Please note: The ‘Reflect’ section includes questions that are for your consideration. The ‘Respond’ section has several questions that you are required to answer and which should be the focus of your original posting. You are also required to perform external research on the topic and on the artist, the results of which should form the majority basis for your responses. Research must be footnoted. Postings need to be thoughtful, while demonstrating that you’ve studied the pertinent course material and performed external research that will support your postings.

Examine the following images:

Read the following:

Toronto artist Chester Brown uses the comic book form as the medium through which he articulates ideas related to the history of Canada.  Immediately successful, his graphic novel, Louis Riel, A Comic Strip Biography, takes a contrarian position to the official biography of this well know Canadian figure.


Perform some research on the artist and on the figures named in the title of this particular image. Consider the questions below and answer them in paragraph form as your first posting. 

  • In one sentence: Who was Louis Riel and why is he a controversial figure?
  • Briefly: Is he considered a traitor or a patriot? By whom?
  • Which of the ‘contempoary theme of art’ do you think Brown is addressing?
  • What contemporary social issues, problems or themes do you think Brown’s work therefore challenges?
  • Is there a difference between graphic novels and comic books? Why do you think Brown chose the graphic novel as the formbest suited to address the theme/these problems?
  • Do you think graphic novels are serious fine art or not deserving of that categorization? Why?


Reflect on the questions below as they will help you think critically about what you’ve learned so far in this lesson:

  • How do specific forms of traditional architecture reflect power? Religion? A culture’s group identity?
  • If Rirkrit Tiravaija makes art out of eating, are all acts of eating thus art? Why? Why not?
  • History is one of the meta-narratives various contemporary artists refute. Can you think of other meta-narratives that are operating in the Eurocentric culture we live in?
  • What are the differences between traditional depictions of the body in art and contemporary ones?
  • Consider the relationship between commodity culture, massmedia and subjectivity.


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