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Godmothers, Mothers and Daughters

Over on Slate's sister site, Doublex, James Sturm presents a interesting slide show, Virginia Lee Burton: From Mike Mulligan to R. Crumb, that claims Virginia Lee Burton (pictured above) as the godmother of the graphic novel and presents the claim that the history of comics is wrongfully relegated to publications put out solely by the comic book industry. I agree. I always find it curious when people draw distinctions between kids comics and kids picture books, basically you're telling stories with pictures in both instances, and the art can't be separated from the words. Why is Sara Varon's Robot Dreams a comic, while Chicken and Cat is not? And really, aren't graphic novels just pictures books for adults. Semantics, I know.

What I find more curious is the ire Sturm stoked with Tom Spurgeon over at the Comics Reporter by saying that the Masters of American Comics should have included a woman, to which Spurgeon replies that you can only say a woman should have been included in the show if you are ready to say which man should not have been. Really, the only way to say that women like Lynda Barry and Majorie Henderson Buell helped to define the artistry of comics is by saying they helped to define the artistry of comics more than a man? Really? Perhaps there was an edict that said that only 15 cartoonists could be spotlighted, hence the need to pit cartoonists against each other. Otherwise, this argument seems a little cage match-y to me. Lame.

Let Matt's Star Shine! Gab's too.

I was pretty excited to pick up the new issue of the Montreal Mirror weekly yesterday and see my dear D+Q coworker Matt Shane and his band mates on the cover of it. (Matt, you better say thanks to your publicist! that's a score!) He's in the band Think About Life, and they have a new album out called Family.

I also read in the paper that Cinema du Parc is showing Tokyo! this week, and if you don't know by now, we have a certain book, ahem ahem, Cecil and Jordan in New York by a Ms. Gabrielle Bell that has been getting rave, rave, rave reviews, was selected by NPR as a best summer book, is on the bestseller list in San Francisco and whose story is the basis for one of the films in Tokyo!.

Also tonight!

Julie Morstad has an opening tonight at Together Gallery in Portland. Go and celebrate! The show will be up until June 21st featuring new work + installations by Julie Morstad, Mia Nolting, Nigel Peake and Stefanie Augustine.

Dan Zettwoch's The Ladies Man

Check out this Dan Zettwoch cover for the current Cinefamily program cover! Also, If you're in or around LA, be sure to check out their Jerry Lewis film fest.

This is tonight!

James Sturm will be presenting a historical slide lecture TONIGHT entitled "The Curious Case of the Haitian Hobo of White River Junction, Vermont" Don't miss it! Reception at 6:00 and lecture at 7:00 at the Main Street Museum, 58 Bridge Street, White River Junction.

What is that Ron Rege up to?

I missed him at this show at Thanky but I'll see him at MOCCA in a week and catch up. What? MOCCA?!? Aren't you going?

Gabrielle in Book Forum (along with a bunch of other great artists.)

Sort of a sequel to the Summer Camp story in Gabrielle's new collection Cecil and Jordan in New York. {Click the image and scroll down bit for the strip.}

Reminder: One Week From Today!

D+Q's anniversary concert with the Dirty Projectors and TV on the Radio at the Metropolis in Montreal!!!! With a poster by Adrian!

Tune into the CBC: Seth on Q today! Update!

TODAY ON Q: Be sure to set your dial, or to download to the podcast, or to watch Q TV, for today's interview with Seth and Jian Ghomeshi.

Podcast here.

Carousel NYC

This Thursday, May 28 join R. Sikoryak & friends at 8pm for a night of cartoon slide shows at Dixon Place. $15 general admission, $12 for students, special deal if you present this flyer!

If you are in Montreal then you must be going here

All you Montrealers should get on your refurbished bikes and head down St. Laurent to La Centrale to the opening reception for Amy Lockhart's show. It's way cheaper than going all the way to NYC for that Francis Bacon show. Just saying. It's tonight at 7pm at 4296 St. Laurent.

Belated Congrats to Jasper (and Kari and Greg!)

Not D+Q news and not even timely but I finally thought I should post something. Greg Cook and Kari Percival are a couple of my closest friends and they have joined the ranks of cartoonists with babies with the handsome (and apparently angry) Jasper Percival Cook, born May 13th. Congrats, you guys!

Happy Birthday

What is the common thread between goth Betty Boop, Joyce's Ulysses, a certain waitress, vegetarianism and the new and only slightly disconcerting idea of 'medium juicy'? Fiestas of course! Happy Birthday Chris! Just look at that ice cream cake.

Long live the queen!

Having just celebrated Victoria Day (which as an American living in Quebec I perversely enjoy even more!)I always marvel at how the Brits are just always ahead of the game. While here in North America, everyone is using twitter to promote things (speaking of which are you a follower?) over across the pond, they are using the device for something intelligent, like BOOKS. And BOOK CLUBS where they read COMICS. Good comics like EXIT WOUNDS. Started by Jonathan Ross, no less. Big enough news for the Guardian to report on.

Thanks to the lovely folks at Forbidden Planet for bringing it to our attention.

