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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Double Launch: Pascal Girard & Michel Hellman



(Français ci-dessous)

Join us on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00 pm for the launch of Pascal Girard’s Nicolas and Michel Hellman’s Nunavik! Girard’s Nicolas is a work that revisits the death of his little brother and the larger effects of this loss on his current behaviours and habits. This new edition of Nicolas is complete with a brand new introduction and a new story of his relationship with his surviving brother, Joel. Nicolas is a delicate, minimalist portrait of the many faces of mourning, identified with surprising humour and pathos.

It will be a bilingual celebration featuring fellow cartoonist Michel Hellman; whose latest book Nunavik (published through Les Éditions Pow Pow) has already been flying off of our shelves. Retracing Hellman’s personal adventures through the North of Quebec, Nunavik is a hilarious, heartfelt book that explores our complex relationship with First Nations peoples. Nunavik’s English edition is forthcoming.

About the Authors:
Born in Jonquière, Quebec, Pascal Girard is an award-winning illustrator, and avid runner. He is the author of Petty Theft, Bigfoot, and Reunion—the latter two having won the Doug Wright Award for Best Book in 2011, and 2012 respectively.

Born in Quebec to a French mother and American father, Michel Hellman lives and works in Montreal’s Mile End and holds a Masters’ degree in Art History. He is a celebrated cartoonist who rarely leaves the neighborhood—except to go to Charlevoix, the South of France, or the North of Quebec.

RSVP here

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Venez nous joindre jeudi, le 8 septembre à 19h pour le lancement de Nicolas de Pascal Girard, et Nunavik de Michel Hellman! Nicolas de Girard est une oeuvre qui revisite le décès de son petit frère et les plus grands effets de cette perte sur ses comportements et ses habitudes. Cette nouvelle édition de Nicolas est complète avec une introduction tout neuve, et une histoire de ses rapports avec son frère survivant, Joël. Ce livre est un portrait délicat et minimaliste des nombreuses faces du deuil, réalisé avec humour et empathie.

L'événement sera une célébration bilingue mettant aussi en vedette le dessinateur Michel Hellman; dont son nouveau livre Nunavik (publié par Les Éditions Pow Pow) est déjà un bestseller à la librairie. Nunavik retrace les voyages de l'auteur dans le Nord-du-Québec et traite à la première personne des rapports que l'on entretient avec les premières nations. L'édition anglaise est à venir.

À propos des auteurs:
Né à Jonquière, Québec, Pascal Girard est un dessinateur, auteur et coureur passionné. Il est l’auteur de La collectionneuse (Petty Theft en anglais), Bigfoot et Reunion—les deux derniers ayant gagné le prix de Doug Wright pour Meilleur Livre en 2011, et 2012 respectivement.

Né au Québec d’une mère française et d’un père américain, Michel Hellman vit et travaille dans le Mile End et détient une maîtrise en histoire de l’art. Il ne sort jamais de son quartier—sauf pour aller à Charlevoix, le sud de la France ou le Grand Nord.

RSVP ici

Ce soir! Club de Lecture Francophile: Ma Vie Rouge Kubrick


Notre club de lecture francophile a bien commencé et nous sommes très fiers de vous annoncer notre quatrième! Pour le mois d'août nous lisons MA VIE ROUGE KUBRICK de Simon Roy.

The Shining, de Stanley Kubrick, cette histoire étrange située dans un hôtel où s’installent hors saison un écrivain, sa femme et leur garçon aux pouvoirs extrasensoriels, a impressionné une foule de spectateurs depuis sa sortie en 1980. C’est à l’âge de dix ans que Simon Roy a découvert ce film, médusé par une réplique : « Tu aimes les glaces, canard ? » Depuis, il l’a revu au moins quarante-deux fois, sans doute parce qu’il « contient les symptômes tragiques d’une fêlure » qui l’habite depuis des générations. La relation méticuleuse entretenue avec le maléfique récit lui aura permis d’intégrer les éléments troubles de sa « généalogie macabre », d’en accuser le coup. Un ouvrage singulier, stupéfiant.

Que vous soyez débutant ou francophone d’origine: vous êtes les bienvenus! Nous nous rencontrerons tous les deux mois pour discuter d’un livre francophone, en mettant l’accent sur les auteurs québécois.

Nous en discuterons le 24 aout à 19h00 à la librairie (211 Bernard Ouest). La discussion sera animée par Rebecca Lloyd, gérante de la librairie. Nous vous offrons un rabais de 15 % sur MA VIE ROUGE KUBRICK jusqu’au soir de la rencontre.


