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Monday, June 30, 2014

Adrian Tomine covers the New Yorker

Look, some Monday mornings you get up, you have to take the bus because your bike is all messed up, and there's a guy on the bus yelling at everyone because "phones aren't knowledge" but then you get into work and there it is - an interview with Adrian Tomine at the New Yorker because he's gone and captured the essence of another New York moment.  Perhaps even the zeitgeist of memorial sites in general. Adrian's cover for the New Yorker this week visits the 9/11 memorial and museum. Hear about it from the man himself here.
Friday, June 27, 2014

Art Spiegelman curates a piece in the latest Artforum!

Folks, the latest issue of Artforum is unreal, and is specially catered to you, comics fans. For this special cartooning issue, Artforum asked none other than the master himself, Art Spiegelman, to curate a selection of his favourite comics. His piece, "Eye of Doom, Hand of Glory" opens with the announcement that "the future of comics is in its past" and goes on to explore his varied influences.

Spiegelman speaks of the "invisible hidden in plain sight" and the "arc of a cartoonist's style". He namedrops Stan Drake, Chester Gould, Shigeru Sugiura, and Frank King, amongst others. People, if you're hoping to become a succesful cartoonist, or if you just love the art form, Spiegelman's advice is some of the soundest you can subscribe to. Do yourself a favour and check it out!

As though that brilliant bit wasn't enough, this issue also features a long-form piece by Stephen Burt on the histories of comics, in which he mentions lots of our favourite people, including Lynda Barry, Chris Ware, and Gilbert Hernandez, and some of our very own titles, like Lynda's The Freddie Stories, Daniel Clowes's The Death-Ray, and Dylan Horrocks's Hicksville.

There's also a wonderful profile of Julie Doucet: "Doucet is central to our understanding of comics as a particularly vibrant platform for telling and showing women's stories". Yeah!

Last but certainly not least, we'd like to mention how freakin' proud we are of our former Librairie store staffer (!!!), Julien Ceccaldi, for snagging the cover of this fantastic issue. We're all starry-eyed and inspired over here. I think I might keep this Artforum on my coffee table forever so I always have a ready opportunity to talk my unsuspecting guests's ears off about comics. Because I totally don't already do that.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

In stores now: WALT BEFORE SKEEZIX by Frank King

In stores now is Walt Before Skeezix, another compilation volume of Frank King's Gasoline Alley strips, but we've scrambled the order a little bit- this one is technically Volume 0 of the series! And like the other Walt and Skeezix-es, this prequel is designed by Chris Ware (who has called the series one of his all-time favourites), so you know it's a beaut.

Walt Before Skeezix gives the reader a comprehensive look at Frank King's life, with essays, photographs, newspaper clippings, and early sketches, delineating King's evolution as an artist and showing the extent to which his personal life influenced his drawings. My favourite parts were seeing the Kings's vacation photos and all of the hand-drawn valentines Frank sent his wife, Delia, throughout their relationship. She kept them her whole life!

But let's not fail to mention the cartoons, which are the real treasure. Walt Before Skeezix covers the period of 1918-1920, when the automotive boom in America was really taking off. Suddenly pretty much everyone could afford a car, and pretty much everyone was taking cars. At least Walt and his friends were-- these were, after all, Walt's young bachelor years before baby Skeezix appeared on his doorstep.

Walt Before Skeezix is already receiving praise: "Between the adorable language, the window onto early automotive life and the plain fun of reading comics from that era, this volume is a delight for any cultural history buff...The book is delightful on a purely physical level, too, with much thought and expense clearly poured into every detail. It even smells good." NPR

I can confirm that the book does smell pretty darn good. So grab a copy, give it a whiff or a read or both (your choice-we're not judging), and settle in for some good ol' Americana. Gasoline Alley was one of the longest-running and most widely syndicated comics ever, and with good reason. This g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and historically-important deluxe volume deserves a spot on any comics collector's shelf. 

Bonus: don't forget to check out the inside of the dust jacket!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Coming this August: Even More Bad Parenting Advice by Guy Delisle!

In honour of this just-passed Father's Day, I'd like to share a lil' book we've got coming your way in August. It's Even More Bad Parenting Advice by Guy Delisle, and like his previous A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting, it's a collection of funny vignettes about the joys and also the petty frustrations of raising a child that any parent (whether they'll admit it or not) can relate to.

Despite what the title Even More Bad Parenting Advice suggests, Guy is a good, caring father- he's just a bit of a kid himself. Guy works from home, and is very involved in his children's games. He's often shown trying to be the 'cool' dad- he helps his son memorize a poem at the last moment so that Mom isn't mad; he doodles in his daughter's notebook instead of paying attention at the parent-teacher interviews.

Sometimes his practical jokes are taken a step too far: maybe, meaning well, The Best Dad in the World will assuage his children's nightmares by telling them a real-life news story that's much more terrifying. 

And there are times when Guy is brutally honest- after his daughter finds him in his 'easy' hide-and-seek spot, he begins to defensively point out that hers was not much better. Other times, Guy makes up little white lies- he uses his 'tired' children as an excuse to leave a boring work party, even though they're wide awake and well-behaved.

