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Thursday, February 27, 2014

In stores now: BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët

Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët's Beautiful Darkness is in stores and earning praise! This brilliant, lushly-painted, incredibly twisted fairy tale is quite unlike any book I've ever encountered, and entirely deserving of all the kind words it's been receiving:

"Beautiful Darkness carries itself with a certain innocent whimsy that makes all of the savagery within its pages a harsh experience that cannot be missed," writes Zac Thompson at Bloody Disgusting. "There is a haunting beauty that is created which becomes impossible to resist. Everything that you're looking at is beautiful, but everything you are experiencing is downright horrendous."

You can feast your eyes on an exclusive four-page preview of Beautiful Darkness over at Hero Complex, who write "It’s a twisted tale that draws from the likes of Alice in Wonderland and The Borrowers, only Beautiful Darkness presents a much bleaker allegory about brutality. As the tiny people lose hope, their underlying pettiness, greed and jealousy become evident despite their polite words and pretty faces."

There are also previews up at Buzzfeed ("Beautiful Darkness is the best fairytale horror comic you'll read this season", writes Kevin Tang) and at io9 ("It's a world that's as adorable as it is cruel, where life is beautiful but also cheap, and where death is omnipresent... in more ways than one", writes Rob Bricken).

Intrigued? Tor.com, who call Beautiful Darkness a "dark, disturbing fairytale world where tiny, mercurial creatures build a home in the woods, displaying cruelty and kindness by turns, all against an exquisitely illustrated backdrop", have three copies up for grabs! That's right. You have until this Saturday, March 1st to enter the giveaway.  

And finally, Beautiful Darkness is also one of Publishers Weekly's most anticipated books of spring 2014! Go get your hands on a copy!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mimi Pond on tour for Over Easy this spring!

You've seen the proofs, you've basked in its bound awesomeness, but did you know you can meet the one and only Mimi Pond all around the USA and Canada later this spring?

That's right folks! Find Mimi giving her indubitably charming and hilarious talk about Over Easy in these fine book-loving places across the continent:

Los Angeles, CA - Saturday April 12th 
LA Times Festival of Books at USC Campus

Oakland, CA - Thursday April 17th at 7 pm 
Mama's Royal Cafe with Pegasus Books, 4012 Broadway

Los Angeles, CA - Wednesday April 30th at 7:30 pm 
Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave.

Toronto, ON - Saturday May 10th + Sunday May 11th 
Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.

New York, NY - Monday May 12th at 7 pm
McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St.

And last but most certainly not least, Mimi is a Special Guest of San Diego Comic-Con:
San Diego, CA - July 24th through July 27th, preview night Wed July 23rd
San Diego Comic Con, 111 W. Harbor Drive

And in case you want to know what other people are saying about the book, here are some blurbs I pulled off ye olde back cover:

"Funny, rich, and with a clear affection for its cast of kooky characters, this book is alive with the gritty promise of youth."—Wendy Lawless, Chanel Bonfire

"I loved this book. In fact, I loved it so much that I was totally going to buy it for your birthday. But I don't think you should wait that long for the chance to be teleported via Mimi Pond's astonishing x-ray vision into a carefully detailed moment from her own past - when hippies were turning into punk rockers and she was an art student turning into a waitress in a diner full of hilarious characters. In addition to being a great cartoonist, she's a great observer of life and a great storyteller."—Merrill Markoe, author of Cool, Calm, and Contentious

"Mimi Pond's hilarious, sassy wit and skillful illustrations in Over Easy served me a delicious slice of life in 1970s California with a side of brainy observations. I laughed out loud and enjoyed every last bite of it."—Charlotte Caffey, rock goddess

“As funny and warm-hearted as a memoir about a bunch of punks, drug dealers, hippies, and art school dropouts screwing in the 1970s can get. Mimi Pond’s coming-of-age graphic novel, Over Easy, is a delicious charmer.”—Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Montreal: Diane Obomsawin launches On Loving Women tonight!

It's a really beautiful day, isn't it, Montreal? I'm not being sarcastic. I know it's still negative degrees out there but it feels like paradise as much as February can allow. And to make this day even better, Diane Obomsawin will be launching On Loving Women tonight, Thursday February 20th, at our Librairie Drawn and Quarterly. 7pm!

