Recap: Steve Roggenbuck and guests!

Our local beloved poet Jay Winston Ritchie couldn't have said it better, "If it's summer, it is summer."
On July 25th, the American poet Steve Roggenbuck and multiple guests hit the store for a reading hosted by Metatron. Humidex values also reached unexpected heights. There was definitely something summery in the air, perhaps even tropical! Fortunately, Roggenbuck had brought watermelon with him and Internet cat videos were being projected to entertain the crowd.

Blare Coughlin read various poems, notably one about hating where they grew-up (the Virgin Islands). What?!

Jay Winston confessed he didn't know why he was writing about his past, since he'd rather write about pasta. (Jay, this is fantastic and we are all impatient to read your collected pasta works!!)

Maggie Lee read a selection of humorous tweets inspired by the day-to-day absurdity of her so-called adult job, which implies selling waterproof keyboards on Twitter. If she writes tweets for a living, the author insisted she was also a good ex-girlfriend.

Andrew Duncan Worthington read excerpts of his unpublishable works, which included a poem titled "Harry Potter Has a Sex Guide" and verses like "I want every social media account I use to get hacked/By spam bots/ And I want the spam bots to win the Pulitzer Prize".

Ashley Opheim then greeted Roggenbuck on stage by quoting the poet's motto, "Make something beautiful before you are dead". True to his customary yolo, Roggenbuck did remind us that death could strike at any time.

He read passages of his new book, a times giving into outbursts of soaring lyricism with a twist, as he declared: "I am lost in a gigantic park/ I want you to be lost with me/ Unfortunately, I can't give you directions/ Because I am lost."

The poet gave his shout outs to our giant soft boy (that little creepy creature.) He also taught us that by asking the question "Who likes pistachios?", one would always get a positive response.

Worthy of note: no one had eaten more than 5 bananas that day.


Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s.

Join us for the launch of the second Spectacular Optical book, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. Co-editors Kier-La Janisse and Paul Corupe (and possibly some special guest contributing authors) will host the evening. There will be a talk and video presentation on this infamous era, and books will be for sale at the event.

In the 1980s, everywhere you turned there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the “Satanic Panic,” was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons & Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons and TV talk shows —and created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, music and literature. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s aims to capture the untold story of the how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.

Satanic Panic features essays and interviews by authors and media critics including Adam Parfrey (Apocalypse Culture), Gavin Baddeley (Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock n’ Roll), Liisa Ladouceur (Encyclopedia Gothica), David Flint (Sheer Filth!), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study), Adrian Mack (The Georgia Straight), Forrest Jackson (Cosmic Suicide: The Tragedy and Transcendence of Heaven’s Gate), Alison Nastasi (Flavorwire), Leslie Hatton (Popshifter), David Canfield (Twitch), David Bertrand (Fangoria; Spectacular Optical), Alison Lang (Rue Morgue, Broken Pencil), Kevin L. Ferguson (Eighties People), Wm Conley (Deathwound), Kurt Halfyard (Twitch), Samm Deighan (Satanic Pandemonium), Stacey Rusnak (The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction), Ralph Elawani (C’est complet au royaume des morts), Gil Nault (Liturgie apocryphe), one-man band John Schooley and Joshua Benjamin Graham, alongside co-editors Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films) and Paul Corupe (Canuxploitation). The book also features comic art by Rick Trembles (Motion Picture Purgatory) and original illustrations by Toronto artist Mike McDonnell.

What Pet Should I Get? Dr. Seuss's Posthumous Book!

What Pet Should I Get? is out now! Who would have guess a new Dr. Seuss’s book would be added to the pantheon, more than two decades after its legendary author died? Indeed, it’s only recently that Theodor Seuss Geisel’s widow and old secretary discovered what was to become the newest Dr. Seuss picture book! They found the sketches in a box, along with alphabet flash cards, rough sketches and a bunch of elaborate Seussesque drawings.

The book features the same characters found in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish! and as a result it was probably drawn before 1963. Since colors were absent and text was sometimes unclear from the draft the publishing house had to make some painstaking choices…

And what a coincidence...since What Pet Should I Get? is all about making choices! It tells the story of a brother and a sister in a pet shop, facing the difficult choice of choosing a pet.

“ We have to pick ONE pet 

and pick it out soon. 

You know Mother told us 

to be back by noon.”

The books also includes notes on Dr. Seuss and his own love for animals, as well as some explanatory comments on the genesis of the book. We learn that Ted Geisel “is famous for one Cat in particular –but when choosing a pet, he seems to have favored dogs.” In fact, he had a thing for Irish setter and later in his life, for miniature Yorkshire terrier (!). 

