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Thursday, July 04, 2019

Reader's Diary #2057- Various artists and writers: This Place

This Place: 150 Years Retold is a collection of comics by various indigenous artists and writers. The "150 Years" is primarily a response to the colonial Canada 150 celebrations and it's all sort of brilliant that "Canada" doesn't appear in the title.The retelling, it could easily be argued, is about filling in conveniently ignored gaps in Canada's history and setting the record straight on some misconceptions and outright lies.

Each comic is drawn by a different team and addresses pivotal moments in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit history from 150 years ago up to the present and even beyond. Accompanying each story is an intro by the writer and a time line.

Clearly there's an educational intent of the collection but thankfully it doesn't come across as one of those Stay in School/ Don't Smoke / Beware of STIs type comics often foisted upon young readers because "comics are cool". The art and writing is typically incredible.

As a collection of course, there are bound to be ones you're more drawn to than others (for me Richard Van Camp's writing stood out, as did GMB Chomichuk's art) and there was a huge variety in styles and approaches and moods. There's anger, there's hope, there's laughter, there are tears.

It's all around a very solid anthology of artistic talent from "this place" filled with crucial stories.

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