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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In Stores Today: OPTIC NERVE #13 by Adrian Tomine!

Optic Nerve #13 is IN STORES TODAY.  Today is earlier than predicted. I don't know about you guys, but that suits me just fine, because I have been waiting for this and I'm just not very patient. When I open an Adrian Tomine book, that's it-- I'm reading until it's finished, and then I start wondering how soon I can get more. But I'm sure you understand.

Optic Nerve #13 doesn't disappoint, featuring three complete, visually unique stories in Adrian's compellingly readable style. "Go Owls" is a dark comedy about 12-step programs, drug dealing, and minor league baseball. "Translated, from the Japanese" is the diary of a young Japanese mother caught between her home country and a new, strange land, and hovering on the precipice of divorce.  And "Winter, 2012", which you have a peek of behind the cut-out cover, is an autobiographical glimpse into Tomine's home life and his ongoing struggles with the modern world.

Here's a spread from "Go Owls", a tale I find really illustrates the sadness-beautiful style of Adrian's storytelling.

I'm blogging this for you, the tech-savvy ultra-modern folk.

AND, BROOKLYN! A GENTLE, ALL-CAPS REMINDER that Adrian will be celebrating the release of Optic Nerve #13 tomorrow, August 1st, at Bergen Street Comics at 7pm. From their site: "Come on by and pick up your copy, and be sure to toast the artist with a glass of bubbly.  We hope to see you here!"

Brian Ralph is on tour for Reggie-12 early this fall!

Hey, everyone-- it's going to be a really, really good fall. You can be sure because it begins with Brian Ralph ON TOUR for Reggie-12! Brian Ralph is funny-- really, really, funny. And he's going to be presenting a hilarious slideshow you won't want to miss. Come celebrate the release of Reggie-12 at your local comic book store, and come prepared to laugh!

Reggie-12 is a classic Japanese adventure manga story reworked in Ralph's trademark style and told with the wit and structure of the contemporary sitcom. The story, about the adventures of an enthusiastic young robot, a bumbling sad-sack friend, a wise-cracking cat, and a forgetful inventor, was first serialized in the seminal Asian culture magazine Giant Robot and quickly became one of the magazine's most popular features. It's a witty send-up of the infallible boy hero, and it's got pizza and video games. Pizza! Video games!

Mark your calendars!

CHAPEL HILL, NC: Saturday August 31st, 6 pm
Chapel Hill Comics, 316 W Franklin St.
A special D+Q co-signing event with Lisa Hanawalt! 
RSVP on Facebook

SEATTLE, WA: Saturday September 7th, 6pm
Fantagraphics Bookstore, 1201 South Vale St. (at Airport Way S.)

PORTLAND, OR: Sunday, September 8th, 6pm 
Floating World, 400 NW Couch St.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Tuesday, September 10th, 6pm
Mission: Comics and Art, 3520 20th St. Suite B
RSVP on Facebook
LOS ANGELES, CA: Wednesday, September 11th, 7pm
The Secret Headquarters, 3817 W Sunset Blvd

BETHESDA, MD: Saturday September 14th and Sunday September 15th
Small Press Expo, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel, 5701 Marinelli Rd.
RSVP on Facebook
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What a Classy Book: Seth's Palookaville 21

Hello, Humans! An unbound copy of the inimitable Seth's Palookaville 21 just arrived in the office! And it looks so so gorgeous! So much debossing. So much shine. So much stunning artwork.

Not only is Seth one of the greatest cartoonists to ever pick up an ink pot, but he's also a very talented painter, and it's always a treat when another of his paintings sees print. This, of course, is part of the front matter of PV21. Seth's books are always so well considered, from front to back cover, and it's all those little bits he adds in there that make his books extra special to me, as objects (as a book designer, anyway).

Palookaville 21 is comprised of three parts. The first part is a continuation of the Clyde Fans story, where in we actually get to see the two brothers sit down and talk, and have a substantial conversation. My memory ain't what it used to be, but I think this is the first time this has happened. And it says a lot, to say the least.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Seth book without a full page spread that bruises your chin.

The second section is a real treat—for the first time ever, Seth lets us take a peek at his rubber stamp diary—a series of diaries he's been keeping for the past ten years, composed using, you guessed it, rubber stamps. In the intro pictured above, Seth talks about suggesting the idea to Ivan Brunetti when they were lamenting about the difficulty of maintaining a comics diary, and then immediately revoking the suggestion so he could keep the idea for himself.

Seth's diary is far more interesting than the drivel I jot down—not so much a record of events, but just subtle observations of interest, delivered in that quiet way that Seth delivers, where you aren't really aware of what's happening but then you start to see things a little differently, a little more honestly, and then out of nowhere you start fantasizing about slowing things down a bit and buying a junk shop in the country somewhere and starting to wear suits.

The last section is my favorite. "Nothing Lasts" is autobiographical again, but this time it's from Seth's sketchbook, done in a style similar to that used in Wimbeldon Green or the Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists.