Diane will be presenting On Loving Women with a signing to follow. Here's the Facebook event. See you there!

And check out this amazing review of On Loving Women at Motifri.com: "Obomsawin’s art is at turns both rough and elegant, but always simple and expressive [...] On Loving Women is a set of simple, beautiful stories, at turns sad and inspiring, banal and fantastic, designed to teach us about each other. Highly recommended."
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ON LOVING WOMEN by Diane Obomsawin: in stores and on tour

Remember when we introduced you to Diane Obomsawin's intimate, charming On Loving Women last month? Well, it's now in stores everywhere and critics are love-struck! Diane's book is a series of vignettes about coming out, falling in love, and sexual identity, exploring personal accounts of women first finding love with another woman. Every story is a quiet triumph that's sure to leave you heart-eyed.

"A mix of awkward, sexy, heartbreaking, and down-right adorable...Each individual chapter feels like peeking into someone’s personal diary, each story more entrancing than the last." Sarah Karlan, Buzzfeed

"What marks these amorous vignettes is their individualism; it’s not just the same thing over and over again and yet, as with any series of love stories, it is." Hillary Brown, Paste

In her interview with Cecile Sly at WOW LGBT, Diane says "When I was young, my family moved a lot, I changed schools many times. The first thing that I would do each time is to choose a girl to fall in love with, it was my raison d’être, I would wake up thinking about the girl. It was a natural, I would even say unconscious, attraction, at that age." That sort of all-consuming attraction is found throughout On Loving Women, and is exactly what makes it so likable!

So curl up with your copy of On Loving Women (and perhaps some now-discounted Valentine's Day candies, hmm?) and then come celebrate lovin' whomever you love with Diane in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver:

MONTREAL: Diane will launch On Loving Women with a slideshow and question-and-answer period this Thursday, February 20th, at Librairie Drawn and Quarterly.

TORONTO: Diane will present a slideshow and be interviewed by Alex Tigchelaar at The Henhouse on Friday, March 7th.
Monday, February 17, 2014

Chester Brown Changed the World.

Well, the rest of the world now knows what we in comics have known for the past 25 years, all hail Chester Brown, one of the most idiosyncratic, gifted geniuses this medium has ever known. For more on this, check out Ken McGoogan's book 50 CANADIANS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD.
Friday, February 14, 2014

Hey, Brooklyn! Michael DeForge will be at Bergen Street Comics tonight!

This is it, Brooklyn. Tomorrow, Saturday February 15th, at 8:00 pm, Michael DeForge's Ant Colony tour will conclude at Bergen Street Comics. Has the award-winning cartoonist survived two weeks on the wild road? Will he turn back into a pumpkin? You can only find out if you show up.

Michael will present a slideshow with a signing and question period to follow. Do not miss the dramatic finale! RSVP on Facebook here!

"Every so often a book comes along that knocks you flat on your ass and makes you wonder where the hell you’ve been and why you haven’t seen anything like it sooner. Ant Colony is exactly that kind of book...an intensely charismatic, thoughtful, evocative little world that DeForge has filled with memorable characters, burning philosophical questions, and moments of true humanity that shine through the stylized thoraxes and angled antennae of his kooky creations. The year may be young, but I am confident when I say that this may just be the best graphic novel of 2014."–Dan Casey, Nerdist
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Diane Obomsawin and Seth Scriver screenings = fun in Quebec and Montreal tonight!

Tonight you have two blissful opportunities, Quebec, to admire the animating chops of some Canuck cartoonists.

In Quebec City, Diane Obomsawin has a vernissage for an exhibit called La Forêt at 7 pm at La Bande Video.

She's showing three short films, which will be displayed on loop. Together the videos will create the atmosphere of a bewitched, enchanted forest.  Here's what Diane has to say about the exhibit:

"C'est une forêt tantôt calme en apparence où l'on entend le bruissement des feuilles, craquement des branches, l'hululement des hiboux, la brame des cerfs et tantôt une forêt fantasmagorique, tumultueuse et espiègle où tout peut arriver."

Spooky! Tonight! Thursday February 13th, 7 pm at La Bande Video, 541 de Saint-Vallier est in Quebec.

