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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

RIP Montreal Mirror

The Montreal anglophone community was shocked and saddened last week when Quebecor announced the shuttering of our only english weekly, The Mirror.  In a classic "bury the news on a Friday afternoon" they sent a press release out stating this issue would be the paper's last.  I am going on my 10th year of living in Montreal, and have always enjoyed D+Q's relationship with the Mirror, but was also proud of the attention and coverage the newspaper gave the local art and music scenes.  When another english weekly was in existence, the Hour, you could always spot the difference between the two publications by their covers.  The Hour was under a corporate edict from above to always use photography, so their covers were usually Hollywood stock photography for the latest blockbuster. But the Mirror always celebrated everything local.

My first cover with them was when Sarah Musgrave interviewed Harry Mayerovitch on his 93rd birthday for the Blue Met Bleu Festival.  I could end this blog post on how great they were right now.  They fell in love with Harry as quickly as D+Q did: "The slickest senior in the city can boast a compelling creative career that spans almost a century, encompassing successful architect, WWII poster designer, newspaper caricaturist during the Duplessis era and accomplished painter whose works hang in the National Gallery and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts."

Their next D+Q cover celebrated local cartoonist extraordinaire Julie Doucet.  For anyone who wonders why Julie no longer does comics and what she is up to now, Matthew Woodley's interview is for you.

Next we move on to Rupert Bottenberg's interview with old pal Marc Bell timed to Marc's monograph HOT POTATOE: "Marc Bell–a native of London, ON and an on-again, off-again Montrealer–has mastered a distinctive visual art style that's equal parts diligent design and frenetic frivolity, folk-art naivete and cryptic wit." This interview is delves into his London Ontario background with fellow doodlers Pete Thompson and Jason McLean, Marc's craft, but also his characters and ends with getting Marc to talk about the food in his comics!  Must read.

Similarly, Rupert also spoke with good pal Matt Forsythe for the release of his first D+Q book OJINGOGO.  You can tell from both of these interviews just how well Rupert knows the comics, the cartoonists, his appreciation for their work and just how deep he gets the cartoonists to talk about their art. He also does a very good summary of OJINGOGO: "[An] extended fugure full of surreal creatures of shifting size and disposition, with a strong-willed girl and her squid sidekick at the heart of it all."

And it's not just covers and interviews.  The paper has done plenty of books reviews and short interviews on a variety of our books and authors.  The Mirror also featured: writing by former D+Q staff Yaniya Lee; editorial cartoons by Dave Rosen, father of former D+Q production manager Rebecca Rosen; covers and profiles of bands by D+Q staffers, Rory Seydel in Pat Jordache, Matt Shane's Think About Life, former D+Q intern Grimes; and reviewing Design Manager's Jessica Campbell's gallery exhibit, Making Room.  That's just a small showing of how much the Mirror supported the local scenes.

And since we have opened the store, they have been more than supportive, and the store has landed on their indispensable Best of Montreal lists since it opened. Sacha Jackson profiled the Chief for the opening, and it seems surreal that the store will be celebrating its 5th anniversary this Fall without the Mirror. We will miss you Mirror! And thanks to everyone over the years including Alistair, Sacha, Rupert, Stacey, Matthew, Sarah, Juliet and anyone I am leaving out! Your contribution and support of the local arts will be sorely and sincerely missed.

{Also fans, some of these links are still good, who knows what Quebecor will do the online content, so check out these interviews while you still can!}


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