Graphic novels are not just a growing phenomenon in North America, they are key to the digital publishing revolution in many countries around the world particularly in Asia and Latin America. Incorporating a variety of new media options into one of the oldest media around (think of petroglyphs and hieroglyphs) the Canadian graphic novel is becoming increasingly influential here and abroad.
Jeet Heer, is a cultural journalist and academic who divides his time between Toronto and Regina. He's the author of In Love With Art: Francoise Mouly's Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman. He has written for many publications including the Globe and Mail, Slate.com, the Boston Globe, the Walrus, the American Prospect, the Comics Journal, the Virginia Quarterly Review and the Guardian of London. He has co-edited eight books and been a contributing editor to another eight volumes. With Kent Worcester, Jeet co-edited A Comics Studies Reader (University Press of Mississippi), which won the Peter C. Rollins Book Award given annually to the best book in American Studies or Cultural Studies. He's been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. His articles have been anthologized in both The Best American Comics Criticism (Fantagraphics) and The Best Canadian Essays collection for 2012. With Chris Ware, Jeet continues to edit the Walt and Skeezix series from Drawn and Quarterly, which is now entering its sixth volume.
Seth is the award-winning author and illustrator of Palookaville, Clyde Fans and It's a Good life If You Don't Weaken. He has designed covers for books by Dorothy Parker and Stuart McLean.
Fiona Smyth is a Toronto painter, illustrator, and cartoonist. Her comic Cheez ran in Exclaim Magazine for almost ten years, and Fazooza in Vice Magazine for eight years. Cheez 100, a collection of 100 strips from Exclaim, was published by Pedlar Press in 2001. Fiona's first graphic novel The Never Weres was published by Annick Press in 2011. She illustrated Cory Silverberg's Kickstarter funded picture book What Makes A Baby in 2012, re-released by Seven Stories Press in May 2013. Fiona teaches illustration and cartooning at OCADU. fiona-smyth.blogspot.ca
Michael DeForge — Sean Rogers in the Globe and Mail recently wrote, “Add Michael DeForge's Ant Colony to the canon of great funny animal comics. The Toronto cartoonist's first full-length graphic novel depicts the mundane existence of a handful of black ants, and their aimless wandering once war with the red ants shatters their lives. In DeForge's strangely abstract rendering, the ants become mutant cartoon Barbapapas, googly-eyed piles of globular lumps, with visible innards and too many legs, while their queen is a human-sized abomination, whose day-glo perversity owes much to both Hieronymus Bosch and Peter Max.”
Read “Three cartoonists on a panel (get it?): Seth, Fiona Smyth and Michael DeForge”, by Lesley Kenny, Co-editor and Social Media Writer for Descant, posted on the Descant Blog.