New D&Q: How to Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less

Sarah Glidden is an Ignatz award winning cartoonist working in memoir and comics journalism. A re-edition of her 2011 memoir, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less published by Drawn & Quarterly is out today!

Glidden's touching memoir documents her experience of the Israel Birthright tour. As a progressive Jewish American who is highly critical of Israeli politics, Glidden decides to take the opportunity to go there and see for herself what conclusions she may draw from the situation. Although she remains astute and observant, thinking critically at every turn, she surprises herself with what she finds. The Israel Palestine conflict is infinitely complicated and she learns that not everything is black and white.

In Sarah Glidden's next book she delves into Middle Eastern politics and comics reportage once again. Rolling Blackouts documents her journey through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria accompanying two journalist friends and a former Marine as they  research the effects of the Iraq war on the region. Look for it October 5th!

Biblioasis Reading with John Metcalf, Leon Rooke, Alice Petersen and Mike Barnes

Join us on Friday, September 23rd for the launch of four new Biblioasis books by four excellent authors. Come stop by! Admission is free, and wine will be served.

About the books and their authors: 

“The Museum at the End of the World” by John Metcalf
Legendary Canadian writer and editor John Metcalf is back, in full comic force, with a linked collection of stories and novellas. Set in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, and Ottawa, these tales span the life of writer Robert Forde and his wife Sheila. Playing with various forms of comedy throughout, Metcalf paints a portrait of 20th century literary life with levity, satire, and unsuspecting moments of emotional depth. John Metcalf is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario. 

“Wordly Goods” by Alice Petersen
Hailed as being both assured and stylistically confident, Wordly Goods reveals through a variety of stories that ownership is more than possession. In her new collection, Alice Petersen shows how small objects stand as markers of our attempts to communicate with each other. Originally from New Zealand, Alice Peterson has spent the last two decades living in Canada. Her works have been shortlisted for the CBC Awards, and have appeared in the Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Stories. 

“Swinging Through Dixie” by Leon Rooke
The two novellas and three short stories in this new collection by Governor General’s Award winner Leon Rooke are united by place and mood. Told in the style of Jose Saramago or Garcia Marquez, daring young women, mad mothers, and traumatized children are affected radically by the magic of their world. Leon Rooke is a novelist, short story writer, editor, and critic. He has published 28 books, nearly 300 short stories, and is the recipient of the North Caroline Award for Literature.

"The Adjustment League by Mike Barnes
Prompted by a mysterious summons from his past, a man known only as “The Super” begins an investigation into maternal neglect by a privileged Toronto family. As the case deepens, revealing a web of systemic crime and depravity, The Super undertakes a series of adjustments: his word for the personal interventions that he conducts on behalf of the powerless. These increasingly chaotic retributions soon pull him into a spiral of brutal violence.

October 19th at Victoria Hall : Alexandre Trudeau Launches Barbarian Lost

Join us on Wednesday, October 19th for the launch of Barbarian Lost: the moving debut book by traveller, filmmaker and journalist Alexandre Trudeau at the Westmount Library! Barbarian Lost is an insightful and witty account of the dynamic changes going on right now in China, as well as a look back into the deeper history of this highly codified society. On the ground with the women and men who make China tick, Trudeau shines new light on the country as only a traveller with his storytelling abilities could.

**The event will be 5$ for regular entry, and 3$ for seniors.

Tickets available in store, online or at the Westmount Library.

About the author:
Over the past decade and a half, his films and reports on issues of geopolitical importance have been seen and read by millions of Canadians. He charted out the intimate realities on both sides of the Israeli security barrier, explored the pluralism of Canadian identity, stood up for the rights of arbitrarily imprisoned terror suspects in Canada, tracked youth-driven democratic awakenings in the Balkans, shed light on the origins of unrest in Darfur, Liberia and Haiti and deconstructed the Canadian peace-keeping legacy fifty years after Pearson's Nobel. Born into one of the country's most prominent political families, Alexandre has been familiar to Canadians since birth by his nickname, Sacha. Trudeau lives in Montreal with his wife and three young children.

D+Q Are the Official Booksellers for John Waters at the Rialto Theatre!

On Saturday September 24th, celebrated filmmaker, screenwriter, author, and visual artist John Waters will be presenting his one man spoken-work lecture entitled “This Filthy World” at the Rialto Theatre. We are very excited to announce that D+Q will be the evening’s official booksellers!

