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Friday, November 30, 2012

It's starting to look like Tavi might like D+Q as much as we like her.

We all knew Tavi was into comics before we published Rookie Yearbook One, but I don't think we realized just how much of a comics fan she actually is. But over the past week, it's become undeniably clear to any faithful Rookie reader. (Okay, it was already pretty clear.) Take a look at all this evidence I've gathered from just the past three days!

For those of you who were rightfully impressed last winter when Tavi interview Dan Clowes, prepare to be impressed once again while reading her interview with fellow Oak Park resident Chris Ware! The interview is titled Work Hard and Be Kind, which is perhaps the best title for a Chris Ware interview that I've come across.

When we talk about Tavi around the office, the word thoughtful comes up a lot, and this is no doubt what makes her such an intelligent interviewer. She gets Chris talking about his childhood fear of taking his shirt off in public, accidentally stumbling upon Raw while actually hoping to find porn at a head shop during his '60s phase (in the '80s), and about art's ability to "condense experience into something greater than reality." Go! Read! It will be time well-spent.

But there's more! Earlier in the week in their feature titled Literally The Best Thing Ever, where Rookie talks about things that are, like, literally the best things ever, including retro-futurism, glitter, and Joni Mitchell, Chris Ware was once again the subject.

And then, of course, there's this article too, about writers' block, wherein we hear anecdotes/advice from talented writers like Joss Whedon, Malcolm Gladwell, Adrian Tomine, and Vanessa Davis! Hooray!

So there you have it. Tavi is a serious comics fan. And the best part of this? We're not even in cahoots! Tavi and her crew just have impeccable taste! Thanks for all the attention, Rookie!
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sonja Ahlers in Toronto at the One-of-a-Kind Show!

Sobey-nominated artist, THE SELVES petit livre author, and Rookie Yearbook artist Sonja Ahlers has left the confines of her studio in White Horse (in the Yukon, people!)to sell her gorgeous hand-made art at the One of a Kind show in Toronto, which ends this Sunday, she's in booth U-09. Not in Toronto? Check out her etsy page, then.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Introducing D+Q's Spring 2013 Catalogue

Hello sports fans! Our spring 2013 list is set, and we're excited to share it with you. So go grab yourself a coffee, mint-julep, corn-dog, whatever, and then come back here ready to be dazzled!

MARBLE SEASON by Gilbert Hernandez! Gilbert just sent in the final pages of the book, and I don't think we could be more excited. It's a beautiful meditation on childhood, comics, and storytelling, from one of comics' best. Marble Season will be in stores this April.

CO-MIX: A RETROSPECTIVE OF COMICS, GRAPHICS, AND SCRAPS by Art Spiegelman! In case an OGN from Gilbert wasn't enough, we are very proud to be publishing this collection of Art's work, featuring a reproduction of the long-out-of-print Raw comic "Two Fisted Painters," original essays, plus so! much! more!. CO-MIX will be available in May.

THE PROPERTY by Rutu Modan! I just wrapped production on this title yesterday. I've been a huge fan of Rutu's work for quite some time now, so it was a real pleasure to work on the book. (I know, I say this about every book I work on, but it's completely sincere each time, I swear.) The Property will be in stores in May.

MY DIRTY DUMB EYES by Lisa Hanawalt! This is not the cover. Lisa sent in a cover mockup the other day though, and with 10 thumbs up from us, she is frantically painting the glorious masterpiece that will cover this collection. I'll post it just as soon as I get it in my sweaty mits. My Dirty Dumb Eyes will be in stores in May.

A USER'S GUIDE TO NEGLECTFUL PARENTING by Guy Delisle! Again, not quite set on the cover here. If you speak French and follow Guy's blog, these hilarious strips will be familiar to you. For the rest, just take my word on this: they are a hoot. A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting will be in stores June.

MOOMIN AND THE SEA by Tove Jansson! The 5th release in our color-Moomin series! In a back-pack friendly size, these books are the perfect stories to send your kids to school with. Moomin and the Sea will be in stores June.

MOOMIN AND THE COMET by Tove Jansson! Perhaps one of my most-loved Moomin stories, this one was extra fun to colour. Watch for it this June.

THE PLAYBOY by Chester Brown! Now back in print! Chester has re-worked this classic story a bit, so even if you already have a copy, I'd recommend taking a look at this one. The Playboy will be in stores May.