(image de Simon Roy de La Fabrique Culturelle)
Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Graphic Novel Book Club - Sam Alden's New Construction: Two More Stories.



Each month we host a Graphic Novel Book Club meeting, open to all, during which we hang out and informally discuss a featured graphic novel. Our pick for September is Sam Alden's New Construction: Two More Stories. We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard O) on Wednesday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m. The discussion will be hosted by D+Q staffer Helen Chau Bradley. Join us for refreshments and collective insights! 

**We offer a 20% discount on New Construction: Two More Stories from now until the meeting date.

Sam Alden is a two-time recipient of the Ignatz Award, currently based in Los Angeles. He makes complex, dark, ambiguous comics, often drawn in deceptively simple pencil. The stories in New Construction deal with fraught relationships, avoidance, loneliness, and communication breakdowns. Alden is a masterful storyteller and artist. His work cuts to the bone and will leave you both reeling and re-reading.
Monday, 22 August 2016

Cyril Pedrosa in Conversation with Christophe Magnette for the Launch of Equinoxes



(Français ci-dessous)

Join us on Wednesday, September 7th for the launch of Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa. Published in English for the first time, Equinoxes is a unique groundbreaking work of rare intensity and narrative sensibility by a rising bestselling star of European comics. Segmented into four tableaux representing the four seasons, Equinoxes follows unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium, crossing paths with other solitudes, and weaving in and out of one another's lives—all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life.

Pedrosa will in conversation with Christophe Magnette. Admission is free, and wine will (of course) be served. 

About the author:

A big comic reader during childhood and adolescence, Cyril Pedrosa first went into scientific studies. After some trial and error, he finally studied animation design at the Gobelins, a Parisian establishment dedicated to careers in the moving image. He went on to work on Disney animated feature films such as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Hercules" where he acquired a speed of execution and a sense of movement that will later serve him well. Meeting writer David Chauvel inspired him to turn to comics. His moving journal of going back to his family roots, Portugal, is a bestseller. The reception for Equinoxes is equally strong.

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Venez nous joindre mercredi, le 7 septembre pour le lancement de Les Équinoxes de Cyril Pedrosa. Publié en anglais pour la première fois, Équinoxes est une oeuvre révolutionnaire qui présente une histoire intense et exceptionnelle crée avec un ton d’empathie. Segmenté en quatre tableaux pour représenter quatre saisons, ce roman graphique suit des personnes non apparentées de tous les milieux sociaux qui cherchent l'équilibre, et qui se croisent avec d'autres solitudes. Ils tissent dans la vie des autres - tous captivés et tourmentés par le sens énigmatique de la vie.

Pedrosa sera en conversation avec Christophe Magnette. L'entrée est gratuite, et le vin sera servi.

À propos de l’auteur
Un grand lecteur de bandes dessinées depuis son enfance, Cyril Pedrosa a commencé ses études sciences. Après plusieurs essais, il a décidé d’étudier le dessin animé à l'école des Gobelins à Paris, puis de 1996 à 1998, il décroche un poste d’intervalliste chez Disney et travaille sur les rushs du Bossu de Notre-Dame et Hercules, la où il a acquis une vitesse d’exécution et un sense du mouvement. À la suite de sa rencontre avec David Chauvel, il fut inspiré a continuer son cheminement dans le monde de la bande dessinée. Son journal émouvant qui revient à ses racines familiales, Portugal, est un best-seller. La réception pour Les Équinoxes est tout aussi forte.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Summer Reads 2016: Kate


Pond - Claire-Louise Bennett

A series of twenty short stories told from the perspective of a reclusive female narrator. Her soliloquies of varying lengths range in tone from deprecating and wry to wistful and introspective as they animate the minutiae of her rural existence. A very tranquil read, recommended for those who like Lydia Davis.


Double Teenage - Joni Murphy

Two girls grow up in the desert. In lovely and melancholic prose, Murphy captures the suffocation of girlhood's ritualized growing pains with haunting precision. The story chronicles Celine and Julie past adolescence into their adult lives. Invoking ghosts and magic spells they try to discern why our culture has so many stories about dead girls and how the desert became a place for Western projections.


