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SIS17: International Guests

As always, a number of international comics celebrities will guest this year’s festival. We are going to celebrate the official 100th anniversary of our neighbouring nation Finland with a delegation of guests (more information soon). Among other foreign guests are Erika Moen (Oh Joy! Sex Toy) of the United States and Ben Stenbeck (Witchfinder, Baltimore) from New Zealand. This year’s guest of honour is the American comics creator Derf Backderf (Trashed, My Friend Dahmer).

This year's international guests: Derf Backderf (Guest of Honour) [USA], Erika Moen [USA], Gipi [ITA], Benjamin Renner [FRA], Ben Stenbeck [NZL], Giannina Braschi [PRI], Tommi Musturi [FIN], Anna Sailamaa [FIN], Femicomix [FIN], Kelly Mellings, Patti LaBoucane-Benson, Eric Kostiuk Williams, Patrick Kyle och Andrew Townsend [CAN], Gosia Herba, Mikołaj Pasiński, Jacek Frąś, Łukasz Kowalczuk, Anna Krztoń, Katarzyna Babis och Tomasz Tomaszewski [POL], Lu Caffagi [BRA].

DERF BACKDERF (USA) [GUEST OF HONOUR]


Illustration: Derf Backderf

Cartoonist John Backderf (b. 1959) has made a name for himself drawing for newspapers, political cartoons as well syndicated daily strips such as The City. These days, he is more famous for his graphic novels. He got a lot of attention for his autobiographicsl My Friend Dahmer, set in the days of his youth and telling the story of his friendship with subsequently infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The comic was published in several shorter versions before the complete graphic novel was published by Abrams Comics Arts 2012. Currently a movie based on the comic is directed by Marc Meyers and will premiere during 2017. Backderf’s following graphic novel, Trashed (Abrams 2015), is a fictious story loosely on his own experiences of working as garbage collector at the age of 19. Trashed will be published in Swedish this Spring by Kartago, under the title Sopigt - the Swedish debut of Derf Backderf.

Eric Kostiuk Williams (Canada)


Illustration: Eric Kostiuk Williams

A cartoonist and illustrator based in Toronto, ON, Eric Kostiuk Williams' autobiographical debut work Hungry Bottom Comics was nominated for the 2013 Doug Wright Spotlight Award, and each issue of the series was selected for The Best American Comics’ Notable Books of 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. This year, he will be debuting Condo Heartbreak Disco from Koyama Press, and How Does It Feel In My Arms? from Czap Books’ Ley Lines series.

Patrick Kyle (Canada)


Illustration: Patrick Kyle

Patrick Kyle is a Commercial Illustrator and Multidisciplinary Artist from Toronto, Canada. He graduated from The Ontario College of Art and Design in 2009.  He has authored three books; the zine collections Black Mass (Mother Books, 2012) and Distance Mover (Koyama Press, 2014) and the graphic novel Don’t Come in Here (Koyama Press, 2016).
Patrick is an active member of Toronto’s independent comic book and zine community and has contributed to organizing the small press portion of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival since 2009. He became a co-organizer of the annual small press exhibition Zine Dream in 2015.

Patti LaBoucane-Benson (Canada)

Metis researcher, author, video producer and nerd  with a PhD in Human Ecology. Her day job is a Director at Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) for  the past 21 years, as well as a lecturer, trainer and provides key note presentations at conferences on historic trauma, healing and reconciliation. In 2015, Patti’s first novel was published by House of Anansi Press. Based on her PhD research, The Outside Circle is a work of creative non-fiction about healing and reconciliation for an inner-city Aboriginal family. The Outside Circle was on the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Canadian books and was named a CBC "Best Books of 2015", an Outstanding International Books 2016 by the United States Board on Books for Young People, winner of the Red Deer Reads competition and short-listed for the Burt Award.
Patti has been awarded the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award for Education; the Legal Aid Access to Justice Award and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Kelly Mellings (Canada)

Kelly Mellings is an award-winning art director, illustrator, and designer. His work has appeared in comic books, magazines, apps, museum exhibits, and online games, and his clients include Microsoft and Bioware. He is the co-owner of the acclaimed illustration, animation, and design firm Pulp Studios. Kelly has just completed writing a historical graphic novel on Canada's fifth premier Sir Wilfrid Laurier and is currently co-writing the all ages graphic novel Hairoes of Haarwurzel. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

ERIKA MOEN (USA)


Illustration: Erika Moen

Erika Moen is a freelance illustrator, based in Portland, Oregon. She has been active as a cartoonist for the last ten years and has a degree in "llustrated Storytelling" at Pitzer College. She identifies herself as quee, and several of her published works revolve around that. She is possibly most well-known for her own comic Oh Joy! Sex Toy, published on the web since 2013, and collected in several printed volumes. The comic aims to educate the reader about sex-related topics such as different kinds of sexuality, the sex industry, body activism. It also frequently features reviews of sex toys – hence the title. Erika Moen has earned well-deserved prais for this sex-positive comic. Apart from this project, she has participated in several comic anthologies, and collaborated with Jeff Parker in creating the graphic novel Bucko. She was also involved in the animated movie adaptaion of Neil Gaiman’s children’s book Coraline.

BEN STENBECK (New Zealand)


Illustration: Ben Stenbeck

Ben Stenbeck is a comics creator and illustrator from Auckland, New Zealand, employers including Weta Workshop, Valve Software and Boxrocket Animation. In the United States, his comics have been published by Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics. On Dark Horse, he has mostly been drawing horror comics, many of them scripted by Mike Mignola. Stenbeck’s exquisite monster designs, as well as his wonderful sense of action, movement, and facial expressions, have elevated horror comics such as Witchfinder, Baltimore, and Frankenstein Underground to new heights. During the Stockholm International Comics Festival 2017, Stenbeck will participate in a stage talk with Swedish colleague Peter Bergting.

Andrew Townsend (Canada)

Andrew Townsend is support manager of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in Toronto, Canada. TCAF was first organized in 2003 by Peter Birkemoe and Chris Butcher of the Toronto-based comic shop The Beguiling. It is a free-admission event that focuses on alternative and independent comics, but includes other creative arts besides comics. Since 2009, the festival takes place at the Toronto Reference Library.


... more guests to be disclosed soon.