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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Out Today! Mimi Pond's Over Easy

Lovers of the graphic memoir rejoice! Mimi Pond's Over Easy is in stores today, and it is getting press all over the place. Mimi has described Over Easy as her magnum opus, and it's easy to see why; Over Easy is a sprawling, jaunty fictionalized memoir about the fast-paced, diner-working life of art student turned dishwasher turned waitress Madge Pond in 1970s California.

After moving to Oakland to attend the California College of Arts and Crafts, Madge is distressed to reach the maximum amount of student aid right before entering her final year of school. Instead of drowning herself in loans, Madge opts to get a different kind of education - as a dishwasher and waitress at the Imperial Cafe (based on real-life diner Mama's Royal Café). 

Madge is a funny, relatable protagonist - at times naive, at times brilliant and wry. Pond captures the feeling of working in one of those je ne sais quoi places, the ones that have a certain energy about them you can't help but want to be a part of.

One of my favourite passages explores exactly that feeling: Madge is taking her lunch break on her first day as a dishwasher. She orders a crab sandwich, because "when [she's] working, [she] can order anything from the menu, anything at all, and the cooks have to make it for [her]". She describes the strange feeling of things never being the same again, that she'll "never be just a customer here, ever again".

Full of melodramatic romances that last about 4 pages each and hilariously low-stakes drama, Over Easy is a joyous read all the way through the ups and downs of Madge's experiences. Every character is memorable and lovable, from the Cafe's beloved manager to the regulars (some of whom are the preferred drug dealers of the staff). 

The attachment all the staff members of the Imperial Cafe have for each other is palpable, and heart-warming, despite the fact that if it were an actual family, there would be a whole lotta incest goin' on, as the waitresses tend to change boyfriends about once a week.

You do not want to miss out on reading this gem. Mimi Pond has been around forever, and is responsible for writing the very first episode of The Simpsons, among other beloved pop-culture institutions. She's a legend, and it's about time she gets her very own epic memoir. Pick it up. You will love it. That's the D&Q guarantee. 

Don't forget, Mimi is currently on tour, so check out the poster above to see if you'll be in the LA, Oakland, Toronto, New York, or San Diego when she is. You won't want to miss it; Mimi is charming and delightful, and sure to wow ya. 
Monday, 14 April 2014

Brick Books poetry launch

On Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m., please join Karen Enns, Joanna Lilley, Jane Munro and Arleen Paré as they present their new poetry collections as part of their cross-Canada book tour! All four collections are published by Brick Books, the only press in Canada that specializes in publishing poetry books.

Karen Enns grew up in a Mennonite farming community in southern Ontario. Her first book of poetry, That Other Beauty, was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. Ordinary Hours is her second poetry collection.  A classical pianist and teacher, she lives in Victoria.

Joanna Lilley has lived in Whitehorse, Yukon, since emigrating from the UK in 2006. Her poems and stories have been published in journals and anthologies in Canada and Britain and her awards include first prize in the 2012 Vancouver International Writers Festival poetry contest. The Fleece Era is her first collection of poetry.    

Jane Munro's sixth poetry collection is Blue Sonoma (Brick Books, 2014). Her previous books include Active Pass (Pedlar Press, 2010), Point No Point (McClelland & Stewart, 2006) and Grief Notes & Animal Dreams (Brick Books, 1995). Her work has received the Bliss Carman Poetry Award, the Macmillan Prize for Poetry, been nominated for the Pat Lowther Award, and is included in The Best Canadian Poetry 2013. She is a member of the collaborative group Yoko's Dogs (http://yokosdogs.com/) whose first book Whisk was published by Pedlar Press in 2013. She lives in Vancouver.

Arleen Paré is a poet and novelist, author of two previous books, Paper Trail and Leaving Now.  Her work has received the Victoria Butler Book Prize and has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry.  Originally from Montreal, she lived for many years in Vancouver, where she worked as a social worker and administrator to provide community housing for people with mental illnesses. She now lives in Victoria with her partner, Chris Fox. Lake of Two Mountains is her second poetry collection.

We hope to see you here!
Sunday, 13 April 2014

Next Graphic Novel Book Club pick: Seiichi Hayashi's Red Colored Elegy!

Join us at the store on Wednesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. to discuss Seiichi Hayashi's marvelous Red Colored Elegy!