Known primarily for his transgressive cult films, Waters is a also a bestselling author; titles like Role Models, and Carsick earning spots on the bestseller lists for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Waters also received a 2015 Grammy nomination for his audio performance of Carsick, which chronicles his adventure hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco in the spring of 2012.

Join us alongside the wonderful people at Pop Montreal for a tastefully debauched evening with one of pop cultures greatest figures. Buy your tickets here!

New and Notable: Behold the Dreamers

Living in New York when the recession hit hard, Imbolo Mbue seized the opportunity of fresh unemployment to pen her first novel. It chronicles the impact of the financial crisis from the perspective of two Cameroonians, Jende and Neni, a young couple newly immigrated to America. At first dazzled by the sense of freedom in the air, from Obama’s presidency to knock-off designer bags, and Occupy, they soon become disillusioned by the failed promises of the American Dream. An all too real, compelling and tragic tale.

Ce soir! Club de Lecture Francophile: Ma Vie Rouge Kubrick

Notre club de lecture francophile a bien commencé et nous sommes très fiers de vous annoncer notre quatrième! Pour le mois d'août nous lisons MA VIE ROUGE KUBRICK de Simon Roy.

The Shining, de Stanley Kubrick, cette histoire étrange située dans un hôtel où s’installent hors saison un écrivain, sa femme et leur garçon aux pouvoirs extrasensoriels, a impressionné une foule de spectateurs depuis sa sortie en 1980. C’est à l’âge de dix ans que Simon Roy a découvert ce film, médusé par une réplique : « Tu aimes les glaces, canard ? » Depuis, il l’a revu au moins quarante-deux fois, sans doute parce qu’il « contient les symptômes tragiques d’une fêlure » qui l’habite depuis des générations. La relation méticuleuse entretenue avec le maléfique récit lui aura permis d’intégrer les éléments troubles de sa « généalogie macabre », d’en accuser le coup. Un ouvrage singulier, stupéfiant.

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.

Nous en discuterons le 24 aout à 19h00 à la librairie (211 Bernard Ouest). La discussion sera animée par Rebecca Lloyd, gérante de la librairie. Nous vous offrons un rabais de 15 % sur MA VIE ROUGE KUBRICK jusqu’au soir de la rencontre.

(image de Simon Roy de La Fabrique Culturelle)

Cyril Pedrosa in Conversation with Christophe Magnette for the Launch of Equinoxes

(Français ci-dessous)

Join us on Wednesday, September 7th at 7:00 pm for the launch of Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa. Published in English for the first time, Equinoxes is a unique groundbreaking work of rare intensity and narrative sensibility by a rising bestselling star of European comics. Segmented into four tableaux representing the four seasons, Equinoxes follows unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium, crossing paths with other solitudes, and weaving in and out of one another's lives—all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life.

Pedrosa will in conversation with Christophe Magnette. Admission is free, and wine will (of course) be served. 

About the author:

A big comic reader during childhood and adolescence, Cyril Pedrosa first went into scientific studies. After some trial and error, he finally studied animation design at the Gobelins, a Parisian establishment dedicated to careers in the moving image. He went on to work on Disney animated feature films such as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Hercules" where he acquired a speed of execution and a sense of movement that will later serve him well. Meeting writer David Chauvel inspired him to turn to comics. His moving journal of going back to his family roots, Portugal, is a bestseller. The reception for Equinoxes is equally strong.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Venez nous joindre mercredi, le 7 septembre à 19 h pour le lancement de Les Équinoxes de Cyril Pedrosa. Publié en anglais pour la première fois, Équinoxes est une oeuvre révolutionnaire qui présente une histoire intense et exceptionnelle crée avec un ton d’empathie. Segmenté en quatre tableaux pour représenter quatre saisons, ce roman graphique suit des personnes non apparentées de tous les milieux sociaux qui cherchent l'équilibre, et qui se croisent avec d'autres solitudes. Ils tissent dans la vie des autres - tous captivés et tourmentés par le sens énigmatique de la vie.

Pedrosa sera en conversation avec Christophe Magnette. L'entrée est gratuite, et le vin sera servi.

