October 19, 2007
I passed by the Drawn and Quarterly bookstore this evening just before their grand opening event and I had to hold onto my wallet for dear life. Drawn and Quarterly began life in the early 1990s as an alternative comics anthology of original and utmost quality, then came the comic book series, and graphic novels that were varied and, may I say in the best possible way, designy. The sense of design that all of the various artists had, in addition to unique styles and great storytelling, set the D+Q selection apart from many of the titles out there, and also, I think, gave courage to many artists and publishers to consider the quality and scope of what could be printed and how it could be told.
Drawn and Quarterly's artists Adrian Tomine, Joe Matt, Chester Brown, Seth, Gary Panter (of Pee Wee's Playhouse) and others offer visuals and stories that surely are fodder for the animator's imagination. [EDIT: I don't just speculate: I forgot that Clyde Henry Productions are creating a live-action/animated film adaptation of Chester Brown's surreal Ed the Happy Clown.] The store does not stop at stocking only their impressive list of titles. Classic graphic novels, like Maus and Love and Rockets, and hidden gems abound.
The more overt animation related selection included titles like John Canemaker's Winsor McCay, as well as McCay reprints, and Nine Lives to Live: A Felix Celebration by Otto Messmer.
Copies of Bone were also available, which I've already mentioned for its appeal to animators and animation fans. The Lute String by Jim Woodring and D+Q's translated Complete Moomin by Tove Jansson (which I happily purchased) also break down the boundaries between comics and animation. Both artists' work directly inspired multiple animated adaptations and often in a different parts of the world than where it was originally created, expanding the stories' reach.
Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
211 Bernard, Montreal
If you're just getting started, my D+Q recommendations:
Optic Nerve by Adrian Tomine
Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes
The Fixer by Joe Sacco
Louis Riel by Chester Brown