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Monday, January 31, 2011

Google Alerts Mondays

Bring you what may be the best Tumblr ever. I don't care what you have to say, this is still better than Selleck Waterfall Sandwich or Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza.



And forever lament that your kitchen (??) doesn't have a Moomin mural:


Pour les francophones

Pascal Girard has been participating in the 24 heures de la bande dessinée in France, and his contribution is pretty darn charming.


This here's my favourite panel, but make sure to check out his whole 14 strip story on the 24 h website, and all the other contributions too - this year's Popeye-themed.

Palookaville 20 & Acme 20 in the Globe and Mail

Brad Mackay does a nice job dissecting Seth's Palookaville 20, Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library 20, and Julie Doucet's My New New York Diary in this review from the Saturday Globe and Mail.

Of Palookaville 20, he has this to say:
"Rendered in muted blues and blacks, it’s a stark tale of the dark side of capitalism. As farewells go, Palookaville #20 is as bittersweet and beautiful as they come."

And then he throws in a little comics explication:
"It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Chris Ware is good friends with Canadian cartoonist Seth. They are both masters of their craft who share a nostalgic, deeply introspective world view."

And then he calls Chris Ware "one of the world’s most innovative and thought-provoking cartoonists," and says that Acme 20 "refuses to disappoint."

Check out the review for more.


Plus! Chris Ware's original drawings for the front and back fold-out jackets of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth are on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The MCA is presenting an exhibit on Jim Nutt, a former instructor of Chris's at the Art Institute of Chicago, with an ancillary exhibit focusing on Jim Nutt's impact on other artists. The exhibit will be up until May 29th.

Peg can't get out of the Rights Tent {Angouleme: Day Two}



The day started off with a mis-set alarm clock and a couple of missed appointments but after our half hour drive in we arrived for the first day of business. Peg did a panel with the other foreign rights guests: Calista Brill from First Second, Todd Martinez from Image and formerly of Comic Relief (who told us how Tintin in Tibet in Tibetan was one of the store's bestsellers), Mark Smylie from Archaia, Carol Burrell from Lerner Publishing, and Alex Bowler from Jonathan Cape/Random House UK. Paul Gravett naturally moderated and discussion centered around the trials of translation, new book covers for different markets, and the love of being flown to another country to talk about comics. Is it a European show without Paul moderating a panel on english comics?




Our hostess, Ivanka Hahnenberger from VIP-Brands. She handled all the logistics of getting this group there. Peg grilled her at dinner one night to find out that this woman has lived an amazing life and is already negotiating with Jennifer Jason Leigh to play her story. We would also like to thank Caroline Chatelet from the festival who was our official host, though we do not have a picture of her. Sorry Caroline!



Peg had thirty minutes between appointments so we rushed out of our tent and into the next tent. And this is what greeted us. Now, Angouleme is quite different than San Diego Comic-Con in many ways but sometimes, well, it's just the same. We gasped and quickly dashed out and (difference) grabbed baguettes with emmental and ham and munched as we walked. A very typical Angouleme experience.



Peg went back to a meeting and I rushed off to another tent. Here we see the clutch of mainstream publisher booths. Dargaud as we enter the door. One of Dash Shaw's publishers.



The Delcourt booth. Delcourt publishes a number of D+Q titles in French.



Glenat!



Nice to see our pal Snoopy at Dargaud. Currently signing behind that crowd was Lewis Trondheim and a couple other folks. There was a TV crew interviewing an older gentleman at the Dupuis booth but I wasn't able to figure out who it was. Probably the French Steranko.



Later we headed over to Le Nouveau Monde tent which is where all the great small press stuff is--L'Association, Cornelius, Actes Sud, Ego Comme X, Atrabile, tons of minis and posters. Here we see the striking L'Asso workers.



Here's the flier (click for readable view.)



Me new mate, Alex Bowler from Jonathan Cape. I am not a short man but for crying out loud I will never take a photo standing next to this giant again. Alex was very gracious whenever I asked him if he knew Renee Zellwegger. Which was a lot. And he actually did, sort of. Apparently Renee is a method actor who spent time in British publishing.



And here is a long shot of the Cornelius booth--decked out with many many lamps. The "money man" Guillaume mans the booth. Emilie and Jean Louis size it up from the outside.



