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Julian Lawrence

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Julian Lawrence
Lawrence in 2019
Born (1963-12-29) December 29, 1963 (age 60)
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
Occupation(s)Senior Lecturer in Comics and Graphic Novels
EmployerTeesside University

Julian Lawrence is a Canadian cartoonist, educator and comics scholar. A longtime member of Vancouver's DIY independent art scene, Lawrence is also an arts educator and researcher, with a specialization in using hand drawn comics as a tool to improve literacy, develop storytelling techniques and form identity. He currently resides in Middlesbrough, England, where he is a Senior Lecturer in the Comics and Graphic Novels B.A. Honours program at Teesside University.[1]


Born in Portsmouth, England, Lawrence immigrated as a child with his family to Québec in the mid-1960s, during an era of intense anti-English sentiment in that Province. To cope with the social rejection from his Francophone classmates, Lawrence turned to reading and writing comics for both entertainment and as a tool for improving his French language literacy.[2]


In 1989, Lawrence moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he worked as an independent artist on a variety of projects, including: writer/illustrator for Fantagraphics (three issues of “Crucial Fiction”,[3] a historical biography comic series);[4] storyboard artist for the a.k.a. Cartoon animated series Ed, Edd n Eddy; character designer for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network animated series Artie the Ant and Senior Editor at Zeros2Heroes Media[5].[citation needed]

In the spring of 1999, Lawrence co-created (along with Robert Dayton) the Drippy Gazette[6] – a short-lived (12 issues) monthly two-color newspaper featuring comics from Vancouver artists, with each issue cover featuring an anthropomorphized raindrop named Drippy the Newsboy.[7] From this, Lawrence subsequently won a grant from the Xeric Foundation in 2000 [8] which he used to help publish Drippytown Comics,[9] an anthology series which grew out from the Gazette and served to showcase the work of each contributing artist. Notable artists included Colin Upton and Jason Turner.[10]

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam[edit]

In 2007, Lawrence contributed artwork to The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, a graphic novel documenting the life of a once famous Chinese vaudeville performer. The book was named on the American Library Association's Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens[11] and won the Doug Wright Award in 2008. Lawrence also worked on the animated film adaptation, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

The Adventures of Drippy the Newsboy[edit]

In 2014, Lawrence re-purposed his character Drippy the Newsboy as the protagonist for a comic book trilogy based on the writings of American author Stephen Crane. Lawrence emulated Crane's literary narrative style by contrasting exceptionally detailed artwork with slang-filled dialogue.[4] Conundrum Press published three volumes of The Adventures of Drippy the Newsboy: Volume I: Drippy's Mama (2015); Volume II: The Red Drip of Courage (2015) and Volume III: The Dripping Boat (2020).


Lawrence was a founding member of Vancouver avant garde musical collective July Fourth Toilet.[12][13]


  • Jeanette Andrews Scholarship in Art Education, University of British Columbia, 2017
  • Freeperson Award, Best Cartoon/Illustration (co-authored with Dr. Rita Irwin & Dr. Ching-Chiu Lin), The Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM), 2016
  • Gene Day Award, Best Self-Published Comic (anthology contributor, edited by Bevan Thomas), 2016
  • Pop Vox Award, Best Digital Learning Initiative, 2009
  • Sophie Burnett Award, Emily Carr University, 2009
  • Doug Wright Award, Best Book (written, compiled and edited by Ann Marie Fleming), 2008
  • Achievement Award, Emily Carr University, 2007 & 2008


  • Lawrence, J. (Accepted/In press). 'Where the Action Is: Crumb, Semiotics, L'Ecriture Feminine, and Taste'. In D. Worden (Ed.), The Art of R. Crumb
  • Lawrence, J. (2020) The adventures of Drippy the newsboy: volume III: The dripping boat. Wolfville NS, Conundrum Press. ISBN 978-1-77262-045-0
  • Lawrence, J. (2020) Cartoons have always been for adults but here’s how they got tangled up with kids. Available at: https://theconversation.com/cartoons-have-always-been-for-adults-but-heres-how-they-got-tangled-up-with-kids-130421 [Accessed: 08 Feb 2020]
  • Lawrence, J and Archer, N. (2019) Martin Scorsese says superhero movies are ‘not cinema’: two experts debate. Available at: https://theconversation.com/martin-scorsese-says-superhero-movies-are-not-cinema-two-experts-debate-125771 [Accessed: 08 Feb 2020]
  • Lawrence, Julian, Lin, C-C., & Can, I. (2019) 'Relational Connections through the Space of Learning: Exploring Youths' Experiences of Filmmaking with Comics', International Journal of Education Through Art 15(3). DOI: 10.1386eta_00004_3
  • Lawrence, J. 'Visualizing Conflicting Worldviews: The Comics Page and the Computer Screen' (2017). Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, # 34.
  • Lawrence, Julian, Lin, C-C., Irwin, R. & Lum A: Mentoring through the Comics. (2017) (Kutsyuruba, Benjamin & Walker, Keith. (2017). The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching: A Pan-Canadian Perspective.) Word & Deed. ISBN 978-0-9918626-9-6
  • Lawrence, Julian; Lin, C-C; and Irwin, R. (2017) "Images, Speech Balloons, and Artful Representation: Comics as Visual Narratives of Early Career Teachers," SANE journal: Sequential Art Narrative in Education: Vol. 2 : Iss. 2, Article 3.
  • “Mentorship Comics” (2016). (Co-authored with Dr. Rita Irwin and Dr. Ching-Chiu Lin). BC Mentoring (webcomic).
  • “Why Is Teacher Mentorship Essential?” (2016). Comics essay (co-authored with Dr. Rita Irwin and Dr. Ching-Chiu Lin). Teacher Newsmagazine. Sep/Oct, pp. 18–19.
  • “Changing Notions of Teacher Mentorship in British Columbia” (2016). Comics essay (co-authored with Dr. Rita Irwin and Dr. Ching-Chiu Lin). The Canadian Association of Principals Journal. Fall issue, pp. 44–47.
  • “Mentorship Confidential!” (2015). Comics essay (Co-authored with Dr. Rita Irwin and Dr. Ching-Chiu Lin). Teacher Newsmagazine. May/Jun, pp. 8–9.
  • Lawrence, J. (2015) The adventures of Drippy the newsboy: volume I: Drippy's mama. Greenwich NS, Conundrum Press. ISBN 1-894994-94-9
  • Lawrence, J. (2015) The adventures of Drippy the newsboy: volume II: The red drip of courage. Wolfville NS, Conundrum Press. ISBN 1-894994-98-1


  1. ^ "Prospectus - Comics and Graphic Novels". Teesside University. Teesside University. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  2. ^ Villeneuve, Marie (6 January 2016). "Le bédéiste Julian Lawrence". Phare Ouest. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Crucial Fiction". My Comic Shop. Lone Star Comics Inc. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Julian Lawrence (Audio interview)" (mp3). Inkstuds. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "District 18 teachers awarded innovative learning funding".
  6. ^ Lawrence, Julian. "The Drippy Gazette". Drippytown.com. Drippytown Manufacturing Concern. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Drippy Gazette". Drippytown Comics and Stories. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  8. ^ "Comic Book Self-publishing Grants". Xeric Foundation. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  9. ^ "Drippytown Comics". Drippytown Comics and Stories. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  10. ^ "Drippytown is a bizarre, decrepit, funny and morbid commentary on our wet city". The Ubyssey. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  11. ^ "2008 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens". Young Adult Library Services Association. American Library Association. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Biography". Drippytown Comics and Stories. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  13. ^ "Performance History". July Fourth Toilet official website. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2010.