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October 1 marks a big day for graphic narratives, zines and comics in Toronto – from Kate Beaton at the AGO to Canzine at the Toronto Reference library.

cover of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, illustration of a female standing on the stairs of a large industrial machine looking out over a stark landscape, in different shades of grey

Courtesy of Drawn and Quarterly

If you reside in Toronto or are visiting the city on Saturday, October 1 – and you’re a fan of graphic narratives, comics or zines – it’s the perfect day to be out and about. You can visit the AGO in the early afternoon and hear award-winning comics artist Kate Beaton discuss her brand new book, then make your way north to the Toronto Reference Library to experience Canzine – the largest festival of zines and independent print culture in Canada.  

At 2 pm, live from the AGO’s Baillie Court, comics artist Kate Beaton will be in conversation with journalist and professor Asmaa Malik, celebrating the launch of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, Beaton’s first full-length graphic narrative. In its pages, the complete scope of Beaton’s cartooning ability is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights and boreal forest. Ducks is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people. 

Founded in 1995, Broken Pencil is a Canadian quarterly “mega-zine”, featuring reviews of hundreds of zines and small press books, as well as comics, excerpts from the underground press, interviews, original fiction and commentary on all aspects of the indie arts. In the same year as its inception, the founders of Broken Pencil launched a large festival dedicated to zines and independent print culture called Canzine

From 10 am to 5 pm, Canzine 2022 happens at the Toronto Reference Library, with a stellar lineup of live speakers and presenters, along with an endless selection of zines from across the country. Horror writer and game developer Kaitlin Tremblay will lead a talk and a workshop on creating small games based on urban legends. Illustrator Eunice Lai will share tips and tricks on how to run a charity collaborative zine in her workshop. Finally, tarot reader Liz Worth will walk attendees through the power of tarot, showing them how to make their own tarot cards for meditation and personal reflection.

Don’t miss Kate Beaton in conversation at the AGO, October 1 at 2 pm. Purchase tickets for the event along with her new book here. And on the same day, go check out Canzine at the Toronto Reference Library from 10 am to 5 pm.

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