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Hump Day Tease! Joe Matt wants you to know he is not cheap, he's just careful with his money.

If you are one of Joe Matt's many friends on facebook, you may have already seen this thread where Joe wants everyone to know that he has been misrepresented in Chester's PAYING FOR IT.

I think I have to agree with Dylan Horrocks that Chester didnt say this at all!

In fact, he dedicates the Book to Joe! Oh Joe! What are others saying about PAYING FOR IT? Here is what certified sexologist and sex worker rights advocate and author of Author of Veronica Monet's Sex Secrets of Escorts - Tips from a Pro Veronica Monet says about the book:

"Before becoming a courtesan, I worked by the hour providing both outcalls
and incalls. Paying For It brought back a lot of memories of those early
days and I found myself smiling and at times laughing at the universal
realities of paid sex at this level of the profession. While Chester's book
doesn't illuminate other types of prostitution such as high-end escorting
and the rarified world of courtesans, it is an accurate and honest
representation of middle-class prostitution from the average client's
perspective. The reader would do well to read the Afterword and Appendices
where Chester engages popular arguments against prostitution with clarity,
logic and impeccable attention to detail.

While debating for the decriminalization of prostitution on national
television the last twenty years, I would have welcomed Chester Brown's
testament to the human qualities which define most clients of prostitutes as
well as his grasp of the negative impact both criminalization and
legalization have on the lives of prostitutes. Thank you Chester for your
courage in braving the prejudices pertaining to men who pay for sex. If sex
workers are ever to claim their human rights, it will not be without the
support of their clients. May other clients follow in your footsteps by
stepping out of the shadows of shame and into an empowered claim for our
sexual bill of rights."


OK so admittedly Brecht's self-portrait is not much help in recognizing him at MoCCA next week or at TCAF in May. Maybe this video will help out:

Brecht Evens signs a book from Tom Devlin on Vimeo.

Yes, he'll be signing/painting at the D+Q and Top Shelf tables at each show! Special thanks to MoCCA, TCAF, Top Shelf and especially the Flemish Literature Fund for their support in bringing Brecht to NYC and Toronto!!!!

Also let us not forget our Brecht Evens tumblr from Angouleme (scroll down) fresh on the heels of his win for "Prix de l'Audace.'" Gotta love the French! Can you imagine ever that prize in the US?!

WonderCon! SF! Seth, Vanessa, Tom & Jessica!

Huh? What's this, you say? D+Q is at WonderCon this weekend with Seth as a special guest, and Vanessa Davis is signing, and there will be debut copies of Shigeru Mizuki's ONWARD TOWARDS OUR NOBLE DEATHS and Pascal Girard's REUNION? Yes, you read that right, people. D+Q will be at booth 416 next to our pals Top Shelf and Last Gasp at the Moscone Center in SF from Friday to Sunday, taking care of all of your independent comics needs. Special thanks to Comic-Con and the Comic Arts Conference for their generousity with Seth's special guest invitation. The D+Q comedic dream team of Tom & Jessica will be staffing ye olde booth.

Here's our schedule!


2:00-3:15 Seth Signing at the D+Q booth #416

3:30-5:00 Comics Arts Conference 3: Focus on Seth— WonderCon special guest Seth joins the CAC for a focus panel with Kathleen Dunley (Rio Salado College) to discuss Seth's work and how comics can be used as an act of preservation -- both literally, as with the cartoonist's Doug Wright collections, and metaphorically, as with Seth's Dominion project in Palookaville or the "preservation" of fictional Canadian TV personality George Sprott. Room 204/206

5:00-6:00 Seth Signing at the D+Q booth #416

6:00-7:00 Graphic Novels: The Long and Short of It— From the comic shop to the bookstore to the classroom, graphic novels have changed the comics landscape forever. Moderator Andrew Farago (The Cartoon Art Museum) and WonderCon special guests Hope Larson (Mercury) and Seth (George Sprott), plus Miriam Libicki (Jobnik!), Andy Ristaino (Escape from Dullsville), and Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze) discuss the pleasures and perils of the long-form comic. Room 236


1:00-3:00 Vanessa Davis Signing at the D+Q booth #416

3:00-5:00 Seth Signing at the D+Q booth #416


1:00-1:00 Seth Signing at the D+Q booth #416

1:00-3:00 Vanessa Davis Signing at the D+Q booth #416

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths!!

