Learning to read comic books and graphic novels can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Opening up a book and trying to decipher how everything flows should be intuitive, but that isn’t always the case. I wanted to help anyone coming to the format for the first time, better understand it and hopefully not feel like it’s daunting.

There are a couple of different kinds of comics—all comics are a form of sequential art, regardless, but American comics are read a little bit differently than say, manga. They’re more or less the same but just in different directions. But again, to avoid confusion, we’re going to focus on the North American style of comics, like the ones I work on such as Oh My Gods! and The Racc Pack.


This seems like a good, logical place to start! When you open up a comic book page, you’ll see a bunch of panels (the individual boxes containing different bits of art that tell the story). Within those panels, there are caption boxes (usually in the top left hand corner of a panel) and word balloons near the character speaking.

The Word Balloon represents dialogue. It will almost always have a directional arrow that points towards the character speaking so that there is minimal confusion. They can still be tricky—What order do you read them in? But they’re the same as panels, so keep on reading:

The way to read the page (and the word balloons within each panel) is to go from Left to Right, Top to Bottom.

With the page shown on the right hand side from ParaNorthern, let’s go through the order that it should be read:

Panel 1 is the top left panel that reads, “Can I get a pumpkin spice latte?”

Panel 2 is the top right panel that reads, “UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Isn’t that just typical!”

Panel 3 is in the middle with the dialogue that reads, “Silas! We’ve talked about this. Pumpkin spice lattes are not made with actual pumpkins!

And then the two panels along the bottom are Panels 4 and 5, respectively. And hopefully the above helped you to figure out how to read the remaining dialogue there.

Sometimes it’s trial and error a bit with bigger, more elaborate pages and panels, but the art should always be guiding your eye to where you’ll be going next. And again, the rule of thumb is Left to Right, Top to Bottom.


Traditionally, single issue comics come out once a month, and are about 22-pages long. There are longer single issues but you’ll see them sometimes referred to as an Oversized Issue.

The best way that I can describe a single issue is that it’s like an episode in a season of your favourite TV show. You get a piece of the story each month that tells a larger over-arcing storyline (aka an “arc”). A story arc can be anywhere from 4-6 issues. It can be part of a continuing story (called an Ongoing Series) or simply be a one-off story arc (which is a Mini-Series or Limited Series).

You typically can get single issues from your local comic book store. They tend to have the most selection when it comes to the comics that are available and are more likely to have something that you’re curious about in stock. We’ll talk more about comic book stores in another column.


Trade paperbacks (often referred to as TPBs) are usually a collection of a complete story arc for a particular comic book series. If we continue with the comparison to TV, this would be the complete season.

TPBs are great! They’re one of the more accessible ways to read comics since a huge variety of places carry them. You can pick up collected trades via Amazon, in your local bookstore, or borrow them from your local library. If you read your comics digitally, Amazon’s Kindle Store often has Marvel trades on for incredibly low prices, starting at around $5, which is significantly cheaper than anywhere else… unless you’re getting them from the library which obviously lets you borrow books for the low price of FREE.

If you’re picking up an ongoing series or a series that has already released trades before, make sure you’re looking at the spine to see what volume number you’re picking up. You’ll ideally want to start at Vol. 1 unless you’ve done your research on a particular series and know of an alternate jumping on point. We’ll cover more of this in later columns.

One other great perk about collecting or reading comics in trade is that there are sometimes little bonuses for readers. Content can include bonus essays, script to final product type demonstrations, and cool concept art.


OGN stands for Original Graphic Novel. These are trade-like comic books that are standalone. They’re not part of an ongoing series and if you hear someone saying “Check out this OGN!” it usually means that it is completely readable by anyone. My own books like ParaNorthern and Pillow Talk are originally, standalone OGNs.

Marvel and DC release a few of these a year and they allow for a fan (or newcomer) to check out a character or team in a way that’s not too bogged down by previous continuity.

A lot of the “smaller publishers” release these regularly though. They don’t have other comics or characters that you need to know.

There are many different OGNs that cover every single genre. There’s absolutely one out there for you!


There are so many types of comics too, like zines! But hopefully the above has give you the tools you need to tackle and check out any comics that you might be interested in. If you still have questions that are unanswered and are curious about more, you can check out Comic Book Creative Teams: Who’s Who and What Do They Do? and A Glossary of Comic Book Terminology.

When it comes to making comics and graphic novels, there are can be a lot of people involved…even before you get to the folks behind-the-scenes at a publisher. I wanted to discuss some major ones that you might see…and some that you might not see credited. Typically in the credits of a book, especially direct market comics (such as Marvel, DC Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, etc.) , you’ll see a number of creators listed.

Graphic novels published by traditional publishers (such as Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, etc.) don’t always credit the work-for-hire creators like colourists and letterers. They should but they sometimes don’t. On the copyright information page though, they sometimes will list out the folks who were involved there. Regardless, these are some roles that you might see:

Script by:
Story by:
Art by:

Let’s get into detail on these roles:


The writer is responsible for the script that the artist (penciller, inker, colourist, letterer, etc.) will work off of. This includes panel descriptions, number of panels per page, the dialogue, captions, sound effects (aka SFX), and any other notes that will help the artist effectively bring the story to life.

In many cases, the writer is building the world for the artist too and providing feedback to bring their vision to the page. A good writer, however, knows how to communicate with their artist and how much feedback to provide to them in order to effectively create the structure of the world. Communication is key, and a writer needs to ensure they’re not being overbearing to allow for the artist to retain creative control and enjoy the process.


If there is only one artist credited on a comic book, there’s a good chance that they did the pencils, inks, colours, letters (the definitions of all of those can be found below) etc. Typically in the credits of a book, especially superhero comics, you’ll see a number of creators credited.


The penciller is the person who lays down the drawings that will be the backbone for the inker. The penciller interprets the script and makes sure that the images on the page represent what’s happening in the story. In some cases, the pencils and inks may be done by the same person, but regardless, the pencils tend to be a looser version of the final product.


The inker uses strong lines and shading to emphasize the work already on the page from the pencils. The inker adds in any additional details needed to tell the story as per the script.


The letterer is responsible for incorporating all the dialogue, captions, and sound effects onto the page. They work off of the script that’s provided and use a specific set of comic book lettering rules to ensure that the page is easy to read and understand.


The colourist does exactly what you might think: they colour the comics. A colourist is absolutely vital to the comic book. The comics medium has grown a lot over the years and now the colours on a comic can make or break how the book looks. They help set the tone, vibe, and just make the comic look a million times better.


I reached out to some friends to help me describe what exactly a flatter does and my pal, Richard Pace, described it like this: “If the colourist is a house painter, the flatter is the assistant who preps all the surfaces and tapes off the edges to make the job go faster.”Essentially the flatter puts down simple colours and prepares everything for the colourist to step in and focus on the shading, accents, and other things that will come into effect for the final colours.


The editor is responsible for a lot in the book. In addition to normal things like checking for any spelling/grammar errors, the editor is also responsible for tracking continuity, checking over the pencils, inks, colours, and letters, getting the book off to the printers, following up with publishers for vouchers (if working as a freelance editor), and keeping a schedule for the entire team.


This is pretty straightforward and doesn’t just apply to comic books. A publisher is the company that has chosen to take on a particular comic book and distribute it under their brand. Marvel and DC are the “Big Two” with the largest market share and then other publishers include Image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom!, Valiant, Oni Press, and more.


Sometimes you’ll see this listed in a book, especially indie titles. Created by refers to the person who initially came up with the original story, and characters. Unless the person is both an artist and a writer, usually there should be at least two names for this: the writer who came up with the story and the artist that came up with the character designs and concept art.

While a writer may have gotten the ball rolling on a pitch or story idea, comic books are a visual medium, and artists should always be credited as a co-creator. The artist is building the world that the readers will be absorbing as they go through the book and in this medium, that is extremely important.

As a series continues, you may see that the writer and/or artist is different from the CREATORS. Oftentimes, a creative team might decide to move on from a series to work on other projects, so they’ll hand their book off to someone else to take over. The new creative team will be credited appropriately, but CREATED BY along with the original creators names should always be something that you see accompanying everyone else in the credits.


Mark Waid’s run on Black Widow was the first time that I ever noticed a fantastic way to lay out their credits**…

STORY BY: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee
SCRIPT BY: Mark Waid
ART BY: Chris Samnee

It had some additional variations but I’m mentioning this there is an important distinction to be noted here. The artist is very much responsible for how a story looks on the page (duh) and they’re communicating with the writer to ensure that what’s in the script is getting translated properly into images that convey the story.

The artist is as much of a storyteller as the writer is, when it comes to comic books.

Samnee being credited (in this example) is a great way of acknowledging the work that an artist puts into making the story an actual story. Without the art, these would just be screenplays, and people would likely just read novels instead.

loved this so much and I wanted to address it in case you ever came across something like it in a book. It’s extremely respectful and in a book where you might not get a “creator” credit (Marvel and DC own their own characters), it’s maybe the next best thing to acknowledge the collaborative process between a writer and artist.

**There’s a chance I might be mixing up the exact way that Samnee/Waid are credited in Black Widow but I do distinctly remember that Waid gave Samnee a credit as a storyteller within the series either by saying “Story by” or “Written by” and crediting them both. Regardless, I’ve seen it in Black Widow and a couple other books (with different creators) over the years.

If you’re looking to understand comics and graphic novels more and what the various terminology means, here’s a handy dandy guide to help you out.

Let’s dive in:


This list of terms breaks down the different roles within a comic book, commonly referred to as the Creative Team.

Writer – The writer is responsible for the script that the artist (penciller, inker, colourist, letterer, etc.) will work off of. This includes panel descriptions, number of panels per page, the dialogue, captions, sound effects (aka SFX), and any other notes that will help the artist effectively bring the story to life.

Penciller – The penciller is the person who lays down the drawings that will be the backbone for the inker. The penciller interprets the script and makes sure that the images on the page represent what’s happening in the story. In some cases, the pencils and inks may be done by the same person, but regardless, the pencils tend to be a looser version of the final product.

Inker – The inker uses strong lines and shading to emphasize the work already on the page from the pencils. The inker adds in any additional details needed to tell the story as per the script.

Colourist – The colourist does exactly what you might think: they colour the comics. A colourist is absolutely vital to the comic book. The comics medium has grown a lot over the years and now the colours on a comic can make or break how the book looks. They help set the tone, vibe, and just make the comic look a million times better.

Letterer – The letterer is responsible for incorporating all the dialogue, captions, and sound effects onto the page. They work off of the script that’s provided and use a specific set of comic book lettering rules to ensure that the page is easy to read and understand.

Editor – The editor is responsible for a lot in the book. In addition to normal things like checking for any spelling/grammar errors, the editor is also responsible for tracking continuity, checking over the pencils, inks, colours, and letters, getting the book off to the printers, following up with publishers for vouchers (if working as a freelance editor), and keeping a schedule for the entire team.

For a more in-depth look at what each of these roles entails, check out this article.


Single Issue – A single issue (sometimes also referred to as a Floppie) is a 22-page comic typically released once a month. The individual issues make up a larger story arc (think of them as an episode in a season of a TV series). The page count and frequency of publication can change based on the book, but those are the standards.

Trade Paperback (TPB) – A trade paperback (or TPB) is a collected edition of a comic book series arc. This usually compiles all the individual issues previously released as Single Issues in one volume that tells a complete story arc (think of this like the complete season of a TV series).

Original Graphic Novel (OGN) – An original graphic novel (or OGN) is usually a comic book that stands alone. If it’s a character that is pre-existing and has previous continuity, it’s usually a book that anyone can pick up to learn more about that character and read a storyline that isn’t bogged down by all the other stuff going on. In indie and creator owned markets, this is usually just a self-contained story that anyone can pick up and enjoy.

Digital Comics – Digital comics refer to comics that you read on any digital platform such as tablet, phone, computer etc.

Digital First – This is a digital exclusive comic that is released online only first and then eventually it is released in print, either in single issues or collected as a trade.

Digest – A digest is a smaller format comic book – a digest sized version! Usually with a lower quality paper and many different short stories geared towards a younger audience. These types of comics can be found in grocery store queues and superstore book aisles, making them very accessible to just about everyone.

Omnibus – An omnibus is often a collection of either “essential” storylines or a “complete series”. It’s usually a mammoth hardcover book that also includes bonus content such as concept art.

Limited Series/Mini-Series – A Limited Series or Mini-Series is a comic that will have a set amount of issues that will be released (usually 5 or 6). This is different from an OGN because it’s released in single issues but will wrap up after the story is concluded. An OGN is released in a complete collected trade and eventually a Limited/Mini will likely be released this way too, but after it wraps up as single issues.

Webcomic – A webcomic is a serialized story that’s published on a web site regularly. Creators will release a new chapter periodically (such as every Monday) and are typically free for anyone to find and read.

Zine – Indie comic creators will often creator short zines that they’ll publish on web sites or at conventions. They can be as simple as being printed on regular printer paper and folded up like a pamphlet, or more professionally done at a printer. There’s no set rules for a zine!

Variant Cover – A variant cover is an alternative to the main advertised cover for a specific Single Issue. Marvel and DC do a lot of variant covers but they’re a big item amongst collectors as they showcase the work of different artists that may not normally be associated with a particular comic book.


Panel – A panel refers to one of the boxes on a comic book page. Each box tells a piece of the story on the page and move the plot along.

Word Balloon – A word balloon surrounds the dialogue that a specific character is saying. A word balloon also often has a directional arrow that points to the character that is speaking.

Splash Page – A splash page refers to a page that only has one panel. The one panel can be laid out many different ways but ultimately one big “spread” or art takes up the entirety of the page.

Double Page Spread – In the same way that a Splash Page takes up one whole page, a double page spread does the same but across two pages. This is always done on side by side pages so that readers.

Anthology – An anthology collection isn’t something exclusive to comics; it exists in many other mediums. Typically it’s a series of stories done by a number of different creators with one common theme.

The Big Two – The Big Two refers to Marvel and DC Comics who collectively take up the largest market share when it comes to comic books.

Creator-Owned – Creator-owned means that a specific book is fully owned by the people who created the characters and story. The publisher doesn’t get any say when it comes to the creative rights of the book.

Indie – This is usually a broad term that describes pretty much anything that’s published outside of DC and Marvel. Some people believe that Image Comics is no longer indie but as they solely carry creator-owned titles, I still firmly believe they fall in that category. Indie, like in other industries, just means it’s independent.

Continuity – Continuity is another term that is found across other mediums. It refers to the consistencies in the story as well as the history of it.

Crossover – A crossover is when two pre-existing characters or worlds are in one story. Such as back in The Big Two teamed up to do a a short series called DC vs. Marvel back in 1996. A crossover isn’t exclusive to publishers teaming up, but can also be two characters that you wouldn’t normally see together in a story.

Event – A comic book event is a publicity stunt where a large over-arcing story takes over all the properties at a publisher (usually). Marvel does these a lot with Civil War being one of the most famous ones (as an example since this was also turned into a film).

Solicitations – These are the up coming releases from a publisher. They tell you the title, a little description of the book, the creative team, and when you can expect it to be released. They’ll also sometimes include a pre-order code that you can take to your LCS (see below) to ensure that they order in a copy of the book for you.

LCS – This is an abbreviation that stands for “Local Comic Shop”. It’s something you see online a lot, especially on social media.

One of the most common questions among creators in any field, but especially writing, ask: how do I get started? It’s common because not a lot of folks really talk about how hard it can be to break into the industry and land published work, especially if you’re not able to draw your own stories.

It’s marginally easier to find published work in comics if you can draw your own stories. You can build up your portfolio on your own, and not have to rely on collaboration, and saving up money to bring your scripts to life. But while it’s maybe easier to break in that way, artists ultimately get the short end of the stick, as they tend to be burdened with the majority of the work, crappier deadlines, and less pay.

That’s why it’s important for writers to practice as they come into the industry, and learn how to be the best collaborator that they can be. It’s not just about building up a portfolio, it’s about building up your work so that you’re taking your co-creators into consideration.

If you ask other creators who’ve been around for a while How do I get started? you will almost definitely get the response, “Just make comics!” This can be a little bit frustrating to some folks who feel that they don’t know how to make comics yet, and the question is more about WHERE do they start? How do they build up a network of peers? How do they seek out editors and published work? There are so many different components at work here, and we’re going to try to jump into a few of those in this piece.


I am a massive advocate of the short story. Short stories can be incredibly hard to write, and even harder to make satisfying to your readers. But being able to write a short story can be a powerful portfolio piece for you that editors will note and appreciate. It’s hard to drop people into a world, even if it’s our own, and set the stage so that the story can play out with anything that the reader may need to understand. You need to play around with how much information you absolutely have to convey vs. what can your reader be left to deduce on their own. To do that, you have to understand your audience, and write for who you think might read your story.

Thankfully, that sort of information tends to be provided to you if you look for anthologies and zines to submit to. Coming up and writing original story ideas can be really daunting without parameters, but because of the rise of the comic book anthology, small press publishers have been working on putting out a wide variety of collections to showcase a wide variety of creators.

They’re not always open call anthologies, and sometimes you just need to know the right people. Joining a group like Cartoonist Cooperative, can help you stay in the loop for the ones that do open their submissions.

Writers who aren’t able to draw their own stories are often concerned about their ability to pay an artist to bring their story to life. Submitting to, and getting accepted into an anthology can not only help with that, but it gets you a credit in a published project.

Most reputable anthologies and small press publishers will make sure to offer a page rate to the creators on their books. Because they’re small publishers though, the page rate is usually pending a crowdfunding campaign – they tend to get the money via Kickstarter (or another crowdfunding platform), which includes rates for the creators as well as the money they need for the actual creation of the book. You can visit TO Comix Press’ site to learn more about the process; they are completely transparent on the process, the funds, and everything else you need to learn about anthologies or to run your own.

Some creators may want to work with an established artist for a short story – an artist who may otherwise be out of their price range. What you can also do here, is negotiate with said artist. By negotiate, I mean you find out what their regular rate is, find out the rate that the anthology is paying to the artist, and then subtract that number from the regular rate. From there, you can pay the difference to make up for it, and potentially have the chance to work with a bigger name creator.

This can be good because a) it brings more repute to the anthology b) it gives more weight to you as a creator and c) allows you to learn about collaborating with someone who already has experience in the industry.

But even though you have a contract for the anthology (probably), make sure to also develop a contract between yourselves for the additional page rate to be provided.

Even if it’s small press or a micro press, having a story published in an anthology or zine still counts as published work. There can also be a lot of competition for these story slots too, so don’t be discouraged by rejection. You can always hang onto stories to work on and develop on your own down the line.

That brings me to my last point with this section though, and that’s about READING THE BRIEF. Each anthology will have specific perimeters and will often break things down into things that they want to see and things that they definitely don’t want to see. It’s important to read carefully and make sure that whatever you come up with fits into what they’re looking for. If not, you run the risk of being disregarded immediately.

Make sure you include everything that is asked of you. Check to see if they’ll help pair you up with an artist; if not, look into some options like again, being a part of a group like Cartoonist Cooperative. Check if you need to provide a web site; do you have a web site? If not, make sure you have one, and make sure that whatever you submit is what they’re looking for (for instance, some folks do not want to see Instagram shared as a portfolio).

Real talk: once you know that you want to take your creative passion to the next level, you should always have a web site. Always have contact information on your web site. Always make your web site accessible – you never know who might notice you! But most editors will never love a creator enough to hunt them down… if you don’t have a web site, or contact information listed anywhere, and are generally unaccessible, you are going to miss out on potential opportunities.

Most anthologies won’t ask for a script or art up front, but read to make sure. A lot of anthologies will at least want an outline of your story (including a satisfying resolution to the story), an idea of your characters, and a description like what you’d see on the back of a book.

To learn how to format a script, visit here for Fred Van Lente’s officially unofficial standard. And visit here for a breakdown of that format where Fred explains it all in more detail.


This is tricky, especially if you don’t go to conventions or if you have crippling anxiety or… well, there’s a bunch of reasons why this is tricky.

There’s this great thing that exists called The Internet! And on the internet, you can utilize social media. And on that social media, you can still connect with editors (and your peers). I know things are really in flux right now in regards to that, but if social media doesn’t feel like an option for you, or it’s too overwhelming…hey! That’s okay. Many of us are right there with you. Again, joining a group like Cartoonist Cooperative, especially connecting to them or others via their Discord servers, can be a huge help.

I’d recommend building up a network of your peers first, and building up a good relationship with them. It doesn’t have to be a working relationship – in fact, most peer relationships are built as traditional friendships rather than being treated as a co-worker or colleague. Creators want to build healthy relationships with peers that they can be in the industry with; folks they can talk to and understand and relate to. Interacting, engaging, and supporting your peers in a way that feels (and is) genuine will go a long way in helping you build your career.

As you and your peers grow in the industry, you’ll find that people tend to share the wealth, so to speak. Creators are happy to give intros to other creators, to editors, and to other pros working in the industry. They’re willing to do that for their friends and peers that they will feel will be a good reflection of them since it’s their introduction that will open the door.

All of this can apply to IRL relationships and communities, if you’re the type of person okay with social interaction and being at conventions and industry events, but it still applies if you’re exclusively online only.

