Recap: Book Thug's Fall Launch!

On Friday the 17th the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly had the pleasure of hosting the Book Thug Fall Launch. The night included readings by Alisha Piercy, Bertrand Laverdure and Oana Avasilichioaei, Gregoire Pam Dick, R. Kolewe and Wanda Praamsma.

The evening's host, Carmen Joy King, was sweet and wonderful, keeping the night breezy and fun. 5 readers of the 8 books published for fall were present, and Carmen encouraged audience members to buy the books, since poetry books are rare. "And fiction... poetically organized fiction."

Wanda Praamsma was the first reader of the night, whose verse-novel a thin line between crafts a story that transcends geographic boundaries and time periods, by weaving together lives from her own family's past, including her poet-grandfather and sculptor-uncle. Wanda explained how, while a thin line between was a long-form poem, it was meant to be read cover to cover. Wanda started her journalistic career in Montreal, but now lives in Kingston, Ontario, and working on an MFA.

Metaphysical Licks, a hybrid prose-poem/novella riffing on the lives and works of Austrian poet Georg Trakl and his sister, Grete, is the restless new work by writer and translator Gregoire Pam Dick [a.k.a. Mina Pam Dick, Jake Pam Dick et al., author of Delinquent (Futurepoem, 2009)]. Gregoire's work has appeared in BOMB, frieze, The Brooklyn Rail, Aufgabe, EOAGH, Fence, Matrix, etc. She lives in NYC.

Our third reader of the night was Ralph Kolewe, who read from his new book, Afterletters. Afterletters follows poets Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann in their intense but intermittent relationship. Kolewe takes fragments of letters and other works by the poets to show the loss and love in their lives. Ralph is also a photographer, and works with influency salon.

From celebrated Quebecois author Bertrand Laverdure comes Universal Bureau of Copyrights, a bold, strange and addictive story that envisions a world where free will doesn't exist, and an enigmatic global corporation buys and sells the copyrights for all things on Earth, including real and fictional characters. Bertrand read in french, with translator Oana Avasilichioaei reading her own english translation. Their contrasting reading styles were incredible, and wonderfully lively.

Last but certainly not least was a reading from award-winning author Alisha Piercy, whose newest work, Bunny and Shark, is a middle-aged coming-of-age story-cum-shark-adventure that reveals and celebrates women's power in the trenches. Alisha's bold and spirited reading was an incredible way to end the night! Afterwards, Carmen encouraged everyone to drink some wine, buy some books, and have a good night!

Recap: Conundrum Double Launch Joel Ollmann & Alex Fellows

Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend D&Q hosted a double launch for Conundrum Press. Joe Ollmann launched his collection Happy Stories About Well Adjusted People and Alex Fellows released Spain and Morocco. Joe seemed pretty convinced that nobody was going to show but there was a great turn out! The whole evening felt laid back, fun, and intimate.

Fellow cartoonist Billy Mavreas was there to introduce the boys and thank them for doing the important job of exposing "the horror of humanity" through their work; thanks guys! Joe & Alex both gave great PowerPoints giving some behind-the-scenes insight on their work.

Joe promised the new version of some of the old comics were improved as he talked about "Photoshop Blurs", "Terrible Lettering" and "Shitty Artwork" in his work (I guess that's some of his characteristic self deprecation) and discussed recurring motifs such as diarrhea and vomiting. Then he showed us a movie of one of his comics that he hired a 12 yr old to read, which was about hunting.

Alex showed us some of his amazing illustrations in various stages and revealed that originally the two main characters in Spain and Morocco were killed by a robot. Afterwards there was an informal Q&A and book signing. It was a great way to spend a Saturday night!

Tonight! Ladies’ Night at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly

Come hang out at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. for Ladies' Night, featuring four ridiculously talented writers from south of the border, all performing in Montreal for the first time.

We’re very excited to be able to bring you:


MIRA GONZALEZ, who lives in Los Angeles, California & is the author of i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together (Sorry House). Her debut collection was nominated for The Believer’s Poetry Award & her work has been praised by Nylon, Vice, The New Inquiry & other places.


ELIZABETH ELLEN, who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan & co-edits the web journal Hobart. Her collection Fast Machine (SF/LD Books) was published in 2012 & she was awarded a Pushcart Prize for her story “Teen Culture.”


