“I get antsy when I’m not working a certain amount a day. I like putting stuff out on a steady basis and keeping myself to tight deadlines.” Toronto Star, 24 January 2015: “The parallel universe of Michael DeForge”: E6.
Born 1987 in Ottawa.
As a child Michael read his parents’ comic strip collection, including “Far Side”, “Calvin and Hobbs”, and “Peanuts”. He would trace the characters from these strips. He identified with Schroeder, Charlie Brown’s piano-playing friend.
“Schroeder getting upset when his work was interrupted seemed super relevant to me. He was dedicated to his craft; everything else around him was a distraction.” (E6)
In high school in Ottawa, he produced comic books and fanzines, and posters for local band concerts.
In 2005 he moved to Toronto to attend the philosophy program at the University of Toronto. He dropped out after two years. His online comics developed a small fan base and caught the eye of Annie Koyama. Her publishing company produced his first full length graphic periodical Lose, 1. Based on this acceptance he became a full time cartoonist. He received the 2010 Doug Wright Best Emerging Talent Award for Lose #1 and 2011 Doug Wright Pigskin Peters Award for Spotting Deer.
As of January 2015, he is working as prop designer Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time in the mornings. In the afternoons and evenings he worked on his own comics such as Very Casual and Lose. Some nights he performs at various night clubs, with his band mate Patrick Kyle in the punk duo Creep Highway. In the fall of 2014, they did a month long tour of the U.S. doing comic book shops by day and clubs by night promoting books.
“His stories are largely about metamorphosis – growing becoming, especially in a way that feels uncontrollable – and he animates that with Cronenbergian panache bodily structures burst out of their seams or sprout appendages. … DeForge’s comic universe reflects the dark corners of our real one, but – sensitive and hopeful storyteller that he is – he hasn’t forgotten about the exuberance, wonder and happiness there either.” (Hampton: E6)
Content novel & Cover book front:
Familiar Face. Drawn & Quarterly, March 2020.
Content novel & Cover book front & back:
Ant Colony. Drawn & Quarterly, January 2014.
Brat. Koyama Press, September 2018.
Big Kids. Drawn & Quarterly, July. 2016.
First Year Healthy. Drawn & Quarterly, Jan. 2014.
Leaving Richard’s Valley. Drawn & Quarterly, March 2019.
Sticks Angelica Folk Hero. Drawn & Quarterly, March 2017.
Stunt. Koyama Press, September 2019.
BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:
Content story & Cover book front & back:
Lose No. 2: Toronto: Koyama Press, Spring 2010.
Lose No. 4: The Fashion Issue. Toronto: Koyama Press, 2012.
Lose No. 5: The Crime Issue. Toronto: Koyama Press, 2013.
Lose No. 6: The Clubs Issue. Toronto: Koyama Press, September 2014.
Very Casual. Toronto: Koyama Press, 2013.
A Western World. Toronto: Koyama Press, May 2018.
BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLGY:
Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years …. Drawn & Quarterly, May 2015: “Development Hell.” 720-724.
PERIODICAL TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:
Canadian Notes & Queries, 87, Spring 2013: “The North Wing: Selections from the Lost Library of CanLit Graphic Novels Episode Eight, Paul Quarrington’s, ‘Whale Music’, as Adapted by Michael Deforge.” 60-61.
Descant, 164, Spring 2014: Untitled: 64-67.
Taddle Creek, XIX-1, 36, Winter 2015-2016: Untitled.
BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC:
Content back end papers & Cover book back:
Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years …. Drawn & Quarterly, May 2015:
The Walrus, Dec. 2019: “The Sail and Scupper.” Writ., Georgia Ohm: 45.
Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years …. Drawn & Quarterly, May 2015: Untitled. Writ., Tom Devlin. 718-719.
Descant, 164, Spring 2014: “Contributor Notes”: 250.
Walrus, 16-5, June 2019: “Tails of the City”: 62-65. Principally of review of DeForge’s Leaving Richard’s Valley.
Toronto Star, 24 January 2015: “The parallel universe of Michael DeForge.” Writ., Chris Hampton. E6.
Taddle Creek, XIX-1, 36, Winter 2015/2016: Untitled: 38.
Taddle Creek, XIX-1, 36, Winter 2015/2016: Untitled::9.
Brat, September 2018: Back cover.
Leaving Richard’s Valley, March 2019: 273.
Leaving Richard’s Valley, March 2019: 428.
Illustration for “The Sail & Scupper.” Writ., Georgia Ohm. The Walrus, Dec. 2019: 45.