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The June 2011 Buzzer and Chris von Szombathy: Buzzer illustrator interview!

The June 2011 Buzzer and Chris von Szombathy: Buzzer illustrator interview!

The cover of the June 2011 Buzzer and the illustrator Chris von Szombathy
The cover of the June 2011 Buzzer and the illustrator Chris von Szombathy

If you haven’t picked it up yet, the June 2011 Buzzer is now on board all buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express!

Much of this issue is devoted to the bus service changes happening on April 20, 2011.

As in April, many bus services have been adjusted in order to increase efficiency, boosting service on high-demand routes and reducing service where demand is low (You can see all the changes online here). I’ll have a blog interview with one of our planners up next week to talk more about it.

Apart from the service changes, the big story, at least for me, is the 95th birthday of the Buzzer! Yes, this little publication has outlasted most publications in BC and keeps on going! Vancouver historian Jim McGraw had some great things to say about the Buzzer that I included in the issue. I’ll be bringing you historical Buzzer-related stories throughout the year to highlight all the great stuff the Buzzer has covered over the years. If you’re curious about back issues, we have almost all of them available for download here.

There are two stories on accessible transit as well. TransLink has really been focusing on making the system more accessible to everyone, and these short pieces outline that commitment. There’s also a short piece on Clean Air Day.

I Love Transit Week is coming up July 11 – 15th! I’m asking Buzzer newsletter and blog readers to email me a photo, video, podcast, essay, discussion post, poetry or any other creative idea to celebrate transit at

I’m very proud of the illustrator for this month, Chris von Szombathy. He’s a treasured Metro Vancouver illustrator, and we’re very lucky he drew such a fantastic image to celebrate the Buzzer’s birthday! You can read an interview with him below.

Remember to enter the FareCard contest too! You can win a free FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer: read the issue, then email in your info and the answer to the trivia question by Wednesday, June 20 at 9 am. We’ll pick a winner from all the correct answers, and that person will be notified by phone shortly after the draw.

Comments are very welcome below. Enjoy the interview and the Buzzer for June!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your art, Chris.

Well, I live and work here in Vancouver, and my work is generally just simple concepts or ideas presented with a bold style.

How did you come up with the Buzzer cover? Can you talk a bit about the other concepts?

I just liked the giant cake as it was a bit nonsensical and a little silly. It was hard to get it visually simple enough that it still made sense without too much clutter. The other ideas were much more straightforward involving the theme of the anniversary… They weren’t very memorable, I can’t even recall them!

What kind of work are you doing lately, and where can we see it?

I am working on more sculpture works at the moment. Besides my website, my work is up at the UNIT/PITT Project in Vancouver until July 9, and I have my second book with Drawn & Quarterly coming out this fall.

Do you have a regular transit route that you take? And do you have a favourite seat on the bus or SkyTrain?

Not a regular one anymore, but I’ve been on the Skytrain the most over the past year. Of course, I love the coveted front-facing and rear-facing seats at each end of the Millenium Line. I’ve only sat there once. You do feel everyone’s eyeballs on you as they enter the car though. You gotta own those seats!


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