À propos de l’auteur
Un grand lecteur de bandes dessinées depuis son enfance, Cyril Pedrosa a commencé ses études sciences. Après plusieurs essais, il a décidé d’étudier le dessin animé à l'école des Gobelins à Paris, puis de 1996 à 1998, il décroche un poste d’intervalliste chez Disney et travaille sur les rushs du Bossu de Notre-Dame et Hercules, la où il a acquis une vitesse d’exécution et un sense du mouvement. À la suite de sa rencontre avec David Chauvel, il fut inspiré a continuer son cheminement dans le monde de la bande dessinée. Son journal émouvant qui revient à ses racines familiales, Portugal, est un best-seller. La réception pour Les Équinoxes est tout aussi forte.

Summer Reads 2016: Kate

Pond - Claire-Louise Bennett

A series of twenty short stories told from the perspective of a reclusive female narrator. Her soliloquies of varying lengths range in tone from deprecating and wry to wistful and introspective as they animate the minutiae of her rural existence. A very tranquil read, recommended for those who like Lydia Davis.

Double Teenage - Joni Murphy

Two girls grow up in the desert. In lovely and melancholic prose, Murphy captures the suffocation of girlhood's ritualized growing pains with haunting precision. The story chronicles Celine and Julie past adolescence into their adult lives. Invoking ghosts and magic spells they try to discern why our culture has so many stories about dead girls and how the desert became a place for Western projections.

Margaret the First - Danielle Dutton

You may know Danielle Dutton as the founder of Dorothy Press, a small publishing project with a focus on inventive fiction by women. Her own novel which came out earlier this year reflects on female writing through the figure of the iconic Duchess, Margaret Cavendish. She wrote prose, poetry, philosophy and science at a time when women only published anonymously, and her utopian romance The Blazing World is one of the earliest examples of science fiction. In Margaret the First, Dutton gives a very intimate perspective, taking full artistic license to imagine the inner workings of her private life in a style I can only describe as luscious. 

Eric Rohmer: A Biography - Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe

Rohmer's idiosyncratic films, full of long, naturalistic conversations about life and love, are really perfect summer fare. With the release of his biography, the first, I see a golden opportunity to read-along-to-a-watch-through of his entire filmography, and I can't wait! From Rohmer's beginnings as writer, the eventual editor of Cahiers du Cinéma, to making his first film at age thirty-nine this book promises to illuminate the man and his unusual methods behind the movies I love so much.

Can You Hear Me? Music Labels by Visual Artists - Francesco Spampinato

Providing a history of the intersection of music and art, it gives a survey of record labels from 1980-2015 run by visual artists. Through chapters like "diy and lofi", "public selves and private stages", or "artifacts and ephemera" it contextualizes various projects into the wider spheres of art and music movements covering artists ranging from Chick on Speed, Destroy All Monsters and DJ Spooky to Kalup Linzy and Johanna Billing. In the era of "dematerialisation" of books  music these artists continue to produce vinyls, battling the hegemony of pop and creating their own media reality.

The Blonde Woman - Aidan Koch

This nice short format comic, out recently on Space Face Books, contains Koch's beautiful ethereal drawings. Hands make a braid, play with grass, dial a phone number. Some panels are empty except for one word written in majuscule: "OH,". These small gestures have a way of pulling me directly into the scene, while the loose interplay of narratives - getting lost in the night, voyaging through dreams, juxtaposed with a washed out reality - sets my mind adrift.

Wandering Island - Kenji Tsuruta

In the spirit of Miyazaki's adventures, Wandering Island is a story about a young woman who runs an air delivery service with her cat and a vintage seaplane. It takes place in Japan's sleepy small island communities hundreds of miles out into the Pacific. When she finds a parcel from her late grandfather with an unknown address, she learns about the wandering island. Legend among sailors, it is said to endlessly drift and disappear. With dangerous determination she sets out to find it at any cost!

Beverly - Nick Drnaso

Offers a slice of suburban life through six entwined short stories that are often uncomfortable and disturbing. Despite being a quiet book, reflected through its muted pastels, there is an undercurrent of repression simmering beneath the surface. One story portrays a woman's disappointment participating in a television programming focus group when she realizes she won't really be part of the "decision making process". Another story depicts an alienated family on vacation through the hallucinatory fantasies of the youngest teenage boy. Through this dark material Drnaso always renders his characters' suffering with dignity as he illustrates the complexity of their flat world.

Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 p.m. - John Semley Launches This Is a Book About the Kids in the Hall

Please join us for a night of pop culture fun on Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00pm to celebrate the launch of This is a Book About the Kids in Hall with author John Semley! John will read and talk about his newest book project, followed by a signing.

