§ For this monthly “Small Press & Indie Comics Galore”, we’ll focus more than usual on Canadian content to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary! My small contribution to the event.
§ Nice art:
Let’s start with Montreal based Mélodie Vachon Boucher. an exceptional artist and poet who started releasing some experimental poetry comic via Mécanique Générale last year. Her first comic with them was the painful “Trois Carrés de chocolat”, a look at love, lust, pain, and coping with the fallout of sexual assault. I discovered it this Spring and Mélodie has since become an artist whose work I follow closely. There’s a deep melancholy and despair to her work that I find fascinating. Heartbreak as comics performance. Take a look, it’s beautiful.
§ There’s a Change.Org petition going around right now to SAVE 401 Richmond. A Toronto-heritage building housing multiple not-for-profit arts organization, including Koyama Press. It’s been hit by a huge increase in property taxes that seems very likely to bankrupt the building and tenants at this rate. The property taxes nearly doubled with the last 5 years. The petition is to request a reassessment of the property tax hike in Toronto and is aimed at Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne. If you can spare a minute, please go and sign the petition and hopefully save the building and its tenant a lot of trouble.
§ Tyler Landry from Prince Edward Island draws an amazing Swamp Thing. Oh, also, John Seven reviewed Shit & Piss on this very site. His take is different than mine (here), but we both agreed it’s a great comic book!
§ Comic artist Hellen Jo designed some really neat skateboards with her art on it. You can get a sweet Hellen Jo Skateboard over at Giant Robot
§ Over to my neighbours South of the border, Comic artist Sarah Horrocks is now on Patreon. She’s working on her latest comic and is hoping to get some support to do so. Her work is incredible and her reward tiers are interesting. She has a very interesting perspective on comics and if you contribute to the “Hater” tier, she’ll basically send you each month an essay on something she hates about the medium. Brilliant.
§ Charles Forsman’s mini-series Revenger and the Fog has finally been collected by Bergen Street Press. It includes the one-shot Revenger is Trapped. I talked (or rambled) about his first series at the Beat last year in a text Daniel Elkin of the Comics Bulletin compared to a near car crash.
§ Do note that there’s an exhibition Something Unusual is Happening: Experimental Comics and the Art of Visual Narrative running from June 30 to July 31, 2017 over at Printed Matter in New York. The exhibition will feature the work of a lot of interesting cartoonist, including Lala Albert, CF, Brie Moreno, Lale Westvind and Canada’s own Patrick Kyle! That’s a very good line-up of artist and this should prove to be a nice exhibition.
§ And in the UK, there’s a new Lizzy Stewart comic The Lighthouse that seems worthy of attention over in America. It looks gorgeous.
§ CBC has an interview with Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo about their new comics on migrant justice and Filipino caregivers.
§ Jay Odjick’s, the creator of Kagagi: The Raven, has illustrated Robert Munsch’s new children’s book Blackflies. I bought a copy for my son (fine, I admit it, it’s for me and my son). It’s about a young girl whose sister gets carried away by black flies during the Spring. She goes on an adventure to rescue her. Odjick is from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Algonquin community near Maniwaki. He’s one of the friendliest comic artists around and I was glad to see the final book, it’s very charming.
§ Drawn and Quarterly will be publishing an English edition of Anna Haifish’s Von Spatz by Anna Haifish. Von Spatz has been available in French for almost 2 years now, I’m glad her work will be finding a new audience.
§ I missed the comic book winners of this year’s Expozine. The awards were in early May, before TCAF. Henriette Valium’s The Palace of Champions was rewarded at both events. It deserves a read. Winners below!
- Best Comic: The Palace of Champions, by Henriette Valium, published by Conundrum Press
- Best French Comic: Racines, by Marianne Ferrer, published by Monsieur Ed
§ Speaking of awards, Saskatoon-based cartoonist Elaine Will was awarded a Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Heritage Award for her contribution to education, heritage events and publishing for her work on the book On Safari Tour Guide & Colouring Book. It’s not a The announcement can be found here.
§ NBM will be publishing an English edition of Kerascoët & Fabien Velhmann Satania. Velhmann and Keracoët’s previous contributions are always noteworthy, whether it’s Beautiful Darkness or Beauty, one of my favourite comics of all time.
§ Fantagraphics will be publishing a couple of books of interest. This includes a hardcover re-edition of Charles Forsman nihilistic The End of the Fucking World (soon to be a BBC show!), Katie Skelly’s upcoming My Pretty Vampire, an expanded edition of Dash Shaw’s Cosplayers, and new books by Eleanor Davis and Tommi Parrish. There’s also an English version of Blutch Total Jazz coming as well.
§ Michael Deforge wrote a comic last year called The Prime Minister of Canada and it was published in On Topics 2 by Breakdown Press. You can download that story over at his Patreon page. While you’re there, do consider pitching in. Happy Canada Day
§ The outlook for health care in the United States is pretty grim for freelancers, of which includes many cartoonists are part of. Derf Backderf talked about it (on this very site) and Andrea Tsurumi has also pitched in about Trumpcare over at The Nib
§ Drae Urshaw has a a new comic on a “pay-what-you-can” basis on Gumroad called Being a child of Incarcerated Parents.
COMMENTARY, REVIEWS, ETC.
§ Nicole Marie Burton from Ottawa-based Ad Astra Comix interviewed with Michael Comeau about the collected edition of Hellberta.
§ Patti Laboucane-Benson, the author of The Outside Circle, talked to Alan Neal on CBC’s All in a Day earlier this month. You can listen to the interview online.
§ I mentioned Sarah Horrocks earlier, she was interviewed over at Intoviews. I really like her work and getting to know her influences and work more is always welcome.
§ Matthew Thurber put out a list 10 comic artists you need to know!
If you see something I should know about, tell me in the comments or tweet at me @Leblanc_Phil
Philippe Leblanc is a Canadian comics journalist. In his regular life, he improves Canadian medical education, and is the co-host of the Ottawa Comic Book Club. He reads alternative, indie and art comics at night and write about them for the Comics Beat.