Appologies – link to Mark Shainblum interview was broken

Sorry all, the link to my interview with Mark Shainblum was broken, but is now repaired. I hope that you have a chance to check it out!

Thanks for your patience everyone and thanks to Claude for letting me know that the link had stopped working! Much appreciated.

Here is the link to the post http://speculatingcanada.ca/2014/10/19/speculating-canada-on-trent-radio-episode-21-an-interview-with-mark-shainblum/

Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 19: An Interview with Dominik Parisien

When I mention Speculative Poetry to most people, they respond with a bit of confusion. I often think this may be because they are seeing poetry as the quintessential example of  high culture and anything “genre” as the pits of low, popular culture… then again, maybe they just picture poems like this:

Roses are Red
Aliens are Green
Space is vast and largely unseen.

But, that isn’t what speculative poetry is like (unless I am attempting to write it).

Dominik Parisien is a master wordsmith, able to play with language in such a way that all communicative forms become weirded. He shows both the potential of language to push boundaries, and also the inadequacy of non-poetic forms of communication for capturing the complexity of an emotional situation.

In our interview Dominik and I discuss aging, disability, poetry, high versus low culture, the human body, sexuality, and so many things. For some of the answers, Dominik realised that poetry was the only way to answer the question adequately and that conventional speech was too limiting to express the full body of emotion, thought, feeling, philosophy, and ideal that poetry can bring together with clever word play and evocative image intermixing.

A brilliant editor, author, and scholar, Dominik will fascinate you and inspire you to open the world up to questions. I hope that you enjoy our interview as much as I did!!

Explore Trent Radio at www.trentradio.ca

Explore Trent Radio at http://www.trentradio.ca

 

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

You can explore some of my reviews of Dominik Parisien’s poems at:

http://speculatingcanada.ca/2013/09/12/hidingrevealing/

http://speculatingcanada.ca/2012/10/01/the-green-in-the-human/

 

Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 21: An Interview with Mark Shainblum

After reading Northguard, I knew I had to meet with Mark Shainblum and talk to him about his work in Canadian comics and the overall idea of creating a Canadian superhero. I was lucky that I ran into Mark at Fan Expo Canad and had a chance to chat with him.

In our interview, we talk about the characteristics of the Canadian superhero, the role of superheroes in the imagination, francophone Canadian culture, Jewish Canadian identity, the importance of having heroes who make mistakes, and comics as literature. Hear about some of Mark Shainblum’s upcoming projects as well as his extensive knowledge of comics and comic history.

Explore Trent Radio at www.trentradio.ca

Explore Trent Radio at http://www.trentradio.ca

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

Fluid

A review of Jay Odjick and Patrick Tenascon’s Kagagi: The Raven (Arcana, 2010)
By Derek Newman-Stille

Cover Photo of Kagagi: The Raven courtesy of Jay Odjick's website http://jayodjick.deviantart.com/art/Kagagi-cover-with-logo-68276887

Cover Photo of Kagagi: The Raven courtesy of Jay Odjick’s website http://jayodjick.deviantart.com/art/Kagagi-cover-with-logo-68276887

Portrayals of aboriginal people in comics are often tokenistic, two dimensional, and stereotypical. Aboriginal women in comics are sexualized, with costumes that are reduced to a few bands of leather and tassels. Aboriginal men are made into stoic figures. Aboriginal groups are often invented for comic book worlds, creating communities that have never existed and using a mish- mash of iconography from a variety of native peoples.

This is why it is so refreshing to see Jay Odjick and Patrick Tenascon’s Kagagi: The Raven, a comic that puts an Anishnabee man in the role of the hero rather than the sidekick or token diversity team member.

Kagagi: The Raven is a powerful story about transformation with a mixture of coming of age story, resistance to the superhero destiny, and overcoming systemic bullying… and perhaps that is why his superhero bears the Trickster qualities of Raven with a little touch of Nanabush.

Much like characters of historical Anishnabee tales, Odjick’s story is not easily resolved. There is no simple victory, no easy conquest of might over villainy, but rather a learning experience in which Matthew (who becomes Kagagi) confronts an enemy (a Windigo) as well as confronting his own limits and learns from the experience, gains further wisdom and self-knowledge.

With its blend of a dark, nighttime aesthetic with billowing clouds and slashes of blood along with Kagagi’s own dark, fluid, almost inky costume, Odjick and Tenascon’s art styles emphasize the dreamy, subconsciously dark quality of this narrative with pools of shadow and startling glimpses of the beautifully grotesque.

This is a fluid, transformative tale that opens up possibilities for a world of superheroism and future stories.

To discover more about Jay Odjick’s work and see his art, visit http://jayodjick.deviantart.com/ .

To find out more about Kagagi: The Raven, you can visit http://kagagi.squarespace.com/

Superheroic Sundays Throughout October

Canada has often had a complicated relationship with the idea of the superhero. We often see comics as a genre from “away”, not “of here”. Our comics have historically had a fairly short run, been overwhelmed by an American market, and have experienced our Canadian view that pop culture created in Canada is always going to be second rate.

Superheroes generally have an outlaw quality to them – vigilantes… and historically Canadian representations of law and justice have been centred around the notion of “good governance” and the assumption that our police figures are capable. We have all heard that the Mounties, for example, “always get their man”. So, the notion of a group of outlaws often hasn’t sat well with the view many Canadians have been acculturated to think of ourselves. Canadians have traditionally had a lot of difficulty with the notion of one larger than life figure who has a destiny to succeed beyond others. This is something we have often associated with American ideologies since it generally stems from the American Dream of the “self made man”.

Despite these short print runs and the scarcity of Canadian comics, there have been some amazing and incredible Canadian comics and superheroic figures. Canadian superheroes generally do something different, question their own role, and push genre boundaries to try to figure out how the superhero can fit in a distinctly Canadian cultural apparatus. Because the Canadian nation is often uncertain about who we are as a culture, our superheroes tend to be somewhat uncertain, tend to question things, tend to embody an outsider aesthetic.

Throughout October, I hope to bring you some questions, thoughts, and perspectives on the Canadian superhero and introduce you to some Canadian superheroes of the past and present who may fascinate, entice, and challenge you.