This is a book about the Kids in the Hall — the legendary Canadian sketch comedy troupe formed in Toronto in 1984 and best known for the innovative, hilarious, zeitgeist-capturing sketch show The Kids in the Hall — told by the people who were there, namely the Kids themselves. John Semley’s thoroughly-researched book is rich with interviews with Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, and Scott Thompson, as well as Lorne Michaels and comedians speaking to the Kids’ legacy: Janeane Garofalo, Tim Heidecker, Nathan Fielder, and others. It also turns a critic’s eye on that legacy, making a strong case for the massive influence the Kids have exerted, both on alternative comedy and on pop culture more broadly. The Kids in the Hall were like a band: a group of weirdoes brought together, united by a common sensibility. And, much like a band, they’re always better when they’re together. This is a book about friendship, collaboration, and comedy — and about clashing egos, lost opportunities, and one-upmanship. This is a book about the head-crushing, cross-dressing, inimitable Kids in the Hall.

Author bio:
John Semley is a writer living in Toronto. His work has appeared in The Believer, the New York Times magazine, Salon, Esquire, the A.V. Club, The Walrus, Reader’s Digest, and a whole bunch of other magazines, newspapers, and websites. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and the Toronto Star.

TONIGHT: Graphic Novel Book Club: Victor Hussenot's The Spectators

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 THE SPECTATORS by Victor Hussenot. We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Wednesday, August 17th at 7:00 p.m.

Join D+Q store staffer Liz McLellan for a lively discussion (and beers!).

It is easy to get lost in the beautiful colours and shadowing depicted by Victor Hussenot from cover to cover of The Spectators. The choice of watercolour as a medium allows him to create depth and dimension, which just so happens to be the focus of the narrative. Light and darkness emphasize the varying levels of visibility that form the consciousness of the protagonist's experiences, if we can even call them that. This genderless faceless entity comes in the form of a dark shadow, slipping in and out of identities in the form of clothing and masks. Hussenot takes it to the next level: the human becomes buildings,and the buildings become them. The human and their environment are wrapped up in an inextricable exchange of objects and affect, that tug on the memories encoded in the spaces to build on a sense of collectivity.

We offer you a 20% discount on THE SPECTATORS from now until the meeting date!

New & Notable: Lynda Barry's The Greatest of Marlys is out today!

Fresh from her inclusion into the Will Eisner hall of fame, Lynda Barry is back at it The Greatest of Marlys, a collection dedicated to one of the most beloved and enduring characters from her Ernie Pook's Comeek. It's here that eight-year-old Marlys Mullen, the indomitable girl in pigtails and freckles, shines in all her groovy glory. 
Populated by siblings, friends, and not-always-present adults, Marlys's trailer park life bears witness to dramas great and small. But nothing can hold Marlys down for long, and in the more than 200 collected strips, Barry deftly bears witness to the joy, awkwardness, pain, and humour of adolescence. 

Out today, The Greatest of Marlys is already receiving (well deserved) praise from all fronts, with Publishers Weekly calling it "lyrical and emotionally complex ... the very nearly poetic invocation of moments of pubescent joy and humiliation." For Raina Telgemeier (author of Smile and Sisters) Barry's comics were her YA, "before YA really even existed," and Marlys is "raw, ugly, hilarious, and poignant.” Time even goes so far as to call the book "probably the greatest novel ever written, in any medium, from a child's point of view," We're certainly not going to disagree. 

New and Notable: Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett

Pond is the first collection of a promising young Irish author, The book is difficult to classify. Unlike anything I've ever read before, it's much more than the story of a bucolic everyday existence I was promised by multiple online reviews. Pond is a bizarre text that gives space to the meandering thoughts of a young woman. Cleaning a toaster oven, the narrator contemplates literature, for example. It isn't in the harmless daily tasks—chopping vegetables, texting a lover when the moon is full—but in the wandering asides that something special can be found. Bennett's digressions are meaningful, dynamic, fluent, and, in the end, are where the book's strength truly lies.

