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Monday, August 29, 2011

Chicago (and everywhere else) loves Anders Nilsen. Chicago launch at Lula Cafe tomorrow night!

Attn: Chicagoans! Anders Nilsen will be having his hometown launch for BIG QUESTIONS tomorrow at Lula Cafe with everyone's favourite store Quimby's and pals John Porcellino, Kyle Beachy and Zak Sally. DO NOT MISS THIS! And as Anders explains on his Monolinguist blogthe cafe will exhibit originals from the book and these select BIG QUESTIONS originals will be on sale soon!

Deservedly so, Anders has been in the headlines all over North America this Summer. So much so, that I keep putting off writing a blog post because another piece of press is right around the corner. Chris Borrelli of the Chicago Tribune profiled Anders at length about process of creating his epic book and astutely notes: Read as individual, infrequent issues, BIG QUESTIONS was a handsome, fragmented dream. Read as a single, contained narrative, it's absorbing and touching.

The Chicago Reader reviews the book: The overall mood of the work can seem bleak—a feeling enhanced by Nilsen's simple, clean, black-and-white line drawings. But there's a ray of hope, or at least a rationale. We "can't ever really know the outcome of our actions," a character says, "but if we act earnestly, and do our best, everything will turn out right in the end."

D+Q's hometown weekly, the Montreal Mirror, also gives a lengthy review: The real beauty of BIG QUESTIONS is that it doesn’t strive to answer. Through love, loss and tinges of dark humour, the meaning of it all remains as wide open as the land­scape on which the actions unfold. We’re left only to watch through the birds’ eye view, feeling for them as they love, lose and eat seeds.

The Baltimore City Paper gears up for Anders' event at Atomic Comics and SPX next week: Nilsen’s strips are brilliant in that he manages to do so much with the limited palette he allows himself. Most strips maintain a simple, economical style, which in turn allows the moments of impressive detail (a strip titled “Anoesia and the Matrideicidic Theophany,” for instance, concludes with a stunning fold-out depiction of a plane crash) to be all the more powerful.

Paste Magazine states in their review: Nilsen’s spare but beautiful drawings and that abiding strangeness create a sense of awe that is rarely produced by cultural efforts. Much of the book is not easily explicable, and rather than being frustrating, its willful obscurity instead suggests you need to submit to the artist’s vision, not fight the current.

And a starred review by Publishers Weekly!: Epic in its scale and circumscribed in focus, Nilsen’s incisive BIG QUESTIONS is a philosophical novel that uses the techniques of fable to investigate faith, society, disillusionment, and catastrophe.

BIG QUESTIONS makes the coveted New York Magazine Approval Matrix.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune timed their review to Anders recent event at Magers & Quinn and noted: the parable it tells unfolds with remarkable ease and power.

Jeff Vandemeer agrees with all of the press, and his blog post prompted another blogger, The Of Blog to check out the book: I'm currently a little over 60 pages into a massive multi-thread story of roughly 600 pages and I'm loving these little moments.

SF's preview the book back in July.

Anders spoke in depth with Alex Deuben of
Comic Book Resources and Martin Wong of Giant Robot.

And from Anders' West Coast leg of his tour:

Portland MercuryAlison Hallet suggests to readers: Next time a sunny afternoon is darkened by a crow's cry, try to think of it as a screech of laughter rather than an ominous portent.

The Willamette Weekly aptly titles their review "The bird gods must be crazy" and Casey Jarman ends his review with BIG QUESTIONS doesn’t have to tie all the loose ends together to make for a satisfying read: The satisfaction comes from watching Nilsen’s talent grow with each passing page and knowing that the epic comic you’ve just finished is the artist’s first, and also most recent, work of art.

The Bay Area's Eastbay Express admits: I’m not going to feign objectivity here: I think Nilsen’s work is brilliant. Dude’s been drawing little birds since way before they became a hipster cliché, and in this case the cuteness factor is balanced by the artist’s unflinchingly unromantic view of the natural world.

And last but not least (and not really last as I suspect there will be even more upcoming reviews of BIG QUESTIONS): Paul Constant of The Stranger states:

You've never read anything quite like BIG QUESTIONS—imagine if Peanuts suddenly turned into Lord of the Rings and you have a vague idea of the tone—but you'll be thankful you encountered it. This is probably going to be the best—and is definitely the most original—comic of 2011.
Friday, August 26, 2011

Sleepwalk--Back in Print!