Oh, will you look what showed up in the office this afternoon!! This will be available in shops soon. In the meantime, look for a few copies this coming weekend at WonderCon (more on WonderCon later) and as many copies as New Yorkers need at the D+Q table at MoCCA next week.

Three Reviews of A SINGLE MATCH

I have to say that I am LOVING the revamp of the comics reviews in the AV Club at the The Onion, and I'm pretty sure that the expanded section will rightly set Noel Murray as one of the country's leading thoughtful comics critics, as he has been one of my favorites for a long time. This week Murray reviews A SINGLE MATCH and deftly tackles the haunting nuances of Suzuki's short stories and states "Suzuki’s artwork alternates between conventional cartooning and panels that look more like standalone portraits, just as his text varies straight-ahead dialogue and free-floating poetic phrases. The effect is striking—a sketch of the woes and wonders of everyday life that makes room for those moments when we zone out."

Similarly, I love the revamped TCJ, also offering ample room devoted to reviews. Chris Mautner weighs in with his own review of A SINGLE MATCH and takes on the sometimes difficult but always fascinating enigma that is a Suzuki story: "Suzuki loves to draw his characters in silhouette. They are often seen in profile or from behind, walking long, thin rural roads, surrounded by a thick, inky blackness that threatens to swallow them up. Most of the stories are set in rural Japanese towns and villages, and characters often walk by vast, flat rice fields, dwarfed by nature or enveloped by the night sky... More than anything, what drives these stories is a sense of longing, whether it’s longing for childhood, missed opportunities, former lovers, or simply the past..."

They are not the only ones who have reviewed the book. The Manga Curmudgeon did, and I think captures Suzuki best: "Suzuki has a very distinct rhythm and sensibility, and it isn’t immediately accessible. His stories have a quality that’s both dreamlike and naturalistic, and it took a few stories for me to yield to the style. In dreams, you find yourself recognizing people and places you’ve never been before, accepting circumstances that are totally alien to your experience and constructing memories that you claim as your own, even though you know that they aren’t. It’s a bit unsettling to see that illogically coherent frame of reference captured so precisely on paper, and since the experience of dreams isn’t an entirely comfortable one to begin with, the feeling of unease can be magnified."

Hold the phone! Jillian creates hand sewn Penguin Covers!

Oh you know you're a cartoonist when you casually up the ante on what is already a taxing choice of artistic expression -comics- with deciding rather than merely illustrating the Penguin Classics Covers, you hand sew your illustration!!!!! Don't believe me? check it out in this Atlantic article and on Jillian's blog!

Gorgeous, Jillian, gorgeous!

Rock the Vote for D+Q!

Rock the Vote for D+Q!

It's that time of year again, to rock the vote D+Q in the Mirror's Best of Montreal.

Best bookstore (new): Librairie D+Q!

Best comics store: Librairie D+Q!

Now the only one I am having a hard time with is...

Best cartoonist/comic artist

This is what is so awesome about Montreal! Really, how can anyone answer this with just one answer? Joe Ollmann? Pascal Girard? Michel Rabagliati? Matt Forsythe? I don't think I can even cast a vote in this category, but you can!

Vote by April 13th!

Caption Contest

The female staff reads the freshly arrived copies of PAYING FOR IT. {Click to see what happens when they realized that they were all on pages referencing, um, oral gratification.}

And, oh my god, please do not send in caption suggestions. I already know what you're going to say.