CHLOE CALDWELL, who is the author of the novella Women (SF/LD Books) & the essay collection Legs Get Led Astray (Future Tense Books). Her work has appeared in Nylon,, xoJane and many, many other publications.


CHELSEA MARTIN, who is the author of Even Though I Don’t Miss You (SF/LD Books), Everything Was Fine Until Whatever (Future Tense) & The Really Funny Thing About Apathy (Sunnyoutside). She also writes the comic Heavy-Handed for The Rumpus & lives in Oakland, California.


Presented by METATRON!

Free pre-Halloween candy!

TONIGHT: carte blanche Issue 22 Launch & 10th Anniversary Celebration

Join us TONIGHT Wednesday, October 29 at 7 p.m. for the launch of Issue 22 of carte blanche magazine, plus their 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Celebrating ten years of storytelling, and the launch of their Fall 2014 issue, the evening will feature readings by Mark Paterson, Gillian Sze, Duggan Cayer, Sarah Mangle, Martyn Bryant, Larissa Andrusyshyn, Elaine Kalman Naves, and Ohara Hale, plus birthday cake and bubbly!

Featured Books

Rabbit Punch! by Greg Santos
In Rabbit Punch!, Marco Polo reminisces on his friendship with Kublai Khan over deli sandwiches, Wilfred Owen and Ernest Hemingway trade war stories at Hooters, and Senator John McCain remembers that fateful day when his father took him to eat bubble gum ice cream. With punchy poems that are intimate, dark, enigmatic, playful, and surreal, peppered with pop culture figures ranging from Batman, to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Paris Hilton to “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Rabbit Punch! delivers a poetic KO.

Blind Spot by Laurence Miall (previously launched at the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly!)
When his parents’ car is hit by a train, Luke, a failed actor, returns to his Edmonton hometown to attend their funeral, wrap up their affairs, and prepare their house to be sold off. But while all others around him grieve, Luke remains detached, striking up a relationship with a woman in a neighbouring house… and stumbling across evidence that his mother may have engaged in a longstanding extramarital affair herself.

Dumb comics by Georgia Webber (a longtime store favourite!)
Dumb is a comics series about the artist’s prolonged voice loss and slow crawl to recovery.

Recap: Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller by Chloe Griffin

On October 9 D&Q celebrated the release of Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller by a reading and interview with author Chloe Griffin! Guests were treated to a slide presentation of pictures of Cookie and friends and some tasty bologna sandwiches (Cookie's favorite) as they streamed in and packed the house. The general level of excitement was high and the Librairie was pretty chaotic!

To start Chloe and friends staged a reading from the book re-enacting a hitchhiking fiasco as told by the girls, Cookie and her pals Sue Lowe and Mink Stole. This primed the audience -who were in stitches- for Cookie's combination of humorous charm and defiance exhibited in the screening that followed excerpting some of her best performances in film and on stage. As Chloe said, she's the older sister everyone wishes they had!

Next Joshua Pavan, the host of QueerCorps on CKUT 90.3FM, joined Chloe on stage for a conversation. She described her research process and emphasized her "amateurist" approach that is in the spirit of Cookie's own work. The book takes the form of an oral history and all of the interviews are seamlessly intertwined and layered making it feel like one big conversation about Cookie's life.

After a Q&A there was a final screening of Super 8 home movies showing footage of Chloe's pilgrimage to Provincetown and Baltimore. Everybody stayed for a while after the presentation drinking wine, getting books signed and checking out the Cookie shrine which featured some of her very rare out of print books and posters. The whole evening had a very personal touch and it felt like a terrific homage to Cookie Mueller.

Recap: SLS Reading Series, October 5

Drawn and Quarterly was glad to host the final SLS reading night, which took place on Sunday, October 5 and featured four of Montreal’s finest writers!

Anna Leventhal read first and delighted us with an excerpt from her short story collection Sweet Affliction, in which love seemed like a bottomless coffee: the more you drank, the more refills you got! Exploring the theme of infidelity between people, Leventhal’s realistic dialogues made more than one laugh.

Longlisted for Giller Prize and author of Us Conductors, Sean Micheals was next. He read a passage from his book, in which characters drank and danced swing on New York’s Broadway!

The reading continued with Mireille Silcoff, who read from her brilliant novel Chez L’Arabe, a debut collection inspired by her own medical struggle.

