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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crimestoppers unite!

Tonight at the Luca Lounge in the East Village, comedy and comics! Another installment of the Crimestoppers Club, hosted by the hilarious duo of Kate Beaton and Michael Kupperman!

So head on down to the Luca Lounge at 13th St and Ave B for 7 pm tonight, give 'em five small dollars, and enjoy an evening of laughter.
Friday, December 23, 2011

Thank You Everybody! You are the Best!

Happy Holidays! And THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us in 2011 and made it possible for a company that only published 24 titles in 2011, to have 6 of those titles land on the New York Times Hardcover Graphic Novel Bestseller list. It's humbling, and we appreciate each and everyone of of you. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Asphalt Watches

I think we all want to live in a world where the movie, Asphalt Watches gets made. You might remember the handsome Seth Scriver from his curious and enchanting Stooge Pile Petit Livre that we put out a while ago. Well, along with his friend Shayne Ehman, Seth is making an animated feature about a cross country trip. You can help by going to Indiegogo and donating. I'd like to recommend the "Zen" option. or maybe the "Custom Airbrushed Carhood" option.
Thursday, December 22, 2011

May I Direct You Over To Our Store Blog, Please.

Oh sure, here in the office, this week is easy street: cracking jokes, waiting for chocolate from printers, and drinking all the leftover booze from our office party (above).

Meanwhile, over at the Librairie D+Q, they're in the midst of the busiest week of the year. And I mean, BUSY. By last week, sales for 2011 had already increased by 15% from last year so who know where we will end up by actual years end. A year that was a banner year for them in every shape and form including hosting events with Art Spiegelman, Ben Katchor, Craig Thompson, Miranda July (below), Sheila Heti, Madeline Thien and not to mention D+Q events with Dan, Seth, Kate, Anders, and more.

In the middle of this, they're blogging away their new books and favorite books of the year. And while they're obviously not so team-D+Q in their Best of 2011 lists (note to self to talk to them about this for 2012), I can't help but beam with happiness whenever I read their blog and especially their year end lists, and look at the passion, enthusiasm and professionalism in which they sell and promote literature and art. Thanks Jason, Julia, Fiona, Chantale, Julien and Jade.

When we opened the store 4 years ago, many people thought we were completely nuts for so many reasons, but when you've been a publisher for as long as D+Q, and you visited many amazing bookstores, you can't help to daydream what you would do. Our vision was simple: a store that sold our books (natch), but sold our peers of all stripes including McSweeneys, Fantagraphics, L'Association, New Directions, Cornelius, Coach House, Picture Box, La Pasteque, Vertical, Conundrum, Koyama, Nobrow, Little Otsu, NY Review of Books and more. Kids, young adult and adult books. Prose, poetry, comics, art, how to, and more. A store to host events and workshops. A store where the new Clowes sits right next to the new Eugenides. A store where a staffer picks Joan Didion and Lynda Barry as the best of the year.

Et voila, four years later, we're still here. Merci beaucoup, Montréal! We have the best customers and the best staff in the world! Happy holidays to everyone!

Congrats, CCS!

Congrats to James Sturm, Michelle Ollie and the Center for Cartoon Studies on the amazing news that the school will be expanding into the "old post office building" in White River Junction, and will be new home to The Schulz Library that was forced to vacate the old firehouse after Hurricane Irene. I caught up with James this week, as MARKET DAY is featured in the 2011 Best American Nonrequired Reading and as usual, the man is up to a million exciting things. Love it.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kim, Kim and re-Kim

Guy Delisle has a blog post up about the recent death of Kim Jong-Il over at his blog. It's in French, so I did a quick/rough translation and included the images below.

"Kim Jong-Il has kicked the bucket.

Bad year for dictators, I haven't made a count but if we continue at this pace, 2011 will be a symbolic year for oppressed people of the world.

While the new Kim (around 28 years old) prepares himself for his new functions as dictator, I stumble across this little book, bought quite a long time ago in Pyongyang, that was lying around in my studio.

