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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Moomin Every Day

Adorable, amirite?

I'll confess, I haven't actually read the book yet, though typesetting has begun. (I know, typesetting text without having previously read it? Bringhurst will strike me down!) Moomin Every Day—a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Moomin comic Strip—is coming at you this winter, and as I sort through the images, the interns keep giving me strange looks because I'm giggling uncontrollably (which, sadly, is nothing out of the ordinary). Though the book is mostly text, there are plenty precious Moomin-posse images to keep us visually inclined people appeased. While some of the images are previously published strips, others include scratch drawings and photographs never before published in an English-language book. Here are some of my favs:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TCJ's not the only one talking about Garfield these days...

Well, by now I'm sure you've all read that extensive Jim Davis piece by R.C. Harvey over at TCJ, but, have you heard Neil Farber's take on everyone's favourite wisecracking, orange cartoon cat*? No? Well, maybe you should pick up the most recent issue of Juxtapoz, wherein Neil has a whopping 14 page interview!

(disclaimer: the interview is primarily Garfield-unrelated)

*After Heathcliff.

Kate Beaton's Strong Female Characters

I was once asked why I didn't watch the new Battlestar Galactica, as it had "strong female characters" so I find this comic of Kate's particularly funny. Read it here. We're releasing Hark! A Vagrant on September 27th, and Publishers Weekly has spotlighted it as one of the top ten Fall graphic novels (along with Death-Ray and Blabber Blabber Blabber: Everything). Hooray!

Adrian Tomine Illustrates Online Dating for NYer

Adrian illustrates an article by Nick Paumgarten in the July 4, 2011 issue of The New Yorker. Original art on sale here.
Monday, June 27, 2011

Rare interview with Shigeru Mizuki on PRI's THE WORLD!

Just typing this blog post gives me goosebumps that thanks to Marco Werman at PRI's THE WORLD, we have a landmark once in a lifetime in English peek at a great cartooning master.

This past Friday, Marco Werman aired his interview with legendary cartoonist, Shigeru Mizuki. Read the transcript or listen to the interview or since Werman traveled to Japan and interviewed Mizuki in person watch the interview:

It's a great interview that covers all of what makes Mizuki such an incredible force in the medium. Any review that compares ONWARD to Sergeant Rock and decides: "The war comics of Shigeru Mizuki are very different. They’re more like poetry meets reality" is going to be a good one. The interview also goes on to place ONWARD in the context of contemporary war stories: "Think Terrence Malick’s 1998 war movie “The Thin Red Line” and the philosophy of war expressed by the hard-nosed Sgt. Walsh played by Sean Penn. Remember Sgt. Walsh berating the lower ranking Private Witt for going AWOL?" The interview also features award-winning manga expert Fred Schodt and delves into what Mizuki thinks of manga, and the video includes Mizuki discussing yokai.

Here are some more reviews of ONWARD TOWARDS OUR NOBLE DEATHS, and mark your calendars everyone for Spring 2012's release of NONNONBA.

"Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths" portrays the human side of the Japanese soldier and his suffering, much like "Letters From Iwo Jima" did. Unlike "Letters," "Onwards" is written in a startling comic form by a man who lived through the experience. Now available in English, both history buffs and manga fans alike are sure to find something new and thought-provoking in its pages."–JAPAN TODAY

"One striking feature of Mizuki's memoir is how it demystifies the Japanese military experience and shows the universality of the soldier's life. These men, like soldiers everywhere, grumble about their superiors, sing bawdy bonding songs, and wish they could go home."–THE MONTREAL GAZETTE

"To tell his powerful tale, Mizuki takes a distinctive graphic approach, he juxtaposes realistic landscapes, war machines and scenes of bloody aftermaths with highly caricatured human figures. The two styles harmoniously enable a remarkable cumulative effect."–UPTOWN

"The author is aiming here for a depth and breadth of story that few other graphic artists attempt. The fact that the book dates from the '70s-a time when American comics were concerned with Spider-Man and The Justice League, and even "underground" comix emphasized small-scale stories-makes Mizuki's ambition all the more remarkable."–POPMATTERS

"Mizuki illustrates the soldiers in a "cartoony" style, but uses a detailed, realistic style for his backgrounds and landscape panels, capturing the beauty and desolation of the remote locate."–PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"At its essence, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is a story that anyone can understand, a story of both the nobility of human spirit and the absurdity of war."–GRAPHIC NOVEL REPORTER

