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 Vice, Exclaim!, 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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