To read more about it:
The Mind in Solitude: An Interview with Claire-Louise Bennett, The Paris Review

Pond est le tout premier recueil d’une jeune auteure prometteuse qui habite en Irlande. J’ai du mal à décrire son travail, qui ne ressemble à rien de ce que j’ai pu lire auparavant. Plus que le récit d’un quotidien bucolique promis par les multiples critiques que j’avais lues en ligne, Pond est un texte bizarre qui investit singulièrement les méandres de la pensée d’une jeune femme. En nettoyant un four grille-pain archaïque, la narratrice amorce par exemple une réflexion grandiose sur la littérature. Ainsi, plutôt que dans la description des gestes anodins du quotidien tel que couper ses légumes ou bien texter son amoureux quand la lune est pleine, ce sont dans les apartés que se cache toute la force du récit. Les digressions de Bennett sont importantes, vivantes et loquaces et si elles font dévier le propos de la narratrice, elles finissent par composer la substance du livre.

What We're Reading in the Office —August edition

Oh, where has the time gone? Everybody has been traveling to-and-fro these past couple of months and it's been tricky to get everyone to sit down and rap about the books they're reading. But we're all in the same room for two hours so we're gonna sit in a circle with our books on lap and have an old-fashioned rap session, baby. Here's what we're reading this summer. Let's start with Tracy (above) shall we?

How to Survive in the North by Luke Healy

I'm on vacation typing from a plane so this might be a little brief, but I didn't want to miss a chance to talk about this special book. I first came across Luke Healy's work a couple years back when I was judging the MOCCA contest thing. I was super impressed by his minis and just delighted when I found out Nobrow would be publishing a book from him. How to Survive the North, Luke's first book, did not disappoint. Weaving together three stories—two failed (and factual) arctic exploration missions, seven (ish) years apart, with one (fictional) modern-day story of failure—Luke manages to sculpt a story that's new and old, relatable and yet...I dunno, whatever that thing that history is.
While the historical tales are set in the early 1900s, and focus on crews stranded on islands or ice, the modern fictional story covers a professor's foray into sleeping with a student, and the repercussions of that. All the characters make bad decisions knowingly and then live with the burden, the magnitude, albeit, a little different. Luke's art is loose and expressive; his colour palette utilitarian while being gorgeous. I had a nice time with this book. I highly recommend checking it out, and keeping an eye on this talented new voice in comics.
—Tracy Hurren, Managing Editor

The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit (Penguin)

Don't you hate it when you wake up from a dream with an overly obvious metaphor? Like, ok, I get what that too-big-for-me hat was really about! Be a little more subtle, subconscious! What I love about Rebecca Solnit, is that she lives in the realm of metaphor, making unexpected comparisons and stringing disparate things together, but at the same time, refuses to let these connections stay fixed or reliable. I’ve been reading The Faraway Nearby which ardent fans of the blog may recognize from Julia’s enticing post about it a few months ago. She lent it to me and I’ve been carrying it with me these last few months, reading and re-reading sections. My first experience with Rebecca Solnit’s work was finding A Field Guide to Getting Lost in the Banff library while I was trying to make a project about landscape and the unrelated thoughts and feelings we imbue them with, and needless to say, it blew me away. This book feels even more personal, yet similarly meandering - the book starts with a pile of apricots and touches on Frankenstein, the frozen north, jealousy, cancer, mother-daughter relationships, and escape, to name only a few - constantly spiralling back on itself and revisiting each of its past subjects in surprising ways. Sometimes I can find a text as laden with art historical and literary references as this one hard to get emotionally invested in, but the way Solnit treats her own personal revelations not as a counterpoint to these subjects, but as one and the same, compels me. Good luck gettin’ this one back, Jules! 
—Alison Naturale, Print Manager

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

In June I finally finished the Neopolitan Quartet by anonymous Italian author and worldwide literary sensation Elena Ferrante. Above is a photo of me, minutes after finishing it. As you can see, I was in a desolate wasteland, a real “No-Fun Zone,” as it were. Just kidding. I finished these books—that took over my life and dominated so much of my thought process for nigh on 3 months—on an island while waves lapped upon a rocky shore!!! May you all be so lucky!!! In all seriousness though, the Neopolitan Quartet is one of the most beautiful set of novels I’ve ever read, for reasons that many other Drawn & Quarterly employees have already talked about: it’s tense, it’s fraught, it’s beautiful, it’s funny, it’s dense and yet intensely addictive. More than anything, what I love about these books is the complexity of the friendship between the two main characters, Lenu and Lila. I’ve had a few people tell me they dislike the causticity of the friendship between them, the jealousy and pettiness they so often exhibit, but honestly, that is one of my favourite parts about Ferrante’s portrayal of their friendship. I love that she never shies away from the pain that can stem from toxic relationships, the heartbreaking ways you can misinterpret someone’s actions or have your own emotional immaturity hurt others. It’s a raw, beautiful, painful read, that I cannot stop recommending enough, to literally everyone I see.
—Marcela Huerta, Production Assistant

