Books

Burt’s Way Home

Burt's Way Home

Burt’s an orphan, but no regular orphan; he’s an orphan of time and space after a cosmic accident left him stranded on earth, or so he says. Lydia is an older woman who has adopted Burt. Together they tell a tale of home and belonging from two different perspectives.

  • Nominated for the 2017 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Young Readers

This is a book of the sweetest optimism. ‘You’ll understand when you’re older’ is a familiar refrain to anyone who remembers their childhood, but Burt understands plenty, in his own way. He would be baffling if not for the patience and love of someone who cares for him, trying to see what he sees.

Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant
Koyama Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1927668375, 48 pages, hardcover

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories

A picture book for early readers, A Cat Named Tim is full of short, mostly-wordless comics starring a colourful cast of critters going on adventures and getting into trouble.

  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards
  • Nominated for the 2015 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Young Readers.

John Martz is a master of inventive comics storytelling, and this is the kind of book I wish I’d had when I was a kid: inspiring, eye-opening, and never not fun. A Cat Named Tim is a treasure chest of wonderful.

Ryan North, Adventure Time, Dinosaur Comics

Visual learners and younger children alike will pore delightedly over these nearly wordless sequences.

Koyama Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1927668108, 52 pages, hardcover

Destination X

Destination X

Destination X is a graphic novel/parable about obsession and singlemindedness. Inspired by pulp sci-fi, Star Trek, ghost stories, and The Twilight Zone.

John Martz’s atomic-age cartooning is joyously stylish and deceptively simple. I’ve followed and admired each of his projects over the last few years but this new book is undoubtedly his best. Funny, sad, surprising… and laced with a charm that is all his own.

Seth, author of Palookaville.
Nobrow Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1907704680, 64 pages, hardcover

Black and Bittern Was Night

Black and Bittern Was Night

A spooky Halloween picture book, written by by Robert Heidbreder.

Written in alliterative nonsense verse in the vein of Carroll’s “Jabberwocky,” Heidbreder’s Halloween tale tells of “skul-a-mug-mugs” (rattle-boned skeletons) that commandeer Halloween night, chasing “tall-bigs” (adults) inside and pre-empting plans for trick-or-treating. But skul-a-mug-mugs are no match for candy-craving, costumed kids. In Martz’s crisp, none-too-scary digital cartoons with highlights of orange, gold, and dark blue, an all-out “scare-fest” ensues between the rival gangs […] Author and illustrator match wits in this cheeky and sophisticated readaloud that imagines the ultimate in Halloween skullduggery.

Kids Can Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1554533022, 32 pages, hardcover

Who’s on First?

Who's on First?

Who’s on first. What’s on second. I Don’t Know’s on third. I illustrated this comic/picture book adaptation of Abbott & Costello’s classic routine.

The book is stunning—dad and Bud would be proud!!

Chris Costello, daughter of Lou Costello

Martz’s expressive characters cavort on backgrounds that pop with appealing color. Clever page formatting conveys the pacing that is such an integral part of the laughs.

School Library Journal

Confusion reigns as the banter between coach and catcher gets sillier and sillier with each new question and answer. The supercute cartoon illustrations, arranged in both panels and strips against solid backgrounds, only intensify the zaniness.

Booklist

Martz’s clever graphics make the premise clear to the youngest readers…Parents can now introduce the routine earlier than has been traditional for young fans and, as we all know, participating in tradition is the essence of the love of baseball.

Newsday

…be prepared to turn the pages—fast.

Publishers Weekly
Quirk Books, 2013
ISBN 978-1594745904, 40 pages, hardcover

The Big Team Society League Book of Answers

The Big Team Society League Book of Answers

A collection of jam comics by Team Society League.

The Big Team Society League Book of Answers by Toronto jam comics collective Team Society League (Aaron Costain, John Martz, Steve Wolfhard, and Zach Worton) is an absurd blend of priapic comic pantomimes that feature an adorable cast of characters doing abominable things. Ridiculously violent and unabashedly immature, The Big Team Society League Book of Answers is a comic destined to be hidden between, and confiscated from, the pages of history textbooks.

Koyama Press
Koyama Press, 2012, OUT OF PRINT
ISBN 978-0987963017, 48 pages, softcover

Machine Gum

Machine Gum

A collection of my Machine Gum comic strips. The panicked robot hero of Machine Gum consistently finds itself transformed, disassembled and put back together again.

Buy it: Amazon.ca

La Pastèque, 2013
ISBN 978-2923841397, 80 pages, softcover

Dear Flyary

One-eyed alien Frazzle is devoted to his first spaceship–even when it starts breaking down. Will he cave in to pressure and upgrade, or can his “old friend” be repaired? Written by Dianne Young

Young lards the text with enough otherworldly words — noteymaker to exboom to peepered — to keep readers on their toes and to beef up what is essentially a story about remaining true to your old and trusty friends. Adding to the endearment factor are Martz’s illustrations, as shiny and color-shot as ribbon candy, from Hoolo’s classic mechanic’s shop to the traffic jam on the flyway.

Kirkus

Nominated for Best Book Illustration in the 2013 National Cartoonist Society Reuben Awards.

Kids Can Press, 2012, OUT OF PRINT
ISBN 978-1554534487, 32 pages, hardcover