Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant

Another winner from McSweeney's new cookbook imprint McSweeney's Insatiables! Everybody absolutely loved issue #1 of Lucky Peach (back in stock!) and now this: a history of the taco truck-turned "pop up" restaurant Mission Street Food.

From McSweeney's website:

Like Mission Street Food itself, this book is more than one thing: it’s a cookbook featuring step-by-step photography and sly commentary, but it’s also the memoir of a madcap project that redefined the authors’ marriage and a city’s food scene. Along with stories and recipes, you’ll find an idealistic business plan, a cheeky manifesto, and thoughtful essays on issues ranging from food pantries to fried chicken. Plus, a comic.

It's Nice That!

Got 'em!
Issue 6 of the U.K's It's Nice That magazine along with some of their still-in-print back issues.

Documenting creative pursuits since 2007, ITN features features by and interviews with: George Lois, Asger Carlsen, Lawrence Weiner, Kate MacGarry, Mikey Please, Carl Kleiner, Nicholas Gottlund, David Bennewith, Toro Y Moi, Keith Haring, Rob Ryan, Isabella Rozendaal, Wilford Barrington, Milton Glaser, Keith Schofield, Dan Tobin Smith, Paul Smith, Karlssonwilker, Boo Ritson, Rafaƫl Rozendaal, United Visual Artists, Wilfrid Wood, Mathew Hawkins and Fred Deakin....as well as many, many more.

These shouldn't stick around too long!

New Fanta

This week was very exciting because we (finally!) received some big, wonderful, white boxes from Fantagraphics.

A lot of old staples have been re-stocked in the store (which means that Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, and Robert Crumb have quietly taken over the Librairie). But we also have a lot of new goodies!

Namely, The Comics Journal #301, which is a brick. But justifiably so! This book is PACKED with the good stuff: an interview with Robert Crumb on The Book of Genesis plus a roundtable discussion on Genesis; an interview with Joe Sacco on Footnotes in Gaza; sketchbooks from Jim Woodring, Tim Hensley, and Stephen Dixon; a review of D+Q's Black Blizzard; and so much more that it is almost ridiculous.

Check out this video to take a quick walk through the book:

F.B. & M.B. Present Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising is a look at advertising from 1870-1940. It's fascinating to see the degree to which cartoons and drawings played a prominent role in the selling of America. There's even some Dr. Seuss in here!

If you need a book to visually accompany Nicholson Baker's House of Holes, may I suggest Celluloid by Dave McKean? It is quite the dirty dirty dirty book. Celluloid is wordless so as to make room for the diversely approached (and oh-so-graphic) imagery.

Last up: Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 1, the story of a girl who wants to be a boy, and a boy who wants to be a girl. Adressing LGBT issues in a delicate and perceptive manner, this manga is unusually subtle.
However, resident D+Qer Julien is more well-versed in manga than I, so keep a look out for a blog post by him where he'll talk about Wandering Son in more depth.

BIG questions

It's here!

In paperback and hardcover!

I hear you asking, but WHY Julia, why is it available in both formats simultaneously?  Are we confused about how the scarcity model and publishing industry work? No, dear reader, the hardcover is a limited edition with tons of great ephemera, including a signed and numbered bookplate,

reproductions of the original comic book covers,


maps of the crash site, and much more!

In the past few days, I have, as Tracy put it, been immersed in Anders's world. It's a world much like our own, with all the confusions and complexities we deal with every day distilled to their very essence and expressed from the perspective of a handful of all-too-human finches. The Montreal Mirror's Matthew Woodley explains Big Questions eloquently: "a broad, existential exploration ... that doesn’t take itself too seriously."

Big Questions is the culmination of over a decade of comic books produced by Anders Nilsen. While the individual comics are beautiful and moving (and charming and funny) in ways that not much else out there is, the sheer power of Anders's illustrations is breath-taking in the collected work. Better still, we've got him scheduled to come launch the book here next month (Thursday September 22nd at 7 pm at the Librairie). If, like me, you CANNOT WAIT, come grab a copy now and study up before the undoubtedly awesome launch party.


We've got new issues from some old favourites and introducing a soon to be favourite...

The summer 2011 issue of Cabinet is here. The theme for this issue of the "Quarterly of Art and Culture" is forgetting. Quality assurance guaranteed.

n+1 is printed three times a year. The Fall 2011 (issue #12) issue collects essays on politics, current events, and literature as well as fiction, poetry, and reviews (On Pitchfolk, On The Book of Mormon...). This issue's theme: "Conversion Experience". For a glimpse at the contents, see here.

Remedy Quarterly is new to this store. Based out of Brooklyn, Remedy (subtitle: Stories of Food, Recipes for Feeling Good) is a community effort designed to capture in print the comfort and joy of home remedies and home cooking. Each issue features a different set of contributors sharing their stories and thoughts (and accompanying recipes!) on food, glorious food. We've got the current and all four back issues in stock.

Art Spiegelman Event


Next month (Saturday September 24th, 4pm), you may have heard, Art Spiegelman is coming to town. Yes. THAT Art Spiegelman. The one who wrote Maus and also the one who founded RAW magazine. We are hosting the lecture in collaboration with the SBC Gallery and POP Montreal. It is a lecture called "What the %&*! Happened to Comics?" and also a launch for Metamaus, which is a companion to The Complete Maus. In it Spiegelman divulges why he chose mice, cats, dogs and pigs and how he got his father to open up about his Holocaust experience.

Although not a graphic novel, the book contains illustrations, photos and other images and will include a DVD of the transcripts of Spiegelman’s interviews with his father. The author will speak about his new book during the lecture.
And YOU, dear blog reader, can buy tickets NOW. Online! From the comfort of your mouse-clickin' seat.

