Saturday, April 17, 2010

Comics Everywhere! Adventures in Montreal and New York City

I’ve had very lovely visits to Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and now New York. In Montreal I had the pleasure of visiting the Drawn & Quarterly storefront. I whizzed with excitement and ended up making multiple visits to pace myself. D&Q are my favourite graphic novel publishers and also happen to be Canadian. At the shop they sell all the works they publish but also a wide variety of other books (comics or otherwise).

New York has always been great for comics and graphic novels, in between the amazing selection at Forbidden Planet and Midtown Comics and the ultra-discounted finds at the Strand Bookstore. This past weekend though, was particularly exciting as it was the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art’s (MoCCA) Festival (a.k.a. a finer comicbook convention). There I got to meet some up and coming graphic novelists that I’ve been following like Austin English and Lucy Knisley. I also got to meet a long-time admired illustrator, Jillian Tamaki. My favourite of the booths included Drawn & Quarterly (obviously), Sparkplug Comic Books, PictureBox Inc., Secret Acres and Book by its Cover. Unfortunately I forgot my camera that day and have no pictures.

I’m here in New York working on a graphic novel with writer Elizabeth Archer. The book we are working is mostly auto-biographical but a melange of her’s and my experiences, it’s titled “Arc in the Sky”. Elizabeth and I have been working with the help of telephones and the internet for months now but I came to New York specifically to take photos to use as reference for the drawings. I’ll be doing some sneak-peek drawings when this leg of travels whines down and post them here.

And on another graphic novel note, I’m going to be in Toronto at the end of May, where I’m already saving for my next visit to The Beguiling. It’s an amazing independently owned little comic shop tucked away in the Markham area. I’ll be arriving too late to attend the Toronto Comics Arts Festival, May 8-9, but I would give my pinky finger to be there.

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