New and Notable: Robert Mapplethorpe: The Archive by Frances Terpak

Robert Mapplethorpe has left an indelible mark on the photography world and further afield thanks to his unique, provocative style. He's one of those photographers that even non-photographers know, since his iconic images have permeated pop culture well beyond the confines of the art world. Anyone who has read Patti Smith's Just Kids, a perennial best seller here at Librairie D+Q, is sure to have a soft spot for Mapplethorpe; Smith's account of their lifelong friendship is poignant and touching, and makes you infinitely nostalgic for NYC in the 70s, even (and perhaps especially) if you weren't there. Smith also contributed an essay to this book!

Mapplethorpe is the sort of rare artist who was celebrated in his own time as well as after his untimely death due to complications from AIDS in 1989. His boundary-pushing, mostly stark black and white photos, with subject matter ranging from portraits (of himself as well as many celebrities), to still life flowers, to self-described pornographic images are instantly recognizable even today - the album cover of Patti Smith's Horses being one of his most famous and beloved photos. He famously documented the gay BDSM scene, causing quite a controversy surrounding publicly funded art and "obscenity" and censorship. Much legal turmoil ensued, but Mapplethorpe refused to be silenced, and his career continued to flourish. To date, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which he established before his death, has raised millions of dollars toward the fight against AIDS.

This new archive of Mapplethorpe's work compiles images from his personal studio files, spanning his entire career including his lesser known jewelry, sculptures, commercial and student work. Boasting more than 400 images, it provides new insight into Mapplethorpe's diverse range as an artist. A must-have for any photography buff...or even the dabblers who are just curious to peak into another era.

D+Q Office Reads: Part 6!

Ever say to yourself "hey, what the heck is the D+Q office reading right now"? We got you covered. Here is #6 in the series...

Stoner by John Williams (NYRB)
The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey (Grand Central)
White Boy in Skull Valley by Garrett Price  (Sunday Press)

Those NYRB books sure are tantalizing, aren’t they? I’m not sure what about STONER caught my eye but the accolades didn’t hurt. This is a story told in chronological order about a young man who becomes a student and then a professor and is told straight and simple. And it’s because of this simplicity that the story carries so much power. At a glance it seems the story of a man who accomplishes nothing, who drifts through life, who lets life happen to him. He goes to college for agriculture, finds literature and a mentor and friends, starts to work at the university, marries, has a child. ETC. The writing is spare and forceful and sharp. I hadn’t read such unadorned prose in such a long time and it was thrilling. Is this a mediocre life? Is it transcendent? Are all lives both?

I read about THE STENCH OF HONOLULU by Jack Handey ages ago. Jack is one of the comedic geniuses behind the long-sought-after zine Army Man created by him snd a few other comedy writers like George Meyer. Many of these guys went on to become the initial writers on The Simpsons and Jack created the “Deep Thoughts” segment on SNL. I was intrigued by the idea of an actual novel by Jack and while this book is certainly that it’s also kind of not. It’s just short chapter after short chapter of joke bombs. A relentless barrage of goofball jokes delivered by an arrogant idiot who leaves a path of destruction in his wake. There is a story here but mostly you get those perfectly crafted jokes. Laugh out loud funny page after page.

WHITE BOY IN SKULL VALLEY is the jewel in the reprint crown of Sunday Press. Sure, all their books are great but I’ve been waiting for this ever since I saw a couple of pages years ago. This is a beautiful strip, and like the best of Sunday color comics, it’s best seen full size to appreciate how it was initially experienced. Comics like this have a tendency to film your full view, to envelop your senses. The colors are great of course but I really love how the figures stand in the panels—mid-thigh to just above their heads. It’s rare that there’s a full body shot or a close-up. Somehow that charms me. As with any older strip, there are some outmoded representations but Price is a very sympathetic artist and avoids many pitfalls of presenting Native Americans. This is a beautiful piece of history.

