Vote for D+Q in the Mirror's Best of Montreal!

It's that time of year again, to rock the vote for all of your favorite locally owned businesses in Montreal for the Mirror's Best of Montreal. Here's how I am voting! Mile End represent!

Best record store (used): Phonopolis!

Best local blog: Mileendings!

Best magazine/zine: Ghost Pine!

Best musical act: Shapes and Sizes!

Best live venue: Sala and Casa!

Best festival: Pop Montreal!

Best vintage clothing store: General 54!

Best fashion designer: Ramonalisa!

Best bookstore (new): Librairie D+Q!

Best bookstore (used): S.W. Welch's!

Best comics store: Librairie D+Q!

Best gallery: Galerie Monastiraki!

Best sandwich: Veggie Pulled "Porc" Le Pick-Up!

Best fish and chips: Comptoir 21!

Best late-night eats: Grumman Tacos at Le Nouveau Palais!

Best cheap eats: Le Pick Up!

Best bakery: Cocoa Locale

Now the only one I am having a hard time with is...

Best cartoonist/comic artist

This is what is so awesome about Montreal! Really, how can anyone answer this with just one answer? Joe Ollmann? Pascal Girard? Michel Rabagliati? Matt Forsythe? I don't think I can even cast a vote in this category, but you can!

Vote by April 13th!

Bad Day Issue 10

The latest issue of the Toronto-based arts and culture quarterly Bad Day just landed in store. Tinted teal blue (each issue has a different hue), this quarter's publication includes features on Sofia Coppola, artists Vanessa Beecroft and Jeff Wall, and musician Panda Bear, among others. Check it out...

New Brecht Evens!

Night Animals is in! It may predate the award-winning Wrong Place (which we publish in English), but it was unavailable to North American readers until now. This full-color comic book features two wordless stories that have been described a few times as twisted, grown-up retellings of Where The Wild Things Are.

Shaun Tan: for the kid in all of us

Ever since the first time I laid eyes on The Arrival, I've been a big fan of Shaun Tan. Eloquently expressive, the wordless story is a heart-breaking portrayal of the challenges faced by immigrants. It's suitable for kids and parents alike.

Consequently, it's very exciting that Lost and Found has just come out, bringing three of Tan's rare-in-North-America stories (initially published as three separate books) to the Librairie.

Without further ado, images for your gawking, awwing and ogling pleasure:

Ben Katchor's The Cardboard Valise + Launch Announcement

We are introduced to the title "cardboard valise" of Ben Katchor's new comic book early on. A short, bald, and expressive salesman makes his pitch: "Those are our 56-inch Fitzall "Ahasuerus" valises. Everything but the lock is guaranteed for six weeks$29.99. They make a matching unisex hope chest. But you understand, these suitcases are not for the summer vacationer or casual tourist. They're made for desperate men, and women, who have to literally "pack it up" and move, either across a hallway or an ocean. Not for you." Our protagonist takes one, a suitcase made of glue, staples, and recycled pulp paper, weighing almost nothing when empty ("Made in the U.S.A. and proud of it!"). And thus begins the surreal travelogue that is The Cardboard Valise, a record of the loosely interwoven journeys of two men through landscapes across America and some lands far away.

I'm new to Katchor's work and at first I thought I just wasn't "getting it" when I couldn't pull out a plot but as longtime Katchor fan Seth writes in his Globe and Mail review of the book, "I'd be hard pressed to tell you what this book is actually about." What can I say? Katchor's got a great way with words and pointed comic timing. The worlds he draws out are uncanny. I'll leave the rest to Seth, who does an excellent job of capturing the nature of Katchor's work: "His books are like fantastic window displays, stacked up pyramids of banalities: shampoo bottles, desk calendars, gummed labels, rubber seat cushions, orthopedic shoes. Trivial on the surface and yet, as we peer in closely at them, we see that there are worlds within worlds– invented spaces where objects recombine to form whole new absurd philosophies or histories, even entire new imaginary cultures." Seth for the Globe and Mail

Furthermore, we are excited to announce that we will be hosting Ben Katchor at the Librairie D+Q (211 Bernard O.) this month! He will be launching The Cardboard Valise in store on Saturday April 30th at 7 pm.