Eve's Hollywood by Eve Babitz

Last month in LA, I picked up Eve's Hollywood by Eve Babitz at ol' Skylight Books. I picked it up because I've always sort of been in love with LA, and because there isn't anyone's LA I want to read and know more of, than the LA that belonged to Eve Babitz. There's an easy allure in the former party girl memoir, but that's not what stirs nor what did stir me to this title. Instead, I was given the always satisfying gift of encountering yet another profoundly talented, brilliant, imagistic and utterly poetic writer. Contemporary essayists ought to pick up Eve's Hollywood to truly learn the function of the essay. One that extends much farther than a so called opinion piece. Eve writes of growing up in LA, of attending Hollywood High, of falling in love with women for the way they wore lipstick, of unsatisfying but insatiable escapades with men, some of whom include the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Ed Ruscha, and Jim Morrison, but who cares — it's Eve the reader comes to idolize. Eve, who writes about a big, bright, highway, and flower filled city with a bad reputation, and all the — not lessons — but truths it taught her.
—Sruti Islam, Marketing Assistant

Boo by Neil Smith

Looking through the books in my frequent visits to the bookstore I came across this title twice (once in English and once in French) and the contrasting book covers intrigued me. I was headed out on vacation and had a stack of new novels, memoirs, forthcoming D+Q comics on loses sheets of paper, and too many New Yorkers (code for People magazine) but I added this to the top. It's a sprightly YA philosophical comedy mystery about a boy named "Boo"because of his ghostly complexion and his recent death by gunshot. But its narrated by him as a letter to his parents. From Heaven. A certain kind of Heaven where only thirteen year olds go. It's kind of like a comfortable but slightly rundown suburban town complete with parks and museums and occasional food drops from God. Or Zig as the kids in the book refer to him. The story really gets going when another boy from Boo's hometown of Hoffman Estates (wait, that's John Porcellino's hometown?!?!) shows up and evidently he too died of a gunshot wound. Except unlike Boo, he remembers what the shooter looks like. So the boys set off across their part of Heaven-for-only-thirteen-year-olds looking to see if this shooter possibly died too. Smith is funny and never let's the details of his creation bog him down. The book is funny and goofy and sweet and Boo is a wonderful nerdy modern Holden if ever there were one.
—Tom Devlin, Executive Editor

Someone Please Have Sex With Me by Gina Wynbrandt

This comic is a riot. It follows a mid-twenties Justin-Bieber-obsessed vixen who's desperately looking to get lucky. Unafraid to gross out, flip power dynamics, and assert sexual desire, this super bright book looks at both the tough and vulnerable sides of sexual frustration with a fantastic sense of self-deprecating humour. 

Sick by Gabby Schulz (Secret Acres)

New Gabby Schulz comics! In Sick, Schulz recounts his experience dealing with a severe illness without any health insurance. The focus on illness and the body isn’t new for Schulz, but the tone here is decidedly bleaker than in Monsters or Weather. Funny details are still present but are much more sombre, moving towards the gory and macabre. And the political too, as the author uses his experience of being uninsured and ill to point out the far greater injustices in our society, making for a very interesting read.

Pissing in a River by Cherry Styles (Synchronise Witches Press)
Punk Village #1 by Lisa Czech (self-published)

I recently picked up a few zines from a friend. The first was a Patti Smith fanzine titled Pissing in the River. Not much more needs to be said–it's a Patti Smith zine with over twenty collaborators, so if you like Patti Smith, you'll probably love this. The second, Punk Village #1, comes from local cartoonist Lisa Czech. From the very first comic about street harassment, to the great little nuggets of Quebecois dialogue, Punk Village is spot on. The author's in-your-face attitude recalls the raw energy of Julie Doucet's Dirty Plotte, which we could always do with more of!
—Marie-Jade Menni, Production Coordinator

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Coming across almost as a diary rather than a series of short stories, Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut book is an account of the mind as it exists in solitude. Recording vignettes of woman’s life on the West Coast of Ireland, Pond takes the banality of the day-to-day and somehow illuminates it—focusing in on specific moments that are completely unremarkable, but that are nonetheless happening in space and time. 

