Brian Bowman and Susan Tooke chat about Canadian history in ‘Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters’ graphic novel

Here is my chat with Brian Bowman and Susan Tooke about Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. The podcast is also available on YouTube.

Brian grew up in the Qu’Appelle Valley of southern Saskatchewan, where his family raised politics, grain, and cattle. After grad school, an adventurous nature led him to try many vocations before settling on a writing career that evolved from speeches and advertising to journalism and editing. Still a resident of Saskatchewan, he now writes graphic novels and mostly true stories drawn from Canadian history. Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters is his first book.

Brian Bowman

Richard Rudnicki (1951-2019) was the award-winning illustrator of Abigail’s WishCyrus EatonGracie the Public Gardens DuckI Spy a Bunny, and Viola Desmond Won’t Be BudgedDusty Dreams and Troubled Waters is his first graphic novel. Richard passed away suddenly in 2019 and is survived by his wife, artist Susan Tooke, who finished the illustrations for this project on his behalf. Susan lives in Port Royal, Nova Scotia.

Richard Rudnicki

Susan Tooke

Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters is described as follows: By 1942 most of Europe was under the heel of the Nazis. Only the United Kingdom remained free to oppose them. Knowing Britain needed supplies from overseas, the German navy built a large fleet of U-boats to hunt merchant ships. It was up to Canada to protect all shipping from North America to Britain. Corvettes like HMCS Sackville were crewed by young men from across Canada, and from all walks of life. The Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945), the longest of the Second World War, was Canada’s battle, and the outcome sealed Hitler’s fate.

Following young Wally as he leaves the family farm on the prairies to pursue a daring career in the navy—leaving love interest Winnie behind—this striking graphic novel is a high-stakes adventure, a love story, and an important historical lesson. In addition to the detailed black and white drawings, Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters features a glossary and an illustrated map.

You can discover more about Susan on Instagram at @longbranchstudios and online at

You can discover more about Dusty Dreams and Troubled Waters from Nimbus Publishing at


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