BPAA Best Illustrated Book Of The Year Award Winner
A touching and tender graphic novel following 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. As he loses more of his present, he finds himself lost more in the 1970s when he toured rural Canada in a glam rock band. A queer, romantic-tragedy.
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.
“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
’15 Canadian Comics to Watch For This Fall’
– CBC Books
‘The best Canadian comics of 2019’
– CBC Books
“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
“Truly great. A story worth telling and an honour to read. Pure, modern, Canadiana supplemented with absolutely stunning visuals. Looking forward to the series as it grows. Not a surprise CBC listed it as one of Canada’s top 20 comics of 2019!”
– Drake McCheyne, Amazon Reviews
“‘…a compelling story with a fantastic colour scheme to match.”
– Ann Logan, CBC/I’ve Read This
Catch an interview from the Calgary Herald with Kyle Simmers, illustrator and co-author here.
Suggested Book Club questions:
- What were the main themes of the book? How were those themes brought to life?
- How did Ed’s experience make you feel? What emotions did it evoke?
- Did the characters seem believable to you? Did they remind you of anyone you know?
- Which character or moment prompted the strongest emotional reaction for you? Why?
- What did you think of the writing style and ruralisms in the book?
- How did you feel about the depiction of dementia in the book? Did you feel connected to Ed’s experience?
- What did you think of the style of illustration? How did the style contribute to the narrative structure of the book?
- What do the particular colours used in the book represent?
- Did the world feel distinctly Canadian to you? How did the landscape impact your connection to the narrative?
- What do the authors mean when they refer to PASS ME BY as a queer rural Canadian tragedy and an inverted coming of age story?