It’s about treating others with respect. Read the room, so to speak, and engage with others in an appropriate way. Respect your peers. Understand the rules and boundaries, and respect them.


I won’t spend a long time on this section, so I’ll get to the point. Like I mentioned within the Getting Your Work Published section – sometimes when your have no perimeters, it’s intimidating to come up with a story idea. If that’s the case, and you don’t see any anthologies or zines to pitch to, look for writing prompts!

You can definitely find lots of them on Pinterest, on social media, and just generally around, but what you can also do to prepare yourself for other anthologies, is looking at old anthologies no longer accepting submissions. You can look at their guidelines and specifications, and try to build a story with them. It gives you structure and timelines to work with. You can choose to come up with the ideas and outlines only, or you can play around with the scripts and actually write them.

Other things to do? Think of your favourite characters from anything at all, and try to come up with a story that you haven’t seen done before with them. Shout out to FANFICTION!!!! It’s existed for many, many moons, and is fantastic. You can change the names of the characters or heck, you can just write out the character as the character. Just make sure that should you ever pursue having the script made, that there are certain legalities around selling a story that’s based on someone else’s property.

But as an exercise just for you? It’s great.


Despite what anyone says, you do not need a fancy app or word processor to write your scripts. For both writing and editing, I exclusively use Google Docs. I only really use Microsoft Word for copyedits or to send a file in a specific format to a creator or editor. Google Docs is great because it allows me access to my work anytime, and anywhere that I have internet access. Even if I don’t have internet access, as long as I’ve made the file available offline, I can still get to it.

This allows for me to, again, work from anywhere. I can work on my commute (I literally wrote an entire novel over the course of a month just on my daily commute), I can work on my day job breaks, and I can work if I have a few minutes before an appointment, or meeting or wherever else I am.

For me as also an editor, formatting is important, but it’s not as important as just getting things down on paper. You can free flow your idea and stories onto the page, and once you’re in a place to build up from that groundwork, go in and fine tune things.

Creators often don’t find time to write – most of us continue to have day jobs and side hustles that we have to do to pay our bills. If we focused on finding the time to write, it would never get done. We make the time to write.

This isn’t a humble brag on my life – because make no mistake: it’s a mess that I constantly struggle to balance. When I first started making comics, I was working a 45+ hour/week job and had numerous volunteer gigs and part-time jobs on the side. Plus trying to manage my personal life. But I still try to write every day. Or nearly every day. You could easily look at my life, and minus the editing and writing portion, think Wow, when would you have time to do anything else? and again, the answer is this: I make the time.

You need to make the time.

So at the end of the day, it comes down to you. When you, or anyone else asks How do I get started? it comes down to how bad you want it. Do you love comics? Do you love telling stories? Can you make time for this?

You need to tell these stories for you, first and foremost. You have to love the medium, and turning what’s in your brain into something more on the page. If you’re focused on making comics for other people, chances are, you won’t make it far. Tell stories that are important to you, and stories that you want to tell. That way, it becomes easy to make the time.

Get excited for your art. Get excited to tell a story. Get excited to see it come to life with an artist, and other collaborators! Collaboration is the best part of this medium, and when you open yourself up to the possibilities of what you can do within it, you’ll maybe find that the excitement is intoxicating and addicting in the best ways possible.

I regularly get asked about how to get your stories published, and it all starts with building a pitch for an agent, editor, and publisher to look at.

There’s no one, standard way to pitch in comics, but there are certain elements of your book that should be included no matter who you’re reaching out to. But I’ve melded my own personal way of pitching with Jim Zub’s method (from his post Here Comes the Pitch and other educational posts by him). Feel free to change it up to be whatever you need, but this is my go-to way to make sure I have everything that I need for telling folks about my story idea.

NOTE: This is the bare bones template. You’ll want to spruce it up with art, fonts, and personality that match your pitch. You don’t have to, but it does help to make your pitch stand out amongst others.

Keep in mind that what you need for a pitch can vary from agent to agent, editor to editor, and from publisher to publisher. For publishers that have open submissions, they’ll typically list what they need from you right on the page. Make sure to follow the instructions and include everything that they require to give your pitch the best possible chance for success. ALWAYS adjust your pitch to their specifications.

To give you some additional context for the pitch template you’ll see below, you can also take a look at our completed pitch for the OH MY GODS! graphic novels. A lot changed from pitch to final product but this will give you a rough idea of what we put together to get it in front of editors and publishers, keeping in mind that at the time, we were originally looking to release it serially within the direct market (comic book publishers as opposed to pitching it as a graphic novel to traditional publishers within the book industry).

Below are the elements that you’ll want to include in your pitch but there’s also a downloadable template at the bottom of the page for you too.


*Always include a title as opposed to UNTITLED PROJECT or whatever. The title can be changed later but it’s important to have something in place here. Include all other additional credits and creators that will be a part of your project.

A short summary of your story no more than 1-2 sentences long. It’s basically the elevator pitch to entice readers in.

This is the longer summary of your story that gets into slightly more detail. Think of what you’d read on the back of a book or graphic novel. Concise, catchy, and alluring. Ideally 2-3 paragraphs long. You really want to entice readers (aka editors, agents, publishers) with this.

One of the biggest components of any pitch is your character section. This is a breakdown of the major characters that we’ll meet in the story (or the first arc that you’re pitching—if you’re looking to create an ongoing series). Put the focus on the ones that we see the most and/or the ones that have the most impact on the characters around them.

You not only want to include a blurb about who each of the characters is, what they look like, etc. but also the journey they’re on. Who are they at the start of the story vs. at the end? What will they learn? How will they grow?

If you have an artist attached to your project already, having concept art for the main characters can be very helpful. If you don’t, that’s okay! I personally like to build Pinterest boards to establish a “look” and aesthetic for each character to help support the visual. And you can include those Pinterest boards in your pitch too. Ideally, if an agent or editor is working on comics and graphic novels, they’re fairly visual and can use the tools you give them to envision the final product.

I’d say this can be optional to expand on in a pitch with the exception being if you’re creating a fictional place. It can be helpful to lay out the world and explain any differences between ours and the one you’ve built.

This isn’t story-related stuff, per se. In this section, you want to include an estimated page count (or issue count if you’re thinking of a serialized story). Include whether or not it’s standalone, part of an ongoing series, etc. Make sure you research approx. page counts for the audience you’re aiming for too, so you know if what you’re pitching is within reason. And speaking of audience, this is also the place to go into that. Is your story MG (middle-grade), YA (young adult), adult, etc.

Again, do your research there to see what would be the best fit based on your characters and the story you want to tell. Sometimes an editor might ask to age your characters up or down to better fit into a market too. But that’s not something to worry about here.

You also want to select some comp(arable) titles to help show that there’s a market for your story. For instance, with Oh My Gods!, some of our comp titles included Lumberjanes, Percy Jackson, Clone High, etc.

Finally, you need a breakdown of the story. You don’t want to hold back here—include all the details of the story from start to finish. Lay everything out for the reader. If you have the story broken down into chapters, think of each outline as a detailed version of the DESCRIPTION section but with everything spelled out. Make each chapter 1-3 paragraphs long and be as concise as possible.

You’ll want to have a sample script to show too. Having at least 30-40 pages written will likely be the bare minimum. Some agents and editors want to see a FULL manuscript, so be sure to read submission guidelines to know what you need.

If you have concept art, include it. If you do include art, you want to make sure that you have character concept designs. If you’re building your own world, consider including some designs showing that off too. Direct market pubs often require preview pages* of the story (usually six pages, minimum) but be sure to read submission guidelines. If not, it never hurts to mention what you envision for the art and list a few artists whose style you think may work for the book when the time comes.

If you do have an artist/creative team on board, make sure details are worked out between you (ie. ownership split, payment system, royalties division, etc.) Be sure to have it in writing in the form of a collaboration contract. You can use this one as a template.

*if you’re going to include preview pages, keep in mind that the recommended six-pages don’t have to be the first six-pages. Use six-pages from your script and story that best represent the overall vision and tone of your project.

Lastly, this isn’t the definitive guide to pitching your comic. This is what I do and have had success with. Research other pitches and do what’s best for you and your story. This is a starting place to help you out. Before you submit, be sure to visit the websites for any editor, agent, or publisher to read their submission guidelines. They’re often outlined extensively so you’re giving them what they want to see.

If you pitch and get interest from an editor or agent…that’s great! But don’t sign a single thing until you’ve had a lawyer or agent review the paperwork. That’s another thread…but always protect yourself, your team, and your IP.


Additional resources:


No matter what level you’re at in the industry, contracts are vital and important. Whether it’s between you and a publisher or you and an editor, or you and a co-collaborator, making sure that what you’re all doing is laid on paper is very important.

Even if you’re working with a friend, it’s important to make sure that what you’re doing together is clear and concise, with everyone’s roles outlined.

The idea of putting together a contract can be incredibly daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Having everything on a piece of paper that you both sign can be your contract that will protect you (ie. Creator 1 is responsible for the art. Creator 2 is responsible for scripts. Both Creators will submit work on time as per an agreed upon schedule. All royalties will be split 50/50 and both will maintain co-ownership of the book.) – BUT if you want a slightly fancier contract to help keep your team safe, you can use this handy dandy Collaboration Agreement:


This agreement is just a template and it can be adjusted to fit your needs, based on the number of creators on your project, what you want to hash out, and more.

Here’s a tip: a friend of mine, Tory Woollcott, pointed out that a contract doesn’t have to be full of legal mumbo jumbo. If a publisher or collaborator sends you a contract that you don’t understand, break it down into simple terms. Write out the contract in ways that you understand with all the terms and ask the publisher/editor/collaborator if what you’ve written encapsulates everything within the jargonese of the more complex contract. If they say yes, ask if it’s okay if they sign your version of the contract so you have something that’s far easier to digest.

This might not always be feasible for every contract but between creators and collaborators, this way might be a lot more straightforward. For a publisher, if you don’t understand things, always be sure to hire a lawyer to review the terms and make sure that there’s nothing screwing you over in the legalese.

This post is meant to help out creators who want to put themselves out there for work, preferably of the paid variety.

Editors and creators in general are always on the lookout for new talent. As a freelance editor myself, I keep an ongoing list of the creators I come across that I want to find a project for someday. The list of creators is longer than the amount of work I could possibly do in one lifetime, but I still keep and add to it in the hopes of having the perfect person in mind for whatever project comes down the line.

Now, the rest of this piece will highly depend on what kind of work you’re looking for—but before I get into anything else, I want to talk about a few basic things that should be included in a portfolio no matter what kind of work you’re looking for. But I’m going to make the primary focus on building a portfolio as an artist. However, I will also include a little section at the end for a writing portfolio and specific things to include there.

A Home Base for Your Work

You don’t need to pay for a fancy website (Squarespace, Wix, Artstation etc, are fine) with a domain, etc. I want to see the art as easily as possible (straightforward navigation, etc.) and be able to contact someone. But you should have a home base for yourself that includes a short bio, a CV (if you have previous credits to list), your social media links, and above all else—CONTACT INFORMATION! I cannot stress how important this is. No matter how great your art is, there is no editor who will hunt you down to hire you if you don’t have easy ways to be contacted.

I know I’m not the only editor who sees this all the time. I know it can be scary to put your information out there to the world, but invest in a site and a contact form if you don’t want to include your email address.

Including a section in your ABOUT page on what you want to work on, what you like to draw, etc. is also helpful! Not necessary, but definitely helpful. And updating your ABOUT or CONTACT page with whether or not you’re available currently for work is also extremely helpful.

What Kind of Work Do You Want?

Unless you’re already a big name where a creator knows your work by flipping through a comic book that they’re already familiar with, you’re going to want to make sure that your portfolio includes images that showcase the type of work you’d like to be doing. If you want to do…

Make sure to include illustrations and art that conveys the range you’re comfortable/happy working in. It’s okay to have a variety! But try to only include stuff that you want to do more of. Even if it’s just in sketch form, showcase everything you can draw, especially if it’s stuff that some artists don’t enjoy working on (ie. cars, bikes, horses, backgrounds, foliage, animals, etc.)

I’d say that most artists wanting to work in comics, animation, etc. can draw people, but you don’t always see a strong range of what else they can confidently do. How do your layouts look? Do you have strong line work? How’s the anatomy of the people on the page? How do you convey facial expressions and emotions? There are a ton of factors that go into whether or not someone is a good fit for a project and most of those come from seeing samples.

Maybe if I have time to put a project together (and spare cash), an editor can look into test pages for you to do if they’re REALLY interested, but more often than not, editors are looking for someone that they can already see knows their way around a page.

Think about portfolio pieces that will show an editor or potential co-creator everything that you can do for their book. You want to showcase anything that will make you stand out from the crowd, and having dynamic backgrounds, and being good at all the other things will absolutely make you an exceptional candidate.

If you’re looking for work as an interior artist primarily, it’s still okay to include a gallery of illustrations and other such things. I’d try to make them separate items though within your portfolio. For instance, you can have a menu set up with an Art tab – within that, you can break it down into Comics, Illustration, Mixed Media, etc.

You don’t have to limit yourself on your website and portfolio, but making it as easy as possible for editors and creators to find the things they need to find will ultimately help YOU out in the long run.

If you’ve played around with different styles and can really change up how your art looks, show us! I love seeing the range that a creator is capable of and it makes me want to take a risk if you’re maybe not exactly what I was initially looking for.

Having your art coloured isn’t essential in your portfolio since colourists are available to work on projects. If you feel that your colours aren’t particular strong but your line work is, don’t be afraid to just include your line art. It’s nice to see completed art but I’d rather see strong lines that showcase your strengths rather than your art watered down with colouring skills that aren’t quite there yet.

Other Roles

These things can be applied to other jobs in comics as well. Substitute sequential art for illustrations if you’re looking for cover work. Show us your ability to letter and colour comics, respectively.

If you don’t have art to work on and practice with, there are templates and such you can use to practice your colouring and lettering skills.

But again, no matter what: the most important thing is always to have a way that you can be contacted.

Where to NOT Host a Portfolio

Instagram is not a great place to have your portfolio—not everyone has an Instagram and if I’m an editor without one, I’m not making an account solely so I can message you. It’s also hard to zoom in on your linework and take a really decent look at what you’re creating. You can use Instagram if you really need to and don’t have alternatives, but I strongly suggest using something else, and again, having a website that really showcases you and your work.

Ditto that with deviantART, Behance, and other art websites. Those sites are fine to host a portfolio on but you absolutely NEED to include contact information. I am not signing up for deviantART (or trying to hunt down my password from 2005) to message you.

For Writers and Other Roles

As promised, I don’t have a lot more to add specifically for writers (because a lot of the above can still be applied to y’all), but here you go:

You need an updated CV of the work you’ve done. That can include any written projects, including if you’ve written for websites before as a news editor, or whatever. People just want to know that you can properly string together sentences. As time goes on and your portfolio grows, it’s definitely good to update your CV to include the work that most represents what you want to be doing and moving towards.

If you’re listing all the sites you covered news and movie reviews for, it’s possible that you’ll keep getting asked to do that kind of work rather than, say, writing comic books. So just keep that in mind.

I’ll leave you with the most important thing that I’ve discovered when looking at portfolios. I’ve already said it once but I’ll say it again for you all:


This is not the be all and end all to creating a portfolio—this is from my perspective of important components to include from my work as a freelance editor as well as a creator who is often on the lookout for exciting talent to work with.

Outlining your story is easily one of the most important parts of the process, and one that can sometimes be overlooked. For years, I thought I could get away with having a general idea and then jump into writing it and letting it evolve as I went along. It’s maybe no surprise to those who are avid outliners that I didn’t get very far with this method; I always seemed to lose traction and not know where to take things.

It seems like a simple revelation now, but when I finally realized how much an outline could (and would) help me fully realize and get my stories down, it was a game changer.

Even for short stories, outlines can be essential. They allow you to play around with the plot beats, move things around, and rework the story until it all makes sense and you’re happy with it. It saves you from scripting, editing, scrapping the whole thing, rewriting, editing, editing, editing, and editing some more. Most stories, short or long, will require edits and numerous drafts, but at least with an outline, you have a better skeleton to get your story off to a solid start.

Everyone’s outlining stage looks different but here’s what I do for my outlining process:


Once I have an idea that I want to develop further, I write out a plot description in a very loose format that tells me the general gist of the story. Kind of like what you’d see on the back of a book. I like having a broad sense of what the main story is, what the conflict will be, and the hook to readers.

This isn’t necessarily for everyone, but this is what I do.


From here, I like to use a good ol’ notebook and pen to jot down story ideas that will happen throughout the book. They may not be in “order” yet but I try to think about the characters, what I want to do with the story, and fill in gaps that will be inserted into the more detailed outline. Sometimes I come up with a great lead-in to the ending so I write it down so that I can add it in when I get to that part.


Once I have a better sense of what I want to do, and before I get to the outline, I like to write down questions that I still need to answer to tell a complete story. Things like, “How does my protagonist solve this conflict?” or “What is so-and-so’s main motivation?” or “How do I drive up the conflict and stakes within the story?” etc. 

Having an idea of things that I still need to work on and address in early stages helps me to think about what the story is lacking and try to add more substance to it. Sometimes it’s simpler things like exploring what makes a character who they are, and how to build on it, but the more questions we ask ourselves, the stronger our outline (and eventually story) will be.


One thing that I do for long-form writing is breakdown my stories into chapters. I have ADHD so trying to think about my stories as one big chunk is really hard for me. I can’t remember bits and pieces and where everything fits together when it’s presented to me that way, so I break things down into digestible chapters. The chapters themselves may not make it into the final product but being able to pinpoint specific areas for each part of my story makes it exponentially easier for me.

This also makes it easier for me when I edit and work on a new draft of a story, but that’s an article for another time.

I try to think of my story and then break it down into the major beats that will form the skeleton of the story. Those will be the chapters.


This is the bread and butter of each story I write. I put together an outline that is just for me and includes what more or less works out to a plot point per 1-5 pages. It varies in level of detail; sometimes I know exactly what I want to happen in that particular section, including bits of dialogue, while other times I can leave it pretty vague because what I’m writing gives me a good enough sense of what needs to go there.

Your bullet point count can vary and include much broader strokes if you work better with less structure, but for me, doing a really extensive outline allows me to write my scripts pretty quick since most of the work on the structure has already been done.

For a 250-300 page YA project that I’m currently working on, I have an 8-page bullet point outline that’s over 4500 words long. It’s probably my longest outline to date, but after having a more bare bones one, I went back in and added additional plot beats to work in some early editorial notes.


Once I have the detailed outline, I use it to build a more professional plot synopsis for my agent or an editor to read. This goes into detail about everything that’s going to happen in the chapter but in a back-of-the-book kind of way. There’s more detail than what you’d see there and includes spoilers (editors want to know what’s going to happen, not the juicy version meant to entice readers) but with my extensive bullet point plot beats, this version of the outline is a piece of cake. Or at least easier than it would be without it.

As you can hopefully tell, outlining is extremely important to building a solid story foundation and being able to tell a cohesive story. Everyone’s process is different, but hopefully this helps give you a sense of what goes into at least one writer’s outlines and what each step entails.

There are lots of other steps that can come before or after the outline stage (ie. worldbuilding, character concepts and descriptions, settings, etc.) but this particular piece is focused solely on the outline part, which should at the very least be firmly before your scripting stage. Everything else is up to you!

One of the biggest ways to grow as a creator, whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, is by writing short stories. Short stories are often overlooked in the industry and although anthologies have been extremely popular over the years, individual stories aren’t often mentioned or praised in mainstream circles.

Short stories are notoriously hard to do and even harder to do well. Practicing and mastering the art of the short story can do wonders for you and your career. Here are a few examples of how they can help you:


Shorts make for excellent portfolio pieces for up and coming creator. When an editor isn’t familiar with you or your work, being able to showcase several shorts with a variety of styles and genres is significantly more valuable than one long-form piece. And not to say that you should try to write something in every genre and do something to find any work; you can tinker to see what works and more particularly, what you enjoy.

Make your portfolio pieces the types of stories that showcase your range and are indicative of the kind of work you’d like to do as a creator. It’s important to have some focus when it comes to building your brand as a creator, but that still can afford you options. For instance, if you want to write middle-grade or YA, that’s the audience to build but you can still work on different genres for those audiences.


I’ve got bad news for any creators going into the comics industry without any short story experience: very few artists will want to work with you. I don’t mean for this to sound harsh, but it’s true. If you’re a writer with not a lot of scripting work under your belt, artists will automatically be wary of you. It’s no secret that the art process in comics is significantly more intensive than the writing process. There’s no debate. Artists don’t want to be brought on board to a project with a creator who doesn’t understand how to write specifically for the medium. It tends to make their jobs that much harder.

You have to allow yourself some time to learn the craft and hone your voice for the medium. There are specific things to learn and in a collaborative medium, it’s the least you can do to make the rest of your team’s lives easier.


Another important reason to play around with short stories is for pacing, especially if you’re unfamiliar with writing for the medium. Writing a 10-page prose story is NOT the same as writing a 10-page comic script. There’s far less room for you to tell your story and you have to learn to condense your idea down and understand that you may not be able to fit everything in. Keeping your panel count to 5-6 panels per page is equally important here. You can’t just overwhelm your artist (and the reader) by thinking you can fill up the page with panels. The story will suffer if you try to cram too much in.