Margaret the First - Danielle Dutton

You may know Danielle Dutton as the founder of Dorothy Press, a small publishing project with a focus on inventive fiction by women. Her own novel which came out earlier this year reflects on female writing through the figure of the iconic Duchess, Margaret Cavendish. She wrote prose, poetry, philosophy and science at a time when women only published anonymously, and her utopian romance The Blazing World is one of the earliest examples of science fiction. In Margaret the First, Dutton gives a very intimate perspective, taking full artistic license to imagine the inner workings of her private life in a style I can only describe as luscious. 


Eric Rohmer: A Biography - Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe

Rohmer's idiosyncratic films, full of long, naturalistic conversations about life and love, are really perfect summer fare. With the release of his biography, the first, I see a golden opportunity to read-along-to-a-watch-through of his entire filmography, and I can't wait! From Rohmer's beginnings as writer, the eventual editor of Cahiers du Cinéma, to making his first film at age thirty-nine this book promises to illuminate the man and his unusual methods behind the movies I love so much.


Can You Hear Me? Music Labels by Visual Artists - Francesco Spampinato

Providing a history of the intersection of music and art, it gives a survey of record labels from 1980-2015 run by visual artists. Through chapters like "diy and lofi", "public selves and private stages", or "artifacts and ephemera" it contextualizes various projects into the wider spheres of art and music movements covering artists ranging from Chick on Speed, Destroy All Monsters and DJ Spooky to Kalup Linzy and Johanna Billing. In the era of "dematerialisation" of books  music these artists continue to produce vinyls, battling the hegemony of pop and creating their own media reality.


The Blonde Woman - Aidan Koch

This nice short format comic, out recently on Space Face Books, contains Koch's beautiful ethereal drawings. Hands make a braid, play with grass, dial a phone number. Some panels are empty except for one word written in majuscule: "OH,". These small gestures have a way of pulling me directly into the scene, while the loose interplay of narratives - getting lost in the night, voyaging through dreams, juxtaposed with a washed out reality - sets my mind adrift.


Wandering Island - Kenji Tsuruta

In the spirit of Miyazaki's adventures, Wandering Island is a story about a young woman who runs an air delivery service with her cat and a vintage seaplane. It takes place in Japan's sleepy small island communities hundreds of miles out into the Pacific. When she finds a parcel from her late grandfather with an unknown address, she learns about the wandering island. Legend among sailors, it is said to endlessly drift and disappear. With dangerous determination she sets out to find it at any cost!


Beverly - Nick Drnaso

Offers a slice of suburban life through six entwined short stories that are often uncomfortable and disturbing. Despite being a quiet book, reflected through its muted pastels, there is an undercurrent of repression simmering beneath the surface. One story portrays a woman's disappointment participating in a television programming focus group when she realizes she won't really be part of the "decision making process". Another story depicts an alienated family on vacation through the hallucinatory fantasies of the youngest teenage boy. Through this dark material Drnaso always renders his characters' suffering with dignity as he illustrates the complexity of their flat world.
Thursday, 18 August 2016

Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 p.m. - John Semley Launches This Is a Book About the Kids in the Hall



Please join us for a night of pop culture fun on Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00pm to celebrate the launch of This is a Book About the Kids in Hall with author John Semley! John will read and talk about his newest book project, followed by a signing.

This is a book about the Kids in the Hall — the legendary Canadian sketch comedy troupe formed in Toronto in 1984 and best known for the innovative, hilarious, zeitgeist-capturing sketch show The Kids in the Hall — told by the people who were there, namely the Kids themselves. John Semley’s thoroughly-researched book is rich with interviews with Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, and Scott Thompson, as well as Lorne Michaels and comedians speaking to the Kids’ legacy: Janeane Garofalo, Tim Heidecker, Nathan Fielder, and others. It also turns a critic’s eye on that legacy, making a strong case for the massive influence the Kids have exerted, both on alternative comedy and on pop culture more broadly. The Kids in the Hall were like a band: a group of weirdoes brought together, united by a common sensibility. And, much like a band, they’re always better when they’re together. This is a book about friendship, collaboration, and comedy — and about clashing egos, lost opportunities, and one-upmanship. This is a book about the head-crushing, cross-dressing, inimitable Kids in the Hall.

Author bio:
John Semley is a writer living in Toronto. His work has appeared in The Believer, the New York Times magazine, Salon, Esquire, the A.V. Club, The Walrus, Reader’s Digest, and a whole bunch of other magazines, newspapers, and websites. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and the Toronto Star.
Wednesday, 17 August 2016

TONIGHT: Graphic Novel Book Club: Victor Hussenot's The Spectators


Each month we host a Graphic Novel Book Club meeting, open to all, during which we hang out and informally discuss a featured graphic novel. Our pick for August is THE SPECTATORS by Victor Hussenot. We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Wednesday, August 17th at 7:00 p.m.

