Copacetic David Collier fans rejoice! His latest, all new, full-length work – this time published by new-to-us Spare Parts Press (great name!) – has finally made it to our new arrivals table. This volume shows us that David Collier kept busy during the pandemic – busy making comics! Winter of Our Pandemic is packed with dense comics excursions that weave through Canadian history, current events, and local (Hamilton, Ontario) observations – including those directly affecting him and his family – all presented in his trademarked informal, conversational style. The stories themselves are all bracketed by depictions of himself and his wife, Jen iceskating in a public outdoor rink. They are presented in such a (self-deprecating) way as to seem as though these stories arise out of a compulsive storytelling urge that he can't help but unleash on his wife, who good naturedly humors him.
Starting with the acknowledgment that he and his family are living and working on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Hauenosawnee nations, Collier goes on to explore the very earliest days of Europeans in what later became Canada before leaping into the early days of the 20th century when industrial growth yielded the beginnings and early development of Hockey, most of which occurred in Canada. Amidst all this history are plenty of digressions into Collier's own personal life and career, along with interactions with the world of comics and cartooning in which much of it takes place – including a momentous meeting with Charles Schulz(!). Also, plenty of observational sketchbook drawings, portraits and more. And, of course, there's the pandemic, with all it's related fallout, including homelessness, business closings, political polarization, biking, public transportation, and more. All in all, Winter of Our Pandemic, with its digressive interweaving of observations, recollections and suppositions, forms a portrait of an identity in a moment of time; serving up a slice of Collier consciousness.