Though Seth is never shy about talking about his life, this autobiographical story is rare in that it covers his early years as a boy growing up in rural Ontario, moving from town to town, pissing under the stands at the horse-racing track, bullying the fat kid, raising pheasants…and making the conscious decision to stop kissing his mother goodnight—and how terribly he regrets it. Take a look-see here for a legible preview of the story.

I could talk about this book all day. Palookaville 21 just has so much great stuff in it, and I can't wait for all of you to read it so I have someone to talk about it with. It's just. So. Good. The book will debut at SPX (where Seth will be a special guest) and will be available in stores early October. GET READY.
Friday, July 26, 2013

New Prints from Adrian Tomine + Official Optic Nerve No. 13 Launch Reminder

Why hello there, Friday! Look what you drug in...

Yes, my friends, that is a brand new print from Adrian Tomine. This one's called "1965" and some of you may recognize it from the New Yorker review of a certain Wes Anderson film. Like all of Adrian's prints, this is gorgeous, and I cannot imagine a better gift or way to decorate an anything than with Adrian's artwork.

And what's this? Oh yes, just a reminder that next Thursday August 1st at 7 pm, Brooklynites and Manhattanites alike oughta head down to Bergen Street Comics at 470 Bergen St, Brooklyn 11217 for a party to celebrate the release of Optic Nerve 13. You guys! Even if you're not in New York, get out there and buy a copy so we can talk about how good it is. Copies will be available from your LCS as of Wednesday July 31st.
Thursday, July 25, 2013

DO IT FOR MAMMA: Or, the kids go to Comic-Con and this is what happened.

I thought I might as well lead with the highlight of the week: Jade was in the can (AHEM, powder room) one night and basically this was going on in the next stall, except the woman was drunkenly yelling "DO IT FOR MAMMA!"

Next up: LOOK AT THIS GUY! The only dog cooler than this dog is the skateboarding dog. I don't recommend watching the Praying Pitbull videos though; doing so will make you like this dog less. Or feel sorry for her. Or maybe just feel bad about America and the current state of society as a whole.

Okay, on to actual comics things. Here's the quintessential booth shot. Looks pretty sharp, right?

Here's our very first customer of the show! She was very pleased to be holding Kitaro in her hands, and we were pleased to put it there. There was a lot of excitement about this book at the show—it was really nice to see so many Mizuki fans, and even nicer to see how excited they were. 

My boss Tom Shmevlin (he only searches for his own name in these things so he won't read this anyways) really only made one request for this blog post: No costumes. But man, look at this little guy! He was so so excited to get two free comics.

This lovely woman (whose name I did not grab because I'm a ding dong) is Pippi translator Tiina Nunnally's daughter! She was lovely and it was great to meet her. (Man, I hope I'm remembering this correctly, and it's her daughter and not her niece or something. SDCC is nuts. How am I supposed to remember anything? I'm just happy I made it out of there with most of my dignity.)

The thing about SDCC is that it's not so much about comics, which makes it fun in other ways. For example, each year we are right beside the Suicide Girls' booth. Here's Lisa grabbing some afternoon delight. There was a pretty naked ass on the other side of that curtain.

After a tough day at the convention centre and a quick shower beer (all I'm saying is that it's okay to drink a beer in the shower to save time and it is not a desperate alcoholic cry for help at all), we hit the town for a really nice dinner with some really nice people. L–R: Gilbert Hernandez, with his incredibly warm and charming wife, Carol, and equally lovely daughter Natalia hiding behind him, Peter Birkemoe of Toronto's The Beguiling, Noel Murray from the AV Club, Tom Spurgeon, Lisa Hanawalt, me, Jade, and Tom Gauld with a suspicious look on his face.

The next day was Friday, and this is when things really start to pick up at the con. These three very proud men—Martin Wong, Eric Nakamura, and Greg Wong—swung by the booth and struck a pose for us. Reggie 12, of course, was originally serialized in Giant Robot. I am almost certain that they consider publishing Reggie-12 their greatest achievement. I didn't ask but it makes sense.

One cool thing about SDCC is that we get to shake the hands of so many of the incredible retailers that work so hard to sell our books. Pictured above are two striking men (whose names I failed to grab, oof) from Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in North Oakland, CA.

Here's Jarrett Samson from Golden Age 1 looking not all that impressed, which is odd because he's holding a really awesome book—Matt Forsythe's Jinchalo.

And here's Raymond Duran from A Shop Called Quest in Redlands, California, very proudly holding his sparkling new copy of Optic Nerve 13!

And lastly, here's Griffin Kale from Acme Comics in Greensboro, NC, holding his paperback edition of Paying For It.

I'm told programming at SDCC this year was strong. Being stuck behind the booth for 10 hours a day makes it hard for me to back up this statement, but I did make it to the Humor in Comics panel with Jeffrey Brown, Tom Gauld, Lisa Hanawalt, and Ellen Forney. On the way up to the panel Lisa and Tom mentioned that humor panels are hard because everyone expects them to go up there and be funny, and that's hard to pull off. But, you guys, they were funny! And smart, and modest, and just generally entertaining.

And here's Tom again at his spotlight panel this time, telling everyone how to make very very good comics. 

Later on that night was the Eisner Awards. This year Tom Spurgeon won for best comics reportage, which he is certainly deserving of. Congrats, Tom, you handsome devil.

