EVENT + Intermezzo

Hello friends!

We will continue publishing Issue 2 next week. Please scroll down for more information about that.

This evening, we have been given the opportunity to speak at Marian Engel Park. Every year, the office of Councillor Joe Mihevc sponsors a movie night in a park named after the dear subject of our graphic novel. This park is located near where Engel’s last novel (and our namesake) is set, Marchmount Rd. known also as Lunatic Villas. They will be screening Despicable Me for families after our presentation.  Yes. Despicable Me. We will post notes and photos of the event here, as well as all the fun stuff we come up with for kids! If you’re free, consider dropping by! Here is all the info.

This event was originally planned to celebrate the birthday of Marian Engel, but the original date was rained out. Please enjoy what would have been a timely illustration of how we felt last month when we celebrated her birthday privately!


The delay in issue 2 has been brought to you by U of T summer classes. We will have new pages up next week, though! In the interim, check out an old story by writer David Emery about conquistadors and bears and all kinds of stuff that one can construe as Canadian: http://www3.carleton.ca/inwords/inwords52_DE.html

This one is by a close friend of Lunatic Villas who operates a wonderful online mag: www.thesteelchisel.ca. David, thank you!

‘Till next week!~~


Dear friends

here is the first 7 pages of Lunatic Villas #2.

Please return here in 7 days for our next few pages. We will be releasing them throughout the month of June. Don’t forget to re-read issue 1, tweet about us and share, share, share!




Dear Villa Dwellers

we have a slew of updates for you!


In February, Lunatic Villas observed the anniversary of Marian Engel’s passing. Our mandate is to celebrate her life, during a year when she should be alive and aged 82 years old. Unfortunately, 30 years ago we were deprived of this privilege. May is the celebration of her birthday, so next month please take some time to read one of her many novels.


We are proud to announce that our brilliant, dashing illustrator Tanya Decarie aka Twiggy Starblade will be representing Mississauga’s slam collective WE FLIP TABLES at Vancouver’s Verses Festival! A fundraising event for this trip will be held Saturday April 18, 7:30pm at Studio.89 in Mississauga. A limited edition chapbook of Tanya’s writing and illustrations will be available for purchase.


Lunatic Villas writer Peter Gibbon will also be reading poetry at the event! How often do you see the illustrator and writer of a comic book read their poetry in the same evening? The answer is not that often. Full event details via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1425854367717446/ This month, LV writer Peter Gibbon has a new poem online via The Steel Chisel.




Our second instalment is underway. The script is being finalized, the storyboards are happening and the launch event has been booked. This time, we’re being hosted by the wonderful Emerging Writers Reading Series on June 9th. 8pm, Duffy’s Tavern. Thanks to Jess Taylor & Toronto Arts Council!


Dear friends

the following is the first issue of our comic book about Canadian novelist Marian Engel. Please share it far & wide. It will make issue #2 immensely easier if you do.

Contact us here: lunaticvillas@gmail.com / twitter: @lunaticvillas

Thank you

7 Days (Launch on 25 January)

Hey there, Lunatics!

We’ve been living in insulated basements since the beginning of 2015, so there hasn’t been a lot of activity on our blog. We have been busy, though! We have set up a launch event with our friends Meat Locker Editions.

The facebook event is here, with all the pertinent info:


We are in the final stages of production for issue 1! The pages have been inked and scanned. Tanya is currently colouring the panels digitally and Peter is making speech/thought bubbles and scrutinizing fonts. We will be launching online the day of our reading, SUNDAY JANUARY 25th! so if you can’t make it to the Launch Event (see: link to facebook event above) curl up with your laptop or tablet and enjoy the beginning of our year-long story. While you’re at it, why not pick up a Marian Engel book to read between our issues? Try this one for starters.

NOT by us, but we wish it was!

Czech out this art and words by Naoise Dolan, published by Buzzfeed.


Two personal favourites:

There’s some beautiful balance here between the personal & political. These illustrations/captions go a long way in documenting the everyday complexities and challenges (yes, challenges still) of the female gender.

Thank you, Naoise!

Sunday Thots / Status Update

I always thot it scandalous for a mother to screw. And for a writer to make money?

Myths are dangerous. -M.Engel

A short passage from the Christl Verduyn edited Marian Engel’s Notebooks “Ah, mon cahier, ecoute…” Dr. Verduyn is one of the only writers who writes consistently & substantially about Engel. 4 books & counting… Thank you Professor Verduyn!

A brief status update: half of issue 1 draft 1 is illustrated and the second half is nearly finished being storyboarded. This is what a storyboarded panel looks like, at least when the writer is not an illustrator:


Keep following along! Thanks everyone for the wonderful support so far.



“Best book in Canadian Literature”: National Post

The National Post reviewed Marian Engel‘s Bear this morning, describing it as “the best Canadian novel of all time.” Wow. Engel, who did not live to hear praise like this in any form… who knows what she would have thought? Well, we might. Let us take a stab at it:

old engel

This January, we will be launching the first instalment of a graphic novel inspired by the life and work of Marian Engel. Her life was full of wonderful relationships, brilliant work and compelling stories. The year 2015 will mark the 30th anniversary of Engel’s death. Since she can’t, why not tell a story about her?

This blog will be one source to follow the process of writing and illustrating this story. We believe that communities make work good, so please participate.

Our first issue will cover Engel’s childhood. Anyone curious what a prepubescent Engel might say to the National Post?

young engel

(illustrations by Tanya Decarie)