Cast your vote!

It is the time of year in which we collect our thoughts and decide what is good, who is good looking and what is generally awesome in Montreal!

**Wink wink, nudge nudge: I see a couple categories in which we could be described!

The Ask by Sam Lipsyte

What is The Ask, you ask?

Well. It's Sam Lipsyte's new darkly satirical novel, a follow-up to up his previous success, Home Land. The Ask tells the story of an absolute anti-hero, Milo, who is newly unemployed and finds himself greatly disappointed with the results of his mediocre, uninspired life.

Lipsyte, a true lover of language, writes in scathing and cheeky prose that is most certainly unintended for the weak.
Think Bukowski. Or as the Quarterly Conversation nimbly suggests, the book is "like Dr. Seuss, if Dr. Seuss had been hazed by Bukowski".

Livres en français ahoy!

Ce mois-ci, le magasin est submergé par une vague de nouveaux titres, dont une poignée en français!

On commence avec Jimmy et le Bigfoot de Pascal Girard (l'auteur de Nicolas), dans lequel Jimmy regrette être vu en train de danser sur youtube par plus de 900 000 internautes. En plus du lourd fardeau de la vie de célébrité malgré lui, l'adolescent doit également se confronter aux affres de la jeunesse, de l’amour et de la vie en région. Quand, par dessus tout, un Bigfoot sur les Monts-Valins entre dans l'équation, on sympathise avec le pauvre Jimmy.

Aussi tout nouveau tout chaud, Chris Ware: La Bande Dessinée Réinventée vient d'arriver! Il s'agit de la première monographie en langue française consacrée au génial auteur de Jimmy Corrigan et de la série Acme Novelty (entre autres). Le livre regorge de sublimes illustrations, des plus belles compositions de l'auteur et de textes de recherches et d'analyses par Jacques Samson. La traduction de quatre articles écrits par Ware, et son entretien avec Benoît Peeters, ne rendent l'indispensabilité du titre que plus évidente pour les fans de l'artiste!

The Natural History of Unicorns

Please. Take my hand. Join me in entering into the magical, dangerous, and fascinating history of the unicorn.

Historian Chris Lavers takes his readers on a journey with his new book, The Natural History of Unicorns, of unicorn mythology, detailing the lore of the one-horned beast and how its identity has been constantly reconstructed since 398 BCE. From their role in Greek mythos to reports of overzealous hunting of the fictional animal, the unicorn has consistently been represented and envisioned as the symbol of magic and the power.
Fun Fact! The unicorn is mentioned seven times in the Old Testament.

Whether you loved Lisa Frank or not as a child (I know I did), Lavers book is sure to be an enchanting read.

New D+Q Stock!

It's that time of year when we are absolutely flush with fresh D+Q titles. Even though the store and office are just a few blocks apart, we store employees frequently do not get the chance to see more than the cover of a new D+Q title before it comes in. I'm always excited by the final yield of my employers and co-workers and this new bundle of D+Q titles is very worthy of praise; though maybe not related in theme, these books carry the same craftsmanship, editorial selection and essence of hard work. I don't mean to exclude the authors and artists but sometimes those little elves at D+Q HQ deserve a hand!

Look close, these titles will be your new favorites. Stop by the store and let us tell you about them.

MARKET DAY by James Sturm

Black Blizzard by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Melvin Monster Vol.2 by John Stanley

Stooge Pile by Seth Scriver

Walt & Skeezix: 1927-1928 by Frank King

Marcel Dzama - Aux Mille Tours

Canadian art superstar Marcel Dzama has come out with a new book, Marcel Dzama: Aux Mille Tours, to accompany his ginormous exhibition currently on display at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (Feburary 4th to April 25th). The bilingual publication is jam-packed with wonderful images, providing a comprehensive illustrated overview of Dzama's oeuvre including his dioramas, sculptures, assemblages, paintings, videos, collages, and drawings.

If you haven't had a chance to check out the exhibit yet, I whole-heartedly encourage you to do so. It is a magical journey into an underworld, populated by a familiar cast of Dzama characters. The book is an ideal accompaniment to the exhibit, letting you dive into the underworld in the comfort of your own home.

Events coming up at the store!

Ken Dahl, Liz Baillie and MK Reed pay us a visit this Friday March 26th, at 7pm!

The Punchbuggy Tour comes to Montreal! Acclaimed cartoonists Ken Dahl (Monsters, Welcome to the Dahl House), Liz Baillie (Freewheel, My Brain Hurts) and MK Reed (Cross Country, Americus) will be doing readings of their latest work including a live instrumental soundtrack, followed by a short acoustic musical performance. The artists will also be available to sign books after the event.

