My favourite book of the year is The Snatchabook. My daughter was about a year and half old when this book came home for the first time making she and I the perfect test audience. It was a huge hit the first night, and fast became a family favourite. Snatchabook is at times a mischievous brat who a toddler can relate to (not mine...), he gets sad and just wants to have books read to him by someone (something they all can relate to), and its a book about books which we both love. The illustrations are warm and nostalgic, and the story reads aloud beautifully. A bed time classic.
And being the Dad of a daughter Vader's Little Princess is up there as well. Jeffrey Brown's illustrations, and captions are right on point, and a not so welcome but funny window in to my future.
Peter Macdougall, Director of National Accounts
Paul Pope's long-awaited graphic novel Battling Boy is finally released next week, and the award-winning American comic book artist will be in Toronto to launch the book with The Beguiling on the evening October 15th!
"A straight-up, kick-butt superhero book for kids and grown-ups alike," Battling Boy is the story of an untested hero charged with defending a city infested with monsters. The first of two hotly anticipated volumes, it's already the subject of much excitement in the comics world.
Starting at 7:00pm at the Revival Night Club, Pope — whose previous work includes the acclaimed 100%, Heavy Liquid, and Batman Year 100 — will be on stage to talk about his new work, before taking questions from the audience and signing copies of the book.
Join us if you can!
BATTLING BOY BOOK LAUNCH
Featuring author Paul Pope
@ Revival, 783 College Street, Toronto
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Doors at 7PM. Event starts at 7:30pm
Graphica / June 11, 2013
Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan, first published by Drawn Quarterly in 2007 (and now available in paperback), is one of my favourite debut graphic novels of recent years. Set in modern-day Tel Aviv, and drawn and coloured in a beautiful, contemporary ‘ligne claire’ style, the book is a portrait of modern Israel, a place where sudden death and dissolution of family ties is an everyday reality.
I met Rutu in Toronto at the International Festival of Authors shortly after Exit Wounds. One of the first cartoonists to be invited to the literary festival, she was a witty, charming and down-to-earth advocate for both the medium and women in comics. It's not surprising that they have invited many more cartoonists since.
Now six years(!) later, Rutu has brought a similar combination of wit, style and realism, to her second full-length graphic novel The Property. Like Exit Wounds, it's a book that deals with family, relationships, and harsh truths. In a recent interview with The Comics Journal, Rutu discussed her own background and family, as well as the influences and ideas that informed The Property:
The idea for The Property came to me after I finished “Mixed Emotions.” One of the stories was about my grandmother. She was this tough, unpleasant old woman, the type that is called in the US “Yiddisher Mama” and in Israel “a Polish lady.” I got very emotional responses to this story in particular. It seems that everyone in the world has “a Yiddisher grandmother,” Italians, Koreans, Japanese, everyone. Maybe it’s not so much about being Jewish. So one night I was lying in bed, just about to fall asleep when suddenly it just came to me. I said, ‘I’ll do a story about this young woman who is going with her grandmother to look at the property.’ I thought it would be a good combination of family relations and money and history, with the Holocaust in the background, but only in the background.
It’s funny because I met Joe Sacco at Angoulême a year ago and we were talking about this book and I said ‘It’s not a Holocaust book, but the Holocaust is in the background.’ I told him I didn’t want to make the grandmother a Holocaust victim. That’s why she came to Israel before the war, because making her the victim is like saying that you can’t touch her. I said, ‘for me, it’s more interesting for the characters to be attached to the drama but not in the middle of it,’ and he said, ‘wow, that’s exactly like Exit Wounds.’ <laughs> I said, ‘oh, I didn’t think about it, but actually, yes. It’s the same.’ <laughs>
The Property is available now.
Saturday November 3rd, 7pm
3972 Main Street, Vancouver
Graphica / May 07, 2012
It was the Toronto Comics Art Festival at the weekend, and the brilliant Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton won the award for Best Book at the 8th Doug Wright Awards, hosted by Geoff Pevere, which took place on Saturday night at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Founded in 2004, the annual Doug Wright Awards recognize the best and brightest in English-language comics and graphic novels published in the previous year in Canada.
