Title: Founder, Illustrator, Social Media
After working in and around a variety of activist projects for 10 years, Nicole Marie Burton founded Ad Astra Comix in 2013, as an aspiring political comics artist in search of a community. In the years that have followed, Nicole has presented on the history and nature of political comics, facilitated youth workshops and “Feminist Drink-N-Draws” to encourage this community. She has also contributed to the publishing and printing of each Ad Astra title, beginning with a re-issue of “100 Year Rip-Off” in 2013. She now works full-time for Ad Astra Comix and as a freelance illustrator. Her portfolio can be viewed here.
Her illustrated work currently includes ‘Coal Mountain,’ a short history of the B.C. Corbin Miners’ Strike of 1935 (part of the Drawn to Change anthology); ‘Eugenie SHARK!‘, a graphic biography of the late marine biologist Eugenie Clark, and ‘DOGS‘, a webcomic about the findings of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission.
“Currently my favourite comic is tied between ‘Bad for You‘ by Kevin Pyle & Scott Cunningham, and ‘UnterZakhn‘ by Leela Corman. It’s tough to find good political comics for kids, and “Bad for You” is all about engaging young minds, encouraging them to think critically and politically about the things they love. I just finished “UnterZakhn” and am just blown away by the storytelling and intersections of class, feminism, migration, antisemitism, and sex work. It’s really hard to find political comics that are both politically solid and tell a story beautifully.. UnterZakhn achieves that balance.”
Title: Writer / Publisher
Born in the frozen wastes of the National Capital Region, Hugh is an amateur historian, mediocre poet and full-time internet snarker. He enjoys print, pints and pines. Deciduous trees are ok, too. He identifies as an intersectional or synthesis anarchist.
Since graduating from Trent University with a B.A. in History, Hugh has worked as a freelance writer and researcher. He worked as a subcontractor on projects for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, an experience that helped provide the basis of the comic ‘DOGS‘. Hugh was involved as an organizer, media contact and misfit toy at Occupy Ottawa, and has been involved in Food Not Bombs chapters in three different Ontario cities. He writes intermittently on his blog, and recently had an essay published in ‘How Queer!‘ by On Our Own Authority Books.
“Hands down one of my favourite comics is ‘Tintin: Breaking Free‘. I grew up with Tintin comics so there’s just something irresistible about a subverted Tintin comic where he learns about the importance of intersectional politics in the class struggle.”
Heather Bostelaar is the anarcha- queerfeminist who wrangles the numbers at Ad Astra. She’s passionate about labour justice, cephalopods, and booze. Her fave comic is Robot Hugs because it makes her feel authentic emotions despite years of retail labour induced dissonance.
Tito Almendrades works out the logistics, inventory and shipping, as well as sniffing out new retailers over the internet. A rank-and-file shop steward in his day job, and a migrant-justice organizer by night (or late afternoon). He pretends to know things about cognitive science, social work, co-operatives, philosophy and politics. Don’t get him started on Mondragon… no seriously, don’t.
“Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa. A very important account of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, seen through the eyes of the author as a young child. The art is in the cartoony-shonen style (young adult manga) and it is absolutely heartbreaking – the horrors of nationalism and militarism alongside the deprivation experienced by families. All this is curiously subdued by the changes in tone, from emotional to cutesy and even funny. It’s a story I’ll never forget.“
Bill Chalupiak is a community organizer by day, sales rep for Ad Astra Comix also by day. In his nigh-non-existent down-time, he fascinates himself studying populism, fascism, and social theory. He makes his home on the West Coast of Turtle Island on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples. You probably know it as Vancouver.
You can Reach Bill by emailing email@example.com