Red Colored Elegy, originally published in Japanese in 1970-71, portrays the sparse world of a melancholy, disenfranchised couple, who struggle to get by and to relate to one another. Seiichi Hayashi was inspired by both the underground Japanese comics of the time and French New Wave cinema, the result of which is a disorienting and achingly beautiful graphic portrayal of love, or something like it.

Hayashi was trying to import the disjunctive innovations of French new-wave cinema to the comics page. The result is a condensed visual poetry that still feels avant-garde nearly forty years later. – Chris Lanier, for The Believer

Seiichi Hayashi’s elegant and startling images mix cartooning with keen observation to unfurl a narrative as delicate as a moth’s wing. – David Mazzucchelli, City of Glass

Hosted by store staffer Helen Chau Bradley. Refreshments will be provided and conversation will be lively - and bilingual! Come one, come all! The event is free and there is a 20% discount on Red Colored Elegy starting now!
Saturday, 12 April 2014

This One Summer - by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

We just received the new graphic novel for teens by cousins Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, This One Summer, and it looks fantastic!  

The story follows two childhood best friends, Rosie and Windy, whose families always spend their summers together in idyllic Awago Beach.

As the girls near adolescence, the sanctuary of their summer haven is disrupted by family drama and teenage dilemmas.

Though the girls are faced with some difficult realities, their friendship sustains them through the sometimes brutal process of growing up. 

Rather than using the traditional black and white or grayscale, the illustrations in This One Summer are done in a gorgeous deep blue shade which perfectly compliments the story. This book will resonate with teens and adults alike, as it perfectly captures that mysterious stage in between childhood and adolescence with all of its poignant, even painful, moments.
Friday, 11 April 2014

Tonight! Jacob Wren and Gaudalupe Muro double book launch

Join us at the Librairie tonight at 7 p.m. for the launch of two new novels from BookThug: Polyamorous Love Song by Montreal's own Jacob Wren and Air Carnation by Guadalupe Muro.

The evening will feature readings by both authors, as well as a short acoustic set by Guadalupe Muro, Ana López and Julián Muro - all the way from Argentina, featuring original music from "Songs for Runaway Girls", the soundtrack to Air Carnation.  

Jacob Wren creates literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include Unrehearsed Beauty (1998), Families Are Formed Through Copulation (2007), and Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (2010). As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART, he co-created the performances En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize (1998), and the HOSPITALITÉ / HOSPITALITY series including Individualism Was a Mistake (2008), The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011), and Every Song I've Ever Written (2013). International collaborations include a stage adaptation of the 1954 Wolfgang Koeppen novel Der Tod in Rom (Sophiensaele, Berlin, 2007); An Anthology of Optimism (co-created with Pieter De Buysser / Campo, Ghent, 2008); Big Brother Where Art Thou? (a project entirely on Facebook, co-created with Lene Berg / OFFTA / PME-ART, 2011); and, No Double Life For The Wicked (co-created with Tori Kudo / The Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan, 2012.) Wren travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art. Follow Wren at http://www.radicalcut.blogspot.com and http://jacobwren.tumblr.com or on Twitter @EverySongIveEv

Guadalupe Muro is an Argentinian writer, producer and artist. Her first collection of poems, Con quién dormías? was published in 2007. Air Carnation is her first novel. She is currently working with musicians to compose a soundtrack to the novel, a project called "Songs for Runaway Girls," which can be heard here. Muro lives in Sc. de Bariloche, a small town in Patagonia, where she directs the collaborative literary project "Las Cartas de Guadalupe." Follow Muro at http://facebook.com/lascartasdeguadalupe or on Twitter @GuadalupeMuro

Do come out! We promise refreshments, high society, and literary satisfaction.

Facebook event
Thursday, 10 April 2014

Free Comic Book Day 2014! Don't miss it!

Get ready, everybody! It's Free Comic Book Day on Saturday May 3rd, and we all know what that means: special free comics all day long (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly! Plus snacks and juice! This is a kid-friendly event, of course.

Check out the recap from last year's event for a sampling of what's to come...

Plus, this year the special comic from Drawn & Quarterly is a new installment of the inimitable Shigeru Mizuki's Showa: A History of Japan!

See you there!

Event recap: Arjun Basu launches Waiting for the Man

On Thursday, April 3, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly was happy to host esteemed Montreal author, Arjun Basu, as he launched his novel, Waiting for the Man.

