest at the tea party. 

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Geneviève Lebleu is a multidisciplinary artist from Québec City and is currently based in Montreal. Her work was featured in various events, exhibitions and festivals in Montreal and abroad. She also self-publishes her comics. Weeding is her first graphic novel.

Dying for Attention by Susan MacLeod

Dying for Attention is a comic by Susan MacLeod. (Conundrum Press)

Dying for Attention is a graphic memoir by Susan MacLeod about nursing home care. When MacLeod accompanied her 90-year-old mother through a long-term care system, it was a nine-year journey navigating a government without a heart in a system without compassion. The book also includes tips for communicating with nursing homes as well as background research.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2021

MacLeod is an artist and writer. Her illustrations have been published by Kaiser Permanente, Halifax Magazine and the Globe and Mail. 

This is How I Disappear by Mirion Malle, translated by Aleshia Jensen & Bronwyn Haslam

This is How I Disappear is a comic by Mirion Malle, translated by Aleshia Jensen & Bronwyn Haslam. (Mirion Malle, Drawn & Quarterly)

This is How I Disappear offers a glimpse into the ways millennials cope with mental health struggles. Clara's at a breaking point. She's got writer's block, her friends ask a lot without giving much, her psychologist is useless and she is burned out from work. The book is a portrait of a young woman wrestling with psychological stress and the trauma following sexual assault.

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

Mirion Malle is a French cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Montreal. She has published three books. The League of Super Feminists is her first book translated into English and it was nominated for the 2020 Prix Jeunesse at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance by Gord Hill

The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance is a comic by Gord Hill. (Gord Hill, Arsenal Pulp Press)

The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book is about the Indigenous resistance to the European colonization of the Americas throughout 500 years of history. It begins with the Spanish invasion under Christopher Columbus and ends with the Six Nations land reclamation in Ontario in 2006. The book documents the fighting spirit and ongoing resistance of Indigenous peoples with words and illustrations. 

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

Gord Hill is a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation on the Northwest Coast of B.C. He is also the author of The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book and The Antifa Comic Book.

Special Topics in Being Human by S. Bear Bergman, ​​illustrated by Saul Freedman-Lawson 

Special Topics in Being Human is a comic by S. Bear Bergman, ​​illustrated by Saul Freedman-Lawson. (Saul Freedman-Lawson, Arsenal Pulp Press)

Special Topics in Being Human is a queer and tender guide to things the author has learned the hard way about caring for people — including himself. The book offers Dad advice and Jewish bubbe wisdom, all filtered through a queer lens, to help readers navigate some of the complexities of life.

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

S. Bear Bergman is an author, educator and public speaker. He has documented his experience as a trans parent and writes the advice column Asking Bear. He is also the founder and publisher of the micropress Flamingo Rampant. 

Saul Freedman-Lawson is an illustrator, zine-maker and educator. He makes art about queerness, transness, Judaism and childhood. Special Topics in Being Human is his first full-length book.

Petrozavodsk by Alison McCreesh

Petrozavodsk is a comic by Alison McCreesh. (Conundrum Press)

Petrozavodsk is about the time Alison McCreesh discovered a lump in her breast while on the Russian leg of a circumpolar journey. Concerned about navigating an unfamiliar healthcare system, she embarks on a new excursion — to find a doctor and a diagnosis in the town she was visiting. Petrozavodsk takes an intimate look at what it's like to be vulnerable in a foreign place. 

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2021

McCreesh is an artist who currently lives in Yellowknife. She has travelled around the Arctic and sub-Arctic and the theme of contemporary day-to-day life in the North carries through her creative work.

The Man Who Walked Through Walls by Obom 

The Man Who Walked Through Walls is a comic by Obom. (Conundrum Press)

The Man Who Walked Through Walls is Diane Obomsawin's graphic adaptation of Marcel Aymé's 1943 short story Le passe muraille. Dutilleul lives a quiet life until one night. When his power goes off and comes back, Dutilleul discovers he's developed the ability to walk through walls. He visits the doctor but doesn't quite follow the prescription. And before long, he's in over his head.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2021

Diane Obomsawin was born in Montreal and spent the first 20 years of her life in France. After studying graphic design, she returned to Canada in 1983 and turned her attention to painting, comics and animation. She created the autobiographical film Here and There and has published two books.

Pass Me By: Electric Vice by Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen

Pass Me By: Electric Vice is a comic by Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen. (Simmers Owen, Michaela Neuman, Renegade Arts Entertainment)

Pass Me By: Electric Vice is queer love story set in the memories of Ed as a young man touring with the outrageous glam rock band, Electric Vice, as they tour across Canada in the 1970s. 

When you can read it: Oct. 19, 2021

Kyle Simmers is an artist and illustrator from Calgary. They have worked on theatrical productions, product design, editorial illustration and large-scale mural projects.

Ryan Danny Owen is a Canadian visual artist, writer and queer historian currently living and working in Calgary. 