Inside, we find this photo. We see Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il discussing in the middle of an avenue. Great propaganda art. And this, long before the photoshop era.

Turn to the retouched shadow, the surrealist perspective or the father's gigantic tumor that disappeared as though by magic.

More surprising, even, is the son's height.

We know it, Kim Jong-il was not very tall. He sported heels and bouffant hairdos do give himself a little more volume. Despite all this, here he is at the same height as his father.

In reality, it should have looked like this:

Like we witness in the following photo.

Now it's Kim Jong-Un's turn to enter in to the family photo. (I find it hard to imagine the number of official portraits he has to put up next to the two others on all the country's walls.)

Ultimately, even if Kim-Jong-Un is a dwarf (with or without his high heels), North Korean propaganda will figure out how to raise him to the height of the situation."

All Hail Peter Birkemoe!

The Beguiling's Peter Birkemoe gets his due with a major interview today with Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter. Peter has been a major figure in comics for the past decade and a half. If running one of the best comics stores in the world wasn't enough, Peter is also responsible (along with Christopher Butcher) for making TCAF one of the premier independent comics festivals on the continent. Peter is an esteemed colleague, a good friend, and a model for anyone working in comics.

Metuchen your Christmas Spirit

It would seem that Brian Ralph is doing a signing in his hometown of Metuchen, New Jersey at The Raconteur bookstore tonight at 7:30pm. You should go because you'll get to meet his high school art teacher (focuses too much on Escher and not enough on the Ashcan school), his wrestling coach (focuses too much on Freestyle and not enough on Greco-Roman), his mother (focuses too much on Brian's posture and not enough on his hair), and the school librarian who lent Brian his first comic (hates comics). Good thing I'm Facebook friends with Josh Bayer or I never would have known about this.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On social history, ragtime, and Chris Ware

I, like many, know little about Scott Joplin.  I didn't know, for instance, that he had composed operas, and certainly was not aware of Treemonisha, a work that draws on Joplin's own life experiences growing up in Arkansas part of a community of former slaves. It seems to be an opera meant more for working- and middle-class black audiences than rich European audiences, and its style (with heavy ragtime and spiritual influences) reflects that intent.

The breadth of this ambition is awe-inspiring. "It is the only opera in existence about the Reconstruction Era African-American experience written by a black man who actually lived through it. This fact alone makes it a work of tremendous significance. Further, Joplin's score is profoundly expressive and as stylistically unique as anything ever created in America." The Wall Street Journal writes about the importance of this work a century after its composition, because after extensive research by conductor and arranger Rick Benjamin (a leading interpreter of ragtime music), the orchestration has been reconstructed to reflect how it would have been performed in a 1910s theater orchestra. All this means that the new arrangement of Treemonisha, just released on CD by New World Records, is a much more historically accurate interpretation of Joplin's opera.

Oh hey, I guess it slipped my mind. Also, the CD, and its 112 pg booklet (with extensive analysis and history by the conductor/arranger Rick Benjamin) are both designed by Chris Ware. It's probably unnecessary to tell you this, but that means the Treemonisha CD is both a fascinating social history of an oft-elided part of the African-American experience, *annnd* a beautiful object. Buy it here!  

D+Q Announces Our "Digital Strategy"

As announced in today's PW Daily by Calvin Reid, this holiday season, the Drawn & Quarterly classic graphic novels LOUIS RIEL A COMIC-STRIP BIOGRAPHY and PAYING FOR IT A COMIC-STRIP BIOGRAPHY ABOUT BEING A JOHN by the award-winning and iconoclastic cartoonist Chester Brown, will each be available as ebooks via KOBO's Vox Reader, it was announced today by Peggy Burns, Associate Publisher of Marketing & Sales. Known for its astute editorial standards and high print production values, this venture marks the Montreal-based company's first foray into the digital sphere.

