Acme Novelty Library #20 (AKA “Lint”)
Drawn & Quarterly ISBN 9781770460201
The past year has seen a superb bumper crop of new books come forth from Montreal’s Drawn and Quarterly, and Ware’s is among the best-of-the-best. Chris is such a reliably excellent cartoonist that he is almost taken for granted in the comics community. This is a shame, since the latest instalment of his long-running showcase comic is a revelation. Telling the cradle-to-almost-grave story of Jordan Lint, Ware delivers a warm and searing portrayal of human weakness while still flexing his considerable formalist chops.
Drawn & Quarterly ISBN 9781770460188
Ware’s colleague in comics, Seth, also hit a landmark in 2010 with the 20th issue of his long-running series Palookaville. As expected, Seth comes out swinging here with the latest instalment of his epic Clyde Fans serialized story. But that’s not all! Here he also offers a folio of his travelling “Dominion City” exhibition, an autobiographical strip that harkens back to the early issues of his comic and a touching eulogy of sorts to the humble comic book format, which is being eclipsed by the current graphic novel boom. An exquisite package from a Canadian treasure.
Drawn & Quarterly ISBN 9781770460072
As if the above wasn’t enough, 2010 also gave us Dan Clowes’ first-ever all-original graphic novel. Wilson received a mixed critical reception (some disparaged the main character for being “unlikable”) but lucky for me, I don’t expect made-up characters to always make the right choices or say the right things. As I have already said elsewhere, “Clowes shines in depicting self-loathing, cynical characters who eventually succumb to their human frailties.” Go buy this book now.
Brad Mackay is a writer and co-editor of The Collected Doug Wright: Canada's Master Cartoonist, to which he contributed a biographical essay. He is also the director and co-founder of the Doug Wright Awards for Canadian cartooning.
Graphica / August 16, 2010
I've known Igor since I was 18 years old, and truth be told, I found him confusing, likable, maddening, hilarious, charismatic, criminal, and even honourable after his own fashion. The Slovenian entrepreneur and bike-mechanic was a packrat (Kenk implies that he is a pathological hoarder, and I think this fits) and a seamy, rough-and-ready type who seemed to have stepped out of the pages of a Bruce Sterling story. He occupied a succession of shops at the western end of Queen Street in Toronto, long before the neighbourhood became fashionable, back when it was a depressed and seedy little strip in the middle of nowhere.
Read the full review here.
Graphica / July 16, 2010
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 23, 2010
Illustrator Nick Marinkovich talks about his process and working on KENK: A Graphic Portrait in this great behind-the-scenes interview:
Graphica / June 01, 2010
(Warning: Richard uses some strong language in this video)
This Thursday (June 3rd) at CineCycle, acclaimed journalist and avid cyclist Richard Poplak will be participating in a small Community Discussion on Bike Theft organized around Bike Month and the recent release of KENK: A
Graphic Portrait. The panel will include representatives from the Toronto Cyclists Union and Curbside Cycle, as well as the Toronto Police Officer responsible for implementing the bait bike program in 14 division.
Author Richard Poplak, illustrator Nick Marinkovich, publisher/producer Alex Jansen, filmmaker/designer Jason Gilmore, and director/animator Craig Small will be at the Drawn & Quarterly bookstore at 7pm on Thursday evening (May 27th!) to talk about the project and sign books.
The team will then be back in Toronto on Friday for an event at Conspiracy Culture, 7pm-9pm.
If you haven't had chance to check out KENK yet, this is what Geoff Pevere had to say about the book in the Toronto Star on Sunday:
An innovative mashup of comic, journalistic documentary and 21st century case study in urban flux, Kenk filters this fascinating and infuriating figure through a prism of media modes that both situate the man as a kind of mutant thumbprint individual and symptom of seeping new-world disorder. While the narrative structure of the book is provided by the countdown to that 2008 bust — Igor was caught instructing a flunky to liberate a bike chained on the street — most of the pages are taken up with the man giving a seemingly 24/7 one-man performance of his own life: talking, haggling, scavenging, driving, philosophizing, repairing, talking. And talking some more.
Kenk loves the attention of the camera and makes you wonder who, or what, he’d be without an audience. He never seems in doubt that he’ll eventually be caught.
KENK - MONTREAL Book Launch
Thursday May 27th - 7:00pm
Drawn and Quarterly Bookstore
211 Rue Bernard Ouest,
ADMISSION IS FREE
Event page on Facebook
KENK - Conspiracy Culture
Friday May 28th - 7:00pm
1696 Queen Street West,
ADMISSION IS $5. Tickets available from Conspiracy Culture.
Go to Kenk.ca for more news about the book.
Books for sale!
Author and journalist Richard Poplak (left) discusses facial topiary with Peter MacDougall, Raincoast's National Account Manager (right).
Richard signing a copy of KENK.
Richard Poplak (right) looks on in admiration as Paddy Laidley, Raincoast's Executive VP of Sales and Marketing (left), closes yet another sale.
Richard will be at Yellowknife public library on Thursday discussing the project, while the rest of the creative team behind KENK will be appearing at the Kingston Arts and Letters Club tomorrow (details here).
The whole crew will be together again in Montreal at Librairie 211 on Thursday May 27th.
Graphica / May 17, 2010
Ten or fifteen years ago I would get a lot of comics in the mail that were very clearly—it was as if someone had read my comics and they were trying to do their own comics but they were so strongly influenced by me and it was, it felt very strange. I know my work is based on my reading of other artists and taking elements from them, so there was a new generation of artists who just weren’t ready to do their own work and it was very filtered through my sensibilities. I didn’t take offense at it or anything, I had certainly done the same thing myself, but it felt strange.
You can also read NPR's review of Daniel's new book Wilson here.