When Courtenay McKay named her brand, JOJO & GUN, after her two cats, she knew she was going to have a full stock of illustrations inspired by the local environment. Like many Edmontonians, McKay is fascinated by the stories of ghost magpies in town, but has never witnessed one.
“I encountered a lot of magpies on [the University of Alberta] campus,” says McKay. “So I made a magpie postcard for those spicy little birds, who are always around, and you know they’d attack when confronted.”
Therefore, the magpie postcard reads “Welcome to Edmonton, magpie capital of Canada.” And, on how to spot a magpie: “[It] looks like it’s been in a tiny bar fight.” McKay also created magpie totes, art prints and pins for the collection, including the shiny ghost magpie pins.
During a visit in Vancouver, McKay and her friend came up with an idea of creating a line of postcards for Edmonton, “but only shows what we’re the second best at, or what we’re infamous for.” She named this series featuring the “wacky aspects of the city” the “City of Champions” collection. It’s still one of her best-selling collections since its debut at the Royal Bison in 2018.
Getting along with her unique sense of humour since her days contributing to Vue Weekly, McKay also came up with a “Monster Movie” illustration series, featuring Edmonton’s landmarks under the attacks of Godzilla and friends.
“The wavy contour lines on the roof of the Art Gallery [of Alberta]? They just go so well with Mothra’s wings.”
Purchase illustrated goods at JOJO & GUN, also at Parcel and Prose, The Prints and The Paper, Majesty and Friends, and TIX on the Square.
This content was produced to support the Edmonton Made community. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Edify staff.