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner (Scribner)

I'm no liar so I'm gonna be straight with you (you deserve at least that much)—the thought of reading about any sort of scene, particularly a trendy art scene, kinda makes me just want to watch TV instead, you know? This is likely why I put off reading Rachel Kushner's THE FLAMETHROWERS for so long, despite much urging to read it by a bunch of people with great taste. In the end, I, as always, am the fool: the setting is the setting but this is a book about humans and their relationships, mostly one person's, the fully realized and beautifully imagined lead character, Reno, as she transitions from college to life in New York City, making rash, spirited, inspiring, sexy decisions. She's one of the strongest, most relatable characters I've encountered in a long time. And then you've got Kushner's prose: enchanting, perceptive, and, quite frankly, if I may, a real joy to read. If you've yet to pick this one up, I can't think of a better way to spend what will surely be a shitty month. JUST KIDDING. EVERYTHING'S FINE.

- Tracy Hurren, managing editor

Bright-Eyed At Midnight by Leslie Stein (Fantagraphics)

I love Leslie’s work, and when she came to the store for her event a few weeks ago, I was excited to pick up the book I am most definitely actually holding here, BRIGHT-EYED AT MIDNIGHT. Her latest work, it’s a book of beautiful watercolour diary comics, drawn daily for all of 2014. The idea of doing a comic a day is something that I have resolved to do myself an embarrassing number of times, with disastrous, if any, results. This book made me want to try again, while at the same time proving how much more this idea can be in the hands of a great artist - the comic a day format quickly fades completely into the background, allowing me to lose myself in Leslie’s sweet, trippy, heartfelt watercolours. Reading it, you can actually watch her style evolve, creating a sense of time passing despite the fact that I actually devoured most it in a single afternoon at a cafe. This book is filled with smart and funny glimpses of Leslie's daily life and her recalled childhood memories, but what I loved most was the palpable sense of comfort, love and joy for the actual process of art making. Good grief, when I write about it, it’s sappy - but when she draws it, it’s beautiful!

- Alison Naturale, print manager

The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit (Penguin)

 About six months ago a friend recommended this book during a book launch (hi Steph!). I can't remember the exact words she used (sorry, Steph!) but I do remember a feeling of urgency as I typed the name into my phone for safekeeping.

THE FARAWAY NEARBY is many different things. It's a contemplation of the power of stories to define us; a collection of creative nonfiction about loss and death and memory; an undeniably honest recounting of the anxiety of dealing with a bounty of ripe-to-the-point-of-almost-rotting fruit that becomes a beautifully crafted tribute to family and the complicated fraught relationships we weave over our lives.

In prose that is rich and clear and often aching (spoiler alert: I definitely cried when reading this), Solnit tackles each of these subjects equally, with grace, eloquence, and honesty.

I dog-eared a bunch of pages so I could go back and linger on her skillful phrasing but then I forgot to write this before leaving for the airport, so all I have to share of her gorgeous prose is this photo I took when reading the "Ice" chapter on one of the coldest days of the winter. Enjoy.

- Julia Pohl Miranda, marketing director

Love and Rockets: New Stories No.8  by The Hernandez Bros. (Fantagraphics)

Anyone who knows me in the slightest can tell you that I am a huge fan of the Hernandez Brothers. I'm not claiming to have read absolutely everything by them, but I gotta say, I'm getting pretty close! So you can imagine how excited I was to pick up the latest volume of Love and Rockets: New Stories, which as always, did not disappoint. In volume 8, Gilbert concludes "The Magic Voyage of Aladdin," where a rivalry between Fritz and Mila results in a strange world of multiplicity featuring an amusing lot of Fritz look-alikes who work in the adult film industry. There's more at play than the eye-catching scantily clad women or over-the-top muscular men in this story, as Beto goes in much deeper by addressing themes of beauty and the grotesque, the malleability of bodies and identities, and the destructive potential of fame. Oh, and there's also a strange character with two penises, just so you know…