There's nothing I enjoy more than frantically riffling through everyone's desks in search of the elusive exacto knife, carefully slicing through the tape, and prying out the deliciously scented contents. New books smell the best (don't buy the new-book scented candle though--it's a real bummer).

This morning's treasure: the fifth printing of Adrian Tomine's Sleepwalk and Other Stories.

And here it is with the fourth printing. Note Adrian's striking new cover design. Here's a peek at the interior, for those that don't already have the book dog-eared on their night stands.

And what timing. This beautiful new edition of Sleepwalk--which collects the first four issues of ON--hits stores in the same month (September) as Optic Nerve 12, Adrian's latest installment in the series. You can see Adrian LIVE in Brooklyn on September 22 at 7pm at Dessert Island (no, really the signing is here: Desert Island). Save the date.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Comics needs Dylan Williams

By now it seems unlikely that you've somehow missed the fact that Dylan Williams is in the hospital fighting against cancer. Dylan really is one of my favorite people in the industry and while it's an old cliche, something like this should never happen to someone as dedicated, true, and real as Dylan. I can remember just a couple of years ago saying to a friend that Dylan's Sparkplug Books was my favorite of the new publishers because Dylan is the rare sort of publisher (of any type) who publishes ONLY what he believes in. He nurtures unknown talent and gets the work out there. He has no cares for the commercial prospects of the books or current fashion or who is friends with whom. He loves comics, he loves these comics, and he wants more people to see them. Years ago, when I off-handedly remarked in print that I thought the work of a certain classic strip artist was over-valued, Dylan sent me a collection of that artist's work in the mail and demanded that I read the book and evaluate the work in front of me. I love that he did that. He cared so deeply about comics and cartoonists that he felt the need to address that slight. Comics (any industry, really) needs people like Dylan Williams. If you love comics, YOU NEED DYLAN WILLIAMS. The recent plea by friends (because Dylan would never ask) for people to buy some Sparkplug Books to help him pay his hospital bills is a simple one. It's something you should do. There's really no excuse. You won't put that money to better use. You should help a very decent person in his fight. Help Dylan Williams. Go buy comics here.

{Above picture of Dylan and his grandma. Snagged from Profanity Hill.}
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Drawn & Quarterly & Desert Island -with the help of Housing Works- Bringing you the best NYC events this Fall!

OK NYC, in another week or so, we're about to go from zero to sixty with events in the Big Apple! Don't say we don't love you. We adore you so much you're practically getting every author we can send your way!

First off, we are teaming up with the finest art comics store in the land, Desert Island, to co-host several of the events:

Friday September 16th, 7 PM: Anders Nilsen for Big Questions & Marc Bell for Pure Pajamas Launch

Thursday September 22nd 7 PM: Adrian Tomine launches Optic Nerve #12

and we and Desert Island are then teaming up with Housing Works to host the following Manhattan events:

Tuesday September 27th, 7 PM: Kate Beaton launches Hark! A Vagrant

Tuesday, October 18th 7PM: Daniel Clowes (The Death-Ray) and Seth (GNBCC) in conversation!

If you are not familiar with Housing Works, they are a NYC charity that benefits homeless people with HIV, and they operate a fantastic bookstore cafe at 126 Crosby St which will be the site of the events for Kate Beaton, Daniel Clowes and Seth!

And that's not it, we have other NYC events!

Thursday September 15th 192 Books Anders Nilsen launches Big Questions

Sunday, September 18th Brooklyn Book Festival D+Q with Adrian Tomine, Kate Beaton, Anders Nilsen & Marc Bell

Thursday, Sept 30th - Sunday October 2nd  D+Q at the NY Art Book Fair at PS 1. Artist list to come.

Saturday, December 3rd Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival. Artist list to come.

James Sturm, Gag Cartoonist

James Sturm has a column in Slate Magazine today where he discusses the fine art of gag cartooning for The New Yorker.  Sez James: "If making graphic novels felt like a staid long-term relationship, then doing gag comics is like playing the field."


