Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Library Goes Graphic, Picking Cartoonist as Writer-in-Residence

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Library Goes Graphic, Picking Cartoonist as Writer-in-Residence

Article excerpt

Library goes graphic for writer-in-residence

--

VANCOUVER - A library in British Columbia is colouring outside the lines with its writer-in-residence program and showing people that literature can be more than words on a page.

Cartoonist Miriam Libicki is the Vancouver Public Library's writer-in-residence for 2017, marking the first time the library has named a graphic novelist to the role since the program began in 2005.

Comics have captivated Libicki since childhood, but she didn't think she could create them herself until after she left the Israeli army and went to art school in Vancouver.

There, Libicki struggled to explain the intense experience to others until she turned a diary entry into a comic.

"It's hard to, just through text descriptions, really immerse somebody," Libicki said. "Pictures, it's much more immediate to immerse somebody in an environment that's just in your head."

The response to her work was positive, so the budding artist turned her army experiences into a graphic novel called "Jobnik!" which she self-published in 2008.

Libicki's work mixes intricate sketches and watercolour paintings, a marked difference from the simple images in comics like Superman. Her subjects, too, delve deeper than Archie and Veronica's latest tiff, reflecting instead on Jewish identity and examining relationships.

"I write what I like to write and I paint what I like to paint," she said of her style.

Vancouver's library isn't the first to turn to someone with a unique specialty as a writer-in-residence. The Edmonton Public Library picked rapper AOK -- writer Omar Mouallem -- for the role in 2013, while Concordia University chose graphic novelist Matthew Forsythe to be the 2017 Mordecai Richler writer-in-residence.

Picking someone from a non-traditional medium shows that stories can be created and shared in a variety of ways, said Dawn Ibey, director of library experience with the Vancouver Public Library.

Libraries have changed as societies have changed, she said, and many now offer an array of items and services, from ebooks to recording booths, and three-dimensional printers to musical instruments. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.