The anticipation is palpable as Guelph prepares to host the momentous 25th anniversary celebration of The Dragon, the iconic female-owned comic book and gaming store. The anniversary celebration, known as Guelph Comics Jam, will take place on September 16th from 10am to 6pm at Old Quebec Street in the heart of Downtown Guelph. The event is open to the public and free of charge and will include signings by such Canadian comic luminaries as Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Emily Carroll (A Guest in the House), Ryan North (Fantastic Four), and more.
The Dragon’s Remarkable Journey
Founded a quarter-century ago by visionary entrepreneur Jenn Haines, The Dragon has grown from humble beginnings to become internationally acclaimed as a family friendly community hub. For 25 years, The Dragon has set the standard for promoting comic books, graphic novels, manga and games for all ages. The store has enriched the lives of families and inspired similar stores worldwide to serve as nexuses for community and culture within their respective locales. The Dragon’s dedication to excellence has earned it prestigious accolades, including the esteemed Eisner and Shuster Awards for retail.
From its inception, The Dragon has fostered a multi-generational customer base, uniting comic and game enthusiasts of all ages through the power of storytelling and creativity; The Dragon not only offers a highly curated selection of books and games that engage children as well as adults, but has also offered a continuous calendar of author signings and gaming events that have been an integral part of Guelph’s cultural scene. As a proudly female-owned establishment, The Dragon has created a warm and welcoming space for all, consistently championing diversity and inclusion.
Jenn Haines: A Trailblazing Visionary
The driving force behind The Dragon’s success, Jenn Haines, has passionately dedicated her life to creating a sanctuary for comic and game enthusiasts. A single mother of two children, Haines has shattered glass ceilings while raising her family and evolving her business. She also holds the esteemed position of President of the Board of ComicsPRO, the international organization of comic book shops, further solidifying her status as a true industry leader.
Guelph Comics Jam: A Creative Extravaganza
The Guelph Comics Jam, now in its fifth year, coincides with The Dragon’s 25th anniversary celebration. This vibrant event is the pinnacle of Guelph’s comic art scene, bringing together a constellation of renowned artists, writers, and illustrators who have made indelible contributions to the world of comics.
“It’s such a privilege to be invited to Guelph Comics Jam,” said rising star comic book writer Tate Brombal. “As a Guelph native, I shopped at The Dragon as a kid and the store was such an integral part of my journey to becoming a comic book writer, I love coming back and being part of The Dragon community.”
Stellar Guests Include:
- Emily Carroll: Writer and artist celebrated for works like “Through the Woods” and “When I Arrived at the Castle.”
- Jeff Lemire: Renowned writer and artist behind graphic novels such as “Sweet Tooth” (now a show on Netflix) and “Essex County” (now a miniseries on CBC).
- Ryan North: Bestselling writer known for “How To Invent Everything” and “Fantastic Four.”
- Scott Chantler: Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist of “Bix” and “Two Generals.”
- Matthew Rosenberg: Award-winning writer of “What’s The Furthest Place From Here?” and “4 Kids Walk Into a Bank.”
- Tate Brombal: Award nominated writer of “Behemoth” and “The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos.”
- Tyler Boss: Eisner-nominated artist and cartoonist with titles like “What’s The Furthest Place From Here?” and “Dead Dog’s Bite.”
- And many more!
Join the Celebration
The Guelph Comics Jam on September 16th is not just a celebration of The Dragon’s remarkable 25 years, but a celebration of the entire comic book and gaming community’s unwavering passion and creativity. During the event, proprietor Haines will unveil a 25th anniversary logo by Guelph’s own Jay Stephens, an Emmy Award winning cartoonist. All are invited to join this 25th anniversary milestone event at Old Quebec Street from 10am to 6pm to commemorate The Dragon’s legacy and the enduring magic of comics and games.
Full Guelph Comics Jam Guest List:
- Emily Carroll — Writer/artist of award-winning comics such as A Guest in the House, Through the Woods, When I Arrived at the Castle, and the graphic novel adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.
- Jeff Lemire — Writer/artist on critically acclaimed graphic novels such as Sweet Tooth, Essex County, and Gideon Falls.
- Ryan North — Bestselling writer of How To Invent Everything, Fantastic Four, and the graphic novel adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.
- Scott Chantler — Bestselling and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist behind such books as Bix, Two Generals, and Squire & Knight.
- Matthew Rosenberg — Award-winning writer of comics such as What’s The Furthest Place From Here?, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, and We Can Never Go Home.
- Tyler Boss — Eisner-nominated, award winning cartoonist and designer. His titles include What’s The Furthest Place From Here?, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, and Dead Dog’s Bite.
- Tate Brombal — Award-nominated and best-selling writer of comics such as Behold, Behemoth, House of Slaughter, and The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos.
- Richard Pace — Critically acclaimed artist behind such comics as Second Coming, Barbaric: Axe to Grind, and Pitt.
- Adriana Blake — Storyboard artist on such iconic shows as Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, Care Bears: Unlock the Magic and Cyberchase, as well as the self-published comic series Fall-On-Me.
- Andrew Wheeler — Shuster and Eisner-winning writer and editor. His credits include Cat Fight, Sins of the Black Flamingo, and the all-ages LGBTQ anthology Shout Out.
- Jay Stephens – Veteran of the alt-comics scene and influential creator of such acclaimed titles as Dwellings, Jetcat, and Oddville.
- Black Eye Books — Boutique publisher of alternative comics such as Dejects, Bore, and Dwellings.
- Chris Sanagan — Shuster award-nominated writer of Group of 7 Comics. Non-comic book writing credits include articles for Ontario History, The American Archivist, and the Guelph Mercury Tribune.
- Matt Bors — Eisner-winning comics editor, writer, artist, and political/editorial cartoonist. Best known for The Nib, as well as War is Boring, We Should Improve Society Somewhat, and the Ahoy Comics series Justice Warriors.
- David J. Knight — Among other things, the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Fenylalanine Publishing, publisher of Tales of a Guelphire and The Head. His latest works include Aerosomnia: The Awakening Ear and Head & Tales.
- Jason Loo — Eisner award-winning cartoonist behind such acclaimed and iconic comics such as The Pitiful Human-Lizard, Afterlift, and The All-Nighter.
- Kyle J. Smith — A visual artist and comic creator. In addition to working in the Canadian Entertainment Industry, his comic book credits include Scare Tales, Weathered Spirit, and various RAID studio anthologies.
- Ramón Pérez — Multiple Eisner and Harvey Award winning cartoonist known for such renowned comics as Stillwater, Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand, and Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl.
- Kalman Andrasofszky — Illustrator, comic artist, concept artist, and cover artist best known for his work on Captain Canuck, X-23, and Dungeons & Dragons.
- Marcus To — Comic artist and illustrator with decades of work in comics including some lauded titles as Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, Joyride, and The Flash.
- Casey Parsons – illustrator, fine artist and comic book artist, He specializes in mixed media traditional techniques and is best known for his work for Marvel Comics, Upper Deck, & Image Comics.
- Michael Walsh – Award-winning cartoonist best known for Silver Coin from Image Comics and the art on key Magic The Gathering cards.
- Sam Noir – Writer, cartoonist, and toymaker known for his covers for Chapterhouse Comics Summer Special, Captain Canuck, and co-creating Sunny & Owl Girl, Victorian Four, and Major North.