Arjun Basu ended the SLS reading night with an excerpt from Waiting for the Man, which is also longlisted for the Giller Prize. We meet Dick, the one-eyed photographer and Dan, the pizza guy! The narrator, a 35-year-old advertising copywriter, thought about what you can count as billable hours when working on an ad campaign. 

Once again, we were glad to host this last reading which brought an end to this enriching reading series! We're also alrealdy looking forward for next year's SLS readings!

Recap: SLS Reading Series, October 4

The store was crowded on Saturday October 4, as people gathered en masse for another exciting reading. Soren Stockman introduced the writers with great praise. The mini-program featured two writers from Montreal, Jon Paul Fiorentino and John Golbach, as well as Brooklyn-based Brenda Shaughnessy! 

The reading started with Jon Paul Fiorentino, who read poetry, since as he said “everyone loves poetry”! Funny and witty, Fiorentino read a few pieces that he described as “a poem  about being drunk, a poem about home, a poem about a famous mass murderer and a poem about the last person to be hanged in Winnipeg”. 

He concluded by reading from Indexical Elegies, a collection written when, as he said, “he started being good at poetry”. His final poem, Leaving Mile End, ended with a sententious “After all, you won’t be leaving Mile End” Haha!

Next was John Golbach, reading from his novel The Devil and the DetectiveGoldbach introduced us to his main character, Robert James, a private detective that gets a midnight call from a woman whose husband has been found dead, stabbed!

Last but not least was Brenda Shaughnessy, a Brooklyn-based poet and poetry editor at Tin House Magazine as well as an Assistant Professor of English and in the M.F.A. Program at Rutgers-Newark. 

Shaughnessy started by reading from her poetry collection, Human Dark with SugarShe read a series of brilliant poems, playing with poetry clich├ęs and calling the moon "a kind of ancient date-rape drug". After telling the audience she only had one sister, with whom she has a difficult relationship, she also read a poem named “I Wish I Had More Sisters”. 

The reading night ended on a great note, as the SLS members thanked Librairie Drawn and Quarterly and flattered us with many compliments.
It was a real pleasure to host the event!

Hear the Cthulhu's call...The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft has arrived!

Just in time for Halloween, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft by Leslie S. Klinger is here! Boasting an introduction by comics master and eminent occultist Alan Moore, this hefty tome is a must-have for any Lovecraft fan. You'll see why when you take a look inside...

Not only is this a fine collection of Lovecraft's best Arkham stories, Klinger also provides extensive background information for each of the 22 works in the annotations. The combination of meticulously researched biographical and historical details really sheds new light on the bizarre Lovecraftian ouevre.

Also included are close to 300 illustrations, and full-colour reproductions of the original covers, truly a sight to behold! Even if you're already familiar with these tales, you might come out seeing them from a new perspective after learning so much about their context, and the man who penned them. This is definitely the authoritative work on all-things Lovecraft, and a fascinating resource for anyone interested in his particular brand of dark sci-fi/horror weirdness.

TONIGHT: Monia Mazigh’s Mirrors & Mirages | The Montreal Launch

On Wednesday, October 22 at 7 p.m., The Silk Road Institute and Librairie Drawn & Quarterly will host Monia Mazigh for the official Montreal launch of her book Mirrors and Mirages, published by House of Anansi and translated from the original French by Fred Reed. A short talk by the author, a book signing and a chance to mingle will comprise the night’s event and, of course, tasty refreshments will be served.

In the spirit of Amy Tan’s international bestselling novel The Joy Luck Club, Mirrors and Mirages is an intricately woven, deftly told story that follows the lives of women and their daughters. In Mirrors and Mirages, Monia Mazigh lets us into the lives of six women. They are immigrant mothers — Emma, Samia, and Fauzia — guardians of tradition who want their daughters to enjoy freedom in Western society. They are daughters — Lama, Sally, and Louise, a young woman who converted to Islam for love — university students who are clever and computer savvy. They decide for themselves whether or not to wear a veil, or niqab. Gradually, these women cross paths, and, without losing their authenticity, they become friends and rivals, mirrors and mirages of each other.

Monia Mazigh holds a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University. In 2009, she published her memoir, Hope and Despair, about her fight to free her husband, Maher Arar, from a Syrian jail. Her debut novel, Miroirs et mirages, published originally in French, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award.

