Founded in 2007 by Annie Koyama, the Canadian comics publishing company, Koyama Press, is sadly closing its doors after 12 years in the biz. Championing the works of several stellar comics artists from Michael DeForge to Mickey Zacchilli, the press has also been a publishing home to illustrator Patrick Kyle – someone that needs no introduction here on It’s Nice That.
We’ve featured the artist a staggering ten times and counting, and with each post, the artist offers us (and our readers) something new. This time round, we’re taking a look at Patrick’s final collaboration with the press that’s done him well for all these years. In a swan song of sorts, Patrick’s final collaboration with his longtime publisher sees him extend his 2017 comic The Death of the Master into a full length book, expanding the 24 page mini comic into an impressive 224 page volume.
Described as an “absurdist, art brut rumination of one society’s structures”, in his signature linear style, Patrick presents a monochrome alternate world of dinosaur-like characters and stark perspective viewpoints. The comic takes place during the aftermath of a beloved patriarch’s sudden death. While he was still alive, he erroneously promised eternal life to his followers, and in turn, The Death of The Master follows the “topsy-turvy” attempts to reconcile the deluded teachings within the community.
“I thought a lot about world and society building while putting the book together,” Patrick tells It’s Nice That. Reading Zachary Schomburg’s Mammother and Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar while he was working on the book, he drew inspiration from both comic artists’ depictions of imagined societies and gained useful tips on how to communicate the certain rules and practices of the community too. Ultimately hoping to enhance “communication with one another while staying calm”, the Toronto-based artist hopes to provide solace with his subversive comic. “Don’t allow yourself to burst,” he adds on the intentions of the allegorical book.
Alongside his comics work, Patrick has also been pushing his practice into new digital territories. Recently exhibiting some large-scale paintings in his native city of Toronto, the exhibition marks a new chapter for the multi-disciplinary artist, seeing his commercial illustration work incorporate more and more digital medias. “I’m doing whatever I can do to try and stay excited about drawing and making images, introducing new challenges and adapting to new media,” he says on the matter. And hoping to secure a new distributor soon with the unfortunate closing of Koyama Press, for Patrick, the coming year promises more paintings, a shift towards self-publishing and more digital. Til Patrick’s next post!