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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I didnt go to SPX but I have this awesome interview to read.

This interview in Rolling Stone by Sean T Collins with Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes and Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez is just about the CUTEST thing ever, with how they finish each thoughts and sentences. I adore it. Except when Sean brings up HEAVY METAL! SEAN!!!!!! Of course, the ever-thoughtfulChris comes in with this sentiment that struck me: "I've fought the idea of comics being illustration many times. To even mention them in the same breath is not helpful. If you're illustrating stories, then you're not writing comics. The real power of comics is writing as you draw."
Monday, September 24, 2012

D+Q Girl Gang Gets Real in NYC

A couple weeks ago the D+Q girl gang--Peggy Burns, Julia Pohl-Miranda, and myself--rented a sports car, took the top off, and cruised to New York with our hair blowing in the wind, leaving all our cares behind in a cloud of dust. {Note: It was more of a sedan than a sports car, per se, and none of those other things are true either.} The purpose of the trip was to launch Rookie Yearbook One. Julia will share all Rookie related photos with you later this week, but in the meantime, we had a lot of non-Rookie fun, too, so I'll share that with you now.

Pictured above: Breakfast in Albany at Peggy's old late night college diner. On a scale of one to ham, it scored a 10.

One of the highlights of the week was getting to go to the opening reception of Chris Ware's Building Stories exhibit at Adam Baumgold's gallery. The event was so packed that Julia and I had to sneak back later on in the week to get a better look at everything.

Neither Julia or I had seen Chris's originals before, so it was a real treat, to say the least.

Chris with comics-fan and friend of D+Q John Hodgman. Later on Julia had an argument with John about monarchs, specifically about how Queen Victoria was the worst of them all.

The constructed model! This is one of two models that Chris assembled himself.

I took about a million more photos of this thing, but since we've blogged shots of the office model already, I'll just leave you with these.

Pictured above is myself, Anaheed Alani, Rookie's very skilled Editorial Director, and Julia. Anaheed is a friend of Chris's so we met her, for the first time, at the reception. {I had to resist the urge not to photoshop glasses on myself here.}

Congrats on the show, Chris! If you live in or around New York and haven't been yet, it's up until October 27th! Take the necessary steps to get there. You won't regret it. Here's the info.

Later on in the week we had lunch with Adrian Tomine and his family. Adrian, Sarah, and Nora were wonderful hosts.

Adrian made us pretzels! If I'm not mistaken, the recipe came from Jonathan Bennett's grandmother. Now I've never had homemade pretzels before, but I'm pretty sure these were the best. {Adrian, this is your cue to send Tom the recipe so he can make them for sandwich club. Say what?!? A sandwich made out of a pretzel? Yeah. Think about it. And then go buy yourself some ham to put in your pretzel sandwich.}

Lunch was followed by some live drawing! Nora: Seriously, kid, You. Are. The. Most. Adorable.

Not pictured here: At one point during the boring adult conversation, Nora disappeared and came back giggling and wearing a pair of Adrian's socks. I don't think I need to editorialize here, but I will anyway: ADORABLE.

Later on we had a lovely Korean dinner with Jillian Tamaki, which was followed by karaoke! Here's Julia doing a duet with Jillian's husband, Sam Weber, who happens to be surprisingly good at rapping.

And here's Peggy with Sam's friend Josh Cochran doing an awkward karaoke battle. They had both selected the same song and the entire time both thought that the other was trying to pinch them out of their own song. Nope. Just both into 4 Non Blondes. Needless to say, IT GOT HEATED. Also pictured: Jillian's luscious locks.

And lastly, because we like to photograph D+Q books in the wild, here's two of our books prominently displayed at McNally Jackson. You can't read this because it's really tiny, but the note on The Making Of says, "The Making Of may be the best graphic novel of 2012. No, the year is not over yet. Yes, we are still calling it." Agreed! I do not remember what the note on Jerusalem said exactly, but it was something along the lines of, "This book is very good." Agreed!

