Award-winning cartoonist, Scott Chantler, is a visual storyteller with a passion for history. “History provides us with a catalogue of interesting human drama, which is all the more compelling because it’s true,” says Scott. “Looking back at how people lived offers a goldmine of material.”
And history has offered up a lot of fodder for Scott’s artistic brain. He has written an historical adventure, The Northwest Passage; a graphic memoir, Two Generals, based on his grandfather’s experience in WWII; and a fantasy series called Three Thieves. He is currently at work on the fourth book in the series, due out next year.
Having avoided the mainstream superhero comic scene, Scott lives outside of the stereotypical comic book world, which mostly caters to existing character fans (a la Spider-Man or Wolverine). “My goal was to cast as wide a net as possible with my work,” says Scott. “I wanted to go beyond the realm of “geek” or “fandom” to reach people who simply like to read and appreciate comics.”
From school-aged kids to seniors, Scott’s work is read by a wide audience; from regular comic book readers to people who are new to the medium. His work seems to be something of gateway drug for readers. “I can’t tell you how many people have said mine was their first graphic novel,” says Scott. “It’s wonderful to hear and I am happy to be an ambassador for the art form.”
While busy at work on his forthcoming book and a screenplay project he can’t yet speak about, later this month, Scott’s graphic non-fiction book, Two Generals, will be the feature of a new exhibit at the City of Waterloo Museum. The work of his comic will be brought to life with relics from his grandfather’s WWII experiences along with a suite of rare Canadian comic books on display. “I love it when an opportunity comes along to reach non-comic book readers,” he says.
You can meet Scott in the flesh on March 15 (2-4pm) at the City of Waterloo Museum where he’ll be talking about his book and how awesome comics are. You can also read his musings on Twitter.
P.S. Scott’s favourite topic of conversation: anything a well-read person will talk to him about, except sports.
*photo: Peter Bregg