Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Fiona On The Agenda With Nam Kiwanuka

I had the great pleasure to talk to The Agenda's Nam Kiwanuka about what I created for the AGO's I AM HERE show, my current Cheez 2022 show and the kids' sex ed book written by Cory Silverberg "You Know, Sex"!


Thursday, 2 June 2022

CHEEZ 456 Catalogue

Get Yer CHEEZ 456!

The Thick CHEEZ! Fiona Smyth
[CHEEZ 456] 480 pages, 8x10 inch, perfect binding
ORDER this book at BLURB (can$85)
The book CHEEZ 456 was published on the occasion of the exhibition CHEEZ 2022, held at 50 Gladstone Avenue Saloon in Toronto, from 28 May to 18 June, 2022.
Also served as a catalogue for CHEEZ work at OCEAN POUNDS Print Series: Each issued in an edition of five, on 260 g/m Velvet Fine Art Paper. Sheet size: 13 x 9.5 inch. Signed by the artist. Numbered and with “OP Selection” Blind Stamp. Inquiries: mail@oceanpounds.com

Friday, 27 May 2022

New York Times You Know, Sex Review

 Yay!!!! We made the New York Times children's book review!!!!!!!!!!!


"If your kids have reached the point where things are excruciating, or just more complicated, they might be the perfect audience for “You Know, Sex,” written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth (the award-winning team behind “What Makes a Baby” and “Sex Is a Funny Word”).

At more than 400 pages it’s a comprehensive look at sexuality, body differences, body autonomy, gender, puberty, consent, menstruation, reproduction — the whole shebang. As I read it, I was overcome with joy that kids will have access to such an engaging resource. (By comparison, I recall receiving a three-panel pamphlet at school produced and printed by a menstrual products company. Thanks, Playtex!)

The pure energy of Smyth’s art sets the tone for the entire work. Her bold colors make the subject matter feel like a celebration rather than something quiet and private. The characters aren’t just diverse, they’re a veritable rainbow of skin tones. They’re also relatable and beautiful while openly challenging social constructs about conventional beauty. The scenarios she draws take on our culture of racism, colorism, ableism, body shaming and more, with empowering results.

Silverberg’s writing is fearless, digging into the messiness of the human experience with an eye toward justice. Here is that rare voice that can talk about the hardest things kids go through in ways that are thoughtful, lighthearted and always respectful of their intelligence.

This is not your everyday puberty resource.

“You Know, Sex” is an important book, and not only for the breadth of issues it covers. Silverberg portrays adolescence with tremendous honesty, and demonstrates a clear love for young readers.

In an age when many adults are turning away from providing kids with the information they need to grow and thrive (I’m looking at you, “Don’t Say Gay” legislators in Florida!), here is a kids’ book that discusses things like nonbinary and trans identities, variously shaped clitorises and penises, H.I.V. stigma, sexual pleasure, miscarriage, asexual feelings and abortion. It gives kids an opportunity to explore these real aspects of living in the world, on their own timetable and at their own pace — without resorting to internet porn. (Oh yeah, it also talks about porn.)

While L.G.B.T.Q. and other marginalized communities are often relegated to the periphery in kid lit, here they play a central role. All our identities, bodies, families and emotions are embraced, so all readers can feel seen, “normal,” valid and connected. Isn’t that what every adolescent needs?

Silverberg has two outstanding abilities. First, to present tough topics in a warm, human-centered and affirming style. Second, to help kids figure out the answers to their questions by reflecting back at them the humor, pathos and raw beauty of adolescence.

Adults, too, should read “You Know, Sex,” as it counters the harmful narratives around sex and bodies with which we’ve all grown up."

NEW YORK TIMES: Rachel Brian, animator of the “Tea Consent” video, is the author of two books for young people: “Consent (for Kids!)” and “The Worry (Less) Book.”

