Saturday, July 01, 2017

150 Great Canadian Graphic Books

It was just a little over a couple years ago that I rediscovered my love of graphic literature - thanks to my local public library and their amazing collection of graphic books. It was the same month that I started rereading graphic books that I signed up for a Goodreads account.

Goodreads provides an excellent web service to keep track of all the books one has read, rate and review them, and (much to my great pleasure) organize books into customized lists!
 
Toronto Public Libraries puts a maple leaf sticker on Canadian books. They miss a lot, but the stickers make it easy to spot on the shelf Canuck titles. In between signing out mainstream titles by Marvel and DC, I would check out some homegrown works. After reading them I'd add them to Goodreads and my various beloved lists.

I have lists for graphics books by genre, publisher, and target age - as well as for Canadian and local (Toronto) books.

To make it onto my Canadian graphic books list a title must we written and/or illustrated by Canadian or be about a Canadian subject.

Around last summer with Canada's 150 birthday in mind, I decided to make sure I had read 150 Canadian graphic books.  Just last night I finished three titles to make it to 150 exactly!

My list of great Canadian graphic book includes:
  • superhero adventures!  - both homegrown heroes (Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Alpha Flight, Captain Canuck) and American heroes written by Canadians
  • experimental and artsy works - mind-expanding and trippy wonders
  • famous authors' dabbles - such as by Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Cory Doctorow, and Robert Lapage
  • First Nations collections
  • bitter-sweet (and at times TMI) memoirs 
  • awesome reads for kids, tweens and teens
  • funny comics - from "For Better or Worse" to hilarious travelogues by Guy Delisle
  • webcomics
  • exciting Canadian history and historical fiction (about Confederation, the Klondike, Glenn Gould, Billy Bishop, Nellie McClung)
Check out my list of 150 Great Canadian Graphic works

I'm still reading more Canadian graphic works. Let me know of anything I should be sure to have on the list for the next Canada Day! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

It's Doctor Webslinger Now!

Around this time last month, I officially and FINALLY completed my PhD.  My dissertation was accepted without any revisions needed (something I'm told is rather rare).  So I'm now officially Doctor Glen Farrelly - Doctor of Information.

I'm in the process now of searching for a job. I'm interested in positions in both academia and industry.  I'd love to work in areas related to digital media design, user experience, and understanding user behaviour.  Check out my LinkedIn profile and please let me know of any good jobs!

Completing my doctorate was a long, laborious, and labyrinthine process.  To borrow further from Greek mythology - it was a herculean task and at times even sisyphean that would make for a fine Greek comedy and tragedy simultaneously.

In the weeks leading up to my dissertation oral defense and before that with the months of work in researching, writing, and revising of the dissertation, I was engulfed and exhausted. So I have long neglected this blog. Yet, this blog was an important part of my PhD.

As I have blogged about before, this blog and the arrival of Web 2.0 sites such as Delicious, Facebook, and Twitter got me thinking more deeply about the power and possibilities of this new medium. Through blogging I began to research digital media topics and write about them.  This and some other events lead me to want to pursue studying these topics at a higher level, so I decided to do a master's degree at Royal Roads.

The blog posts here and as later syndicated by Backbone Magazine helped provide a portfolio of my work as well as opportunity to refine and extend my writing. This helped me get into grad school.  Then while at grad school, this blog provided an outlet for my ongoing research as well as a means to help recruit participants for my various studies (interviews on website accessibility adoption, a survey on mobile application usage, user ethnography on Foursquare, and finally my dissertation on locative media).

I've referred to my blog as a "research blog" and several people thought my academic blogging was quite innovative while others thought it was pointless (as only publications in A journals matter to them). I've been surprised by how few scholars have a research blog still today (well, maybe not that surprised considering how busy most academics are).

During my herculean/sisyphean labours my blog was here for me and it played a vital role in that process. 


Going forward, however, I'm not sure the role that blogging will play for me. Over the years, I've lost a lot of motivation for creating user generated content - or as one scholar refers to it loser generated content.  It's a huge time commitment without any compensation.

Regardless, I'm grateful for the outlet and opportunity that this blog has offerred me. Stay tuned.