“Many people assumed we would never do ebooks, whereas the opposite was true. We were open to the idea, but wanted to approach it cautiously,” said Burns. “This past Fall, we had a fortuitous series of events that brought the project to the foreground. Chester voiced his desire for ebooks, CBC Canada Reads shortlisted LOUIS RIEL in its top-ten for its annual contest, and most importantly, the fellow Canadian company Kobo inquired if we would consider ebooks. Kobo’s pitch was very friendly and nonexclusive and they promote CBC Canada Reads. They understood who we are, our hesitancy and what is important to us. It all happened very organically which is how we prefer to do business.”

D+Q production manager Tracy Hurren oversaw the project and worked with Kobo to ensure that the same care and attention D+Q gives towards its print editions was in place for the ebooks. The arrangement is nonexclusive and D+Q expects to add more titles by different authors and devices throughout 2012.

Lastly, D+Q is proud to announce that the company will be splitting the net proceeds of its ebook sales equally with its authors, and is in agreement with the Writer’s Union of Canada.

“D+Q has always been an author-centric company, it is this ethos that has shaped us into who we are today,” said Chris Oliveros, D&Q’s Publisher and Editor-In-Chief. “It only seemed natural to offer the fairest proposition to our authors.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh Kim Jong-Il. You @#$%^(.

Perhaps you are reading the news today, and you never really knew many details about the leader of the hermit nation. And you think, huh, who is this man who penned On the Art of Cinema and On the Art of Opera? And he loved horror films? Was Friday the 13th really his favorite film? Did he really kidnap South korean filmmaker Shin Sank-ok and force the two to make a Godzilla rip-off among others? It's easy to chuckle at the outlandish antics that fed his cult of personality, but he was a dictator of epic proportions and a violator of human rights. Every single aspect of human life in this country was controlled by his repressive regime.

Of course, I'm not an expert, I've only read Guy Delisle's Pyongyang: A Journey In North Korea, an account of his time spent in the country while working as an animator for a French company.
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kate Beaton live

Kate will be doing a reading from her comics at the 92nd St Y this Monday night! "The Moon's Multi-Denominational Year-End Celebration" promises to be a blast, with performances by Michael Showalter (!), Julie Klausner, Andrea Rosen, and The Moon team.

Monday, December 19th at 8 pm at the 92nd St Y, Tribeca Mainstage, 200 Hudson St. 
Friday, December 16, 2011


It is always an event when Tablet runs a new Vanessa Davis strip--an event on par with a Royal Wedding!!

Free Comic Book Day 2012 - our second awesome title

So, we've got two Free Comic Book Day comics coming out next year. one is as previously announced an excerpt from Gilbert Hernandez's semi-autobiographical Marble Season and the other is a split of Moomin and french import Anna & Froga. You all know Moomin by now and this is more of that great strip. But Anna & Froga is new in English speaking North America.

I discovered this comic in the French comics section of my local library one Sunday while getting the kids out of the house so Peg could vacuum. While I couldn't read much of it, I could tell it had the right sensibility. I tested it on some neighborhood kids and headed off to Angouleme to meet the author Anouk Ricard. While talking to Thomas Gabison, an editor at Actes Sud, I mentioned that I quite liked her work and he said, "oh, yes, she is one of the best in recent years." A couple minutes later, Marc Bell walked up to me with one of her books and asked if I had seen it. PEOPLE, IT WAS FATE!! So, here's a little preview and watch for the publication of the full book in hardcover come Spring 2012.

Happy Birthday to you, Tom Spurgeon!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Help this guy out!

People, All I'm saying is that this is your chance to create something as great as the famous English peas recipe or the three wolves t-shirt. Get on it. I mean, "Joe Jacobs?!?!" Please don't correct the misnaming. It's too good. THIS IS GOLD!

Psst... Get yer HARK signed!

Boy do I have exciting news for you New Yorkers! Kate Beaton will be signing Christmas present copies of Hark! A Vagrant tomorrow night at the Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.

Find her at 143 Seventh Ave between 7 and 9 pm on Friday, December 16th.  And remember, this is for Christmas presents for your loved ones!

Frank King, film producer

As noted in this earlier blog post, the new Walt & Skeezix comes with a special added bonus: a DVD insert featuring numerous clips from Frank King's home movies.