She muses about porridge with black jam and almond flakes, oranges after sex, how burnt stir-fry gets thrown in the garbage like everything else in her life—and other fun, non-food related things as well. The book also has a meditative quality to it, the stories themselves moving at a languid pace with run-on sentences and one-paragraph stories acting as a kind of buffer so that the book doesn’t dive too deep into the philosophical. The title also serves as a nod to Thoreau, who went to Walden’s Pond in the mid 1900s to “live deliberately.” Then narrator in this case definitely does; the pages of the book reeling you in slowly, but still allowing you to observe from afar. 
—Courtney Baird-Lew, Administrative Assistant

Big Kids by Michael DeForge

I picked up Michael DeForge’s Big Kids because I wanted something to read and it was small enough to slip into my (very tiny) backpack. But inside this humble little book, I discovered the kind of largeness that is hard to find in even the thickest Russian tomes. Equal parts wise, funny, and strange, Big Kids contains all the awkward uncertainty of teenagedom and everything that comes with it. The breakups, the hormones, the failed sexual experiments; the desperation of being alone, lost, and completely confused; and the relief of finally figuring your stuff out—or maybe instead realizing that you never actually will. 
I think I finished the whole thing in less than an hour, but I really wish that I hadn’t. Yet even reading as quickly as I did, I found something on almost every page that made me want to stop and think, laugh, or—at one point—even cry. It’s funny, but looking back on it now, I realize that I have no idea what Big Kids is really about: maybe about everything and maybe about nothing at all. Just like I have no idea where DeForge finds his gently perplexing storylines, no idea how he executes them so perfectly, every time.
What I do know is that Big Kids is going to be staying in my backpack—and my mind—for a long while yet. 
—Alice Fleerackers, Production Intern

Den Дrliga Bedragaren by Tove Jansson (Bonniers/Le Livre de Poche/NYRB)

I’ve been obsessed with Tove Jansson’s life, art, and comics lately (this may or may not be a side effect of the D+Q internship) and was very curious about her novels too. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Swedish is virtually nonexistent, so I settled for a French translation of Den Дrliga Bedragaren (The True Deceiver). However, if you can't read Swedish either, I would rather recommend reading the English translation, which seems to convey the original writing style way better. The main character, Katri Kling, doesn't trust anyone or anything but numbers and doesn't bother with politeness and white lies. Her brutal honesty and her fairness are very convenient when it comes to settling accounts of any kind, but they also expose everyone's pettiness in the process. In the same village lives Anna Aemelin, a famous children's book illustrator (sounds familiar? Wait, it's not over!). Every year, she waits for the long winter to end to start painting the mountain landscapes of Vдsterby as a background for her next book, and every year, the background grows richer in details as she puts off the moment when she will have to draw the rabbit family that brought her fame—and that she has come to hate over the years. She doesn't seem to realize that she could do whatever she wants if she wasn't trying so hard to please everyone all the time: the villagers, the publisher, the young children who read her books, the only friend who ever listened to her...even though she is well aware that they all are taking advantage of her kindness. Katri decides to enter Anna's life with a pretty simple aim: make enough money for her younger brother Mats to achieve his only dream, to have a boat of his own. This money she will earn, she will earn it in the most honest way, by telling the truth to Anna about every single deal she has made in her life. But she doesn't know that by doing so, she is also changing the rules she has set for herself and grown used to.

Il est l'heure d'aller nourrir les poules, Noriko (La Logique du Calendrier)

Noriko se lиve tфt, tous les matins, pour un travail qui ne lui apporte rien, sinon une certaine sйcuritй financiиre et un profond mal-кtre. En parallиle, son alter ego passe ses journйes а travailler sur des projets crйatifs qui ont vraiment du sens pour elle. La jeune graphiste rкve de donner sa dйmission mais n'ose jamais franchir le pas, prйfйrant passer ses nuits а dessiner. Ces contradictions dйtйriorent de plus en plus son moral — et la qualitй de son sommeil. Mais bientфt, des distorsions surrйalistes viennent troubler la platitude de son quotidien pour lui rappeler qu'elle a une passion а entretenir... Une lecture йnergisante qui donne envie de boire beaucoup d'espresso, de ne jamais perdre son temps а travailler sans conviction pour des employeurs qui ne respectent qu'eux-mкmes, et surtout, de se mettre sйrieusement а ce beau projet que l'on repousse sans cesse. Il est l'heure d'aller nourrir les poules est le premier livre de Noriko et le premier livre publiй par la Logique du Calendrier en tant que maison d'йdition.

