City’s comic scene on the rise

First-ever Prairie Comics Festival in July


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This article was published 27/06/2016 (2468 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As any comic book lover will tell you, it’s its own art form.

“There’s a magic to comics,” Samantha Beiko said.

She and Chadwick Ginther have been working on their comic, Mythfits, which they hope to have ready for Winnipeg’s first Prairie Comics Festival, taking place July 30.

Beiko, whose prior work includes The Lake and the Library, has taken on the illustration side — a first for her — while Ginther has done the scripting for what he calls a fantasy-themed road trip comic full of mythological figures.

“Comic books are why I’m a reader, and why I’m a writer I guess, too,” Ginther, author of the Thunder Road trilogy, said. “I had a stint in the hospital when I was very young and my mom bought me a bunch of comics to keep me occupied and I found that I could follow the visual story in them before I could read the words.

“I got frustrated waiting for her to read panel by panel what was happening because I could see it on the page, so that frustration kind of drove me to be a reader before I started school, and I never stopped reading comics.”

Ginther, now 41, still makes weekly trips to the comic book store.

“The one that really influenced me the most in my early days would be Chris Claremont’s X-Men, which went on for years and years,” the Crescentwood resident said. “That was very important to me when I was starting to figure out story and right now I love Saga, which was written by Brian Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples.”

While some comic book authors in the city are focusing on educational comics, Ginther says Mythfits is about telling a story.

“I’m envisioning the book as Scooby Doo meets Jem and the Holograms versus Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Ginther said.

Beiko says while she’s always had an interest in comic books and graphic novels, the Charleswood publisher has never done as much illustration as a comic book requires.

“I’ve done it here and there and I’ll be illustrating my next book but it’s not to this volume,” Beiko said. “You look at comics and you can take them in in like five seconds, it’s so easy to go through it, but sitting here and drawing it, blocking everything out, it’s really challenging and I’ve had a bunch of stress dreams already, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Beiko will also be representing Toronto-based ChiZine Publications, of which she is managing and acquisitions editor, at the festival.

“You’re seeing more writers and more creators and illustrators getting work now in comic books,” Ginther said. “There’s definitely a growing community here.”

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