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Paul Peterson’s book an intimate look at suicide attempts

Every year, nearly one million people die from suicide. More than 20 times as many people attempt… What if they had waited just one more day?

Paul Peterson is known in Prince Edward County as the Mustang Drive-In and Napanee Boulevard Cinema owner whose comedic pre-movie banter and telephone answering machine messages are as much loved as his regular movie column ‘Reel Review’  (

His new book – The Next Day – is no laughing matter.
The Next Day is a groundbreaking graphic novella constructed from intimate interviews with survivors of near-fatal suicide attempts. In this poetic and profound philosophical exploration, four seemingly ordinary people each offer haunting personal insight into life, the decision to end it, and what comes after.
“I just want to thank the people who opened up their lives to make this project possible,” Peterson says. “It took tremendous courage for them to allow me to ask the most intimate questions about what was arguably the worst day of their life.”

Paul Peterson has worked within the social work field for more than 20 years. His extensive background includes 12 years as Program Supervisor for the Children’s Aid Society, and five years as Case Manager for the organization Citizens Against Sexual Child Abuse.
Peterson has been host and lead writer to a number of television projects including the Kids in Care Seminar Series, and Surviving Sexual Abuse. He is also a playwright whose plays include Promise You Won’t Laugh?
“I am currently working on a play based on this material and look forward to touring with it next year,” Peterson said.
He had the initial desire to create a traditional documentary surrounding suicide more than 10 years ago, after witnessing first-hand the devastating impact of suicide on a family.

The Next Day graphic novella is an exciting hybrid of documentary film and comic book Peterson co-wrote with filmmaker Jason Gilmore, and is illustrated by acclaimed cartoonist John Porcellino who was attracted to the project based on his own lifelong struggles with depression.
John Porcellino has been writing, drawing, and publishing minicomics, comics, and graphic novels in America for more than 25 years. He is best known for his self-published, predominantly autobiographical minicomics series, King-Cat Comics, which he began as a teenager in 1989 and continues to produce.
Porcellino’s work has won him critical acclaim and influenced a generation of alternative comics creators.  Time Magazine has proclaimed that “Porcellino creates some of the most thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful comix in America.” Porcellino has struggled with chronic depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder the majority of his life.
Co-writer Jason Gilmore is a Toronto-based filmmaker, illustrator and graphic designer. Graduating from the Film Studies program at Queen’s University in 2003, Gilmore founded Urgency Company, an independent post-production/design boutique. He has worked on a wide array of projects, including music videos, trailers, documentary projects, t-shirt, poster and DVD package design. Most recently, Gilmore was the filmmaker and designer for KENK: A Graphic Portrait – a 300-page journalistic comic book. KENK was named a Best Book of 2010 by Quill & Quire, Canada’s top literary magazine, and has been adopted for course curriculum by Ryerson University.

Alex Jansen is owner and operator of Pop Sandbox, an award-winning multimedia production and publishing company with a central focus on graphic novels and film. Prior to founding Pop Sandbox, Jansen spent four years managing home entertainment with Mongrel Media, Canada’s premiere independent and foreign film distribution company. Jansen co-produced the feature film Walk Backwards, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2001, and he is the sole founder and chair of the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The Next Day was developed simultaneously as a separate interactive animated documentary online, allowing audiences the opportunity to create their own path through the original audio interviews combined with stunning animations based on John Porcellino’s illustration.
The Next Day interactive experience is a co-production with the National Film Board of Canada in association with TVO as part of the NFB-TVO Calling Card Program. The interactive experience will launch in late May at and

The Next Day graphic novella will be available in Canadian bookstores and comic shops across North America in early May. Produced and published by Pop Sandbox and distributed by Raincoast Books.

MAY 3 | 7:00 PM
The National Film Board of Canada Mediatheque
150 John St. (at Richmond St. W), Toronto
Doors open at 7:00; Event starts at 7:30
Admission is FREE

MAY 7 | 9:00AM-5PM
MAY 8 | 11:00AM-5:00PM
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St, Toronto,
Admission is FREE

MAY 10 | 7:00PM
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
211 Bernard West, Montreal, QC
Admission is FREE

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  1. Janeson says:

    Congrats guys – this looks awesome! A much-needed book. Will you be donating any – is that in your plan? If so, can I put in a request to have some go to Iqaluit and other communities in the North? They would be so much appreciated … you gotta go there!

  2. Rob says:

    “I come as a thief in the night”

    Is Political Suicide a premonition of things to come?

    Are there darker signs of an Impending suicide we all should be aware of?

    Are there valid reasons for Intervention in a potential suicide? Is it even warranted?

    Do we, or should we, really care and be vigilant?

    Is it a good thing to be vigilant with an eye to preventing the despair which accompanies the majority of suicides?

    Is suicide a given outcome of despair in our society?

    Is the following a suicide in the making?

    A special letter from PM Harper to President Obama

    Dear Barack,

    As you are no doubt aware, we in Canada are in the midst of an election campaign. Without your bold, courageous and dare I say fiscally foolhardy extremely expensive actions I am sure that there would be absolutely no chance at all of winning this election and certainly no chance of attaining the elusive majority government that is almost within my grasp.

    Your deficit spending, that while almost bankrupting your nation, has proved a godsend for us. It has allowed me to keep giving the sheeple more and more tax cuts and it has saved us billions in unemployment insurance that we would have had to pay to unemployed workers (like auto workers). Your efforts to support the economy have also allowed Americans to keep driving big gas guzzling cars and this has helped keep oil demand at elevated levels, which of course is great because we are the ones selling you the oil (more thanks! especially from all your conservative friends in Alberta).

    Of course all the money printing by the Fed has hurt us by increasing the value of our currency relative to yours, but that is not totally a bad thing. You see, Canadians now look at their loony as being worth more than an America dollar. Not only is that good for them when they go cross border shopping, it also makes all the sheeple feel that we, the Conservative Party, must be doing a fine job managing the economy.

    Rest assured that once I get my majority I will do what I can to help you out in return. For one, once I am re-elected I will immediately confirm that we will be buying as many F-35’s as we can afford (well actually we will buy more than we can afford, or need … but that’s how friends help friends, right?).

    Thanks again,

  3. Jan Davies says:

    Wow! Don’t you love it when there is so much more to a person than meets the eye? (Which is pretty much always.) Not really so surprising that a guy with such wonderful humour, imagination, courage and chutzpah turns out to know a little something about the sadder and darker side of life. Can’t wait to see the book.

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