Written by Marilyn Anne Campbell, art by Austen Payne
Short Comic: All-ages*, fiction
(*The Osgoode as Gold anthology where the comic appears is teen+)
A girl, a goose, and a job on the line. This campus ain't big enough for the both of them.
Aside from a tiny illustrated poem-booklet I made with my partner Steve about ten years before, "The Goosefighter" represents my first foray into writing for comics. TO Comix Press has a focus on upcoming and diverse creators, and although that often means writers and artists who are either fresh out of school or still studying, I'm very grateful to them for the opportunity for this long-ago graduate to try out a new medium.
I learned about the open call for submissions about the anthology on Twitter. Creative-types, Twitter lists are your friends.
The idea for "The Goosefighter" came about because the call for submission included a suggested list of genres that TO Comix Press wished they would see more of. One of those was Westerns. As soon as I started wondering how a Western-style showdown could play out in modern day Toronto, I recalled a friend who had a terrible "relationship" with the Canada geese when we both attended York University, and the story was born.
About a year before writing this comic I read the book "What the Robin Knows" by naturalist Jon Young, which includes some great information on how to walk among animals without causing undue stress to yourself or to them. And it really does work. I highly recommend it.
The books editors were the ones who paired me Austen Payne, with happy results. I met Austen very briefly at a comic meet-up at Sidekick Cafe in Leslieville, but that was before they had decided on artist-writer pairings. I followed along with the process on Austen's social media, just like any one else:
Cover art by Irma Kniivila
The Goosefighter appears as the first story in Osgoode as Gold, the fifth volume of the Toronto Comics Anthology series from TO Comix Press.
The book was released on May 12, 2018 at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF).
Osgoode as Gold is a full-colour comic anthology featuring 27 stand-alone stories inspired by the City of Toronto.