For his portion, Jaime gives us a fun sci-fi story and one centered on Tonta, but what really hit it home for me is the final story, "I Guess I Forgot to Stand Pigeon-Toed," which features many of the Locas cast as they get together at a punk show reunion. Having followed the Locas storyline for so long, there's nothing in comics that ever gets me as excited as when I flip through a new L&R volume and get a glimpse at the aging Maggie and Hopey. As Maggie matures (or as she herself puts it, is no longer "a peeing between parked cars kinda gal"), I find myself getting more engrossed by her character, which is as emotionally complex as ever. There are also a bunch of fun appearances from other characters, such as Joey Glass (does he still have the hots for Maggie?!), Hopey, Marco (formerly Monica), and the ever so somber Izzy. The emotional weight of L&R 8 isn't as pronounced as some of the Bros past works (who could forget that third volume!), but I take this as a good thing, since it allows both Gilbert and Jaime's storylines to breathe a bit, while still being a compelling read filled with incredible art and an undeniable mastery of the comics form.

- Marie-Jade Menni, production assistant

My Hot Date by Noah Van Sciver (Kilgore Books)
High-Rise by J.G. Ballard (Liveright)
Inside Llewyn Davis by Joel & Ethan Coen (Faber & Faber)

Last month, Van Sciver and Leslie Stein visited the store. Both were terrific, so happy they made it here, and Noah's reading of his comic MY HOT DATE nearly brought the house down. The comic is about Noah's adolescence in Mesa, Arizona and in particular, his mall/movie date with a girl he'd been chatting with online but had not met. I won't spoil it because you should really read it but suffice to say, he captures the awkwardness of that age perfectly, right down to weirdness of your friends and the questionable music tastes we're all horrified to remember.

 Originally published in 1976,  J.G. Ballard's HIGH-RISE is a darkly-funny British dystopian novel, probably one of his best-known works. I'd been meaning to read this one for awhile and was hooked by the first line:
“Later, as he sat on the balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous months.”
Dr. Laing is one of two thousand other tenants in a self-contained apartment building with all the amenities: gyms, a grocery store etc. and the higher the floor you live on, the higher your social status. If you live on the lower floors, your parking space is further away and tenants don't intermingle between levels. Ballard's ability to portray the increasingly claustrophobic atmosphere as the building descends in to a chaotic war between floors is pretty impressive. As debris and garbage starts to fill the hallways and the tenants devolve into "cool, unemotional personalit[ies] impervious to the psychological pressures of high-rise life". Pretty obvious social commentary, I know, but man, sometimes you just gotta be reminded, what the hell are we doing? I don't wanna end up eating a dog, you know?

If you asked me a year ago if I liked the Coen's sixteenth movie, I would have said "sure" but after reading the screenplay and re-watching I think I might now consider it my favourite of theirs. As someone who hasn't read many screenplays I was happy to find how fun it was to read. Oscar Isaac was, of course, wonderful in the finished film but it was interesting to see how much of the character was already there, on the page before anything was filmed. The story, in case you are not familiar, is of Llewyn Davis, a second (or even third?) tier folk musician, haunting the Greenwich Village cafés just before the post-Dylan folk explosion. Broke but stubborn, Davis burns bridges and alienates peers on an almost daily basis, and the Coen's ability to -arguably- make this ultimately unlikable character someone we still give a shit about is admirable. The scene where Davis begrudgingly visits his well- intentioned benefactors and explodes after they goad him into performing for their dinner guests is a masterful microcosm of Davis's whole unfortunate story - and really, financially unsuccessful artists everywhere. Suck it up and sing for your supper, am I right?

- Jason Grimmer, marketing director Librairie D+Q

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (Graywolf)
Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte (HarperCollins)

This month I caught up on some seriously critically acclaimed stuff. A little late on THE ARGONAUTS game, but I'm just a sucker for a classic paperback release. It's more purse adaptable, you know? And what did I see perched on a table at the ol' Librairie D+Q? The Argonauts! In paperback! I'd read Maggie Nelson's prior girl beloved release Bleuets, which is a beautiful and sad meditation on one of life's most beautiful and sad things: heartbreak. The Argonauts navigates this theme as well but through a much more socially critical eye. In it, Maggie Nelson explores her relationship with real life artist and fluidly gendered Harry Dodge, and so Nelson carries us through the act of falling in love, the eventual development of her pregnancy — all within the lens of her queer built family.