It is never too late

If you weren't able to attend Gabrielle's reading at The Strand, do not fear, here is a video of the entire evening. Thanks, live TV module! Cecil and Jordan also ranked in the SF Chronicle's Best Sellers list this week, congratulations from ocean to ocean Gabrielle!


We are all still on a high in the office from attending last weekend's TCAF, and whats the best thing about the whole office going to a festival armed with cameras, we have a great flickr set. I'm a bit tired from uploading the photos Chris and I took, so I won't be able to do a pithy travelblog, i leave that to the young kids. The movies are courtesy of the Chief, who a few years ago insisted upon film and then scanning his photos, and now he's raising the bar on travelblogs. Chris, I want some video of Lynda and Chris when you are in Chicago next month!

Gabrielle in NYC! Strand! Next Tuesday!

Gabrielle officially wraps up her Cecil & Jordan tour next Tuesday with an event at the Strand with Miss Lasko Gross (A Mess of Everything). Don't miss Gab, who the Village Voice compared to Ann Beattie and Lorrie Moore, talk about the book. Austin English, from everyone's favorite downtown comics shop Forbidden Planet,will ask the questions.

New England

This weekend Gabrielle Bell will be in Maine and Rhode Island where they have chowda and the official state drink is coffee milk! Go and see her on the waterfront at the Maine Comics Arts Festival run by Casablanca Comics all day Sunday and then in Providence at Ada Books on Monday from 7:00pm onwards.

Free Workshop

Pigskin Peters award-winner Matthew Forsythe is teaching a workshop for kids pop on Saturday, May 16th from 2:00-3:30 for ages 6-13, but why draw the line there? Sign up!

PW Weighs in on Sprott

"Seth (Palookaville) manages to make what is essentially the story of one man's slow death into an often humorous rumination on the power of media, memory and loss."–Publishers Weekly

Full starred review here.

All Things Walrus.

OK, remember that 1500-word extensive, thoughtful, intelligent profile connecting the dots between Seth's work and his design? I believe the piece was titled, Back in Palookaville, and it was written by Sean Rogers, who also was about the 50th person to interview Lynda Barry last year, but still turned out one of the most interesting and detailed in Q+As with her in connection to What It Is or his Q+A with John Porcellino. He also hates zombies but loves Chester Brown, which scores high marks in my book. Furthermore, remember the short comic John Porcellino did, or the one Julie Doucet did?

Why I am bringing this all up again? Well, it gives me a chance to plug the upcoming event Walrus Underground with Seth at the Drake Hotel in Toronto on Tuesday, May 26th, 8 PM, but it also gives me a chance to link to this video plea for donations from their publisher. PEOPLE, what other mainstream magazine consistently shows this much lengthy intelligent love to comics?

PEOPLE! You Must Watch This!

Perhaps like all of us at the D+Q office, you were still basking in the glow of TCAF. Basking so much that you missed my link to this 4-minute Globe & Mail documentary titled Seth The Sweet Vanished Life, in conjunction with the profile of Seth by G&M Arts Critic James Adams. And while you're watching scroll down to read the comments. Sue from Grand Falls Windsor, sorry to mislead you. Eric from San Diego, see here.

Separated At Birth

Overheard at the D+Q dinner this past weekend:

Tatsumi-san to the Chief: "You look so familiar, and then I realize it is because you look like Napoleon."

Seth to Chris and Tatsumi-san: "I have often thought that myself."

Chris to Tatsumi and Seth: "I have actually heard that before."

Separated At Birth

D+Q's Tom Devlin and Nickelodeon's Chris Duffy, the East Coast comics intelligentsia.

Nap-Trapped and Voiceless, TCAF Day 2

(swiped from William Self's flickr page)

So everyone else is over at the wonderful venue of the Toronto Public Library enjoying the second day of TCAF, and I'm in the hotel with napping toddlers and no voice, so I'll take this time to blog some of the amazing press the kind press corp of Toronto has bestowed upon us. Toronto is one of the handful of magical North American cities where everything lines up, great stores, great press, enthusiastic fans and great institutional support. All of which combined makes TCAF perhaps the best comics festival of its size in North America, the festival's new kid on the block status actually helps it, I believe, by allowing the festival director, Chris Butcher, to draw upon his favorite elements of similar shows like APE, MoCCA and SPX, as well as European festivals, but add his own original stamp on it.
OK so I last blogged the two articles the National Post did on Doug Wright on Friday. (Not TCAF related, check out this Calgary Herald spotlight on Doug Wright) This week's Eye Weekly (G'bless the Eye for having a comics columnist!) reviews A Drifting Life and on Saturday the Toronto Star ran a Q+A with this cute photo of Tatsumi-sensei. (Not TCAF related, check out this Los Angeles Times review of A Drifting Life) and lastly, The Post spotlights Friday night's standing room only Harbourfront event.
But with our two festival launches of Doug Wright and George Sprott, the press took note of Seth, deservedly so. To start with, Canada's largest newspaper the Globe and Mail did a fantastic, thorough and thoughtful profile of the Guelph cartoonist, delving into Seth's love for the past, covering his career, and his contribution to the comics medium. And for uber-comics-philes, the G&M also did a slide show of Seth's house. A MUST SEE.