PAYING FOR IT by Chester Brown! The New York Times bestselling graphic novel, now in paperback, with an extended afterword. I haven't read the afterword yet. I'm expecting it to arrive in the mail next week. My fingers are wiggling with anticipation. Paying For It will be in stores May.

I DUNNO…WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? by Anouk Ricard! The second english release from her acclaimed Anna & Froga series features the friendliest Yeti around, a worm who can only wiggle when asked to dance, and some of the funniest characters in any comic around today, for adults or kids. I Dunno…What Do You Want to Do? will be in stores June.

MOOMIN VOLUME EIGHT by Lars Jansson! The antics continue in this third Lars Jansson collection. There's a tragic love story, get-rich-quick schemes, and cake. What more could one ask for? Watch for it in stores June.

For actual information on each book, and not just my terrible attempt at an elevator pitch, you can view our complete spring catalogue here.
Monday, November 26, 2012

Anders in Minneapolis at Boneshaker Books!

We have a beautiful new hardcover edition of Anders' heartbreaking memoir DON'T GO WHERE I CAN'T FOLLOW. He is doing one event for the book, and it will be at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis on Saturday December 8th at 7 PM. Be there.

Chester Brown & Anders Nilsen: Angouleme Official Selections!

Two of our most talked about books from 2011 have been chosen by the Angoulême International Comics Festival as Official Selections: Chester Brown's Vingt-trois Prostituées (A.K.A. Paying for It), and Anders Nilsen's Big Questions.

Here they are in all their French glory (it's sad that we don't get to highlight the awesome foreign editions more often!):

Swiped from the Librairie's blog!

Congratulations, Anders and Chester! Felicitations aussi aux maisons d'éditions qui ont publié les traductions de leurs livres: Cornélius and L'Association, respectively. And a big hearty congratulations to everyone else who was chosen.
Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Most Important Comics of the Year 2012

What do we have here? Seven original graphic novels, ten reprinted books in various formats, fourteen translated titles, one book edited by a teenager, seven Canadian titles, four art books. two calendars, and one model. Pretty great year, my friends, pretty great year.
Jinchalo Matthew Forsythe – Feb 14
Goliath Tom Gauld – Feb 28
Abandon the Old in Tokyo (paperback) Yoshihiro Tatsumi – April 10
Good-Bye (paperback) Yoshihiro Tatsumi – April 10
The Push Man and Other Stories (paperback) Yoshihiro Tatsumi – April 10
Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China (paperback) Guy Delisle – April 24

Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City Guy Delisle – April 24
Fallen Words Yoshihiro Tatsumi – May 8
Idyll Amber Albrecht - May 22
Nonnonba Shigeru Mizuki – May 22
Ed the Happy Clown Chester Brown – June 5
Gloriana Kevin Huizenga – June 19

Anna & Froga: Wanna Gumball? Anouk Ricard - June 19
Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes Michael Cho – June 19
Birdseye Bristoe Dan Zettwoch – June 19
The Making Of Brecht Evens – Aug 7

Beethoven Birthday Party 2013 Calendar Kate Beaton – Aug 21
There She Blows 2013 Calendar Kate Beaton – Aug 21

Aya: Life in Yop City Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie – Sep 4
Rookie Yearbook One edited by Tavi Gevinson – Sep 4
New York Drawings Adrian Tomine – Oct 2
Moomin’s Winter Follies Tove Jansson – Oct 2
Moominvalley Turns Jungle Tove Jansson – Oct 2
Pippi Moves In Astrid Lindgen & Ingrid Vang Nyman – Oct 2

Multi-Story Building Model Chris Ware - Nov 7

The Complete Moomin Comics Volume 7 Lars Jansson – Oct 2
The Wayside Julie Morstad – Oct 30
Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow Anders Nilsen – Dec 11
The Freddie Stories Lynda Barry – Dec 17

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big in Japan*

A few months ago word came from the fine folks at TCAF that they were organizing a small contingent of mostly Canadian cartoonists and publishers to travel to Japan to take part in Tokyo's Kaigai Manga Festival. I gladly joined, knowing that this would likely be the only time that I'd get to meet two of D+Q's most important Japanese authors in their home country.

Let's start with Shigeru Mizuki. I doubt I could overstate just how legendary a figure he is in Japan. Perhaps only after Tezuka, Mizuki has been one of the most influential and beloved cartoonists in his country for nearly seven decades. Take a look at this: they even created a street in his honor.

Life-size characters from Kitaro line the street for about six blocks. Each character has his own spot, amidst all of the surrounding commercial activity. "Rat Man" seems to be pointing out the daily lunch specials at the small restaurant next to him.