And don't forget, Montreal! You can see Diane next week at the launch party for On Loving Women. Thursday, Feb 20th at 7 pm at the Librairie D+Q!

In Montreal this self-same evening (a.k.a. Thursday February 13th at 7:30 pm), Seth Scriver (Stooge Pile) and Sayne Ehman's movie Asphalt Watches screens at the Phi Centre, gratis! According to the Phi Centre, tickets will be available an hour before the screening on a first come, first serve basis (maximum 4 tickets per person).

As you may recall, Asphalt Watches won Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival last year so this screening is part of a cool series of free offerings from the Phi Centre. Here's the description of the movie: Asphalt Watches is a true story. A feature-length animation based on a real-life hitchhiking trip taken by the two filmmakers, Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver, Asphalt Watches details the hilarious and harrowing journey of Bucktooth Cloud and Skeleton Hat as they travel eastward across Canada in the summer of 2000.

Ok, Quebeckers, I think we've offered you some good options. Now get out there and admire some Great Canadian Art.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hey, Philly! Michael DeForge will be at Locust Moon tonight

Philly! Michael DeForge is in town tonight, Wednesday February 12th, for his amazing Ant Colony. He'll be at Locust Moon at 7pm.

Michael will be presenting a slideshow with a signing and question period to follow. This is the second last date on the Ant Colony tour, and every event has been terrific so far. But you should show 'em who's best, Philadelphia. RSVP on Facebook here.

Tonight's event is featured on Geekadelphia, who say "Locust Moon Comics always manage to get serious talent into their shop." Seriously!

Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly at Symphony Space tonight!

Ok New York City, today's your lucky day! Tonight is a very special edition of the Symphony Space Thalia Book Club, featuring none other than Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly.

photo by Sarah Shatz
That's right, these two formidable and inspiring powerhouses of comics will be on stage together, giving a behind-the-scenes look at their lives together and their life work. As you most likely know, Mouly is the publisher and editorial director of TOON Books and an art editor at the New Yorker. Spiegelman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of numerous books, including most recently Co-Mix: A retrospective of comics, graphics, and scraps, and the subject of a (yes!) ongoing museum exhibit at the Jewish Museum. (Psst, the exhibit is up until March 23rd, y'all!)

Mouly and Spiegelman have been some of the canniest brains in comics and illustration, bar none, ever since the first days of RAW magazine. They're also incredibly charming and interesting public speakers, so I am certain that should you find yourself at 2537 Broadway (at W 95th St) tonight at 7:30 pm, holding a ticket for their Symphony Space presentation, you will only have yourselves (and perhaps me) to thank. Buy your tickets now and get out there, New Yahk!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hey Baltimore! Michael DeForge is at Atomic Books tonight!

Hey, Baltimore! Michael DeForge continues his tour for Ant Colony tonight, Tuesday February 11th, at Atomic Books- this time with special guest Yumi Sakugawa! The event begins at 7:00 pm.

Michael will be presenting a slideshow with a signing and question period to follow. Yumi Sakugawa will be presenting her new graphic novel, I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You. I think you know by now that my favourite kinds of comics events are the ones where two cartoonists have a discussion about their work. Don't miss this! You can RSVP on Facebook here.

And if you haven't already checked out Paste's 8.7/10 review of Ant Colony, in which Hillary Brown writes "A book this thought-provoking and gorgeous deserves acclaim", do so here.


We've got a double dose of Moomin in stores today to cure your February blahs. Moomin's Desert Island and Moomin's Golden Tail are the latest titles in our collection of full-colour Moomin books, which are a kid-friendly size, price, and format, but fun for everyone!

Here's Desert Island:
in which the entire Moomin family takes a disastrous helicopter ride,
hunt for their dinner,
explore a shipwreck,
encounters pirates, and more!

And here's Golden Tail:
in which Moomin frets over a thinning tail,
shows off his new golden one,
and learns a lesson about true friendships.

Both are heartwarming tales, both are mighty easy on the eyes and both are perfect to share with your valentine!
Sunday, February 09, 2014

Hey, St. Louis! Michael DeForge will be at Star Clipper this afternoon!