As a side note, Random House does encourage us to get pets – not in pet shops, but rather adopt them from a shelter or rescue organization.

Kerascoët Art Book

Paper Dolls est un livre recueillant des dessins et divers projets artistiques réalisés par Marie Pommepuy et Sébastien Cosset, le couple d'auteurs de bande dessinée connus sous le nom de Kerascoët. Ils ont entre autres réalisé avec Fabien Vehlmann Jolies Ténèbres (Beautiful Darkness en anglais, publié par Drawn & Quarterly). 

325 pages découpées en chapitres portant le noms de couleurs, le tout conclu par une intéressante entrevue avec les deux auteurs.

Graphic Novel Book Club: Petty Theft/La Collectionneuse by Pascal Girard

Each month we host a Graphic Novel Book Club meeting, open to all, during which we hang out and informally discuss a featured graphic novel. Our pick for August is Petty Theft (ou sa version française: La Collectionneuse) by Pascal Girard. 

Petty Theft is a comedy of errors, a laugh-out-loud account of a man on a mission, and a testament to the addictiveness of book-ownership. From the award-winning author of Reunion, Petty Theft is a deftly told, finely drawn contemporary romance that will keep book-lovers on the edge of their seat from the first page until the book’s denouement.

We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Wednesday, August 12th at 7 PM. Discussion will be hosted by D+Q store manager, Rebecca. There will be refreshments and collective insight! We offer you a 20% discount on Petty Theft and La Collectionneuse from now until the meeting date.

Seinen Crap No. 1 - 4

The first four issues of Seinen Crap - Berliac's foray into gegika - are available here, now. 

Issues 1 and 4 follow the story of a boy who sets out to find his lost sister by way of the island Howlong. The 2nd and 3rd issues depict tangential story lines - a man on the run and a tale of two estranged sisters - that flesh out the Seinen Crap universe and enable you to jump in at any point.

The stories are set in dreams, memories, and heavily charged psychic space that's contrasted with a healthy dose of action that works well for the short format of the books. They're elliptical while drawing on tropes of film noir and classic gegika that infuse them with a proper amount of angst.

Read these in your bedroom if you're home alone on a Friday night and in the mood for love - they will love you back. For more on Seinen Crap read this by Joe McCulloch on appropriation, lettering and translation.

Tonight !


Internet poet Steve Roggenbuck will be at the bookstore on Saturday, July 25th at 7 p.m. to celebrate the release of his new short story collection, which is called CALCULATING HOW BIG OF A TIP TO GIVE IS THE EASIEST THING EVER, SHOUT OUT TO MY FAMILY & FRIENDS.

We’ll also have Andrew Worthington & Maggie Lee, who will be coming all the way from New York to perform in Montreal for the first time. Also performing will be Montreal's Blare Coughlin!

Performing live:

---> STEVE ROGGENBUCK, a poet, video marker & human meme whose work often explores poetry in relation to internet culture. His work has been covered by the New York Times, Gawker, Rolling Stone, The Fader, NPR & probably a million other places.

---> ANDREW DUNCAN WORTHINGTON, coming all the way from New York. He’s the founding editor of the magazine KEEP THIS BAG AWAY FROM CHILDREN & the author of WALLS, a novel published last year by CCM.

---> MAGGIE LEE, also coming from New York. She’s a grown woman, dog mom & a funny Twitter person whose work has appeared in Shabby Doll House & other publications.

---> BLARE COUGHLIN, a Montreal-based writer, visual artist & renewable source of energy. They write poems & make art in their bedroom & feel most comfortable on the internet.


Presented by METATRON.

This reading will begin with a short presentation of internet cat videos.

* In addition to the reading, Metatron will also be offering a daytime workshop with Steve to give a few writers a chance to work with him in an intimate environment. More info here!

Recent releases by New Directions

Time to check in on what new releases we have in shop by the trusty and friendly publishing company New Directions - you can always trust the material they republish and translate. Bonus: their covers are reliably spot-on.

Originally published in 1939, Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust is novel about the grit of old Hollywood. Think of the characters and landscape described in Kenneth Anger's classic Hollywood Babylon or in Anne Helen Petersen's recent Scandals of Classic Hollywood. Except the characters in The Day of the Locust are those who haven't found success, those who struggle and die tryin'.

Originally published in 1974, Oreo by Fran Ross is the story of a young girl with a Jewish father and black mother. She is known as Oreo, black on the outside and white on the inside. Written with humour and wit, Oreo is told in the style of a picaresque novel wherein our cunning hero(ine) of low social standing must navigate a corrupt world.

