2022 ALBERTA BOOK AWARDS ‘GRAPHIC NOVEL OF THE YEAR’
BOOK 2 IN THE AWARD-WINNING SERIES ‘PASS ME BY’
A romantic coming-of-age story about understanding queer identity and what happens to the stories you never tell.
This five-book series follows Ed, a reserved man dealing with dementia in a small northern Canadian town. As Ed’s memory declines, he loses touch with the present and revisits a past he chose to forget. The first book, Gone Fishin’ introduced us to Ed in the early stages of his diagnosis. The story used humour and melancholy in equal measure to explore Ed’s deeply human struggle.
Electric Vice, the second book in the series, is a detour towards a deeper understanding of Ed and the memories at risk as his dementia progresses.
1973: A chance encounter between Ed and the captivating androgynous singer of the pulse-pounding glam rock band ELECTRIC VICE, pulls Ed into a world of mascara, weathered leather, platform heels and neon.
The first 1,000 copies of Electric Vice will include a limited vinyl album cover styled book sleeve.
“If anybody is wondering what the next generation of comics should and does look like, look no further than Pass Me By… Pass Me By feels like something David Bowie would have created if he made comics instead of music: original. Ahead of its time. Utterly addictive.”
Irene Velentzas – The Comics Journal
Featured in CBC Books’ 21 Canadian comics to watch out for in Fall 2021
Everyone needs to be paying attention to the work of Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen. These Calgary-based creators are making remarkable graphic novels that are just about as good as the medium can be. Seriously: this is astonishing stuff.
“Electric Vice” is the second book in the “Pass Me By” series but works as a stand-alone. It offers an origin story of sorts for main character Ed, whom we met in “Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’,” and is struggling with age, dementia and fading memories of a career in music. This is the story of Electric Vice, simultaneously a glam rock band and a life-changing experience for Ed.
It’s an important book, addressing queer issues in a story of love and identities. But its real strength is its craft: illustration, layouts, pacing, dialogue, palette and more are all top-level work. This series should win awards.
Mike Donachie, Toronto Star Newspaper
Watch the author event with Kyle & Ryan hosted by Shelf Life Books & Shea Proulx here on youtube
Reviews for Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’:
“An inverted coming of age story about understanding queer identity and what happens to the stories you never tell.”
Stephanie Chan, Smash Pages
“The publisher calls it “a queer, rural, Canadian, romantic tragedy.” I call it delightful. It’s gorgeous, clever and perfectly paced, with fully formed characters from the first panel.”
Mike Donachie, Toronto Star
“This could likely be one of the strongest literary works regarding queer romance ever published.”
Keven Skinner, Fox Force Five
“The pages are heavy with emotion that’s simmering just underneath the surface. I’m really excited to see where this goes.”
The Turnaround Blog, Pride Month: Graphic Novel Reading
About the creators:
Kyle Simmers is a non-binary artist and author who works with comic media and street art to connect seemingly disparate worlds. Born and raised in a special kind of nowhere – Bashaw, Alberta (pop. 830) – Simmers has experienced firsthand the intersection of queer and rural life. Their public works populate the Treaty 6 & 7 region in the town of Bashaw, the city of Calgary (Mohkinstsis) and as a participant in the international mural festival BUMP 2019 & 2020.
Ryan Danny Owen is a non-binary author, visual artist, drag performer, and queer historian based in Treaty 7/ Calgary, Alberta (Mohkinstsis). Their work has been exhibited across Canada and they have written for and been included in various publications from Stride Gallery, and Luma Quarterly, to Raw Meat Collective. Owen also runs an online queer archive, Mirrors & Windows, featuring a collection of found queer photographs from the early 50s to late 90s.