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Alberta Comics: Home

Alberta Comics: Home

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ABOUT

The theme of our anthology is "Home." Be it positive or negative, our homes help create us, and these last few years of distancing, cohorts and quarantines have likely made that even clearer. A home might become a haven as the outside world descends into chaos or it might also feel like a cage. It can be both. A setting can be as much a character as a person. Sometimes we long for places simply for their beauty, but more often we're seeking a reunion with a person, family or community. We put out a call for stories that were quintessentially Albertan, and of course we got an amazingly diverse response, from slice-of-life to fantastical fiction. While one creator draws love-letter via a run-down of our "World's Largest" sites, another hunts to feed their family. Teresa Wong drew a map of Calgary's Chinatown overlaid with personal family history. Some reminisced over summers' past - the party scene in Edmonton, and the buzz of activity in Okotoks when Pokemon Go was released - while another finds humor, and hope even, in the worst thing imaginable, zombies terrorizing the small town of Byemoor. The characters within our comics frequently ask themselves just what makes a "good" home. Is it a crashed starship with only a glitchy holographic attendant? Or something even more fantastic, a page of art through which the artist is spontaneously transported - along with her cat - into the vastness of space? Naomi Fong shows us how complex it is navigating new parenthood amidst foreign traditions, values and language. Sam Hester shows how an owl taught her family about their local habitat and helped them keep sane during lockdowns. Great wisdom and encouragement are voiced by the most unlikely protagonists: a leopard gecko named Sponge, a magpie in its flight around a prairie farmyard, and a robot suffering from anxiety. Given what we've all just gone through as a province (and a planet) we suggested that artists tell you all about their stay-at-home pandemic experiences. James Davidge had to manage cramped classrooms in an ever-evolving pandemic. Shannon M. Reeves describes a walk through a city that felt suddenly unfamiliar, and frightening. Our stories document a curious mix of pathos and optimism. Darryl Sinclair finds peace in the garden, and Mike Hooves shows how a simple gesture can let in so much light. A porcelain tea kettle laden with meaning, a grey studio that fills with colour as its owner reclaims herself and her space - and also, pure magicsometimes even dark magic. Hikers on a Scottish mountainside are hunted by an insatiable creature. A woman turns into a table for a hundred years to escape her homophobic family. A bedroom is attacked by the rest of the house. There are, in fact, a quite few metaphorical houses. We look at one from a giant's eye view, contrast another with its equal in Leipzig, Germany, and explore a hoarder's maze of possessions, searching for meaning, amidst personal tragedy. Sometimes the most futuristic tales also have valuable everyday insights to impart. Jeff Martin offers up a hockey brawl between mutant-monsters that shows that home is where your teammates are, and Sho Uehara gives us a minority experience explored through the eyes of an extra-terrestrial who asks themselves a question familiar to many: do I stay or do I go now?We're giving you a little bit of everything. Mountains that loom, penning the protagonists in, and mountains cared for by marmots in unexpected and comical ways. There are cowboys stalked by a deadly predator, and violence committed by cute furry animals. You'll find invisible beings, crises' of self, post-apocalyptic pedal punks, and a pilot crawling from the burning wreckage of a plane crash. These artists dug deep, pondering the idea of what constitutes a real' family, how we find comfort, what normal' looks like, and whether we need that in our lives. Home both inspire and motivate us but houses often haunt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Featuring the work of Jillian Fleck (Lake Jehovah), Theresa Wong (Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression), Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen (Pass Me By), Shea Proulx (Alice at Naptime), Janice Blaine (The Funny Farm), Aaron Navrady (The Cold Fire), Naomi Fong, Cam Haydn, Josh Rose, Chris Doucher, Jackson Gee, Derek Evernden (Bogart Creek), Chris Peterson (Genghis Con), James Davidge (1st Legion of Utopia), Chris Twin, Sam Hester, Brett Monroe, Nick Johnson, Morten Kristiansen, Shannon M. Reeves, Randi Hamel, Sho L. Uehara, Sylvia Moon, Steven Charles Rosia, Stacey Bru, Sean Seamus McWhinny, Simone Stehouwer, Mike Hooves, Luke Moore, Jacqueline Huskisson, Imaan Ladipo, Henry Hays, Darryl Sinclair, Corey Landsell, Chris Michaud, Caanan Grall, Nicole Gruszecki,