Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo! Artist Daniel Lafrance's Inspiration

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Every May, Open Book celebrates the outstanding graphic novels and comics published here in Ontario and throughout the country with Whazamo! Check out Open Book's Whazamo! page all month long to keep up to date.

For the Whazamo! Artist Series, Toronto-based artist Daniel Lafrance illustrated his answer to our question, "What inspired you to start making art?"

Lafrance is the illustrator of War Brothers: A Graphic Novel (Annick Press, 2013). Written by Sharon E. Mckay, War Brothers is the story of 14-year-old Jacob, a Ugandan boy who is forced to become a child soldier. In a review for the Quill & Quire, Robert J. Wiersema calls War Brothers "a powerful, important work of reality-based fiction." He writes, "Lafrance’s art adds another layer, transitioning from crisp naturalism to stylized shadows and colours as panic and violence rise in the characters. The art is never over the top; however, it withdraws from moments of bloodshed, turning away much as the reader wants to."

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Born in Hull, Quebec, Daniel Lafrance now lives in Toronto with his wife and teenage son. He has made his career as a professional storyboard artist working in animation and films. Daniel never attended art school or animation school. He started in animation as an apprentice in 1985 and worked until 2002 as an animator on TV series, commercials, and feature films. He became a storyboard artist in 2003, and eventually started to tell his stories in sequential form, i.e. comics. In addition to War Brothers, he has published about a dozen comics in Canada and abroad. In 2010, he drew a 26 page webcomic. One page per week was published online to raise awareness and funds for a small Canadian Charity called the Starthrower Foundation, whose focus is social justice and making education available to young adults in Haiti. The webcomic raised $4,500.

You can read more about Lafrance and his work at

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