Short stories really force you to learn what’s important to your story and what can be left behind. Simplify an idea down to the bare bones, figure out what you absolutely need, and add flourishes where you can.


There are a myriad of bad habits that can be formed as a writer. That’s not something exclusive to the comics industry; it’s just something that can happen to anyone. But with that being said, as you learn about some of those habits and try to break them, you can challenge yourself through the short story.

For instance, if over-narration is a thing you do, how can you work around that? Challenging yourself to write something that uses no dialogue or narration is a great way to practice this. How can you convey your story by solely relying on the art? It’s an important and excellent way for creators to learn the essential lesson: show don’t tell. Comics is a visual medium, and as a writer, you need to learn to trust that the art will tell more than you think it will. Learning to let go and put faith in the rest of your team is a great way to level up as a collaborator.


Continuing to learn and grow is an essential part of being a creator. If you don’t want your work to get stale and if you want your work to get better over time, practicing and trying new things are essential.

With a short story, it’s much easier to try out a new creative voice, to utilize a new script style or format, or to play with genres that are outside your comfort zone. When you dabble in something that’s 10-pages long, it’s easier to take risks and be less precious about the characters and what ultimately happens. And it’s much easier to evaluate your work and see what worked and what didn’t.

Telling a satisfying story is hard enough when you have 200+ pages to work with. It’s even harder when you only have 10-pages. To reiterate an earlier point, learning about what is essential to your story and what can be left out is a must to this art form. It pushes creators in different ways that help with your growth.

Even if you ultimately write short stories for you and you alone, practicing this art will make you a stronger creator in the end. If coming up with an idea for a short story is daunting, write fanfiction or do a spinoff of one of your other ideas. Tell a story that involves a side character, or try to elaborate on something you weren’t able to include in another project. There are lots of ways to form an idea that’s relatively low-stakes for you and still gives you the opportunity to practice.

Anthologies can give you a place to utilize these stories and get published, but even if you don’t come across one that’s a good fit for a specific story, you can still use the script itself as a portfolio piece to show to editors. But again, at the end of the day, short stories have so many additional merits that make them not just excellent portfolio pieces but brilliant educational exercises.

Whether you’re here because you want to be a comic book editor or whether you’re just curious about what exactly it can entail, welcome! For this piece, I’m going to speak about my personal experience as a freelance editor, which can differ from what is expected of an editor at a comic book publisher.

Maybe even moreso than writing questions, I get asked about being a comic book editor. When you think of what editing typically entails, you probably think about copyedits – someone to help check through your spelling and grammar – and someone who will help you work out any issues with your story.

Comics editing does involve those things, and can just be those things, but it’s often a lot more comprehensive than you might imagine. Depending on what you’re being hired for, and what you feel comfortable doing, freelance editing also means that you’re essentially a project manager for the book that you’re on. You are responsible for working with the team from start to finish, and keeping everyone on track.


As mentioned, you are responsible for things like spelling and grammar, but it’s a matter of focusing on the important parts and knowing what matters. For instance, you don’t need to be pedantic and copyedit the panel descriptions; the descriptions are ultimately not going to make it into the story so you don’t have to spend a ton of time trying to tidy that all up. You only need to fix descriptions if they don’t make sense for the artist who will have to interpret them. The captions and dialogue are what’s important there, and ensuring that it flows well, serves the overall story, and doesn’t explain what the art will show.

Having a good sense of page layouts will serve you well since in the beginning (if you’re handling the entire book), you won’t have the images to help guide the story for you. It’ll be part of your job to read the descriptions, captions, and dialogue, and interpret whether or not the story will make sense with what the writer has put on the page. You have to try to also think about what the artist will draw from the description and decide if it’s enough for the reader to understand the story.

Alongside that, you’re also giving overall notes to decide if the story makes sense. It’s always different for each project too. Sometimes you’re working on a graphic novel which needs to tell a complete story in one book. Sometimes you’re working episodically and editing individual issues that come together to tell a complete story arc. If you’re working on the latter, do the individual issues feel satisfying and move the story along? Is there too much crammed into any one issue while other areas feel lighter on story?

In comics, everything has to come together to tell a cohesive story, and things can fall apart at any moment if you’re not on top of it all.

Talking to your team about what they want to convey in the story is also great too. It gives you specific things to look for and provide notes on, especially if it falls outside of the general story and copyedits. Maybe they want to focus on strong themes or big character moments. You can focus on whether or not those shine through, and help give inspiration and motivation whenever they feel like it’s not entirely hitting home.


Once you have a complete script done, and supposing you’re on board to edit the entire project, the next step is working with the rest of the creative team to bring the script to life.

An editor should strive to have the art process broken up into various stages, even if the artist you’re working with is doing it all; line art, inks, colours, and letters. Typically I would break the process down into:

Those steps would be scheduled individually, given their own realistic deadlines, and we would work through them all with notes given wherever needed along the way. An artist wouldn’t move on to the next step in the process until it’s compared to the script and approved.

The thumbnails phase should mostly be to layout the page based on the script and number of panels needed. It should also include very loose pencils, with word balloons taken into account for placement on the page. An artist doesn’t want to spend a ton of time on pages and panels where things will largely be covered up with captions and/or dialogue.

Pencils are the next step, and they’re the more refined line art for the story. Different artists will do this step in varying levels of detail which tends to come down to whether or not they’re also doing the inking for their art. Artists (in my experience) will go into a little more detail if they’re passing the work off to an inker.

Inks come next, and this is once again comparing things to the script to make sure that everything matches up, and the story is coming together and laid out correctly. This is the final line art, so it should have a refined look, any black and white shading, and should ultimately look complete even without the colour.

The colouring stage is sometimes broken up into more than one step depending on the artist. Some prefer working with someone who can do the colour flatting on the art, while others like to do it all themselves. But the main gist of things here is to set the atmosphere and tone of the story through colour. You once again have to compare things to the script to make sure that everything makes sense and that there aren’t any inconsistencies.

The final step is to hand the nearly completed pages off to a letterer who will then add in the word balloons, caption boxes, etc. as well as the dialogue that’s meant to be in each spot. ALWAYS HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TO DO THIS. Unless you are trained in lettering, I can almost guarantee you that people will notice if you try to cheap out on this step. If the lettering is good, people (unfortunately) won’t notice. If the lettering is bad, people will definitely notice, and can immediately ruin the book.

Through all the steps, it’s important to, again, make sure that everything matches up with the script.


This is pretty straight-forward now that each of the steps have been outlined. Whether you’re working with one creator who is doing everything or you’re working with several creators who are handling individual parts, you need to have a conversation with every person on your team.

You need to be someone that each creator can come to with any issues, questions, concerns, etc. and more than that, you as an editor need to be familiar with them, how they work, concerns they have, and the best ways to help them bring the story to life. You also need to have a realistic idea of how long it takes for each step to be completed.

I always try to ask the creators I work with how long it takes them to complete one full page of pencils/inks/colours/letters. If they’re able to complete more than one page per day, how many per day can they complete? From there, it’s a matter of asking them how many days per week they work, and then doing some math to estimate how long it will take to complete each step.

You do this for each and every issue (if you’re working on a series), and take into account any issues that might come up, factoring that all in. Ideally, you have a generous schedule that you use to keep the team on track.

I tend to put things in a Google Doc, Calendar, and Spreadsheet for my creators. The Google Doc so that they can reference the dates, the calendar so that they can have it set up to give them reminders, and the spreadsheet so we can check things off as they’re completed.


This is very similar to the Project Management aspect of things but in addition to all of what’s listed above, team management involves trying your best to talk to your creators and making sure that they’re doing okay. As friend and fellow editor, Adam P. Knave puts it, you’re also a part-time therapist.

If your creators are stuck at any part of the process, hopefully they feel comfortable enough to come to you and talk. If they’re struggling with a story element, working through it together. If they just need someone to vent to, you can hopefully be there.

It’s okay for creators to fall behind on deadlines, but it’s not okay to ghost on your team. As an editor, trying to have everyone communicate with you is vital. You can rework deadlines and move things around if you know what’s happening, and what to work around. It only gets to be a problem when you don’t hear from someone for ages, and don’t have any way to keep things moving.

You have to be a problem solver and come up with solutions to each unique situation that comes up.

At the end of the day, comics editing can be really intensive and it’s important to know what you’re able to take on. It’s okay to be available to discuss story elements and copyedits (or just one or the other). If you want to just be a project manager, that’s a thing too!

But making sure that you are aware of what you can offer and making sure that your creators are aware of that is key. Communication is what will get you through the journey!

Got anything to add to this? I’m sure I missed some important things along the way, so please feel free to help me add to this, and make it more comprehensive for anyone who is interested and wants to know more about comic book editing.

The world is still finding ways to adjust to the “new normal” post-pandemic, but regardless events have been happening again in full force. Amongst those things is a return to conventions, which has long been a place not only for showcasing your work but connecting with peers and networking with your community. As we make our way back to that life, I wanted to share some networking advice with you.

When networking with peers, many make the mistake of trying to connect with the biggest name in the room, so to speak. They think becoming friendly with them will be their golden ticket. It makes sense, in a way; if you can get in good with them, if they recommend you, it’ll mean that much more. But those people already have their network and while it can grow, they’re usually pretty set with their own group that they’re comfortable with and trust. The people that you should be connecting with are the ones at the same level as you. You need people to come up with who understand coming into the industry at the moment.

The people who’ve come to the industry before you had a completely different experience; all industries and how to break into them are constantly evolving. As much as I could give you advice on that and how I came into the industry (same with other established creators), that will change regularly and the people who understand where things are at as is (as I’ve said), are your peers at your level.

The network and support system you’re creating is about sharing information, helping each other out, critiquing groups, and more. You want them to become your circle that you can bounce ideas around with, talk to about what’s going on in the industry, help introduce each other to more of your peers as well as people with hiring power. And on a similar note, as you all find your way into the industry, hopefully also sharing the wealth.

And by “sharing the wealth” I don’t mean giving them your money. It means that if you have to pass on a job, you’re recommending someone else from that network and potentially helping them get hired. This happens all the time where schedules don’t align or you’re just not the right fit but chances are that you know someone from your network who would be a good fit or is actively looking for a project. You pass their name along and your peers are hopefully doing the same for you too.

At every networking event, there is always at least one up-and-coming creator who bails on their peers to star chase because they’re convinced that that’s their way into the industry. But finding the people who are just starting out and forming genuine connections is a million times more valuable to you as a creator. They can help you navigate the industry as it is and grow. And again, not to say that you can’t be friends with bigger name/established creators because you totally can. But the ones that are going to help you the most are the ones who are at the same level as you.

Treat your peers with respect. Understand that people can tell if you’re not genuine in your attempts to befriend them. And the sooner you learn that the industry is smaller than you think, the better. You might not think anything of it but if you’re the type of person to blow people off to hang with “bigger creators,” your peers will remember.

As you continue on in the industry, one of the most rewarding things about having a network is watching them find their success. Sure, it’s amazing to find your own version of success too, but seeing your peers succeed is inspiring and exciting. Every single time I see a friend announce a new project or get hired for something cool, I am so genuinely happy and excited for them. And eventually, seeing their work out in the world? THE BEST!!!!

That’s another reason why those networks and genuine connections are important. You shouldn’t want to compete with your peers but it’s okay to be inspired by them and strive for your own version of success. It’s about having a group of peers and friends that help you stay accountable to your goals and hold you to becoming the best version of yourself.

Happy April, everyone! I can’t believe that we’re already into the second quarter of the year, and whew…where does the time go?

I took yesterday off because I am too gullible to be on the internet for April Fools’ Day. That, and I am currently addicted to Disney Dreamlight Valley. But it was a long weekend of socializing and I needed a little bit of downtime just for me. Have you played Dreamlight Valley? I’m really enjoying it, aside from how cheesy some of it is from time to time, and the fact that the NPCs only have a few generic dialogue options to cycle through while they’re wandering around the village. Still, it was on sale and I am quite happy to have picked it up! I meant to dive into Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West but decided I needed something cozy instead.

Last month, I was at Toronto Comicon where I was a Special Guest. I had a great time meeting all sorts of people who came by my booth. A fun perk of writing a trash animals story is that lots of people want to tell you about their trash animal stories! Which I am all for!!!! So that was a fantastic bonus as well as hanging out with the amazing creators that we were seated with through—Gerhard, Heather Antos, Michele Abounader, Adam Gorham, Fred Kennedy; y’all are the best.

Despite having a few events recently that put me back amongst the comics community, it’s been hard lately to feel like I am truly still a part of it. With social media in a state of flux and everyone spread across different platforms, it’s hard to feel like I’m getting the same sense of belonging and camaraderie. Oftentimes, working in a creative space can be pretty isolating, which feels especially true when I work from home and since the pandemic, I haven’t really stepped out of that a whole lot. It’s hard to really feel like it’s possible with the cost of living crisis, which is hitting particularly hard here in Toronto with rent, groceries, and all living expenses at unprecedented highs. Making time to go out and be social also feels like a risk to my wallet that I can’t always take.

Really, there’s a myriad of things that contribute to my sense of isolation. Not mention that my days of oversharing on social media and really putting myself out there, feel very over for me. I like my privacy and being able to have things for just myself and those close to me. It’s been harder and harder to want to put myself out there, as I just don’t feel the need to chronicle every aspect of my life anymore. Maybe that, in part, is also why I don’t feel that sense of connection any longer. I no longer put me out there and don’t have others connecting back with me in the same way.

I imagine there are a few of you who also feel this, and even though this might not help you feel that spark of connection again, you are not alone.


When it comes to graphic novels, comics, and picture books, publishers crediting artists properly can be a bit of a journey, as you might know. If you’re a creator on a book, know that you have say in what goes on your book and how the team is credited. At the very least, you can talk to your editor and see if there’s ways to be more inclusive of the entire team.

This tidbit is inspired by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, who regularly posts about artist advocacy on her socials. Specifically this post here with art by Sarah McIntyre.

Art by Sarah McIntyre

We can all do better with acknowledging our teams and making sure that everyone is credited accordingly.



Normally I do a roundup of everything that I’ve read over the course of a month. But I don’t always have reviews to offer up. So, I decided to highlight my favourites rather than post everything. If you’re interested in knowing what else I’ve read lately, you can check out my Storygraph page (I’ve switched over from Goodreads now).

This month I want to talk about two short stories from Amazon Originals. I know, I know, Amazon is the bad place, but I heard incredible things about them and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So my picks of the month are:


SUMMARY: “Always mindful of the debt she owes, the girl finds her worth as a weapon in the hand of the Prince. Her victories make him a king, then an emperor. The bards sing her name and her enemies fear it. But the war never ends and the cost keeps rising—how many times will she repeat her own story?”

THOUGHTS: This is compelling and engaging in an absolutely impressive way, given that this story is only 30 pages long. It is satisfying and lasting in my head, well after the fact. For fans of Tamora Pierce, Madeline Miller, and more.

THE LOVER by Silvia Morena-Garcia

SUMMARY: “Judith knows her sister, Alice, is the pretty one—but that doesn’t stop her from wishing for love. When a handsome and gentlemanly hunter appears in their village, seeking lodging from the cold, she believes her lover has finally arrived. He does, indeed, choose to stay—but as Alice’s husband, not her own. When another stranger comes out of the woods, looking every bit a vagrant, he offers Judith something mysterious and enticingly strange. Against reason and decency, she welcomes both men into her life, in different ways. As forbidden longings ensnare each of them, an unrelenting winter storm and an evasive wolf on the prowl have everyone on edge…and ravenous. By spring thaw, will any of their hungers be satisfied?”

THOUGHTS: As mentioned, this is another short story but this time it’s a little bit longer at 43 pages. Like the previous, Morena-Garcia delivers a stunning and compelling story in such a short amount of time. And like the previous, this also stuck with me and had me thinking days after I finished. This feels like a story for fans of Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman.


It’s a busy year for me, and I have a few things on the horizon that I’d love to quickly plug:


And as mentioned above, social media continues to be in flux, so if you want to follow along where I’m most active, these are the places to do so:

And, that’s it for me! Until next time…

It’s been a minute since I did an update! Or at least that’s how it feels. This year feels like it’s going by incredibly quickly and somehow slowly? I’m not sure how that’s possible but it’s been pretty go-go-go for me so far.

In case you missed it, we released The Racc Pack a little over a month ago now. I had my very first official launch party at Another Story Bookshop, and it was incredible. So many amazing people came out to support me and the book, and it was so special to me. I signed books, talked to wonderful people, and enjoyed some tasty treats. I can’t thank Siobhan at Simon & Schuster enough for the support in putting the event together, as well as the wonderful team at Another Story. You helped form a new core memory that I will cherish forever.

In more The Racc Pack news, it’s been selected as one of Indigo’s Staff Picks of the Month for March! It’s been so amazing to see such an outpouring of support for our book from independent bookstores as well as chains. I want to keep telling stories, and would love to write The Racc Pack books for the rest of my life, if I’m able to! And that starts with the support of stores, readers, booksellers, librarians, and more. I appreciate every bit of love that we get.

In addition to the launch event at Another Story, I made my way up to Newmarket on February 24 to visit Wayside Comics & Cocktails. They did a creator spotlight every Saturday in February and I was a part of the event on the 24th, and wow! What a great shop. A fantastic selection of comics, collectibles, and more…and just a great space to hang out, have a beverage or two, and be around other like-minded folks. I met such a fantastic assortment of people throughout the day, and wound up staying a lot longer than I planned to. Thank you so much to everyone who came by, and thank you to everyone at Wayside. Be sure to stop by and say hey to them.

WHEW!!! I haven’t even gotten to my lists yet.

But I don’t have too much more to update y’all on. I’ll round up some things here:

And that’s it for now…I think? I’ll be at March Comicon in a couple of weeks, so more on that very soon. But be sure to check out my Appearances page to be in the know for upcoming events.


As you may have noticed last time, I have been trying to integrate creator spotlights into my blogletters. Today, I’d love to introduce you to my friend, Barbara Perez Marquez.

What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far?

Are we allowed to pick favorites? Haha I think Paulina and the Disaster at Pompeii is gonna stay really close to my heart for a long time though. When I was in college I had a minor in Art History and Paulina felt like the perfect project to reconnect with that AND pay tribute to all that part of my studies gave me. It was really wonderful to be able to bring both of those sides of myself into one book.

What’s the first book you remember falling in love with?

It was a turning point for me when I read Gotham City Sirens, I think it was one of the first times that I’d seen this sort of “spin-off” concept in action and in a way that interested me. In more recent years, I still tend to lean towards stories that are adjacent to or in addition to the traditional superhero stories we know.

What’s a bucket list character or IP that you’d love to work on in some capacity?

I’ve got my sights on cape comics for bucket list items right now, I grew up with a few of those Pepsi collectable comics cards that I cherished (even though I knew nothing about comics back then). If I had the opportunity to do some Silver Surfer or Ghost Rider with modern spins, that would be pretty amazing.

What piece of advice would you offer to aspiring creators? Or what is something that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

You gotta create the story if you ever want anyone to read it! I think as creators we can get stuck very easily in trying to make the perfect thing, but that’s what revisions and editing are for. Find ways to get out of your own way to put the idea on paper AND THEN worry about making it as presentable as possible for the World.

Is there an exciting project coming out soon that you’d like to tell us about?

In 2024 we are going to be able to share more about The Library of Memories, an original graphic novel I’ve been working on with Lissy Marlin, and we cannot WAIT to get the go ahead to do so. It’s slated to come out in 2025, which seems really far away, but in publishing it can feel like the blink of an eye.


And that’s it for our first creator interview. You can find out more about Barbara by visiting her website: mustachebabs.com or following her on Twitch or Instagram.

Let’s dive into some things that I’ve been reading and enjoying since I last updated y’all. I gotta say though, my reviews are a little lacking right now. I’ve mostly just been reading and then moving onto the next thing, so if there’s anything that you’re curious to hear my thoughts on, just lemme know!


It’s worth noting that these are all the books I’ve read this year so far, not just in February. In fact, I only read the last four in February, if I’m being quite honest. The two at the bottom were beasts that took me quite a while to get through, so my reading was a little lacking.

And for TV, I’m still deep in reality TV land, so I won’t go into the details of everything I’m watching of that, but this is the more serialized stuff that I’ve recently checked out:

…basically a lot of crime related things in various incarnations. Mostly though, I’m obsessed with Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck, and The Traitors right now.

And that’s about it for me right now. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been terribly online lately. I’ve deleted a lot of social media apps off of my phone and have primarily been using Instagram. I’ll always do my best to come back here to give you the lowdown in summary form, but to follow me on the day to day, @hellocookie on the gram is where you can find me.

Until next time…

I recently had the great pleasure of working with the Colchester-East Hants Public Library in Nova Scotia to do a presentation on creating graphic novels. We had such a wonderful turnout of classes filled with students keen to learn about the process! So keen that even with a good amount of time left for questions, we still weren’t able to get to them all.