Liz Baillie - author of My Brain Hurts: Volumes One and Two, currently serializing her graphic novel Freewheel on the web. Her work has appeared in publications such as Other Magazine and anthologies such as Side B: A Music Lover's Anthology (Poseur Ink) and 13 Years of Good Luck (Microcosm Publishing). In 2007 her work was featured on the list of 100 Distinguished Comics as published in the 2007 Best American Comics anthology. She has been nominated for both the 2008 Maisie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration and 2009 Friends of Lulu Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent.

MK Reed - author of Cross Country, Catfight, and Pale Fire; writer of Americus (illustrated by Jonathan HIll) to be published by First Second Books in 2011. She was a co-editor on the Friends of Lulu anthology, Girls' Guide to Guys Stuff, for which she received the Friends of Lulu Volunteer of the Year award (alongside co-editor Robin Enrico). Americus first appeared as a short story in Papercutter #7, which won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection in 2008.

Ken Dahl - (also known as Gabby Schulz) is the author of Monsters and Welcome to the Dahl House, and was formerly employed as a cartoonist at the Honolulu Weekly. He was the 2006-07 Fellow at the Center for Cartoon Studies and in 2007, the minicomic version of Monsters #1 won the Ignatz Award for Best Minicomic. His work has also been featured in anthologies such as Papercutter #6 and I Saw You. His latest graphic novel, Monsters, was also recently featured on the Village Voice's list of 2009's best comics and graphic novels.


We also have a flurry of events coming up, take a look at this!

April 8 - We're launching Suzanne Hancock's Cast from Bells, a collection of subtle and surprising poems connecting the use of bells in wartime with shifts in the nature of affection.

April 16 - Launch for Ghost Pine: all stories true, Jeff Miller's collection of 13 years worth of writing

April 23 - Gayla Trail (author and blogger of You Grow Girl) graces us with her green thumb presence in order to launch her new book Grow Great Grub. Gayla will be helping us plant a little garden out front of the Librairie as well as giving a talk on growing in small places. YES!

April 27
- Launch for Avi Friedman’s A Place in Mind, the result of his worldwide quest for successful environments where people congregate and feel comfortable. Friedman conveys his excitement at discovering people-friendly, authentic places while wondering about the disappearance of others.

April 30 - Book launch for Ian Orti's latest novel, L (and things come apart)

April 25 - Launch for Neighbour Procedure, Rachel Zolf's new poetry collection.

May 20 - We will be launching Ilustrado, Miguel Syjuco's much anticipated debut novel! The book opens with Crispin Salvador, lion of Philippine letters, dead in the Hudson River. His young student, Miguel, sets out to investigate the author's fatal departure from his encroaching obscurity and the suspicious disappearance of an unfinished manuscript—a work that had been planned to not just return the once-great author to fame, but to expose the corruption behind rich families who have ruled the Philippines for generations. In this astonishingly inventive and bold novel, Syjuco explores fatherhood, regret, revolution, and the mysteries of lives lived and abandoned.

Dead Aid: why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa

I think this says it all:

"It has long seemed to me problematic, and even a little embarrassing, that so much of the public debate about Africa's economic problems should be conducted by non-African white men. From the economists (Paul Collier, William Easterly, Jeffrey Sachs) to the rock stars (Bono, Bob Geldof), the African discussion has been colonized as surely as the African continent was a century ago. The simple fact that Dead Aid is the work of an African black woman is the least of the reasons why you should read it. But it is a good reason nonetheless."

- Niall Ferguson, Preface to Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa

But seriously, Dambisa Mayo offers a compelling, reasoned, eloquent defense of her argument, the sort of non-fiction jam-packed with facts, and still somehow an engaging story.

New Believer Magazine (Film Issue)

It's my favorite time of year: Film Issue Time! Issue #70 is in!

The Logic of Animals

Animal Logic presents photographer Richard Barnes's work in a book divided into four sections, with each section focusing on a different aspect of the relationship between the human and animal world.

The photographs which grace these pages show startling parallels between the frozen people who maintain museum exhibits and the mounted animals who spend years in these artificial habitats.

"Animal Logic investigates both the human desire to construct artificial worlds for "the wild" and the haunting and poignant worlds the real wild constructs."

There are essays strewn throughout Animal Logic. Joel Rosen of the New York Times, former Poet Laureate Mark Strand, and curator Susan Yelevich discuss nesting, museums, and the creative instinct, as well as the themes that unite Barnes's works.

