Katherena Vermette brings Métis history to life in new graphic novel series
She started out with poetry, wrote, The Break, a national bestselling book and is now delving into the world of graphic novels. But Katherena Vermette said she didn't even know she wanted to write it.
"I was at Portage and Main, my publisher, and I was talking with the ladies there and talking about how cool comic books are and how it's exceptionally cool when women write graphic novels because they are still an underserved audience in graphic novels," Vermette explained.
Then along came the character of Echo Desjardins. She's a young Métis girl who transports back in time to important moments in Métis history. Vermette described her as a quiet teenager trying to find a sense of community and identity.
"It's just magic. It just happens."
She did say the visual representation of Echo and her worlds were created by a team. Scott B. Henderson was the graphic artist and Donovan Yaciuk was the colourist.
"I felt like that she kind of thrived in that collaborative space," Vermette said. "It felt like collaborating with Scott and with Annalee, our editor, it really felt like that's how she worked best."
For Vermette, writing about Métis characters and history is and important part of her work.
"Especially when I research into this history, it's not always told from a Métis perspective. And I think that is wrong and I think that is something many Métis historians are correcting now. And I think it's exciting to tell these stories and reclaim these stories as our own. They belong to us."