Truro Middle School sent an amazing thank you note my way, and I noticed that it had many of the questions that we weren’t able to get to. I wanted to answer some of those questions and thank all of these students for taking the time to write them. Let’s dive in!

Who is your favourite character?


What a great and tough question, Sikha! I think it changes depending on what book I’m working on. And since I’ve been writing lots of RACC PACK lately, I’ll say Dusty! He’s the “brains” of his raccoon family and he’s a lot of fun to write. Scraps and ReRe are really fun too! But there’s something really special about the way Dusty thinks that makes him especially fun to write—and a blast to see how Whitney brings him to life!

What’s your favourite food?

love breakfast food…it’s my favourite meal of the day. Pancakes are one of my all-time favourite things to eat and I love trying all different kinds of them. There’s a pancake called a pannekoeken, which is also known as a Dutch Baby. It’s a pancake that you bake in the oven and when it rises, it almost has a crust on the sides like a pie! You can do all kinds of variations and my favourite is adding pecans and brown sugar to it. I have a recipe for my pannekoeken here—but remember to have a parent or guardian supervise you if you want to try to make it yourself.

 How do you come up with your ideas?

Another wonderful question! Thank you, Sofi. It depends, really. But a lot of my ideas come from watching movies and TV shows, reading books and graphic novels, and playing games. I like seeing what is out there and sometimes a side character or a comment a character might make sets off a bell in my head. I start wondering about what I might do with something like that or within a particular genre or lore. Even something like reading a good fairy tale can make me think, how would I reinvent this?

Other times, story ideas come from being out with my friends and talking about the types of stories that we want to see more of in the world. Being around other creative people can be great for sparking ideas in each other!

What is your favourite book that you have made so far?

This question didn’t have a name but thank you so much for asking it, whoever you are! I technically have a couple of answers for this. Currently The Racc Pack is my favourite! I had so much fun working on it. I adore working with Whitney Gardner—she’s just the best! And I love raccoons, so this project is a dream come true. I get to write about one of my favourite animals and work with one of my favourite people in the industry. It doesn’t get much better than that!

But also, ParaNorthern is a very special book to me and always will be. While I was working a job that had me feeling really down, I started creating ParaNorthern in my spare time as a passion project. I really wanted something of my own to bring into the world and to see if writing graphic novels was something I wanted to pursue. When I showed it to my agent in our first meeting to see if we wanted to work together, she told me that it was something special and that she could see its potential. It was the very first time I realized that I might be able to do this as a career! And it wound up being the first project that I sold to a publisher as a writer. So ParaNorthern will always be in my heart.

Plus, working on ParaNorthern helped to get me talking to Whitney Gardner, who I’m now working on The Racc Pack with. So even more reason to love it!

Master Hamster and Hoot in front of a T-Rex skeletonHow did you come up with Master Hamster Super Science: Dinosaurs?

Fantastic question! I think I mentioned this in the presentation but I LOVE DINOSAURS! I have been obsessed with them since I was a kid and I really wanted to be a paleontologist. That didn’t pan out, as you can tell, but I still get to do cool things with dinosaurs by writing about them.

I worked with a wonderful team at Epic! Originals for all of the Master Hamster Super Science comics. Our team was given a few different topics that had been researched by professionals and included dinosaurs, weather, forces and motion, and simple machines. We were asked to choose a topic, and I was lucky enough to get dinosaurs! But then I had to come up with a story for that. When I was a kid, my mom took me to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and told me that we were going to see the dinosaurs. I was so excited! But when we got there, I was really sad because there were no dinosaurs, just dinosaur bones. That’s the same thing Hoot says in my Super Science story!

Unlike me who just had to see the skeletons, Hoot has a time machine! So I got to rewrite history by doing what I wanted to do all those years ago…travel back to see actual dinosaurs. And if any of your have read Time Buddies, I wanted to include Mustachasaurus Rex in there so we could talk about the science behind dinosaurs having feathers.

It was a lot of fun to work on, and I’m still very proud of it.

How did you come up with Time Buddies 10?

I wrote both Time Buddies 6 and Time Buddies 10! And there’s still more to come from me in that universe. We had a small group comprised of Matt Cody, Marcie Colleen, Nick Murphy, Paul Ritchie, and Steven Scott. Together we formed a writers’ room together to brainstorm ideas for the new seasons of Master Hamster Super Science, Time Buddies, and Cat Ninja.

So when it came to working on Time Buddies, we had to think of fun time periods and eras that Hoot could travel to. Of course, she could also jump forward in time as well, but for me, it was a lot of fun to put her in time periods where things I was interested in had happened. One of the best parts of writing Hoot is how silly she can be, and the great outfits that she comes up with for her adventures! So I imagined what she might wear and thought of her visiting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in London while he was writing Sherlock Holmes. And as I mentioned in the last question, I love dinosaurs! So without giving too much away, I really wanted to craft a fun mystery that saw the return of an iconic character from the first season of Time Buddies…sort of. You’ll have to read it to find out what I mean by that!

When did you start on Cat Ninja?

I helped to work on this current season of Cat Ninja, which is Season 6, as well as the upcoming Season 7. The current season starts at Issue #25, which is written by Steven Scott. But myself, Matt Cody, Marcie Colleen, Nick Murphy, Paul Ritchie, and Steven Scott all worked in a thing called a writers’ room together for these books. Together, we brainstormed the overall story for this season, thought up the individual comic issues, and then assigned the comics to the writers. But we worked together on all the issues to make each others’ stories even better and to tell the best stories that we could.

So the first issue of Cat Ninja that you’ll see my name on is Issue #27, but all of us that I mentioned earlier, worked together on this and the next season of the series. And I have a fun short story for Cat Ninja Tales coming out in a little while too!

What is the concept of Cat Ninja?

It’s all about…a cat who is a ninja! At night, Cat Ninja fights crime but by day, he goes by Claude and is a regular ol’ housecat with a family of humans that he loves dearly. Along the way, he’s joined by other crime-fighting critters like Master Hamster (a reformed supervillain) and Adonis.

Matt Cody is the genius behind the creation of Cat Ninja and the whole book is a lot of fun. Chad Thomas has been the artist on it for quite a while too, and both him and Matt are wonderful people who know how to tell great stories.

Why is the cat in the bathtub?

I’m guessing you’re talking about Cat Ninja #27 (the cover is on the right) and you’ll have to read to find out! But a short little tease is this: Cat Ninja and Master Hamster are sent to a pet boarding facility while their humans are out of town. It has a top-of-the-line spa in it, and maybe (just maybe!) Cat Ninja and Master Hamster will have some time to enjoy it…unless some villain have other nefarious plans!

How long does it take to make your books?

Great question, Gracie-Lynn! It really depends on the book. For instance, Whitney and I sent out our pitch for The Racc Pack to our publisher almost exactly three years ago on Feb 22, 2021. Simon & Schuster acquired (a fancy word for “bought”) our book not long after that in March. And it just came out last week! So it took us about three years to make it from start to finish.

But other books can take shorter or longer! I worked on a mini-series called My Little Pony: Camp Bighoof and the story was approved at the very beginning of last year in 2023. While the individual comic book issues were a lot shorter than doing one big graphic novel, the first issue came out in August 2023, just eight months after the idea was approved. Then each issue came out every month after that, and the collected version of all the issues will be available in May of this year. So that was very quick in comparison.

What colour is your toothbrush?

I used a fancy schmancy electric toothbrush that’s mostly all white, except for a little plastic band of colour around it that’s red.

What is your opinion on Columbo?

What a fun question, Taylor—my partner was very excited to see a question about one of his favourite shows. Or at least that’s what I assume you mean, but please let me know if I’m mixing things up. I’m sad to report that I have not watched a whole lot of Columbo yet, but I am absolutely sure it’s in my future!

When did you start making books and comics?

Oh My Gods! Book CoverThanks so much for this question, Zoey! I started writing comics for myself all the way back in 2015. Nearly ten years ago now, wow!!! But most of those didn’t turn into anything that’s available to be read now, aside from a couple of short stories. My very first full-length graphic novel that I sold was ParaNorthern and I sold that to my publisher in Fall 2018. It came out three years later in July 2021.

And although I sold ParaNorthern first, my other graphic novel series, Oh My Gods! with Insha Fitzpatrick and Juliana Moon, wound up coming out before that was released in January 2021. Comics and graphic novels can take quite a long time to make. So I’ve technically been making them for a lot longer than they’ve been on bookshelves!

I want to thank these wonderful students again for sending in these amazing questions. And if you ever have any other questions in the future, please feel free to send them in either via email or you can send a letter:

EMAIL: me@stephaniecooke.ca


LETTER: Stephanie Cooke
P.O. Box 60006
RPO Chester
Toronto, ON
M4K 3Z3

Writing can be a very solitary thing to do. While we have all these wonderful characters in our heads to keep us company, we bring them to life on our own. However, when it comes to making a graphic novel and publishing that graphic novel, there are countless people involved. And since we did not have an acknowledgments page at the back of The Racc Pack, I would like to take the time to thank some people who made this book happen.

First and foremost, to Whitney, because this book simply would not exist without you. Here’s to hoping that The Racc Pack is the first of many stories we get to tell together.

Maria, thank you for always championing my ideas and helping to keep my ADHD-adled brain focused. I am so grateful for your support and guidance, from you and all of PS Literary. Amanda, thank you for believing in our idea and giving us the chance to bring these trash pandas to life. Celia, thank you for stepping in with two anxious creators and becoming a beacon of light for this project, and loving the Bins’ as much as we do.

Thank you to Lily, who was the first editor to believe in me. We may not have worked together on this but you started me on this path and I will never stop being grateful to you.

To everyone at Simon & Schuster—Dainese, Siobhan, Tom, and all the countless others that I haven’t had the privilege of working with directly, thank you. I see you and everything that you do, and I know that this book would not exist without so many of you unsung publishing heroes. THANK YOU!!!!! <3 <3

To Adrienne Kress, Alex Segura, Julio Anta, Mat Heagarty, Samantha Puc, Jeff Zentner, Stephanie Gerk, Barbara Perez-Marquez, Meggie Ramm—the friends that read early PDFs of The Racc Pack, provided feedback, support, and blurbs. Thank you. In this industry, we have to rely on each other to help whenever we’re able to. It shouldn’t be like that, but it is, and I’m so lucky to have such wonderful people in my corner.

Thank to my friends in the Toronto comics community. Without you, I would never have made it this far in the first place. You’re all who I mean whenever I say that aspiring creators need a support network that gets what you’re going through.

To my mom and dad for always encouraging me to read and finding new ways to motivate me to pick up a book. Thank you for never steering me away from my creative pursuits…it may have taken me a while to find my way, but I got here in the end.

To my Aunt Nancy, I know you would’ve loved the Bins’ Family and all the other critters in our book. And I can hear your voice telling me how proud you are of me.

To Brad, my incredible partner and support; I love you so much. Thank you for always listening to me vent about what a journey publishing is. To Brenda, Paul, Kevin, I’m so glad to be a part of your family. And to all of the McCrea Family, thank you for being so warm and welcoming and supportive of me. I am so blessed to have you all in my life.

To all of my friends—Tory, Britt, Laura, Lilah, Bee, Liz, David, Lill, Shaun, Amy W, Nick, Steven, Amy B, Amy W, (yes I know a lot of Amy’s), Dani, Chris, Bobby, Mike, Jon, Mia, Andrew…oh god, oh god, oh god, I know I’m missing people but I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!

And last but certainly not least…THANK YOU, TORONTO! For the stories, memories, magic, and the best (unofficial) mascot of all, the Toronto Raccoon. The Racc Pack would not exist without the unique proximity and appreciation (mostly) that we all have for our trash pandas.

In trash we trust.

Happy New Year, everyone! We made it around the sun again and while I know we’ve all been burned lately with being excited for the year ahead…I’m cautiously optimistic. Professionally, it’s a pretty big year for me with at least three books coming out. In a mere two weeks, The Racc Pack will be released. And then in April, Pillow Talk will finally be out (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh). And in May, we’ve got the collected edition of My Little Pony: Camp Bighoof being released.

Also recently announced is a new My Little Pony project that you may have missed: My Little Pony: Mane Event which will be out in March. I recently had a chance to read the issue with the final art, colours, and lettering and y’all…it looks SO GOOD!!!

I truly can’t wait for you to get your hands (or hooves!) on all of this books.

This year I may be a little quieter here than usual. Normally I aim to post an update at least once a month, but that might change as I rethink how to best do outreach as my main social media platforms collapse around me. I’m also trying some new things with my work and I’ll be really hunkering down on that for the foreseeable future. I’m excited and anxious about all of that and won’t say more on what I’m doing just yet…but hopefully if it goes well, I’ll have updates sooner rather than later.

With that being said, let me dig into a few of the things that I’ve been reading lately. Unless anyone was actually interested in what I was watching on TV, I think I may wind up doing away with that…although it’s been a great way for my poor forgetful brain to retain what I watched every month.



And now for something a little different. In this new series, I’m highlighting other creators and their work by sharing a few fun interview questions to get to know them. Each creator was given the same questions to answer but were asked only to answer the ones that resonated with them. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Today I want you to meet…Brian McLachlan!

What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far?

Complete the Quest: The Poisonous Quest is a culmination of a life’s work. Back in elementary school I started writing sword and sorcery chose your own adventure homages. Now, I’ve built up my skills to create my own take on a gamebook. It’s a multipath graphic novel. Some people think of it as an introduction to role playing games because it’s more conversational with the reader than confrontational. Turning a game book into a visual experience changes the whole gameplay and it’s really exciting. You get to pick 3 of 6 characters who help save Queen Evergreen who has been poisoned by a book from an anonymous admirer. It’s accessible for kids so it’s metaphors are not super subtle.

What are five things (movies, TV shows, books, comics, games, etc) that you’ve been enjoying lately?




What would your walk-out music be if you were a wrestler?

Can’t get more pumped up right now than “The Music” by Kove. I love drum and bass.

Are there any exciting projects coming out soon that you’d like to tell us about?

I’m always excited when another issue of Owl Magazine hits the stands. I write a monthly comic called Spruce Street Squad and I get to draw and design extra puzzles, games and more. Makes a great present for little ones. Getting something in the mail each month is pretty exciting for them.


And that’s it for our first creator interview. You can find out more about Brian by visiting his website: brianmcl.com or following him on Bluesky or Instagram.

If you made it to here, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this first update for 2024. Again, I’m so excited for this year ahead (cautiously…) and I’m happy to have you here with me. Thank you for your boundless affection and support, it means the world. When you hear from me next, it’ll likely be around when The Racc Pack is out!!!

…although that is really only a couple of weeks away. ANYWAY!

Somehow we are nearing the end of 2023. And with that, comes a barrage of BEST OF lists from anyone and everyone…including me!

Now, picking favourites can be incredibly hard, especially when you’re as indecisive as me. So I gave myself some criteria to work with and that was that anything on this list had to have come out this year. And given how far behind I am on a bunch of things, that narrowed a lot of this list down. And I need to stress that these aren’t the Academy Awards of Stephanie. This is like, the stuff that I deeply enjoyed this year and helped me fully escape from the horrible reality of the world for a while (not to be too dramatic). So let’s dive in, starting with movies:




Graphic Novels & Comics:

And that’s my lists for 2023. Again, these were just the things that stood out to me and not necessarily the best of the best. Keep in mind that I also…did not watch, read, or get around to a lot of new things this year, so take my list with a grain of salt.

What were some of your faves? Reply in the comments and tell me what to check out over the holiday break!

I have not one but TWO events coming up this month! They’re both happening the same weekend too, so let’s dive in:


Come say hello to Stephanie and other guests such as Gail Simone, Erica Schultz, Mike Rooth, and more! Purchase books directly from the creators or get your books signed…just in time for the holidays!

Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm
Location: The Hero’s Tale (634 King St E, Cambridge, ON  N3H 3N6)


Artist alley, exhibitors, workshops, panels, cosplay shoots, tabletop board game demos, video game free-play session, presentations and featured guests.

Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023
 Living Arts Centre – 4141 Living Arts Dr, Mississauga, ON
Table: 115

I really hope to see you there!

The saddest time of year is upon us: spooky season is over. And we are in limbo until the holidays officially kick off. I know lots of folks go straight into this mode…but I am not one of them. I have nothing against anyone who jumps right in! Do whatever makes you happy. I am simply in spooky season mourning now. But thankfully, there’s been quite a bit of news released the last few weeks, so I can cheer up by sharing all my updates!

I feel like there are a few things that I’m forgetting but I’ll be back next month with more and can update y’all then.

Diving into some other fun stuff like what I watched and read last month though…OoOooOooH! If you’re curious about the spooky movies I watched throughout Spooktober, visit my round-up here. I meant to watch at least 31 movies (one for every day) but that didn’t super pan out. I’m happy with the number I did manage to watch though…and a great variety! And outside of films, here’s what I watched as far as TV goes. It’s basically spooky and reality TV, which I can’t ever quit…not even for spooky season.


And then on the reading side of things…for Spooktober, I curated a little horror reading list for myself and tried to get through as many as I could. There’s a mix of graphic novels as well as prose novels, and a couple novellas. Here’s what I read:


I know I don’t have a lot of reviews or thoughts on these books, but it was a whirlwind month! I will say that the stand out books for me were: Our Wives Under the Sea and All That Consumes Us. OWUtS is probably a new all-time fave, honestly. But I don’t have a ton to say right now since my brain is like AHHHHHHH! So as always, you can find my full reading list on Goodreads.

And that’s it for my latest round-up. I was thinking about postponing this for a week since I’m sure some other things will get announced this week but hey, that’s more updates for next month. Until then…

I am beyond excited to finally share some new PILLOW TALK news with you: we officially have a cover! Today, WWAC (Women Write About Comics) did an exclusive reveal of the cover to our book, along with a little bit of info about what you can expect. This has been such a long time coming and I have been eagerly awaiting the moment I could share it.

If you’re not familiar (that’s okay, I haven’t talked about it for a while), make sure to click the link above to learn more. But TL;DR…it’s about a young woman who uses an underground pillow fight league as a way to build her self-confidence and find her people. It’s partially based on a very true story from when I was briefly in the league (for one night only).

PILLOW TALK will be out on APRIL 30, 2024 and I will have a lot more info to share with you very soon. In the meantime, if you want to support me or the book, you can visit the link below to find out more and get your preorder on:



Lots of folks join in on watching spooky movies and TV shows for October, and I am definitely one of them. I absolutely LOVE Spooky Season and have used this month as a way to further my education in the world of horror film. I figured I’d share what I’m watching this month so that y’all can see and maybe compare notes. I’ll be updating this post regularly with the new films that I watch so be sure to check back.

So let’s dive right in:

  1. No One Will Save You – ⭐⭐⭐
  2. Talk to Me – ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  3. Renfield – ⭐⭐⭐
  4. Crimson Peak – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  5. Underworld – ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  6. The Exorcist – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  7. Alien – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  8. Predator – ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  9. Prey – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  10. Skinamarink – ⭐⭐
  11. Slither – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  12. The Faculty – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  13. The Pope’s Exorcist – ⭐⭐ 1/2
  14. Creep – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  15. Creep 2 – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  16. The Guest – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  17. You’re Next – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  18. The Final Girls – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  19. Totally Killer – ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  20. Event Horizon – ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  21. Children of the Corn – ⭐⭐ 1/2
  22. Clue – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  23. It Follows – ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
  24. The Boogeyman – ⭐⭐⭐

Okay, so I wound up starting out really strong with three movies in one day and I had such hubris about it! Turns out that my desire for reality TV so I can turn my cursed brain off was vast and outweighed my need to watch spookies. But I did okay all things considered!

If you’re curious about my ranking of these films, I have a Letterboxd account and list that you can check out here.

Until next spooky season…

September flew by and I can’t believe it’s come and gone. It was a busy, busy, busy month for me with both my birthday as well as my partner’s…plus a bajillion other people we know and love. So we had a lot going on this month for social things. We had a great birthday party though, and had such a blast celebrating with our loved ones. I am really excited for things to (hopefully) settle down now that…

SPOOKY SEASON IS UPON US!! I, for one, am so grateful for the fall to be here so I can enjoy reading and a cup of tea. The changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and more. I am absolutely here for it. I’m also diving into the tradition of spooky movies as I try to watch a bunch and grow my appreciation of horror as a whole. So 31 Days of Halloween is being kicked off and I’ll be sharing my complete list of films with y’all soon.

In professional-related news, here’s a little roundup of some exciting things:

Hopefully I’ll have a few more updates to share soon, although I feel like I’m always saying that. Publishing forever moves at a snail’s pace…until it doesn’t. So for now, we’ll move on and check out some of the TV I watched last month.


I really enjoyed Love & Death, but as my partner pointed out–it didn’t need to be as many episodes as it was. I think they were trying to build nuance in the story and give Candy some goodwill from the viewers. Overall, I still liked it and thought the performances were great. And then other than that, I continue to be watching a lot of reality TV. September was cozy with Great British Bake-Off and reliable with my personal fave, The Challenge.

And then on the literary side of things, I read some books! A slightly smaller selection than last time but a pretty good bunch. So here’s what I read:


T. Kingfisher has quickly become one of my favourite authors—as stated above—so I’ve been working on devour most of their bibliography but decided to make sure I put in some time on graphic novels too. The Council of Frogs is excellent and completely worth checking out. Matt Emmons is a treasure with incredible ideas and a great art style. I highly recommend it! But as always, you can find my full reading list on Goodreads.

