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The U.S. no-fly list has curtailed a number of Canadians' travel plans. This July, Maher Arar was treated as a suspicious passenger on a flight between Montreal and Edmonton because he is still on the list. Held and tortured for four years in Syria after being sent there by American authorities, he has never been charged and is now home in Canada.

Two years ago, Toronto cartoonist Shahid Mahmood booked a flight between Vancouver and Victoria, but was told he wasn't allowed to fly because he was "designated high profile." The airline refused to give any reason beyond that. His cartoons are strongly critical of U.S. policy; this could harrassment for his political views. Or it could be ethnic screening. Either reason would be cause for alarm. He tells his story here.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is trying to convince Ottawa to investigate why a U.S.-generated list that carries no burden of proof is being used by Canadian airlines to screen passengers and in some cases deny them flights. We should be able to travel freely -- especially within our own country.

I will be at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival this year, September 9-10. On Saturday, I'll be at the symposium with the theme, Write the Story - Tell the Story - Illustrate the Story. I'll be joined by author Nicole Brossard, Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren and storyteller Dan Yashinsky. There will be a broad discussion among all panelists about their work, then participants can choose to join the individual panelists for smaller workshops to discuss all aspects of the craft. I will bring samples of my roughs and discuss the strange and mysterious process of creating Weltschmerz. On Sunday, I'll be hawking and signing my book, so come by and say hi.

Attack of the Same-Sex Sleeper Cells Retailers:

Pages, 256 Queen Street West (at John). On the graphic novels table.
The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street (near Bloor and Bathurst)
Book City, three locations - 501 Bloor St. West, 348 Danforth Ave., 663 Yonge St.
Hairy Tarantula, 354 Yonge Street (near Dundas).
David Mirvish Books, 596 Markham St.

The Bookshelf, 41 Quebec Street.
Macondo Books, 18 Wilson Street

Waterloo: Words Worth Books, 100 King Street South

Kitchener: KW Bookstore, 308 King Street West

Hamilton: Bryan Prince Bookseller, 1060 King Street West

Ottawa: Collected Works, 1242 Wellington Street West (at Holland)



You can see a more extensive portfolio of my work at the blog, including This Bright Future, a distilled and partial continuation of Weltschmerz, Turtle Creek, a daily comic about a turtle and a computer, and Footprint in Mouth, a quarterly cartoon I draw for Alternatives.

Weltschmerz in Print

Weltschmerz ran in Toronto's Eye Weekly from 1997 to 2007. It ran in weekly papers in southwestern Ontario, Ottawa and Edmonton between 1995 and 2008.

Notes on Writing a Comic Strip

I wrote this 17-page, 4 MB PDF document for my workshop at the 2006 Eden Mills Writers' Festival. It details the creation of one strip and gives tips on writing comics.

Politics and Environment

Monbiot | Guardian columnist and Heat author George Monbiot's blog. Not only about global warming, but expect plenty of refutations of the flat-earthers. His writing is witty, incisive and bang-on.

Desmog Blog | An indispensible (and Canadian) resource that "clears the PR pollution that clouds climate science."


Weltschmerz playlist at CBC Radio 3 | Some of the music I listen to while drawing this comic -- independent and Canadian.

This American Life | Radio documentaries that hit the heart, brain and funny bone.

CBC Podcasts | I don't listen to much live radio. Now, podcasts allow me to catch a lot of what I miss. I listen to The Current, Ideas, Spark and Search Engine while inking.


Diesel Sweeties by R Stevens | Witty repartee between guys, girls and robots drawn in a pixelated yet surprisingly versatile style.

Scott Pilgrim Manga-style indie-rock romance by Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley | The most fun I've had in a comic book in recent memory. Highly recommended.

Dykes to Watch Out For | Alison Bechdel's brilliant weekly strip has been ghettoized because of its gay themes but deserves a wider readership.

Doonesbury | Garry Trudeau is still great after all these years.

Kevin Heuzenga | Enviable drawing style and dry wit. Start with Time Travelling.

Graeme MacKay | The editorial cartoonist for the Hamilton Spectator has a distinctive, addictive drawing style. And he makes me chortle.

Friends and Neighbours

Blog Guelph | Hometown photos and events.

The Narrative | Riveting photoblog. Matt O'Sullivan is at the right place at the right shutter speed.

Breast of Canada | A calendar promoting women's health.

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