Mark Alan Stamaty

As you may already know from previous posts we are fans of Mark Alan Stamaty. If there were a Mark Alan Stamaty army, we would hold the front line. Now, we Stamaty fans have more work of his to cherish:

SHAKE, RATTLE & TURN THAT NOISE DOWN! How Elvis shook up music, Me and Mom Has just been released by Random House. The publisher has also reprinted 1994's ALIA'S MISSION, Saving the books of Iraq, Which upon first browse has the air of something awesome.

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

Now in store is this little jewel just published by Fantagraphics Books. On top of being a well-researched collection of underground mini-comix of the 1980's, this book compiles pages and pages of interviews and commentary on the creative, edgy, weird and free-spirited post-Crumb scene.

While it may not necessarily represent the global landscape of underground comix in the 80's (one could argue it needs more wemin-ahtists, for example), Newave! is definitely a praise-worthy sampler of work most often hidden in the shadows of the underground comix movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

As R. Krauss (comix artist and contributor to the book) puts it, "Now, at last, Michael Dowers and Fantagraphics have brought those little-known 8-pagers out into the light and given them an appropriate place in comix history."

Some Sweet Shorts

Spring is rounding the bend and summer is not far after it's time to pick up some reading that will fit the short attention span that comes with warm weather.

Justin Taylor has a new book of short stories, "Everything here is the best thing ever." His themes were described as an "excellent description of the hipster pathos" by one internet reviewer. They seem to be tightly written pieces you can roll though pleasantly on a sunny afternoon.

I still think it's a shame Thomas King wasn't even shortlisted to be the Greatest Canadian Ever. But that's okay, I've come to terms with it. Especially if I can come here and strongly urge you to pick up "The Truth About Stories," an essential collection for any native dweller of this nation.

Jamaica Kincaid has got bite. Her voice is clear, strong and concise. This collection of her New Yorker 'Talk of the Town' stories (1978-1983) is a perfect demonstration of her knack for apt description over excess emotion, subtle humor over ghastly wit and the overall intellectually stunning way she captured her experience of New York as a young West Indian immigrant.

"My Best Stories" is a collection of genius Canadian author Alice Munro's best short stories.

Harry Smith, The Avant-Garde In The American Vernacular

Harry Smith is best known for the Smithsonian Folkways released: Anthology Of American Folk Music- a collection of early folk and roots recordings. This new book of essays sheds light on his many other disciplines and collections. Check out this still from one of his early films:

What I find most interesting about Harry Smith is his range of interest and talent. The book is littered with odd photos; pictures of his collections, diagrams, young Harry in the field recording not to mention some really amazing and bizarre looking film stills.

Getty Publications, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are goes softcover

Well, you've waited on buying this one and I suppose that has paid off for you. Dave Eggers' version of Where the Wild Things Are has just been released in handy pocket-fitting (large coat pocket) softcover. Buy it and read it to your children at bedtime (bad idea.)

The Fish Launch!

Launch for Dean Garlick's: The Fish
Monday, March 15th 7-10pm

I'm always excited when recognizing authors as customers and vice-versa. That's why I'm very stoked to tell you about Dean Garlick who will be launching his first book The Fish here at Librairie D+Q next week. When I spoke with Dean to arrange the launching his book, his face was instantly familiar - he's been shopping here for years! In fact our conversation took place while I sold him a copy of Believer Magazine!

Hope to see you there.

About the book:
Patrick Kaye thinks he’s taking a harmless Caribbean cruise, a well-earned escape from his day-to-day life as an addictions counsellor. What he gets instead is a near-death experience that lands him in the belly of a mythological beast—the very same creature that swallowed Jonah. Inside, he encounters a confounding world populated by a host of colourful residents: a 19th-century British gentleman, a pre-Christian Icelandic shaman, a survivor of the biblical flood, a Ukrainian prostitute, an Asian American stock market analyst, a Maori warrior and a sadistic little girl, to list a few. The Fish explores currents of contemporary existence in a realm where the brutality of history is ever-present and the will to exist is the only thing keeping a person from fading into nothingness. Can Patrick accept this new reality? Can he right the wrongs he sees around him? Or will the call of the outside world offer enough hope to send him searching for a way home? The Fish is lavishly illustrated with engaging B&W illustrations by artist Erik Volet.