And that’s it for my latest round-up. I was thinking about postponing this for a week since I’m sure some other things will get announced this week but hey, that’s more updates for next month. Until then…

It feels a tad ironic writing a headline bidding goodbye to the summer on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year, but here we are!

It’s been a busy summer, which is why you haven’t heard from me much. I was planning a revamp of these newsletters but I haven’t had a chance to really decide what that might look like. So I’m here, doing the usual! But I have some updates before I get into the stuff I’ve been enjoying.

And that’s mostly it for now. Things are going to be gearing up for the next little while


His Dark Materials was wonderful and I had a bit of a cry watching the final episodes. The books meant so much to me growing up and seeing them adapted with the love and respect that they deserve has been such a joy! It’s been a long time since I’ve read them, but they felt like what I enjoyed about the books and that, to me, is the mark of a good adaptation. The cast did such amazing work and the music by Lorne Balfe was simply top notch. Other than that, I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of months just watching reality TV…namely mostly The Challenge, which I love a ridiculous amount.

Time for some books! Although I must say that the summer has been a bit slow for me with reading. And I haven’t written up many reviews for what I’ve been enjoying, so you’ll have to use your imaginations. Mostly if I finish a book though, that means I liked it…otherwise I’d simply DNF (do not finish). So here’s what I read:


Okay so I read slightly more than I said but it still feels pretty small considering this is two months worth of books. But as always, you can find my full reading list on Goodreads.

WHEW! Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll have more for you soon but September is shaping up to be BUSY!!! Stay safe out there and thank you—as always—for your love and support.

WHEW! I can’t believe it’s already been a week since FanExpo started. It feels like I was at the show yesterday and talking to so many wonderful people! It was a whirlwind (and long) few days but I had a blast being a part of the show this year. I’ve attended the convention and worked at my friends’ booths but this was the very first FanExpo that I had my own booth.

I met so many incredible young readers and let me tell you—if you’re reading this (or a parent reading this), I truly want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Releasing books during the pandemic and lockdowns was tough. Nothing can really prepare you for releasing something that you’re SO proud of, only to have that not feel real because we’re all locked indoors. Sometimes it feels like what I’m doing just disappears into the ether…but doing this show and getting to chat with people who read our books made my heart SO DANG HAPPY!

I met lots of teachers and librarians too, and y’all are truly heroes. I was so thrilled to talk to everyone who came by but it was especially nice to chat with folks who work directly with books and to hear your kind words.

This was also the first time I was really pushing Racc Pack to people, and the reception that our book was getting from everyone got me even more hyped! I gave out so many bookmarks and it was such a joy to watch people light up as I told them our book is set in Toronto…and features our trash mascot!

This weekend flew by, but here’s a small sampling of photos from the show:

Thanks so much to Kevin at FanExpo for including me in this year’s show and hopefully we’ll see you all soon!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the summer! But with the end of summer, comes one of the biggest conventions in Canada: FanExpo! And this year, I’m a Special Guest at the show. I’ll be there with copies of Oh My Gods! (both 1 & 2), ParaNorthernMy Little Pony: Camp Bighoof #1, and I’ll have advanced review copies of Racc Pack for you to check out. Come get a sneak peek at the Bins Family and see what they’re all about.

I’ll be at TABLE P05 all weekend from Thursday-Sunday. I can’t wait to see your faces and get to talk to you about all the exciting projects I have in the works…as well as the things already out in the world!

In terms of panels, I’ll be on at least one, so check that out too. I’ll update this page and my APPEARANCES page with details, if more get added.

Last but not least, here’s the floor map of the show and where you can find me:


It’s been a couple of months since I last did a big blog. Initially I put it off because I didn’t have a lot to share. Then I put it off because I knew I would have a lot to share…soon. There’s still a couple of things on the horizon to announce in the near future BUT two big updates happened:



Both release dates are getting nearer and nearer, and I can’t wait for you to get to read them! More on both soon. I’m so thrilled that I can talk about Racc Pack now and show people what we’ve been cooking up. It’s truly one of my favourite things that I’ve written so I hope that comes through as people read it.

On top of graphic novel updates, I also have a few other updates:

So there’s been a lot happening! Plus it’s been generally busy in my personal life as well, so I’m looking forward to hopefully some quiet time for myself in the near future. That being said, I figured I’d share some updates about the stuff I’ve been enjoying. It’s been a minute so the lists are a little lengthy. The bolded titles are the standouts:


And moving onto books…in this case, the bold is just the titles and some have reviews…and some don’t. I’m sorry! It’s been busy and my brain is mush, but hopefully there’s still some fun insight below:


You can find my full reading list on Goodreads.

I’m thinking about how to reformat these blogs to give you some more fun information and make them a little more exciting to read. I’ll be working on that for the coming months and hopefully will give you something fresh very soon.

Stay safe out there and thank you—as always—for your love and support.

I WROTE A VIDEO GAME! And as of today, it is out in the world. I couldn’t be more proud of the game, and the entire team that came together to make it happen.

If you haven’t heard of Pekoe yet, it’s a cozy tea-making simulator that takes place in a town of cats. You can make tea for the cats, befurriend them, and upgrade the town and your teahouse! It’s purrfect for fans of Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley.

Pekoe has been in development for five years, a passion project led by Saffron Aurora, who brought me on board to the project almost two years ago now. She reached out to me to ask if I knew any writers who were Toronto-based, really into cats, and knowledgable about tea. I was like, “This is me. You’re describing me…” and I went ahead and formally applied for the role. Since we’re here, you know that I got the job and it was exhilarating and terrifying.

I’d made it into the final round of interviews at several games studios over the years, but would inevitably lose out due to a lack of experience. The feedback was always, “We love you and your writing, but we want to go with the candidate who has experience…” which is understandable. So when this opportunity came along, I was sure to not squander it. Which is why it was exciting but also scary! I really wanted to do the best job possible with this game and didn’t want to let our team down.

Thankfully our small (but mighty!) team was so welcoming, patient, kind, and helpful at every step of the way. I didn’t know all the terminology or the software but I was more than willing to learn…so I did. But not without the knowledge and time of Justin Park, Len Predko, and of course, Saffron. They had so many of their own tasks to do but always took the time to help, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully convey how much that has meant to me. And I now have my very first games writing credit as a LEAD WRITER! AHHH!

Our entire team was incredible! Truly. What an experience! I didn’t work with everyone directly, despite how small of a studio we are. But every moment we did spend together, I was in awe of the talent and passion that was brought to this game. If our game sounds up your alley, be sure to check it out over on Steam. It’s currently in Early Access, which means we’ll be updating it regularly with new content! Click below to get started. And THANK YOU ALL in advance, for giving it a chance.


After holding onto this for quite a while, I’m very happy to be able to share THE RACC PACK cover with you all. We have even more info to share with you too, and I can’t wait to dig into that in a mere moment. PopVerse did an exclusive reveal of the cover today, and shared the first official synopsis of our upcoming graphic novel series. Read it here:

Live life in the trash lane with this first entry in a hilarious middle grade graphic novel series about a family of sneaky raccoons from graphic novel superstars Stephanie Cooke and Whitney Gardner!

Meet the Bin family, a trio of raccoons in the risky business of dumpster diving for all their needs. With Dusty’s brains, ReRe’s muscle, and Scraps’s gadgets (please don’t tell him he’s almost definitely an opossum), the Binses are determined to leave no garbage bin unturned in their pursuit of the tastiest, most delicious trash they can find.

When the family discovers a new upscale grocery store that’s throwing away their perfectly good food at the end of each day, the Binses hatch a heist so daring it’ll have them rolling in garbage all winter long. But a critter-despising CEO, Jeff Beans, and the high-tech defense system he’s installed means liberating that trash is going to take all the skills the Racc Pack have…and maybe some help from a cat burglar with a mysterious past.

THE RACC PACK will be out on January 23, 2024. If you want to guarantee a copy for yourself on day one, be sure to get your pre-order in now by visiting RACCPACK.COM.


The pony’s out of the bag: I’ve been working on a new My Little Pony mini-series for IDW Publishing and Hasbro. Coming this summer is Camp Bighoof! It features the Mane 5 (from Generation 5) as well as some original Equestria cryptids that you—and the ponies—will get to meet.

The official synopsis for the first issue is this: “Welcome, campers, to Camp Bighoof! The Mane 5 have taken over an old camp, named after the elusive Bighoof creature (Bridlesquatch if you’re a unicorn, Zeti if you’re a Pegasus), to teach fillies and colts about their powers. Plus, arts & crafts with Izzy, singing with Pipp, obstacle courses with Zipp, what could be better?! Surely nothing could go wrong, right? RIGHT?!”

I’ve had a wonderful time working on this project and I can’t wait to share it with you. The first issue will be out on JULY 26, 2023, so be sure to get your pre-orders in. More details here. And in the meantime, check out our incredible creative team as well as some of the variant covers for the first issue.


Writer: Stephanie Cooke
Artist: Kate Sherron
Colourist: Reggie Graham
Flatter: Jonathon Dobbs
Letterer: TBC
Covers: Kate Sherron, Nicole Goux, Natalie Haines, JustaSuta
Editor: Riley Farmhouse


Another month has passed us by, and while I wish I had more to update y’all with, announcements and exciting news tidbits have not arrived yet…but I do have several on the horizon and I can’t wait to be able to talk about what I’ve been working on. I know, I know, it’s a real tease situation but I’m beholden to when folks deem it okay to start sharing more information.

Once again, I defer to next month and let’s collectively cross our fingers that I’ll be able to talk about some stuff then. In the meantime though, I can tell you about what I’ve been watching and reading! I’ve been back into a gaming mode too and devoured Cattails as well as Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. Love me a fun little Stardew-esque adventure.

But anyways, I’m sorry for the otherwise fairly boring update…let’s get into the stuff I’ve been enjoying:


Similar to last month, I both did and didn’t watch a lot of TV. I watched a lot of junk inbetween some of the heavy hitters you see above, and I’ve been working my way through other prestige TV that I haven’t wrapped up yet. As you can see too, I’m only really choosing to write about the shows that I really connected with. Like, I enjoyed Perfect Match, but I don’t have much to say about it. Ya know?

Moving onto books…


As I mentioned last month, I’ve pared this back a bit to include only the books and graphic novels that I read and have something to say about. Mostly, this is now a section for the books and graphic novels that I recommend. So, with that being said, I read a few more things that I didn’t write up reviews for. You can find my full reading list on Goodreads or Storygraph.

That’s it! I continue to not have a lot of updates to share, which is a bummer…but I know for a fact that I’ll have some fun things that I can talk about next month, so stay tuned for that. If there’s anything else exciting that comes up, you can bet that I’ll make a standalone post to talk about it.

Stay safe out there and thank you—as always—for your love and support.

For the last two years, I’ve been working with the team at Epic Originals to help curate a line of short stories for the series Animal Rescue Friends. While the individual stories have been releasing digitally on the Epic app, it’s also been announced that the stories will be collected in a book!

Coming this fall, Animal Rescue Friends: Learning New Tricks is all about…

“The Animal Rescue Friends gang is back with ten sweet tales about their furry, feathered, and flying friends!

Join Bell, Maddie, Noah, and the rest of the Animal Rescue Friends as they learn to love an affectionate rat named Whiskers, find Sergio the tortoise a forever home that’s just his speed, fall for the antics of a chatty parrot with a familiar name, and more! Along the way, they make a few new friends and learn that everyone—even insects—can sometimes use a helping hand.”

Doesn’t that sound delightful?! That’s because it is! It features creators like Megan Kearney, Barbara Perez Marquez, Ellen Crenshaw, Shadia Amin, Gillian Goerz, Katie Longua, Brian McLachlan, and more! You can preorder a copy now to have it the moment it’s available!

ANIMAL RESCUE FRIENDS: LEARNING NEW TRICKS will be available on November 7, 2023.


I can’t believe yet another month has passed us by. While January was a slow crawl, February zoomed by. Somehow, we’re already a week into March now. Continuing the trend of an emotional rollercoaster, the last few weeks have been filled with ups and downs.

For instance, on one hand, I got to see that a collection of short stories that I curated and edited for Epic Originals’ series Animal Rescue Friends will be published later this year! The book is called Learning New Tricks and features talented creators like Megan Kearney, Gillian Goerz, Barbara Marquez Perez, Katie Longua, and so many more. I’m beyond proud of the work I did on this project and I can’t wait for people to get their hands on it.

On the other hand, this marked the last bit of editorial work and story consulting that I’m doing with Epic for the time being. It’s been one of my most beloved projects for the last two years and I’m mourning the comfort and stability of that right now. Even while being so happy, proud, and fulfilled. Nevertheless, stay tuned for more details on that project and the launch of it.

While I still don’t have a lot of updates for other projects I’ve been teasing for a while, I should have more details soon. Both Pillow Talk and Racc Pack are drawing nearer and nearer though! Last week I even got to see the first final pass of Racc Pack and while I can’t say much, I can say that it looks incredible. Whitney knocked the art out of the park, and our book design team are doing such a phenomenal job. So again, stay tuned! Hopefully in the next Blogletter, I’ll have more to share.

And honestly, there’s not much more going on! I’ll be able to share some upcoming appearances and visits I’ll be doing soon. But while my work obligations are quiet, I’ve been trying to make time for my friends and loved ones. I went to Demand Lucha last month, did a couple of trivia nights (came in third and second, respectively!) and I made some cursed puppets (well, mine looks cursed) with my partner. Plus I read a bunch of great stuff and minimally watched some TV, so let’s dive into all of that!


I honestly didn’t watch a ton last month. Well, I did but it’s mostly stuff I’ve started and hasn’t wrapped yet like The Last of Us. And Taskmaster…and a lot of reality TV like MILF Manor, which is too cringey even for me, and 90 Day Fiancée.

My fave from the above list though was, The Other Two. It was so funny and very bingeable! I hadn’t even heard of it until my partner found it and told me to check it out…which I did, obviously. The whole cast is great and it’s a lot of fun to watch the titular “other two” as they try to navigate the newfound fame within their family.

Moving onto books…


As I mentioned last month, I’ve pared this back a bit to include only the books and graphic novels that I read and have something to say about. Mostly, this is now a section for the books and graphic novels that I recommend. So, with that being said, I read a few more things that I didn’t write up reviews for. You can find my full reading list on Goodreads or Storygraph.

That’s it for me right now. I think I say this every time, but hopefully I’ll have more to share with you soon and I’ll see y’all around the internet.

Stay safe out there and thank you—as always—for your love and support.

We’re a month into 2023 and phew, it went by so slowly and felt like it was 10 months long somehow. It’s been a busy one for me as I scramble to work on what’s on my plate and try to ✨ exist ✨ in the world. Like all the months before, January had ups and downs but I love what I’m doing and the fun things I get to work on.

For instance, I had Master Hamster Super Science: Dinosaurs come out from Epic! Originals. And an issue I edited for their series, Animal Rescue Friends, was also released…although that was admittedly yesterday, in February. But since I postponed writing this for a bit, I’m still going to include it here. Also technically in February (not anything technical about it, tbh), the demo of Pekoe has finally released! If you aren’t familiar, I’ve been writing a video game with Kitten Cup Studio for their upcoming cozy indie game called Pekoe. It’s a tea-making simulator that takes place in a town populated by cats. As a part of Steam’s #StreamNextFest, we have a free demo available for folks to play! I’m so stoked to hear what people think.

Other than that, I’ve been working on a few other projects that I can’t yet talk about it. But hopefully soon! So, with that being said, I’ll dive into some TV and books that I checked out last month, along with a few thoughts on some of my faves.


The two that I loved from this list are Wednesday and Inside Job, a show I got into just as Netflix announced its cancellation. As you can see, I’ve been watching quite a few things on Netflix. I’m disappointed with the service, to be honest, and this is my way of working through my backlog so I can ready myself to deactivate my account.


I’ve pared this back a bit to include only the books and graphic novels that I read and have something to say about. Mostly, this is now a section for the books and graphic novels that I recommend. So, with that being said, I read a few more things that I didn’t write up reviews for. You can find my full reading list on Goodreads or Storygraph.

Anyways, that’s it for me right now! I’ll hopefully have even more to share with you next month as a couple of exciting projects are starting to ramp up.

Stay safe out there and thank you—as always—for your love and support.

I love to write…which, as a writer, is a great thing! I love coming up with original ideas and putting them out into the world. Working on my own IP is amazing but there are still characters and existing sandboxes that I’d want the opportunity to play in. If you’re an editor looking for a writer that has a plethora of ideas, meets all deadlines, and takes feedback extremely well, please consider getting in touch.

Here’s an idea of projects I’d love to work on and dream characters:




There are definitely a few more characters and worlds I’d like to put my own stamp on but the above gives you a bit of an idea of what I’m about.

*regarding Anne of Green Gables, I also have a strong and personal history with Prince Edward Island aka the home of author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Hey everyone! My first release of 2023 is here. I’ve been working with Epic! Originals on a number of wonderful projects as a writer and editor. One of those projects was a new science series called Master Hamster Super Science. And I got to write about one of my fave things: DINOSAURS!!!!

The official synopsis is this: “Why don’t dinosaur fossils look like the real thing? Did they have fur, hair, or feathers? Master Hamster doesn’t know, but he’ll find out!”

Written By: Stephanie Cooke
Illustrated by: Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb
Colors by: Warren Wucinich

Master Hamster Super Science: Dinosaurs is AVAILABLE NOW on the Epic! app. Click through the gallery below for a sneak peak at what’s in store.

Stephanie holds two dinosaurs, mimicking them kissingSomehow, 2022 is already gone. After two years of being in lockdown, this was the first where I came out of my home incrementally. While I continue to mask up, it’s been such a joy to be able to do things again. To see my friends and spend time with the people I care about. I’m not entirely sure who really reads this—if anyone—so I’ll share a little bit of what brought me happiness last year.

It was my first full year of freelancing, and I survived! Not only survived, but thrived. It’s never not scary to be working on current projects while thinking about What’s Next constantly. But I was fortunate enough to find work as an editor and as a writer, working on my own projects as well as really fun IP. Finding a balance between my two career paths was a bit of a struggle though, and at the end of the year, I decided to pull back on my editing work. I want to prioritize my work as a writer in 2023 so that means saying no more often to editing and project management.

This year will hopefully continue to be a great year for me. I have a few things coming out this year…although nothing with solidified dates just yet! So TBA on a lot of things, including something that I signed a contract for just before the holidays kicked off.

I’m thinking it’s time to consolidate my TV and reading recaps into one post so I’m going to do that in my big monthly update going forward. I love tracking that sort of stuff…mostly just for me but hopefully you’re getting something out of it too. But seeing as it’s a lot of stuff to include, I’ll be minimizing the reviews a bit. If you’re interested in the movies I’ve been watching, you can continue to visit my Letterboxd page.


I otherwise continued to watch a lot of other reality TV stuff that I didn’t bother to include here (although Too Hot to Handle continues to be a ridiculous delight). Mostly though, it was a end-of-year scramble to finish a few shows that I’d been meaning to get to. What did you check out?


And then there’s a bunch of books that I read but didn’t have a chance to put together a review for. Like with my TV list, it was a last-minute scramble to finish up a few things before end-of-year…and I didn’t have a lot of thoughts outside of “Yes, good.” etc. for them. You can find those below and click on the title to visit Bookshop.org for more info.

There’s not much else to say right now! It’s a fresh year, and I’m trying to continue on with my personal and professional growth. I’m trying to form better habits, make time for the people I care about, and most of all, prioritize myself.
I’ll be hopefully back soon with some more updates on projects, as well as news about this and that…and appearances for this year. Plus I’m working on some essays and videos to go into the process of making comics, thriving in the industry, and more. So stay tuned and take care of yourselves!

It’s been a while since I put together a Faves of the Year list so I thought this was a good time to bring it back. If I’m tracking everything I’m consuming, might as well put that data to good use! To kick things off, I’m starting with TV. I made a Top 10 with some Honourable Mentions underneath that didn’t quite make the cut. Everything on this list is a show that aired in 2022. Aside from being on the list itself, they’re just in alphabetical order.

Read on…

Fave TV:

Honourable Mentions:

And that’s it for my TV Top 10. The streaming services in brackets are for Canada, so if that’s not the place it streams for you…well, take that up with Canada.

What shows are in your Top TV lists? Let me know in the comments or say hello over on social media!

This is my first or maybe second time writing a big update like this as a part of blogletter. You know, in lieu of me doing the thing everyone else is doing and making a newsletter. It’s one or the other and I’d rather have a home base here…where I already have a home base. As everyone flees Twitter and tries to find a new home for their thoughts and ramblings.

I’m in that mix too and for the last month, I’ve been filled with dread as I try to wait things out. The downfall of Twitter seems imminent with it only being a matter of time until it shutters its doors. And after spending over a decade finding my friends, peers, and audiences there, I’m truly sad that it’s potentially ending like this. I don’t want to lament it more but it’s a monumental blow to a lot of creators and creatives out there, so I’ll continue to post here, if anyone wants to follow along.

