Drawn & Quarterly have announced they will publish Canadian cartoonist Kate Beaton’s graphic memoir “Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands” next year. The book will follow “Katie” after she graduated university in 2005, when she worked at an oil sands mining project in Fort McMurray, Alberta. She was one of the few women employed there, and “the culture shock [was] palpable.” D&Q states, “The harsh reality of life in the oil sands is that trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. ‘Ducks’ is an untold story of contemporary Canada.”
Beaton, 38, is best known for creating the webcomic “Hark! A Vagrant,” where she frequently lampooned historical figures, classic literature, and the occasional superhero from 2007 to 2018. She initially serialized “Ducks” as a five-part comic there in 2014. She said back then that Fort McMurray “is a complicated place, it is not the same for all,” and it “is not a place I could describe in one or two stories. ‘Ducks’ is about a lot of things, and among these, it is about environmental destruction in an environment that includes humans.” The title itself derives from an incident where almost 500 ducks died after landing in a pond that had been contaminated by waste from the oil sands.
The expanded, and fully inked “Ducks” will be released sometime in Fall 2022.