CCOL is run by several librarians, zinesters, and comics makers based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We share a passion for comics and graphic novels, filling gap areas in arts accessibility, and provoking community building through arts and literature.
President and Librarian: Rotem Anna Diamant
Rotem is an artist and librarian who grew up in the prairies. She strongly believes in equitable access to information and resources, as well as community spaces that can bring people together to exchange knowledge and share stories. She likes to tell stories through zines, illustrations, and comics. Her favorite comics are autobiographies, life narratives that share mental health struggles and advocate for mental health, and feminist retellings of fairy tales. She also strongly believes in the power of art to provoke wellbeing. Inspired by cartoonists such as Lynda Barry, she believes making art provides a healthy dose of creativity for adults. She hopes that CCOL will grow to become a vibrant community space where everyone, even those new to comics, will feel comfortable and excited to read and talk about comics—and even share their story through making comics, despite the fear of not being able to draw.
Treasurer: Rebecca Radevski
Rebecca is a research librarian and lover of all things ghoulish and horror-related. Her interests are rooted in promoting the accessibility of library resources. After graduating with an MSc in library science, her lifelong love and appreciation of libraries developed further, with a special regard in learning about, and from, information seeking behaviours of communities and researchers. Having never read or had much interest in popular comics as a child, this changed upon discovering the art and storytelling of Junji Ito in a public library in her late teens. Since then, Rebecca has been continually inspired by tales of terror, the creepy and the absurd in zines and comics. Recently, she has started drawing for herself with a particular fondness for humourous monsters. Rebecca hopes CCOL will enable similar discoveries and encourage discussion and enjoyment of the comic medium.
Diversity Director: Folarin Agbaje
Folarin Agbaje is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Master of Information in Library and Information Science, and a BA in Communication Studies. This combination of education in media criticism and librarianship, coupled with his international background as a Nigerian, makes him an ideal diversity director. Folarin has been reading comics since 2012 around the time the superhero craze on film and television began. While he likes the big two superhero comic companies, he considers himself to be more of a DC fanboy. His favourite comics from that company include: Titans, Green Lanterns, Shazam (Captain Marvel), Flash (Wally West era), Supergirl (Linda Danvers), as well as the Hanna Barbera line (Future Quest and The Flintstones). In addition to superheroes, he enjoys reading a wide range of independent or slice of life comics including Archie, Morning Glories, Lumberjanes, Zodiac Starforce, as well as webcomics like El Goonish Shive, Spinnerette and Agents of the Realm. He is currently an avid fan of initiatives like We Need Diverse Books, and will be working to ensure that the CCOL remains a place for everyone to feel at home.
Director of Technical Development/ Acting Secretary: Brandon Haworth
Brandon is a PhD Candidate in Computer Science working in areas of crowd simulation, biomechanics, artificial intelligence, architecture, speech rehabilitation, and digital games. His PhD research aims to utilize simulation of biomechanics in locomotion to improve representation in animation and the built environment. In the recent past, he worked on creating and developing the computational geometric translations of motor speech tasks and developing games to make Parkinsonian and Post Stroke speech rehabilitation more engaging. Generally, he seeks out anti-heroes and bio & sci-fi & fantasy & queer narratives. Brandon aims to make the digital archiving and searchability of comics as robust and user friendly as possibly, while researching ways to change our understanding and testing of physical cataloguing.
Brittanie is an arts administrator who grew up in a small town just outside of the GTA. She went to school for film studies and ended up in the world of event management, working in a variety of industries from film, art, international sport to wine and craft beer. Currently working in the Arts in Toronto, she strongly believes in making art accessible to all and in making more space for art forms like comics to create community and thrive. Brittanie is a fan of non-fiction narratives and the amplification of marginalized voices. She enjoys writing poetry and short stories, and expressing herself through pen-and-ink self portraits.
Hailey is a (almost) librarian who will be completing her Master of Information in the spring of 2019. She has enjoyed reading and making comics since she was a child and has recently returned to her love of comics with great enthusiasm since moving to Toronto from the prairies. In addition to reading comics, she now enjoys them as an information professional, discovering how they encourage literacy, creativity, and community building. Her current favourite comics are adult life narratives and children's comics. She can't wait to see what CCOL can bring to Toronto and looks forward to being a part of this exciting new venture.
Jordan Reg. Aelick
Ardo Omer is a writer, editor and critic. Her work has been featured in publications like Teen Vogue, Quill & Quire, Slate, Women Write About Comics and Book Riot. She's passionate about young adult and kids comics, and has been a judge for both the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids' Comics and the Cybils Awards under the graphic novel categories. She co-hosts a books and comics podcast called Put A Blurb On It. You can find her on Twitter and more of her work here. (Portrait by Diana Sim.)
Stephanie Cooke is a Toronto-based comic book writer and editor. She is the Volunteer Coordinator for TCAF and is an avid, passionate supporter of the comics industry. You can find out more about her and her work at stephaniecooke.ca
Christopher Green, also known as “mumblethief,” is a cartoonist, graphic designer, educator, and fictional character who comes from the Alaskan wilderness. His professional work includes comics, illustration, graphic design, animation, zines, children’s books, and workshop design & facilitation for clients such as Story Planet, Carousel Magazine, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Take Action Films, and the band Black Kids. He also coordinates the DIY Comics School for Akin Collective, and is currently serializing an all-ages graphic novel about an adventurous group of young librarians who live aboard a gigantic turtle with a library in its belly at www.theturtlelibrary.com.