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Canadian Graphic

Picturing Life Narratives

Edited by Candida Rifkind & Linda Warley
Subjects Literary Criticism, Life Writing, Canadian Literature
Series Life Writing Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771121798, 320 pages, May 2016
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771121811, 320 pages, May 2016
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771121804, 320 pages, May 2016

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives, edited by Candida Rifkind and Linda Warley
Editors' Introduction | Candida Rifkind and Linda Warley
Part One: Confession and the Relational Self
1. Public Dialogues: Intimacy and Judgment in Canadian Confessional Comics | Kevin Ziegler
2. Untangling the Graphic Power of Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me | Kathleen Venema
3. “Oh Well”: My New York Diary, Autographics, and the Depiction of Female Sexuality in Comics | J. Andrew Deman
4. “Say ‘Shit’ Chester”: Language, Alienation, and the Aesthetic in Chester Brown's I Never Liked You: A Comic-Strip Narrative | James C. Hall
Part Two: Collective Memory and Visual Biography
5. Personal, Vernacular, Canadian: Seth's Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists as Life Writing | Kathleen Dunley
6. Visual Silence and Graphic Memory: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Two Generals | Linda Warley and Alan Filewood
7. Metabiography and Black Visuality in Ho Che Anderson's King | Candida Rifkind
Part Three: The Child and the Nation
8. Unsettling and Restorying Canadian Indigenous-Settler Histories in David Alexander Robertson's The Life of Helen Betty Osborne and Sugar Falls | Doris Wolf
9. Life in Boxes: History, Pedagogy, and Nation-Building in Canadian Biographics for Young Adults | Eva C. Karpinski
10. “Everybody calls me Roch”: Harvey, The Hockey Sweater, and the Invisible Québécois Child | Cheryl Cowdy


Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives presents critical essays on contemporary Canadian cartoonists working in graphic life narrative, from confession to memoir to biography. The contributors draw on literary theory, visual studies, and cultural history to show how Canadian cartoonists have become so prominent in the international market for comic books based on real-life experiences. The essays explore the visual styles and storytelling techniques of Canadian cartoonists, as well as their shared concern with the spectacular vulnerability of the self. Canadian Graphic also considers the role of graphic life narratives in reimagining the national past, including Indigenous–settler relations, both world wars, and Quebec’s Quiet Revolution.
Contributors use a range of approaches to analyze the political, aesthetic, and narrative tensions in these works between self and other, memory and history, individual and collective. An original contribution to the study of auto/biography, alternative comics, and Canadian print culture, Canadian Graphic proposes new ways of reading the intersection of comics and auto/ biography both within and across national boundaries.


  • Joint winner, AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show (Design Excellence) 2017
  • Winner, Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism 2016


An essential resource for anyone interested in Canadian comics, life writing, and political issues. Beautifully produced with a useful introduction and fascinating essays about major and emerging cartoonists in Canada and Quebec, Canadian Graphic puts the study of Canadian autobiographical and biographical comics on the academic map and shows us ways to think about one of the most exciting developments in Canadian cultural expression today.

- Julie Rak, University of Alberta, author of Boom! Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market (WLU Press, 2013)