I Like Cats

Back in December, Fiona mentioned a new Tara book called I Like Cats that would be the ideal Christmas gift for her cat-loving friend.

Christmas may be over, but the season for liking cats is eternal. With this in mind, Tara just released an updated version of that book. The new print isn't laser-printed, it's silk-screen printed and bound by hand, on handmade paper. It's got the same lovely illustrations, the same adorable cats, but in colors way more vibrant and on a paper that's so nice to the touch. Clearly, the people behind the amazing bestselling Nightlife of Trees are capable of great things...

I'm especially crazy about these:

Greedy Cats by Durga Bai

Cats with Scowls by an unknown artist in Rajasthan

Slow Cats by Radhashyam Raut (see the difference between the two prints!)

Meowser by Vanessa Davis (j/k)

Visit the official Tara Books website to learn more about this wonderful indie publisher from India.

QWF Writers Out Loud Event Tonight!

Join us at the Librairie D+Q (211 Bernard O.) tonight, Thursday March 24th at 7 pm. We are pleased to be hosting the March edition of the Quebec Writers Federation "Writers Out Loud" Series.

Participating in the panel discussion will be Elisabeth Belliveau and Joe Ollmann, with Billy Mavreas leading the discussion. Don't miss it!

Silkscreening Workshop - New Dates

NEW DATES: Tuesdays March 29th, April 5th and 12th. 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Now's the time to register for the spring session of our popular silkscreening workshop! This 3-week course with instructor Leyla Majeri will go over the basics of silk screening from start to finish. Participants (ages 15 and up) will go home with a completed project.

The workshop costs $100 for the whole session - this fee covers supplies. Workshop participants obtain a 20% discount on all books at the store for the duration of the workshop.

As always, we encourage you to come reserve your spot at the store with a deposit of $65 as soon as you can, the number of participants is limited!

Tonight! Pascal Girard and Joe Ollmann Double D+Q Launch!

That's right!

This is tonight!!

Come to the Librairie and meet these two funny, wry, talented graphic novelists! 7 pm, Wednesday March 23rd, 211 Bernard O.

Scenes from an Impending Marriage

From New Yorker cover artist extraordinaire and longtime D+Q comics star Adrian Tomine comes the perfect good-things-come-in-small-packages book, Scenes from an Impending Marriage. Scenes is about the size of a wedding invitation and Tiffany's blue but don't be confused by the pretty packaging, Tomine's "prenuptial memoir" is a refreshingly honest and hilarious chronicle of the modern marriage process. Capturing everything from dance lessons and seating charts to eyebrow tweezing (Tomine's) and post-reception fast food, Scenes from an Impending Marriage would make a perfect gift for the bridezilla or wedding cynic, the betrothed or recently-wed in your life. Take a look at this short excerpt, in which Tomine tackles the trials of pre-wedding exercise, invitations, and hundred dollar neckties.

David Collier's Chimo is in, y'alls

David Collier has a new book out! It's been a long time since The Frank Ritza Papers!

The Conundrum-published Chimo is a collection of observational comic-strips detailing his re-enlistment in the Canadian Army (which he quit in the 80's to commit to his art) to participate in the Canadian War Artists Program.

If you're wondering, this is what Chris Ware has to say about it:

Chimo is an idiosyncratic, compelling and hilarious musing-in-comics that I couldn’t put down. Seemingly a quirky memoir about soldiering, it’s really a quest for survival — both basic and artistic — and a meditation on aging, family and the fight to simply try and understand oneself, all told by one of the most unpretentious cartoonists in North America. There’s an eye for mundane detail and a sort of animal fear running through it all that it leaves one shaken yet oddly refreshed. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved it.” — Chris Ware

Let me also recommend two great reviews: one on Comics Comics by our friend Jeet Heer (who calls Collier one of the four great Canadian cartoonists alongside Chester Brown, Seth, Julie Doucet), and another by Dan Nadel for the Comics Journal. You have to love how Jeet pops in the comments section of this one!

Vive la Quebec

Next week we are pleased to be bringing you two events focussed on writers right from around here. Both events take place at the Librairie D+Q, 211 Bernard Ouest.

On Wednesday March 23rd at 7pm, we'll be having a double D+Q book launch for two Montreal authors: Joe Ollmann (with Mid-Life) and Pascal Girard (with Reunion).

