As always, the list is a mix of people working in different areas of the field, some legendary creators, some international creators and some people producing some ground-breaking webcomics. It’s no surprise to see that three out of the five Canadians on the list are there primarily because they are producing some of the most well regarded webcomics around.
Kate Beaton – cartoonist, Hark! A Vagrant!
Kate Beaton is a Canadian cartoonist who first appeared on the comics scene in 2007 with her online series Hark! A Vagrant!, which has been collected into book form by Drawn and Quarterly. Since then she has become a fan favorite, with illustrations appearing in places like The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology. Praised for their expression, intelligence, and comic timing, her cartoons often display a wonderfully light touch on historical and literary topics. The jokes are a knowing look at history through a modern perspective and a campaign against anyone who thinks that history is boring.
Lynn Johnston – cartoonist, For Better or For Worse
Canadian cartoonist Lynn Johnston is best known for her comic strip For Better or For Worse. Her cartooning career started with a series of humorous books on parenting. In 1978, she sent off 20 examples of a daily comic strip, The Johnstons-based on her own family-to Universal Press Syndicate. She received and signed a 20-year contract, and For Better or For Worse began. The strip ended in 2010 but still appears (in reprint form) in over 2,000 papers in Canada, the United States, and 20 other countries, translated into eight languages. It’s been collected into close to 40 books.
Karl Kerschl – writer/artist, The Abominable Charles Christopher
Karl Kerschl has been drawing comics professionally for over 15 years. He has worked on Superman, The Flash, and Teen Titans, among other heroic things, and recently self-published a collection of his weekly webcomic, The Abominable Charles Christopher. He currently resides in Montréal, Canada, where he continues to write and draw his own stories. The Abominable Charles Christopher has been nominated for several awards and has won the Shuster Award for Best Canadian Webcomic in 2010 and the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2011. The strip updates weekly at www.abominable.cc.
Jeff Lemire –writer, Animal Man, Frankenstein; writer/artist, Sweet Tooth
Jeff Lemire is the award-winning Canadian cartoonist of the acclaimed graphic novel Essex County (Top Shelf) and the comic book series Sweet Tooth from DC/Vertigo. He is also the current writer of Animal Man and Frankenstein for DC Comics and has written the monthly adventures of Superboy as well. In 2010 Essex County was named one of the five “Essential Canadian Novels” of the decade in the prestigious Canada Reads program, becoming the first graphic novel to ever be included in the national competition. Lemire’s next original graphic novel, The Underwater Welder, from Top Shelf Productions, will debut at Comic-Con 2012.
Doug Savage – cartoonist, Savage Chickens
When Doug Savage was a kid, he always wanted to be a cartoonist. But when he grew up, he found himself working in a corporation, starving for creativity and plagued by migraines. Luckily, this predicament drove him to pick up a pad of yellow sticky notes and start drawing chicken cartoons. Published online every weekday since 2005, Savage Chickens is read by millions and has been published in books and magazines worldwide. His book, Savage Chickens: A Survival Kit for Life in the Coop, was published in 2011 by Perigee Books (an imprint of Penguin USA). Learn more at www.savagechickens.com.
San Diego Comic-Con International takes place July 11-15 at the San Diego Convention Centre.