Big plans for Friday night.

It's Friday, almost Friday night. So, gentlemen, I just thought I'd tell you what every woman's ultimate date consists of:

That's right, dinner and a nap. Oh what, that's just my ultimate date? Nah, I'm sure it's what everyone secretly wants.

These pages come from Anders Nilsen's forthcoming 656 page book, Big Questions. Uh huh: 656 pages. Start clearing a spot on your bookshelves now--this tome is going to need a pretty big slot, and prominent positioning. I've been immersed in Anders's world for several weeks now, and let me tell you, it's pretty good here.

Watch for Big Questions this summer. And in the meantime, check out Anders's website.

Holding steady in Orlando

Earlier this month I found myself in Orlando with my older son (on his March break) visiting Universal Studios. This is a pretty slick and flashy theme park, which made coming across this all the more surprising:

Frank King's comic strip is used as the theme for the "set" of a gift store (and public washroom?). When you walk into the main door you're greeted by an ongoing recording of an old-time "radio play" that appears to loop all day long. I didn't notice it at the time, but what exactly is "Scott's Man Cave" over there in the background?

A giant Jim Scancarelli mural greets two women leaving the "ladies room."

This structure sits amidst a comic strip-themed area of other gift shops and restaurants, many of them based on comic strips that I last read in the New York Daily News circa 1978. Have you ever wondered what happened to Mark Trail? Look no further:

How about Brenda Starr? Right here, next to Cathy. Sadly, they seemed to have forgotten Dondi.

I took this photo in honor of Lynda Barry, who is the number one Family Circus fan in the world (she tells a great story about bursting into tears after meeting Bil Keane for the first time).

A beacon in the Orlando night sky. Frank King's home in Winter Park, Fl was only about a dozen miles from this spot...

Pascal Girard! Joe Ollmann! Montreal! Tomorrow!

Attention Montrealers! Tomorrow night, Wednesday March 23rd at 7pm at the Librairie D+Q (211 Bernard O.), we are proud to be hosting a launch for two amazing, talented D+Q authors.

If you are not familiar with Joe or Pascal's work, this is a great opportunity to get up to speed while enjoying the Librairie ambiance. Both authors will be on hand to present slideshows about their work.

As indicated above, Doug Wright Award nominee Pascal Girard is launching Reunion, a semi-autobiographical story about the social dilemmas that accompany the inevitable ten year high school reunion. Joe Ollmann will be discussing Mid-Life, the book people can't stop talking about (because it's awesome!). It's a wry examination of the toll life takes on us after the age of forty, with a sharp, witty take on the children's entertainment business too.

To reiterate, don't miss this tomorrow!

The end of DAYBREAK

Hey, look what showed up in the office today! The last several pages (10-14, not sure) of Brian Ralph's DAYBREAK. Brian has added an epilogue to the three issue series from Bodega just for this edition. The pages I've seen so far do not disappoint. Coming out this summer. {Also, intern Kim is awesome.}

Clara Ware's Beloved Tiny Tim

This review of Tiny Tim's new reissue of lost songs, Lost & Found in Rocktober blows my mind in so many ways. Firstly, Clara Ware delivers a thoroughly convincing and stunning tribute to her favorite singer! My favorite line from her review may be "Some of the songs on this record are rockin’ and some are jazz-rockin’ " I'm sold.

Secondly, her father, Chris Ware, pens an afterword and the drawing above and admits that he long dismissed Tiny Tim even over his friend's pleading to give the music a try, only to do so when Clara takes an interest and then realizing that they are kindred spirits! ("spurned for his strange looks and mixed background, losing himself in ragtime recordings of the turn of the century and comic books (sob! My brother!)")

Luckily, for Montrealers, Phonopolis moved and reopened right next to the Librairie in February! I'm emailing Nathan now to make sure he has this in stock!