And then things got super weird. John Barrowman offered to strip and then Jonathan Ross tried to get Neil Gaiman to make out with him and then Jonathan kissed John and then later on Chip Kidd made out with Neil Gaiman but I was too busy OMGing to take a photo and there was also a lot of talk about flesh, human flesh, and touching it. After all this kissing happened I was pretty H & B'ed and got super excited when Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was presenting in a category that our dearest Michael DeForge was nominated in and if Michael had won, yours truly was gonna get in on all that kissing action when she went up there to accept for him. Too bad Michael wasn't a harder worker or we both could have been winners that night.

The next day was Saturday—or, the masquerade contest day. I know what you're thinking: Isn't everyday at SDCC a masquerade? Well, yes. But things get extra weird on the Saturday. Vera Brosgol's hubby, Jeremy Spake, had the very best costume of the whole show: Ryan Gosling from Lisa's Drive review. He didn't have 246 toothpicks in there, but I'm not faulting him for it.

Look, I'm trying really hard to honor Tom's no-costume request, but this elf guy looked so much like Ryan Gosling and this woman is wearing a cape and there's not much else to say I guess.

Is anyone still reading this? I dunno, but this horse costume was awesome and I wanted to ride it.

Lisa signed a gazillion books, and each was awesome and hilarious, but this may have been the best. The lucky owner is Michael Morris from Chronicle books, wearing what was the best Princess Leia costume of the con.

It would appear we didn't get a single photo of Matt Forsythe or his eyebrows, but he/they was/were there, I swear. He/they live(s) in LA now, working on Adventure Time as the lead designer (impressive, right?), so he/they came down for the weekend and we had a lot of fun with him/them and we miss him/them terribly already.

Look: At this point it was nearing the end of a very long day, and when I spotted a very tall wrestler across the aisle picking up two tiny tiny women in bikinis and juggling them, I naturally said to Lisa, "Think he can pick us up?"

And then he was too proud to say no so he did it and he was shaking but unless his hand was wrapped around your ass you couldn't tell.

There are a few pictures of Tom Gauld signing in here that have more interesting things going on, but I couldn't bear to cut this one. Just look at that handsome mug!

And here's Gilbert Hernandez signing at the booth. Please note the wide contrast of art he has for sale.

It was really nice to have so much time to spend with Lisa, pictured here in her now-famous BOOB SHIRT. God I want a boob shirt. I'd also like to take this time to note that I made Lisa laugh a few times and it did wonders for my self-confidence.

And look at this adorable little thing! Peter complimented her on her haircut and told her she looked just like Anna from Anna & Froga (I think this was his sales pitch) but she only had eyes for cats and robots.

As promised, here's another shot of Tom, this time with Matt Groening, who is a huge fan of Tom's and was really excited to meet him.

And here are some Suicide Girls reading Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve 13 and loving every minute of it. Not posed at all, I swear. Also, when did Suicide Girls stop wearing black?

You know what's great about (first time Comic-Con attendee) Jade? She gets really, really excited about things, and that pure joy has a tendency to rub off on people. Here she is with Hulia Iglesias hugging the life outta Snoopy.

And that's all, Internet! Here's Jade and me at 5am at the airport in Washington waiting for our connecting flight to Montreal. We were all a mess and our feet were so swollen that our shoes barely fit on our dainty little feet.

Thanks to everyone at Comic-Con for putting on such a good show. And thank you to everyone that came out and had such nice things to say about our artists. Hearing it makes my dainty little heart swell like feet.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ten Years of Louis Riel

This September marks a handful of tenth anniversaries here at D+Q, including Chester Brown's Louis Riel. Look at this fabulous cover that Chester came up with for the anniversary edition. Chester has always had a great color sensibility and aesthetic, but does it get better than this?

And speaking of covers, this edition features a special 60 page section of rare supplementary material, including all 10 of Chester's original covers from the Louis Riel "pamphlet" serialization. And there's lots of other material, like this one, perhaps Chester's first published rendering of Riel, from the cover of our catalogue way back last century:

Here's a never before published cover, used for a solicitation in Diamond's Previews catalogue:

And here's the final published version:

There's also more rare unpublished material, including pencil and script drafts. And notes, more Chester notes. Can there ever be too many notes in a Chester Brown book? As well, writer Sean Rogers pens an extensive essay on the significance of Louis Riel in the ten years since its first publication as a graphic novel.

Look for the green-faced Louis in stores by mid-September, just about ten years from the date of its original publication.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Introducing Anna, Froga and Alexandra.

Since my photo skills are subpar, I made new office employee Alexandra take a selfie with the other latest office arrival ANNA & FROGA: I DUNNO…WHAT YOU DO WANNA DO? which will be in stores in early August.

Being a recent U of T and Ryerson Certificate in Publishing grad, Alexandra comes to us by way of Toronto, and people, she volunteered at TCAF, and everyone knows that TCAF volunteers are the best, so that sealed the deal. Welcome Alex! On her first day yesterday, she did a much needed redesign of our tumblr!
{Tom is particularly excited that he made a log font logo.}


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