I also picked up Tony Tulathimutte's PRIVATE CITIZENS which traces the lives of a group of privileged San Francisco millenials. My favourite topic, basically. Tulathimutte captures both the humour and aches of this generation within the lives of digitally entrenched, sexually liberated, and politically woke 20-somethings. Kind of like spying on the inner lives of your friends.

- Sruti Islam, marketing assistant

Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf)
Big Kids by Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)

In the summer I read Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric, a book of prose poetry and essays that observes race in modern America, our attempts to pat ourselves on the back for our progress while stretching to cover up our continued, internalized, everyday racism. DON'T LET ME BE LONELY is Rankine's fourth book, published ten years before Citizen and subtitled to match. Rankine is reaching, in this book, for some semblance of understanding—an understanding of the violence contained both within the United States and perpetrated abroad; it is a book that looks at the intimate as well as the worldwide. I ain't no poetic academic so I have a hard time analyzing, but what immersed me the most about DLMBL was its blurriness, a blurriness of the struggle to comprehend what grief is, the ways it permeates our lives directly and indirectly, from a distance and up close. Rankine's opening line, "There was a time I could say no one I knew well had died," juxtaposed for me so beautifully with a line from the middle of the book, where Rudy Giuliani (of all people) answers as to how many were estimated to have died in the World Trade Centre, "More than we can bear." Don't Let Me Be Lonely is a gorgeous examination of death and the body in contemporary America.

I also re-read Michael DeForge's most recent masterpiece, BIG KIDS, a coming of age story that is both formalistically and narratively brilliant. What I have always admired about DeForge's conceptual and world building talents are the ways in which they engulf you; you can't see the seams of the world, and so occasionally there is a visual claustrophobia that sets in. It's the acceptance of this claustrophobia that (and this might sound weird!) reminds me of the moment when you realize that the discomfort you are feeling is anxiety, and you take a deep breath and just go with it. One of the things that I find most beautiful about Big Kids is its queerness, the spectrum of sexuality seen not only in our protagonist's life but in the trees themselves, their fluidity and sexual freedom (that pool scene!). How do you end these things again? Oh yeah: We are so lucky! Glory be to DeForge!

- Marcela Huerta, production assistant

New and Notable: She Weeps Each Time You're Born by Quan Barry

Poet, professor, and fiction writer Quan Barry's new novel hits shelves this week. Set in Vietnam in 1972, the story follows Rabbit, a girl born in the most unusual of circumstances: on a full moon night, she was rescued from the banks of the Song Ma River after spending three days buried in the grave along with her mother. It soon becomes clear that Rabbit has the uncanny gift of being able to speak with the dead. As Rabbit grows up amidst the chaos and destruction of the Vietnam war, death is everywhere, and her special ability allows her to paint a picture of the history of Vietnam's violent history. Not only can she hear the recently dead, but also voices from the distant past.

Quan Barry, born in Saigon, but raised in the U.S.A., states in this interview with NPR that she wanted to depict Vietnam's history by creating the character Rabbit as an embodiment of the country itself: " I was very interested in trying to transform Vietnam from the perceptions that we have about it in the West." Beyond the well-documented in pop culture role of the U.S.A. in the conflict between North and South Vietnam, which is the part of Vietnamese history most familiar to Western readers, the novel also goes deeper into the past, which has so often involved invasion by foreign armies. As Rabbit learns, Vietnam has been subjected to Soviet occupation, French colonization, and invasion by Cambodian, Chinese, and Japanese forces, to name a few. Rabbit points out that Vietnam is a “nation of people who have been dying from war for over a thousand years.”