Tatsumi on the NYT's Op Ed Page

Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Yuichi Yokoyama, and Tatsuro Kiuchi creae images of the Tsunami on the NY Times Op-Ed page.

Is it too much Vanessa yet?

Of course not, THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Vanessa is a great interview subject. Always funny and interesting. And here you get to see her (and fiance Trevor's workspace.)
{From the excellent blog "From the desk of..."}

"A bevy of cartoonists"

R. Sikoryak's Carousel series comes to Parsons The New School for Design. This month's edition features Gabrielle Bell, Jason Little, Matthew Thurber, and Lauren R. Weinstein. They'll be reading from their work and discussing the relationship between comics and performance.

This is next Monday, March 21st at 7 pm on the second floor of 25 E. 13th St. in the Glass Corner (room E206). The event will be hosted by Mr. Sikoryak himself with Bill Kartalopoulos. Come early, as this month's edition is free(!) and seating is limited to 50 people.

Vanessa all over

Vanessa has some new work out: a guest post on Jesse Reklaw's Slow Wave (featuring a badass turnip!) and a "two-minute memoir" in this month's issue of Psychology Today. She has a teaser on her site, and this panel seemed like a particular shout-out to the Montreal starving artist lifestyle.

Plus! Since I can't resist fuzzy things, her contributions to A Cartoonist's Diary for the new Comics Journal conclude.

Hump Day Preview: Chester Brown Hits The Road For Paying For It.

"In PAYING FOR IT, Chester Brown not only makes a compelling case for the decriminalization of sex work but he also seems like an excellent client. Sex workers and sex worker rights advocates couldn't ask for a better ally. A must read in the canon of sensible and sensitive voices making a case against prurient ideology-based rhetoric about consensual sexual behaviour."–Sasha, Nationally syndicated sex columnist, playwright and sex worker rights activist.

It's tempting to call Chester Brown reclusive, but if you live in Toronto, he's not. But it is rare for him to hit the road, and he will be hitting the road in 2011 for PAYING FOR IT, with more dates to be announced. But for now, mark your calendar....

TORONTO | Sunday, May 1st | Goodhandy's | With Sasha
TORONTO | Sat & Sun May May 7th-8th | TCAF
CHICAGO | Wed May 11th | Quimby's
NYC | Thursday May 12th | Strand | With Tracy Quan
MONTREAL | Saturday May 14th | Librairie D+Q
VANCOUVER | Wed May 18th | Vancouver Public Library | With Lucky's
SEATTLE | Thur May 19th | Elliott Bay

Doug Wright Awards Finalists!

There are lots of exciting nominees this year for the Doug Wright Awards, including D+Qers in all three categories.

For best book:
Bigfoot by our own Pascal Girard
Chimo by David Collier
Lose #2 by Michael Deforge
Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen
Streakers by Nick Maandag

For best emerging talent, Keith Jones is a finalist for last year's Catland Empire. And last but certainly not least, in the Pigskin Peters (non-traditional and avant-garde comics) category, two Petits Livres are up for the award: Indoor Voice by Jillian Tamaki and Stooge Pile by Seth Scriver.

Congratulations and good luck to all nominees! Awards will be presented on May 7th as part of TCAF's festivities. Plus! Click through on that TCAF link and start planning how to get to Toronto for TCAF, because it is fast approaching, and oh, did we mention that we will be DEBUTING Chester Brown's Paying for It there?

Seth reviews Katchor in the Globe and Mail

"{Katchor} performs that often promised yet rarely accomplished feat of transforming the mundane into the sublime. He conjures up otherworldly alternative realities for the banal objects of our everyday world – figuratively tossing them up into the air, then magically recombining them into new and amusing forms."–Seth, Globe & Mail

New TCJ! New Seth! A Whole New Era!