Join D+Q store staffer Liz McLellan for a lively discussion (and beers!).

It is easy to get lost in the beautiful colours and shadowing depicted by Victor Hussenot from cover to cover of The Spectators. The choice of watercolour as a medium allows him to create depth and dimension, which just so happens to be the focus of the narrative. Light and darkness emphasize the varying levels of visibility that form the consciousness of the protagonist's experiences, if we can even call them that. This genderless faceless entity comes in the form of a dark shadow, slipping in and out of identities in the form of clothing and masks. Hussenot takes it to the next level: the human becomes buildings,and the buildings become them. The human and their environment are wrapped up in an inextricable exchange of objects and affect, that tug on the memories encoded in the spaces to build on a sense of collectivity.

We offer you a 20% discount on THE SPECTATORS from now until the meeting date!
Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New & Notable: Lynda Barry's The Greatest of Marlys is out today!


Fresh from her inclusion into the Will Eisner hall of fame, Lynda Barry is back at it The Greatest of Marlys, a collection dedicated to one of the most beloved and enduring characters from her Ernie Pook's Comeek. It's here that eight-year-old Marlys Mullen, the indomitable girl in pigtails and freckles, shines in all her groovy glory. 
Populated by siblings, friends, and not-always-present adults, Marlys's trailer park life bears witness to dramas great and small. But nothing can hold Marlys down for long, and in the more than 200 collected strips, Barry deftly bears witness to the joy, awkwardness, pain, and humour of adolescence. 

Out today, The Greatest of Marlys is already receiving (well deserved) praise from all fronts, with Publishers Weekly calling it "lyrical and emotionally complex ... the very nearly poetic invocation of moments of pubescent joy and humiliation." For Raina Telgemeier (author of Smile and Sisters) Barry's comics were her YA, "before YA really even existed," and Marlys is "raw, ugly, hilarious, and poignant.” Time even goes so far as to call the book "probably the greatest novel ever written, in any medium, from a child's point of view," We're certainly not going to disagree. 


Monday, 15 August 2016

New and Notable: Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett


Pond is the first collection of a promising young Irish author, The book is difficult to classify. Unlike anything I've ever read before, it's much more than the story of a bucolic everyday existence I was promised by multiple online reviews. Pond is a bizarre text that gives space to the meandering thoughts of a young woman. Cleaning a toaster oven, the narrator contemplates literature, for example. It isn't in the harmless daily tasks—chopping vegetables, texting a lover when the moon is full—but in the wandering asides that something special can be found. Bennett's digressions are meaningful, dynamic, fluent, and, in the end, are where the book's strength truly lies.

To read more about it:
The Mind in Solitude: An Interview with Claire-Louise Bennett, The Paris Review

Pond est le tout premier recueil d’une jeune auteure prometteuse qui habite en Irlande. J’ai du mal à décrire son travail, qui ne ressemble à rien de ce que j’ai pu lire auparavant. Plus que le récit d’un quotidien bucolique promis par les multiples critiques que j’avais lues en ligne, Pond est un texte bizarre qui investit singulièrement les méandres de la pensée d’une jeune femme. En nettoyant un four grille-pain archaïque, la narratrice amorce par exemple une réflexion grandiose sur la littérature. Ainsi, plutôt que dans la description des gestes anodins du quotidien tel que couper ses légumes ou bien texter son amoureux quand la lune est pleine, ce sont dans les apartés que se cache toute la force du récit. Les digressions de Bennett sont importantes, vivantes et loquaces et si elles font dévier le propos de la narratrice, elles finissent par composer la substance du livre.
Friday, 12 August 2016

What We're Reading in the Office —August edition




Oh, where has the time gone? Everybody has been traveling to-and-fro these past couple of months and it's been tricky to get everyone to sit down and rap about the books they're reading. But we're all in the same room for two hours so we're gonna sit in a circle with our books on lap and have an old-fashioned rap session, baby. Here's what we're reading this summer. Let's start with Tracy (above) shall we?

