Panel Discussion

April 13, 2022, 7:30–9pm EST
Free + virtual program
Speakers: Kaitlin Chan, Lee Lai, Kyle Vingoe-Cram
Moderated by: GHY Cheung and Cicely Haggerty

Drawing Closer Reading is a public program focused on queer drawing, semi-autobiographical writing and risks of self-tokenization. Inviting three cartoonists and graphic novel artists to be in conversation, Drawing Closer Reading will expand on the ways that comics provide space for alternative stories and kinships.

Comics demand close reading: in order to “read” different elements (such as words, images, spaces, colours, textures) in different directions, sequences, and layouts; to see points of connection between these elements; and to make meaning from unexpected or overlooked juxtapositions. The Drawing Closer Reading panel will explore close reading and queer comic-making to put pressure on or confuse what we consider “normal reading,” in order to transform how we read and what we can desire from our reading experiences. In this way, the panel will provoke questions about how comics might engender closeness and enable exploration of queer kinships.

Image: Comic illustration by Lee Lai | Photo: Courtesy of artist

Kaitlin Chan

Kaitlin Chan is a cartoonist and cultural worker from Hong Kong. In addition to self-publishing zines, her debut graphic memoir Homecoming is slated for a Fall 2022 release with Surely Books (Abrams ComicArts). Her comics have appeared in The New Yorker online, Popula, The Margins and others. In her comics, she focuses on the everyday, friendship, and shifting identities.

Lee Lai

Lee Lai is an Australian cartoonist living in Tio’tia:ke (known as Montreal, Quebec). She has been featured in The New Yorker, McSweeneys, Room Magazine, and others. Her first graphic novel Stone Fruit was released by Fantagraphics this year, and has been translated into ten languages.

Kyle Vingoe-Cram

Kyle Vingoe-Cram is a painter and emerging cartoonist from K’jipuktuk/Halifax who now lives in Ottawa. Their first graphic novel, Kettle Harbour, a slightly eerie queer drama set in rural Nova Scotia, is slated for release in 2023. Kyle studied Fine Art at NSCAD University, graduating with a BFA in 2010 and completed an MA in Art History at Queen’s University, studying Nova Scotian folk art and museum representation.

drawing closer
Image: Illustrations by Lee Lai (left), Kaitlin Chan (middle), and Kyle Vingoe-Cram (right) | Photos: Courtesy of artists

GHY Cheung

GHY Cheung is a Hong Kong-born writer and artist. He is one-half of the artist duo Tear Jerkers, with Michelle Bunton, and one-quarter of Small Potatoes Press, with Ella Gonzales, Michelle Bunton, and Carina Magazzeni. His research spans public art and interventionist practices; spatial theory; queer and feminist theories; and utopian studies. Across his inquries, he centres queer kinships as method, archive and sustenance.

Cicely Haggerty

Cicely Haggerty is an MA candidate in the Department of Art History and Conservation at Queen’s University and holds a BAH in Gender Studies. Cicely's research interests include Queer/Feminist Contemporary art, Queer/Feminist Formalism, and the intersections of art, education, and activism. Through her research, volunteer work, and emerging museum practice, Cicely is motivated by care/collaboration, weaving together disparate ideas/fields, mining the archive to tell synchronous stories, and expanding artistic experience beyond museum walls. When she is not reading, writing, or volunteering at the gallery, Cicely likes running and dancing to techno music with friends.


Drawing Closer Reading is generously sponsored by the Departments of Art History & Conservation, English, and Gender Studies at Queen’s University.