Directly across from them is the Pinceel booth. They distribute a lot of English comics in Europe. They had all those great giant figures that Press Pop makes too. I never saw most of those. Also, a sign listing all the foreign publishers they carry except for Drawn & Quarterly. AHEM. Hear that Dan Nadel? Le PictureBox is bigger in Europe than D+Q. Actually, Peggy took care of this the next day. Bart did have a sign with D+Q on it but didn't have room and took down another to promptly display it. I wont say which sign he took down.



I tried to avoid bumping into Paul Karasik but I failed. What, no, I'm kidding. Paul is awesome. He was in town teaching a class and dropped by the festival. We talked briefly a couple of times and then we were whisked away in opposite directions by the crowd.



Later, after much haggling, we got into the opening ceremony. Here is President Baru on stage with the emcee who I am told is a Parisian radio host. My impression was that her comics knowledge was not extensive.



Guess what Angouleme and SDCC share? A love of movie tie-in. Alas. Both shows are great but it seems to be only human to see how much cinema turns our comic heads. We saw a 20-minute preview and discussion of Largo Winch II (with Sharon Stone!) which is the #1 selling book in France and it was eerily similar to watching the Scott Pilgrim cast on stage at the Eisners last year.



Hey, some TV!! Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard fields a few questions about playing a zombie on the TV show. And superheroes.



Here is Dash standing up briefly when they show the cover of Body World and announce "John Pham." Oh well.



Trondheim does Peanuts! And then Jeannie Schulz stood up and waved to the crowd. Awesome.



Michel Rabagliati was honored after winning a prize last year but attending this year. It was a nice five minute interview with a great slide show from his French tour but ending with a puzzling moment where the host asked him if he read superheroes.



Afterwards, heading off to dinner, we run into Argentinian cartoonist Liniers and Fred from La Pasteque.



Dargaud hosted a dinner at the Hotel Mercure. Really excellent food. Endless wine, cheese plate at the end of the meal. Great! Here is the foreign rights crew. Left to right: Todd from Image, Alex from Cape, Calista from 1st/2nd and Matt from Archaia.

Getting drunk at the Dargaud dinner with Dash and Marc Bell. Dash told us about meeting Nicole Kidman when he drew the comic for Rabbit Hole. Special thanks to Thomas from Dargaud for being such a great host.

This is where everyone ends up after everything. Le Chat Noir. You order that beer (s) that you really don't need.



I swear to god I need to write names down and I'll get this sorted out later. Here is one of the Nobrow guys. Where is the other guy? He's here somewhere. Look everyone is at least 1-1/2 sheets to the wind at this point. Do you not know who Nobrow is? Tsk, tsk.


At the end of the night we go to the car stand. Here sits a number of drivers getting ready to be sent out of town for an hour to our awesome hotel.

Peg will do day 3 tomorrow, and apologies for the delay, the internet at the rights tent was intermittent due to the impact of 200,000 people descending on the town.
Friday, January 28, 2011

Introducing Adrian Norvid

I've been chuckling away working on the upcoming Nogoodniks by Adrian Norvid, and though it only fair that I share a little sneak peek with everyone.

Adrian is, in general, extremely cheeky and pun-y (not to be confused with puny considering, as he likes to point out, Adrian is very tall), and this book is certainly no exception. While these pun-laden drawings were all done specifically for this book, his normal drawing practice is often monumental, with pieces as big as walls and work that often moves into three dimensions. In case you're curious, you can see a video interview with him (showing some incredible work from a few years ago) here:



Aside from all this, Adrian is a drawing professor at Concordia University here in Montreal, and I had the great pleasure of taking a class with him a few years ago. His inventive and interesting projects, consistent wit and passion for drawing made his class one of the best that I have ever taken and I feel greatly honoured that we now get to publish some of his work. Below are a few preview images from Nogoodniks, which will be out in stores in June.





More Criterion, More Adrian, More Ozu

It seems like just last week we were telling you about Dan Clowes doing artwork for the Criterion Collection.
This week, Adrian Tomine! He's done the cover (and interior artwork) for a two-DVD Ozu box set, The Only Son and There Was A Father.

Eric Skillman, an art director for Criterion, has put up a really interesting blog post where he talks about the design process and shares some preliminary sketches, letting us laypeople in on how a DVD case comes to be beautiful. I've seen some Ozu, and what struck me is how apt Adrian's style is for representing the beauty of the still, composed scenes found throughout his films.

