Check out comics by my UBC students

I just finished teaching a course at UBC Creative Writing — Introduction to Graphic Narrative. It’s the first time the course has been offered, and my first time teaching a full-term class! Most of the classes in the department are small workshop classes, but this is a lecture class with 45 students. It was a combination of theory and practice — lectures, in-class writing and drawing exercises, assignments that included writing about comics and creating comics. Huge learning curve for me, many moments of wanting to throw up before class, many late nights. And in spite of that (because of that?) I loved it. Loved the earnestness and determination and creativity and excitement of these awesome students. And, by doing massive amounts of research to teach the class, I really improved my own understanding of comics. I am hoping this filters through into my future work…

As a follow-up, with a small group of fellow cartoonists, I am working my way through all the exercises in Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice. Very hard, very valuable.

Want to see some of my students’ work? Here you go:


Talking About Jewish Women and Comics

Last week I went to New York City for a few days. In between eating (Stinky Brooklyn, Shelsky’s Smoked Fish, Eataly — oy vey!) and visiting my lovely American family, I managed to get to this great symposium where I’d been invited to talk about Tangles: Talking About Jewish Women and Comics. What a thrill to see Diane Noomin and Miriam Katin in person and hear them talk about their work! Not to mention the Graphic Details exhibit that was the basis for the symposium — original artwork by Noomin, Katin, Trina Robbins, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Corinne Pearlman and more… sigh. Felt like a fan girl — albeit one with grey hair creeping in and smoked fish breath.

These are some drawings I did of the speakers — Noomin, Katin and unnamed academics.

The taste

Just a tiny drawing. Thinking about death, what else is new? And thinking about how Maureen’s face  changes from panel to panel and the reasons why I would draw this instead of just writing it down.

The taste by Sarah Leavitt

More UK press for Tangles

Here are some more great UK articles about Tangles…

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a real-life superheroine! in The Jewish Chronicle — an article by Sarah Lightman about Jewish women cartoonists that includes me and Tangles

Drawing the unsayable in the Irish Independent — about Tangles and Billy, Me & You by Nicola Streeten

A funny way to deal with death in The Independent – a different article about Tangles and Billy, Me & You

And why not add a drawing I did right after we got back from London?

First Night Back, comic by Sarah Leavitt

I miss my mother

I did these drawings around November 29, the seventh anniversary of my mother’s death. Click on them to see them bigger (I know you know that but for some reason I say it anyway.) Starting to use a fountain pen (Lamy Safari) which I like a lot.


I miss my mother, by Sarah Leavitt


My mom is gone, by Sarah Leavitt



Where do people with AD go? by Sarah Leavitt


This might be the first time, by Sarah Leavitt


Sketches from England

You can click on these guys to make them bigger.

Why am I so excited about London? by Sarah Leavitt

I love how Nicola wears fancy frocks to comics events, and then decides to tap dance or pull on a winter hat partway through her presentation. Elegant and playful at the same time. Is that a particularly British quality?

Cartoonist Nicola Streeten

Cartoonist and publisher Corinne Pearlman at her fabulous home. I did not find this article about the house until after we returned to Canada.

Corinne Pearlman

This is our new friend Katie; we stayed at her place in Newcastle. She is talking about some of the symptoms of M.E.

Katie, by Sarah Leavitt

Katie changed her surname in her 20s. What’s really cool is that then her mother and sister followed suit. I’d never heard of that before.

Katie, by Sarah Leavitt

As you can see, I’ve been experimenting with styles. Neither of these really looks like Katie, but I had fun doing them. And here is Katie’s dog Jodie.

Jodie the dog, by Sarah Leavitt

And last of all, a wee angel. I love all the angels who only have heads and wings. They are all over the cathedrals. Maybe I will do some comics about these body-less angels.

Angel without a body by Sarah Leavitt

In conversation with Nicola Streeten at Orbital Comics: podcast with pictures

Orbital Comics, LondonMy last event in England was a conversation with Nicola Streeten at Orbital Comics in the West End… The store is awesome, especially the side room full of small press comics and graphic novels where we did our presentation. Thanks to the lovely Camila at Orbital for posting a podcast that includes our slideshow! Watch it below or download the podcast and open it with iTunes or QuickTime to see the accompanying images. Thanks to Paul Gravett, Corinne Pearlman and Camila for making the event happen. And thanks to Donimo, my saviour, for procuring enough cold medication to enable me to hold myself upright and be semi-coherent. (In case you wonder while you’re listening to the podcast, I’m not crying, just congested.)

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Nicola wrote/drew Billy, Me & You, and is also co-creator of Laydeez do Comics. So amazing that I got to meet her and talk to her! And even make fun of her silly version of a Canadian accent. Long live traumatic autobiographical comics by Laydeez!

Donimo captured us being serious artists and total dorks…










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