How to Survive in the North by Luke Healy

I'm on vacation typing from a plane so this might be a little brief, but I didn't want to miss a chance to talk about this special book. I first came across Luke Healy's work a couple years back when I was judging the MOCCA contest thing. I was super impressed by his minis and just delighted when I found out Nobrow would be publishing a book from him. How to Survive the North, Luke's first book, did not disappoint. Weaving together three stories—two failed (and factual) arctic exploration missions, seven (ish) years apart, with one (fictional) modern-day story of failure—Luke manages to sculpt a story that's new and old, relatable and yet...I dunno, whatever that thing that history is.
While the historical tales are set in the early 1900s, and focus on crews stranded on islands or ice, the modern fictional story covers a professor's foray into sleeping with a student, and the repercussions of that. All the characters make bad decisions knowingly and then live with the burden, the magnitude, albeit, a little different. Luke's art is loose and expressive; his colour palette utilitarian while being gorgeous. I had a nice time with this book. I highly recommend checking it out, and keeping an eye on this talented new voice in comics.
—Tracy Hurren, Managing Editor


The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit (Penguin)

Don't you hate it when you wake up from a dream with an overly obvious metaphor? Like, ok, I get what that too-big-for-me hat was really about! Be a little more subtle, subconscious! What I love about Rebecca Solnit, is that she lives in the realm of metaphor, making unexpected comparisons and stringing disparate things together, but at the same time, refuses to let these connections stay fixed or reliable. I’ve been reading The Faraway Nearby which ardent fans of the blog may recognize from Julia’s enticing post about it a few months ago. She lent it to me and I’ve been carrying it with me these last few months, reading and re-reading sections. My first experience with Rebecca Solnit’s work was finding A Field Guide to Getting Lost in the Banff library while I was trying to make a project about landscape and the unrelated thoughts and feelings we imbue them with, and needless to say, it blew me away. This book feels even more personal, yet similarly meandering - the book starts with a pile of apricots and touches on Frankenstein, the frozen north, jealousy, cancer, mother-daughter relationships, and escape, to name only a few - constantly spiralling back on itself and revisiting each of its past subjects in surprising ways. Sometimes I can find a text as laden with art historical and literary references as this one hard to get emotionally invested in, but the way Solnit treats her own personal revelations not as a counterpoint to these subjects, but as one and the same, compels me. Good luck gettin’ this one back, Jules! 
—Alison Naturale, Print Manager



The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

In June I finally finished the Neopolitan Quartet by anonymous Italian author and worldwide literary sensation Elena Ferrante. Above is a photo of me, minutes after finishing it. As you can see, I was in a desolate wasteland, a real “No-Fun Zone,” as it were. Just kidding. I finished these books—that took over my life and dominated so much of my thought process for nigh on 3 months—on an island while waves lapped upon a rocky shore!!! May you all be so lucky!!! In all seriousness though, the Neopolitan Quartet is one of the most beautiful set of novels I’ve ever read, for reasons that many other Drawn & Quarterly employees have already talked about: it’s tense, it’s fraught, it’s beautiful, it’s funny, it’s dense and yet intensely addictive. More than anything, what I love about these books is the complexity of the friendship between the two main characters, Lenu and Lila. I’ve had a few people tell me they dislike the causticity of the friendship between them, the jealousy and pettiness they so often exhibit, but honestly, that is one of my favourite parts about Ferrante’s portrayal of their friendship. I love that she never shies away from the pain that can stem from toxic relationships, the heartbreaking ways you can misinterpret someone’s actions or have your own emotional immaturity hurt others. It’s a raw, beautiful, painful read, that I cannot stop recommending enough, to literally everyone I see.
—Marcela Huerta, Production Assistant


Eve's Hollywood by Eve Babitz

Last month in LA, I picked up Eve's Hollywood by Eve Babitz at ol' Skylight Books. I picked it up because I've always sort of been in love with LA, and because there isn't anyone's LA I want to read and know more of, than the LA that belonged to Eve Babitz. There's an easy allure in the former party girl memoir, but that's not what stirs nor what did stir me to this title. Instead, I was given the always satisfying gift of encountering yet another profoundly talented, brilliant, imagistic and utterly poetic writer. Contemporary essayists ought to pick up Eve's Hollywood to truly learn the function of the essay. One that extends much farther than a so called opinion piece. Eve writes of growing up in LA, of attending Hollywood High, of falling in love with women for the way they wore lipstick, of unsatisfying but insatiable escapades with men, some of whom include the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Ed Ruscha, and Jim Morrison, but who cares — it's Eve the reader comes to idolize. Eve, who writes about a big, bright, highway, and flower filled city with a bad reputation, and all the — not lessons — but truths it taught her.
—Sruti Islam, Marketing Assistant