Interestingly, Barry mentions in this same interview that the character of Rabbit was inspired by a real person: "a woman named Phan Thi Bich Hang, who is the "official psychic" of Vietnam. She was bitten by a rabid dog when she was five years old, and when she came out of her coma, she can hear the voices of the dead. And the government actually uses her to help them find the remains of soldiers and other people ... and when I heard that, I'm like, that's what this novel is supposed to be about."

Barry's prose is lyrical, as you'd expect from an accomplished poet, and interwoven with Vietnamese folklore, adding to the novel's magic-realist feel. The dead who speak to and through Rabbit have many stories to tell, and their combined voices provide a moving history of a nation which has fought to preserve its identity against the tides of colonization and war. 

MATINÉE POUR LES ENFANTS: un atelier avec les auteures de Renaud le petit renard

Les deux auteures de la série de livres illustrés pour enfants Renaud (Renaud le petit renard et Renaud en hiver) seront à la librairie le dimanche 20 mars à 10h du matin. Au programme: lecture, discussion, collations et un atelier de bricolage pour créer des personnages et s’inventer des histoires!

The authors of the Renaud series of illustrated books for kids will be at the bookstore on the morning of March 20th at 10 am. On the itinerary: reading, discussion, snacks, and a craft-making workshop for creating characters and inventing stories.

Le second livre mettant en scène Renaud le petit renard, Renaud en hiver, est paru en février 2016 aux éditions de La Pastèque. 

Katty Maurey est montréalaise, illustratrice et designer. Véronique Boisjoly a collaboré à et cofondé, avant de lancer Caribou, édition créative, une maison spécialisée dans le développement d’histoires pour iPad.

New and Notable: Mona Awad's 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Out this week is Mona Awad's 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, a novel composed of 13 interconnected vignettes which can also be read as standalone short stories. The stories chronicle, as the title implies, the life of "fat girl" Elizabeth as she struggles with self-hatred, body image, and her ever-fluctuating weight.

Having always considered herself overweight, Elizabeth, who at times goes by Lizzie, Beth, and Liz (her name changes almost as frequently as her dress size) devotes herself zealously to the project of losing weight. Years of meticulous calorie-calculating and interminable, sweaty hours at the gym yield the weight loss results she desires, but take a serious toll on her mental health and relationships. The "thin" Elizabeth can wear standard size clothes, but becomes listless, exhausted, and disinterested in anything but the all-consuming need to maintain a caloric deficit. Moreover, she is still as plagued by self-hatred as ever. 

In one story, Elizabeth and a friend wonder, as they sip stevia-sweetened beverages and split a gluten-free muffin, if perhaps their efforts are futile, if the weight loss industry a cruel joke, and "the joke's on us." The spectre of what they could have accomplished with the time they've spent tethered to the hamster-wheel of the treadmill looms heavy, and the question unanswered.

By showing us snippets of Elizabeth's life over time and her various sizes, Awad's novel cuts deep into the devastating effects of the diet and weight loss industry on women's self image, mental and physical health, and the repercussions that preoccupation with body size have on one's ability to flourish. Elizabeth's relationships are perpetually undercut and soured by her fraught relationship with her body image. Her romantic relationships are particularly telling, as she links her self-worth to her perceived "fuckability," causing her to tolerate shoddy treatment from undeserving partners, and sabotage potentially good relationships with others. Her friendships are equally problematic; constantly comparing herself to other women breeds jealousy, cruelty and contempt which hinders her from forming meaningful bonds with other women who are dealing with the same issues, and could otherwise be a supportive network.

Sadly, Elizabeth's plight is as heart-wrenching as it is relatable for countless women who have also absorbed the toxic cultural messages which equate body-size with desirability, and thereby happiness and fulfillment. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl does not shy away from confronting these difficult realities, which makes it painful to read at times, but Awad's prose makes it enjoyable despite its harsh content. Awad's depection of Elizabeth's complicated humanity is graceful and deft. Even readers who don't have issues with body image (if such a person exists!) will find something to relate to in Elizabeth. And for readers who do share in Elizabeth's struggle, this book will validate so many truths. To be seen, to be heard, to know that others feel as you feel, that none of this is your fault because this world is set up to turn a profit from your manufactured self-hate...this is powerful stuff.