So witnessing the glamorous relaunch of The Comics Journal this week made me realize that I have been in comics long enough to recall the some say glory days and some say dark ages of TCJ message boards antics (just had to explain those days to my younger coworkers) and that I have been at D+Q long enough that Seth's GNBCC is his fourth full length book, not to mention many pamphlets, illustration, editing and design projects. Who knew in ten years that an anemic TCJ would have to be gloriously resurrected by NYC whippersnappers, and Seth would be more prolific that James Kochalka? Just kidding, no one is that prolific!

Anyway, kudos to Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler for helping the magazine to finally achieve its 2009 goals and beyond. Was that snarky? Like I said, I'm old enough to remember the message boards, blood and thunder, and it's going to take a few months of the new site to win me over!!!! Just kidding again, I'm won over. Really, the magazine is fabulous looking, the content is spot on, the contributors are a laundry list of the best and brightest journalists of the past decade, they have some great columns and the design is is fantastic.

And, most importantly to readers of this blog, the magazine has an excerpt of Seth's The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, the above mentioned GNBCC, (Boys, I like your excerpt functionality!) and a "Cartoonist's Diary" featuring Vanessa Davis!

Oh and yes, if any whippersnappers want to help D+Q update our own online presence, email me! We're in need of a makeover too. I KNOW!!!! (I like to think we're aging well, though...)

Joe Ollmann in the news! Joe Ollmann & Pascal Girard On Tour!

Yes! Quebec comics take over the world! poutine and spruce beer for everyone! Pascal & Joe will be launching REUNION and MID-LIFE, respectively, at the D+Q Store on Wednesday, March 23rd. And it doesn't end there people. They will be travelling to NYC to meet and greet at MoCCA on April 9 and 10th. Joe then goes to his hometown of the 'Hammuh for a solo event at his old bookstore Bryan Prince on Wednesday, April 13th, he then rejoins Pascal for an event on Thursday the 14th at the Beguiling, and they fly out to Vancouver for an event at Luckys on Friday the 15th!

Wednesday March 23, 7 PM | Montreal | D+Q Librairie
Sat & Sun April 9 & 10 | NYC | Mocca Festival
Wednesday April 13, 7 PM | Hamilton ON | Bryan Prince
Thursday April 14, 7 PM | Toronto | The Beguiling
Friday April 15, 7 PM | Vancouver | Lucky's

And on the topic of Mr. Ollmann, MID-LIFE has been garnering some rave reviews! Let's go:

"Funny, serious, poignant and disgusting, [Mid-Life] is a real treat."–MIAMI HERALD

"Mid-Life is a superb graphic novel, by turns hilarious and appalling."–NATIONAL POST

"Mid-Life is bracingly (and occasionally cringingly) smart and funny about men, women, marriage and singlehood and it's told with humor, specificity and style."–NPR

"Joe Ollmann is funny....This sort of honesty about aging...{is}full of insight and hilarity."–TAMPA TRIBUNE

And the esteemed Jeet Heer, who reviewed it for the National Post expounds on the book for the "now-in-cryogenic-state" but still awesome Comics Comics, drawing apt parallels between Joe's humor and that of Pete Bagge. Now, when something is being compared to the great Mr. Bagge, it's funny.


Tom Gauld has an illo in today's NYT for yet another salvo in the "save print from the iPad" war. It's a good piece. Anyways...

Tom also has a new book coming out from D+Q early next year called Goliath. It's a retelling of the David and Goliath story told from Goliath's point-of-view. Poor, dumb Goliath. He was just doing what he was told when that cocky David came along!! Well, not exactly. But, hey, I have a page here. And more previews to come in the following months.

Hump Day Tease: Full page of Chester's PAYING FOR IT

"The self-aware john, a quirky and surprisingly realistic guy, is everywhere, but he's also been silent and overshadowed by his belligerent deluded brothers. PAYING FOR IT is a fascinating modern (and enjoyable) response to that anonymous Victorian sex classic My Secret Life. The characters encountered here evoke Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. Chester Brown's emotional honesty is riveting. This is what sex ed looks like when we refuse to stop learning."

