On May 2, 2015 a new comic book store opens in Edmonton’s Oliver District. The founders promise to provide an experience unlike any other, perfect for those looking to discover or rediscover the joys of sequential storytelling and to help you find books you didn’t even know you loved including The Outside Circle. The creators of this graphic novel will launch their newest book at the launch of Edmonton’s newest bookstore and sign copies from 12pm to 4pm. The story is about how two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.
Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies.
About the Book’s Creators:
Patti LaBoucane-Benson is a Métis woman and the Director of Research, Training, and Communication at Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA). She has a PhD in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family Resilience. Her doctoral research explored how providing historical trauma healing programs for Aboriginal offenders builds resilience in Aboriginal families and communities. She has also been the recipient of the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Award for Education. She lives in Spruce Grove, Alberta.
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. He is the co-owner of the acclaimed illustration, animation and design firm Pulp Studios. He lives in Edmonton.
Variant Editions will also celebrate their grand opening with a little something for everyone, including the biggest event in the comic book industry…Free Comic Book Day!
Not only will they be “officially” open for business for the first time, they’ll be giving away free comics as part of the industry’s Free Comic Book Day! This event happens once a year on the first Saturday in May all across the world. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to new titles or to get into comics for the first time!
They’ll be providing a selection of free books, and every person who walks in the door can grab up to five titles each. Supplies are limited, so make sure you arrive early to get the best selection – and bring a friend! There’s no better way to get a start reading comics than doing it for zero dollars. Plus as a bonus, you can check out a brand new shop and chat with the owners.
Other Grand Opening Special Events include: a Live “Pick Three” Recommendations! If you’re just getting into comics, or looking for something new to read, Brandon will be on hand with Pick Three recommendations to introduce you to your new favourite titles. All you have to do is come prepared with any three books, movies or television shows that you like, and he’ll point you in the direction of a series that incorporates bits of all three.
Variant Editions’ Grand Opening – 10 to 6pm | Outside Circle Book Signing – 12 to 4pm
Regular Store Hours: Sun // 11-4pm Mon | 11-8pm Tues | Closed Wed | 10-8pm Thurs | 11-8pm Fri | 11-8pm Sat | 11-6pm.