Stay tuned for D+Q Girl Gang Gets Real in NYC: Rookie Edition, coming later this week from the beautiful and talented Julia Pohl-Miranda!
Friday, September 21, 2012

Mega-book-fest weekend! Brooklyn & Toronto this Sunday Sept 23rd! Puces Pop in Mtl Sat & Sun!

Toronto, Montreal, and New York City (er, Brooklyn) look out! We'll be settin' up booths and sellin' books in NY & Toronto this Sunday, September 23rd at two of our favourite literary book fests. Montrealers, we'll be at the Puces Pop craft fair both weekend days, 11 to 6.

First on the list: Brooklyn! The BBF is a one-day extravaganza of awesome literature. 280+ authors! 100+ panels! Books is best!

Mr. Chris Oliveros will be manning D+Q's tables. Find him at booths #27 & 28 in Brooklyn's Borough Hall Plaza, at 209 Joralemon St. in downtown Brooklyn, between 10 am and 6 pm this Sunday.

Signings in Toronto and New York!

From 1 to 2 pm, we'll have Rookie staffers Anaheed Alani, Hazel Cills, Sady Doyle, Leeann Duggan, Gabby Noone, and Lola Pellegrino signing copies of Rookie Yearbook One, and then from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, we'll have Adrian Tomine signing to celebrate the not-in-stores-yet New York Drawings. At 2 pm in the Saint Francis Auditorium (180 Remsen St) Adrian will also be on a panel moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos, alongside the all-star team of Jaime Hernandez, Carla Speed McNeil, and Gabrielle Bell. They'll be talking about how they've developed characters, stories, and worlds over serial publications.

Signing at BBF, advance copies at Word on the Street and Puces Pop too!
Next up: Word on the Street! 11 am to 6 pm Sunday! I grew up attending WOTS every year, and it's kinda the best. Tons of book culture just spilling all over the streets of Toronto. They have a new location in Queens Park, which seems pretty perfect. The D+Q booth, # 181, will be graced by the presence of the one and only Peter Birkemoe. Thanks Peter! We'll have signings at WOTS: Chester Brown will be signing most of the day, Michael Cho signs from 2 to 3 pm, and we'll have a few Toronto-area Rookie contributors signing over the course of the day.

Signing at Word on the Street!
And finally, we're delighted to be doing a hometown show too! Find Tracy, the incredible, multi-city con-helper-outer Alison, and myself at Puces Pop in the Eglise Saint-Michel, 105 Saint Viateur O. Don't know where that is? Don't bother googling, just follow the trail of indie bands and the wafting scent of pierogies down into the basement of this Mile End landmark.  We're there Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

And that's how you do a weekend up in three different cities! Books books books!
Thursday, September 20, 2012

ROOKIE launches on its home turf tonight!

Tonight! 7 pm at the Unity Temple (875 Lake St, Oak Park) with the Book Table

Rookie Mag E-I-C Tavi Gevinson and contributors Jessica Hopper, Krista Burton, and Stephanie Kuehnert will be reading and signing copies of this very book tonight! Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door.

Chris Borrelli at the Chicago Tribune says that with Rookie, Gevinson has created "an unnervingly incisive and poised media brand with staying power."

Laura Pearson at Time Out Chicago offers that "the Yearbook vacillates between serious and silly, informative and expressive. There are essays on harassment (Miranda July’s “Hands Off”), advice from adults on dealing with high school (“The mere fact that you’re reading, right now, puts you so far ahead and above the bulk of the population,” writes comedian Patton Oswalt), how-to articles, moody fashion shoots and ebullient odes to Joni Mitchell and outer space... The mixed-media collage and hand-lettered titles are true to the website’s aesthetic but splashier."

In case you're wondering, yes, the book, and Rookie in general, is that awesome. Don't miss this one, Oak Park!

Adrian Tomine launches New York Drawings at powerHouse Arena tonight!

I think this says it all, but come out!

 powerHouse Arena! Thursday Sept 20th! 7 pm! 37 Main St! 
Brooklyn (DUMBO)!

