After almost two years of research, planning, drawing, writing, editing, and fundraising, the much-anticipated Sybil Andrews graphic novel, See With Your Own Eyes: The Sybil Andrews Story, will officially finally be available to the public this weekend.
“It’s been a long slog,” says Ken Blackburn, executive director of the Campbell River Arts Council, who oversaw the novel’s production, “I can tell you it’s been worth the wait.”
Whatever Blackburn and the arts council expected when the idea to create a graphic novel around the town’s iconic artist came to them was absolutely not what came to pass, Blackburn says, as should be evident by the initial targeted release date: April 19, 2017.
That’s two Sybil Andrews Days ago.
“It started out fine,” Blackburn says. “Laura (Ellyn, author of the novel) came to town, holed herself up in the archives at the museum and did her research and got down to writing and drawing.”
Unfortunately, Ellyn fell ill and was unable to complete the work Thankfully, local artist Alex Witcombe was available to help out.
“We brought him in, and that guy is just a wizard,” Blackburn says. “He basically finished it by doing the colouring and the lettering and he did it quite seamlessly.”
So what’s the story the book tells, exactly. Is it a biography, or what?
“Not exactly,” Blackburn says. “It tells the story of European modernism and Sybil’s place within that, and then it goes on to tell a great story of Campbell River’s history from about 1947 onward, although it looks backwards, too. So it’s not just Sybil’s history, but it’s Campbell River’s history and also that of modernism and the avant garde and the role of the arts within that history.”
And thanks to Daybreak Rotary, who gave the arts council $5,000 for the first print run, the book will be for sale for only $15 through the gift shop at the Museum at Campbell River and the Campbell River Arts Council, which calls Sybil Andrews Cottage in Willow Point home.
This Saturday’s’s official book release will take place at the Artists on Site event at the Museum at Campbell River. For more information, contact Blackburn at email@example.com or 250-923-0213.