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Touring In: Alberta

Craft: author/illustrator

Genre: picture books, junior fiction, YA

Ideal Audience Size: 20-30

Maximum Audience Size: 60

Grades: 1-12

Special Equipment: Overhead projector

Website: johnmartz.com

Shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award
Shortlisted for the 2015 Shuster Awards (Comics for Kids category)

Presentation Information

BURT’S WAY HOME AND THE MAKING OF A GRAPHIC NOVEL
(Suitable for all ages)

I will give a reading of my kids’ graphic novel Burt’s Way Home, a story about a young orphan who claims to be an intergalactic traveller, trying to get home.

Readings will be followed by a slideshow presentation of how a comic book comes together, and how both the art and the story are created not out of whole cloth, but are the products of a variety of inspirations and reference points. Students will learn to create their own stories and characters by taking elements from existing stories and characters, and fusing them together to create something new and original.

HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE MY BAD DRAWINGS
(For teens and older audiences, particularly aspiring artists:)

What makes a good drawing good? We all struggle with our own limitations as artists, but we can channel those limitations into strengths by understanding the purpose and function of an image. Drawings don’t need to be flawless to accomplish their goals. In fact, many stories and voices are better served by simple, unrefined drawings. We’ll take a close look at the relationship between words and pictures, study the work

Book List

Burt’s Way Home (Koyama Press, 2016)

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories (Koyama Press, 2014)

Who’s on First? Based on the comedy routine by Abbott and Costello. (Quirk Books, 2013)

Black and Bittern Was Night. Written by Robert Heidbreder. (Kids Can Press, 2013)

Dear Flyary. Written by Dianne Young. (Kids Can Press, 2010)

Biography

John Martz is a cartoonist and illustrator from Toronto, Ontario. He worked in graphic design and television before following his true love of books and comics, and has been drawing cartoons and illustrations professionally for ten years. John’s career in books is inspired by childhood favourites such as Richard Scarry, Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee, as well as comic strips like Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes. He lives in Toronto with his wife, and his dog Gary Panter (named after the underground cartoonist).

Twitter: @johnmartz | Blog | Instagram

Awards

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories

  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Eisner Awards (Best Publication for Young Readers)
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Shuster Awards (Comics for Kids category)

Destination X

  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Story

Gold Star

  • Winner of the 2013 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Story

Dear Flyary

  • Shortlisted for the 2013 National Cartoonists Society Award for book illustration
  • Winner of the 2013 Saskatchewan Book Award for Children’s Literature

Praise for John Martz

”Parents approached me to comment on how great John was in his interactions with kids and how engaging he was in his presentation. Kids approached me about how much they enjoyed meeting and working with John and many of them checked out resources and materials on cartooning and were inspired to create their own comics and illustrations at home.”
—Scott Robins, Children’s Services Specialist, Don Mills Branch, Toronto Public Library

“His workshops are thoughtful and inspiring. He engages children in a respectful and playful manner that puts them at ease.”
—Lisa Heggum, Child and Youth Advocate, Toronto Public Library

 

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