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Thursday, 2 September 2010

A farewell


I've been planning to write this post for months now but something always manages to get in the way. It's a pretty big event in D+Q history we are looking at here. A little setup is necessary.

The chief started D+Q twenty-one years ago out of his Mile-End apartment. And kept it there for the next 12 years. He finally moved into a small office on the main street of our little neighborhood (Parc Avenue) in 2001. Part-time employees and one full-time publicist came and went in those early years until one day a local high school student came through the door and asked for an internship or part-time work or anything. Chris took her on. Her enthusiasm was obvious. And she had fantastic knowledge of D+Q and comics in general. AND she had the single best how-I-got-into-comics story I have ever heard. That story being: One day, as a little kid around 10 years old, she found her father's collection of the early issues of Yummy Fur. These would be the "Ed the Happy Clown" issues. She sat down and read them. Then she took the stack of comics out into the alley behind her apartment and set them on fire. She was scandalized by what she saw in those comics! Of course when she was a teenager, later she searched out those same issues in the comic shops of Montreal to replace her father's destroyed comics as well as to put together her own collection.

Rebecca Rosen started working for Drawn & Quarterly in the early summer of 2003. Peggy arrived that Fall and I followed a few months later. After the Oliveros family, she was probably the first friend that Peg and I made. Seven years and a few months later, Rebecca is working her final day at D+Q. It's kind of hard to express just how big a part of Drawn & Quarterly she has been. She has very likely worked in some capacity on nearly every single book you've seen from us in the past several years. She has laboriously pieced together that multi-layered Seth artwork. She has nudged and tweaked the color of all those volumes of the John Stanley Library to make those crappy old comics look as good as possible. She's proofed, scanned, layed-out dozens of comics and books. She's trained dozens of interns to do the same. Frankly, we never would have been able to do nearly as many titles as we have without her dedication and expertise. Aside from Chris, the founder, she is the longest employed person in D+Q history and in addition to production and design, has worked on every element of the company including packing & shipping, conventions AND EVEN royalties & accounting. And did we mention that she completed a Bachelors at Concordia University, directed the Red Bird Art Gallery and had other part-time jobs while doing all of this at D+Q? And she also worked on her own comics. She is the most true blue, dedicated, sweet and good natured employee a company could ask for, it's truly been a blessing.

So, in a couple weeks, Rebecca heads off to France to start Quebec-sponsored internships at, first, Le Dernier Cri, and, then, Delcourt. First she will sleep in a squat in Marseilles in clothes she has made herself and learn to silkscreen with absinthe and then I guess her mom will mail her a couple suits and she'll go work in a modern all-glass office building in Paris. Or something like that.

Our office will be a very different place without Rebecca. She will be missed very much by those of us at D+Q and likely many folks in and around Mile-End as well. Good luck, Rebecca.

{I leave you with a picture of her empty desk. Sniff.}

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