Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Broken Pencil Artist in Rez Summer Project: The State of Fame

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Broken Pencil Artist in Rez Summer Project: The State of Fame

By Nathaniel G. Moore

Okay so a few years ago during the dark ages of Broken Pencil, I remember reading a missive that said we were doing a sidekick issue. We never did this. Probably a good thing. Whatever "sidekick" meant to the magazine back then, I’m not entirely sure, but in the world of zines, books and magazines in which we all thrive and swan-dive, it could be referring to those who spend their time complimenting our maudlin texts with stunning visuals. Yes, visual artists, drawers. People like Evan Munday. People like Ralph Steadman.

Maybe it's not fair to call them sidekicks. But I needed a hook for this little article. I digress.

So Broken Pencil Magazine is having an art show at Canzine this coming October. The single biggest day in the lives of zinesters and indie culture in general. And we need celebrity art (art about celebrities not by celebrities, but Shary Boyle is welcome to submit to our show) and we even have a fancy artist statement just like a real art show. Okay maybe it’s not fancy, but it is definitely a statement.

So if you are thinking of drawing someone named Drew or Cameron and submitting it to our fair judge for consideration in the big show at Canzine, ask yourself this: What makes a celebrity tick? What is fame? What does it look like? Do I have a scanner?

I think that is what we are looking for. Artwork that captures celebrities before their past due date. It can be anyone you consider a celebrity. This contest is entirely subjective, like the snooty music clerks in the movie High Fidelity. I mean, we may end up with twenty different renderings of Drake from Degrassi who is now a huge rap star and Canadian icon. Or it could be a tribute to the girl from Broken Social Scene who works at Supermarket. Maybe it's everyone's favorite music dad Joe Jackson.

Or it could be Hulk Hogan who is apparently shrinking. Did you know in his prime he was billed as 6’8”? He now stands somewhere in the 6’3” area. Not that you have to draw him to scale. One time as a child, my best friend’s dad turned to him and said, “Why are you sitting around thinking about Hulk Hogan all the time, it’s not like he’s at home thinking about you!” I wish that man had been my father, I probably would be Prime Minister by now.

So I'll get to the point: Toronto artist Rafi Ghanghounian is putting this little show together, which will culminate at The Great Hall (spoiler alert: new location of Canzine 2010) and he’s the one you’ll be sending your artwork to, so make sure you do a decent job. Indie doesn’t have to look like crap. That’s my new slogan anyway. The bumper stickers are in the works.

What would be cool is if literary types did drawings, like for example, once in Descant they published a sketch of Barbara Gowdy by Margaret Atwood. And one time in the beginning of the decade, Sheila Heti did a sketch for Kiss Machine. Stuff like that. I personally would like to see sketches of Jaromir Jagr, Kathy Acker and Mick Foley.

Send your artwork to anytime this summer and then watch as a panel of experts and the world critiques your work on the artist-in-residence blog on

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JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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