Fred A. Reed is a journalist and award-winning literary translator. He has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation three times and his translations include Monia Mazigh’s memoir Hope and Despair. He lives in Montreal.
We look forward to seeing you here! For more information visit and RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Life is Good: New Lynda Barry book from D&Q!

Full disclosure on a personal bias: I'm a massive Lynda Barry fan. Such a Lynda Barry fan am I that I was always put on Lynda Barry event duty at the Vancouver Writer's Fest. Without even being asked. Because everybody knew. About my Lynda Barry Love.

So I went into reading Syllabus, the newest release from Drawn & Quarterly, both super pumped to read it and feeling like I knew what to expect. Syllabus ended up delivering so much more than I ever could have anticipated or hoped for; as with Lynda's whole gerd'damn life, it's an inspiration and an absolute joy, and I probably won't shut up about it for a while, so maybe watch out.

For those of you who are unaware of Barry's stylings, she teaches "a method of writing that focuses on the relationship between the hand, the brain, and spontaneous images, both written and visual." (D&Q) Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor uses the Dear Professor Old Skull's course plans from several of her classes at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and expands upon them with her teaching insights, collages, and assignments. Those familiar with Lynda Barry will recognize her dynamically dense and colourful style, yellow lined paper, and the presence of the legendary Near Sighted Monkey

This excerpt, from Professor Lynda's Making Comics class description, perfectly encapsulates what makes her classes and workshops the type of experience people take three train rides for. Reclaiming the self-confidence of unbridled drawing is a practice very few people engage in, and yet it is so unbelievably empowering.

Sections of Syllabus that take the focus off the class and onto Lynda Barry's experiences and insights on teaching are honest and deeply entrancing: the glorious Dog & Beaver drawing used in On Liking and Not Liking Our Drawings and later called back to in her examination of people who have quit drawing as children and started up again in her class is particularly delightful.

It's the same sense of charm that has made us unable to throw out the Moley the Mole drawing from our first Kids Drawing Day event: there's something innately alive about this type of drawing, unrestricted and enigmatic beyond belief. Lynda Barry's quest is genuine and hard not to get behind. How can her brand of enthusiasm not latch itself onto you?!

Also worth mentioning: the production on Syllabus is understated and perfect. Its single signature binding and comp book aesthetic is such an exact fit with the content that I was surprised to find myself feeling like a student again, energized and ready to pack it and go to class.

Extra credit: throughout Syllabus, Professor Lynda calls out and uses Ivan Brunetti's Cartooning. If you're in for a double hit of inspirational insights into teaching and cartooning, we also highly recommend this lovely little book.

Drawn & Quarterly + Moomin + Tove 100 = Pure Magic AKA Moomin Deluxe

The crazy thing about this incredible deluxe edition of the complete Tove Jansson Moomin strips is that I could just post photos of it and you'd be so overwhelmed by its beauty and production value you'd probably drool all over your keyboard and black out, but as with all of Jansson's work, its beauty lays in its emotional complexity, not solely its aesthetic allure.

The book itself is enclosed in this gorgeous slip case, which shows our hero in his natural melancholy habitat. The colours on this bad boy are a thing to behold: so lovely and bold!

Another gorgeous production detail (pardon my seeming hyperbole) is this subtle little emboss job on the front of the book.

By the way, Helen and I lost our minds when we opened this up for the first time, mostly because of the hilarity of Moomin, Snork Maiden, and Moominpappa soaring through the air. Very appropriate. Also, check out that great poster.

All of the original strips are here, from the high-risk adventure of Moomin and the Brigands to the witty romance of Fuddler's Courtship and everything in between. It's amazing to flow from volume to volume, in one place, a process which lends itself well to a Sunday afternoon inside, sipping tea out of what else than a Moomin mug.

Before you think Drawn & Quarterly would be content to let it rest at that, lay your peepers on this: 28 pages of Tove Jansson's sketches. These beauties are yellowed, covered in glue, and bursting with more character than any reader will know what to do with. The book also comes with a beautifully written introduction by Drawn & Quarterly Creative Director Tom Devlin, and write-ups from Dylan Horrocks, James Kochalka, Megan Kelso, and Tom Hart.

Moomin: The Deluxe Edition: definitely not just for kids, definitely for everyone, definitely going to make you gaze wistfully towards the sky and praise the lords of print media.

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