Drawn & Quarterly‘s newly released Spring 2022 catalogue has plenty of heavy hitters to adorn your bookshelves between May and August next year. Nick Drnaso’s follow up to Booker-nominated Sabrina, and collections of work by Guy Delisle, Lynda Barry and Michael DeForge are just some of the highlights.
Here is the full list of what to look forward to:
Hummingbird Heart, Travis Dandro
$29.95 USD/$34.95 CAD, 368 pages, Paperback
The follow-up to his 2019 Lynd Ward Prize-winning graphic memoir King of King Court, Travis Dandro explores his teenage years in the aftermath of his father’s suicide,
“Still reeling from the death by suicide of his drug addicted father, Travis moves in with his grandmother to become her caretaker as she battles cancer. Meanwhile he tries to live a typical teen life of pulling pranks, occasional shoplifting, dating, and endless drives through the twisting backroads of Central Massachusetts with Nirvana’s Nevermind as the soundtrack. When the police intervene after a prank backfires, the boys realize that their time as children is rapidly disappearing and they may never fully understand each other as they move apart.
Hummingbird Heart is a detailed and stylish account of a time of great uncertainty. Dandro’s densely crafted pages create a deeply emotional experience as his story swings from character confrontation to finely-wrought domestic detail—a slapstick cafeteria destroying brawl gives way to the beautifully rendered flight of the impossible hummingbird.”
The Third Person, Emma Grove
$49.95 USD/$59.95 CAD, 888 Pages, Paperback
Coming in at a hefty 888 pages, Emma Grove’s debut graphic memoir explores identity and trauma. Here is what is in the Drawn & Quarterly catalogue,
“In the winter of 2004, a shy woman named Emma sits in Toby’s office. She wants to share this wonderful new book she’s reading, but Toby, her therapist, is concerned with other things. Emma is transgender, and has sought out Toby for approval for hormone replacement therapy. Emma has shown up at the therapy sessions as an outgoing, confident young woman named Katina, and a depressed, submissive workaholic named Ed. She has little or no memory of her actions when presenting as these other two people. And then Toby asks about her childhood…
As the story unfolds, we discover clues as to Emma’s troubled past and how and why these other two people may have come into existence. As Toby juggles treating three separate people, each with their own unique personalities and memories, he begins to wonder if Emma is merely acting out to get attention, or if she actually has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Is she just a troubled woman in need of help? And is “the third person” in her brain protecting her, or derailing her chances of ever finding peace?
The Third Person is a riveting memoir from newcomer Emma Grove. Drawn in thick, emotive lines, with the refined style of a comics vet, Grove has created a singular, gripping depiction of the intersection of identities and trauma. The Third Person is a testament to the importance of having the space to heal and live authentically.”
The Peanutbutter Sisters And Other American Stories, Rumi Hara
$21.95 USD/$24.95 CAD, 176 Pages, Paperback
Following 2020’s Nori, Ignatz-nominated and MoCCA silver medallist Rumi Hara returns with a new collection.
The Drawn & Quarterly pitch,
“The Peanutbutter Sisters is a glorious balance of contradictions, at once escapism and realism; science fiction and slice of life. Two students explore the urban landscape while following Newton Creek, the polluted Queens-Brooklyn border. As they do, they plan a traditional Japanese play with contemporary pop culture. Another story features an intergalactic race of all living things set in the year 2099 and is a dazzling treatise on the environment and journalism. Yet, sometimes the fantastical collides with the quotidian in the same story. A man struggling with vertigo during quarantine encounters a world of sexual revelry whenever he has a dizzy spell. The Peanutbutter sisters ride a hurricane into NYC and yet aren’t able to hitch a ride back with a whale due to a heavily polluted ocean.
Hara’s magical realist tendencies and diverse cast of characters all contort the tropes of the American comics canon. Yet above all else, her innate control of the comics language—her ability to weave the absurd with the real on such a charming and commanding level—is refreshingly unrivaled.”
World Record Holders, Guy Delisle
$21.95 USD/$24.95 CAD, 152 Pages, Paperback
The renowned graphic travelogue author Guy Delisle returns with a collection of assorted work that spans his career.
Drawn & Quarterly synopsis,
“Universally beloved cartoonist Guy Delisle showcases a career-spanning collection of his work with a sly sense of humour and warm characterization. Before Delisle became an international superstar with his globe-hopping travelogues, he was an animator experimenting with the comics form. Always aware of the elasticity of the human form and honing his keen observer’s eye, young Delisle created hilarious set pieces.
World Record Holders ranges from wistful childhood nostalgia to chagrined postfame encounters, touching on formally ambitious visual puns and gut-busting what-ifs. Delisle again and again shows how life is both exhilarating and embarrassing. Delisle visits an exhibition of his work in another country and is confronted by an angry spouse who blames him for destroying her marriage. A juvenile game of Bows and Arrows turns menacing as arrows shot straight up in the air turn into barely visible missiles of death. A coded message from space creates different reactions from different people—debates, dance festivals, gallery shows. Translated by Helge Dascher.”