"Every Tuesday is judgment day, the day Robert Mankoff, the magazine's cartoon editor, meets with cartoonists face to face. Another seven or eight cartoonists were squeezed into the small waiting room, which is dominated by a long coffee table stacked with hundreds of New Yorker magazines. A giant print of a Sam Gross cartoon hung on one wall; underneath was a couch. Sam Gross sat on the couch. The other cartoonists either tried to engage in awkward small talk or just kept silent. Sam, by far the oldest and most established cartoonist in the cramped space, held court. He said, "Dr. Seuss was not a good artist. He couldn't draw kids. They were just adults with big heads.""

Maybe the best part of the article is how he included a wide variety of the New Yorkeresque cartoons he did. The image above is James's and there are tons more here.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Congrats, Kate!

This weekend at the Harvey Awards, Kate Beaton's work on Hark! A Vagrant was recognized - she won the award for Best Online Comics Work for her website, http://harkavagrant.com/.

Congratulations, Kate! And if you have been living under a rock somehow and never visited the site, please do check out her comics. This is a fully deserved award: Hark! is some of the best comics work on- or offline, and we at D+Q are thrilled to have her working with us in non-digital format too.
Thursday, August 18, 2011

There is some justice in the world, after all. 5 D+Q artists up for Ignatzes.

Congrats to Chris Ware, Vanessa Davis, Kate Beaton, Pascal Girard & Gabrielle Bell for being nominated for the Ignatzes. Ware's Lint is up for Best Story as it should have been at every single awards ceremony this year, but was glaringly not. This oversight along with Jaime's Browntown is practically shameful of anyone involved in any comics judging this year, thankfully the Ignatzed have righted that wrong. OK off the soapbox and back to the congratulations. Vanessa is up for best collection for Make Me A Woman, and Kate, Pascal & Gabrielle are all up for best online comics. Congrats to everyone on the much deserved noms.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anders in Minneapolis this Thursday

Hey did we mention that Anders Nilsen's updated East Coast tour schedule is available in social media and regular old D+Q website formats? Also in JPEG format:

On to the business of the day! Anders will be in Minneapolis Thursday August 18th to launch Big Questions at Magers & Quinn Booksellers. There's a lovely write-up of the book in the Star Tribune, where reviewer Tom Horgen sez, "the parable [Big Questions] tells unfolds with remarkable ease and power," and acknowledges Anders as "one of the comic-book world's best storytellers." Dear midwesterners: don't miss this!

Thursday August 18th at 7:30 pm
3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis

That incredible void in June-July that no other blog was able to fill.

It is no secret here in the office that we think very, very highly of Tom Spurgeon and his blog, The Comics Reporter. Obviously, as we are an advertiser, and we barely advertise anywhere! But really the facts speak for themselves and there is no other website with a team of writers or any other blogger that does what Tom does. With the exception of his hiatus, Tom blogs 7 days a week and 365 days a year, and NEVER COMPLAINS ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS. But the Comics Reporter is more than just how often it is updated, Tom covers all angles of the industry and medium. And he never professes to be an expert in everything, in fact, one of the best things about Tom's site is that he will readily admit when he is not an expert. And that rarely happens in comics!!!!

Chris Ware & Tom at TCAF, May 2011.

So when Tom took a hiatus this summer, we knew something was amiss. Something life threatening had to happen, as he is too much of a professional to just decide "hey i'm taking a vacation" and unfortunately our instincts were right, as Tom described in his poignant essay this past weekend. Besides Tom's personal state of health which is the foremost concern, of course, what struck me most about the essay was Tom's ability to deftly sum up the impact and allure of comics as a lifestyle. And while it's easy to joke about being scared of being a "lifer" as I often do, Tom points out there isn't any shame in that:

You could do far worse than to build a lifetime of friendships with the people you meet in comics. Far, far worse. I'm not sure you could do much better. As much as I'm made uncomfortable by a vision of comics that lacks the comics themselves, a way of approaching the professional and artistic communities that could without blinking substitute designer baskets or arcade games or action figures for the comics medium, I understand the appeal of wanting to stay around smart, curious, kind and mostly forgiving people for as long as possible, even if one's passion for the art form fades. As always, Tom cuts right to the truth of the matter.