Boo by Neil Smith

Looking through the books in my frequent visits to the bookstore I came across this title twice (once in English and once in French) and the contrasting book covers intrigued me. I was headed out on vacation and had a stack of new novels, memoirs, forthcoming D+Q comics on loses sheets of paper, and too many New Yorkers (code for People magazine) but I added this to the top. It's a sprightly YA philosophical comedy mystery about a boy named "Boo"because of his ghostly complexion and his recent death by gunshot. But its narrated by him as a letter to his parents. From Heaven. A certain kind of Heaven where only thirteen year olds go. It's kind of like a comfortable but slightly rundown suburban town complete with parks and museums and occasional food drops from God. Or Zig as the kids in the book refer to him. The story really gets going when another boy from Boo's hometown of Hoffman Estates (wait, that's John Porcellino's hometown?!?!) shows up and evidently he too died of a gunshot wound. Except unlike Boo, he remembers what the shooter looks like. So the boys set off across their part of Heaven-for-only-thirteen-year-olds looking to see if this shooter possibly died too. Smith is funny and never let's the details of his creation bog him down. The book is funny and goofy and sweet and Boo is a wonderful nerdy modern Holden if ever there were one.
—Tom Devlin, Executive Editor



Someone Please Have Sex With Me by Gina Wynbrandt

This comic is a riot. It follows a mid-twenties Justin-Bieber-obsessed vixen who's desperately looking to get lucky. Unafraid to gross out, flip power dynamics, and assert sexual desire, this super bright book looks at both the tough and vulnerable sides of sexual frustration with a fantastic sense of self-deprecating humour. 

Sick by Gabby Schulz (Secret Acres)

New Gabby Schulz comics! In Sick, Schulz recounts his experience dealing with a severe illness without any health insurance. The focus on illness and the body isn’t new for Schulz, but the tone here is decidedly bleaker than in Monsters or Weather. Funny details are still present but are much more sombre, moving towards the gory and macabre. And the political too, as the author uses his experience of being uninsured and ill to point out the far greater injustices in our society, making for a very interesting read.

Pissing in a River by Cherry Styles (Synchronise Witches Press)
Punk Village #1 by Lisa Czech (self-published)

I recently picked up a few zines from a friend. The first was a Patti Smith fanzine titled Pissing in the River. Not much more needs to be said–it's a Patti Smith zine with over twenty collaborators, so if you like Patti Smith, you'll probably love this. The second, Punk Village #1, comes from local cartoonist Lisa Czech. From the very first comic about street harassment, to the great little nuggets of Quebecois dialogue, Punk Village is spot on. The author's in-your-face attitude recalls the raw energy of Julie Doucet's Dirty Plotte, which we could always do with more of!
—Marie-Jade Menni, Production Coordinator



Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Coming across almost as a diary rather than a series of short stories, Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut book is an account of the mind as it exists in solitude. Recording vignettes of woman’s life on the West Coast of Ireland, Pond takes the banality of the day-to-day and somehow illuminates it—focusing in on specific moments that are completely unremarkable, but that are nonetheless happening in space and time. 

She muses about porridge with black jam and almond flakes, oranges after sex, how burnt stir-fry gets thrown in the garbage like everything else in her life—and other fun, non-food related things as well. The book also has a meditative quality to it, the stories themselves moving at a languid pace with run-on sentences and one-paragraph stories acting as a kind of buffer so that the book doesn’t dive too deep into the philosophical. The title also serves as a nod to Thoreau, who went to Walden’s Pond in the mid 1900s to “live deliberately.” Then narrator in this case definitely does; the pages of the book reeling you in slowly, but still allowing you to observe from afar. 
—Courtney Baird-Lew, Administrative Assistant




Big Kids by Michael DeForge

I picked up Michael DeForge’s Big Kids because I wanted something to read and it was small enough to slip into my (very tiny) backpack. But inside this humble little book, I discovered the kind of largeness that is hard to find in even the thickest Russian tomes. Equal parts wise, funny, and strange, Big Kids contains all the awkward uncertainty of teenagedom and everything that comes with it. The breakups, the hormones, the failed sexual experiments; the desperation of being alone, lost, and completely confused; and the relief of finally figuring your stuff out—or maybe instead realizing that you never actually will. 
I think I finished the whole thing in less than an hour, but I really wish that I hadn’t. Yet even reading as quickly as I did, I found something on almost every page that made me want to stop and think, laugh, or—at one point—even cry. It’s funny, but looking back on it now, I realize that I have no idea what Big Kids is really about: maybe about everything and maybe about nothing at all. Just like I have no idea where DeForge finds his gently perplexing storylines, no idea how he executes them so perfectly, every time.
What I do know is that Big Kids is going to be staying in my backpack—and my mind—for a long while yet. 
—Alice Fleerackers, Production Intern



