The Little Book that Could

I had never heard of The Night Life of Trees before we opened the store with 40 copies of it and a bunch of other stuff from Tara Publishing. Since then, it's become a household name around the store (and, it seems, the neighborhood). It might even be our top-selling book, and we're a comic book store.

The book blog, Book By Its Cover has this to say about it:

'I am just in love with this book-it could possibly have made it to the top of my all time favorites. The whole book is crafted by hand, each page is silkscreened on handmade paper in India by a commune of printers from local villages.'

'The book features a tree on every page printed on black paper- the colors almost glow- they are so intense. The intricate pattern filled drawings are made by three artists of the Gond tribe of Central India- Bhajju Shyam, Durga Bai, and Ram Singh Urveti and each is accompanied by a short paragraph of folklore. This book is more beautiful than I can ever describe- so just get yourself one- it’s an edition of 1000.'

That's right, a thousand copies. If we've gone through 70 on our own, these will be gone one day soon.

Whenever I hear a gasp from the far side of the store, I know either some expensive book has been dropped, or someone's just discovered the Night Life of Trees. It's sensory breadth includes a strange and intoxicating scent that probably comes from the inks used. When no one's around the store, I often trip out on this bold little treasure.

Exclusive Handmade Toys R Us

Fans of Julie Morstad's Milk Teeth will be happy to know that we've just received her gorgeous collection of dolls, produced under the label Bee & Hornet. What's more, local silkscreen queen Leyla Majeri has brought us the last few pieces from Hide, her collection of strange stuffed creatures that sold out in a flash at stores in New York and Japan!

Julie Morstad's dolls. These remind me of classic Live Long Toys from the '20s.

Pieces from Hide by Leyla Majeri (click to enlarge). I like the hand-silkscreened labels as much as the toys themselves.

This is the very last one of that design. Snap it up while you still can!

Twisted Spring Reads

First of all, let me just say that I can barely contain my excitement about Lynda Barry's new D+Q book, What It Is, which will come out in just a few weeks. The minute we have it in store, you'll know about it.

In the meantime, let me tell you about two of my new favourite authors, Etgar Keret and Tao Lin.

You may remember that I raved about Keret's The Nimrod Flipout back in January. Well, we've received his new collection of funny/disturbing/poignant/surrealist short stories, The Girl on the Fridge, and it's just as amazingly weird, in a good way. I'm three-quarters through and I just found out that the chief (Mr. Oliveros) is also reading it. Read the opening micro-story about asthmatic declarations of love and the one about the woman who glues herself to her kitchen ceiling and you'll be hooked too!

I don't read much poetry, but I loved you are a little bit happier than i am by Tao Lin, a collection of free verse poems told in a really deadpan tone. At first, Lin's constant existential dread might seem like a downer, but he makes enough references to blanket forts, pouring orange juice on his own face, AOL Messenger and hamsters to offset the gloom and bring some comic relief. In fact, one of the book's most absurdly funny poems is called "you published a one-page comic where someone freaks out while eating breakfast". If you walk by the store and see me longingly staring out the window, you'll know that it's because I'm waiting for Lin's new book, cognitive-behavioral therapy, to arrive...

Sontag Shogun In-store on Sunday -- 3 pm!!

Hey everyone, come on out to 211 this Sunday for locals, Sontag Shogun. The weather is beautiful, and what could be better than music in a bookstore?
Sontag Shogun have been playing for a couple years now under a variety of titles.
They'd do a better job of describing their sound than I could:

"... an experimental noise band that falls somewhere between a lullaby and a nightmare. Guitars, keys, laptops, harmonicas, drones, loops, hiss...think Eno and Otomo Yoshihide being picked off by a legion of bloodthirsty pterodactyls. To top it all off, they will be joined by singer/guitarist Helen Bradley, who's sultry french lyrics will spill over the layered sound scape like blood on a sandcastle. So come to the D&Q store Sunday, 3pm on April 27th for an eclectic electronic/acoustic set that will remind you why you don't want to be deaf."

See you there!

Pomme-Pomme Craft & Zine Fair in Montreal!

Drawn & Quarterly and Atelier WoodenApples are proud to present the first ever Pomme-Pomme Craft & Zine Fair!

July 12th & 13th at La Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent, Montreal QC, Canada.

We're accepting submissions until May 15th!

For more details, visit

Hey Kids! Comics!

Ever since the store opened, we keep being asked if we have that one specific back issue of an old or ongoing comic book series... You know, the very first issue of that seminal series? Or the one that's called #11 but is actually the ending of a three-part story? Or the one with a giant ear of corn on the cover?