My Perfect Life, Lynda Barry
$21.95 USD/$24.95 CAD, 128 Pages, Hardcover
You won’t have to wait long after Drawn & Quarterly’s January 2022 release of Lynda Barry’s Come Over Come Over to enjoy more Maybonne Mullen stories from Barry’s underground Ernie Pook’s Comeek strip as July will bring second collection My Perfect Life,
“Collected from the strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, which was serialized in alternative weeklies across the continent, My Perfect Life captures the moment when Lynda Barry finding the perfect balance in longer form storytelling between the belly aching laughs and the brutal reality checks. Along with the 2022 release Come Over Come Over, this collection continues to spotlight the life of teenager Maybonne Mullen. She suffers through the utterly relatable insults of junior high and the excruciating embarrassment caused by her little sister Marlys. Hovering in the background, however, is a broken home, parents struggling with addiction, a grandmother who takes her granddaughters from the diverse big city to a bewilderingly bland small town.
Yet fitting into the new school and surroundings is, of course, paramount to a young teenager. Maybonne begins September full of life and excitement. As the school year progresses, she experiences bullying, her first boyfriend, family drama, drinking, and more. The book ends with Maybonne withdrawn and jaded as the reality of her world outweighs the magic.”
Talk To My Back, Yamada Murasaki
$29.95/$34.95, 368 Pages, Paperback
The late Yamada Murasaki (1948-2009) was a poet, essayist and mangaka whose feminist alternative manga gifted the likes of the legendary Garo anthology. Now Drawn & Quarterly collect the 1980s serial Talk To My Back for Western audiences to discover,
“Set in an apartment complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, Yamada Murasaki’s Talk To My Back (1981–84) explores the fraying of Japan’s suburban middle-class dreams through a woman’s relationship with her two daughters as they mature and assert their independence, and with her husband, who works late and sees his wife as little more than a domestic servant.
While engaging frankly with the compromises of marriage and motherhood, Yamada remains generous with the characters who fetter her protagonist. When her husband has an affair, Chiharu feels that she, too, has broken the marital contract by straying from the template of the happy housewife. Yamada saves her harshest criticisms for society at large, particularly its false promises of eternal satisfaction within the nuclear family—as fears of having been “thrown away inside that empty vessel called the household” gnaw at Chiharu’s soul.
Yamada was the first cartoonist in Japan to use the expressive freedoms of alt-manga to address domesticity and womanhood in a realistic, critical, and sustained way. A watershed work of literary manga, Talk To My Back was serialized in the influential magazine Garo in the early 1980s, and is translated by the Eisner nominated Ryan Holmberg.”
Birds of Maine, Michael DeForge
$34.95 USD/$44.95 CAD, 464 Pages, Hardcover
“Long after the demise of humankind, birds roam freely around a new earth complete with fruitful trees, sophisticated fungal networks, and an enviable socialist order. The universal worm feeds all, there are no weekends, and economics is as fantastical a study as unicorn psychology. No concept of money or wealth plagues the thoughts of these free-minded birds. Instead, there are angsty teens who form bands to show off their best bird song and other youngsters who yearn to become clothing designers even though clothes are only necessary during war. (The truly honourable professions for most birds are historian and/or librarian.) These birds are free to crush on hot pelicans and live their best lives until a crash-landed human from the moon threatens to change everything.
Michael DeForge’s post-apocalyptic reality brings together the author’s quintessential deadpan humour, surrealist imagination, and undeniable socio-political insight. Appearing originally as a webcomic, Birds of Maine follows DeForge’s prolific trajectory of astounding graphic novels that reimagine and question the world as we know it. His latest comic captures the optimistic glow of utopian imagination with a late-capitalism sting of irony.”
Acting Class, Nick Drnaso
$29.95/$34.95 CAD, 248 Pages, Hardcover
Drawn & Quarterly will publish the newest work from Nick Drnaso after Sabrina became the first graphic novel to ever be nominated for the prestigious Booker literary prize in 2018 – and caused quite the stir in doing so.
“From the acclaimed author of Sabrina, Nick Drnaso’s Acting Class creates a tapestry of disconnect, distrust, and manipulation. Ten strangers are brought together under the tutelage of John Smith, a mysterious and morally-questionable leader. The group of social misfits and restless searchers have one thing in common: they are out of step with their surroundings and desperate for change.
A husband and wife, four years into their marriage and simmering in boredom. A single mother, her young son showing disturbing signs of mental instability. A peculiar woman with few-if-any friends and only her menial job keeping her grounded. A figure model, comfortable in his body and ready for a creative challenge. A worried grandmother and her adult granddaughter; a hulking laborer and gym nut; a physical therapist; an ex-con.
With thrumming unease, the class sinks deeper into their lessons as the process demands increasing devotion. When the line between real life and imagination begins to blur, the group’s deepest fears and desires are laid bare. Exploring the tension between who we are and how we present, Drnaso cracks open his characters’ masks and takes us through an unsettling American journey.”