Tonight Adrian Tomine launches this (man-oh-man-is-it-ever) beautiful collection of illustrations, New Yorker covers, and other artwork produced during his first eight years living in New York City. The launch was spotlighted in the New Yorker and in Time Out New York (nbd), but I think the Village Voice shout-out from Rob Staeger says it best:

"Adrian Tomine frames the action of his comics with crisp simplicity, his assured storytelling unveiling hidden layers of character. His illustrations, on the other hand, reveal their depths in a single image— witness the tension on a 2008 New Yorker cover between a bookstore owner and his neighbor as she accepts an Amazon delivery."

Adrian will be in conversation with Jordan Awan, an art director at the New Yorker, after which he'll be signing books. Full event details on the powerHouse site, and did I mention there's an exhibit of some absolutely gorgeous prints of Adrian's work on RIGHT NOW at the powerHouse arena? So come on out, listen to some good stories about working for the New Yorker, and get your books signed. No one does it better than Adrian!

Julia and I went to SPX and we came back with nothing. Actually nothing. We sold every single book.

{Insert quintesential SPX crowd shot or chocolate fountain pic here, neither of which we remembered to take.}

Julia and I went to SPX last weekend, and it was one of the best shows I've ever worked. End of story. Well, actually, there's a whole lot more to the story, but I'll take care of the thank-yous here first: Over the past two years, SPX has changed from a show-we-go-to-because-it's-super-fun-and-all-our-friends-are-there to a show-we-go-to-because-it's-super-fun-and-all-our-friends-are-there-plus-we-sell-all-our-books-and-come-home-with-pockets-full-of-gold. So, Warren Bernard, I'm talkin' to you (and all your helping hands): Thanks for organizing such an incredible event (and keeping me well stocked with drink tickets). Bill Kartalopoulos: Thanks for organizing unbeatable programming. Thanks to the throngs of fans that were in attendance. And THANK YOU to all the D+Q artists that signed at our booth: Adrian Tomine, Brian Ralph, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Dan Zettwoch, and Kevin Huizenga! You're all kings amongst men.

Now, to the still images:

Julia and I arrived in Bethesda early on Friday, which meant plenty of time to head to Baltimore for Ethiopian food and thrift shopping Dan's signing at Atomic Books. I had been to the shop before, but this visit I actually had time to look around. It's a pretty impressive store, with a well curated selection of prose, art books, comics, and everything in between. The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly to boot. Thumbs up, Atomic Books.

This line didn't ease up for the entire two hours.

Is there anything more satisfying than a GIANT stack of books?

Oh, and looky here, spotted in the wild was our beloved ex (sniff) co-worker Jessica Campbell's zine My Sincerest Apologies, published by Oily Comics! Guys! This zine is so funny my socks slide off my feet while I'm reading it.

We couldn't stick around for the SPXplosion party after the signing, but if last year was any indication of the goings on, I'm sad I missed it. Wait, I'm not sad at all, because we left to have dinner with some of comics' finest--Adrian, Dan Clowes, Chris, and Charles Burns. Sorry folks, no pictures. We were too busy trying to extract years of comics gossip from this veteran crew, and trying to BE COOL while suppressing our nervous fan-girl jitters as we dined with comics royalty. {Everything you've heard is true: They ARE amazing. Each one of them!}

Moving on to the booth shots. Here we have our rapidly growing Enfant section. We had three Enfant debuts at the show--Pippi Move In, Moominvalley Turns Jungle, and Moomin's Winter Follies.

Special thanks to Mark Burrier (lingering in the background) who was kind enough to help us shorties hang our banners. THANKS MARK.

Another SPX debut. I hadn't seen a bound copy of Moomin Book Seven yet, so I was school-girl excited when I opened up this box. {Man, the carpet at the hotel is REALLY impressive.}

We had a pretty packed signing schedule. Adrian started things off bright and early Saturday morning with his debut art-book New York Drawings. This was his line right before we had to open the side door so the line could extend into the hall. Adrian signed four times throughout the weekend; I kept expecting the line to get less intense with each subsequent signing. It never did. In fact, I think it got longer each time.

A beautifully designed signature for a beautiful book.

Kate Beaton fans! Clapping eyes on Kate's 2013 calendars, Beethoven Birthday Party and There She Blows. It's really easy to spot a Hark! enthusiast; I had these ladies pegged before they even approached the booth. I swear, this photo was not staged!

