Sex Criminals and a horse named Neil are stars of this year’s Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

A cover for the adult comic Sex Criminals. Artist Chip Zdarsky is among the guests at this year’s Vancouver Comic Arts Festival.

One of the weirdest and wistfully strange comics ever published in Canada, Neil the Horse developed a cult following during its 1983-88 publication. The comic was written and produced by Katherine Collins, who was born in Vancouver and known as Arn Saba until 1993 when she came out as a trans woman.

This year, those 15 classic, family-friendly comics have been collected in book form, in The Collected Neil the Horse. To mark the event and the renewed interest in Neil and his pals, Collins is appearing at this year’s Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (May 20-21 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews) – along with a number of other special guests, including the artist behind Sex Criminals, one of the most acclaimed adult comics of recent years.

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Sex Criminals and a horse named Neil are stars of this year’s Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

Vancouver comics artists take over bus shelters!

Comics in Transit art by Nina Matsumoto.

Comics in Transit art by Nina Matsumoto.

Vancouver comics artists’ work is being seen by more people than ever before.

It’s all thanks to an initiative on the part of local publisher/collective Cloudscape Comics, working with the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Department.

Comics in Transit is a public art project that brings comics by local artists to transit shelters. Bus-riders and passersby can view work by some of the city’s most talented illustrators, including Colin Upton, Steve Rolston, and The Simpsons/Futurama comics artists James Lloyd and Nina Matsumoto.

In total, 20 giant-sized one-page comics will be going up before the end of October. Some are already installed, including Matsumoto’s, which is at the busy Dunbar & 41st stop.

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Vancouver comics artists take over bus shelters!