"This is a war story that gives ready access to American readers who know little of Japanese foot soldiers’ experiences during World War II; the medium of classic manga is just right for the content."–SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"The black-and-white illustrations create a stirring duality: cartoon-drawn characters set against a realistic and highly detailed background. In addition, Mizuki builds suspense as the enemy is always advancing but never quite clearly depicted."–LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Now..the book seems more invaluable than ever. In popular culture, the Japanese perspective on the war has largely been defined by the West. But it's going to be hard to picture the Imperial Army as robotic fanatics after reading Onward, with its mass of rounded faces all yearning for an extra spoonful of rice and one last shot at getting laid before they charge into the abyss."–THE ONION AV CLUB

"Mizuki's artwork in this book is a mix of styles. His realistic depictions of Rabaul's lush tropical vegetation and his stippled images of gigantic cloud formations must have taken many hours of work per frame. But the characters who populate these scenes are drawn in a very simple, undetailed and cartoony way.This technique is effective in the case of Maj. Tadokoro, who makes the decision for the suicide charge. His walleyed stare emphasizes that he is out of touch with reality. He seems to think of himself more as a figure from an epic poem than as a man responsible for the lives of fellow humans in the real world."–DAILY YOMIURI

"This book is excellent...Mizuki threads a little comedy, absurdism, theatrical speeches about the honor of death, through Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, preventing it from becoming a moribund book. It’s still quite dark, and tragic, but mostly, it’s a reminder that for every hero found in war, there are thousands of senseless losses."–NEWSARAMA

"For those fascinated by military history and WWII in particular, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths provides a penetrating look at the suffering and absurd injustice inflicted on Japanese soldiers by their very own army."–COMIC BOOK RESOURCES

"Balltastically, Mizuki recovered, re-teaching himself how to doodle with his non-dominant arm and going on to become one of Japan's preeminent cartoonists and folktale-tellers. Biography, short form: Mizuki is a badass."–BOSTON DIG

"Soldiers were told they could either trudge deeper beyond enemy lines in what were essentially suicide missions or return home and face execution. Mizuki tackles this topic with the wherewithal of someone who was deeply involved and understood the consequences on both ends."–DENVER WESTWORD

"The fact that Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths provides just a small taste of Shigeru Mizuki's sixty-year manga career should not take away from its ability to stand on its own. It is an epic portrait of a soldier during one of the most brutal battles of World War II. This translation (and its stunning gilded cover) is a welcome addition to the collection of any graphic-novel enthusiast."–WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS

"Mizuki blends a jarring style of highly realistic backgrounds...with caricatured, cartoon-ish figures. The message is instantly clear: the soldiers... are anything but human, in fact they are even less than the surrounding foliage, the threatening war planes, the waiting crows. Not until these bodies are blown up, dismembered, scattered in pieces do they finally become “real." Smithosonian's BOOKDRAGON

"Mizuki manages to show the epiphanies of the men—and even more so the officers—as it dawns on them that they have options. Those memories forgotten in the desperation of battle—the scents of home, the taste of anpan, their first blushing experiences with a woman, their family—now bring the reality of their situation home."–METROPOLIS

"the real value of Mizuki’s book is to show us the human faces on the other side of the battlefield. The Japanese have doubts and fears about war, too. By the end, many of the Japanese soldiers were acutely aware they were fighting a losing battle, but they had no way out. The book puts to shame the horrendous propaganda and stereotypes we used during World War II."–MANGA WORTH READING

David Goldberg

Hey, look, Ione Skye adapted Daniel Clowes' Ice Haven into a short film. Sure, she left some parts out but it's still a fun watch and retains the original hilarious Clowes kid dialogue.
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Attention, les parisiens!

Now is your chance to see Neil Farber and Michael Dumontier's work in person! (Along with a litany of other fantastic Winnipeg artists)


June 23rd - September 25th, 2011
La Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert
10 boulevard de la bastille
f - 75012 paris
tel. +33(0) 1 40 01 08 81

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Well isn't this a nice surprise...

This summer, the CBC is running a new initiative called Cross-Country Bookshelf:

"From coast to coast to coast, CBC shows across the country brought together panels of book lovers to answer the question: "What books do you really need to read to understand my home?" Together, they came up with a list of 10 books for each province or region in the country. Canadians around the world took it from there. For four weeks, they voted for their favourite reads, taking each region's list of 10 titles to a final five. Together, 45 different books from all genres make up the Cross-Country Bookshelf."