Alright, St. Louis, it's your turn! Michael DeForge will be at Star Clipper this afternoon, Sunday February 9th, at 4pm!

Michael will be presenting a slideshow, answering your questions, and signing copies of Ant Colony. If you're lucky, you might even get a trading card. I think it's a perfect way to spend a Sunday winter afternoon - RSVP on Facebook here!

Mental Floss named Ant Colony one of the most interesting comics of the week, saying "not only [is Ant Colony] arguably DeForge's best work, but also probably his most accessible in a beautiful hardcover format". Check out the full review.
Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hey Chicago! Catch Michael DeForge at Quimby's tonight!

Chicago! Michael DeForge hits the Midwest: he will be at Quimby's tonight, Saturday February 8th, at 7pm!

Michael will be presenting a slideshow, answering questions, signing books, and slingin' Ant Colony trading cards--- AND there'll be pizza from Santullo's. Can you afford to miss this? Noooo! RSVP on Facebook right here! 

And in case you missed it, take a look at Jake Austen's review of Ant Colony review over at The Chicago Tribune: "[...] the seductive line and punchy pacing of even DeForge's strangest stories makes his seemingly outsider work accessible [...] With its striking design, strong characters and parallel references to kiddie-fare animal antics and soul-crushing adult decisions, "Ant Colony" is compelling work."

And read Dominic Umile's review of the "chatty, grotesque, anthropomorphic Ant Colony" at Chicago Reader.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Geneviève Castrée and Rutu Modan shortlisted for Cartoonist Studio Prize!

We're thrilled to announce that Geneviève Castrée and Rutu Modan have been shortlisted for the Cartoonist Studio Prize, an award jointly presented by Slate Book Review and The Center for Cartoon Studies!

Geneviève was nominated for her heartbreaking, yet hopeful, coming-of-age story Susceptible. Rutu was nominated for her elegant, insightful The Property, a tale of reclaiming what was lost in World War II. Both are beautiful, thoughtful books by extremely talented ladies, and we're extremely proud of them!

The winner will be announced March 7th. This year's shortlist nominees were selected by Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois; the faculty and students at the Center for Cartoon Studies as represented by CCS Fellow Nicole Georges; and this year’s guest judge, Christopher Butcher, co-founder of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. You can learn more about the Cartoonist Studio Prize here

Hey, LA: Anders Nilsen and Michael DeForge are at Skylight Books tonight!

If you missed yesterday's opportunity to see not one, but two! amazing cartoonists speak, you're in luck, California. Michael DeForge and Anders Nilsen are pairing up again in Los Angeles, tonight, Friday February 7th, at Skylight Books. The event begins at 7:30 pm.

Michael will be presenting his brand new Ant Colony; Anders will present his late-2013 beauty, Rage of Poseidon. They'll both be showing slideshows, talking about their work, answering questions- telling jokes? Only time will tell.

There's an excellent new review of Ant Colony and interview with Michael DeForge up at Comics Alliance. Here's an excerpt:

CA: Similarly, a lot of the insect facts feel true and not-quite-right at the same time, kind of like playground insect lore, to the point where I found myself looking up things like whether or not Sweet ‘n Low was actually poisonous to ants. Did you concern yourself much with entomological correctness, which I’m pretty sure isn’t actually a word, or research ant behavior at all? 

MD: I didn’t. I tried to stick only to the weird, vague facts that I half-remembered (like the urban myth about Sweet ‘n Low) and spin everything out from there. In fact, when working on the comic, it felt important to me to not read too much about the makeup of actual ant colonies so it wouldn’t affect how I was setting everything up too much. 

Got your own question for Anders or Michael? Ask them tonight! RSVP on Facebook here.
Thursday, February 06, 2014

Berkeley! Anders Nilsen and Michael DeForge are at Pegasus Books tonight!

Berkeley, we've got one helluva cartooning double bill for you. Michael DeForge and Anders Nilsen will be at Pegasus Books Downtown tonight, Thursday February 6th, at 7:30 pm! That's the 2349 Shattuck Avenue location, people!

