Fiona Smyth to be inducted into the Giants of the North Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame

Fiona Smyth
Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 6:45am

For more than three decades, Fiona Smyth’s work has straddled art, comics, and murals. Since her days as a student at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) in the mid-1980s, her comics have been marked by a bold and overt sexuality—rare for a female cartoonist at the time—that often, erroneously, saw her labeled an anti-feminist. Alongside her countless self-published zines, Smyth’s comics have appeared in ViceExclaim!, and her pioneering 1990s Vortex series, Nocturnal Emissions

Smyth’s work has been exhibited in countries around the world, including the United States, Mexico, Berlin, France, Venice, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, and Torontonians are familiar with her eye-catching mural gracing the exterior of iconic local club Sneaky Dee’s, located at the intersection of College and Bathurst streets.

Smyth’s publications include The Never Weres, a science fiction graphic novel for teens, and a series of progressive “sex talk” books for children, created with the writer Cory Silverberg. In 2018, Koyama Press released Somnambulance, a career retrospective of Smyth’s work to date. Presently, Smyth teaches illustration and cartooning at OCADU.

Artists are elected to the Giants of the North Hall of Fame by the Doug Wrights Awards executive committee, which solicits input and suggestions from across the Canadian cartooning community. 


This year’s Giants of the North nominees will be inducted on May 11 at the 15th annual Doug Wright Awards, a featured event of the 2019 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), which takes place May 11–12 in and around the Toronto Reference Library.


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Youth Sexual Health Research Symposium 2019

sexual health
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 9:30am to 4:00pm

The goal of the symposium is to bring together community youth (ages 16-35 who are part of a youth group/organization, not attending University, or would like to get connected with people of similar passions) and university students to share their research and artistic pieces on youth sexual health. In the current political climate, this year's symposium will provide a crucial forum for youth asserting their right for progressive sexual health education. During the symposium, students, youth, academics, policy makers, and community members working in or interested in the field of youth sexual health will be given the opportunity to network and engage in each other’s work. We encourage students from all disciplines and community youth to present research "in progress," test out ideas for a thesis or dissertation proposal, or present original research or artistic pieces.




Youth Sexual Health Research Symposium 2019

40 Willcocks St, Toronto, ON M5S 1C6, Canada

Venue & Address: 
Wilson Hall Lounge, 40 Willcocks St.
Digital Screen: 

Koyama Press Double Launch with Fiona Smyth & Michael Comeau

Fiona Smyth book launch
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 7:00am to 10:00pm


"Collecting a career in comics from 1983-2017 by a joyous, feminist contemporary of Julie Doucet, Seth and Chester Brown. 

A comics collection by Canadian cartoonist, painter, and illustrator Fiona Smyth. Over thirty years of comics that feature Fiona’s world of sexy ladies, precocious girls, and vindictive goddesses is revealed in all its feminist glory. This is recommended reading for sleepwalkers on a female planet.

FIONA SMYTH is a Toronto based painter, educator, illustrator, and cartoonist. Her feminist artwork has exhibited internationally. Fiona collaborated with writer and sex educator Cory Silverberg on the kids’ series What Makes A Baby in 2013, and Sex Is A Funny Word in 2015, published by Seven Stories Press."


"Collage and comics combine in this fotonovela about the psychology of space travel and the limits of exploration.

In the tradition of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Silent Running, this genre-bending photo and comics hybrid presents the final years of a mission to seed a planet in a distant constellation and the failings of both human and artificial psyches in the face of the vastness of space.

MICHAEL COMEAU works on the wall, the print sheet and the page. Creating window displays and paste-up murals utilizing generations of street posters he created for parties, gigs, etc. His comic trilogy Hellberta won the Doug Wright award for experimental comics in 2012."

Fiona & Michael will be holding a conversation with each other about their work, among all the other goings-on. This event is sort of a soft open for TCAF, so we're looking to make it kind of a BIG DEAL. We hope to see you there!

Venue & Address: 
The Beguiling, 319 College St.
Digital Screen: 

Illustrators! IFOA Conversation between Seth and Adrian Tomine

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 11:00am

Fiona Smyth is a Toronto based painter, educator, illustrator, and cartoonist. Her feminist artwork has exhibited internationally. Fiona collaborated with writer and sex educator Cory Silverberg on the award winning kids’ series What Makes A Baby in 2013, and Sex Is A Funny Word in 2015, published by Seven Stories Press. A collection of her comics spanning 30 years titled "Somnambulance" published by Koyama Press will be released in spring 2018.


Seth is a Canadian cartoonist who has been producing comic art for over twenty years. His books include It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken; Wimbledon Green; George Sprott, and his ongoing series, Palookaville. Apart from comics, he is the illustrator for Lemony Snicket’s All the Wrong Questions series. He is the designer for several classic comics reprint series, notably collections of work by Charles Schulz, John Stanley, and Doug Wright. Seth has exhibited throughout the world in a variety of group and solo shows, including a touring show of his model city of Dominion. From his home in Guelph, Ontario, he does illustrations for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker.


Adrian Tomine was born in 1974 in Sacramento, California. He began self-publishing his comic book series Optic Nerve. His comics have been anthologized in publications such as McSweeney’s, Best American Comics, and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and his graphic novel Shortcomings was a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Since 1999, Tomine has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughters.

Venue & Address: 
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre 235 Queens Quay West M5J 2G8
$18/$15 for IFOA Supporters, Free for students and youth

Sex is a Funny Word wins Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

Sex is a Funny Word
Friday, November 18, 2016 - 5:00pm

"Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and You" a book written by Canadian sex educator, Cory Silverberg and Illustrated by Illustration Sessional Instructor Fiona Smyth has received the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction.

About the book:

“A hugely important book that both normalizes diverse sexuality and gives it the respect it deserves… Silverberg’s introduction to sex and sexuality is a pitch-perfect guide for kids seeking answers to some of life’s most embarrassing and confusing questions… The tell-it-like-it-is text is inclusive and sensitive, creating a resource full of acceptance for readers regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or social standing.”

The Jury was conformed by Dory Cerny, Books for Young People Editor, Quill & Quire; Nadia L.Hohn, teacher, Toronto District School Board and author of "Malaika's Costume (Groundwood Books); Heather Kuipers, Owner, Ella Minnow Children's Bookstore.

A full list of this year's winners can be found here.