By Chloe Maveal
Riding high with five Eisner nominations under its belt, Drawn and Quarterly revealed their slate of 2019-2020 graphic novels at the Preview and Announcements panel at SDCC on Thursday. Addressing the crowd were publisher Peggy Burns, senior editor Tracy Hurren, and marketing director Julia Pohl-Miranda, all of whom had nothing but praise for each other, their staff, and the knock-out titles on the lineup.
Burns opened the panel by first talking about the contributions of Hurren and Pohl-Miranda, noting that much of the next year’s slate was overseen by Hurren, including titles that Hurren had acquired for the company.
“When you think we only publish 20-30 books a year, when you give someone acquiring power, that’s a big deal,” she said.
After briefly discussing the 2019 titles that were announced pre-SDCC — Making Comics by Lynda Barry, The River at Night by Kevin Huizenga, and The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis — the panel moved forward to talk about the exciting new 2020 line.
Most notably, the team was excited to announce a new graphic novel by Adrian Tomine, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Cartoonist — a memoir about his life in comics, from his “excessive passion” for Spider-Man as a child to his first interactions within the Comic-Con community.
“This book is really about all of the embarrassing moments he’s experienced throughout his career,” Pohl-Miranda said. “It’s really his most sincere attempt to write something humorous.”
For fans of BoJack Horseman and Tuca and Bertie, however, the next title on the list was something to really look forward to: I Want You by Lisa Hanawalt. I Want You is a collection of mini-comics created during Hanawalt’s earlier years as a creator. According to Hurren, the collection acts as an origin story for a lot of characters and themes present in BoJack Horseman and Tuca and Bertie.
“It’s filthy and strange and beautiful and surreal, and all about anxiety and office jobs,” laughed Pohl-Miranda.
And because D+Q is affectionately known among readers for heartfelt stories that always feel relevant, the announcement of I Know You Rider by Leslie Stein for spring 2020 will certainly pack a punch. Stein dives in deep making her first full length memoir about the story of her abortion and the nine months that followed afterward — including conversations with a childhood friend who’s had twins, and another who’s had a vasectomy.
“It’s all these different perspectives and ways of looking at reproduction,” remarked Pohl-Miranda.
“And as ever, Leslie is so gentle and measured in her approach,” added Hurren. “Though then in months following the abortion you see her doing things she would not be doing if she was pregnant. It’s amazing. It’s her strongest book to date.”
Other titles announced include Constitution Illustrated by R. Sikoryak, a fun, funny, and easy to read account of the United States Constitution in its entirety; Wendy, Master of Art by Walter Scott, a follow up to his previous Wendy series of books published by Koyama Press that shows Wendy dealing with growing up and realizing that being a hipster isn’t enough to pay the bills; and The Sky Is Blue With A Single Cloud by Tsurita Kuniko, the first female cartoonist from Japan published by Drawn and Quarterly.
Also included in the announcements was The Department of Mind-Blowing Theories by Tom Gauld, a collection of science-minded comics from New Scientist magazine; The Swamp, a seven book collection by Yoshihara Tsuge being published over the coarse of seven years by D+Q; and Umma’s Table, Yeon-Sik Hong’s pseudo-sequel to his debut graphic novel Uncomfortably Happy, chronicling the experience of becoming new parents while looking after aging parents as well.
Burns, Hurren and Pohl-Miranda seemed thrilled in announcing each title to the audience and Burns continued to give praise to both her co-workers, staff, and the company’s future overall.
“Passing the baton between employees, it hasn’t happened too often,” said Burns. “Julia and Tracy take such good care of our authors and it really feels like we’re headed in a good direction.”