About the Author:
Dean Garlick is an educator and writer living in Montreal. Fantastical permutations of reality abound in his work as a response to his characters' frustrations with the absurdity and struggle of everyday existence, but they have nothing whatsoever to do with his real life. Nothing. He is excited by the possibilities presented by illustrated fiction, especially the potential to explore multiple, non-parallel modes of narrative within a single piece.

King Aroo

In comics circles, I don't think it's any secret that I love the comics of Jack Kent. IDW has just started on a complete comic strip reprint series for King Aroo--15 glorious years of confounding nonsense and relentless punning. It really is a true gem from the middle of the last century. As funny and as beautifully drawn as anything that appeared on the comics page. I put it right up there with my personal faves--Moomin, Barnaby, Pogo, and Peanuts.

Best European Fiction

The Best European Fiction 2010 is a forward-looking anthology edited by Aleksander Hemon. With a preface by Zadie Smith, and over 300 pages, including previously unpublished works by Alisdair Gray, Julian Rios, Victor Pelevin, and George Konrad, this is a hefty tome of fiction to sink your teeth into.

The Best European presents thirty-five stories from thirty countries in Europe, with writers from countries as culturally and geographically disparate as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Albania, and England.

From Hemon's introduction:
"The stories you will find in this volume inescapably question and probe and sabotage various national myths... unabashedly questioning the propriety of the old forms in the new set of historical and political circumstances."

Why We Love Julie Morstad

Morstad's book, Milk Teeth, was a dreamy stroll through the gifted illustrators' detailed, delicate and dainty imagination.

In Where You Came From, and When You Were Small, she worked with Sarah O'Leary to create a couple of handsom childrens' books.

This time around, Morstad has teamed up with JonArno Lawson to create a wonderful volume of illustrated poems. In Think Again, her simple black sketch work is a little rougher and provides the perfect play between the poems' vehicles and tenors.

Nouveaux arrivages en français!

Hair Shirt, du montréalais Patrick McEown, est désormais en magasin! McEown œuvre dans les comics depuis plus de vingt ans. Son nouveau livre traite d'une adolescence meurtrie et traumatisée, aux troubles sentimentaux et sexuels, avec un trait contrôlé et des jeux de couleurs fabuleux. Hair Shirt navigue entre le passé et le présent de ses protagonistes dans un récit qui entremêle avec brio rêve et réalité. Une lecture définitivement captivante et chaudement recommandée!

Nous venons également de recevoir avec grand plaisir la version française de Shrimpy et Paul par Marc Bell, (un autre auteur montréalais!) dont nous venons de publier la rétrospective. Shrimpy et Paul sont deux joyeux personnages aux aventures absurdes et décalées dans un univers surréaliste plein de surprises. Un must de la bd alternative aux inspirations DIY, rock et cartoons classiques.

Autre nouveauté en stock: la géniale Genèse du légendaire Robert Crumb - en version française, avec une couverture ornée d'un ruban argenté. Dans un geste des plus étonnants et des plus respectables, Crumb illustre un texte sacré qu'il ne peut pas parodier. Sage et graphiquement en très bonne forme, voilà un Crumb qui gagne à être lu, rien que pour le concept. Que ceux qui s'attendaient à un récit 100% Crumb se rabattent sur Belle d'un Jour, titre vintage de l'auteur (sorti en 1990) à propos de paumés reconvertis "à l'arrivisme et au yuppisme triomphant."

Également disponible: le tome 5 d'Aya de Yopougon (le plus récent de la série), dans lequel Innocent continu de découvrir la vie à Paris et Mamadou est surpris avec la femme du prof de biologie. Pendant ce temps, Félicité, soupçonnée d'être riche, est séquestrée au village par son père, et les Sissoko recherchent leur fils Moussa, disparu dans la savane avec l'argent de la famille.

The Park

The Park is a collection of photographs capturing couples copulating in various Tokyo parks by photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki. The photographs were first shown in 1979, at Komai Gallery, Tokyo.

What's interesting -aside from the obvious- are the "peepers" as Yoshiyuki refers to them in the book. Men, sometimes by the septet, watching unbeknownst to the couple. Sometimes less than a foot from the couples themselves.

Kohei Yoshiyuki on the photos: "Before taking those pictures, I visited the parks for about six months without shooting them. I behaved like I had the same interest as the voyeurs, but I was equipped with a small camera. My intention was to capture what happened in the parks, so I was not a real 'voyeur' like them. But I think, in a way, the act of taking photographs itself is voyeuristic somehow. So I may be a voyeur, because I am a photographer. The couples were not aware of the voyeurs in most cases."

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