Den Дrliga Bedragaren by Tove Jansson (Bonniers/Le Livre de Poche/NYRB)

I’ve been obsessed with Tove Jansson’s life, art, and comics lately (this may or may not be a side effect of the D+Q internship) and was very curious about her novels too. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Swedish is virtually nonexistent, so I settled for a French translation of Den Дrliga Bedragaren (The True Deceiver). However, if you can't read Swedish either, I would rather recommend reading the English translation, which seems to convey the original writing style way better. The main character, Katri Kling, doesn't trust anyone or anything but numbers and doesn't bother with politeness and white lies. Her brutal honesty and her fairness are very convenient when it comes to settling accounts of any kind, but they also expose everyone's pettiness in the process. In the same village lives Anna Aemelin, a famous children's book illustrator (sounds familiar? Wait, it's not over!). Every year, she waits for the long winter to end to start painting the mountain landscapes of Vдsterby as a background for her next book, and every year, the background grows richer in details as she puts off the moment when she will have to draw the rabbit family that brought her fame—and that she has come to hate over the years. She doesn't seem to realize that she could do whatever she wants if she wasn't trying so hard to please everyone all the time: the villagers, the publisher, the young children who read her books, the only friend who ever listened to her...even though she is well aware that they all are taking advantage of her kindness. Katri decides to enter Anna's life with a pretty simple aim: make enough money for her younger brother Mats to achieve his only dream, to have a boat of his own. This money she will earn, she will earn it in the most honest way, by telling the truth to Anna about every single deal she has made in her life. But she doesn't know that by doing so, she is also changing the rules she has set for herself and grown used to.

Il est l'heure d'aller nourrir les poules, Noriko (La Logique du Calendrier)

Noriko se lиve tфt, tous les matins, pour un travail qui ne lui apporte rien, sinon une certaine sйcuritй financiиre et un profond mal-кtre. En parallиle, son alter ego passe ses journйes а travailler sur des projets crйatifs qui ont vraiment du sens pour elle. La jeune graphiste rкve de donner sa dйmission mais n'ose jamais franchir le pas, prйfйrant passer ses nuits а dessiner. Ces contradictions dйtйriorent de plus en plus son moral — et la qualitй de son sommeil. Mais bientфt, des distorsions surrйalistes viennent troubler la platitude de son quotidien pour lui rappeler qu'elle a une passion а entretenir... Une lecture йnergisante qui donne envie de boire beaucoup d'espresso, de ne jamais perdre son temps а travailler sans conviction pour des employeurs qui ne respectent qu'eux-mкmes, et surtout, de se mettre sйrieusement а ce beau projet que l'on repousse sans cesse. Il est l'heure d'aller nourrir les poules est le premier livre de Noriko et le premier livre publiй par la Logique du Calendrier en tant que maison d'йdition.

So if you haven't already, go see Tove Jansson's paintings and Noriko's website, embrace change, and don't forget to feed the chickens!
—Lucie Lecoutre, Production Intern




Ant Colony by Michael DeForge

Michael DeForge’s Ant Colony was my first foray into the absurd graphic novel. The storyline begins relatively broad, introducing the ant colony as a whole, namely two homosexual ants (this is not rare: having sex with anyone but the queen is illegal) and a father and son. Eventually, ants begin dying. It’s discovered that colony of red ants has begun killing the dear black ants, creating a life-size spider sculpture with the bodies. Why? Because spider milk is a drug that they’ve become addicted to. After a war begins between the two colonies, the apocalypse happens by means of a child with a magnifying glass. The only ants left are the couple, the father and son, and a rogue police officer who refused to fight in the battle. In any post-apocalyptic tale, there are those who are hopeful, those who are wise, those who are anarchistic, and those who have lost all hope. The end of the graphic journey leaves readers with all of these characters and the actions they take as such.  
As I was reading Ant Colony, I realized that what is truly absurd is not the story about ants itself, but that DeForge successfully gives human traits to ants. This tactic is necessary in animated television shows such as Bojack Horseman or Rick and Morty. It is the core reason why I love animated television shows. The fact that the characters aren’t human—whether they are animals or other-dimensional—allows me to look at the sadness that each character experiences with a sense of detachment: a tool that Michael DeForge is known for. DeForge is able to analyze the issues plaguing humans by way of a story about ants: addiction, relationships, war, and random deaths. Yet, I don’t ever feel overwhelmed being confronted by the problems being exposed. This leaves space for me to consider these concerns objectively, while still appreciating the surreal, absurd, colourful, and robotic world of nature that DeForge creates. DeForge’s Ant Colony is able to put our earth in perspective; in comparison to the universe, we are one tiny little colony.

