Best American Comics 2011

An annual anthology of the best comics in North America, Best American Comics fits quite comfortably in the D+Q store. It finds a place on a display shelf and says hello to all his new book friends in the vicinity. He goes over and chats with his book buddies who have contributions in him (which is to say, in Best American Comics). They chat a while, have some wine, get tipsy, and then spill alcohol on themselves and ruin all the books! Great! Thanks guys!

This year, Best American Comics 2011, edited by Alison Bechdel, has contributions from well-established artists, up and comers and everyone in between. Some D+Q contributors include Gabrielle Bell, Chris Ware, Jillian Tamaki (who also did the cover!), Kevin Huizenga, and brand new D+Qer Kate Beaton.

In addition to the Best American Comics 2011, we also have a bunch of other new releases from the Best American series: The Best American Noir of the Century edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler, The Best American Nonrequired Reading edited by Dave  Eggers and with an introduction by Guillermo del Toro, The Best American Short Stories edited by Geraldine Brooks, and The Best American Essays edited by Edwidge Danticat.

Check them out, they're the best! (I don't think I'm overemphasizing when I say that...)

Jessica Hiemstra-Van Der Horst & Gillian Sze Launch Tonight!

Please join us for the launch of Jessica Hiemstra‐van der Horst's book, APOLOGETIC FOR JOY (Goose Lane), and Gillian Sze's book, THE ANATOMY OF CLAY (ECW Press), hosted by Sasha Manoli.
Jessica Hiemstra‐van der Horst’s APOLOGETIC FOR JOY is a recipe for savouring language. Through sensual metaphors, Hiemstra‐van der Horst sketches out quotidian moments with meticulous detail, reopening our senses to the universe teeming around us. Her poems have appeared in several journals including The Antigonish Review, The Malahat Review and Carousel.
THE ANATOMY OF CLAY is Gillian Sze's latest book. Taking off from the myth of human creation, this poetic collection explores the individual as a sentient mystery. At times reflective, instructional, playful, or strange, exception is found in the ineffable distinctions between people, selves, objects, and histories.
Tonight, 7pm!

Pan Bouyoucas reads "The Tattoo" tonight!

Esteemed Montreal author Pan Bouyoucas will be reading from, and signing copies of, his new novel The Tattoo tonight at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly.

When three best friends decide to get matching tattoos, one of the tattoos comes out prettier and bigger, upsetting a delicate balance in their friendship. THE TATTOO is equal parts adventure and parable, a novel that explores how circumstances can move unlikely individuals to change the world.

Tonight. Wednesday, September 29th at 7pm.

One amazing week of events in sixteen photos

Last week was crazy with events here at the store. For those of you who made it out, relive the moment, for those of you who did not, check out what you missed, here are some photo highlights from the week...

On Thursday we hosted a launch for the stunning tome that is Big Questions by the brilliant D&Q artist and most handsome man working in comics, Anders Nilsen...

What would a Big Questions event be without doughnuts?
Here is staffer Julien holding his contribution; "I thought it was BYODoughnuts!"
Anders at his laptop. Really, this is the best picture we got of him during the night.
A happy fan poses in front of the Big Questions window display.

Friday we had Craig Thompson launching his highly anticipated graphic novel Habibi...

Yes, that's yours truly with Thompson.
Tom gave a glowing introduction.
Craig talked about the making of Habibi...
...including his artistic process.
And he signed books for a line-up fans with the help of his new biggest littlest fan.

SaturdayA-R-T Spiegelman, one of the most important figures in comics history, gave a lecture at Concordia, partly in honour of the upcoming release of MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic. We were there selling books, including advanced copies of MetaMaus. A more detailed review of that event will follow.

And, finally, on Monday, blogger and academic wunderkind Peter Knegt took over 211 Bernard Ouest to celebrate his new book, About Canada: Queer Rights. Here's what happens when someone who is good with an SLR takes the photos. Doesn't our store look great? Photo credit: Dallas Curow...

Don't forget, we have so many more exciting events coming up! You can read all about them on our events listings. Stay updated by liking our Facebook page and signing up for our newsletter.

Hark! It's here...

Hey, that's a nice store! Oh wait, what's this--

Kate Beaton! "From Internet Phenom to Queen of Indie Comics"!

It's here! It's here, it's here, it's here!

Hark! A Vagrant is here!

What a nice heft, smooth cover, feels good.

It's the book version of Canadian Kate Beaton's brilliant Web comic!

I know some of you have been waiting, anticipating this arrival. Today is the day that instead of turning you away I get to say, "Hark! A Vagrant? Why, yes, it's right over here..." For those of you not in the know, I'm pleased to introduce you to the great Ms. Beaton. Start with a peek at Time magazine's excerpts from the book. Read a little interview over at Salon. And of course, you must check out the website where the magic started.