House of Holes

Nicholson Baker's House of Holes is the sexiest sexy book you'll read this summer.

Its sexiness will send you into a tailspin of sexy madness. Its sexy rating will fly off the sexy charts bursting sexily into the air.

Did I mention this book was sexy?

The book takes place in a sexy pleasure resort where visitors entangle themselves in all sorts of sexy, absurd shenanigans.


New super science-fiction and fantasy releases!

Like one of my favourite novels of the last few decades, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Paul Malmont's The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown takes a Golden Age (American, WWII-era) history and builds a fiction novel from known facts. This time—Chabon rewrote a history of Golden Era comics—Paul Malmont recounts the involvement of celebrated science-fiction writers Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov in the American government's plot to defeat Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Sounds fantastic and from the reviews I've read, the execution is strong as the premise.

The Magician King is the follow-up to Lev Grossman's 2009 fantasy bestseller The Magicians. Grossman wants the fantasy genre to be taken seriously and, according to reviewers, his own work hits that mark. The plot (a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn teenager discovers the fantasy world he's read about in books is in fact real when he is accepted into the "Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy") may sound like Harry Potter but Grossman's novels are decidedly grown-up. William Gibson called the series genre bending.

On the topic of quality sci-fi/fantasy, don't forget we carry the popular George R. R. Martin A Song of Fire and Ice series including the newest, A Dance with Dragons. And update: I haven't gotten into the books yet but I started on the show and all I have to say is Khaleesi!

Puffin Classics

Need a reason to finally read those childhood classics you have always meant to read? Like Black Beauty, Peter Pan, and The Adventures of Robin Hood...

Today! At last! Inarguable reasoning!

Aside from these books being fantastic and completely influential, they have been redesigned by Puffin Classics to look as charming as ever. Go ahead, judge these books by their cover. And then read them and realize they are also totally worth the read.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie; The Wing in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

Katrina Best, Cordelia Strube and Teri Vlassopoulos in conversation with Ian Orti

This Wednesday, we had the pleasure of hosting three of Montreal's finest fiction writers, who read and discussed comedy in their writing with local author Ian Orti. Here are some pictures!

Unavoidable crowdshot!

Here's Ian hosting the night, sporting a sweet hairband and churning out smart haiku after smart haiku.

Katrina Best, reading the story of a self-conscious character and her date with a guy who's really not into tall foods (Bird Eat Bird).

Teri Vlassopoulos, reading from Bats or Swallows.

Cordelia Strube, reading from Lemon and talking about the pissed-off teenager inside all of us.

Here's everyone talking together on stage.

Thanks to all of you who came, and see you soon! This fall is going to be very exciting event-wise!
Kids! Summer is almost over! Get reading before the grind of...daycare...and preschool? Sure!

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall isn't new, but it is just so darned good and lovely that I can't help mentioning it here today. And it's new to the store so, please, stop by and check out these adorable hippo buddies. It includes a foreword by Maurice Sendak and small essays by notable children books authors on their appreciation for Marshall's work.

I love the detail to the history of these characters. It makes the stories feel like an actual continuation of their lives, rather than figures in a stand still of time. For example:

George loses his (favorite!) tooth rollerskating and it makes him the saddest hippo on the block...

But then! The dentist gives him a brand new tooth, one that is gold and shiny...

And every story about George and Martha afterward depicts George with his stylin' gold tooth.

Monkey See, Monkey Draw by Alex Beard IS a new book. Brand spankin' new. And it is fantastic.

A book of games and fear of the unknown and, ultimately, how awesome drawing and making art is. The drawings in this book begin with finger prints and expand into giddy jumping monkeys. We then see, through cave drawings, that most animals can be drawn via hand and fingerprints. I kind of want to go home and start drawing my own jungle.

Fiction Funnies Tonight! Katrina Best, Cordelia Strube, and Teri Vlassopoulos!

Tonight, Wednesday August 17th at 7pm, three of Montreal's finest fiction writers read and discuss comedy in their writing!

The whole evening will be hosted by the wonderful Ian Orti (L, The Olive and the Dawn). Katrina Best, Cordelia Strube and Teri Vlassopoulos will read from their latest work and follow up the short readings with a Q&A about humour, their writing and where the two intersect. Can serious subject matter be told using comedy? Is humour too often used as a crutch in fiction?

Montrealer Katrina Best's first book of short stories, Bird Eat Bird, is a funny, smart, offbeat and insightful collection

Cordelia Strube, author of Lemon, is a Montreal native now living in Toronto. Her novel features a teenager trying to survive high school with three (sort of) mothers, one deadbeat dad, one cancer-riddled protege, one tree-hugging stepbrother and a 60% average.

Teri Vlassopoulos is the author of the short fiction collection Bats or Swallows, stories told with grace, wit and a bold and original eye for comedic detail.

For more information, check out the Facebook event page or listen to CBC Homerun this afternoon for a sneak preview of the authors talking about their work! 

Sign up for our September printmaking workshop today!

Registration is now open for our awesome printmaking workshop hosted by Canadian print media artist Kathryn Delaney! The workshop will take place here in store Tuesdays September 6th, 13th 20th and 27th from 6-9pm each evening. $120 for the whole session (this fee covers supplies).

This printmaking workshop is designed to explore three techniques: linocut, woodcut and stencil. Students will execute their drawings, carving/cutting and hand printing with non-toxic water-based inks.

Kathryn Delaney is a Canadian artist living in Montreal Quebec, with a MFA in Print Media from Concordia University.

As always, we encourage you to come reserve your spot at the store with a deposit of $60 as soon as you can, the number of participants is limited!

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