Oh, and don't let me forget - check out the top five on the Manitoba page:

Woohoo! Congrats to Chester and all the other authors.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

Glowing reviews for Zach Worton's THE KLONDIKE

Zach Worton's portrayal of the gold rush is getting much love! Read this full-length review in the National Post today. Reviewer John Semley states: "Worton distills all the dusty data about sluicing and panning and Miner’s Meetings, rendering it kinetic, clever and poignantly moralistic, without being didactic or groaningly high-minded." The Globe & Mail weighed in with "The North is evocatively rendered in black and white drawings and, as a bonus, there are notes on gold and gold-mining." Fantastic! Congrats Zach!
Friday, June 17, 2011

Merely Observational: Are we in the midst of a fan renaissance?

Has anyone else seen that ad for "Big Ass Fans" in the New Yorker back of the book ads? And today, I woke up to read a 4-page article in the New York Times about how fans are the greener option over AC and how there is a rise of new fans, nicely designed and more efficient than past models. Of course, the first thing I thought of was CLYDE FANS!

The article talks about how the advent of AC not only caused the decline of fans (as Abraham lamented in CLYDE FANS BK 1), but changed the way architects built houses! Personally I prefer fans, so my heart has always been with the Matchcard Brothers.

So will this change the way CLYDE FANS ends? Will some distant Matchcard grand niece or nephew, cousin, of Abraham and Simon stumble upon their heritage and open the "Borealis Bespoke" fan company in their Montreal Mile End loft? Well, dear readers, lucky for you, Seth will have the next installment of CLYDE FANS in his upcoming PALOOKAVILLE 21 in Winter 2012. And don't forget, CLYDE FANS PT 4 was in PALOOKAVILLE 20.


This Art Threat review of PAYING FOR IT came through via google alerts and I found it to be one of the better reviews of PAYING FOR IT, in that it is fair & critical, but what I really want to point out about this review is that a sex worker posts a lengthy comment on the book, and excerpt reads:

What has been missing from this public conversation for, like, EVER!?! ... The first-person accounts of those who buy the services of sex workers. Without this very brave and necessary work from Chester Brown, the growing movement of sex workers world-wide struggling to assert their right to earn a living in safety might as well be talking to themselves. We need the demand-side of the equation to come forward without fear or stigma and join the supply-side in insisting on better laws and working conditions.

Last week, at the Librairie D+Q here in Montreal, our manager had an exchange with a customer who was a sex worker from San Francisco, who explicitly came to the store to tell someone from our company how much she appreciated the book. Yes, anecdotal, (and legally hearsay?) but interesting nonetheless.
Thursday, June 16, 2011

Joe Ollmann's Third Entry for the Paris Review!

Dear Joe,

The young kids know about Snack and Blues. In fact, they were the ones who suggested we take Leanne Shapton & Sheila Heti there after their event at Librairie D+Q last Fall. Sorry, dude. Pam Pam Bar, now that's all yours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Joe Ollmann's Culture Diary for the Paris Review

Oh did I chuckle throughout this culture diary that Joe drew for the Paris Review, though my favorite laugh was the thought of joe cracking an Andy Capp joke! Hey at least it wasn't the Lockhorns!!!!!
Friday, June 10, 2011

Tonight in Vancouver! Chris von Szombathy!

Petit Livre artist Chris von Szombathy has a solo show, Esophagus Now, opening tonight at Vancouver's UNIT/PITT Project - 15 E. Pender St. It will be up for about a month but if you can't make it, just sit tight for Chris' Fall 2011 petit livre, A Fool's Gold.

Brian Ralph Dressed By Seth

Whew! Just when I think I'm blogging and no one is reading, Brian Ralph facebooks this photo of himself wearing Seth's shirts he designed the Guelph Roller Derby League. Apparently, Brian specifically wrote the league to request a shirt with black line art. Oh, you adorable cartoonists, you.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011

John Henry Gallant 1917-2011

John Henry Gallant, author of the memoir Bannock, Beans, and Black Tea, died last Saturday at the age of 94. His son, Seth, wrote the following poignant tribute.

On Saturday morning, June 4, around 2 AM, Dad died.
He was 94 years old, so it wasn't a shock or a tragedy but it was very sad for me. I will miss him.

