Available for IN-PERSON visits in: Whitby, ON (+ areas within a 90-min drive)

Home Location: Whitby, Ontario

Craft: Author

Genre: Picture Books, Beginning Readers, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novels

Target Audience: Grades 4-8

Cost for School and Public Presentation with CCBC subsidy: $200.00, plus applicable taxes


Presentation/Workshop Information:

Graphic Novels and Comic Books Behind-the-Scenes (Grades 4-8)
After opening with a reading of an excerpt from one his latest graphic novels (with the panels projected as a slideshow), the author will talk about how comic books and graphic novels inspired him to read and write as a child, and eventually become a professional writer. He will then show how comic scripts are written, and how stories go from script to art to printed book, while involving the audience in a fun “pop quiz” along the way. The author will work with teachers/librarians to choose the reading based on age group, classroom connections, themes, etc.

Comic Books Readers Theatre (Grades 4-6)
The author will open with a reading from one of his short comic stories (with the panels projected as a slideshow to show the art) He will then read subsequent stories, but this time with the help of volunteers from the audience, directing it like an old time radio show. Finally, there will be a third reading with only students (and maybe teachers) cast as characters in the story while the rest of the group provides the sound effects (DING! HONK! BOOM!). Along the way, the author will talk about comic book storytelling elements and styles, as well discuss his inspirations and what went into creating the stories the group is reading.

Book List

Batman: Knightwatch miniseries (Issues 8, 9, 10). Illustrated by Marcelo Di Chiara. DC Comics

Stealing Home. Illustrated by David Namisato. Kids Can Press, 2021.

Planet Hockey: First Star of the Game. Illustrated by Tim Levins. Scholastic Canada, 2020.

Lola: A Ghost Story. Illustrated by Elbert Or. Oni Press, 2020.

How to Spot a Sasquatch. Illustrated by Aurelie Grand. Owlkids, 2018.

BroBots and the Shoujo Shenanigans! (BroBots Bk 3). Illustrated by Sean Dove. Oni Press, 2018.

BroBots and the Mecha Malarkey! (BroBots Bk 2). Illustrated by Sean Dove. Oni Press, 2017.

BroBots and the Kaiju Kerfuffle. (BroBots Bk 1). Illustrated by Sean Dove. Oni Press, 2016.

The Heart of the Maiden (Alison Dare Book 2). Illustrated by J. Bone. Penguin Random House Canada, 2010.

Little Miss Adventures (Alison Dare Book 1). Illustrated by J. Bone. Penguin Random House Canada, 2010.

Teen Titans Go series. DC Comics.


J. Torres was four years old when his family immigrated to Canada from the Philippines. At an early age, he learned to read from the Peanuts and Family Circus newspaper comic strips. By the third grade, he was writing and drawing his own comic strip for his school paper. In the sixth grade he wrote and directed a play based on an Archie comic. By the time he graduated high school, he knew he wanted to be a writer and aspired to work for the publishers of his favourite superhero comics. That dream came true in the early 2000s when he wrote some X-Men stories for Marvel and was then hired to write the original Teen Titans Go series for DC Comics. He’s been writing comics and graphic novels professionally ever since. Torres has written for all the major North American comic book publishers as well as some of Canada’s biggest children’s book publishers. His most recent work includes the Batman: Knightwatch miniseries and the Forest of Reading nominated graphic novels Planet Hockey and Stealing Home.