Mona Awad will be at Librairie Drawn and Quarterly on Tuesday, March 8th at 7:00 p.m. to launch 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. Won't you join us?   

Tonight! Club de lecture francophile : ARVIDA de Samuel Archibald

Commencez l’année 2016 sur le bon pied : en lisant plus de livres en français! 

Nous lançons un nouveau club de lecture ouvert à tout francophile. Que vous soyez débutant ou francophone d’origine : vous êtes les bienvenus! Nous nous rencontrerons tous les deux mois pour discuter d’un livre francophone en mettant l’accent sur les auteurs québécois. 

Pour le mois de février, nous avons choisi Arvida de Samuel Archibald, finaliste au prix Giller en 2015.  Nous en discuterons le 24 février à 19h00 à la librairie (211 Bernard Ouest).  La discussion sera animée par Rebecca Lloyd, gérante de la librairie. 


À l’autre bout du monde, il y a Arvida, ville modèle érigée au début du vingtième siècle par l’industriel américain Arthur Vining Davis.

Le narrateur de ce livre est né là, dans la capitale de l’aluminium, construite en cent-trente-cinq jours. Petite utopie nordique peuplée de braves gens, de menteurs compulsifs et de pures crapules. Dans les quatre paroisses d’Arvida, le long du Saguenay et par-delà l’horizon bleuté des monts Valin, on se raconte des histoires de nuits en forêt et de matins difficiles. Des histoires de jeunes filles innocentes et de bêtes sauvages, de meurtre raté et de mutilation rituelle, de roadtrip vers nulle part et de maison hantée. Des histoires tantôt tristes, tantôt drôles, tantôt horribles, et souvent un peu tout ça à la fois, mémorables pour leur profonde authenticité, même si, il faut bien le dire, elles sont toutes à moitié fausses et à moitié inventées.

Digne fils de son conteur de père, Samuel Archibald se révèle dans ces pages un émule de Cormac McCarthy obsédé par Proust, un héritier d’Anne Hébert qui a trop lu Jim Thompson et Stephen King.


Atelier de sérigraphie/ Silkscreening workshop!

Nous sommes très heureux d'offrir une fois de plus notre atelier populaire sur la sérigraphie! Faites nous parvenir vos dépôts au plus tôt possible, car nous avons seulement que six places disponibles!

We're very happy to offer our popular screenprinting workshop once again, get your deposit in soon, this will fill up fast. Only 6 spots available!

Ce cours donné par Leyla Majeri couvre toutes les bases de la sérigraphie. À la fin de l'atelier, les participants (15 ans et plus, maximum de six participants) repartent avec leur propre projet. Pour participer, venez nous visiter à 211 Bernard Ouest, ou appelez 514-279-2224.

Les lundis à 19h00 25 avril, 2 mai, 9 mai


 (materiaux fournis)

The course will be taught by Leyla Majeri and it cover all screenprinting basics. At the end of the workshop students (15 years and up, max six participants) leave with their finished project. To reserve a spot, please visit us at 211 Bernard Ouest or call 514-279-2224.

Mondays at 6pm. April 25, May 2nd, and May 9th.


(all materials will be provided).

New and Notable: Amulet #7 by Kazu Kibuishi

We've recently received the newest volume in Kazu Kibuishi's highly acclaimed Amulet series, perfect for 8-12 year olds, and much older readers as well!

The Amulet saga starts when Emily and Navin's mother moves them to their great-grandfather's old home. The mysterious house quickly steals the children's mother from them, and in trying to find her, the siblings stumble into an underground world populated by demons, robots, and talking animals. Emily, as Stonekeeper, must now protect this strange new world, but the adventure is only starting.

In this new installment, Emily and her allies travel to Algos Island, a place that grants access to lost memories. There they hope to use the childhood of Trellis, the Elf King's son and their newest ally, against the wicked king. Trellis's memories may be the key to victory, but in the meantime Emily's amulet grows stronger, more dangerous...