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Shary Boyle praised Kate’s book. “The world of comics can be a sequestered and dusty place,” she said. “As the comic community bemoans its shrinking readership and dying forms, Beaton rises up and throws open the doors to a whole new audience—welcoming one and all with her generous vision and sense of sophisticated, inclusive playfulness.”
Amen to that!
Graphica / November 14, 2011
We have our Spring 2012 sales conference later this month and details of all our new books are flooding in.
There are lots of great titles, but as a comics guy, I was particularly excited to see a new book from Guy Delisle, author of Shenzhen, Pyongyang and The Burma Chronicles. Due to be published in April next year, the new book – also a travelogue and apparently his longest work yet – is about his time in Jerusalem.
Drawn and Quarterly have just posted a preview of the book and it looks fascinating:
There are more pages on the D+Q blog.
D+Q also revealed that there is a short documentary film about Guy coming out soon. I love watching artists at work, so I can't wait to see it in full.
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City will be available in April 2012, and is available for pre-order from Chapters-Indigo, Amazon, and your local independent bookstore.
Graphica / November 07, 2011
Award-winning Canadian cartoonist Joe Ollmann – who was recently on CBC radio show Tapestry discussing his mid-life crisis – is now exposing his fish-out-of-water anxieties as an Anglophone in Montreal's Mile End neighbourhood in this funny video for BravoFACT!:
Graphica / November 01, 2011
Well, after much excitement IFOA 2011 came to close this weekend in Toronto. As a parent to a pair of little monkeys I didn't make it to a lot of events this year sadly, but I was fortunate enough to meet the brilliant Seth and Dan Clowes and then tag along with superstar cartoonist and all-around charmer Kate Beaton who was speaking at the festival this past weekend.
Having already established a dedicated audience for her comics online and with the beautiful new hardcover book Hark! A Vagrant sitting pretty on the New York Times bestseller list for Graphic Books, Kate was very much in demand.
Not only did The National Post and NOW magazine review the book, Kate also stopped by the CBC to chat with Jian Ghomeshi and the folks from The Hour. As you can see from the photos, we had a lot of fun — even if Kate was a little disappointed not to meet Canada's Official Boyfriend in person!
It was all a bit of a whirlwind (especially as Kate was feeling a little under the weather on Saturday), but before she jetted off, Kate managed to fit in candid interview with the Toronto Star:
“I think that anybody who inadvertently starts a blog or a comic online will give a piece of themselves because they can’t believe someone’s reading it. There’s no institution, you are just yourself. You can’t help but be a personality. I had to learn over time how much of myself I wanted to give over and how much I wanted to hold onto. Like when I changed the name of the site from my name too Hark A Vagrant. It used to be katebeaton.com but I got rid of that because I didn’t want to be the focus of the comic. I wanted the comic to be.”
And Kate is still on the road for a few more days. Tonight, she is in Montreal at Librairie D+Q (the event starts at 7pm), and tomorrow, Kate will be at Strange Adventures in Halifax (also starting from 7pm). Catch her while you can!
Graphica / October 24, 2011
Based in London, England, cartoonist Tom Gauld draws comics, illustrates book covers, and draws a very funny weekly literary cartoon for The Guardian newspaper.
Drawn in Tom's trademark geometric style, the book reveals the giant's side of the David and Goliath story and, as you can see from this preview on the D+Q blog, it turns out that the ferocious Goliath is really not much of a fighter.
Nursery Rhyme Comics features 50 classic nursery rhymes illustrated and interpreted in comics form by 50 of today’s leading cartoonists and illustrators. Chock full of beautiful full-colour art and favourite characters (Jack and Jill! Old Mother Hubbard! The Owl and the Pussycat!), it's a great anthology for kids AND grown-ups!
Nursery Rhyme Comics Launch
October 21st, 7pm - 9pm
3972 Main Street, Vancouver, BC