P.S. Don't forget! Adrian will be signing copies of Scenes from an Impending Marriage this Sunday from 2 to 4 pm at the New York City Gift Show, which is taking place at the Javits Convention Center. He'll be at the Macmillan booth, #7572.
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seth Scriver exhibit at Harbourfront

As part of the Harbourfront Centre's Winter 2011 exhibition series, Seth Scriver is displaying some pieces that will look familiar to people who own his Petit Livre Stooge Pile. The public opening reception is tomorrow, Friday January 28th, from 6 to 10 pm at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West.

"The Do-it-yourself Section is a selection of step-by-step sculpture and video designed to show you how to make use of all the garbage around you, transforming it into precious craft objects." Seth's sculptures do an amazing job of retooling the objects around us to be both hilarious and beautiful. His work will be up until Sunday April 3rd, so there's no excuse not to check it out!

Paul in the Airport {Angouleme: Day One}

Hey, Peg and I are running late and we run into Michel Rabagliati at the airport. So we stop to have a drink and almost miss the plane. OF COURSE!!

Hours later after suffering through a soundless Eat Pray Love on the airplane (as well as a listening to an excited teen tell a stewardess that the fluid used to de-ice the plane has the same chemical make-up as urine), we arrive in Paris. Twenty minutes in the airport and we bump into Dash Shaw. Everyone is on the same train to Angouleme so we figure we'll slowly gather the others.

Here he is--Marc Bell. Our meetup fell through but sure enough he was waiting in the train station. Marc and Dash are guests of the festival and evidently will be speaking to a class of high school students on Thursday. {Nobody has had any sleep at all at this point.}

This is where I start failing with names. Second from left is Rich Tommaso and next to him is part of the German contingent is cartoonist Ulli Lust (and not pictured, her pal Kai Pfeiffer.) Again apologies if I get a name wrong.

"The Germans" as we call them. Second from left is Dirk Rehm (and next to him Sebastian). Dirk runs Reprodukt and is known to North American alternative cartoonists as letterer extraordinaire, but also publishes many of our books in german, as well publishes wonderful cartoonists of their own. You may have seen his work in our pal books and as one of the letterers in Julie's 365 Days (along with Chris Ware and Rich Tommaso!!). Here, we're all waiting for the train to Angouleme.

We arrive in Angouleme and catch our car out to our accommodations. We're located 30 kilometers from the festival through small towns and twists and turns and roads that can only safely fit one car. At the end of a long bumpy dirt road to donkeys. And geese. {Addition: The place is called Le Logis de Puygaty and out host Max was amazing! He would drive us into Angouleme if the wait for a car was too long.}

Peg and I will go on and on about this place. It's a 15th century farmhouse that the owners reclaimed 6 years ago and refurbished into the nicest hotel I have ever been in.

Here's Peg entering our room.

And here she is in the lobby. Remy Martin was doing some kind of brainstorming session there on Thursday so out of shot there was something like $40,000 of top-line cognac sitting around.

Night shot as we get ready to head back into town after an hour to ourselves. Off to meet Cornelius for dinner.

While killing time we walk into a small storefront converted into a gallery for the festival. I got the feeling this was a small press pop-up kind of event. Not sure what was going on. There were American style Zombie comics on the wall and books on strings everywhere.

Hey, CCS kids, this is France. Step it up!!

Of course, there's going to be the small street alley cobblestone shot of Peggy. We are tourists. Expect plenty more (especially when we hit Paris, post-Angouleme.)

Dinner with Cornelius in a converted wine cellar Italian restaurant. Emilie, Marc, and Tom waiting for the waitstaff. Nobody is in a hurry here. Take it easy, Tom. Slow down!!!

Names are starting to fail me. I will update later. I believe the gentleman on the left runs the main museum here (he had many Crumb, Spiegelman, and Gilbert Shelton stories.) {Update: Paul Karasik informs me that his name is Jean-Pierre Mercier. Great dinner companion.} And on the right is Jean-Louis, the genius force behind Cornelius. I (Tom) would be lying if I didn't say that when I started publishing and designing I stole a lot of tricks from this man. Cornelius has always had beautifully designed books with impeccable editorial.

After this, Peg and I call our car and head home to the farm. THE FARMHOUSE!!! (more pics later.)

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