The Rangeroads is a graphic novel employing regionalism and Gothic elements to investigate how individual identities and landscape engage with the cultural-colonial and industrial-environmental history of the Peace Region. The narrative follows Cai Monkman, a Cree-Métis teenager who becomes lost in the network of rangeroads surrounding the rural Albertan town of Beaverlodge. The roads morph into a place both familiar and strange as Cai travels, encountering spirits, albino moose, and haunted pioneer shacks. At the same time, two lab assistants from the Beaverlodge Research Station investigate the sudden levitations of barley crops and a prophetic voice that phases in and out on a Grande Cache Radio station. The phenomena encountered by Cai and the researchers emanates from the rangeroads realm: a place-doppelgänger of the Peace Region where history manifests in the form of supernatural beings and occurrences. The Rangeroads is a Gothic portrait of place, zooming in on an obscure corner of Western Canada and the individuals who live there. Using tools of Gothic literature and a visual narrative, my thesis excavates the histories and current realities of a mostly-unknown regional community to offer a complex, metaphysical exploration of its identity.
DegreeMaster of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
DepartmentInterdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity
CommitteeBath, Jon; Ophir, Ella; Nowlin, Tim
Copyright DateOctober 2016
graphic novel, gothic