On a blue-green background, the dark maroon icon of a pencil and the text Bridges Literary Festival.

Workshop: Journal Comics and Zine Making

Local artist and graphic novelist, PJ Patton, will be leading a workshop on journal comics and zine making.

This hands on workshop requires registration and has limited spots. It is suitable for adults and teens. Please register below.

About the Workshop Presenter

A man with dark hair and a checked shirt looks into the camera.PJ Patten is a self-taught graphic illustrator, tattoo artist, and poet whose work is influenced by the intersection of his Japanese heritage with his American military upbringing. Patten’s parents met in Japan where his father was stationed, and the family was raised in Huntington Beach, California where he started airbrushing surfboards in the popular surfing community. 

Patten’s own lived experience of homelessness and addiction as a young adult led to the publishing of his first published book Tower25: Strung Out, Homeless, and Standing Up AgainThe evocative and emotional illustrations in the book are inspired by the traditional Japanese artform of Haiga, which blends watercolour painting and haiku. Patten uses inkstone and brushes that belonged to his Oba-chan (Japanese for “grandmother”) that she herself used to create art. His preferred mediums are acrylic paints on canvas, pen, ink, watercolours on paper.

As part of his mental health journey, Patten spent ten years living at a buddhist retreat center, immediately after which he began working on his graphic novel Tower 25. He is currently the visual artist in residence for Changing the Conversation Series Around Homelessness based in Metro Vancouver. Patten has led graphic novel workshops for at-risk youth and given talks on comics and his own recovery story. He has had his paintings and drawings exhibited in and around Vancouver B.C., and is currently working on a new project – also a graphic novel – telling the stories of the children who spent time in Canada’s Japanese Internment Camps.  

Patten is a grateful resident on the unceded and stolen lands of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueum peoples who have been here since time immemorial. He operates out of his studio in Burnaby, where he also makes his home with his wife and two stepsons.

About Arts New West

With a stylized A on the left hand side, the words read Arts New West in turquoise.Founded in 1967 as the Arts Council of New Westminster, Arts New West is a not-for-profit community arts organization built by artists and arts groups with a shared interest in visual, performing, and literary arts. Our goal is to foster, support and promote the arts for all age groups, cultures and Indigenous community members.

About Wildfires Bookshop

On an orange background the text in pale pink, WildFires Bookshop.Wildfires Bookshop is a queer + south asian owned space, located on the stolen and occupied territories of the Halq’emeýlem speaking peoples. We curate books that celebrate both historically and presently excluded voices and stories, and serve as a community-building space that encourages the joy of learning, connection, and care.


May 12 2024


12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Wildfires Bookshop
712b 12th Street, New Westminster, BC, Canada


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