Waiting for the Man chronicles the transformative journey of protagonist Joe, a materially successful, yet disillusioned 36-year old Manhattan-based copywriter on his quest to find the meaning of life. Increasingly, Joe begins to listen to an enigmatic man who appears to him in dreams, and guides him to travel West in order to find the meaning that he seeks.

Arjun had prepared a delightful and highly amusing PowerPoint presentation to accompany his reading. For all the social media savvy folks in the audience, he even had a slide encouraging everyone to use the book's hashtag! #waitingfortheman is sure to be trending in no time!

In this passage, Joe contemplates the fact that his waistline appears to have increased proportionally with his income and his fondness for Italian cuisine. Bonus points for the delicious pizza imagery!

This slide introduces a character named Sophie who works at a perfume counter in a Montreal department store (which may or may not be The Bay in Anjou!)

No PowerPoint presentation could be complete without the obligatory pie chart, and Arjun's was no exception.

After Arjun wrapped up his presentation, he signed copies of his book while the audience enjoyed some refreshments, all to the sweet sounds of Arjun's specially curated Waiting for the Man playlist, which you are also invited to enjoy here. It was a great evening, and we wish to extend our thanks to Arjun as well as to all of the lovely attendees for making the launch so enjoyable.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014

New in stock: Us Conductors by Sean Michaels!

We just received Us Conductors, and we are delighted! It's the debut novel by Montreal author Sean Michaels, who is best known as the founder of Said the Gramophone, one of the web's longest-running and best-loved mp3 blogs (he's also writ­ten for The Guardian and McSweeney’s, among other venues, and won two National Magazine Awards). The story is inspired by the true life and loves of the Russian scientist, inventor and spy Lev Termen, creator of the theremin, and it's told through a series of flashbacks and correspondence between Termen and his “one true love,” Clara Rockmore, the finest theremin player in the world. As Sean says himself:

It's a novel about invention, memory, debt, airships, orchestras, Soviet spies, American ballerinas, Siberian taiga, electric singing, killer kung-fu, blue speakeasies, and responsibility. It's full of lie-seeming truths and true-feeling lies.

The book's fitting epigraph, from Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, is "In memory, everything seems to happen to music." This is a book by a writer who is extremely good at describing how music makes you feel, about the feelings of people who made music. It has chapter titles taken from songs by artists like Kate Bush, Jesus & Mary Chain, and Mark Hollis. But it's not just a novel for music nerds, it's for anybody interested in love, or inventions, or just words that sound particularly good next to each other.

Sean will be launching the book in Montreal on April 24th at the Cardinal Tea Room: details here. There will be a brief reading from the book, plus short musical performances by thereminists Aleks Schürmer and John Tielli, accompanied by members of Silverkeys, SUUNS , Gambletron, Miracle Fortress and more. A signing will follow. 

For more information on Us Conductors, visit Sean's website: http://www.byseanmichaels.com/

TONIGHT: The Second (EVER) D+Q Graphic Novel Club meeting!

You guys, the book club train is rolling, and at its helm is the glorious and talented (gloriously talented?) Julie Delporte. Julie is an artist and author of the children’s book Je suis un raton laveur, the graphic novel Journal, and the upcoming D+Q title (!) Everywhere Antennas. 

Much like the "previously on" section from an episode of Degrassi, let us refresh your memory on what the D+Q book club is. Every six weeks we'll have a new meeting, hosted by D+Q bookstore or D+Q publishing house staffers, who will each choose GNs both new and old, D+Q and non, to discuss between the comfortable four walls of the bookstore. Refreshments will be provided and discussion will be lively! Come, one, come all, bring a friend...it's free to attend and 20% discount on that month's selection for the entire month! Speaking of which...March/April's selection is: 

Sylvie Rancort's Mélody!

Mélody follows the life of an erotic dancer in the bars of Montreal during the early 1980s. Rancourt leads readers through the often troubling and hazardous life of a woman in her line of work. The book is a fascinating look at the type of story that isn't always at the forefront of the mainstream comics world, and its candor is refreshing.

We are fully stocked, so come pick up a copy and get your talking points outlined, if you're into that sort of thing. We look forward to seeing you!

Conundrum Cavalcade Plus One!

Get ready for the Conundrum Cavalcade Plus One to hit this town on Thursday, May 8 at 7 p.m.!