Like everyone else, sometimes I have a lot of updates…and sometimes I don’t. I have a few fun things to share though, so I’ll dive in and elaborate on what’s what. Let’s go!

And if you missed it, I’ve put together my roundups for the previous month(s). Check out what I watched here and what I read here. You can also check out my roundups of Fave Things of 2022 as they’re released throughout the month. Stay tuned!

With the holidays upon us, as I wind down this update, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. I hope it’s everything you want it to be and more! As we wrap up this year and move into the next, I’m sending you all the best vibes for happiness, joy, and success.

Last but not least, as the beginning of this blogletter indicated, I’ve migrated to a few places while I try to figure out which one sticks. In every case (Hive, Mastodon, Cohost, Pillowfort, and Tumblr), my username is simply “hellocookie” which is my go-to in most places. Find me there and let’s be pals!

And that’s a wrap! Next time you hear from me on here, it’ll (probably) be 2023…you know, pending any major updates to share. Take care of yourselves and be kind to others.

Another month has flown by and we’re nearly at the end of the year. Will I manage to put together some Best Of lists? WHO KNOWS! But for now, we can talk about the things I read (comics and prose) and discuss those. Let’s dive right in:

And that’s it! I’ve spent most of the latter half of this month trying to work through a beast of a novel (not really…I’m just distracted and not making as much time for reading). So hopefully I’ll be able to hunker down this month and finish up a few things on the top of my TBR pile.

What have you been reading and enjoying?

I’ve once again slipped on my watch list and so I’ve decided to combine two months into one post. Prepare yourselves for a pile of thoughts!

Annnnnd I watched a ton of reality TV. There’s truly not much to say about it all, it’s something that I absolutely love to watch when my brain is mush (which is often). So here’s a list of some of the reality shows I checked out in the last two months…with Nailed It being my fave of the bunch.

I watched a lot more reality TV (from the 90DF universe) but decided not to include it here cause the summary for it all is just “I love mess.”

What have you been watching and enjoying?

Once upon a time on the internet, I used to be very open about my life. I put so much of myself out there for anyone to know about. In the years since, I’ve become more private and wary about what I share. It’s good in a lot of ways; setting healthy boundaries for yourself and what you give to the world is necessary. But sometimes I think I give off the illusion that my life is peachy keen and without its struggles.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a post this week that goes into some of that. I have been a full-time freelancer for a year and a half now. And I’ll preface the rest of this piece by saying that I am so blessed to be able to sustain myself in this industry. But with that being said, it is a constant hustle—it never stops. Every single day I wonder where my next paycheque will come from and if I’ll continue to find work. That alone takes a toll on my mental health. Going into every day with at least a low-grade level of anxiety.

Since I went full-time, I’ve taken on a number of editing and writing projects that I am responsible for. Countless deadlines to keep track of and stay on top of. Recently, I noticed an inability to focus on my work—beyond my existing hurdle of having ADHD. When I sat down in frustration at my lack of productivity, I realized that what I was feeling was burnout. As I processed this, I had another realization: I needed to find a way to reprioritize what was on my plate and make some changes.

When it comes to projects, I hate saying no. I also hate letting people down. But I had to make a choice—continue on with projects that I wasn’t able to give my best self to OR back out as gracefully as possible. I chose the latter and have begun the process of healing myself, slowly but surely.

As my career continues on, I’m discovering what’s important to me and what I need to do to thrive. When I still had my day job, I had the luxury of turning down projects knowing I had a salary to pay the bills. But I don’t have that safety net anymore. It’s forever a balancing act that I’m still trying to master.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with all of this, but I’m working on opening myself up to people again. It’s important to me that others know that they’re not alone in their struggles. Creative industries can chew us up and spit us back out—it’s taxing on us in every way. Not to mention that there constantly seems to be something coming up that thwarts any progress we feel we’ve made. For me, I’m working on giving myself space and being kinder to myself, especially as I heal from what I’m experiencing.

One final thing that I’d like to leave with you is this: I originally posted my update via Instagram deliberately. Instagram is a visual space and looks can be deceiving. The perception that people can give off there is that everything is great—when in reality, we only let others see what we want to see. We all struggle and what we are each going through is varied. The photo with this blog is what I often give off to people around me, but my outward happy appearance isn’t the whole picture.

Be good to each other out there and if you’re struggling too right now, I’m sending much love and positivity out into the ether for you.

It’s time for another roundup of what I read last month. My focus was primarily on spooky books, with the exception of the first book on this list (which I started in September). Let’s dive in and take a gander:

I know a lot of these reviews are pretty short but it was a hectic month. That being said, I think Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow solidified itself as one of my all-time faves.

What did you read in October?

It’s been a while since I’ve got a chance to share big book news, so I’m excited to be able to share not one thing but three! You may or may not be familiar with Epic Originals. If you are, amazing! If not, it’s a wonderful digital platform aimed at young readers. It not only turns reading into a fun activity but incorporates an educational component for parents, teachers, and librarians. It helps to gauge reading comprehension and more…all with wonderfully delightful stories!

I’m genuinely such a big fan of everything they’re doing. Since early last year, I’ve been editing a spinoff to their series Animal Rescue Friends, curating short stories within that universe with all-new creators and characters. Those are starting to roll out now, with Rats Are Good Pets Too as the first to be released.

But on top of that, I’ve been working as a Staff Writer for Epic too! Myself, along with Matt Cody, Marcie Colleen, Paul Ritchey, Nick Murphy, Steven Scott, and Rana Bumbardatore, are the new writers on three books there:


I am beyond excited to share more about these wonderful and delightful series as we get closer to their release dates. It’ll still be a little while before they’re out, but this has been a dream come true. I can’t wait to share what we’ve cooked up.

Stay tuned for more soon!

As you may have guessed from my other posts, I really love recs. I also love sharing the things that I’m enjoying…I sometimes forget to talk about them regularly since I no longer have an entertainment site to write for. But I’ve been thinking more about changing that a bit and incorporating it here (we’ll see…) But that being said, I’d love to tell y’all about a few things I’ve been enjoying recently.


I know this game is being talked about by loads of people but it truly lives up to the hype. It’s a very dark game, similar to Moonlighter. You fight in dungeons against the evil bishops and their mighty minions while leading an ever-growing cult of worshippers. It’s so stylistically adorable that you sometimes forget the ritualistic sacrifices and killing that goes on regularly throughout the game. I put a ridiculous number of hours into the game in the first few days, but I’ve since slowed down, not wanting it to be over. Highly recommend.


I couldn’t do an end-of-October post without including at least one spooky thing! I went into this with a low bar, not sure what to expect…and I think it’s one of my fave things Marvel has done in a long time. It’s such a fun, dark and spooky adventure featuring one of my fave lesser-used characters, Elsa Bloodstone. The whole aesthetic of the short was so fun and campy! It made me really excited for the possibility of more standalones like this in the future—stuff that doesn’t require previous knowledge of Marvel or the MCU to enjoy.


I was lucky enough to see a screening this week and really enjoyed this dark comedy. If you’re familiar with Martin McDonagh’s work (In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), this is definitely in line with what you might expect from him. Although that being said, it’s more akin to In Bruges with its witty and sharp dialogue and a quirky story to go along with it. Colin Farrell is great as “nice guy” Pádraic who is confusingly at odds with his best friend, Colm, played by Brendan Gleeson. The two work together wonderfully and if you’re again familiar with In Bruges, you’ll enjoy seeing them bounce off each other here too. Barry Keoghan is fantastic as the Inisherin dunce, Dominic too.

I suspect it’ll have some trouble finding ground with a more mainstream audience and I don’t know that it’s quite as charming as In Bruges but it’s definitely worth checking out.


I heard about this album from someone on TikTok who was talking about surprising albums of the year. They spoke about it really fondly and it got me curious. I played the first track and was immediately on board, listening to the whole thing from start to finish. I haven’t been captivated by an album entirely since Phoebe Bridger’s “Punisher” and this was just what I was looking for. Haunting vocals that bridge a gap between pop and alternative folk—I’d call it a marriage of Phoebe Bridgers and Florence + the Machine, but that could be because I’ve been listening to a lot of those both, respectively.

Another month has passed us by and I have some TV show updates for you, if you’re curious. I didn’t watch a lot (mostly because I’ve also been obsessed with a ton of junk food reality TV too) but here’s the list:

I also started Paper Girls but it honestly didn’t capture me overall. Good performances from the cast but I didn’t find myself being pulled back to it so I DNFed it. I know lots of people loved it though, and I’m bummed to hear that it got canceled. A women-led sci-fi series that deserved better.

What have you been watching?

As I mentioned last month, I really don’t have a whole lot of projects that I can talk about. Everything is in limbo or under NDA for the most part. BUT I do want to let you know about whatever I can talk about and discuss so let’s dive in and discuss what’s new and good.

And honestly, that’s pretty much it for now! It’s not a big update but it’s all I’ve got. Hopefully next month I’ll have more exciting stuff to tell you about…including what spooky movies I watched for October.

If you’re in Mississauga, please be sure to come say hi later this month for Gotham Central’s Halloween Indie Fest event. I’ll be one of the guest creators with a booth and I’d love to see you! I’ll be selling copies of ParaNorthern and the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse, as well as Oh My Gods! and other wares.

The event details are:

It’s shaping up to be a really fun event with lots of other talented creators on location too, including Keith Grachow, Becka Kinzie, Jonathan Kociuba, and more.

Hope to see you there!

It’s already October and I’ve got a new roundup of books with mini reviews for y’all. Check out my list and be sure to let me know what you’ve been enjoying in the comments.

And that’s a wrap on what I read in September. I was hoping to wrap up a couple more books but didn’t get to it. You’ll just have to hear about those on next month’s roundup. What have you been reading and enjoying?

Coming up on October 16 is Mississauga Comic Expo. I’ll be set up with my books and moderating the author talks and sketch battles for the event. I’ll be at Table 211 (see below for layout) and this is my lineup for panels:

Most of my time will be spent at the Rogers Theatre but my partner will be at my booth to help with sales and I’ll be sure to stop by to sign anything that y’all might want to have signed.

I can’t wait to see you all!

Coming up this month is the Toronto International Festival of Authors. Additionally, they have TIFA Kids too! I’m happy to announce that while I’m not a formal guest of the show this year, I’ll be around moderating a couple of events for them.

If you’d like to say hi, this is where I’ll be:

September 22 – October 2, 2022

I do my best to keep my Appearances page updated, so if you’re ever curious about where I’ll be next, check it out.

The summer has come and gone, and even though I was outside a lot, I still managed to watch tons of stuff last month. This is the roundup of (mostly) everything, minus some reality TV that I’ve been putting on in the background. As per usual, if you’re interested in the films I’ve been watching, you can visit my Letterboxd profile. Otherwise, here we go:

What have you been watching and enjoying?

For August, I made it through a few more books in my (massive) TBR pile. A lot of romance and romcoms but then also paired with some creepier reads as I prepared for Spooky Season. Of the six books I read last month, I think three or four of them are going to wind up making it into my overall fave books of 2022. So it was a good month! But without further rambling, here’s the roundup:

What have you been reading and enjoying?

I guess I should attempt to post some more stuff besides just my roundups, eh? Well, we’re nearing the end of summer (thank god) and it’s been a busy one. Juggling work (when you’re constantly hustling to find paying gigs) is hard to sometimes balance the rest of your life with. I’ve been really lucky this past year to find consistent work and to be able to mostly be able to enjoy the nicer weather.

…although real talk: summer weather is not what I would call nice. It’s just that it’s not a workout to go outside and trudge through snow and gross slushy winter. Spring and Fall are where it’s at and I will be enjoying those seasons thusly.

But anyways, I don’t have much that I can really update y’all on but I’ll do my best:

There’s not much else to share right now but I’ll be sure to fill you in ASAP. I’m still working away on Pekoe. Kaylee is doing wonderfully (see photo above). Annnnd that’s mostly it!

Enjoy your Fall Season and I’ll see you soon.

It’s been a minute since I posted about the books I’ve been reading. I’ve had some deadlines to hit and I’ve been enjoying my summer…and subsequently neglecting my blog and updates. So without further ado, let’s just get into everything I’ve been reading:

Other books that I read but don’t really have reviews for:

What have you been reading and enjoying?

I’ve neglected my lists for a little bit, but mostly because I’ve been watching movies and rewatching TV shows or misc. episodes of reality TV. Like, a lot of random eps of 90 Day Fiancée. But since there’s a few months worth of backlog, I figured I’d share some of what I’ve been checking out. As per usual, if you’re interested in the films I’ve been watching, you can visit my Letterboxd profile. Otherwise, let’s dive in:

And then, as mentioned, I watched a lot of reality TV and then did a big rewatch of What We Do in the Shadows in anticipation of the newest season.

What have you been watching and enjoying?

For over a year now, I’ve been working with Epic Originals to launch a line of short stories for Animal Rescue Friends. It’s a delightful series that revolves around a group of kids who volunteer at an animal rescue and learn all about what it takes, as well as the animals they look after.

And the first that I edited is here. It’s called Rats Are Good Pets Too by Katie Longua. The art is by Ellen T. Crenshaw with colours by Whitney Cogar.

“A rescued rodent might be more than Bell can handle! Can she overcome her fear and learn that rats deserve as much love as any other animal?”

SCRIPT: Katie Longua
ART: Ellen T. Crenshaw
COLOURS: Whitney Cogar
EDITS: Stephanie Cooke
PUBLISHER: Epic Originals

It’s such a wonderful story and if you the Epic app, it’s available to read right now. You can visit here to check it out.

More to come soon!

It’s been a hot (literally) minute since I did an update. There’s both been a lot and also nothing going on. An enigma! But let’s dive in:

There’s not much else to report back on right now though! I’m trying to enjoy my summer, be outdoors, spend quality time with my partner and my friends, and live my life. Gotta have a solid work/life balance, even when you love what you do.

So I’ll be sure to update y’all when there’s exciting stuff afoot, but in the meantime, be good to each other out there.


ParaNorthern came out and its adorable chaos was unleashed into the world. This book will always mean SO much to me. It was the first project I saw through on my own, even when it was a passion project just for me. It made me happy to work on it and helped me have something to pour my soul into during a particularly dark time in my life.

It was the first book we sold. I was in a bookstore when my agent, Maria Vicente, called me to give me the news that our editor, Lily Kessinger at HMH, wanted to acquire it. I had a complete meltdown of joy as I danced around the bookshelves that now stock ParaNorthern in their store. I’m sure there’s footage somewhere of this and several employees who were apprehensive about the lady full-on going bananas.

It was the very first time I felt like maybe I could be a writer and tell stories that made me happy, as well as (hopefully) other young readers out there. ParaNorthern has so much of my heart and soul in it and it will never not bring me joy when I see it at home, out in the world, at a library, a used bookstore, etc.

I hop(e) 🐰 that if you’ve checked ParaNorthern out, it brought you a fraction of the massive amount of joy it brought me to write. Thank you so much for your love and support 🙏❤️✨

Once again, my reading roundup is a little bit late but it’s been a hectic few weeks. I didn’t read a ton last month (at least compared to previous months) but I had a decent haul of wonderful books. So here’s what I read along with some thoughts on each title:

What did you read in May? Leave a comment or reach out on socials and say hello!

Exciting news! I’ll be tabling at TCAF this year with books and other fun things. If you want to come say hello, I’ll be there for the weekend from June 18-19, 2022 at Table 221. I’ll also be on the Final Fantasy panel on Saturday with Jo Rioux and Nadia Shammas. It’ll be in the Hinton Learning Centre (within the Reference Library itself) at 12:00pm.

Here’s the setup with where you can find me at the show:

This week is the Forest of Reading Festival. It’s Canada’s largest recreational reading program and even has its own awards. ParaNorthern and the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse was one of the nominees for the Silver Birch Fiction Award, and it was such an honour to be included.

The ceremony has been broadcast this week and my award category went live this morning. We didn’t wind up winning but just being a part of it was incredible. This honour put ParaNorthern in front of so many young readers, librarians, and educators and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Congratulations to Deadman’s Castle by Iain Lawrence for winning in our category. And congrats to the two honour titles, Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster by Rachelle Delaney and The Language of Ghosts by Heather Fawcett. So well deserved and I cannot state this enough: I was so honoured to be included alongside these incredible books.

Here are all of the nominated books within our category. If you haven’t checked them out already, be sure to do so.

This is a bit late…we’re already nearly halfway through May. But I’ve finally gone through my reads from April and put together a list for y’all to check out. .

And then a few things that I read but don’t have much to say about them:

What did you read in April? Leave a comment or reach out on socials and say hello!

It’s already MAY!?!?! Well, I’m relieved that it’s starting to finally get warmer out so as I get outside more, this list will maybe get a bit shorter. But for April, it’s still a pretty hefty list. If you’re curious about the films I watched (no reviews though!), visit my Letterboxd page here. Otherwise, let’s dive right in!

I didn’t include shows that I’ve been doing a rewatch of but I finished Gravity Falls S1 again as well as Schitts Creek S3. A+ highly recommend. I love them.

And that’s pretty much it for this month! What did you watch and enjoy?

This past week was Canadian Children’s Book Week and I had the honour of being one of the guest authors for the 45th Book Week tour. The wonderful team at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre paired me up with schools and libraries in Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

We discussed Creating Graphic Novels, breaking down some of my work as well as what goes on behind the scenes when making comic books. I want to give a shout-out to the CCBC team as well as the wonderful coordinators and hosts who had me speak to their delightful students.

Thank you to Devon Public Library, Cochrane Public Library, Canmore Public Library, Heritage Hills Elementary School, Gaspesie Polyvalent, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, Halifax Public Library, and the Hebrew Academy of Montreal.

I had such an incredible time speaking to you all and I want to thank you for your engaging questions and enthusiasm. I hope that you all learnt something and I was able to leave you with a little bit of my passion for comics and graphic novels. And should you want to make graphic novels someday yourself, I can’t wait to read them!

<3 <3 <3

I am absolutely thrilled to share my return to The Purrrcast this week. Steven Ray Morris and Sara Iyer asked me to tell them a bit about my aunt…who was a Peak (Purrfect) Crazy Cat Lady. On top of loving to talk to Steven and Sara, it was my honour to share a bit about one of my fave people of all time. I really hope that you’ll check it out. Click below or visit here:

I’ve been really bad lately about sharing other updates and fun things I’ve been doing so here’s a quick little roundup of a few other podcasts I’ve been on recently:

And whew! I think that’s it for now. There should be some more coming soon so stay tuned for that and hopefully exciting other updates too!

The year is really just flying by and I’ve put together a list of the TV shows watched through the month of March. If you’re curious about the films I watched (no reviews though!), visit my Letterboxd page here. Otherwise, let’s dive right in!

You might be able to tell that I had a brief Apple+ subscription from the three shows that I binged. I really wanted to watch the second season of Ted Lasso and watched the others as an added bonus.

What did you watch in March?

It’s been a little over a year since the first Oh My Gods! came out by Insha Fitzpatrick, myself, and Juliana Moon. And the second book in our graphic novel series is here and available wherever you buy your books. We are so excited for you to read it and enjoy your return to Mt. Olympus Junior High with Karen, Tina, Dita, Artemis, and Pol.

In this story, we explore a little bit more of what’s going on with Karen and a mysterious maze that they discover in the basement of their school. Here’s the official synopsis: “When Karen moved to Mt. Olympus, she certainly didn’t expect to start junior high with a bunch of gods and goddesses—let alone discover she’s a demigoddess (who doesn’t yet know her powers)!

Having recently joined the school newspaper, Karen decides to investigate a mysterious online troll that goes by the moniker M1N0T4UR. This leads her to a treacherous maze beneath the school where Karen and her friends must complete a set of phases to leave the labyrinth.

The stakes are higher than ever and a wrong move could lead to some terri-BULL consequences in this a-maze-ingly action-packed, fast-paced, pun-filled companion to Oh My Gods!.”


Another month has passed by and I’ve collected my reading list from March. It was a pretty chaotic month (and is continuing into April) so the overall list is here and some have mini-reviews and some do not. Forgive me! If you want to chat about any of them though, say hi on Twitter or Instagram and I’ll share my thoughts.

What did you read in March?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to write. I spent much of my childhood reading and escaping to faraway worlds in books and I know how much a book can mean. And seeing yourself as your experiences in the stories you read is vitally important! Every young person should have the opportunity to see themselves in a story.

I was elated when I saw ParaNorthern and the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse included on ALA’s 2022 Rainbow Booklist. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, I don’t want to give anything away but telling stories where LGBQT2A+ are allowed to exist and just be, is something very important to me. There are wonderful stories revolving around a character’s sexuality too but we need more normalization within stories where they just exist…because that’s a reflection of our world.

My heart is filled with pride at this honour and I’d like to thank the American Library Association. You can see the full list of books by visiting here.

Dave Grohl has been in my feed a lot lately. He has a new movie called Studio 666 which looks like a lot of fun. And the Foo Fighters released a new album last year, Medicine at Midnight. Dave Grohl has understandably doing some publicity to get the word out, especially about the film which was released on Feb. 25.