Mid-Life follows 40 year old John as he learns to reconcile himself with the mid-life crisis caused by his baby son, stressful job, house full of cats, and ever-flabbier body. An infatuation with a children's performer is treated with deft, sardonic humour.

Reunion is a semi-autobiographical look at the stresses and life re-evaluations caused by the inevitable ten year high school reunion. When Pascal is invited to accompany a former crush, he radically reorganizes his life to ensure he'll come out of the reunion a 'winner'.

On Thursday March 24th at 7pm, we're presenting this month's edition of the Quebec Writers Federation "Writer Out Loud" Series. This panel on graphic novels in Montreal features Elisabeth Belliveau (author of don't get lonely don't get lost and the great hopeful someday) and D+Q's Joe Ollmann (author of Mid-Life and This will all end in tears). The panel will be hosted and led by Mile End personality Billy Mavreas (cartoonist most recently of Inside Outside Overlap, owner of Monastiraki, and one of the organizers of Expozine).

Another wunderkind!

If Swamplandia's twenty-nine-year-old Karen Russell weren't enough, here comes twenty-five-year-old Téa Obreht to make me feel even less accomplished for my age. Obreht's debut novel The Tiger's Wife is the story of a young doctor named Natalia living an unnamed Balkan country during the 21st century, inspired in part by the author's early life in Yugoslavia but decorated with astonishing imagination bordering on magical realist. Already awash in great reviews, featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and excerpted in the New Yorker's 20 under 40 fiction issue last summer, The Tiger's Wife was just nominated for the UK's prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction. Good for her.

Want to know more? Liesl Schillinger's New York Times review is great, and here's an excerpt from the book.

The best bakery in all of North America?

Despite it being 4,773 kilometers away, it seems I can't go a week without hearing something about the San Francisco bakery Tartine. The New York Times "Minimalist" foodie Mark Bittman called it his favourite bakery in the United States. The Selby, in collaboration with T Magazine, recently snapped up the place. And the Montreal foodie bloggers at endless banquet are raving about the bakery's new bread cookbook. Tartine is a bakery in the Mission District of San Francisco. It was opened in 2002 by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, who were nominated for the James Beard best pastry chefs in America award for their work at Tartine in 2006 and 2007, finally winning in 2008. Everything at Tartine is supposed to be out of this world. Until teleportation is a possibility, the 4,773 kilometers makes all this hype a tease. Luckily, we've got that rave-worthy cookbook, Tartine Bread, in store to tide us over. The cookbook is thorough and gorgeous. Here's a look:

Attention Nerds!

Today is a great day. Why? Is it because we're experiencing the first real hint of spring here in Montreal, at 5 degrees and sunny? No, it's because we finally received a box full of Hillary L. Chute's new book Graphic Women: Life Narrative & Contemporary Comics! Young, bright, and with a great head of hair, Hillary Chute is one of the leading scholars in the emerging field of Comics Studies. In Graphic Women, she takes on the autobiographical comics of women artists Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, and Alison Bechdel. We've been anticipating this book for awhile now and it's doubtful to disappoint. Chute is both an acute observer and an accessible writer (two attributes that don't always meet when it comes to academics). I'd recommended this to anyone interested in twentieth and twenty-first century comics, women and gender studies, literary studies, and/or autobiography, to serious scholars and fangirls/boys alike.

(By the way, if you recognize that cover illustration by Rutu Modan, it's because we've got it hanging behind the cash here at 211.)

Craft Time!

We just got great new items for you note-taking, letter-writing, baby-having crafters! Take a look, we have new notebooks:

... three tiny notebooks that come in a cute three-pocketted plastic folder...

... sketchbooks that encourage you to draw once a day...

... stationary kits (you can pick between a vintage style letter set and animal-shaped notecards)...

... a stitched pocket to keep children's lost teeth, sold with a notebook to remember teeth stories...

