7×10 / 136 pages (black and white)
Nominated for a Doug Wright Award
Nominated for a Hamilton Literary Award
Since publishing his first story in R. Crumb’s Weirdo magazine, David Collier has been known for his thoughtful comic essays, often biographies of endearing eccentrics like himself. With his strong feeling for rustic scenery, Collier has carved a niche drawing homely images of grain elevators and abandoned cabins for publications like The Globe and Mail, the National Post, Saturday Night and Geist magazine. Chimo is an autobiographical account of Collier’s decision to re-enlist in the Canadian army and go through basic training again at age 40, leaving his new family behind. His goal is to get to Afghanistan and follow in the footsteps of artists (such as Alex Colville) who produced a body of work while serving in the Canadian War Artists Program. It is a poignant account of aging and mortality but, in true Collier fashion, digresses into scenes of jumping rope, kayaking in Hamilton harbour, and the story of his childhood hero, skier “Jackrabbit” Johannsen.
“Chimo is an idiosyncratic, compelling and hilarious musing-in-comics that I couldn’t put down. Seemingly a quirky memoir about soldiering, it’s really a quest for survival — both basic and artistic — and a meditation on aging, family and the fight to simply try and understand oneself, all told by one of the most unpretentious cartoonists in North America. There’s an eye for mundane detail and a sort of animal fear running through it all that it leaves one shaken yet oddly refreshed. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved it.” — Chris Ware
David Collier is the author of Portraits from Life, Hamilton Sketchbook, and The Frank Ritza Papers, which was nominated for a Doug Wright Award. He previously lived in Saskatoon but now lives in Hamilton. Chimo will be launched at the Brush With War exhibit at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa in December and then at Grit Lit in Hamilton and TCAF in Toronto in Spring 2011.
Photo credit: Corporal Cory MacKeigan