Kudos to John ("The Guru") Kuramoto for putting this together and also for retrofitting Archer Prewitt's D+Q logo for the full 1920s experience.

This clip dates from about 1923 and shows King on the rooftop of the Chicago Tribune building with fellow cartoonists Gaar Williams, Carey Orr, Frank Willard, Sals Bostwick and possibly Walter Berndt. What exactly are these men doing?!

And yet another bonus: the music on this clip was recorded recently by classical pianist Reiko Uchida. The song is called "Skeezix" and was originally written in 1923 by the ragtime composer Egbert Van Alstyne, with collaboration with Haven Gillespie and Louise Field.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pascal adapts

At Length magazine asked a handful of cartoonists what book they'd pick if Classics Illustrated invited them to adapt any book... Check out the results, including Pascal Girard, Melissa Mendes, Kevin Cannon, Andrea Tsurumi, and Noah van Sciver. I just love Pascal's watercolour work!

Kevin explains it all

Kevin Huizenga has a great process post that is required reading for all cartoonists, working or hopeful. Check it.
Monday, December 12, 2011

More Jerusalem!

Things are getting pretty Christmassy around here as we prepare for our staff party tonight: Peg's printing out karaoke lists, Tom Devlin's devilin' eggs, Julia's wearing her elf costume. Since I'm in a festive mood, I thought I'd leave you with the Christmas pages from Guy Delisle's forthcoming Jerusalem…and then I remembered that Guy was in Jerusalem in 2008 during the Gaza War, which began a couple days after Christmas--incredibly interesting and important reading, but not quite the tone I was going for here. So, instead, I'll leave you with this:

You know, it's just Guy hanging out with his friend Michael, the Lutheran pastor at the Mount of Olives where Guy was lucky enough to land a studio. Say what?! Yeah, Guy's studio in Jerusalem was in a church on the Mount of Olives. AMAZING.

Jerusalem was released in France about a month ago, and it's already sold out of its first printing of 35,000 copies! Congrats, Guy! We'll be sending our edition off to print any day now and we couldn't be more excited about it. Watch for the book in April.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Free Comic Book Day 2012

Oh, so a FCBD Gilbert Hernandez comic!! Well, well, well. Featuring a preview of Marble Season, some background sketches, and an interview by, ahem, me. Next year is going to be GREAT! But, wait, that's not all. We have a second FCBD comic coming out as well featuring a children's classic and a hilarious new kids comic that I actually discovered in the kids section of my local library. More on that one later.
Thursday, December 08, 2011

D+Q to Publish Gilbert Hernandez's MARBLE SEASON

Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world rights to Gilbert Hernandez's semi-autobiographical graphic novel, MARBLE SEASON, it was announced today by Tom Devlin, Creative Director and Acquiring Editor of Drawn & Quarterly.

"Working with Gilbert is a dream come true. He's been on my very short list of favorite all-time cartoonists ever since I found a copy of LOVE & ROCKETS #8 at the Million Year Picnic and read the story 'The Laughing Sun.' He has never left that list, " said Devlin. "MARBLE SEASON is the autobiographical side of this great cartoonist (albeit semi-fictionalized)--where we get to see how his young comics mind developed."

To be released in Fall 2012, MARBLE SEASON follows a group of children and teenagers growing up in suburban southern California of the early 1960s, and tells the untold stories from the youth of an American comics legend. Pop culture references—TV shows, comic books, and music—saturate this evocative story, giving MARBLE SEASON the distinctive narrative depth and attention to detail fans have come to expect from the acclaimed cartoonist's work.

Hernandez, along with his brothers Jaime and Mario, is the co-creator and cartoonist behind the iconic comic book series LOVE & ROCKETS, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012. Hernandez’s seminal contribution to the series and the medium is the generation-spanning, cross-cultural, literary soap-opera masterpiece about a tight-knit Central American town, Palomar. Hernandez has won numerous awards for his stories, including the Kirby, Inkpot, Harvey, and the United States Artists Literature Fellowship. Hernandez was born in Oxnard, California and lives in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter.