Mirages of the Mind by Indian author Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi has just been translated by New Directions from Urdu to English. It is a satirical novel of interrelated tales about a post-Partition immigrant, Basharat - schoolteacher, poet, and overall fool - to Pakistan. A refreshing and cheeky take on politically-charged migration, Mirages of the Mind details the fantasies and illusions of nostalgia for a national home.

Future Days Kautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music

Future Days Kautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music by David Stubbs has arrived in store! Stubbs writes about Kautrock, the legendary music genre that had major influence on many western groups and artists, like David Bowie, Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem. Kautrock sprung from a shaken generation, in post-war Germany. It has been revisited for inspiration ever since!
Stubbs starts by throwing us back to the late 70’s, in a German makeshift concert hall, where “Even the youngest person present (…), would be of pensionable age now, though strangely they’d probably not look at all out of place if they mingled with today’s generation of postmodern hipsters.” Lol! As he situates legendary bands such as Can, Faust!, Neu and Kraftwerk in their historical context, we learn that Kautrock isn’t only a mode of playing music, but most importantly, it’s also a set of values about how and why to make music. Get ready music philosophers!

Les carnets de Rhubarbe sont arrivés!

On peut dire que la nouvelle publication de La Pastèque, Les carnets de Rhubarbe, tombe à point! Avec l'été, elle nous donne le goût de multiplier les garden-partys de tout acabit. L'ensemble comprend trois jolies brochures illustrées avec des recettes inspirées de la pâtisserie montréalaise Rhubarbe, située sur la rue de Lanaudière, au sud de Laurier.

Recette de limonade à la rhubarbe, de punch, de cakes ou encore de gâteau roulé mascarpone confiture abricots-amandes-vanille, la brochure sur le thème de la fête de jardin nous donne l'eau à la bouche!...

Une autre brochure, cette fois sur le thème de la fête de ruelle, nous propose des milk shake, un lait au chocolat noir et glaçons de nougat aux noix. D'autres desserts glacés sont aussi au rendez-vous: popsicles, choux à la crème et sandwichs glacés.

Stéphanie Labelle, de la pâtisserie Rhubarbe, nous propose aussi une variété de recettes mettant en valeur l'ingrédient vedette, c'est-à-dire la délicieuse et estivale rhubarbe!

Miam miam!

Now in stock: Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee's much anticipated novel, Go Set a Watchman, came out on Tuesday!

The ethics surrounding the publication of Go Set a Watchman (an investigation into elder abuse concluded that the writer is totally competent at 88) and how it may effect Lee's legacy have been widely discussed. Given that it's Lee's first published work in 55 years and that it's been slated as a sequel to the seminal, Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird it has big shoes to fill. But the sales figures speak volumes! On its first day on the shelf it broke the Barnes and Noble one-day sales record beating an astounding 1 million copies of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (who is probably crying now).

Set 20 years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird, a grown Jean Louise (Scout) returns to her hometown to find her father - the beloved Atticus Finch - a changed man from the one she remembers. Breaking with the illusions of childhood and the personal and political implications of this revelation is an undeniably powerful premise. Critics may be divided but the jury is still out - and should remain so until you've had a chance to read it too! Come get a copy at the shop.


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is here!

Ta-Nehisi Coates' previous memoir, The Beautiful Struggle, is a long-standing store favourite, so we're pretty excited about Between the World and Me hitting shelves this week. In recounting his own experiences growing up black in America in an extensive letter to his fifteen year old son, Coates examines racism in the contemporary U.S.A, while shedding light on the historical context that has lead to the fraught present. Written in his characteristically poetic style, Coates' latest offering really rips the band-aid off of any cozy notions of a "post-racial" America, delving into the ongoing legacy of slavery, and the construction of race as an empire-building tactic whose violence continues to manifest in myriad ways. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, this call to consciousness is particularly timely and crucial. Toni Morrison calls it "required reading," and we're inclined to agree.

You can read or listen to NPR's recent interview with Coates here, and pick up your copy of the new book at the store.

Modes Vu: Workbooks

Modes Vu is an on-going experiment in finding a new process of making books. As an independent publisher working with digital printing and photography it uses a POD (print on demand) model. This means no upfront investment is required and bypasses the need for advertising while granting total editorial freedom. As a result Modes Vu pursues experiments in contemporary photography and gives a platform to unknown or unpublished artists. Read more about their approach here.

