See you at Short Run Seattle, November 4

I’m excited about exhibiting at the Short Run Comics & Arts Festival in Seattle November 4! I’ll have a bunch of new mini-comics to sell, for the first time in many years. So many of my favourite cartoonists will be at this festival. Can’t wait!

Short Run poster 2017

Find me (and some of my students) on Medium

I haven’t updated this website in forever, but I have been posting some diary comics from time to time on Medium.

I’ve also created a publication on Medium, Dispatches from Comics Class, where students from my comics classes at UBC can post their work. I’ve also included a couple posts about my teaching. I hope to keep adding content here as I continue working with the wonderful students at UBC. This past year was my first as a full-time lecturer. This sounds super cheesy but it is totally true: the students blew my mind with their curiosity, enthusiasm and hard work. It was also exhausting! This summer I am finishing some new comics, mostly about having a partner with chronic pain and fatigue, as well as continuing work on my graphic novel, Agnes, Murderess. More work will be posted soon. Until then, back to my drawing board…

Why not draw cats

I’ve been neglecting this website to work on my next book, but here are a few odds and ends

Just in case anyone still comes here ever, I thought I’d say, Hey, I’m still around but spending as much time as possible working on my next book. (Sometimes I post on Facebook or Twitter.)

The most recent comics I’ve done are three kitten-themed postcards for Morgan Brayton’s amazing kitten rescue fundraising campaign. My first foray into the land of cat comics.One of three comics by Sarah Leavitt in support of kitten rescue

In early April I was one of the featured writers at the University of North Dakota Writers Festival — the 45th year and one of the only free writers festivals left. Got to meet the fabulous Robert Pinsky and spend time with some of the most engaged and engaging writers festival participants I’ve ever met. Videos from the conference have just been posted.

I got interviewed for this great series of articles on Jewish women cartoonists.

Tangles continues to get reviews in Germany, where it was published last spring, and I will soon have details to share about the upcoming French publication.

Oh, here is a Japanese translation of two pages of Tangles done by a local Japanese community association, Tonari Gumi:

Tangles pages in Japanese

I have a comic all about menstruation in this book: MESS: The Hospital Anthology, and some more illustrations and comics in forthcoming publications.

Meanwhile I’m getting ready to teach two classes in the UBC Creative Writing Department in 2014/15.

I hope this is less like a boring holiday letter, and more like an inoffensive update. 😉

If you are patient, you might see a new book from me within three years.

Love,

Sarah

Illustrated poetry

The latest issue of Poetry Is Dead just came out — the queer issue. There is lots to love in here, and I’m really happy about my collaboration with Jen Currin — maybe just because I sweated so much over it. When the editor asked me to choose a poem of Jen’s to illustrate, I was quite intimidated but figured I should give it a try. Since to be honest I am inexpert at reading poetry and at illustrating, but would like to be better at both. Jen sent me a number of poems and I chose One Virtue because of the crows and the boys and the rhythm. I focused on trying to find a way of illustrating the poem that wasn’t too literal, reading the poem over and over, finding more and more layers as I did. I wanted to find my own interpretation and at the same time honour Jen’s intent. She was lovely and trusting and just let me do what I wanted. So here is what I did (they’re designed for a spread, so the bottom line on the first page continues onto the bottom of the second):

One Virtue by Jen Currin, illustrated by Sarah Leavitt, page 1 of 2One Virtue by Jen Currin, illustrated by Sarah Leavitt, page 2 of 2

I went to Torngat Mountains National Park last August

I kept wanting to tell everyone in the entire world, but I couldn’t, because the radio documentary hadn’t come out yet, but now it has. So guess what? This is Part 3 of 3 in the amazing series, How I Spent My Summer Vacation: I went to Torngat Mountains National Park! I had the extreme good fortune to be one of five writers chosen by radio icon and all-around awesome lady Shelagh Rogers to join her on this adventure.

You can hear all about it on the podcast at CBC’s The Next Chapter. And here is one of the drawings I did during that magical week:

Icebergs, drawing by Sarah Leavitt

 

Tangles made the Canada Reads top 40

Thanks to everyone who recommended Tangles — apparently there were 10,000 recommended books, so it’s super great to see Tangles in the top 40! I am also just excited that there are three graphic narratives in the list: Tangles and Scott Chantler’s Two Generals and Chester Brown’s classic, Louis Riel. Comix FTW! You can see the whole list and vote over at Canada Reads. Voting will determine the top ten; then 5 judges will each choose one book to champion. Fun times!