New D+Q: Michael DeForge's Big Kids

Big Kids is a surreal coming-of-age tale about the transformative years of adolescence, featuring, Adam, a teen maturing sexually and otherwise. When he discovers his boyfriend has left him for someone else, Adam undergoes an emotional and physical transformation. 

Filled with acid colour and abstract shapes in typical Deforge style, this new release is a wrenching gem, and a beautiful hard cover small edition you can slip in your pocket. 

And we have signed copies!

Re-Cap: Brian Chippendale, Nick Drnaso, and Michael DeForge!

On February 17, we were so thrilled to welcome three DQ powerhouses, Brian Chippendale, Nick Drnaso, and Michael DeForge, to the store for an impressive triple book launch!

The three artists were introduced by Tom Devlin, who had nothing but good things to say about them, and who firmly believes that this moment, the quick consecutive launches of Brian's Puke Force, Nick's Beverly, and Michael's Big Kids, will go down in publishing history.

Michael was introduced by referencing his already prolific career (and at such a young age!), and by the fact that, for Tom, Michael only seems to improve with time. 

He read from three stories: “Computer” (pictured above), “On Kissing” (in which kissing came about as mouths trying to eat one another), and “Margot the Airplane,” one after another.

Next up was Nick, whom Tom stressed had come out of nowhere with a debut that is amazing. The stories in Beverly are incredibly well-formed, and work together beautifully.

For his presentation, Nick showed us pictures he used as inspiration for both his art, and Beverly's story, including the mug shots of suburban teen murderers, pictures of people he knew growing up, and google street view photos. His girlfriend's doll collection (above) helped him figure out how to draw "blank" faces. 

Puke Force is Brian's fourth comic collection, and Tom introduced it as the best thing the artist has ever done, with a clarity that makes it his finest work.

Brian walked us through a selection of episodes in Puke Force. The book started out being about a group of people trying to find a secret headquarters, but he never got around to revealing where the HQ actually was. His point wasn't to be funny, but "maybe, possibly, perhaps funny." His comics are peppered with pop cultural characters (you can find cameos from the purple smurf or the dungeon master from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon), and take on topics as varied as surveillance culture, fear of commitment, and 80s punk thrash bands. (Fun fact: Brian was born exactly one year, to the day, after Bruce Lee died.)

Thanks to everyone who came out to the (packed!) event, and a big thank you to Nick, Brian, and Michael for making it such a memorable evening!

Howl at the moon: our top 10 night-time kid's books!

In honour of tonight's full snow moon, we've compiled a list of ten or our favourite kid's books inspired by a nocturnal theme. Here you'll find something for all star-gazers, night-owls and cosmically-curious kids!

Information Graphics: Space (Simon Rogers and Jennifer Daniel) 
Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space (Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman)

The Night World (Mordicai Gerstein)
Once Upon a Northern Night / Par une belle nuit d'hiver (Jean E. Pendziwol and Isabelle Arsenault)
Moon Man (Tomi Ungerer)
Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd)
Owls See Clearly at Night (Julie Flett)
Sun and Moon (Lindsey Yankey)
The Cat at Night (Dahlov Ipcar)
Moomin and the Comet (Tove & Lars Jansson)

New & Notable: Ley Lines

Brought to you by Grindstone Comics & Czap Books, Ley Lines is a series of fine art fan comics! Published quarterly, each issue features a different comics artist treating a topic related to fine arts culture at large. Already there's an impressive line-up with titles by Annie Mok (a Rookie Mag contributor), Cathy G. Johnson (releasing with Koyama Press this Spring!), Warren Craghead, Erin Curry, and Andrew White. Treatments range from Mok's Unholy Shapes, in which  "a dissociative young trans person binges on drugs, has bad Craigslist sex, and struggles with the troubled legacy of Expressionist painter Egon Schiele" to Craghead's thrashy take on the Golden Smoke and mirrors of the art market and Erin Curry's drawn poem to Cy Twombly.