Take care of yourself, Tom! And speaking on behalf of the industry, please put yourself before comics Tom and get better, because sitting through three and half hours of the Eisners without you, isn't as much fun as with you there!
Friday, August 12, 2011

Lookit! It's our old pal, Jocko!

Ask and ye shall receive. My very own Jocko gumball comic, courtesy of Seth!

This is how I felt this morning:

And this is how I feel now (please excuse my months-old nail polish):

Thanks, Seth, for this lovely Friday surprise.

And now, since it worked before--

Other things I would like:

One of those giant cheques so I can pay off my student loans.
An ergonomically adjusted office chair.
A cat sitter over Christmas. (I'll be away December 21st to January 2nd. Don't get any ideas, Burglars.)
New tape on my bicycle handles.
A black dress that can be dressed up, or down.
Someone to share my life with.

That is all.

Thanks again, Seth!
Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Less Thing To Ask Adrian Tomine

Where the hell is that next issue of OPTIC NERVE! Here it is! And, boy, does it deliver!

So think of a more original question to ask him when you see him at one of these events!

BROOKLYN Sunday, Sept 18th
Special Guest at the Brooklyn Book Fest, Signing at D+Q Booth

BROOKLYN Thursday Sept 22nd
Official NYC Launch at Desert Island!

SAN FRAN Saturday Oct 1 & Sunday the 2nd
At APE with Daniel Clowes!

MIAMI Saturday November 19th
Miami Book Fair
At the MBF with Daniel Clowes & Seth!

BROOKLYN Saturday December 3rd
Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival
The best comics festival in NYC!

Pretty Creepy

AN AMY LOCKHART TATTOO!!! {I feel funny.}

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Death-Ray Social Networks.

Oh I know, google plus comes along and then all of a sudden we think to take advantage of that facebook thing! People, I'm ahead of you! But may I remind you of D+Q's facebook presence! We have the D+Q HQ, we have our marvelous store, The Librairie and now introducing The Death-Ray By Daniel Clowes where we currently have a contest to win posters and advances of the book if you like the page, and if you post who your favorite Clowes character is. BUT ONLY, if you are one of the first first top 100 to post! Be quick! Though we will have more contests to come. So like us, dammit, and check back often!

Cribs: Cartoonists

Anders Nilsen stops by the Anacortes-based Genevieve Castrée and Phil Elverum's home and studio.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

When can we all expect to read this is what you really want to know.

Look what Brecht Evens just turned in. Why, it looks to be the complete The Making of, his next graphic novel. Oh, it's in Flemish so it'll be awhile before most of us can read it. BUT WOW LOOK AT THIS COVER!!!!!

Oooo-ee, Nancy 3!

Ladies and Gents, allow me to introduce to you Nancy Volume Three.

Yes, you are correct, Sluggo does have tiny shiny Nancys in his eyes. Could it be any better?

And here's all three volumes, looking striking in a row.

Nancy comics are some of my favourites of the many, many comics written by John Stanley, and it's stories like the following that keep me coming back for more:

By far one of the strangest—even for Oona—Nancy comics I've read. And, Nancy, don't worry—Tom reacts exactly the same when anyone brings cookies into the office. No, this isn't a blog joke: it is a fact.

Nancy Three will be available in September. In the meantime, if you haven't checked out the first two volumes—or the other John Stanley Library books for that matter—I recommend that you do. They are all a delight, and all in their own special way. And, of course, Seth's mastery of design makes the collection a treat to add to any collection.

Anders Nilsen: Big Questions, Short Interview

Over at Giant Robot.

Where did Tove Jansson live?

Fascinating (and stalker-y, but mostly fascinating.)

via the NYRB Classics blog.

Let's go to Mimi Pond's house, shall we?

Late post-Comic-con entry here. After SDCC, Peggy and the ids and I spent some time in LA. Number one stop was to visit Mimi Pond and hubby Wayne for an afternoon. After lunch (along with pals Ron Rege Jr and Anders Nilsen), we checked out the studios. Here's Mimi in front of her drawing slab.

A painting of former coffee shop boss Lazlo, one of the main stars of Mimi's ongoing graphic novel project Over Easy.

Over in another part of the basement, we find hubby Wayne White working on a new painting for a forthcoming show. If you aren't familiar with Wayne's work, check it out here.