Dad was of another time. He didn't fit well into this culture. To his dying day he thought of Pizza as foreign food! ("Give me some Cod and boiled potatoes and I'll be happy.") God knows, the world certainly changed in every way during his lifetime but somehow he stayed pretty much the same throughout it all. I know that harsh upbringing during the great depression on Prince Edward Island shaped him in every important way and though he lived much of his life away from the Island he never really left it. He couldn't leave it behind. It was in his every conversation. He was an Islander and when he retired he returned there to live out the last 25 years of his life.

Seth and his Dad circa 1970s.

I think he was happy there. As happy as he was capable of. I don't want to sugar coat things. He wasn't a saint. He had a terrible temper and god knows, when I was a teenager we had a lot of heated arguments. He and my mother had a horrible marriage and that left a lot of scars on the family. He didn't take personal responsibility well and he held some grudges. Some for decades. It took me years to forgive some things. But forgive, I did. I loved him so much when I was a little boy I couldn't help but return to that affection as a man. He had a gregarious, outgoing, social personality that was often reserved for outsiders and when I was grown up I guess I fell into that category because that was the personality I generally saw when I spent time with him. He mellowed in old age as well. After turning 80 (or around then) he became really emotional in a way he'd never been before--very affectionate and loving. It was touching. He had a mean little dog (Punky) that he loved more than anything in this world.

Wedding photo circa 1940s. John Gallant at far left next to his new bride, Violet.

Dad was one of those old time fellows who could handle things--or at least was always willing to step in. He was physical. He could fix whatever needed fixing. If your car was broken he'd figure it out. He could dig up a mess of clams and cook them in 5 minutes flat. He built a log cabin by hand when he was in his 80's. It wasn't pretty--you wouldn't have put it in a pioneer village--but he cut the logs and hauled them by hand and build the damn thing all by himself. I couldn't have built that cabin if my life depended on it. He made some really wonderful rustic benches and birdhouses around the same time. Those were pretty. As a kid he would fashion up rough hewn toys for me. I recall a fantastic hand whittled viking ship and a to-scale gallows (with working trapdoor) for my action figures. He made me a great big World War 1 Bi-plane out of cardboard and masking tape with Bic pens for machine guns. That was a glorious piece of folk art. I would kill to have back that model of the USS Enterprise that he welded together from Hub caps and angle iron. Spray painted all wrong--shiny gold! He didn't even understand what it was he was making--just knew I wanted one and was game to give it a try.

John Gallant (at right) in the Royal Canadian Air Force, circa 1960s.

He's been a soldier in Europe in the Second World War (Charlottetown Light Horse) and a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force in peacetime. He was a Scout master and the District commissioner too. In the 70's, he was a shop teacher. To get that job he had to go back to teacher's college and upgrade his education from Grade 2! Despite his very friendly demeanor he projected authority. Even in old age, dressed in a ratty blazer and sweat pants he still seemed to be in uniform. I think of him that way always. He didn't really rise all that high in rank but somehow that career in the Canadian military remained branded on him like a tattoo.

He struggled. He never really attained whatever it was he was looking for. I always sensed that. He was a restless type--always on the move. He moved house almost every year for 40 years or more. My childhood was one constant process of packing and unpacking our meager possessions. I've never understood that. I don't know if he was looking for something or running away from it. In the family we often joked that we would have to bury him in a wheelbarrow so we could keep moving him around.

District commissioner of the Huron District Boy Scouts. Father and son dinner, circa 1960s.

My sister Vicky and I rushed to P.E.I. last week when his 2nd wife Nancy called to tell us of his dire state. He'd been in the hospital for that proverbial hip operation (the one anticipated for everyone in their 90's) and had taken a turn for the worse. When I got there he had already stopped speaking. I could barely recognize him--he was terrifically emaciated. Just skin and bones. He didn't have his teeth in and his face was caved and skull-like. They'd shaved off his mustache. I don't think I had ever seen him without one. Still, the moment I came in he took both my hands and looked deeply into my eyes. He knew me. I'm grateful for that because shortly after he rapidly slipped deeper and deeper into a profound sleep . Oh, there was some painful struggle... but ultimately, he passed peacefully.

Aboard an ocean liner returning to Canada, circa 1950s.

When I went through his possession it took less than an hour. A few military uniforms, his medals, a box of photos and some files of early drafts of his book. A complete RCAF china service that had been packed away for decades. A sheaf of endless nagging letters between him and the Veteran's Association (one of those grudges). You could probably have fit his lifetime of possessions into a car trunk. He had a beat up old cardboard box in his closet filled with newspaper clippings relating to my own career. That broke my heart.

