Comic Arts Festival to feature artists of Margaret Atwood graphic novels

Camosun Comic Arts Festival turns five

A Margaret Atwood theme is at the centre of this year’s Camosun Comic Arts Festival at the Lansdowne campus on Saturday.

A year-end showcase for the students of Camosun College’s Comics and Graphic Novels program, the one-day event has plenty of guests.

In addition to the program creators and instructors, Joan and Ken Steacy, Saturday’s guests of honour include Johnnie Christmas, artist for Angel Catbird, the author of Margaret Atwood’s graphic novel trilogy. Publisher Hope Nicholson will also be there, the consulting editor on the series. So will local artist Renee Nault, who’s currently adapting Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale into a graphic novel.

“The festival is a celebration of the artistic and literary impact of comics and graphic novels created locally, nationally and internationally,” said Ken Steacy.

Conference attendees will hear, see and experience the process of visual storytelling, and discuss the medium with the students, teachers, professional creators, publishers, and other fans.

Saturday will highlight an “artists alley” of publications and artwork created by the 15 students from this year’s Comics and Graphic Novels class. Professional guest mentors in attendance include Paul Chadwick, Nelson Dewey, Gareth Gaudin, Karen Gilmore, Janine Johnston, Sam Logan, Glen Mullaly, Jess Pollard, Simon Roy, Martin Springett and Alex Steacy.

Visitors can create their own visual stories in a “comics jam” and practise drawing their favourite characters, thanks to the participation of Heroes Inc. and cosplay models, Steacy said.

Comics, prints and original artwork by both students and pros will be available for sale.

The one-day event runs from noon to 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Young building at Lansdowne campus. Admission is free.

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