CHEEZ 2022 Exhibition and CHEEZ 456 Catalogue

CHEEZ 2022 exhibition begins with a private opening and then by appointment until June 18. I've been drawing Cheez weekly since 2009 for http://artpost-cheez2.blogspot.com and there are over 770 of them now. Thirty-one original Cheezs created during the pandemic will be exhibited and available on request as prints. CHEEZ 456 catalogue will be available on request as well.Contact mail@oceanpounds.com
Thank you Ka-sing and Holly Lee!❤  

Since 2009, the award winning artist Fiona Smyth has been contributing a work each week to Monday ARTPOST, an online webzine featuring columns from artists and writers. Under the title of CHEEZ, as a continuation of CHEEZ, a comic strip that ran from 1992 to 2002 in Exclaim Magazine. Until now, over 700 strips have been created.

To celebrate Fiona Smyth’s exhibition CHEEZ 2022 in Toronto (50 Gladstone Avenue Saloon), the book “CHEEZ 456” is produced, with a selection of four hundred and fifty six pieces, featured sequentially from the latest to the earliest work.

Smyth is a feminist painter, illustrator, cartoonist and instructor in OCAD University’s Illustration Program. For over three decades, Smyth has made a name for herself as a woman cartoonist, a rarity in the mid-1980s, in the local Toronto comic scene as well as internationally. In 2019, she was inducted into the Doug Wright Awards’ Giants of the North Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame.


Purchase this book:

Paperback edition (print-on-demand) direct from BLURB
480 pages, 8x10 inches, perfect binding
CAD $85.00 (plus tax, shipping)

E-book edition (download PDF, full-screen interactive)
US$10.00 (plus tax)

Read-on-line edition at Reading Room
Free access for Patreon members

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

We Move Together and You Know, Sex Books Launch on May 15th




A Book for Every Body: You Know, Sex & We Move Together

Sunday May 15 2022 3:00pm - 5:00pm

A Book for Every Body will celebrate the launch of the third book in Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s award winning series and the one year anniversary of Kelly Fritsch, Anne McGuire, and Eduardo Trejos’ groundbreaking disability justice picture book. Featuring readings, children's activities and more!

Artscape Wychwood Barns
601 Christie Street

Free! All Welcome. Please bring the kids!
ASL interpretation will be provided

3pm - mingling and children's activities
3:30pm - Launch for We Move Together
4:00pm - Launch for You Know, Sex
4:30-5pm: Book signing, children's activities and mingling

Venue details:

Wychwood Barns is a large venue, with large garage doors at both entrances that will be kept open for full ventilation.  Guests will be asked to keep masks on during the event. The Barns is wheelchair accessible, both the entrance and bathrooms. Guests will be able to physically distance.

You Know, Sex
In a bright graphic format featuring four dynamic middle schoolers, You Know, Sex grounds sex education in social justice, covering not only the big three of puberty—hormones, reproduction, and development—but also power, pleasure, and how to be a decent human being. 
Centering young people’s experiences of pressures and joy, risk and reward, and confusion and discovery, there are chapters on body autonomy, disclosure, stigma, harassment, pornography, trauma, masturbation, consent, boundaries and safety in our media-saturated world, puberty and reproduction that includes trans, non-binary, and intersex bodies and experience, and more. 
Racially and ethnically diverse, inclusive of cross-disability experience, this is a book for every kind of young person and every kind of family.

We Move Together
A bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way.We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A perfect tool for families, schools, and libraries to facilitate conversations about disability, accessibility, social justice and community building. Includes a kid-friendly glossary (for ages 6 – 9).

Thanks to AK Press, Seven Stories Press, Penguin Random House of Canada. This event is made possible with the support of Artscape Wychwood Barns.



Sunday, 3 April 2022

30 Years of Stinkin' Cheez

 It's Exclaim! Magazine's 30th anniversary this month and Ian Danzig and Atsuko Kobasigawa asked me to create a comic. Here's the history of CHEEZ, the longest running art project of my career!

Here's the ongoing version, a weekly drawing blog: