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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Sweatshop: If you hate Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays AND Fridays...

Originally serialized by DC Comics, Bagge's portrait of Mel Bowling, the fictional creator of an abominably bad daily newspaper comic strip (a wretched hybrid of Garfield and Dilbert, apparently) is now available as a complete collection for the first time!

Bagge's unmistakable, rubbery drawings perfectly suit the sit-com cast of overworked studio assistants and frazzled cartoonists that flesh out Bowling's world.
 
Bagge's signature style is also complemented by the contributions of some renowned guest comics artists, such as Stephen DeStefano (Popeye) and Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit). Keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by Neil Gaiman!
Friday, 30 January 2015

Second printing! The beautiful 'Heads or Tails' by Lili Carré



Have you read it? "Heads or Tails" by Lili Carré is back in stock! I was charmed by this collection of short stories, published by Fantagraphics (2012).



Not only that they are exquisitely illustrated, but the surrealist short stories are also deeply poetic.


Here's a snapshot of my favorite story, "Rainbow Moment"!


But what's a "rainbow moment"? One character explains, "like you're feeling both rain and sunshine at the same time and are caught somewhere between the two."

How beautiful!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

You'll be glad you waited for Delayed Gratification magazine


We're very excited to have the latest issue of Delayed Gratification magazine in stock! The self-styled "world's first slow journalism magazine" isn't worried about staying ahead of the curve. They're committed to beautiful, in-depth reporting, timelines be damned.


The quarterly attempts to get away from the 24 hour news cycle and the type of reporting that "promotes kneejerk reactions and cut-and-paste journalism over context and perspective." Arranged chronologically, this issue takes a look at major global events from July to September 2014.


Amid the amazing infographics and illustrations, inside you'll find writings from Naomi Klein, photo essays chronicling the siege of Donetsk, and an interview with Henry Kissinger. Make sure you stop by and snag yourself a copy!

First Year Healthy by Michael DeForge is out today!

The latest book from DeForge published by Drawn and Quarterly is out today! First Year Healthy has the cutest salmon pink cover ever, and is the size of a children's book. This time, the colour palette used by DeForge is delicate, even caressing. The colours combined with the textured cover made me want to "cuddle" with the book. It was love at first sight!

But don't let the appearance fool you... DeForge's wintery tale is sordid, and as dark as it can be!




First Year Healthy is the story of a young woman, reintegrating into her village after being released from a mental hospital. A cold winter sets the tone of this Christmas-themed graphic novel.


Watch out! Where one may expect to find a warm and vibrant atmosphere, one rather encounters silence, death and a general numbness of feelings.


DeForge's little pink treasure is also a perfect match to Montreal's weather right now! It's hard to describe how excited I was to read his new book. I adore his work and his previous book Ant Colony was also part of my Top 10 books of 2014.




DeForge’s work is very unique and highly stylized. The first pages of the book are tapestry-like and their depiction of intricate flora are one of many examples. I was charmed by the odd-ball juxtaposition of beige poop, purple leaves, algae and dandelions.


While reading First Year Healthy, one realizes the pink cover isn’t tainted with innocence, but rather evokes flesh and alludes to murder. It also reminds me of a central but speechless character in the story, the Turk’s baby. The child, is always portrayed naked, and seems even more vulnerable, surrounded by snow, ice and craziness. 


DeForge creates weird poetic images by combining mesmerizing visuals with a narrative that is bleak and discomforting.


In First Year Healthy, the main protagonist is romantically involved with a Turk she meet at the fish market. But is there really love?

The couple distracts itself by measuring the speed at which sperm freezes on the snow and has sex between lunch breaks.



The Turk is always referred to by his nationality. By doing so, his girlfriend underlines repeatedly his outsiderness and his fragile social status as an illegal immigrant. Not only do the characters not have names, but the link that ties them to each other appears to be tenuous and devoid of emotions.


The Canadian wintery tale reaches its dramatic apex on Christmas Eve. As the story unfolds, one may be vaguely reminded of the nativity story. However, this time, it is way more creepy. Brrrrr!

DeForge’s book is also reminiscent of some of the visual characteristics of videogame design, especially Mario Bros’ flatness, simple geometry and clean lines. At times, a vertical cross-section shows different stratums and gives a feeling of vertical depth. In fact, DeForge does not only depict the ground but also the layers of worms and dirt that lie beneath.

Bravo!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Stephan Pastis is making Montreal comic-strip-famous!

Stephan Pastis, best-selling comic strip artist, was in Montreal just now and loved it! So much so that he has dedicated two of his Pearls Before Swine strips to our fine city. That means Montreal is being chuckled about by the readers of over 750 papers all over the world, including our very own Gazette! The first is out today - it enumerates all our charms:

Stay tuned for the second strip, which will run this Wednesday! Hint: it involves a long-standing bagel rivalry between two North American cities...

And what's more, 375 MTL, La Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal has made him an honorary Montrealer! They even made a sweet video with him:

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Mini YA round-up!

This month we have received some exciting new YA titles we'd like to share with you! These books deal with everything from mental health and suicide, to race and racism, to religion and the apocalypse. Recommended for young adults, and for older adults too!

