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Edmonton comic creator makes the CBC Books list for Best Canadian Comics of 2023

An Edmonton-based comic creator has made the shortlist for the best Canadian comics of 2023 by CBC Books. 

Christopher Twin is originally from Swan River First Nations reservation in northern Alberta, located 240 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, and made the cut with his graphic novel Bad Medicine

Twin was inspired by Cree folklore and modern Cree life. His book follows a group of teens swapping scary stories around a campfire. 

Twin told CBC’s Edmonton AM, one character in the book tells a story about little people who live near the river and play tricks on people passing by. 

“Another kid tells a story about a girl that gets abducted and [has to] fight for yourself,” Twin said.

Twin said the characters in the book begin an impromptu storytelling competition, with each character trying to one-up the others by telling a better story. 

Inspiration from Indigenous tales

He said he knew he wanted to illustrate and write a short story anthology for his first book and describes his book as “Indigenous tales from the crypt sort of horror anthology”.

Some of the stories in the book are ones Twin heard growing up, and others he found during his research before writing. 

“But I also incorporated stories from actual people that I talked to,” he said.

“I wanted to write about something close to home and something for people on reservations.”

Twin said he’s always been drawn to graphic novels and would try to copy them and make his own when he was younger.

“I came back to it later in life and really thought if I was ever going to make a push for it, I might as well do it now,” he said. 

Edmonton AM3:54Bad Medicine by Edmonton’s Christopher Twin makes it to CBC Books’ list of best comics

CBC Books has released its list of best Canadian comics of 2023. Edmonton writer and cartoonist Christopher Twin made the cut with his graphic novel, Bad Medicine.

Twin said he was inspired by Japanese horror manga artist Junji Ito for his art, which he said is a hybrid style of American-style comics and Japanese-style manga. 

The book has also made the long list for Canada Reads 2024. 

Bad Medicine was released in October of this year and so far, Twin said the reactions have been positive and have fuelled his confidence to work on another book. 

He also heard a positive response from the Indigenous community. 

“They all loved seeing something they know represented, in the point of view of someone that grew up around them,” he said. 

Twin said he wanted to convey the Indigenous communities’ tradition of oral storytelling that always ends in a lesson. 

He said his next book, which falls in the sci-fi genre, will also pull on his Indigenous roots.

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