Join us for our second Comics Speakers Series



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Three comics writers on collaborating with artists; an anthology editor on creating an Eisner-winning collection; a cartoonist on building a career that includes cartoons for the New Yorker!

Join us on Zoom for this special three session series. Open to all UBC Creative Writing students, faculty, staff and alumni.  No RSVP required. A few spots available to others with registration; contact sarah.leavitt@ubc.ca


January 31 at 1:00 pm
Writing for comics

Hiromi Goto (Shadow Life), Nalo Hopkinson (Sandman) & Emily Pohl-Weary (Violet Miranda): Learn to collaborate with artists like a pro.

Hiromi Goto is an emigrant from Japan who gratefully resides in Lekwungen Territory. Her first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms, was the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book, Canada and Caribbean Region, and co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award. Her second book, The Kappa Child, received the 2001 James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award (now known as the Otherwise Award). She’s published three novels for children and youth, a book of poetry, and a collection of short stories. Her other honours include The Sunburst Award and the Carl Brandon Parallax Award. Her first graphic novel, Shadow Life, with artist Ann Xu, was published in March of 2021 with First Second Books. Hiromi is currently at work trying to decolonize her relationship to writing and the land.

Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica, and spent the first 16 years of her life in Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and the US before her family moved to Canada. She writes science fiction and fantasy, exploring their potential for centering non-normative voices and experiences. Her first novel, Brown Girl in the Ring, won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest in 1998. She has published six novels and numerous short stories. From 2018 to 2020, she was the lead writer of “House of Whispers” (co-writer Dan Watters), a series of comics published by DC Comics and set in the universe of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman.” Nalo’s writing has won numerous awards, and in 2021 the Science Fiction Writers of America honoured her with the Damon Knight Memorial “Grand Master” Award, recognizing her lifetime of achievements in writing, mentorship and teaching. In 37 years she was the youngest person to receive the award, and the first woman of African descent.

Emily Pohl-Weary is the author of three novels, two collections of poetry, a biography, a series of girl pirate comics, and a podcast drama script. Her most recent books are the young adult novel Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl and the poetry collection Ghost Sick. She has worked in many different positions within the publishing industry, having edited novels, curated an anthology about female superheroes, published feminist literary magazine Kiss Machine, and been the acquisitions editor for a line of high school English textbooks. Emily holds a PhD in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Prior to joining UBC Creative Writing, she facilitated long-running creative writing workshops in community settings. 


February 7 at 1:00 pm
Crafting an anthology

MK Czerwiec (Menopause: A Comic Treatment): Find out how MK won an Eisner with her anthology.

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA is a nurse, cartoonist, educator, and co-founder of the field of Graphic Medicine. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, a co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto and editor of Menopause: A Comic TreatmentMK regularly teaches graphic medicine at Northwestern Medical School and University of Chicago. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern’s Center for Medical Humanities and Bioethics. She has served as a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, and a Will Eisner Fellow in Applied Cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT. MK is also the comics editor for the journal Literature & Medicine


February 14 at 1:00 pm
Building a comics career

Zoe Si (New Yorker gags, kids’ books, freelance illustration): Discover how Zoe transitioned from law to comics and get her advice for aspiring cartoonists.

Zoe Si is a cartoonist and illustrator in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. She has a life-long passion for laughing at her own jokes and is always looking for new ways to tell stories with her art. Zoe holds a Juris Doctor degree (2013) from the University of British Columbia and practiced law for a number of years. She now spends her days making children’s books, cartooning and writing funny essays for The New Yorker, and drawing comics of everything in sight. In her spare time, she enjoys climbing mountains and petting dogs.


The Comics Speakers Series is open to faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Creative Writing. Direct any questions to Sarah Leavitt, assistant professor, at sarah.leavitt@ubc.ca



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