TCAF 2022: Mark Julien reveals his graphic novel ‘Justin Case and the Closet Monster’

Illustration by Jenn Woodall

In celebration of the comic book creators exhibiting at the 2022 Toronto Comic Arts Festival, here’s my chat with Mark Julien about his graphic novel Justin Case and the Closet Monster. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. And the podcast is also available on YouTube. Please like and subscribe to that video channel.

Mark is a writer and illustrator based in Toronto, Ontario. A 1999 graduate of the renowned Illustration program of the Ontario College of Art & Design (now OCAD University), Mark was a longtime contributing artist to ‘Genre’, ‘Men’s Exercise’, and ‘Exercise for Men Only’ magazines. He has also illustrated greeting cards for Village Lighthouse and a series of children’s books for Curriculum Plus. Justin Case and the Closet Monster is Mark’s debut graphic novel, and was named one of the best LGBT graphic novels of 2018 by The Advocate magazine, nominated for the 2018 Virginia Library Association “Graphic Novel Diversity Award”, and for 2018 “Best Graphic Novel” by the Canadian Independent Comics Wiki Awards.

Justin Case and the Closet Monster is described as the story of “two closeted gay men, Justin and Peter, who struggle to come to terms with who they are. Each man, coming from a different background, has closed the door on the possibility that he might be gay and made a pact with himself to never open it. Luckily for them, members of The Closet Monster’s Guild – a legion of magical creatures that reside in a parallel dimension – are about to come along and open that door from the other side. A journey of faith, love, and family, this poignant story blends mythology, campy wit, and fantasy to show that while Justin’s path out of the closet has many hurdles, he learns that he is not alone in his quest to accept himself and find true love.”

You can discover more about Mark on Instagram at @justincaseandtheclosetmonster and online at


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