Art clutter! Is there a better kind?

Eyeballs? This is the only part left from Wayne's huge installation at Rice University last year which I was hipped to by Robert Boyd at The Great God Pan is Dead.

Mimi, I'm not saying this stash of cookie jars in the basement is a problem just yet but...

It was a vacation trip and that means pictures of my kids! Georgy picks a lemon from Mimi and Wayne's lemon tree. Later, that lemon, he was made into lemonade.

Is this the sweetest Mother's Day card ever?! Mimi's daughter Lulu pays tribute to her mom in all her glory.

Is there more to come? Maybe. Who doesn't want to see pictures of Jordan Crane trying to set up a tent (by pictures, I mean a 45-minute movie WITH SOUND--that means it's NSFW.)
Monday, August 08, 2011

The G.N.B. Double C.

Make a stunning set, don't they?

The Chief gave a Nipper related preview of Seth's new book, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, last week, as well as bit of a teaser here. And noted over on the 211 blog is the arrival of the most recent issue of Canadian Notes and Queries, in which publication designer Seth has a six-page comic about Jocko, the Little Scotsman.

But this won't be the last you'll see of Jocko. So important is this little fellow to Canadian Comics' history that you'll notice he made the cover of the The G.N.B.C.C. Here's a few interior pages explaining Jocko's importance to Canada's comics tradition:

I'd do anything to get my hands on one of those gumball comics!

Watch for The G.N.B.C.C. in stores this October, and stay tuned for information on tour dates for the title. And lastly, if you head over to the new section of our website, you'll find a slightly longer preview of the The G.N.B.C.C. featuring Kao Kuk of the Royal Canadian Astro-Men (as well as previews of all our spring and fall titles). ENJOY!

Kitchen Conniption

Okay, okay, so what we all actually want to see IS a food blog by Vanessa Davis! You may not have even known that but you do now. So go here to Saveur and enjoy.
Friday, August 05, 2011

Brian Ralph Does SDCC Day 5

If you've somehow missed these all week, here's a link to all five. Day five includes Brian's photos from the con, including a money shot of Tom and Brian getting down and dirty in the Bone party photo booth.

Thanks for a week of office entertainment, Brian.
Thursday, August 04, 2011

Brian Ralph Does San Diego (Part 4)

{Tom's note: I am especially fond of Brian's portrayal of Tracy and Jessica in this strip. They have now become indistinguishable elves.}
Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Brian Ralph SDCC, Day 3

"The Reggie-12"? Brian, ew
Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Palookaville 20th Anniversary!

Yes, 2011 marks two decades since Seth's seminal title debuted, making Palookaville one of the longest running series in the medium. When Palookaville began in 1991 Seth was only D+Q's second "solo artist" published outside of the anthologies (Julie Doucet's Dirty Plotte preceded it by about 6 months). Although that first issue has never been collected in book form, we actually still have a few copies left of the 10th anniversary edition, published back in 2001.

Any regular readers of this blog are likely familiar with the distinguished career Seth went on to have over the following two decades, so let's move on to this award shown at top. I can't seem to find too many references to it, but according to Seth (writing in his upcoming book, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists), it is "the G.N.B.C.C.'s highest award: 'the Journeyman.' It has only 9 winners." I'll have to check on this, but I'm pretty sure Seth must have won it at some point leading up to this 20th anniversary (probably right after Chester Brown, recipient for the 1990s). It's the least they could have done.

As you all know, Seth doesn't slow down even for a cigarette break these days: after this October's release of the G.N.B.C.C. Seth will be turning in a new hardcover volume (#21) of Palookaville, due in early 2012.

Congratulations on the 20th anniversary Seth! It's been a real honor.

Brian Ralph's San Diego, Day 2

Monday, August 01, 2011

New Nipper!

The second Nipper paperback moves further along into the 1960s, a time when Doug Wright was at his peak as a cartoonist. Almost all of this is being seen for the first time in over 45 years and it's all gold -- all of it! Like this one:

On a related note, Seth has an extensive chapter on Doug Wright and Nipper in his upcoming book, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists. You'll be hearing a lot more about Seth's book when it's out in October, but in the meantime here's an excerpt of the noted section:


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