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The Chat with Kimiko Tobimatsu

Kimiko Tobimatsu - Jenny Vasquez - 6

Author Kimiko Tobimatsu and illustrator Keet Geniza have teamed up to create Kimiko Does Cancer, a timely graphic memoir exploring the unexpected cancer journey of a young, queer, mixed-race woman. This week, Kimiko joins us on The Chat to talk more about the book.

The Toronto Star has high praise for Kimiko Does Cancer: “The best graphic novel autobiographies provide insight into the lives of remarkable people and Kimiko Tobimatsu’s story, complemented by the highly skilled art of Keet Geniza, is a particularly special privilege for us.”

Kimiko Tobimatsu is an employment and human rights lawyer by day. Kimiko Does Cancer, based on her own experience, is her first book.

Keet Geniza is a Filipinx-Canadian illustrator and comic artist. Born and raised in Manila, she moved to Toronto in 2006 and has since immersed herself in zines and comics as a way to document her struggles as a queer immigrant woman of colour. Kimiko Does Cancer is her first book.


Trevor Corkum: Kimiko Does Cancer explores the aftermath of your diagnosis with breast cancer at a …

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Launchpad: Dead Mom Walking, by Rachel Matlow

Launchpad Logo

This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.

Today we're launching Rachel Matlow's memoir Dead Mom Walking, which we're particularly excited about after reading their recommended reading list of queer memoirs.

Zoe Whittall writes, “This book is perfect. Dead Mom Walking is a deeply funny, incredibly smart, and moving page-turner...I just can’t get over what a stunning achievement it is.”


The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.

Dead Mom Walking is about how my amazing/beloved/hilarious mother tried to cure herself of cancer …

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Teva Harrison

Harrison_Teva_portrait © David P.Leonard


Teva Harrison’s powerful graphic memoir, In-Between Days, traces the painful and personal journey of her diagnosis with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. Through comic illustration and short personal essays, Teva documents what it’s like to live with the disease, inviting us to share quiet moments of joy, helplessness, sadness, and love. At times heartbreaking, always revealing, and often fiercely uplifting, In-Between Days is a book that reminds us what a precious gift it is to be alive and awake in the world.

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Peter Kavanagh references Harrison’s preface to the book: “When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I have since learned that it is the unspoken that is most frightening. Shining a light on my experience takes some of the power away from the bogeyman that is my cancer. I am taking my power back.” For Kavanagh, “it is that assertion of control, that insistence of taking charge, that provides this memoir with its power.”

Teva Harrison is a writer and graphic artist. In- …

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Gillian Deacon on the Hazardous Toxins We're Slathering onto Our Bodies and Our Children's

Gillian Deacon, author of There's Lead in Your Lipstick (Penguin Group Canada).

Gillian Deacon was researching toxins in personal care products for There's Lead in Your Lipstick (Penguin Group Canada), the follow up to her bestselling title Green for Life, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Talk about your personal crusades, now when Deacon addresses audiences about the dozens upon dozens of chemicals we lather ourselves in before we've even left the house, she's speaking from experience.

Visit her at and download this handy wallet tip sheet with helpful advice on the best toxin-free brands to look for, and the most hazardous toxins to avoid.

Julie Wilson: What are the biggest misconceptions consumers have about the cosmetic industry and safety standards? How do our standards differ from other countries, for better or worse?

Gillian Deacon: Most Canadians assume, as we stroll down the aisles of the drugstore, that any product that has made it onto the shelves has met some fairly strict guidelines for consumer health and safety. Sadly, that is not the case. There are no laws, neither in Canada nor the U.S., requiring a company to prove that a chemical is safe for human use before it is introduced into the marketplace. Of the 85-100,000 chemicals on the market in Canada, (plus the 1,000 new chemicals and polymers approve …

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