February 25th to March 5th: Louis Riel - A Comic-Strip Stage Play at Théâtre La Chapelle!

Lordy lordy, look at this, The Rustwerk Refinery and Zach Fraser are presenting an adaptation of Chester Brown’s classic graphic novel, LOUIS RIEL at Théâtre La Chapelle!

A gavel bangs in the dark marking the start of Louis Riel’s trial for treason. The man, equally revered and reviled, is in the docks arguing for his life. Based on Chester Brown’s celebrated graphic novel, which so poignantly illustrates the story of the enigmatic Métis hero, RustWerk’s theatrical adaptation pops with the vibrant artistry of the original source, both stark and playful. Riel himself is nothing if not conflicted; troubled by visions and personal discussions with God, he is a gifted leader in a time when defying the dominant society is a treacherous affair. Louis Riel - a comic-strip stage play is at times charged in controversy and irreverent in its depiction of historical figures. Part puppet theatre, part comic-strip, Louis Riel - a comic-strip stage play is a stunning and spirited trek through one of Canada’s most riveting historical periods.

Puppetry, a natural theatrical extension of the comic-book art form, offers powerful perspectives, rich details, and vivid lively storytelling. Louis Riel breathes in life-sized two dimensions, he mourns in shadow-imagery, he rallies his men in the voice of the actor. Brown’s graphic novel is our primary source of inspiration. The art form of the comic-strip and its storytelling techniques are major references in our staging techniques. Elizabethan toy theatre, with its naïve, two-dimensional cut-outs, is a significant source of inspiration for our theatrical adaptation of Brown’s work. This production and its development have been generously supported by The Cole Foundation, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal.


Théâtre La Chapelle (3700, Saint-Dominique st.)


Tickets available online.
or call the box office: (514) 843-7738

Re-cap: Our Adrian Tomine and Leanne Shapton event!

Ah, good times. We don't always get 'em but when we do they remind us that we need more of 'em. That's how I felt about our Tomine/Shapton event this month... it was a cozy eve at the beautiful Rialto Hall with a crowd of adoring  fans and presentations by two of the biggest talents in comics today...yet, it almost didn't happen! Flight cancellations due to snowfall almost derailed the whole event! Luckily for us, D+Q authors are a hearty sort and Adrian and Leanne hopped into a car and drove from Boston to Montreal and made it in time.

First up was Leanne Shapton, and she read from her book Was She Pretty?

Was She Pretty? a book of beautifully expressive line-drawings alongside ruminations of past loves is now available from D+Q in a gorgeous paperback edition.

Next was Adrian Tomine, author of the Optic Nerve series and Scenes From an Impending Marriage and well-known for is iconic New Yorker cover illustrations. He read the disturbing and funny story "Intruders" from his newest D+Q collection Killing and Dying.

After both presentations the authors sat down for a short conversation with Saleema Nawaz, author of the Librairie D+Q bestselling 2016 Canada Reads contestant Bone and Bread.

After a sweet acknowledgement that she was indeed a big fan (Was She Pretty? put her into a dreamy reverie and Killing and Dying had her in tears) conversation turned to the effects of parenthood on their work (Leanne: "I'm more obsessed with death!"), the writing process, favourite pens (Adrian admitted he often buys his supplies at Rite Aid and that no one has yet said, "I noticed that your book was done with cheap art supplies"), and the potentiality of movie adaptations of their work.

After the conversation, the audience had some great questions while one exuberant attendee took the opportunity to instead lavish praise on Adrian and Leanne...always a treat! And, just before the terrific evening ended, then fans lined-up to get their books signed by Leanne and Adrian...

So great to see a legion of literary lovers there...we're thankful for our community and how, together we made it one of those special nights when everyone leaves happy and better for the experience...but fear not fans who couldn't make it! Adrian and Leanne were kind enough to sign some extras so we have a limited supply on hand at 211 Bernard Ouest! Stop by and get yer comics on!

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