Tracy Quan, author of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl and Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl

The Last Page of Melvin...

Officially the most heartbreaking ending of all time. Poor Melvin.
(Melvin Volume Three arrives in comic shops tomorrow.)

Congratulations to Lifetime Achievement Award recipient R.O. Blechman

Noted cartoonist, animator, illustrator, author, and all-around sweetheart R.O. Blechman took home last week the 2011 Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. Blechman has had a distinguished career spanning several mediums over the course of nearly six decades and I can think of few people more deserving of this honor. It would be a challenge to summarize his career in such a brief space, but the recently-published Talking Lines is an excellent starting point, providing an overview of all of his short comics work from Humbug in the 1950s to recent pieces from the New York Times right through 2009. One of my favorite Blechman books is also recent, a little gem that he wrote a couple of years ago, Dear James: Letters To A Young Illustrator -- highly recommended!


More Dell kids comics. I'm sure I was lead to this comic by one of the regular bloggers of old comics but I don't recall who (just did a search, it was Cartoon Snap). Ponytail (1960-1989, King Features Syndicate) was a daily strip created by Lee Holley. Holley ghosted for Hank Ketcham on Dennis the Menace Sundays which is apparent from the general look of the Ponytail art. I actually like him better than Ketcham--he's looser and the designed elements seem softer, more integrated.

As a Dell comic, it seems to have been moderately successful in that it ran for 12 issues. Certainly the strip fared better. In this interview by John Province in Hogan's Alley (highly recommended for a great snapshot of the working cartoonist life in the late 50s/early 60s), Holley states that he drew most of the covers while Frank Hill did the bulk of the comics stories. It's great cartooning and a perfect example of an assistant anonymously doing great work.

Looking at these pages, one can definitely see a blueprint for Jaime Hernandez's kids comics. I know he's gone on record as being a fan of Ketcham and his various assistants although if he singled out Lee Holley or Frank Hill I'm just not sure. There are some good gags and setups here and the strips read just fine. The endings tie up perhaps a little too neatly--everything works out in the end. Those pat endings disappoint me as an adult but I bet I would have enjoyed it just fine as a kid.

Garfields are awesome!! {Intern Friday}

Man, it doesn't even really matter what I type here, does it? Was Vincent taking a chance showing up to work in a Garfield t-shirt? Not if he'd done his research. Surely he had. And this reminds me to share a little Garfield roundtable we had here at the D+Q offices the other day...

TOM: I don't care for Garfield.

CHRIS: Neither do I.

JESSICA: Heathcliff.

{seriously, that Fantagraphics Dilbert email thread is the best piece of comics criticism of the year decade.}

A portrait of the office after one of our pizza parties...

Look out for more of Adrian Norvid's nogoodniks this Spring!

Skylight Books Dan Clowes Giveaway!

The good people at Skylight Books in Los Angeles are giving away limited edition, signed and numbered Dan Clowes prints.

This here's the illustration in question:
It comes on 11 x 17 archival paper with a certificate of authenticity. The draw takes place March 31st, and they have ten of these prints in total.

How, you may be asking me, does one get one's paws on this? There are two ways:

1) Every customer who spends $40 or more at their shop this month is given the option to enter the raffle for one of nine prints.

2) Even if you don't live in L.A. (or somehow accidentally refuse to enter the raffle in a terrible confusing turn of events), you still have the chance to win a print! Just click "attending" on this Facebook event, and start crossing your fingers!

James Sturm slideshow in Baltimore

James Sturm will be presenting a slideshow at the Homewood Campus of The John Hopkins University on Monday March 7th at 5:30 pm. The slideshow and book signing will take place in Room 101 of the Mattin Center's F Ross Jones Building.

He'll be talking about "Cartooning, Internet Addiction, Religion and Starting a College," all of which topics promise to be engagingly and thoughtfully discussed.


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