Urban Space and the Graphic Novel Panel

The Graphic Novel and the City Poster ImageDetails: Join the Hart House Literary and Library Committee, and special guests to explore graphic novels.

How do you experience your city? As a visual form of storytelling, the graphic novel allows space to enter the narrative, not just as a setting, but as a physical presence, even as a kind of character. The interactions between the story’s characters and their surroundings raise questions about the way we live in the city, the way we use urban space, and the way this space shapes our everyday experience. The detailed rendering of urban environments allow readers to notice things that might otherwise escape their notice. Graphic novels offer us an opportunity to explore, inhabit, and interrogate the city and our relationship with it.

When: Wed., April 8, 2015, 5-7 pm
Where: Hart House Library
Cost: Free


Shawn Micallef is a writer and journalist who explores Toronto on foot. A co-founder of the prominent urbanist magazine Spacing, he also writes a weekly column for the Toronto Star. He teaches a course called “Citizenship in the Canadian City” at the University of Toronto, and is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, Full-Frontal T.O., and The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure.

Katherine Verhoeven is a zinester, illustrator and comic artist based in Toronto. Working primarily in ink and digital colour, she has mounted several local shows, and has had her work featured in several comics anthologies and was an Ignatz outstanding series nominee. She writes a webcomic called Meat&Bone, and a comic about food called Dangerous Cooking. Her debut graphic novel, Towerkind, takes place in Toronto’s St. James Town and is forthcoming from Conundrum Press.

Michael Cho is a Toronto-based illustrator and comic artist. He has, among other things, written a webcomic called Papercut, designed book covers for Random House and Penguin, and contributed illustrations to The New York Times Book Review. His first book Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes is a collection of painting and drawings of Toronto’s alleyways. His debut graphic novel, Shoplifter, was released in 2014.

Peter Birkemoe is an independent bookseller and comics enthusiast. He is the owner of The Beguiling, arguably Toronto’s most treasured comic shop. They specialize in independent and experimental graphic writing, and are at the centre of Toronto’s vibrant comics community. In 2003, Peter and Beguiling manager Chris Butcher founded the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. TCAF will take place this year May 9th and 10th at the Toronto Reference Library, and is expected to draw over 20,000 attendees.

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