—Gillian Cott, Production Intern

Le 12 août, j'achète un livre québécois

C'est toute l'année qu'à la librairie D+Q nous mettons les auteurs québécois en avant, qu'ils écrivent en français ou en anglais, qu'ils publient ici ou ailleurs. Mais pour ce 12 août, nous redoublerons d'efforts pour vous conseiller nos coups de coeurs québécois!


C'est la troisième année qu'une initiative lancée par deux auteurs d'ici propose à chacun d'acquérir en ce jour précis du 12 août le livre d'un auteur québécois, et ce pour soutenir le milieu du livre au Québec.


À la librairie, vous pouvez trouver des magazines édités au Québec, des livres pour enfants et des bandes dessinées écrites par des auteurs locaux. 


Nous avons de plus en plus de romans, essais et receuils de poésie en français, et bien-sûr, la littérature québecoise tient une place de choix dans cette sélection.


Si vous le souhaitez, vous pouvez aussi acheter des livres par des auteurs québécois en anglais.
Thursday, 11 August 2016

TONIGHT!! Peeps Issue 02 Montreal Launch!


Join us tonight at 7:00pm for the chance to meet Peeps editor Aliah El-houni, and Issue 02 Feature contributor Mathilde Caro! Mathilde is a doctoral student at the EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and an ethnographer for Methos Agency, which uses ethnographic and anthropological methods to help clients to better understand the environment in which they operate.

In this issue, Peeps showcases her work on rue Saint-Denis; a small street in the centre of Paris characterized by social and symbolic distance as the historic home of Paris' sex trade. She joins us all the way from Paris for this exciting event! Don't miss out.








Wednesday, 10 August 2016

TOP 5: July's Bestselling Kid's Books!

Parents know how important it is for kids to read lots over the summer to prevent slipping out of the habit when school starts up again in the fall. Plus, with all of the summer road trips, it's crucial to have good books on hand to keep little ones happy on long journeys, and throughout the lazy days of hot summer weather. Without further ado, feast your eyes upon the kid's books that were most popular as we kicked off the summer holidays:

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Säfström

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

L'abc de Monsieur Pizza by Ohara Hale


I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry

Pokémon: Deluxe Essential Handbook by Scholastic, Inc. 

Monday, 8 August 2016

Sarah Barmak Launches CLOSER



Join us on Thursday, September 15th at 7:00pm for the launch of Closer: Notes from the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality by Sarah Barmak! A provocative look at why our current understanding of female sexuality isn’t “getting us off,” Barmak uses a blend of reportage, interview, and first-person reflection to explore the cutting-edge science and grassroots cultural trends that getting us closer to the truth of the matter.

Our current society thinks of the modern woman as sexually liberated – if anything, we’re told we’re oversexed. Yet a striking number of women are dissatisfied with their sex lives. Over half of women report having a sexual complaint, whether that’s lack of desire or difficulty reaching orgasm. But this issue doesn’t get much press; the urge is to ignore or medicalize it (witness the quest for ‘pink Viagra’). If so many ordinary women suffer from sexual frustration, then perhaps the problem isn’t one that can be addressed by a pharmaceutical fix – or isn’t a problem. Maybe we need to get hot and bothered about a broader cultural cure: a reorienting of our current male-focused approach to sex and pleasure, and a rethinking of what’s ‘normal.’

Please stop in, admission is free! Wine will also be served. 

(Photo by Bernard Weil / Toronto Star)

Sarah Barmak is a Toronto freelance journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Canadian Business, Marketing and Reader’s Diges
Sunday, 7 August 2016

New & Notable: Mould Map 5


Now in stock - the latest from Landfill Editions - the fifth edition of Mould Map! The theme is "black box", read big data, behind the scenes, hidden agendas, invisible tech and black magick~. The package, in a limited edition of 500, contains 16 super nice postcard sized prints, 1 poster and a mini comic.


With a long list of contributors to boast, artists include Lala Albert, Julien Ceccaldi, Noel Freibert, Parker Ito, Lando, Brenna Murphy and Johnny Negron. They may not reveal the secret of their success but the art speaks for itself. Come check it out!

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