But no matter the mishap, it's always apparent that Guy wants what's best for children (even if his 'accidentally' knocking into his daughter's bully is an unconventional way to prove it). His minimal, flowy cartooning make these light-hearted stories a pleasure to read, and they will resonate with anyone who's ever given a child a sarcastic answer. Look for Even More Bad Parenting Advice in stores August 26th (and meanwhile, call your parents! They'll be happy to hear from ya).
Friday, June 13, 2014

Hey, Norway: Oslo Comics Expo is this weekend!

OCX 2014 poster by Peter Bagge

It seems as though we're all over the globe these days! In addition to attending our usual, much-loved North American shows, we were in Sweden last month for Stockholms Internationella Seriefestival, and we're in the UK this weekend for ELCAF. Also this weekend is Oslo Comics Expo, and although D+Q won't be there as such, you'll have the chance to meet Peter Bagge, Brecht Evens, and Brecht Vandenbroucke, Norway!

Brecht Evens, Peter Bagge, Brecht Vandenbroucke

Oslo Comics Expo takes place today, Friday June 13th, and tomorrow, Saturday June 14th, at Schous plass 10, N-0552. Entrance is free and open to all! My Norwegian isn't very good, but here's what I've sleuthed for you:

Friday June 13th, 6 pm: Mummidalen vernissage - a show featuring six Nordic illustrators that have all been inspired by the work of Tove Jansson

Saturday, June 14th:
4:00 pm: Peter Bagge signing at Tronsmo table
4:30 pm: Brecht Evens and Brecht Vandenbroucke in conversation
5:30 pm: Brecht Evens and Brecht Vandenbroucke signing at No Comprendo Press table
6:30 pm: Peter Bagge panel
7:15 pm: Peter Bagge signing at Tronsmo table

Full programming can be found here. OCX sounds like a blast- have fun, Oslo!
Thursday, June 12, 2014

In stores now: BENSON's CUCKOOS by Anouk Ricard

I don't think I've ever met anyone, young or old, who doesn't fall in love at first sight with Anouk Ricard's smart-alecky Anna and Froga series. And while those books are technically for children, we've got good news for adult fans- Anouk Ricard's latest, Benson's Cuckoos, is just for you and in stores now!

Benson's Cuckoos is both a whodunnit and office comedy, set at a cuckoo-clock factory. Despite the interview being less than conventional, duck-billed Richard is happy to have found work, and ignores the office's shortcomings- like its dead fish, or being asked to provide his own computer. But soon, things spiral out of control, and the weirdness becomes unignorable.

Mr. Benson is never without a wild hat and calls surprise meetings like they're pop quizzes. None of office workers are in the least bit helpful, and if asked about George, the lion Richard is replacing, they'll invent elaborate lies or begin crying. Richard's psychiatrist is useless. No one, no one, gets any work done.

Perplexed and anxious, Richard becomes determined to find out what happened to the missing George, all while trying to woo the company's receptionist and maintain a sense of order in his working life. Obviously, hilarity ensues.

Like in Anna and Froga, Anouk's brightly-coloured classic panels are punctuated with washy, surreal dreamscapes. Benson's Cuckoos is as good-lookin' as it is funny, with lovably dim-witted characters that are completely unforgettable. From Publishers Weekly: "[Benson's Cuckoos] is like a fever dream of workplace anxiety drawn by Richard Scarry for those worn down by the business grind... Those who’ve worked office jobs with self-important, rude, or clueless coworkers (and who hasn’t?) will appreciate the satire."

So what's keeping you? Pick up a copy and join the cuckoos!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Brooklyn: You've got three chances to catch R. Sikoryak's carousel this month!

Hey Brooklyn, don't miss your (three!) opportunities to catch R. Sikoryak's multimedia extravaganza, Carousel, this June! The show is an adaptation of his Masterpiece Comics and is an incredible performance, including projections, music, and a rotating cast of voice actors. Here's the full list of shows and who'll be participating at each:

Saturday, June 14th, 8:15 pm: R. Sikoryak with Ryan Andes, Julie Klausner, Meg Sweeney Lawless, Steven Rattazzi

Tuesday, June 17th, 7:00 pm: R. Sikoryak with Paul Boocock, Hope Cartelli, Meg Sweeney Lawless, Kevin Maher

Saturday, June 21st, 4:45 pm: R. Sikoryak with Ryan Andes, Hope Cartelli, Meg Sweeney Lawless, Steven Rattazzi

All shows take place at The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn 11211. You can purchase tickets here, and be sure to use special discount code MPCOMICS for 30% off!

D+Q at ELCAF Saturday June 14th! See you soon, Britons.

This Saturday, June 14th, Drawn & Quarterly (that's me! And the Chief, Chris Oliveros) is winging its way across the Atlantic in order to exhibit at the third annual East London Comics and Arts Festival. Find us in London at the Oval Space (32 The Oval, London E2 9DU) on Saturday June 14th from 10 am to 7 pm. Entry to the show is £3 and tickets are available online now, as well as at the door.