MARBLE SEASON is Hernandez’s first book with D+Q, and will be supported by a full-scale promotional campaign including a national author tour. MARBLE SEASON will be distributed in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in Canada by Raincoast Books. International rights are represented by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.

Praise for Gilbert Hernandez:
“Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great craftsmen of modern comics...” –Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

"One of the greatest American storytellers.” –Junot Diaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“[Gilbert Hernandez is]...an extraordinary, eccentric and very literary cartoonist.” –Publishers Weekly

Adrian Tomine cover art (psst, some is for sale!)

Adrian Tomine's awesome cover for volume 4 of the Japanese lit mag In the City. Buy here.

Note the Adrian (maybe?) look-a-like in the background. Plus: all the back issue covers. Did you know there are a limited number of prints of the cover of Volume 3 at the Desert Island web store? Bee-you-tea-full!
Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Time Features THE DEATH-RAY and HARK! A VAGRANT in its top ten fiction list!

We just had a D+Q dance party in the office! OK, I admit I was the only one dancing to the BIebs while my coworkers nervously giggled. But how could I not! Two books on the Time Magazine Top Ten Fiction list? I have died and gone to publisher heaven. Time spotlights THE-DEATH at #10, and HARK! A VAGRANT at #7, both well deserved nods to two of the most talented cartoonists of our time.

Congrats Dan and Kate! (oo Tom just turned on Mylie's Party in the USA for me! back to the dance party!)

Now THIS is a guy I can get behind...

Kate Beaton! Update! New WonderWoman awesomeness.

True story time: I left Hark! on my living room table for about a week after I first got it, and I'd come home from work every day to find my friend who was visiting from out of town sitting on the couch giggling to herself and repeating punchlines. And then after she left, my roommate was the next victim. 

Anyway, point is, you still have a few more days to order Hark! before Christmas mailings end. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011

And with that, goodbye 2011! Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Closes the Year!

I arrived to NYC early as The Comics Reporter himself was already there. We made early Friday morning plans for breakfast and then spent the day in bookstores. Here we are visiting Jeff Ayers of Forbidden Planet.

Who else is at Forbidden Planet? Just good ol' Tony Shenton.

From there we move over to the fourth floor of the flagship Barnes & Noble Union Square store. Check out that endcap, except for the, ahem, one wing nut book on it, whatta shelf! Who could be responsible?

Oh just the man behind the scenes Connor who you can find Friday nights at the UCB Theater. Like all good comedians, Connor has impeccable taste in comics.

Early morning in front of the church, waiting for it to open.

Yes, my neighbors are Secret Acres. Above is my former DC Comics and Drawn & Quarterly intern and fine cartoonist Sean Ford and my former coworker Leon Avelino.

You know how we are here, we always like to get a good booth shot in.

Gary Groth and Sam Arthur came by early in the day to say hi.

Brian Ralph kicked off the day signing his NY Times Bestselling Graphic Novel Daybreak. We could have sold 100 copies of that book to SCAD grads alone!

Lynda's Blabber Blabber Blabber was a fast seller at the show. Check out this fangirl's rocking tattoo!

This happened a few times during the day. A young boy perhaps 10 or 11 years old is drawn to The Death-Ray. I mean, I know kids in NYC mature faster, but as a Mother, I think I'll pull out the Clowes a bit later on.

Yup, these cuties Lizz Hickey and Keith Jones are as adorable as ever!

This is Juliacks, who I met while in Finland in September. She's the sweetest!

Drew Friedman and Mark Newgarden!

Austin English, grand overlord at Domino Books.

Adrian's line starts to form even before he gets there, wrapping around the corner.

The man of the hour, the weekend! Jack Davis! Total celebrity sighting! His new book from Fantagraphics looks great!

Adrian Tomine and Mr. Collardey, err, I mean Tunde Adebimpe.

My dazzling booth help Caitlin Hunter.

And the good old end of night dinner. You know when you are with Adrian, you are going to eat a good meal. Thanks everyone for a great show! (I blame the lack of jokes in this entry on the fact that the show lasts until 9 PM. I'm old I can't remember)


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