Kids Comics Pitchfest 2023 Showcase
Comics creators from around the world submit their unpublished projects to be previewed online by editors and agents. A panel of judges (click here to see the juror list) select the top pitches. Projects are archived here so that industry pros may view them and discover new talent.
BEARS ARE NOT FRIENDLY
Street-smart Raccoon is desperate for dinner when he finds grizzly-faced Bear at his favorite trash can. Raccoon knows bears: they’re not friendly, they don’t share, and this one definitely wants to eat him! He dodges Bear all night, but she’s waiting for him at every turn, ready for dinner. When Raccoon ends up trapped with Bear, he must see beyond her grizzly exterior for these suburban scavengers to satiate their hunger, and maybe even become friends.
BEARS ARE NOT FRIENDLY is a funny, unlikely friendship story with SEL themes about two trash-eating misfits who overcome prejudice and insecurity to discover they’re better together.
Age Range:Chapter Book
Genre:Adventure, Animals, Fiction, Humor, Social-Emotional
Page Count Estimate:64
I grew up chasing bears out of the trash in rural Ontario, and now share my Vancouver neighborhood with adorable urban raccoons. As a woman who has been told that I look intimidating and to “smile more,” I wanted to challenge this common advice. We can all relate to feeling misjudged and can recall having misjudged others. At a time when people and politics are polarized and misunderstandings abound (hello social media), I wanted to shed light on the problems of prejudice and misunderstanding through a funny and hopeful story. I hope that Bear and Raccoon’s shenanigans inspire young people to see beyond their snap judgements (like Raccoon) and stay true to who they are, even in the face of prejudice or rejection (like Bear).
Illustrator Ken Rolston created the Instagram comic Dad vs the Threenager, which has been running for six years and has over seventeen thousand followers. He has twenty years’ experience in the children’s entertainment industry as co-creator of Oville World Learning for Kids, a mobile game for preschoolers. Ken is the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI Canada West and is an active member of Kids Comics Unite Studio.
Writer Tanya Elchuk was recently shortlisted in the 2023 CANSCAIP Writing for Children Contest and had two manuscripts longlisted in the 2022 contest. She is an associate editor for the The Voice & Speech Review and has had academic articles published in that journal, The Canadian Theatre Review, and Theatre Topics. Her poem “Blythe and the Bird People” was published in Fuel: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose. Tanya is active in the kidlit community through SCBWI and Kids Comics Unite.