Anouk Ricard (Benson's Cuckoos) and Seth (Palookaville 21)
Tom Gauld (You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack) and Chris Ware (Jordan Wellington Lint)
And look at these faces! A whole bunch of D+Q authors will be on hand at the show too: Anouk Ricard, Seth, Tom Gauld, and Chris Ware! It's going to be quite the day. Here's our schedule - please note that all programming takes place at The Pickle Factory (13-14 the Oval, just across the street from ELCAF), and that all signings will be at the D+Q tables:

11:30 am                Panel: Anouk Ricard in conversation with Robert Hanks
12 pm to 1 pm        Seth and Tom Gauld signing at D+Q table
1 pm to 1 pm          Anouk Ricard signing at D+Q table
2 pm to 3 pm          Chris Ware and Seth signing at D+Q table
3 pm to 4 pm          Anouk Ricard signing at D+Q table
4 pm to 5 pm          Tom Gauld signing at D+Q table
5 pm                       Panel: Seth in conversation with Paul Gravett
6 pm                       Panel: Chris Ware spotlight

Tickets for the talks are available here, though it looks like Chris Ware and Seth's talks have *gulp* already sold out. But, pretty much the best consolation prize?

You can get your mitts on our debut title for the show, the delightfully offbeat, office-humor-mystery, first-of-her-books-for-adults-we're-publishing, Benson's Cuckoos by Anouk Ricard. Other exciting new titles that I think are not widely available in the UK but will be at ELCAF:

Everywhere Antennas by Julie Delporte, Petty Theft by Pascal Girard, and Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan by Shigeru Mizuki (that's the second volume, y'all). A fine-looking bunch, if we do say so ourselves.

All right, I think my work here is done; now it's up to you, London! Show us what you got… or at least come on by the D+Q tables and say hi to us this weekend. Ta-ta!
Thursday, June 05, 2014

Now in stores: Showa 1939-1944 by Shigeru Mizuki

Perhaps you've been reading the first volume of Shigeru Mizuki's epic, Eisner-nominated Showa series r-eee-ally slowly, savouring the stories so it doesn't have to end. Or maybe you devoured the 500+ pages as quickly as possible and are now itching to find out what happens next. Well, I've good news for, gekiga lovers-the second volume, Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan, is in stores now! 

Showa 1939-1944 is every bit as action-packed and beautifully drawn as its predecessor, continuing in Mizuki's engaging, incredibly readable style that's part history lesson and part rare look at a an average person's experience during Showa-era Japan.

This volume covers the final moments before World War II, Shigeru's draft, and his subsequent experiences in the army. Before being sent off, teenaged Shigeru is seen as 'useless' by his family. Even after leaving home, he innocently believes things to be comfortable and pleasant. But he is soon exposed to the horrors of war, and is forced to grow up very quickly.


Nezumi-Otoko aids the narration, stopping in now and then from the future to interview this younger, past-tense Shigeru about how he might have been feeling at the time.  Is there a narrative device Mizuki has not mastered? Nope. There's a passage toward the novel's beginning in which Shigeru speaks to Nezumi about his upcoming enlistment, movingly explaining how he's turned to philosophy and religion to try and explain his 'inevitable' death.

Showa 1939-1944 is a powerful volume in which you get to know Mizuki in a different way than you do through his semi-autobiographical Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths (which also speaks to his experiences during World War II). So go! Take a trip to your local comics shop and add this hefty (but in no way dense) tome to your summer reading list. My only word of warning is that Showa 1939-1944 ends with quite the cliffhanger!

And if you don't already, be sure to follow Showa's very dedicated translator, the terrific Zack Davisson, on Twitter

Monday, June 02, 2014

Over Easy takes over!

Mimi signing the very last copy of Over Easy we had on hand at TCAF

May was a busy month for Mimi Pond, in the best way possible: Over Easy was released mid-April and well-deserved fandom has followed. The book spent four weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list (debuting at number one!) and completely sold out at Toronto Comic Arts Festival, at which Mimi was a special guest.

Not only has Over Easy received high praises nation-wide, but it's inspired a whole array of sea-green swag, as well. This placemat and these trays are from an upcoming line of dishware Mimi is designing for Fishs Eddy! So good I'm considering re-painting my kitchen to match.

Over Easy was this month's read for what appears to be the coolest book club ever, the Molly Ringwald Book Club. These stylish Bay Area ladies wore vintage waitress dresses, served breakfast for dinner, and sipped Pink Squirrels all in honour of Over Easy!

Photos via Mimi Pond, who was invited to their meeting and had a fantastic time!

Finally, I'd like to leave you with this Over Easy mix over on Spotify. Plug in your headphones, step out into the June sunshine, and forget it's Monday! Congratulations, Mimi!

Photo of the Molly Ringwald Book Club via Mimi Pond's instagram

And don't forget that you can stay updated on all things Over Easy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


R. Sikoryak covers the Summer Reading issue of the New York Times Book Review and is as funny and sharp as always!
\ And as part of the Summer Reading special, check out this slide show where Douglas Wolk includes Beautiful Darkness in his seasonal graphic novel round-up.


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