One of our top purchasers of the weekend! Five Moomin books and a Pippi. Excellent purchases, Madame.

Brian signing Daybreak. He picked up the standing signing technique from Chester Brown last year and hasn't looked back, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW THE PROS DO IT. {What Brian forgot is that Chester signs on top of a box, making the standing signing position much more practical, and a lot less hunchy.} Side note: Brian hung out behind the booth basically all weekend and helped us sell books. What. A. Gentleman. Thank you, Brian.

Next up: Chris Ware debuting his Multi-Story Building Model! Fans came with piles of stuff, and Chris was kind enough to accommodate the stacks of books, lunch boxes, newspaper pages, and New Yorker covers.

Dan Zettwoch and Kevin were at the show with their new books Birdseye Bristoe and Gloriana. A signing with these bosom-buddies is always a treat. They come well equipped, with minis and other paper objects.

So not only do you get your book drawn in…

But you also get a little something extra. {Hey! Montréalers. Head to Librairie D+Q and get one of these pretty paper inserts in your copy of Birdseye Bristoe while supplies last! Thanks for sending us home with some, Dan!}

And here's what a pro SPX hotel-room mini-comic assembly line looks like. Julia snuck up here with Dan Z. to grab beers at some point after the Ignatz Awards (gah, again, no pictures, sorry, we are very, very bad at this). But here's what happened: D+Q artists took home three awards--Jillian Tamaki's SuperMutant Magic Academy won Outstanding Online Comic, Kate Beaton won Outstanding Collection for Hark! A Vagrant, and Anders Nilsen stole the Outstanding Graphic Novel award for Big Questions. Congratulations, all of you. The recognition is well deserved. Since none were in attendance, I had to accept all the bricks myself. It went to my head.

Here're our booth neighbours looking dashing as always. Left to right: Joseph Remnant, Noah Van Sciver, Domitille Collardey, and Lisa Hanawalt.

I was able to sneak away from the booth for a few minutes on Sunday and caught a bit of the Life After Alternative Comics panel with Adrian, Dan C., Jaime Hernandez, and Gilbert Hernandez, moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos. Pretty hard to beat that panel line-up. I intended to just pop in to take a photo but ended up staying for twenty minutes (sorry, Julia!). It was too interesting to leave.

We finished off the weekend on a high note. Here's Dan Clowes signing some Eightballs with Adrian's never-ending line in the background. Dan had a very busy weekend between programming and signings at the various tables; we were happy to get him behind the booth as a parting gift. {Thanks, Dan!}

John Porcellino! Some how we didn't get a picture of you. But as always, it was really lovely to see your face. Here's a picture of me in my new King Cat t-shirt.

And lastly, here's our loot! Between Julia managing insane signing lines like a pro AND my trying to cope with the fame of the previous night's Ignatz wins AND succeeding at selling out of ALL our books AND the fact that everyone else sold out of most of their titles, we didn't get to bring home all the books that we would have liked to, but it's still a pretty sweet haul. All these beauts will be on the shelves at Librairie D+Q later on this week.

Thanks again to everyone for everything. Aces, all of you.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Complete Aya

Did you know that the first 3 chapters of Aya are now available in one new paperback volume, running at nearly 400 pages in length?

Aya is a really fun and engaging story set in late 1970s Ivory Coast. It's written by Marguerite Abouet (based in part on her own experiences growing up in the west African nation) and drawn with an elegant and whimsical flair by Clément Oubrerie.

Aya: Life in Yop City is the book that collects these first 3 chapters (they have been previously published as individual hardcovers). And in a few months the entire story will wrap up when Aya: Love in Yop City is in stores (this will be the first time that the latter part of the book is published in English).

Tom Spurgeon recently wrote that he is a "fiend" for this material and that he could read 10,000 pages of this stuff. Well, this won't quite be 10,000 pages, but altogether both editions run to nearly 800 pages of comics, which is something, even in this era of big graphic novels.

Here's a couple of sample pages from the current book:

And look for the final book in the series by year's end:


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