So I thought I’d take a moment to share a personal story of mine from many moons ago. The world is a little bit of a doom fest right now so hopefully this can make your day a little bright. It’s one of my favourite stories and definitely my most special celeb interaction.

Years ago, I won tickets to see Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins do an interview at a radio station (shout out to 102.1 The Edge). I was SO excited. It was small but I was in the front for this event. We were told that they wouldn’t have time for photos or autographs and not to ask since again…there would be no time for it. At one of the commercial breaks, Dave gets up and heads over to us and begins signing autographs (!!) but I didn’t bring anything to sign (I found out pretty last minute about the interview).

What I did have was my camera so as he approached, I said “I know we aren’t supposed to ask for photos but if there’s time, can I get a pic?” and he politely said, “Let me sign more autographs and if there’s time, for sure!” I thought he was politely blowing me off since they’d wrap up the interview soon and have to leave. I wasn’t mad at all, I took my shot, I talked to Dave Grohl (!!), it was perfectly fine. I was kicking myself for not bringing something for him to sign, but it was still very cool to just speak to him.

I enjoyed the rest of the interview and then it was over (you can watch a short bit of the interview that I filmed here). Dave and Taylor said their goodbyes and headed out of the studio to set up for their concert later that evening. A couple of minutes went by, people were starting to leave when all of a sudden…

Dave Grohl bursts back into the studio and shouts “I FORGOT TO TAKE THE PHOTO!” and he runs over to me and apologizes profusely. He says that I must’ve thought he was a jerk and that it’s been a busy day, etc. (none of which I thought). He sweetly tells me my dress is really nice and he asks me to get on the stage with him, so I do. We get ready to take the photo when he tells me, “I’m tired of taking boring pictures, so let’s dance! EMBRACE ME LIKE IT’S PROM NIGHT!”

And Dave starts dancing with me. I am basically DEAD from excitement and happiness at this point and we do a few little back and forths before he smiles and says “Okay now I REALLY have to get out of here!” and heads out to his show. I was stunned and I couldn’t stop smiling!

Anyways, I look like a maniac in the picture…and let’s not even talk about what I’m wearing (it was 2008, leave me alone) but this is the end result and one of my fave celeb memories ever:

This story was originally posted over on my Twitter account here.

Another month, another batch of books read. I read a lot of graphic novels, using my hoopla account to the max (if you don’t have hoopla, I highly recommend it—it’s connected to the library so everything is free and legal!) But also one of my most anticipated books came out and I fully hyperfocused on that for a good chunk of the month. Plus it was massive so it took some time to get through (yes, I am a Sarah J. Maas stan).

So let’s take a look at the list. Click on any of the titles to be taken to Bookshop where you can find a copy of your own.

And I read three additional things that I was waiting to form thoughts on and just didn’t manage to think up anything to say. They’re all very good but I didn’t know how to really summarize. They’re all very different though, so feel free to check these out too:

What did you read in February? Are there any books from my list that you’ve been meaning to check out?

It’s time for another edition of Oh God, Do I Really Watch This Much TV? February Edition! As usual, here’s a roundup of TV I checked out, along with a few thoughts and comments. If you’re curious about the films I watched (sans comments/reviews), visit my Letterboxd page here. Let’s dive right in!

I actually didn’t watch that much TV this month. Was it because it was a shorter month? Or because I started obsessing over video games again? Or maybe because I watched a bunch of movies? WHO KNOWS! What have you been watching and enjoying?

It’s my first TV Round-Up for 2022, compiling all the TV I watched in one place. I kicked off the New Year with lots of shows, and like last time, I’ve included mini-reviews! As per usual, if you want to see the movies I watched, you can feel free to check out my Letterboxd profile. Let’s dive in!

And that’s what I watched last month! I will say that while I continue to have a big dose of reality TV in the mix, it wasn’t all-consuming this time around. There’s some quality programming included! PROGRESS! What did you watch last month?

One month of reading is COMPLETE! My 2022 reading goal is off to a good start as I made a decent dent in my TBR pile. It’s a good mix of graphic novels and prose, and as usual, I included mini-reviews of the books. If you’re so inclined, clicking on the title of the book will take you to Bookshop where you can purchase a copy for yourself. So let’s dive in!

Once again I read a lot this month? 18 TITLES??? It was a pretty big mix though, with lots of graphic novels and a few prose novels mixed in there too. 7 of the titles were books and the rest were graphic novels. What did you read this month?

I’ve worn a lot of hats over the years when it comes to jobs and projects. I know a little bit about marketing and PR from being a part of the comic book press, but it’s not something that I typically take on for work. That being said, there are a number of incredible people in the industry who do. I’ve compiled a list of names for you to utilize in case you happen to be looking for someone. Here are a few of those people (in alphabetical order):

Please keep in mind that I haven’t worked with all of these creators nor do I necessarily know them extremely well or personally vouch for them. Do your research when it comes to collaborating, always get things in writing, and don’t settle for someone that isn’t a good fit for your needs!

Best of luck with your projects! <3

I’m blessed to get regular inquiries about my editing work. I’m not always able to take on new projects or clients or sometimes I don’t feel that I’m a great fit. But I’m always happy to pass along my recommendations for other talented editors who might be available. And in case you happen to be looking for someone, here are a few of those people (in alphabetical order):

Please keep in mind that I haven’t worked with all of these creators directly nor do I necessarily know them extremely well and thus, I can’t personally vouch for them. Do your research when it comes to collaborating, always get things in writing, and don’t settle for someone that isn’t a good fit for your needs!

Best of luck with your projects! <3

It’s that time again where, for some reason, I share everything that I’ve been watching! It’s a brand-new year so it feels weird to have a post title with “2021” in it but you understand. I didn’t do any Best Of lists for this past year either. I planned on it but never really got around to it so these roundups are the closest you’ll get to my opinions on what I enjoyed. As per usual, if you want to see the movies I watched, you can feel free to check out my Letterboxd profile.
I’m going to switch formats and write out my thoughts with each title as I do for my reading roundup. I’m not sure why I wasn’t doing that to begin with but here we go!
WHEW. That was a list. I pondered breaking this bad boy up until two parts but nah. Having time off for the holidays (self-imposed) gave me a lot of time to just enjoy stuff. Not that I don’t watch a lot of stuff regularly but I definitely checked out a few things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
What are you looking forward to watching this year?

December was a hectic month. On one hand, it was the holidays and I took some time off to recharge and decompress. On the other hand, I had a family emergency and a death in the family that hit me pretty hard. Plus trying to get work done prior to the holidays and to make up for time off with family. Still, I somehow managed to have a pretty productive month when it came to reading. I’ve once again rounded up everything I read. I’ve included some brief thoughts on each book and if you click the title of any of the books, it’ll take you to Bookshop where you can purchase a copy for yourself, should you be so inclined. Let’s go!

GEEZ. I knew I read a lot but writing it out, I’m like SHEESH. I guess that’s what happens when you have free time, eh? So that’s 19 individual titles and 21 overall including the three total volumes of Delicious in Dungeons. WHEW…well, that’s not my normal output for reading so don’t get used to this.

Stay tuned for what’s to come in 2022!

It’s been one whole year since Oh My Gods! came out. It simultaneously feels like just yesterday and also like a lifetime ago. So much has happened in this year which I won’t ramble on about again (but you can check out my wrap-up post here).

Sometimes it felt like Oh My Gods! would never happen. It started out as an idea that Insha and I had years ago and we couldn’t let it go. We loved the concept, characters, and world. We found Juliana and knew we had our missing piece of the puzzle. From there, the feeling that we had to make this book happen only intensified. We originally thought that we’d release it in single issues within the comic industry (aka the direct market). We had some interest but ultimately nothing really panned out. And then we had someone at a traditional book publisher interested! We hadn’t yet connected with our agent, Maria Vicente (amazing agent goddess extraordinaire), and the editor advised us that if we wanted to work with them, we’d need to agent up.

That brought us to Maria’s doorstep and we began the process of trying to get a deal together. Eventually, it fell through, and after putting Oh My Gods! out on submission to other publishers, we were back to square one. We began to think that if we were going to make the book, we’d have to do it ourselves via crowdfunding and self-publishing. We still loved our story, characters, concept, etc. but we made peace with the fact that it might not happen in the way we had hoped it would.

Several months later, I wrapped up writing ParaNorthern and the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse. My editor (perfect editor goddess extraordinaire, Lily) reached out to my agent to inquire if I had any other projects looking for a home. We pitched Oh My Gods! and Lily just got it. She understood what we were trying to do with it and after reworking a few things—including aging it down from YA to middle-grade—she acquired it for publication at HMH (now Clarion). AND with a sequel attached (a two-book deal!)

Funnily enough, even though I had already been working on ParaNorthern for months by the time HMH even bought Oh My Gods!, it was announced first and scheduled for publication first.

Publishing isn’t always a linear journey. The thing we think will be “it” sometimes turns out to, well, not be. And we have to keep moving forward with our stories, projects, and ideas. What I’ve learned since this all began is that things will happen when they’re meant to happen. If one project doesn’t get picked up right away, it doesn’t mean that it won’t someday; it’s just maybe not the right time. That being said, rejection is never easy to handle though. It can be hard to brush off, especially if it’s a project that’s near and dear to you…which they almost all are. They come from your heart and soul. Someone not wanting to make your story a reality feels like a rejection of yourself sometimes. But it’s important to try to separate those feelings and keep pushing yourself to create new and exciting things that you’re passionate about.

At the end of the day, we no longer need publishers to help us tell our stories. There are so many avenues that allow us to connect with audiences on our own. It’s always nice to be validated but someone saying no to you or your story doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line. It’s a lot of work to self-publish or even crowdfund but those options are there.

That being said, if writing and storytelling is your passion, it’s great to have goals. Absolutely have ambition and work towards achieving them. But remember that you should be your own #1 fan. It’s a bit of an oxymoron because creatives tend to suffer from a lot of imposter syndrome. However, if you aren’t necessarily able to compliment your own writing, being the biggest champion of your story and characters will give you the passion to tell the best version possible.

If I can leave this reflection with some advice for any creatives out there reading this, here it is: be kind to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others—success is different for all of us. Don’t let other people define your creativity and your storytelling. Stick with the projects you love, be open to constructive feedback, and give yourself space from your stories when you need it. And above all else, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have what it takes. Feed your soul with whatever you’re passionate about and thrive on it.


Oh My Gods! Book CoverIt’s been a whirlwind year for me, personally and professionally. After waiting years for the first of our graphic novels to be released in the world, it finally happened! I wanted to do a little summary of “everything,” even if it’s just for myself. This year has been a milestone one for me and despite the fact that there’s been an ongoing pandemic, I want to celebrate the good.

This will be a bit of a mix of things from my professional accomplishments (ie. book releases) as well as a few fun personal things that have been going on. It also might get a bit long, but I’ll try not to ramble. Let’s get started!


Our first graphic novel, Oh My Gods! came out in January—it was a weird time to have a book come out since the city of Toronto was still in lockdown and only stores deemed “essential” were allowed to remain open. I wasn’t able to see it on store shelves for over a month! But when I did, it was amazing. It’s hard to believe that something you helped make is out in the world when you can’t actually see it. But spotting it for the first time was a moment I will never forget. PLUS we got a write-up in the New York Times?! Wild.


I quit my job and went freelance full-time! I didn’t anticipate doing that; the plan was always to have a day job until I was someday earning a passive income through royalties. BUT I couldn’t keep going at a job that didn’t value me as an employee and kept piling more responsibilities on me. It was terrifying to do but I think now that it was the right decision and I wholeheartedly thank Tory for (lovingly) bullying me into it.


Editing work really took off for me too. As a result of my quitting my job (see above haha), I wound up starting to work for a few incredible creators and publishers as a consultant and editor. There are a few projects I can’t talk about yet but one of my fave things to work on this year has been Animal Rescue Friends with Epic Originals. I’ll do a proper announcement for this project when there’s more to share, but it’s been an incredible opportunity and experience so far.


My second full-length graphic novel came out this year too. Technically it was actually my first (we sold it before Oh My Gods!) but the way the publishing schedule panned out, it came out second. I’m so ridiculously proud of it. We were nominated for a Silver Birch Fiction Award (!!!!) and my Talking Comics family nominated it for Best Original Graphic Novel…and they nominated me for Best Breakthrough Writer.

Unlike with Oh My Gods! stores were thankfully open for its release but there were lots of restrictions still in place. BUT I managed to do an event with the wonderful people at Book City on the Danforth. We did an outdoor event in July and it was amazing to celebrate the moment with my neighbourhood as well as friends that stopped by.


Oh and I had another book come out? This one was a bit of a whirlwind but Megan Huang and I had been doing a series of short stories as back-ups for the Image Comics book Tartarus (that I edited). We decided to do a collection of the stories and teamed up with TO Comix to make it happen. We funded via Kickstarter and made our goal within the first 24 hours! Now it’s out in the world for y’all to read and enjoy.


I went from 0 to 60 with D&D and TTRPG’s during the pandemic. We did a new season of The Diecast Podcast where I reprised my role as Dark Elf Sorceress Supreme, Amalica Myep. It was a blast and we even managed to record some episodes in person which was amazing (TTC not withstanding…) and I played a new character in a series of one-shot campaigns called Tales from Trollskull. I played a bardbarian named Una and got to RP with a ton of friends—it was ridiculously fun!

And then a few weeks ago, I started another campaign where we’re playing City of Mist. I joined the Going Critical crew and am finally playing a system that’s not D&D! It’s a Powered by the Apocalypse system and our campaign is called Sleepless Nights. We play Tuesday evenings at 8pm EST over on Twitch. And for that, I’m playing a character named Nikki Bailey who is a pro soccer athlete with a bit of a bad temper. We’re three episodes in and I can’t wait to see where it goes.


And speaking of streaming and podcasts, I started a new podcast this year with my partner-in-crime, Whitney Gardner! It’s called the Caper Cast and it’s us talking about cinematic heist movies that we watch. We review the film, we review the heist…it’s a good time! It’s been so much fun to do and I hope that you’ll consider checking it out, if you haven’t done so already.


Which leads me to my next point…I HAVE A NEW BOOK THAT WAS ANNOUNCED! You can see the write-up right here on my blog. But basically my podcast partner-in-crime, Whitney Gardner, and myself sold a series to Simon & Schuster earlier this year and it’s called The Racc Pack. It’s a book about a family of raccoons who decide that they want a break from scavenging for the winter and plan a heist of the motherlode of dumpsters. It’s planned for release in Fall 2023…and now you have some further context into why Whitney and I started a podcast researching heist movies!


In my last bit of comic book-related news, I’m making my Archie Comics debut in February! Comics Beat did a write-up about it but you can also check out the announcement on my blog here. I got to write Veronica, a little bit of Archie, and Dilton in the Love & Heartbreak special. The art for the story is by the incredible Lisa Sterle (y’all, I can’t tell you how excited I was to get paired up with Lisa!!!) and I can’t wait for you to check it out.


And finally, I’m writing a video game! You maybe saw the news around the internet or on socials, but I’ve been brought on board to Kitten Cup Studio to write Pekoe. It’s a cozy tea-making simulator that takes place in a town populated by cats! I was basically born to work on this game and between getting to work on this and writing a book about raccoons? I honestly don’t know how things could possibly get any better. It’s been an incredible experience so far and I hope you’ll consider checking it out. You can watch the trailer and add it to your Steam wishlist here.

And that’s it! I mean, that was a pretty extensive list so saying “that’s it” doesn’t seem entirely appropriate. But I’m really proud of the year I’ve had, even with the ongoing pandemic as well as some personal tragedies. It’s always hard to sum up everything in a relatively short post, but I guess these are the highlights. I’m sure I’m missing stuff but I’m just so grateful to have these opportunities.

I hope you all had a great 2021 too and may your 2022 treat you (and all of us) well.


Continuing on with my roundups, I put together a list of everything that I read this month. Looking at it, I’m kind of surprised—it really didn’t feel like I read seven books but I’m impressed with myself, especially given that it was an incredibly busy month for me. I’ve included some brief thoughts on each book and if you click the title of any of the books, it’ll take you to Bookshop where you can purchase a copy for yourself, should you be so inclined. Let’s go!

And that’s it! I’m starting off December with some borrowed manga from a friend and then have an anxiety-inducing TBR stack (both physical and digital) to try to work through during downtime this month. We’ll see how I do! I’ve already reached my reading goal for the year (104 of 75) but I’m curious about how I’ll finish out 2021. Stay tuned!

Oh hey! I have some more exciting news to share with you all. I’ve joined the Going Critical crew for a new TTRPG campaign called Sleepless Nights. The show launched on Tuesday, November 30 over on Twitch and we’ll be doing live streams every Tuesday at 8pm EST until we wrap up.

We’re playing with City Of Mist, which is a TTRPG based on the Powered By the Apocalypse System. Using 2d6’s with corresponding bonuses based on character abilities.

I’m playing a character named Nikki Bailey who is a pro soccer athlete with anger issues. She’s learning to play well/better with others and trying to do some damage control after a very public incident lands her on probation with her league and in mandatory counseling. You can learn more, watch previous episodes, and follow along live by heading to twitch.tv/goingcritrpg

It’s somehow December and I guess it’s time to do a recap of what I watched. I know I don’t need to do this but chronicling everything to share somehow makes me feel like I achieved something rather than wasted countless hours in front of my TV. No shame or regrets though. We do what we gotta do to decompress and feel good after a long day. Or just to relax!

As with the rest of these roundup posts, I did not include movies since I track those over on Letterboxd. If you’re curious about those, you can visit my profile to see what I watched. So without further delay, here’s my TV list from November:

A friend of mine recommended the British version of Ghosts to me so I sat down and made my way through both seasons in about a week. I really enjoyed it! Apparently, a US version just launched too? Anyways, there were quite a few actors from Taskmaster in the show and it delighted me to see them away from that.

Sort Of is an excellent Canadian series about a trans nanny who is struggling with working through personal issues while feeling stuck in the middle of a family tragedy revolving around the people they work for. It’s not a very long show and is funny, poignant, and engaging.

Sex Education is one of those rare shows that continues to be amazing as it goes on. It explores so many complex themes and relationships, all while being so wonderfully body and sex-positive.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is the best of the shows. Truly. Like, I know the OG is great and I do enjoy it but every time a UK series has aired, it has blown the US counterpart out of the water (for me). This season was no exception and I really had a blast watching it—I just wish it had more episodes!

And on a whim, I decided to try out Succession? I didn’t think I was going to get into it and after the first episode, I felt pretty meh about it. But I went back in for the second and then all of a sudden couldn’t stop myself. Wound up getting super into it and can’t wait to watch the rest!

Controversial opinion here but Doom Patrol is just…fine? I know everyone loves it and sings its praises but it’s okay. I’ve been watching it in the background while I play on my Switch because I can’t focus on any of the episodes for an extended period of time. I just don’t care about any of the characters. SORRY.

The rest of the shows I don’t really have opinions on worth sharing. But always happy to discuss if y’all have any comments or questions about any of them. That being said, I’m in the middle of about a half dozen shows so I suspect December will be a pretty massive list for y’all to (maybe) look forward to.

I’ve got another announcement to share with you. This is a project we’ve been keeping secret for the majority of this year…which is known as author torture. I have a new middle-grade graphic novel series that’s being launched called The Racc Pack. It’s created by myself and my amazing partner-in-crime, Whitney Gardner.

This is from the announcement: “The City of Toronto may be doing its best to keep the raccoon population out of its garbage, but that’s not going to stop the Bins family from continuing in their pursuit of the tastiest, most delicious trash they can find. So when a fancy new grocery store opens up in their neighborhood, the dumpster-diving critters hatch a heist so daring, it’ll have them rolling in garbage all winter long. Publication for the first book is planned for fall 2023.”

You might notice that this is a heist book and Whitney and I are co-hosts on The Caper Cast. It’s almost like we’ve been doing research for a while and subtly trying to tell you what’s been going on. But don’t worry, this is only part of our Big Reveal and more will be coming soon.

You can visit RaccPack.com to learn more and sign up for any updates.

Surprise! I’ve been working on a short story for Archie Comics and it’s just been announced. My Archie debut will be in the Love & Heartbreak special which is an anthology comprised of a few different stories written by myself, Sina Grace, and Thomas Pitilli.

I get to write Veronica Lodge (!!!!) and I’m teamed up with the incredible Lisa Sterle who will be doing the art. The image here is the variant cover by Paulina Ganucheau.

To say that this is a dream come true is an understatement. There are very few licensed properties that I’ve wanted to work on but Archie has been on my bucket list since Day 1. Archie Comics are what got me into comics in the first place and they have a special place in my heart. Getting to make my mark on the Archieverse is nothing short of an incredible milestone for me.

Love & Heartbreak will be out in February. You can order your copy over on the Archie website here.

Today, the line-up for Canadian Children’s Book Week 2022 was announced. I’m happy to share that among the many talented authors and illustrators on the list, I’ve been chosen as a participant. I’ll be touring (virtually) for a week in 2022.

From the press release: “Over fifty talented Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers have been selected to take part in this virtual tour and share a love of reading with young people in schools, libraries and homes all across Canada. Established in 1977, the upcoming national tour will take place from May 1-7, 2022.”

You can read the full release and see all the other people I will be joining by visiting here!

