January 23, 2015
In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.
First Year Healthy
by Michael DeForge
The literary year is off to a fine start with First Year Healthy, the first D+Q title of 2015, hitting shelves everywhere this week. The story chronicles the experiences of a woman recently discharged from a stint of hospitalization following a mental health crisis which has made her notorious in her small town. DeForge’s characteristically surreal drawing style complements the weirdness and ambiguity of the story, while the vibrant palate contrasts with the darkness of the narrative. Much like Ant Colony, DeForge's debut D+Q graphic novel, First Year Healthy is a visually striking work which touches on profound human issues, and lends itself well to multiple readings and interpretations.
The Latvian-based Baltic Comics Magazine kuš! is always such a joy to read! Each edition is a collection of comics centred on an overarching theme, featuring work by contributors from all over the world. The miniature format makes for a perfectly portable way to discover new artists, particularly from the Baltic region. The theme of the latest edition is Mathematics, but don't let that scare you. Even the most arithmetic-averse readers will find that math can be fun, thanks to these new comics from kuš!
Reading the comments section on an online article is generally an activity to be avoided if you aim to keep misanthropy at bay. However, this collection of the "best and most baffling" comments gleaned from the archives of The Guardian's Comment is Free section is an exception to the "never read the comments" rule! Boasting illustrations by the always on-point D+Q alumni Tom Gauld (You're All Just Jealous of my Jetpack, Goliath) the gems within the pages of this book will have you chortling away in no time.
The Country Road
by Regina Ullmann
Swiss protomodernist poet and author Regina Ullmann's most noteworthy collection of short stories is now available in English for the first time in this New Directions edition. The author was lauded as a genius by her peers and contemporaries, including Rainer Maria Rilke, but like so many female writers of her time, her work has languished untranslated and largely forgotten. Thanks to this new translation from the German by Kurt Beals, her 1921 collection of otherworldly tales of the Swiss countryside are at last available to a wider audience.
Spawn of Mars and Other Stories
by Wallace Wood
Spawn of Mars is the latest in Fantagraphics’ series of re-issues of classic EC comics. This volume features the work of Wallace Wood, undoubtedly one of the foremost pioneers of the sci-fi comics genre. Wood’s drawing style is gorgeously detailed, and his renderings of outer-space scenes are so iconic that they’ve become archetypal. Feast your eyes upon the ghastly aliens, ruggedly handsome astronauts, and intergalactic starscapes that populate this genre-defining collection! Like all of Fantagraphics’ EC library re-issues, there are also supplementary essays and biographical details included.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)