The G&M also ran a preview of the Collected Doug Wright in the paper, as well as a great slide show of the book online.

Speaking of Doug Wright, I'll go into this later--as will many, many people, the Doug Wright Awards were AMAZING. Two hours of pure comic book entertainment that kept the entire audience captivated. Quite, simply the best comic awards show in the world,even seconded by attendee and nominee Michel Rabagliati. An overview is posted at the CBC. And I promise to go more into that when the D+Q express minivan returns to the office on Tuesday.

But for now, a quick congrats to Matt Forsythe who won the the Pigskin Peters Award for Ojingogo.

Ok, my relief just came in the door, so I gotta run! Many, many photos to be posted this week.

D+Q is closed for TCAF

The entire office (but not our store) is closed for the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. We'll see you there, schedule below. Check out today's Post to see not one but two articles on Doug Wright! here and here.

See you there

This weekend is TCAF and there are so many things to do so here is a list to shed some light:

Friday, May 8 - 7:00pm
The HARBOURFRONT READING SERIES, with Tatsumi, Adrian and Seth

Saturday, May 9 - 10:00 am
Book signings galore at The Toronto Reference Library

10:00 -11:30 - Tatsumi, Tomine & Seth sign in special TCAF area (second floor)
11:00 -2:00 - Chester Brown & Gabrielle Bell sign at D+Q booth
12:00-2:00 - Michel Rabaglati signs at D+Q booth
2:00-4:00 - Adrian, Tatsumi and Seth sign at D+Q booth

7:00 pm THE DOUG WRIGHT AWARDS at the AGO Saturday, May 9th (7:00 pm)
More signings at the library so come on back!

11:00-1:00 - Adrian signs at D+Q booth
12:00-2:00 - Gabrielle and Michel sign at D+Q booth
2:00-4:00 - Tatsumi, Seth and
 Chester sign.

32 Stories as it was meant to be

After about 14 years and several printings, Adrian Tomine's original collection of his mini comics, 32 Stories, quietly went out of print a few months ago. Adrian was content to leave it at that (almost no artist is happy with their early work), but after a bit of coaxing he agreed to a re-issue. I think the turning point came after he had the idea to create an edition that would present all 7 original mini comics as facsimiles in a box set. As much as I liked the first version of the book, I think this one is better, as if it was always meant to be like this.

We tried our best to replicate the look of the original photocopied booklets as closely as possible, from the murky zip-a-tone in one issue to the white borders around each cover (xeroxes didn't allow for any bleeds on covers). We even included the Optic Nerve sticker that was inserted in issue 4. Another thing that this set has that was not included in the first 32 Stories is the letters pages from each mini - almost every letter here is hilarious in its own special way and is an attestation that Optic Nerve had the best letters page in comics even from the very beginning. And there's another bonus (not pictured here): Adrian graduation photo (complete with yearbook bio), worth the price of admission alone!

Quiz: The above photos feature the set of the original photocopied minis that Adrian mailed to D&Q in the early 1990s, alongside a set of facsimile editions from the new box set - can you tell which one is which?

The Secret of D+Q's Success

Have we mentioned our 20th anniversary? TCAF? This Friday's event at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto to kick off TCAF? Well, if you need a refresher on all things D+Q this week, please check out this wonderful article in today's Globe and Mail.

R. Sikoyrak, Man About Town

The Beat did a write-up of how fun R. Sikoryak's Carousel was last week and now Time Out New York is running a wonderful preview of Masterpiece Comics, which will debut at the San Diego Comic-con.

Tom's Destiny....

A photo of our dear Creative Director Tom Devlin in 1987 hanging outside of the Newbury Comics on Newbury Street in Boston.


Today is Free Comic Book Day as well as another day in the relentless overposting of large images on the D+Q blog. Go get some free comics. Go hug your comic store owner. HUG HIM. HE NEEDS A HUG. Also, here is a another genius strip from the genius John Stanley. Genius. I wish there were hundreds of issues of this comic. I think it might be my favorite. Poor Jimmy Fuzzi.

She's Right!! (Free Comic Book Day!!)

Tomorrow is FCBD and Whitney from USA Today knows the score.

Look the comics are FREE!!! Go! And buy a couple of comics too, because comic shops are awesome and you need them as much as they need you.

Pictures of Dirt and Grass

From Anders Nilsen's blog:

There will be a closing reception and brunch for Pictures of Dirt and Grass (Home Gallery, 1407 e. 54th place) on this Sunday, May 3rd from 12-3 (the work isn't actually coming down until early June, and will still be viewable by appointment). There will be food provided by Lula Cafe in Logan Square, and supposedly I'm going to be talking a bit about the work. So come with questions.


Local weekly ici will publish its last printed issue this week. Ici recently published a big feature on Michel Rabagliati and offered an alternative to the other major french language weekly, Voir.

Tis The (Comic Awards) Season!

Hey, all of you who are eligible should get out there and vote for the Eisners! Votes are due by June 15th.


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