Vivian Apple (Katie Coyle): In which Vivian Apple and some other stragglers are left behind after the Rapture takes all the world's believers with it (including Vivian's parents). Vivian embarks on a truth-seeking road-trip with her friend Harp and a mysterious boy named Peter. Promises to be a complex read with a smart female protagonist and insights into religion, belief, and what happens after the world ends.
For more info, check out this interview with Katie Coyle over at Flavorwire!

X: A Novel (Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon): Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X's daughter, teams up with Kekla Magoon to bring us a semi-fictionalized recounting of the formative years in the life of the African-American Muslim Minister and humans rights activist. It has already earned praise from Chris Rock and Muhammad Ali! The Huffington post calls it "gritty and glorious". Definitely worth checking out!
For more about X: A Novel, read this interview with Shabazz and Magoon at the School Library Journal.

The Darkest Part of the Forest (Holly Black): Hazel and Ben are siblings who live in Fairfold, where humans and fairies live side by side. But all is not bright and happy in the land of Faerie. As Hazel and Ben enter their teens, things take a darker turn and their semi-normal lives are shaken up in unexpected ways.
The Guardian is calling The Darkest Part of the Forest a must-read of 2015! Read the review here.

All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven): Violet Markey and Theodore Finch meet on the ledge of the bell tower at their high school, where both are seriously contemplating suicide. They form an unlikely friendship (Violet is popular and Theodore is a loner), and they embark on a roadtrip together. Niven writes about mental heath and death, or the desire for it, with frankness and empathy.
Read more about All the Bright Places over at Bustle!
Saturday, 17 January 2015

NEW Kuš! Comics Anthology and Mini Kuš!


It's finally here - another fantastic new Kuš! Anthology hit the shop today! š! #19 is all about mathematics. For a sneak preview check out kuš! komiksi or come see it at the store. 
We've also got mini kuš! #27 "Mathematical Solutions for a Global Crisis" by Jesse Jacobs, #28 "Collector" by Zane Zlemeša, and #29 "Remember This?" by Disa Wallander.
Friday, 16 January 2015

Howard Chackowicz's comics & cartooning workshop starts soon!

We are super-happy to welcome Mr. Chackowicz back to Librairie Drawn + Quarterly to lead a workshop in comics and cartooning! Session will be held on Mondays from 7-9 PM starting February 16th through to March 9th.

The workshop will cover the basics of cartooning and making comics with a focus on creativity, self-expression and the development of personal style. You will explore...


Cartoon drawing fundamentals:
  • Drawing styles for figures & forms
  • Penciling & inking, 
  • Lettering
  • Shading
  • Movement
  • Etc.   
Comic art basics:
  • Developing ideas or narratives
  • Panel & page composition 
  • Timing 
  • Using word & thought bubbles 
  • Etc. 
Working with each person's particular style and abilities, participants will complete cartoon pages, a mini comic and a full comic page (or pages)!

 What to bring:
  • Paper 
  • HB pencil 
  • Soft eraser 
  • Sharpener 
  • 1 thin black permanent marker & 1 thick black permanent marker (eg. STAEDTLER Lumocolor "Fine" and one "Medium" or anything like that) 
  • Ruler 
Cost: $150
Dates: Mondays February 16, 23, March 2, 9 from 7-9PM
The workshop will be taught in a combination of French and English, depending on participant needs. Suggested age is 16 and up, due to some "mature" content and discussion (sex, politics in comics, etc.), but this is flexible/up to the participant (or the participant's parents...). 8 Participants MAXIMUM so call us to reserve your spot!

Howard is one of Montreal's most beloved cartoonists (his book "Howie Action Comix" is published by Conundrum Press) and you may also be familiar with his work as an actor, musician (Nutsak, American Devices, Land of Kush), restaurant reviewer and, of course, as a regular on CBC Radio One's WireTap alongside other Librairie D+Q faves, Jonathan Goldstein and Jon Tucker!

Howard has previously held workshops at our store. He has taught at the (now defunct) Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, and at French and English schools throughout Quebec for the Montreal English Language School Board, Blue Metropolis and local private businesses. All-in-all, he's got seventeen years of experience teaching comics and cartooning to adults, teens and children in Montreal!
Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Recap: Sarah Lazarovic and Benjamin Errett both launch their book!

On the 29th of November, Sarah Lazarovic was at the store to launch her cute and colourful book A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy, based on a visual essay first published on The Hairpin.


She offered free paintings of things people highly coveted but ended up not buying. Friends and family were there to enjoy the activity. As with her book, it was a way for the author to advocate conscious consumerism in a very humorous way.


Sarah's husband, Benjamin Erret, was also launching his book, Elements of Wit: Mastering the Art of Being Interesting. Both admitted that the combination of a writer and an illustrator under the same roof sometimes proved to be a little crazy!

They described themselves as being creative neurotics, as they could be neurotic together about their Amazon ratings! 


Benjamin talked about his book, underlining that wit is something that could (and should) be cultivated.
"Feed that flame until it's a roaring bonfire", he said.

Adam Leith Gollner, who was the event's moderator, asked Sarah if Benjamin was witty when they first meet. Surprisingly, Sarah said no. "He brought coffee cake from Tim Hortons on our first date, he had a lot to learn."


Q & A was insightful and humorous. The couple's daughter even joined them on stage. Benjamin gave some advices on how to be witty, and Sarah talked about clothes she used to wear and covet during her teenage years.


The lovely evening ended with Benjamin saying his wife's book was "extremely witty". Let's hope to see those two "creative neurotics" very soon!

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