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Camosun College media release
September 21, 2011

Graphic novels are reaching wider and wider audiences. This year, the graphic novel Essex County by Jeff Lemire, was short listed on CBC’s Canada Reads when the public was invited to nominate books for the title of “the essential Canadian novel of the decade”.

Beginning October 11, comics artist and writer Ken Steacy introduces the skills required for graphical storytelling through a new continuing education class called Visual Storytelling for Comics and More! This summer, Steacy was a featured guest at the Chicago Comic Con and FanExpo Toronto, each of which attracted more than 70,000 fans.

“Demand for comics and graphic novels continues to climb,” says Steacy.“Bookstores and libraries are scrambling to keep pace with the demand for new titles.”

Steacy is married to fellow artist Joan Steacy , and in addition to individual works, the couple have collaborated on many projects. Joan Steacy also leads a new continuing education course at Camosun this fall. She’ll help learners bring characters and stories alive in Start Your Autobio-Graphic Novel .

Sybil Harrison is the chief librarian at Camosun College, and has seen first-hand the growing appeal of graphic novels.

“I think we are seeing a big shift in the form of the novel,” says Harrison.“This is influenced by popular culture such as Manga and Japananimation, gaming, self published zines and, of course, technology. It’s becoming more acceptable to see narrative represented not just in text. I’m noticing that many novels now incorporate some graphic elements. For example, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, and the winner of the 2010 National Book Critics award for fiction included a chapter done in PowerPoint, a combination of text and graphics.”

In addition to the Steacys’ courses, arts and culture programming continues to expand creative writing courses at Camosun. A Writing for Seniors course started earlier in September, and Robert J. Wiersema’s new Fiction Writing Workshop in October is already full.

Media enquiries:

Toni Burton, Continuing Education, Arts and Culture
Tel: 250-370-4779

Media resource

Sybil Harrison, Chief Librarian, Camosun College
Tel: 250-370-3604

Last updated: September 23, 2011 6:00 pm

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