2017 is the 150th Birthday of Canada, in case you missed the news. Our nation quite rightly celebrates its multicultural society just as it continues to wrestle with dealing with the injustices committed in creating our country in the first place. Reconciliation is a long process that takes hard work, commitment and involvement from all of us. Stories that help to engage readers emotionally whilst also opening their eyes to different points of view, experiences and understanding. It is part of our responsibility as story tellers to tilt a reader's world sometimes, and give them an exhilarating journey along the way. If you're looking for a great introduction to what got us to Confederation in the first place then pick up a copy of The Loxleys and Confederation, the only comic book to tell the story of the birth of Canada.
Another celebration we must acknowledge is Burns Night on January 25th. A night to raise a drink (whether tea or a single malt) to Scotland's poet, to Robert Burns, protector of Scottish culture, protector of humanity. Though not too many people are familiar with the great man's heroic deeds, we have the book to elucidate any curious reader on the finer details of this swashbuckler's exploits. Robbie Burns Witch Hunter, the 100% true story that starts one fateful night in Alloway as Burns is unwittingly marked for hell. Aided and trained by professional witch hunters, Burns has to make a choice to either run for his life or make a stand against Old Clootie himself. Best graphic novel winner at the Scottish Comic Book Awards, Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie and Tiernen Trevallion's comic book tour de force is a lovingly created romp that is recommended reading for anyone in search of a great story.
Work continues on our next book When Big Bears Invade, artist Nyco Rudolph and myself are busy bringing this tall tale of apocalyptic Canadian destruction to life. Well, I get the privilege of watching Nyco turn my words into the most stunning images. Working with great artists is an honour. We'll share more soon, but for lots of cryptic sneak peeks, have a look at Nyco's Instagram and Facebook posts.
Ben Rankel is locked in the bowels of the mountain, unable to see the sun until he finishes his debut graphic novel, Frank. The crime thriller set during the Frank slide disaster of 1903 is already looking like a modern classic. Check Ben's Instagram for work in progress art.
Meanwhile, the Spinechillers crew are back together producing more classic horror audiobook recordings. Edgar Allan Poe is first up as Doug Bradley reads more of his best stories. Dan Woods returns to compose and records the musical score, and I will once more be behind the scenes helping to get these great stories ready for the listeners. Further down the story pipeline are more stories from Mandi Kujawa and Claude St. Aubin, Lovern Kindzierski and Geof Isherwood, and Al Davison is due to return to Blood Light art duties in the summer. Happy 2017 to you all.