Michael Deforge, continuing his North American tour, will be presenting Ant Colony with a slideshow and signing to follow. Anders Nilsen will present his latest work, the accordion-style Rage of Poseidon, with a signing to follow as well. The two brilliant cartoonists will also be discussing their books, swappin' questions, and will probably share all kinds of cool secrets and insights-- don't miss this!

"Every so often a book comes along that knocks you flat on your ass and makes you wonder where the hell you’ve been and why you haven’t seen anything like it sooner. Ant Colony is exactly that kind of book...an intensely charismatic, thoughtful, evocative little world that DeForge has filled with memorable characters, burning philosophical questions, and moments of true humanity that shine through the stylized thoraxes and angled antennae of his kooky creations. The year may be young, but I am confident when I say that this may just be the best graphic novel of 2014."–Dan Casey, Nerdist

"[Rage of Poseidon] showcases Nilsen’s ability to play with the characters’ frustrations and hopes; it serves as a reminder of how durable the underlying myths and stories are, as well as how timeless human dreams and disappointments can be. The silhouette-heavy art is spellbinding […Rage of Poseidon is] an art object as well as a haunting collection of stories."–Publishers Weekly, starred review

RSVP on Facebook here!
Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Hey, Stanford! Anders Nilsen talks Rage of Poseidon tonight!

Hey, Stanford-and-environs! Just a friendly reminder that Anders Nilsen will be talking Rage of Poseidon and other works tonight, Wednesday February 5th, at 6pm, in the Board Room of the Stanford University Humanities Center (424 Santa Teresa Street).

Anders will present work from Rage of Poseidon and discuss the role of mythology and religious stories in his work, from the epic Big Questions to his narrative drawing and painting and other unusual storytelling formats. He will discuss these ties between old stories and new meanings in his own work and in the culture at large.

Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. Grab a friend and get over there! You can RSVP here.

P.S. And then come out tomorrow night at Pegasus Downtown to hear him talk comics and approaches to the medium with Michael DeForge!
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Prodigal Son Returns!

So this weekend, Tom and I found ourselves in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard Square to be exact, aka Tom's old stomping grounds of the Million Year Picnic, where they have Tom's Pippi comic in the window. If only a young Tom Devlin could have seen 15 years into the future...

And who was working there, but the sweetest man in comics, Tony Davis, aka Tom's old boss, as Tom used to manage the Picnic, pre-Highwater, pre-D+Q. We had a good time catching up. Tony was in great spirits, the store was impeccably stocked, and the staff was great.

We also had a good time reminiscing. Tom's pointing at a Brian Ralph poster for the book Climbing Out as the Picnic is where Tom met most everyone he knows in comics, especially the "Fort Guys" who he published at Highwater. The take-away? That surly know-it-all comic guy behind the counter may one day be your husband perhaps does have great taste in comics!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Libraries Love Cool D+Q

The Young Adult Library Services Association turned in their Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2014 List at the American Library Association midwinter meeting last week, and guess who made the cut?

First off: Gilbert Hernandez's Marble Season. Here's YALSA's capsule review of MS: "Growing up in 60's California, Huey reads comic books, tries to avoid bullies, and learns how to fit in on his block." AND! Also on the list was…

Shigeru Mizuki's Kitaro: "Kitaro helps the villagers of Japan fight against monsters called Yokai." 

YALSA is a wonderful organization of librarians whose mission is to make library services better and more accessible for teens aged 12 to 18, and they really work the graphic novel into their offerings as best they can. Thanks as always, YALSA!

Meanwhile, back in Canada, Chester Brown is offering up some book learning of his own. Get over to the Toronto Public Library's website, where he's February's "Who's Reading What" author. When you've clicked through, you may also recognize some praise for…

Peter Bagge's Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story! Chester sez:
"The engaging narrative charges through Sanger's fascinating life at sonic speed. This is a graphic novel and, as a cartoonist, I have to say that I have enormous respect for Bagge's storytelling technique. He knows how to engage and hold a reader's attention."

Be sure to check out (hoho) all the other interesting books Chester's suggested.

We <3 libraries!

Congratulations to Rutu Modan!

What a great way to start a winter Monday! Congratulations to Rutu Modan on her winning the "Prix du Jury" at the Angouleme festival yesterday in France. The Property is published in France by the fine folks at Actes Sud.


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