Klara Woldenga, a former Summerland student now attending the University of Victoria, has won the John H. McDonald award for Best Comics, given through the Canadian University Press.
Canadian University Press is a national non-profit co-operative owned and operated by student newspapers from coast to coast. It recognizes the talent of its journalists by awarding the John H. McDonald awards for excellence in student journalism, the only awards in Canada to do so. The awards are named after CUP’s first president, John H. McDonald.
In order to win in the comic category the criteria included, that the artist display superior artistic talent, the comic be entertaining and the comic communicate a message.
Woldenga says she has been drawing for as long as she can remember.
“My characters and comics are often modelled over frustrations I feel about society. When I get angry I try to make a joke about it to feel better, and often my comics come from these jokes. I am majoring in sociology which has given me an expanded view of the world which I have been able to tunnel into my comics,” she said.
Her comics often include robots, with one of her characters being an electronic toy called Killoctopus.
“I see robots as the future and I see an excitement in writing about near future stories. The Killoctopus story in particular touches on some subjects I can see emerging in our current world, such as the reliance on machines and the trust we put into larger companies,” she said.
“It meant a lot to be recognized by my peers,” Woldenga said. “Throughout all my academic life, university and high school, I have been told not to doodle and to pay attention. This award has shown me that my doodles and imagination are recognized as more than just useless doodles. It has given me more bounce in my step and has let me know that my anti-social artistic lifestyle and sacrificed sleep is worth it.”
Woldenga hopes to get a job as a political cartoonist or work in the cartoon industry. Currently she has a website featuring her comics.
In order to view her work and have a chuckle go to www.robotcomics.ca.
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