Warrior masks

Outside+Circle+2Hello again. It’s been a while.

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings, the author-illustrator duo behind The Outside Circle (Anansi, 2015), for the Town Crier.

Throughout February, contributors are focused on graphic novels. What is the place of graphic novels in Canadian literary culture? How should we talk about them, write about them?

I was excited to interview LaBoucane-Benson and Mellings after reading The Outside Circle over Christmas. It tells the story of an Aboriginal man named Pete who exchanges a mask of hatred for a Warrior mask. Pete’s story is inspired by many real-life stories of grads from the Stan Daniels Healing Centre’s In Search of Your Warrior program. To prepare for his work on the book, Mellings spent time at the Centre. Says Mellings:

Pete’s true mask, the bear mask, and the other warrior masks that are portrayed [in the novel] were influenced by the masks that were created by actual Warrior program grads. The masks in the book have the same sense of connectedness and individuality that I saw in those masks. There is a confidence in who they are.

Read the full interview here.


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