... and an adorable Junzo Terada-designed mobile:

Finding the Words

Finding the Words: Writers on Inspiration, Desire, War, Celebrity, Exile, and Breaking the Rules
is new anthology collecting personal stories by 31 well-known writers on a range of topics, all connected under the loose theme of the craft of writing (thus the abounding title). Some of the writers include local Heather O'Neill, Lisa Moore, Alain de Botton, and Gord Downie. Some of the titles include teasers such as "TMI: Authors in Cyberspace" and "Requiem for My Grandfather, Jakov Milner, Zionist". Proceeds from the volume are going to Pen Canada, an association that works to defend freedom of expression on behalf of writers around the world. With cover design and illustration by Seth, this is a real Canadian treat.


Finally! A magazine for kids! The UK has filled our need for an excellent and super children magazine with Anorak.

Anorak celebrates books and everything related. Kids are encouraged to participate with submitting to the magazine -- writings, drawings, opinions, ideas -- which means it is created by and for children of all ages. In the latest issue (Volume 17), one can learn where the book came from (Good afternoon Mr. Gutenberg), about Tara Books (a D+Q favourite), and how to make chalk (surprisingly easy!).

Comic about wriggly teeth!

The adventures of cuddly stuffed animals!

Do you want learn the absolute easiest way to make a book? Anorak has got you covered.

I Cannot resist...

My friend is doing an artist residency in Finland, and within a week of being there she comes across this:


How do you ask your boss for a raise?

According to Georges Perec, this is how:

This maze of anxieties is the perfect visual representation of what goes on in Perec's The Art of Asking Your Boss For a Raise - a funny but unfortunately much too relatable (if you're insane like me) second-person narrative on the subject of office hell and overdoing mental preparation.

This is the first English version of Perec's posthumously published L'art et la manière d'aborder son chef de service pour lui demander une augmentation. Now in store!

Double D+Q Launch: Joe Ollmann's Mid-Life

We're super excited to be launching Joe Ollmann's Mid-Life this month as part of a Double D+Q Montreal Launch at the Librairie.

I don't think I've mentioned it but I kinda love Mid-Life. It's, as you might expect, the chronicling of a mid-life crisis, but offered up with a healthy serving of wry and self-deprecating. The story revolves around a forty year old man named John who is struggling to keep up with a younger wife and new child. With a shout-out to Raffi, my favourite TVO star, you know Joe Ollmann knows his kid's performers.

Check out the web preview or even just the panel below, and you'll get a sense of what I mean:

Plus, Pascal Girard will be debuting Reunion, the English translation of Conventum. Check out a preview for Reunion and start getting excited!

The launch for these two wonderful Montrealers is Wednesday March 23rd at 7 pm, and it'll be taking place here at the Librairie D+Q, 211 Bernard O.

Feeding the Whole Family

I have a seven month old at home, and we have been slowly introducing solids to him. I really want to feed this kid real food, rather than convenient jars that look rather disgusting (for example, meat baby food looks universally sickly).

So, I was pumped to see Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair sitting beautifully on the D+Q shelves. It's a book that aims to introduce healthy and local food to babies, young children, and adults alike. I strongly believe that little ones are able to eat a fairly varied diet earlier than we give them credit for. This book makes it really easy to cook for little ones, giving recipes that work well for adults and their children.

There are tons of recipes that I'm eager to try at home (I might as well give Danny a break from always cooking). To name a few: Homemade baby cereal, Apple Miso Almond Butter Sandwiches, Thai Coconut Chicken Soup, Falafel!, Salmon Kebobs with Yogyrt Garlic Dip.

Les deux derniers de Blaise

Nous venons de recevoir les deux derniers ouvrages de la collection Blaise chez Cornélius - ils sont sublimes!

Je commence avec Terra Maxima de Ludovic Debeurme, dont le trait me rappelle celui d'Amy Lockhart, de Dave Cooper ou de Mark Ryden (ou un croisement des trois). On y trouve des corps difformes, frigides ou caoutchouteux associés à des visages détaillés aux expressions maussades, sérieuses et austère. On remarquera aussi l'ambiance surréele et un peu glaucque de cet univers tragico-comique tout en dégradés de gris faits à la mine.

Sauvetages, le dernier de la collection, regroupe cinquante variations sur un même thème: celui très particulier du sauvetage d'une princesse par un singe dans un monde d'océans infinis et de sous-marins. C'est un beau livre inclassable à souhait qui bénéficie d'une mise en couleurs tout à fait éclatante.

Merci Cornélius!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?