Like my watch list this month, I didn’t wind up reading a ton in October. I started a few things but wound up being pretty busy overall and spent much of my free time watching spooky movies. So without any further delay, let’s get into my October Reading Roundup:

And that’s it for the month. I’m quickly working my way through The Ex Hex which I thought I might finish in time for the roundup but you’ll have to wait until next month to see my thoughts on that. What did you read this month and what were some of the highlights?

Today I’ve got some exciting news to share: I’m writing an upcoming video game for Kitten Cup Studio. I’ve been brought on board to write Pekoe, which is a tea-making simulator that takes place in a small town that is populated by cats.

Pekoe will be out in 2022 (date TBA) and I’ll be sure to update y’all with new information as it becomes available. You can also read the latest newsletter here and subscribe.

You can add Pekoe to your Steam wishlist here. And watch the launch trailer for the game below:

Annnnd that’s a wrap on Spooktober! I’m not gonna lie, I’m sad that it’s come and gone. Now it’s time to process the fact that the holidays are almost here…and it’s nearly the end of the year. I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT IT YET. So until then, let’s talk about some of the things I watched last month. I watched 40 horror movies for Halloween—you can see the full list on my Letterboxd. That’s what I spent the majority of my TV time on. But I still managed to watch a few shows too, so here they are:

Almost all of these were quality TV shows! It’s been a long time since I could claim that. Out of this mix, my #1 by far was Only Murders in the Building. What an ABSOLUTE JOY it was. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez are perfection together with the latter balancing out the big, over-the-top personalities of the two formers. I was hooked on the premise too and enjoyed watching it every single week. It’s a new favourite!

Mare of Easttown was fantastic, but pretty much everyone has already said that already. Kate Winslet is a treasure.

And then the last show I’ll quickly mention here is What We Do in the Shadows which someone in its third season continues to be a brilliant and hilarious journey. It took some unexpected turns and I love how it keeps me on my toes but remains ridiculous and light-hearted.

What did you watch during Spooktober? Any highlights?

For October, I’ve been trying to watch as many horror movies as possible to celebrate. I’m still watching them up until the end of the month, but since Halloween is on a weekend, I thought I’d share some of my faves so far. You know, just in case you need some suggestions for what to watch on this spooktacular weekend. These are all available on at least one streaming platform so I’ll include that as well. If you want to see the full list, you can visit my list over on Letterboxd.

Werewolves Within (2021, Netflix)

This is EASILY my #1 for this season so far. I went in blind and absolutely adored this fun, campy werewolf flick. Who in the town is actually werewolf killing people off? A new forest ranger tries to find answers. Sam Richardson is a delight but Milana Vayntrub really shines here and brings an Ellie Kemper (minus the problematic shenanigans…) vibe. Plus Harvey Guillén has a supporting role here too.

Till Death (2021, hoopla)

I enjoyed this one a LOT. Not a ton of jump scares, it’s just an edge-of-your-seat thriller starring Megan Fox as she tries to outlive a twisted and elaborate revenge plot set up by her husband. For fans of You’re Next and Ready or Not. Pleasantly surprised by the performances, story, and overall film—it’s definitely worth checking out to get in some spooks.

Bit (2019, hoopla)

I saw a recommendation for this film going around a while back and decided to watch for Spooktober. I had a blast watching this fangtastic vampire film featuring badass ladies, for fans of Lost Boys. Plus it has a diverse and inclusive cast as well as some great queer representation. There aren’t really any big-name actors attached to the film but the cast is charismatic and pulls off carrying the film.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010, hoopla)

This wasn’t my first watch of this film—I’ve seen it like 20 times before—but it’s just as fun every time I watch it. Starring Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, it’s a great film for those who want something spooky without big scares. It turns the slasher, killer-in-the-woods genre on its head and plays around with character stereotypes in a fun way. A new, modern classic.

Saint Maud (2019, Netflix)

I didn’t know if I’d enjoy this movie but it’s really creepy and compelling. Another film playing with religion in the horror genre (ie. Midnight Mass and Apostle) and doing a great job with it. It’s a slow burn of a film, which isn’t always something that I enjoy, but this was paced so well and kept me engaged the whole way through. Excellent performances, especially from Welsh actress, Morfydd Clark who plays the titular Maud.

Peninsula (2020, hoopla)

If you enjoyed Train to Busan, this movie is a sort of sequel and brings you on an all-new zombie adventure that has some heisty elements similar to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. Basically, this picks up a few years after TtB and some survivors have been hired to go back to South Korea to steal some money that no one will miss. It’s kind of Army of the Dead meets Mad Max: Fury Road. Really liked this one! 
And those are my recommendations! I’ve watched 35+ movies so far so there’s a pretty extensive list, which you can again check out on Letterboxd. But these are some of my faves that I hope you’ll enjoy too.

That’s right, you heard me! ParaNorthern is now an award-nominated graphic novel. Today, Forest of Reading and Ontario Library Association announced their 2022 nominees and we’re up for the Silver Birch Fiction Award. There are some other wonderful titles up for it too but I’m just so thrilled and honoured to be included.

You can see the full list of awards and nominees over on the Forest of Reading site. Authors (myself included) have shared some fun activity sheets and other such things for young ones to check out too. Stay tuned to hear more!

Interested in making comics? For my latest list, I wanted to put together some recommendations on a few different aspects of the comics industry. These books can help you on your path, teach you about the industry, and hopefully keep you healthy physically and mentally as you navigate your way through.

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Comics can be hard to figure out because there are no real universal standards for making them. Things are different depending on the publisher, market, audience, etc. which can be overwhelming. Understanding Comics is the closest thing that we have to a bible for the industry. It goes through the ins and outs of making comics; all in comic format! It’s a must-read for anyone interested in pursuing them or who is interested in learning more.

Here is the official synopsis: “Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is a seminal examination of comics art: its rich history, surprising technical components, and major cultural significance. Explore the secret world between the panels, through the lines, and within the hidden symbols of a powerful but misunderstood art form.”


Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis

Brian Michael Bendis is one of our modern greats when it comes to comic book writing. In his book Words for Pictures, he explores both the art side of the industry as well as the business side of things. You can’t really go wrong with taking advice from a man who really knows his stuff so this is definitely worth checking out.

Here is the official synopsis: “One of the most popular writers in modern comics, Brian Michael Bendis reveals the tools and techniques he and other top creators use to create some of the most popular comic book and graphic novel stories of all time. Words for Pictures shows readers the creative methods of a writer at the very top of his field. Bendis guides aspiring creators through each step of the comics-making process–from idea to script to finished sequential art–for fan favorite comics like The AvengersUltimate Spider-ManUncanny X-Men, and more. Along the way, tips and insights from other working writers, artists, and editors provide a rare, extensive look behind the creative curtain of the comics industry. With script samples, a glossary of must-know business terms for writers, and interactive comics-writing exercises, Words for Pictures provides the complete toolbox needed to jump start the next comics-writing success story.”


Essential Guide to Comic Book Lettering by Nate Piekos

Okay so technically speaking I can’t fully recommend this book since I have yet to read it myself (only because it’s not out just yet) but I can say with a lot of confidence that it’s going to be fantastic. Nate Piekos knows his stuff, especially when it comes to lettering! And as one of the most underappreciated jobs in comics, we should all strive to do our parts to understand just how incredible an art form it is.

Here is the official synopsis: “Award-winning comic book letterer, and founder of Blambot.com, Nate Piekos, provides you with the most in-depth tips and techniques ever published on the subject of digital comic book lettering . . . from creating your own lettering templates, emotive dialogue, and dynamic sound effects . . . to developing design skills and building a lettering career in the comic industry.”


Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud

This is technically the third book in McCloud’s series (I’ve completely skipped over Reinventing Comics) but I think it’s the other one that you can get a lot out of. Realistically, if you have to choose one between this and Understanding Comics, I’d choose the latter but if you can have both, why not go for it?! Like I said in the previous post, McCloud knows what he’s talking about and has created the “unofficial” bible for the industry. Trust that he’ll steer you in the right direction and give you great information that will help you in the longrun.

Here is the official synopsis: “Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture in 1993 with Understanding Comics, a massive comic book about comics, linking the medium to such diverse fields as media theory, movie criticism, and web design. In Reinventing Comics, McCloud took this to the next level, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are generated, read, and perceived today. Now, in Making Comics, McCloud focuses his analysis on the art form itself, exploring the creation of comics, from the broadest principles to the sharpest details (like how to accentuate a character’s facial muscles in order to form the emotion of disgust rather than the emotion of surprise.) And he does all of it in his inimitable voice and through his cartoon stand-in narrator, mixing dry humor and legitimate instruction. McCloud shows his reader how to master the human condition through word and image in a brilliantly minimalistic way. Both comic book devotees and the uninitiated will marvel at this journey into a once-underappreciated art form.”


Draw Stronger by Kriota Willberg

While this book isn’t strictly about the comics industry per se, it’s really important regardless. Creatives tend to overwork themselves as they try to break into and continue to work within the industry. When we’re young, it’s easy to wave off pains and sprains and bounce back quickly. But as you get older, it’s harder to ignore how we treat our bodies. This book gives you exercises to incorporate into your daily routine to keep you in peak condition throughout your artistic career.

Here is the official synopsis: “Finally, Draw Stronger is here You’re a cartoonist. You take care of yourself to prevent drawing injuries. You do your stretches, take regular breaks, and draw with perfect posture. What happens? You start experiencing pain when you draw anyway A perfect example of bad things happening to good people. What should you do? Go to the doctor if it’s serious. But, if it’s a minor injury, go to your bookshelf and start reading Draw Stronger. This little tome can be used to help reduce discomfort until you see a healthcare professional, or it can provide guidelines for managing mild drawing injuries that don’t require medical attention. Explore Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation Therapy (R.I.C.E. Therapy) from the perspective of a committed drawer, learn some tips for understanding your pain, avoid worsening your injuries, and more.”

If buying the book (see link below) isn’t in the cards for you, not to worry! Kriota Willberg has a series available for free over on The Comics Beat website. You can check out all the posts here.


Dynamic Light and Shade by Burne Hogarth

There are lots of books out there on art, creating characters (like in the next post) and more but one of the most important aspects to that is understanding light. This book will help you process and master it for your own art!

Here is the official synopsis: “Mastery of light and shade – rendered with accuracy and expressive power – is the key to three-dimensional form in drawing and painting. Here is the first book on this essential subject, the product of years of study by one of the world’s great teachers of drawing and an artist of international renown, Burne Hogarth.”


Creating Characters for the Entertainment Industry by 3dtotal

I’m a writer and editor that likes to dabble in doodling from time to time. And the art books put out by 3dtotal Publishing are some of my faves to utilize! They break things down in a way that makes it easy for me (someone with ADHD and a lack of confidence when it comes to art) to process. Plus I love the style of the art and the advice that they give. I’ve been pining after this specific book for ages and the other one that I use from them is called Creating Stylized Characters which has been wonderful for me! Highly recommend them.

Here is the official synopsis: “Creating Professional Characters: Develop Spectacular Designs from Basic Concepts is an inspiring and informative exploration of how popular professional character designers take the basic concept of a character in a production brief and develop these ideas into an original, high-quality design. Suitable for student and professional character designers alike, this book focuses on how to approach your character designs in ways that ensure the target audience and production needs are met while still creating fun, imaginative characters. This visually appealing book includes twenty thorough tutorials guiding you through the design and decision making processes used to create awesome characters. Replicating the processes used in professional practice today, this book demonstrates the types of brief a professional designer might receive, the iterative design process used to explore the brief, the influence of production feedback on the final design, and how final designs are presented to clients. This detailed, enlightening book is an excellent guide to creating incredible imaginative characters suitable for your future professional projects.”


You can see the entire list over on Bookshop.org and pick up the ones that might help you out while also supporting indie bookstores.

What are some of your favourite books and resources for learning about comics and writing? Leave your recs below in the comments!

I had the absolute pleasure of joining the hosts of The Whatnauts: The Captain’s Log podcast to discuss a whole ton of things. Included in that is my former life as a co-host of Talking Comics, my current co-host duties for Caper Cast, and then of course writing and I bring up Pacific Rim: The Musical…JUST LET ME MAKE IT, GUILLERMO!

You can check it out on their website or on Spotify OR you can watch the video below:

Welcome to the second edition of my Reading Roundup here on my blog! If you read my TV roundup, you’ll know that I watched a lot last month and I also read a ton too. So let’s jump into my list and talk about it.

That’s 25 freaking books?! I have no clue where I found the energy to consume that much last month but here we are. I think since it’s nice and cool out, I enjoy getting snuggly in my reading chair with a big sweater on and a cat for company. You know? Such a nice reprieve from the heat of the summer. But regardless, it’s still a lot of reading.

I am once again back to shout about all the things I watched in September! It was surprisingly a lot?  Even for me???? Like, I looked at this list and was like, ‘Did I accidentally mash-up months?’ but nope, I just spent a lot of time on my couch for the start of cozy season.

If you’re interested in the films I watched too, you can visit my Letterboxd account here. And I’ll be recording all my spooky watches for 31 Days of Horror starting today…but yeah!

Honestly, LOOK AT THIS. How did I watch all of this?! To be fair, Legends of Tomorrow, American Ninja Warrior, and Nine Perfect Strangers were all shows I watched serially so probably over the course of the last couple of months? But still.

I once again have a pretty big section of reality TV and I don’t have much to say about it except I’ll lump a limited docu-series into the mix here which was LuLaRich on Amazon Prime. This was wild and I really enjoyed the ride that was this MLM/cult/pyramid scheme feature on the company LuLaRoe. I highly recommend it.

As you may have guessed from my love of the heist movie genre, Lupin continues to be incredible. You always worry that as a show continues, it’ll lose its quality but it was just as good in the second part.

Squid Game was also really excellent! I devoured the entire thing in a little over a day. I saw on TikTok though that the translations in the English subtitles are really inaccurate though, or rather that they really mess up on a lot of the nuance. But regardless, I had a great time with it. I know there’s going to be more but I kind of wish it was just a limited series.

Nine Perfect Strangers was a bit of a letdown. There was all this build-up to a pretty anti-climactic end so I was kind of bummed by that one. It had a lot of potential and I was recommending it to friends as I watched it.

And finally, Midnight Mass was another thing I binged. And most recently too! It just came out on Netflix from Mike Flanagan aka the guy who did The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor series’ there. It’s different and we explore more supernatural things but this time tackling something else entirely. I don’t want to give anything away since it’s new but I really enjoyed it. Spooky but not too spooky.

What did you watch last month? Let me know if there’s anything else I should check out!

I haven’t really kept up with traditional Big Two superhero comics for a while now. But I do still love a good superhero story! Marvel and DC’s characters have so much history to them though and it can be intimidating to try to jump in. If you want to wet your toes with superheroes elsewhere, here are some suggestions for you:

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse Comics)

This is one of my all-time favourite books; it’s funny, smart, enjoyable, features great art, and it’s by a fellow Canadian as well as set in Canada. LOVE THAT. For those who might read superhero comics and say, “Gee, I wish there were more slice-of-life superhero stories…” this is for you.

Here is the official synopsis: “What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores and have a weakness for kittens? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young female superhero, battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world.”


Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk (Dark Horse Comics)

If The Adventures of Superhero Girl is our slice-of-life hero comic, this is the charming anti-hero companion. It incorporates the story with a similar kind of humour and asks questions about what this person would get up to when they weren’t being a criminal. It’s a lot of fun and while a little more adult than I originally thought going into this, it’s still a blast.

Here’s the official synopsis: “Mary Posa hates her job. She works long hours for little pay, no insurance, and worst of all, no respect. Her co-workers are jerks and her boss doesn’t appreciate her. He’s also a supervillain. And her parents… well, they’re the most famous superhero couple in Crepe City, along with her sister. Cursed with a conscience, Mary would give anything to be something other than a Henchgirl, but no matter what she does her plans always seem to go awry.”


Barbalien: Red Planet by Tate Brombal, Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar (Dark Horse Comics)

This isn’t just a great superhero graphic novel but it’s an extremely important one too. This sheds a light on the AIDS Crisis, gay rights activism, and more but all through the lens of a superhero, one Mark Markz aka Barbalien. It’s a limited spinoff series from Jeff Lemire’s wildly successful Black Hammerverse and is easily one of the best stories to date.

Here’s the official synopsis: “Mark Markz has found his place on Earth as both a decorated police officer and as the beloved superhero, Barbalien. But in the midst of the AIDS crisis, hatred from all sides makes balancing these identities seem impossible–especially when a Martian enemy from the past hunts him down to take him back, dead or alive.”


The Pitiful Human Lizard by Jason Loo (Chapterhouse Comics)

Jason Loo is an enormously talented creator that poured his heart and soul into this series. You can tell how much he adores this story and the characters within right away. Not only that but it’s just infectiously fun and delightful! Our protagonist has heart and humour on his side and you truly can’t go wrong with picking this book up.

Here’s the official synopsis: “Toronto’s got a new superhero! And he’s pitiful! Lucas Barrett is an office clerk by day and a struggling superhero on evenings and weekends. Since costume repairs and his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes strain his tight budget, Lucas volunteers as a test subject for a pharmaceutical company’s trial painkiller. After a disgusting ordeal, Lucas realizes that the experimental drug left him with regenerative powers. With his newfound powers, the Human-Lizard is ready to take on any challenge that awaits him – even a supervillain interrupting his first date.”


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (Quill Tree Books)

What can I say about Nimona that hasn’t already been said half a million times? Noelle Stevenson shines here and tells a story that is pure joy to read. Seeing Stevenson’s art progress from start to finish too (it was originally released as a webcomic) is a great inspiration for young artists out there!

Will we ever get the Nimona movie that we deserve? It seems less and less likely…but in the meantime, we have the wonderful graphic novel.

Here’s the official synopsis: “Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.”


Hellboy by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse Comics)

I was hesitant to put Hellboy on the list since so many people already know about him. Heck, there’s three movies out there, a short-lived animated series, and more. But I really love these stories so I decided to do it anyways; it doesn’t really matter where you pick it up, most of the stories feel pretty standalone and you can jump on board at any point. The films do lay a good groundwork for giving you his origin and telling you what his deal is, so feel free to use that as a primer. And then read whatever!

Here’s the official synopsis for the first Omnibus Edition (pictured on the right): “The story jumps from Hellboy’s mysterious World War II origin to his 1994 confrontation with the man who summoned him to earth, and the earliest signs of the plague of frogs. Avoiding his supposed fate as the herald of the end of the world, Hellboy continues with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, fighting alongside Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and drafting Roger Homunculus into his own ill-fated service with the B.P.R.D.”


The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba, Dave Stewart, and Nate Powell (Dark Horse Comics)

Okay I know this is another one that most people know about at this point. Especially thanks to the Netflix series based on the comics. But I still think the original source material is worth checking out. Like with Hellboy, the series will give you a good primer on everything to do with the characters. And if you’ve seen it, you will be spoiled on the ending of Volume 1. But there are differences and I think that it’s something that you may enjoy, especially if you need a break from more traditional capes and cowls.

Here’s the official synopsis: “In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-three extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, To save the world.

These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.”


I didn’t realize until completing this list just how many comics I love within this theme that are from Dark Horse! Good job, y’all…you’re making some great books!

I haven’t talked about it here for a while but did you know I have a podcast with the amazing Whitney Gardner? It’s called Caper Cast and we talk about cinematic heists and capers! It releases on the first and third Tuesday of every month.

We’ve been having a blast doing and even if it was just for us, I think we’d keep at it. But it’s more fun with other people! We’ve covered a ton of fun movies so far with Fast Five being the most recent. Whitney had never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies before so this was her intro.

There’s a lot of laughter, Vin Diesel impressions, and questions…if we’re being honest. But the film is just so much fun that it’s hard to not get wrapped up in it.

The show does do spoilers so if you haven’t seen a film and you’re wanting to check it out, you should definitely watch it first. Unless you don’t care about that sort of thing. You can visit CaperCast.com to subscribe or you can listen to the latest episode below:

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may have seen my What I’m Watching feature that I do on a monthly basis. Last night I was reading and thought “Why don’t I do that for what I’m reading too?” And thus I decided to pull together a list of what I read in August to share.

What did you read last month? Let me know in the comments!

Yet another month has passed and here I am, back to tell you about what TV I watched. Comparatively to the last several months, it was pretty light for TV watching. I think it’s because I started a bunch of shows that have yet to wrap up though. So those will trickle onto the list at a later date…probably September or October.

So without further delay, here’s what I watched:

With the exception of one, it was all reality TV. I swear I watch other stuff. I swear I do. I won’t get into the reality shows because they’re mostly just my comfort TV. What I will discuss is how much I freaking loved Centaurworld.

I knew it was going to be something up my alley when they announced this show. Animation! Bonkers concept! Musical numbers! Whacky absurdism! It was truly everything that I could’ve hoped for. I wasn’t expecting for it to sucker punch me so hard on the emotional side of things though. Truly thought I was going in for a goofy good time and was unprepared. But it does such a great job of balancing the serious with the silly and I really hope it’s renewed for more seasons.

Annnnd that’s it! What did you watch in August and enjoy? Let me know in the comments!