The lives of other women

I think it was Patti Smith in her memoir Just Kids who said that as an artist it's important to pick one's role models and creative lineage. The idea stuck with me, especially because I already considered Patti Smith a role model. I now keep a mental list of mentors, something I return to whenever I need inspiration or motivation. One of the people on that list is Susan Sontag. For the American novelist Sigrid Nunez, Susan Sontag acted as a real-life, close-quarters role model; Nunez lived with Sontag briefly during her mid-twenties while she dating Sontag's son David Rieff. Nunez has just published Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag about her experiences under Sontag's tutelage: "She was naturally didactic and moralistic; she wanted to be an influence, a model, exemplary... I cannot recall a single book she recommended that I was not glad to have read."

We recently received two other biographies of famous women. From the Pulitzer-prize winning biographer Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life is a detailed new look at the near mythical figure. Captivating and accessible, Schiff's biography became a top national bestseller when it came out last year and was selected as a New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year. It is newly in paperback.

In An Emergency in Slow Motion: the Inner Life of Diane Arbus, psychologist William Todd Schultz draws from his practice in contemporary psychological research to relate the biography of acclaimed American photographer Diane Arbus who committed suicide in 1971 at the age of forty-eight. A fascinating take on the tremendously talented photographer.

Peter Knegt launches Queer Rights tonight!

We are delighted to be hosting Peter Knegt as he launches his new book ABOUT CANADA: QUEER RIGHTS in store tonight, Monday September 26th at 6pm. Knegt is an indieWIRE editor and blogger whose perceptive and visceral comments on film, culture, politics, and all things queer inspires and delights. He is also very cute, just saying.

Queer Rights is part of Fernwood Publishing's About Canada series which presents a variety of Canadian issues, from Childcare and Immigration, in introductory academic sort of field guides. Peter's contribution asks: Is Canada a "queer utopia"?

For more information about the book, check out Peter's interview in this week's Montreal Mirror! And his interview in Xtra! Or how about checking out his fantastic indieWIRE blog? And don't forget Fernwood Publishing's site!

Pass it along, here's the Facebook invite.


Hot on the heels of 2009's Hot Potatoe, Marc Bell's 272-page monograph with full-color images of sculptures, drawings, writing, and comix, D+Q just released a second hardcover of his: Pure Pajamas!

Pure Pajamas collects Marc Bell’s best material from his syndicated weekly comic strip for the Montreal Mirror and the Halifax Coast, as well as a host of anthologies such as Kramers Ergot, EXPO, Maow Maow and more, featuring his reoccurring characters Kevin, Ol' Simp, Chia-Man, Mr. Socks, and Shrimpy and Paul. 

Throughout PURE PAJAMAS, Bell creates symbiotic relationships of his fantasy ecosystems, drawn in a rubbery big-foot style. Reminiscent of the sixties comics of R. Crumb but with a kind of bemused detachment in place of Crumb’s ire, Bell addresses the big issues of what it’s like to live in today’s world.

Take a look at a quick preview of this very exciting release you guys:

Fall forward

It's officially Fall today! And Fall means that we get TONS of new books in the store.
So, today I will be talking to you about a small plethora of the new novels we have received at the 211.

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman details the destruction of a rich, elite New York family. I won't spoil the goods of how this seemingly perfect, happy family falls apart, but a prep-school sex scandal is involved. Intrigued?

Canada's literary prince (is that a term?...sure?) has come out with a new book. Michael Ondaatje (whom you may know from The English Patient or your Canadian high school English class) offers you The Cat's Table: The story of an eleven-year-old boy who takes a trip from Colombo to England in the 1950's. A story that parallels an trip Ondaatje took when he was eleven-years-old, mixing fiction and reality into a poetic wonderland.

Aside from how beautiful the book itself is, We Others: Stories by Steven Millhauser is also "haunting, hilarious, absurd, and wonderous." This is according to the Globe and Mail, who gives the book a glowing, shimmering, sparkling review. I have decided that this book will be my fall reading material. I am sold.

Set in Trinidad, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey is a book told backwards. It starts in 2006, and slowly goes back fifty years, depicting the colonization and segregation of Trinidad through the perspective of an immigrated English couple. If Memento taught us anything, things told backwards are the best.

We The Animals by Justin Torres is a book that I have been hearing about from EVERYONE. My mailman tells me its excellent, my step-cousin says its stupendous, and my astronaut friend insisted I read his copy of the book while he's out in space.* It's an autobiographical first novel from Torres, pieced together through stories of his and his brothers rough childhood.

Set in a commune/organic farm, Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne (Submarine) is about two children who try to escape the commune (and thus their family) and their father who tries to stop them. Albert, the eleven-year-old son, wants to escape because he thinks the world is ending in 2012. Kate, seventeen-year-old daughter, wants to move to seemingly perfect suburbia.
Just for you, readers! An interview with Dunthorne (who seems like he's really well-dressed).

In Last Man in Tower, author Aravind Adiga looks at the wild complexities and ambiguities of contemporary India. He examines the middle-class impoverishment of Bombay, and in turn speaks to layers and layers one needs to get through in order to get a grasp of India's class system.

*Those people don't exist, of course, but I needed to stress the point that EVERYONE has been telling me about this book.

Booker Short List

The Man Booker Prize Shortlist:

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

Snowdrops by AD Miller

Two Canadians on here: deWitt & Edugyan!

The winner will be announced October 18th!

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