This Shelf Belongs to... Connor Willumsen

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites an author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This June, we bring you recommendations from Connor Willumsen!

CONNOR WILLUMSEN is a Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and cartoonist. In 2013 he was a fellow at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and in 2014 his self-published book Swinespritzen was awarded the Doug Wright Award recognizing avant garde work. His ongoing series “Treasure Island” is published by Breakdown Press, and his first graphic novel “Anti-Gone” was recently published by Koyama Press and nominated for an LA Times Book Prize, the Doug Wright Award for best book, and the Ping Prize in Denmark for best international book.

Thanks for the picks Connor!

All of Connor's picks will be 15% off for the month of June. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find:

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick edited by Johnathan Lethem
If you have ever made any kind of arbitrary value distinction between literary genres or mediums of art in general, this book is your punishment and you deserve every word of it.

Yours by Margot Ferrick
I found this book stuffed in a box here and it’s brave aura was intimidating such that I was not able to overcome the stimulant of the anticipation of reading it for one year as it prominently sat atop the to-read pile next to where I sleep. It’s one of the most worthy books in this building.

Pompeii by Frank Santoro
This book changed my perspective about comics and how they relate to the broader history of drawing, painting, and scribing. Frank’s complex and sprawling meditations of the form of drawn books are concentrated here into the most simple momentary gestures. This book is currently being celebrated with a show in Naples.

Kindling by Xia Gordon
Here you can glimpse Xia’s frightening ability to make marks, and who’s intuition for unplaceable grace has few contemporaries. Keep this book and pay close attention to how she will continue to wield and deconstruct. “Whatever can be taught is not worth learning.”

The War of Streets and Houses by Sophie Yanow
I have admired Sophie’s unique autobiographical journalism for a long time, and I have rarely been as
impressed as I was by her account of the 2012 student protests in Montreal. The brevity of her line conceals an expansive framing of culture and history that Sophie plies, as always, with a succinct and open-minded assurance.

Crickets by Sammy Harkham
Comics thrive in serialized form, and Crickets is the most likely to make me leave the house. It’s a wandering image of the thankless cruelty of the industrial creative process set in 1970s L.A. Superior print quality. Buy 2 lend 1. I wish more comics came like this.

Von Spatz by Anna Haifisch
Anna’s work reads light and funny wIth a healthy cynicism, but can suddenly induce a deep and existential vulnerability with the odd feeling that you are being nurtured. Animal heads on human bodies is the most potently disarming narrative motif in art history, and Anna’s handling of it is comparable to the masters she depicts in Von Spatz.

Paul Chan: Selected Writings
Paul Chan cultivates a skeptical perimeter of art as it exists as an idea or market item and stages it for vigilant exploration that nurtures all uncertainties between the usual seductions of capital. Cautiously aims nowhere and goes everywhere, reinforced nothing but the feeling of a slipping honesty. Read further with the art-as-publishing-venture Badlands Unlimited.

Old Ground by Noel Friebert
The generosity of Noel’s work is felt through his care for the space you feel between each immaculately considered drawing. It doesn’t feel appropriate to describe anything as distortion because nothing ever breaks. His work is always impossibly new but feels like a challenging contemporary to any comic from any time. Advanced and endlessly imitated.

Ripples by Wai Wai Pang
Wai Wai Pang’s expert technique for communicating narrative information is easy and innovative without any hint that there exists the insecurity of showing off. It’s a surreal teenage detective story that distances itself from commonly obvious “cinematic” sequencing and operates in an extremely simplified and readable way as documents and infographics with a clear marking of time and space.

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