Despite being a pretty young enterprise Modes Vu has certainly developed a distinctive aesthetic approach. What you'll see is low key, low resolution photographs documenting current urban landscapes. Formatted as wry diptychs, they capture a certain ambivalence about city life. The loose, rudimentary quality of the workbooks is a breath of fresh air in a world saturated in images with so much gloss.

We've got a selection of workbooks from this Shenzen based operation in the shop now! Come check it out or visit the Modes Vu blog for further cruising.

Out today: Poetry is Useless by Anders Nilsen

Pages from Anders Nilsen's newest release, Poetry is Useless, may look like excerpts from a sketchbook, but the book as a whole reads like a graphic novel. And Nilsen may sound like a nihilist (poetry is useless!), but he seems to be more curious than disillusioned about being in the world.

Themes come and go in Poetry is Useless. Nilsen muses on love, war, religion, God, and the meaning of it all. Statements introduced on one page are expanded upon (obliquely, always) several fragmented pages later. For example, on page 3 an anonymous black drawn figure says, "love is like an ocean."

And on page 32 the figure rejoins, "I hate the ocean. Because it is full of dead people."

Included in the book are travel diaries from Nilsen's trip to Columbia and from around North America and Europe.

Also included are portraits done in pen ink of friends and fellow cartoonists, including Lynda Barry and Matt Groening.

Poetry is Useless encompasses seven years of Nilsen's sketchbook drawings, from 2007-2014, covering much of his comics career. Sure to satisfy committed Nilsen fans, it includes visual references to some of his past works, including Dogs & Water, Rage of Poseidon, and Big Questions. However, for those unfamiliar with Nilsen's past work, Poetry is Useless serves as a nice introduction to the artist and his unique approach to art and life.

It's smokin' hot! Cool down already!!

I'm melting into my chair and all I can think about are ways to cool down.  Just looking at these summer treasures is making feel better fast.

 Summer Cocktails - Maria del mar Sacasa

Nothing more refreshing than a summer cocktail.  Mix one of these beauties up and get yourself outside!!
 Big Gay Ice Cream - Bryan Petroff

The title here says it all: Big, Gay and Ice Cream.  What a sweet treat!

Ceviche - Martin Morales

Cook in this weather?!?  Madness!  Take it from the Peruvians and marinate some fish.  Delicious and refreshing.

 Tequila Mockingbird - Tim Federle

As a tribute to Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman that comes out tomorrow why not make yourself an aptly named cocktail.  Cool down with these luscious literary mixes.

People's Pops - David Carrell

Make yourself a delicious drippy popsicle!  You've got 55 recipes to indulge in.

Like an off-duty fashion model: Tender Data, by Monica McClure

 Monica McClure's debut poetry collection, Tender Data, is out now!

If he only knew how many times I took Plan B
because of him he would text me:
"Good morning love pot. The world is real
and versimilar. I believe in love as something
outside of consciousness subject to study like germs."

Regardless of what the NPR review printed on its jacket says, Tender Data has not much to do with the specific "problems of the Internet age". Rather, it deals with the hazards of a young cosmo woman's life and it fizzes if dropped in a (dirty) martini.

As she throws her stiletto heels at social constructs of all kinds (beauty, gender, race), Monica McClure's voice is that of an off-duty fashion model (the title of one of her poems). The peculiar glamour that springs from such growing clamor is dark, but not devoid of humor.

Enter the dance if Adderall, Bakhtin, Diet Coke grenadine and vodka speak to you!

Travel guides for the summer holidaze

July and August are holiday season and whether or not you have travel plans it's time to make them or at least dream about them with these impeccably designed travel guides.

See art in a WWII bunker in Berlin, visit a flamingo garden in Milan, find the disco ball pizza oven in Vienna, and discover a hidden vineyard in Paris. The 38 hours series emphasize a local perspective on the city and feature interviews with dwellers and in depth pieces on idiosyncratic aspects of the landscape.

With these alt guides you'll discover the destination through the senses - taste, feel, smell the city - and discover it beyond the beaten path.

Monocle's New York manual provides a comprehensive guide to hotels, food and drink, retail and culture. In addition to extensive recommendations there are several essays reflecting on the city's history and a series of tailored neighborhood walks!

These cuties from Citi X 60 ask local creatives - chefs, musicians, designers, architects, artists - to offer their suggestions for getting around their city. Each book is wrapped in a colorful map and inside there are more detailed neighborhood maps to guide you smoothly from cafe to cafe. 

So far the series covers New York, Paris, Tokyo, London, Berlin, and Barcelona. If you haven't started planning your holiday yet - and everyone knows planning is the real fun - do it now!

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