Leanne Shapton was inspired to create the book after discovering a copy of “Native Trees of Canada, Bulletin No. 61, Fifth Edition,” originally published in 1917 by the Forestry Branch of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources.
In its flat, monochrome survey photographs I saw a simplified version of the Canadian landscape, like the one I understood as a child. Seeing the pictures reminded me of our capacity to colorize memories, some not even our own. I made a series of paintings from the book, and afterward, whenever I read a story, any mention of a tree stood out like an old friend.
Check out the New York Times Sunday Book Review feature to read how Leanne matches up passages from classic Canadian literature with her modern trees.
Yesterday we announced that we are moving to a new location in January next year. We’ve been at our Shaughnessy Street home ten years and it was time for a change. We process over 11 million books a year and even though we already have the largest book distribution facility in western Canada, we need more space.
Graphica / September 03, 2010
[C]omics have perhaps never been as diverse, vibrant and exciting as now—for they are no longer possible to pigeonhole. Comics publisher Chris Oliveros, founder of the Montreal-based publisher Drawn & Quarterly, says “the work today is so diverse—everyone has a unique vision.” Insofar as comics can be considered a literary medium, there seems to be no category they’ve neglected, whether memoir (A Drifting Life), journalism (Joe Sacco’s Palestine) or fictional biography (Seth’s George Sprott). Chester Brown wanted to do Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography because, well, who else was doing history as comics? And besides, he explains, “comics’ visual dimension makes a story more engaging, and keeps history from being dull.”
Read the whole article here.
Architecture / August 12, 2010
Modern North: Architecture on the Frozen Edge by Julie Decker features buildings located in northern Canada, Scandinavia, and Alaska that exemplify the most compelling possibilities of contemporary architecture in the extreme conditions of the North.
The book was recently reviewed for architecture and design magazine Azure:
How timely to read Julie Decker’s book about building in the Arctic. As oil exploration is accelerating in the North, so too is settlement planning. This fascinating collection of essays explains how indigenous dwellings have informed what the editor calls “new northern architecture.” No one aesthetic defines this type of building: architecture is northern primarily by the way it responds to the North.
And a longer review of Modern North can be found at online architecture magazine Re:Place:
Modern North reveals to us a contemporary response to building in the Arctic, as by necessarily adhering to the climate’s strict functional requirements, these structures represent a new form of architecture which is at once both modern and specific to its context. These projects are themselves works in progress, as their designers continue to evolve in their balance of technological prowess with each firm’s own unique relationship to one of the world’s toughest building sites. Likewise is it accompanied by a sense of awe, certainly by those of us who look to the frozen tundra of the North from the safety of our cities straddling the 49th parallel.
Read more about the book here.
Graphica / July 13, 2010
Canadian cartoonist Seth (George Sprott, Wimbledon Green) has found time between drawing comics for D+Q and illustrations for The Walrus et al, to redesign the thrice-yearly Canadian Notes & Queries magazine in his trademark style. In an email to The National Post about the new design, he said:
“It’s a lot of work to redesign a magazine and I was pretty busy. But it was really something that sounded like a challenge. And it couldn’t have been more ‘up my alley.’ I love Canadiana of all sorts and I particularly loved the absolutely stiffness and dullness of the magazine’s title – I mean, you just couldn’t have a more quintessentially Canadian masthead title than Canadian Notes and Queries. If you made it up, no one would believe it. In a way, the name of the magazine hides the fact that it is a very smart and entertaining read – not stuffy at all. I figured I could do something amusing but elegant with the magazine to draw attention to that fact – perhaps poke some fun at it’s purcieved stuffiness while at the same time pointing out what a marvelous magazine of criticism it is by giving the interior a look of class and austerity, but still showing off some charm and sense of humour about the whole thing."
Read the full story at The National Post's The Afterword blog.
Graphica / June 18, 2010
The new July/August issue of The Walrus magazine features a beautiful cover by Seth:
The fabulously Canadian illustration was chosen by readers of the magazine.
News / December 17, 2009
Telling the story of a man who makes a mysterious journey to his home town on a stormy Christmas Eve, “Just Like the Ones He Used to Know” revives the Victorian tradition of ringing in the holiday season with a story of the ghostly and the miraculous.
The story will be serialized on the site in eight daily posts, beginning today and ending on Christmas Eve.