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House of Anansi Press

The Outside Circle

A Graphic Novel

Written by Patti LaBoucane-Benson • Illustrated by Kelly Mellings

Published May 02, 2015 | ISBN 9781770899377

Cover of The Outside Circle

Regular price $19.95 CAD

128 pages | 10 in × 6.6875 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Outside Circle

A Graphic Novel

Patti LaBoucane-Benson • Kelly Mellings

Winner, CODE’s 2016 Burt Award for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Literature

In this important graphic novel, two brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Indigenous man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Indigenous healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Indigenous men.

About the Creators

Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Patti Laboucane-Benson is a Métis woman and the Director of Research, Training, and Communication at Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA). She has a Ph.D. in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family Resilience. Her doctoral research explored how providing historic trauma healing programs for Aboriginal offenders builds resilience in Aboriginal families and communities. She has also been the recipient of the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Award for Education. She lives in Spruce Grove, Alberta.

Kelly Mellings

Kelly Mellings is an award-winning art director, illustrator, and designer. His work has appeared in comic books, magazines, apps, museum exhibits, and online games, and his clients include Microsoft. He is the co-owner of the acclaimed illustration, animation, and design firm Pulp Studios. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Awards and Praise
  • Winner CODE’s 2016 Burt Award for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Literature, 2016
  • Short-listed In the Margins Top Fiction Award, 2016