So if you haven't already, go see Tove Jansson's paintings and Noriko's website, embrace change, and don't forget to feed the chickens!
—Lucie Lecoutre, Production Intern

Ant Colony by Michael DeForge

Michael DeForge’s Ant Colony was my first foray into the absurd graphic novel. The storyline begins relatively broad, introducing the ant colony as a whole, namely two homosexual ants (this is not rare: having sex with anyone but the queen is illegal) and a father and son. Eventually, ants begin dying. It’s discovered that colony of red ants has begun killing the dear black ants, creating a life-size spider sculpture with the bodies. Why? Because spider milk is a drug that they’ve become addicted to. After a war begins between the two colonies, the apocalypse happens by means of a child with a magnifying glass. The only ants left are the couple, the father and son, and a rogue police officer who refused to fight in the battle. In any post-apocalyptic tale, there are those who are hopeful, those who are wise, those who are anarchistic, and those who have lost all hope. The end of the graphic journey leaves readers with all of these characters and the actions they take as such.  
As I was reading Ant Colony, I realized that what is truly absurd is not the story about ants itself, but that DeForge successfully gives human traits to ants. This tactic is necessary in animated television shows such as Bojack Horseman or Rick and Morty. It is the core reason why I love animated television shows. The fact that the characters aren’t human—whether they are animals or other-dimensional—allows me to look at the sadness that each character experiences with a sense of detachment: a tool that Michael DeForge is known for. DeForge is able to analyze the issues plaguing humans by way of a story about ants: addiction, relationships, war, and random deaths. Yet, I don’t ever feel overwhelmed being confronted by the problems being exposed. This leaves space for me to consider these concerns objectively, while still appreciating the surreal, absurd, colourful, and robotic world of nature that DeForge creates. DeForge’s Ant Colony is able to put our earth in perspective; in comparison to the universe, we are one tiny little colony.

—Gillian Cott, Production Intern

Le 12 août, j'achète un livre québécois

C'est toute l'année qu'à la librairie D+Q nous mettons les auteurs québécois en avant, qu'ils écrivent en français ou en anglais, qu'ils publient ici ou ailleurs. Mais pour ce 12 août, nous redoublerons d'efforts pour vous conseiller nos coups de coeurs québécois!

C'est la troisième année qu'une initiative lancée par deux auteurs d'ici propose à chacun d'acquérir en ce jour précis du 12 août le livre d'un auteur québécois, et ce pour soutenir le milieu du livre au Québec.

À la librairie, vous pouvez trouver des magazines édités au Québec, des livres pour enfants et des bandes dessinées écrites par des auteurs locaux. 

Nous avons de plus en plus de romans, essais et receuils de poésie en français, et bien-sûr, la littérature québecoise tient une place de choix dans cette sélection.

Si vous le souhaitez, vous pouvez aussi acheter des livres par des auteurs québécois en anglais.

TONIGHT!! Peeps Issue 02 Montreal Launch!

Join us tonight at 7:00pm for the chance to meet Peeps editor Aliah El-houni, and Issue 02 Feature contributor Mathilde Caro! Mathilde is a doctoral student at the EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and an ethnographer for Methos Agency, which uses ethnographic and anthropological methods to help clients to better understand the environment in which they operate.

In this issue, Peeps showcases her work on rue Saint-Denis; a small street in the centre of Paris characterized by social and symbolic distance as the historic home of Paris' sex trade. She joins us all the way from Paris for this exciting event! Don't miss out.

TOP 5: July's Bestselling Kid's Books!

Parents know how important it is for kids to read lots over the summer to prevent slipping out of the habit when school starts up again in the fall. Plus, with all of the summer road trips, it's crucial to have good books on hand to keep little ones happy on long journeys, and throughout the lazy days of hot summer weather. Without further ado, feast your eyes upon the kid's books that were most popular as we kicked off the summer holidays:

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Säfström

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

L'abc de Monsieur Pizza by Ohara Hale

I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry

Pokémon: Deluxe Essential Handbook by Scholastic, Inc. 

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