Alphabetical Index of Drawn & Quarterly

Baking With Kafka

Tom Gauld’s second book of collected cartoons, after You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, is Baking With Kafka. As with the previous volume, these comics are funny, all the more so for tackling literary and cultural topics. There are plenty of daily life strips out there, where the humor comes from a shared recognition of everyday behavior, but sometimes they feel a little easy. Gauld’s work aims in a different direction. I love it in part because it entertains […]

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Woman World

There have been other comics about a same-sex world — most notably, Y: The Last Man, which still wound up being about a guy — but Aminder Dhaliwal’s is the funniest and most pointed. Originally a webcomic, Woman World has been expanded with a color introduction, mostly of full-page images, that explains fewer men were being born, but (like climate change) no one took the science seriously until it was too late. Explaining the basis for the setting isn’t necessary, […]

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Red Winter

I’m too young to appreciate the revolution in cinema of the late 60s and 70s, where realism became a virtue and independent, sometimes messy viewpoints were given almost as much reach as glossy, professional presentations. But that’s what I was reminded of with this interior graphic novel from Sweden. Anneli Furmark’s Red Winter is set during the late seventies, and it’s the story of a woman having an affair with a young activist, whose politics are called into question by […]

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Berlin #20

I’m not going to review Berlin #20 here, because who starts a 22-part series at this point? I did want to take a moment, though, to say congratulations to Jason Lutes for sticking with the series. Berlin began in spring 1996 from Black Eye Books (another Canadian publisher who also put out work by Jay Stephens, Ed Brubaker, and Dylan Horrocks). The first third of the story was collected in 2000 as Berlin: City of Stones; the second part, Berlin: […]

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Mooncop

The simple premise of Tom Gauld’s Mooncop hides a subtle exploration of what it means to live an ordinary life, without judgment and with concern over what happens when technology overtakes it. The title character is a police officer on the moon, when everyone else is leaving. He files meaningless reports and interacts with the machines that have replaced people at the donut shop and the minimart. Everyone’s got bubble helmets, like the old visions of the future, even the […]

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If Found… Please Return to Elise Gravel

Drawn & Quarterly has a unique project now available for order. If Found… Please Return to Elise Gravel isn’t a comic or an art book. It’s a reproduction of a sketchbook by a children’s book illustrator, full of colorful, imaginative creatures and doodles that inspire readers to think about what they can create. Gravel’s introduction calls this “complete nonsense”, but in a way that lets the brain roam free to see what comes out. “I give myself the right to […]

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Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection

Kate Beaton’s new collection of her Hark! A Vagrant comics is just as entertaining as the previous, titled simply Hark! A Vagrant. Reading Step Aside, Pops is the best kind of entertainment, the kind that makes you feel smarter. It’s always a pleasure to read such witty work with such detailed cartooning. Beaton uses so many historical and literary references (in clever and well-integrated ways) that you either know what she’s referring to — in which case, you feel pleased […]

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Over Easy

Graphic memoir is the hot genre these days in publishing. Where fantasy stories can be hit or miss, true-life autobiographical comics have an immediate hook — this story actually happened to someone. In fact, if I’m honest, graphic memoirs are a bit of a drag on the market. Just because a story is true doesn’t always make it entertaining or well-told; structure is a huge challenge with autobiography. And one of the most common types of memoir is the coming-of-age […]

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