I'm proud to announce that Yes! We now probably have the precious piece that will complete your collection! Not only do we get all the new D&Q comic books in store before everyone else, but we also carry back issues of Babel, Berlin, Big Questions, Crickets, Dirty Plotte, Ed The Happy Clown, Eightball, Ganges, King-Cat Comix, Louis Riel, Lucky, Optic Nerve, Or Else, Palooka-Ville, Peepshow, Schizo, Sof' Boy, Syncopated, Underwater, Yummy Fur, and many more...

You may also notice a few art magazines at the bottom left of that picture. Yup! We have that too! And we'll be getting even more of those very soon...

More new Fanta stuff..

Just in from the weekend, I noticed a few more new Fanta titles worthy of mention.

For the Collection collectors:
The newest volume of 'Peanuts' cartoons, Volume 9, 1967-68, which features a thoughtful little Foreward by Mr. John Waters and lots of Snoopy strips.

And 'The Kat Who Walked in Beauty', which collects some rare and previously unprinted 'Krazy Kat' strips. The cover is quite spectacular but you'll have to see it in person.

'Willie & Joe: The WWII Years' collects the best of Bill Mauldin's single-panel strips drawn between 1940 and '91. Mauldin's characters reflect his own experience as an infantryman in WWII. Most of his strips were originally printed in Soldiers' newspapers before being collected in these 2 huge volumes.

And a bunch more stuff, like:

'The Education of Hopey Glass' A new Love & Rockets collection by Jaime Hernandez, ; 'Daddy's Girl', a haunting little book by Debbie Dreschler; New 'Ganges' by Kevin Huizenga; Fuzz & Pluck in Splitsville no. 5 .. etc. etc.

New Fanta titles in stock!

I love it when we receive new books, especially ones that are not just new to the store or to me, but genuinely new releases. We've just received a big order of those new new books from Fantagraphics (along with some R. Crumb and Dan Clowes restocks, of course) and two of them instantly caught my eye: Ray Fenwick's Hall of Best Knowledge and Leah Hayes' Funeral of the Heart.

Hall of Best Knowledge is a series of thematic panels wherein the authoritative but also innocently candid "author" shares his wisdom about life, the universe and everything by making pronouncements like "People who find beauty in everything, even the crush and stink of a subway, are carelessly burning up all sensitivity and will one day be unable to detect true beauty." What's more, your deeply sensitive "intellectual caretaker" will withhold his pronouncement for the day if someone hurts his feelings. If you like Miranda July's heart-warming whimsy, you'll love this. M.J.'s not your cup of tea? You'll still love this. Hall of Best Knowledge is the only self-help book you will ever need.

Funeral of the Heart is a collection of quirky and somewhat macabre short stories about secret underground bathrooms, gruesome deaths and a man with two hearts named Whoreson, among other things. Illustrated with amazing black and white scratchboard etchings, it's dark, twisted, full of surprises and often mindblowing. Fans of Edwad Gorey's gorier work will definitely get a kick out of reading this by candlelight in the middle of the night...

Gorey treasures

Pomegranate Books has published a few older Gorey greats that I've been feasting on all day today. They look fantastic, too.You could go for the Amphigorey if you're in a pinch, but it's like downloading a band's entire musical anthology. It's just not so special, somehow.

Gorey died in 2000, having written and illustrated over a hundred books (imagine how many little lines that is). I made the mistake of thinking he was European all my life. Actually, he's American as apple pie, born in Chicago. He just likes to poke fun at the Euro-aristocrats.

Elboy Die and Milie Croche in-store!

Hey everyone,
Come on out this Sunday for local folk duo, Elboy Die and Milie Croche. Check them out here and here if you haven't heard them yet:

As the spring approaches (it's snowing as I type this, sheesh!) we'll be lightening up on the shows, so come on down while there's still rockin' to be had.

See you on Sunday!

Vitamins for everyone

Phaidon's Vitamin series is the best survey of contemproary Art in print. Divided by discipline, each volume weighs as much as the Yellow Pages and explodes with inspiration.

It started in 2002 with Vitamin P, which looks at contemporary painting. 114 artists, and a bunch of my favorites (Tim Gardner, Neo Rauch, Chris Ofili). I was covetous until my birthday, when very kind people bore this gift.

Then Vitamin D blew the top off P. 109 drafters chosen by a panel of curators and museum directors. A whole slew of younger artists I'd never heard of, and other well-known radness. Marcel Dzama, William Kentridge, Raymond Pettibon, Devendra Banhart. The scope is broad, and the quality is excellent. With a particular emphasis on the primal-naive character of much recent drawing, you will want to quit your job and draw more.

I haven't yet thoroughly inspected Vitamin Ph (Photography) but looking at it now, I see the quality is consistent. Thick, glossy pages bursting with colour. Loads of evocative work that plays with boundaries of fiction and fact.

If you're looking for an entry point, or are not feeling inspired by what's going on in the art world today, I command you to pick up these books.

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