Besties: Work It Out by Kayla Miller and Jeffrey Canino, illustrated by Kristina Luu 

Besties: Work It Out is a comic by Kayla Miller and Jeffrey Canino, illustrated by Kristina Luu. (Kayla Miller, Jeffrey Canino, DarcyMorgan, Etch/Clarion Books)

Besties features aspiring entrepreneurs Beth and Chanda, as the two best friends land a dog-sitting gig. But nothing can prepare them for the mishap that throws their business plan and friendship into chaos.

When you can read it: Oct. 19, 2021

Kayla Miller is an author and illustrator based in New York. 

Jeffrey Canino a writer and educator based in New York. 

Kristina Luu is a Vietnamese Canadian comic artist and illustrator from Vancouver. She's the creator of Intercosmic, an all-ages space fantasy webcomic, and has illustrated for various LGBTQ comic anthologies. 

Leonard Cohen: On a Wire by Philippe Girard, translated by Helge Dascher & Karen Houle

Leonard Cohen: On a Wire is a comic by Philippe Girard, translated by Helge Dascher and Karen Houle. (Philippe Girard, Drawn & Quarterly)

Leonard Cohen: On a Wire is a graphic biography of the legendary musician and poet. Written with details and drawn with rich colours by cartoonist Philippe Girard, Leonard Cohen is an engaging portrait of a cultural icon. 

When you can read it: Oct. 26, 2021

Girard is a comics artist from Quebec. He published his first comic in a children's magazine when he was eight and has since published more than 20 books. His comics have received awards such as the Joe Shuster and the Bedeis Causa Awards.

Original Sisters by Anita Kunz

Original Sisters is a book by Anita Kunz. (Anita Kunz, Random House Canada)

In March 2020, artist Anita Kunz began her research on women in her Toronto home studio during lockdown. She soon found an array of extraordinary women who had done amazing things — most of whom she had not heard of — and began to paint these women and write down their stories. Original Sisters is the result of her historical research and artistic achievement.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Kunz is an artist who has lived in London, New York and Toronto. Her work has been seen in Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. She has been appointed Officer of the Order of Canada and received the Queen's Jubilee Medal of Honour.

The Shiatsung Project by Brigitte Archambault

The Shiatsung Project is a comic by Brigitte Archambault. (Conundrum Press)

The Shiatsung Project explores surveillance culture and authoritarian control, and how they disrupt our very human need for connection, intimacy and a meaningful life. A woman lives alone in a small house situated in a tidy yard surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable wall. Lonely and frustrated, the woman begins to search for answers of her own.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Brigitte Archambault is an artist from Montreal. Her career debuted with solo and group exhibitions in galleries in Quebec. The Shiatsung Project is her first graphic novel.

Swan Song by Sonja Ahlers 

Swan Song is a comic by Sonja Ahlers. (Conundrum Press)

Swan Song revisits Sonja Ahlers's black and white photocopier aesthetic and completes her genre-bending trilogy. Part art book, part zine collection, part diary and part graphic novel, the book is the final chapter in a body of cut-and-paste work that is difficult to categorize. 

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Ahlers is a visual artist and poet from Victoria. Her book Temper, Temper attracted national attention and was followed by a sequel Fatal Distraction. Ahlers' art has been exhibited both across Canada and internationally. 

Genghis Con by Yi-Sung Oliver Ho & Daniel Reynolds, illustrated by Chris Peterson

Genghis Con is a comic by Yi-Sung Oliver Ho & Daniel Reynolds, illustrated by Chris Peterson. (Renegade Arts Entertainment, submitted)

Genghis Con tells the story of a guilt-ridden grifter, Alexis, as she seeks redemption for herself and justice for her sister by taking part in a win-or-die rally race from England into the mountains of Mongolia. She must team up with her erstwhile lover and fend off attacks, while the spirit of a mysterious Mongol warrior haunts Alexis along her journey.

When you can read it: Nov. 4, 2021

Yi-Sung Oliver Ho is a professional writer and editor based in Toronto. He has published 12 books and his comic stories have appeared in the Toronto Comics Anthology Vol. 1 & 2 and more. He currently works as an editor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Daniel Reynolds is a writer from Toronto. He's the editor-in-chief of SB Nation's Raptors HQ and a film critic at Brief Take. His comic writing has been published in Point Man, an all-NBA heist story, the Toronto Comics Anthology Vols. 1, 2, & 5 and more.

Chris Peterson is an Edmonton-based illustrator best known for his comic illustration work for Boom! and Black Mask Studios.

The Adventures of Sgoobidoo by Cathon

The Adventures of Sgoobidoo is a comic by Cathon. (Radio-Canada, Pow Pow Press)

The Adventures of Sgoobidoo is about Sgoobidoo, a famous canine detective. The book follows him to the corner store, bingo hall and amusement park in a series of events with disappointing endings. The stories of sad adventures are gathered in the familiar format of an Archie digest.

When you can read it: Nov. 18, 2021

Cathon is an artist from Montreal who makes children's books and comics. After self-publishing a couple of critically acclaimed zines, she published her first professional book, La liste des choses qui existent, in 2013.

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