He and mother loom large over everything in my life. Both gone now. They were the primary source of all influence on me. Not a day goes by where I don't think of them and the stories they told me and the world they grew up in. They were giant figures to me. I don't think I've written anything that wasn't, in some manner, about either of them.

At home in Prince Edward Island, circa 2000s.

So yes, I learned a lot from my father. Not all of it good. Some lessons of what to avoid, as well. But he was a strong creative person and he valued thought. He was a smart guy. Not sophisticated by any means, but naturally smart. He was set in his ways yet was surprisingly open to any kind of wide ranging argument His opinion remained unchanged but he engaged the argument with pleasure. As a boy he took me to every pioneer village, historic fort or local museum that we drove by. He instilled an interest in the past in me that, obviously, is still very active today. I'm gratified to have made Bannock, Beans and Black Tea with him. Its publication brought him a lot of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. A legacy. I'm so glad it came out while he was still vital and clear headed and could enjoy the attention it brought. That book brought us closer together and gave some sense of closure to his life. I recall my mother told me that he insisted on naming me Gregory. After I changed my name to Seth I often felt bad that I had not only thrown away the family name but had disowned the first name he'd wanted as well. He never said a word about it.

John Henry Gallant is survived by his second wife, Nancy and her daughter Wendy. He is also survived by his children Chris, Vicky, Mike, Stephen, and Gregory. Goodbye Dad.

Seth, Guelph, 2011.

Skylight Books and Seth team up

Okay folks, you know the drill. The lovely Los Angeles-based Skylight Books is hosting another Fine Print Giveaway with a D+Q artist, and this time it's Seth! 

Go ahead now, ogle this fine piece of literary hobo art...

The deets are as follows:
During the month of June, spend 40 dollars at the brick-and-mortar Skylight Books location or its more ethereal sibling SkylightBooks.com OR "attend" this Facebook event and you'll be entered in a draw to win one of several signed and numbered prints of the above image.

The raffle will be held at 5 pm on June 30th. Good luck!
Tuesday, June 07, 2011

How Insanely Awesome is
Our Fall 2011 List? VERY INSANE.

Yes, I know, I'm the publicist! I'm paid to promote and be over the top. Yes, of course. But oh boy, come on, everyone will agree with me on this. I don't think I have ever seen a list as tight and yet as varied as D+Q's Fall 2011 List. There's honestly something for everyone here, and of the highest caliber. You can download a catalogue for the season. And to make it even easier, here are all of our final covers. Another amazing fact, friends? All of these books are either at the printer, or about to go to the printer. If this doesn't fill you with love, hope and happiness for the power of independent publishing, that working hard pays off, and the strength of the printed book, well, you're probably reading this from your nook or kindle and are about to upload our catalogue to a torrent site, so whatever to you, nonbeliever slash early adopter! Let us print fetish luddites take pleasure in the following books!

The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

Everything by Lynda Barry

Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists by Seth

The Adventures of Herge by Jose-Louis Bocquet, Jean-Luc Fromental, & Stanislas Barthelemy

Daybreak by Brian Ralph

Pure Pajamas by Marc Bell

Nipper by Doug Wright

A Fool's Gold by Chris von Szombathy

Nancy by John Stanley & Dan Gormley

Oh wait, what's that? There's still more that is not in our actual official Fall catalogue? Hells yes! Read on...

Optic Nerve #12 by Adrian Tomine.

Big Questions by Anders Nilsen

Nogoodniks by Adrian Norvid

Adrian Tomine For Beams in Japan

Check out these gorgeous music themed t-shirts that Adrian designed for the Japanese department store Beams in heavenly pastel hues.

Pedal Steel


Monday, June 06, 2011

Introducing your Death-Ray Action Figure!

As announced on danielclowes.com this weekend, this Thursday, June 9th, the Oakland Toy Company in conjunction the esteemed Press Pop of Japan will debut The Death-Ray Action figure. WOW!

This is a limited edition of 200, so it will be sure to sell out very quickly. Set your alarm clock to the appropriate time this Thursday: 7:30 PM Eastern, 4:30 Western and buy yours here.
Friday, June 03, 2011

Anders, you do not look like this!!!

(but some of these are closer)

Anders, look, I don't know how to tell you this, but we spend A LOT of time talking about hottie cartoonists up in this office, and you are always at the top of our list. But you don't look like this! I guess it must be hard to participate in the comics tradition of making yourself better-looking in your self-illo when are so handsome in real life.



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