And here's Kitaro again, holding his father in the palm of his hand (yes, his father watches over him in the form of a giant eyeball).

I think this one below might be "Cat Girl" riding on top of the "plastered wall."

We then visited the office of Mizuki, which is just around the corner from the Kitaro parade of statues. The office is a small, bustling enterprise, largely run by his family. At age 90, Mizuki still goes into work each day to draw comics. Here he is with his wife, Nunoe Mura, whose recent autobiography became a bestseller in Japan and was adapted as its own television series.

And yes, here we are balancing the giant eyeball from Kitaro. The place is practically a shrine to Kitaro and all things Mizuki.

Next up is Yoshihiro Tatsumi, the first manga-ka published by D+Q. A little over a decade ago, Adrian Tomine approached us with a proposal to edit an overview of Tatsumi's most notable work. Thanks to Adrian, we've since published six books by Tatsumi, who is now regarded as one of the most important contemporary cartoonists in the world. Here's Tatsumi drawing on the wall of his favorite restaurant, which he's been visiting for the past 50 years.

Mrs. Tatsumi at left was as delightful as ever (hard to believe that they've been married for 51 years!). Posing with them is Tatsumi's translator from Fallen Words, Jocelyne Allen, along with one of TCAF's founders (and organizer of this trip), Christopher Butcher.

We were also joined by Asakawa Mitsuhiro, a manga editor in Tokyo who has played an instrumental role with many of the Gekiga books we've published. Asakawa may also be the only man alive who still has contact with the J.D. Salinger of Japanese comics (that would be Yoshiharu Tsuge), yet sadly even the magic of Asakawa can't convince Tsuge to allow published translations to happen. 

Later in the evening Tatsumi unveiled his latest masterwork: part two of his monumental autobiography, A Drifting Life. A lot of people have been asking about this (after all, part one ends in 1961, so what happened next?) and Tatsumi states that he is nearing completion. About half of the book is inked and the other half is still in rough pencil form. Finishing another 200 pages between now and next summer? Plenty of time for the 77 year old Tatsumi.

I went through all 400 pages thus far and it's great to see that Tatsumi is still at the top of his game, even in his 7th decade as a working cartoonist.

Like the original volume, this book is part memoir, part historical overview of events that occurred in Japan during Tatsumi's lifetime. Apparently, he speeds up the pace in this new volume, covering over 50 years and bringing us to the present day.

Does this mean that Adrian will be making an appearance in the book?!

Finally, on Sunday we all set up at the Kaigai Manga Festival. At left is TCAF organizer Andrew Woodrow Butcher (he is also manager of one of North America's only kids-centric comic shop, Little Island Comics). Next to him is the Beguiling's Peter Birkemoe, who had the idea of bringing a bunch of Nipper overstock in his luggage to to unleash on hordes of Japanese comics fans.

And, as always, Peter's retailer instincts are always on the mark: like magic, piles of Nipper were flying off the table. It only took two words (spoken by Peter in pretty good Japanese) to cast the spell: "Canada's Peanuts." With that, everyone who walked by the table were immediately on board and all copies (shown below at beginning of show) were sold out within a couple of hours. *Who would have thought that the title of this blog post ("Big In Japan") refers to Nipper?! Looks like we'll be planning for a life-size Nipper vinyl figure to debut in Japan by this time next year.

Longtime D+Q cartoonist Maurice Vellekoop was on hand to sign copies of his books (one of his first strips, "Homoman," was published by D+Q almost 23 years ago).

Manga columnist Deb Aoki was also in attendance.

And Koyama Press, one of the best indy comics publishers around, was also on board, represented by Helen Koyama (Annie's sister), along with her two sons, Robin (shown here) and Daniel Nishio. What better way to end a convention?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brooklyn Comics Round-Up

Now that the pressure's off, and everyone's gotten their fill of reading about and remembering Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival 2012, allow me to chime in! Just kidding, I had good reasons for being distracted last week!