Come join three Conundrum Press authors as they launch their new graphic novels, plus... one special guest! The event will be hosted by up-and-coming comics artist Sam Alden!

Local artist Meags Fitzgerald will be on hand to present her process making the formidable Photobooth: A Biography

Meags Fitzgerald has chronicled the photobooth’s fortuitous history and the events which gave rise to the desperate need to save them. Having traveled in North America, Europe and Australia, she’s constructed a biography of the booth through the eyes of technicians, owners, collectors, artists and fanatics. In this ground-breaking book Fitzgerald struggles with her own relationship to these fleeting machines, while looking to the future.

"Photobooth: A Biography is an impressive and ambitious project. A deep exploration of an unexpected topic that is in turn historical, journalistic, and personal.”
— Jillian Tamaki

“Fitzgerald has created something that’s more than candid personal memoir, more than carefully researched cultural history — she’s created a work brimming with that rarest of things: love. That I should use such a word to explain a young woman’s feelings for photobooths certainly sounds improbable and maybe even a little crazy. And that’s precisely why this book is so wonderful.”
— Jonathan Goldstein

Celebrated Quebec comics artist Jimmy Beaulieu will launch My Neighbour's Bikini, his second translation for Conundrum's BDANG imprint. 

During a major power outage in the heat of a Montreal summer, two shy young neighbours finally take the time to slow down, meet, and spend time together. Beaulieau takes a microscope to the lives of a few citizens at a certain time and place and weaves their stories into a romantic tapestry. The perfect book to get you through the cold winter (or even a cold spring!). Originally published in 2006 this translation is the second by Beaulieu in our BDANG imprint.

Canadian Hall of Fame artist Réal Godbout will present his first work in English, an adaptation of Kafka's Amerika

In his adaptation of Amerika, which took seven years to achieve, Godbout has tried to remain as faithful as possible to Kafka’s novel, while using the clear line aesthetic he perfected in his series Red Ketchup. Unlike the common cliché of Kafka’s work, Amerika is not a dark and sinister novel, but a dynamic and colourful story, with a touch of absurdist humor. Perfect for an adaptation into a graphic novel. It tells the story of the young immigrant Karl Rossmann who, after an embarrassing sexual misadventure, finds himself “packed off to America” by his parents. Expected to redeem himself in this magical land of opportunity, young Karl is swept up instead in a whirlwind of dizzying reversals, strange escapades, and picaresque adventures. Despite the fact that Kafka never set foot in America, his novel was uncannily prescient about certain aspects of the country that advertised itself, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as “the promised land.” Godbout provides a unique perspective, as a quebecois artist and outsider to America.

There will be an onstage Q&A between Jimmy and Réal. 

Finally, guest Mark Connery (in from Toronto) will launch his book of comics Rudy (2D Cloud).

"Mark Connery's work is incredibly inspiring. His zines are portals to other dimensions where cats and ducks and fish-men engage in metaphysical shop-talk. At first it may seem that logic has been abolished, but the cartoon laws of punchline and gag still hold, creating hilarious friction. A comedic timing worthy of Bushmiller has been transplanted into an anarchist scratch-scape. Importantly, Connery connects comix with spiritual predecessors: artist books, punk rock utopianism, psychedelic nonsense, surrealist automatic writing, dreams and daydreams...which is exactly what I want to read. I LOVE RUDY!"
- Matthew Thurber, 1-800-MICE, Infomaniacs

Facebook event here
Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Out Today! Adrian Tomine's New York Postcards

Hold onto your hats, people, because we've got a doozy of a new release out today: Adrian Tomine's New York Postcards!

Adrian Tomine's beautiful and compelling New Yorker covers have been leaving their mark on the public at large for years, and now you can have thirty of his most iconic images to do... whatever you like with! Frame 'em, mail 'em, hoard 'em; no matter what, they'll be there, looking gorgeous.

Those of you familiar with New York Drawings will recognize a lot of work shown here, but a few newer illustrations that have come out since the début of Drawings are included as well, along with some of his more famous sketches.

Just thinking of getting one of these bad boys in the mail is almost too much to handle, and at $14.95 for the set of 30, you'll spend more on postage than on the set itself (just a little topical humour for y'all, feel free to tell me how gosh darn funny I am).

So come on down, buy some Tomine, and tell your mother you love her. Heck, you can mail one to yourself and tell yourself how much you love you! Wouldn't that feel nice?!

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