But now, finally, I bring to you this poorly photographed series of images the cat drug out of the aftermath of the show. Brooklyn Comics was so truly a whirlwind that I actually failed to purchase anything for myself, something I am still kicking myself about, and intend to continue kicking myself about for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, enough apologizing! On a Friday that went utterly undocumented, I met up with the lovely Anouk Ricard, and we headed out on the town. I showed her the High Line, and a (perhaps too) sketchy part of Central Park. Later on, we hit the (Florent) Ruppert & (Jerome) Mulot 101 opening at Brooklyn Wayfarers, and you guys! That was a room filled with French cartoonists! It was a great opportunity to practice my French. It was also, more importantly, a very nicely laid out exhibit of / introduction to their work, an installation comprised of phenakistoscopes, very funny Spiderman art, a short film, and a lot of pretty rad comics. If you ever get the chance, I recommend a conversation with Florent - he's very perceptive and funny. I was sorry to miss the Oily Comics party at Bergen St. Comics, but sometimes comics forces you to make Tough Decisions.

On to Saturday! We got into the church bright and early. Former D+Q employee/intern/everything Fiona Duncan helped me out. Here's the booth at the beginning of the day (with Fiona in pink at the far end):

And here it is again about five hours later:

Boom, just a handful of Moomins left adrift on the wooden tables.

In between, here's what happened: Anders Nilsen & Anouk Ricard signed...

Anders brought an arsenal of goodies for people purchasing his books: zines, bookplates, and more. The man comes prepared!

Meanwhile, slowly, gradually, the line of folks waiting for Adrian's signing grew and grew -- it was nice to see familiar faces like Chris Anthony Diaz (waving, below).

Then Adrian took a seat, and signed like a trooper for several hours.

While the crowds were busy getting their copies of New York Drawings and festival debut Don't Go Where I Can't Follow (in stores next month!), I snuck away from the booth long enough to snap a few photos of pals and wolf down a snack (apologies to those who saw me eating, there were a bunch of you, and I think I epitomized the action of wolfing). Anyway...

Dan Nadel & Molly Roth at Picturebox Books! This was followed by a series of intense photo attacks from all angles, the results of which I am terrified to see.

Chuck Forsman and Melissa Mendes!

Fremok Books! They make awfully beautiful/eerie/neat stuff. On the left, Thierry Van Hasselt, co-founder and co-publisher. On the right, Carmela Chergui, formerly of L'Association, and now firmly ensconced in the Fremok world.

Joe Kessler at the Nobrow table! Will Librairie manager Jason ever forgive me for not snagging him a copy of the new Hilda book?

Jen Vaughn and Anna Pederson at the Fantagraphics table!

And lest I forget to mention, just across the aisle from us was the TOON Books booth! Peep these adorable stuffed animal versions of Benny, Penny, and Little Mouse.

Midway through the afternoon, a huge line began to snake around their table, and when I popped over to check out their stock (and snap the above photo), I figured out why: Art Spiegelman was signing at their booth.

Finally, right when the table was starting to be embarrassingly bookless, the last visitor of the show was the charming Sara Varon. She is the best, you guys, and she stopped by with the best gift of all: a bag full of doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant.

After the final frenzied customer bought the final frenzied book from the final frenzied me, we took our elite team out for dinner, a dinner composed solely of avocado fries, because really, what more do you need? AVOCADO FRIES.

I guess you need buddies to eat your avocado fries with or something, so let's see 'em. On the left there's Jillian Tamaki, Anders, and Tom Spurgeon, and on the far side of the table we've got Anouk, Fiona, Sara Drake, and Adrian! I'm sorry that, with the power of technology, I have made all you beautiful people blurry and strange looking!

It was wonderful to spend a little time gossiping and catching up with everyone, and then bright and early Sunday morning, Anouk and I were off! During my stopover in Toronto, The Beguiling/Little Island Comics's Peter Birkemoe met us at the airport, and we all stood around in the ferry terminal talkin' comics. Look at the glasses on this fine duo!

After that I got back on a plane and arrived in la belle ville de Montreal just in time to head down to our store's fifth anniversary party at the Ukrainian Federation. Tom did the introduction, in front of a full house...

And then Melissa Bull, Charles Burns, Adrian Tomine, and Chris Ware took the stage, talking in depth about writing, drawing, and art-making.

Now that, dear reader, is a weekend resplendent with comics. A big thank you to our A-list authors (Anouk, Adrian, and Anders) who signed at the table at BCGF, and to Bill Kartalopoulos, Dan Nadel, and Gabe Fowler for doing an always-durn-good job of organizing the show. Thank you also to everyone who came by the booth, looked at me, looked at Fiona, and said "Tom isn't here?" Just kidding! Thanks to all the folks who came out and made it another awesome year! Hasta 2013, Brooklyn!

P.S. I promise there will be more photos from the Fifth Anniversary... soon?


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