Merry Christmas, everyone! This is downtown Montreal. I attended the Book Fair there in November and it was the first time I’d been to this beautiful city of cathedrals, glass and tree covered hills. I've fallen a little behind on my travel blog, so it's time to catch up…
World Tour: Montreal, Canada.
That first night I went out with Tom Devlin and Chris Oliveros from Drawn & Quarterly. They took me to a little tappas place on St. Laurent, the main drag in downtown Montreal. These guys are heroes of mine; D&Q was part of that first wave of publishers that treated comics like books worthy of good design and real world distribution. There is a new interview up right now with Chris Oliveros over on Tom Spurgeon’s site, The Comics Reporter. Here's a short excerpt:
SPURGEON: Are you selling a greater percentage of your books in the book market versus the direct market than you were last year?
OLIVEROS: I hear a lot about comic retailers ordering through the book market. I know that stores like DreamHaven and Quimby's order straight from our FSG rep, while there are probably countless comic shops that order from Baker & Taylor. So the lines are blurred. But yes, compared to ten years ago, most of our books go out through the book market. I would estimate that 1/4-1/3 of each title is sold through direct market venues, the rest being the book market. However, I still view the direct market as being essential and valuable to the continued growth of comics. There are still a number of stores like Jim Hanley's, Comic Relief, Chicago Comics, the Beguiling, Rocketship and so on who can be counted on to have the best and most informed selections of comics and graphic novels — something that is still uneven in many book chains."
To read the whole interview, click here and go to The Comics Reporter.
Tom and Chris also gave me a copy of one of their new titles: Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strips. The book is gorgeous, and is flat out the best Moomin book I've ever seen. Tove Jansson was a natural cartoonist. These strips are clever, gentle, witty, and completely engrossing. I can’t wait for the next volume to come out.
Saturday at the show began with my being surprised at the size of the event – - the hall was huge! More like what you would expect from a national show.
The Saturday signings were fun and filled with lots of kids and families…..as well as other cartoonists! That’s Johane Matte from FLIGHT standing in line with her Bone book held aloft. She didn’t need to stand in line since we had plans later on – - but she likes to support her pals! Thanks, Johanne.
Isabelle Jodoin and Marc-Andre Audet from Modus Vivendi/Presses Adventure, my French Canadian publisher.
Either my pen is flashing magic lightning, or this kid has some reflective materiel on his jacket. I hope it's magic lightning.
Saturday night we had wine, cheese and cold cuts at Johane’s apartment.
From L to R, Azad Injejikian, also a cartoonist from FLIGHT, me, Saskia latendresse, Johanne’s roommate who baked me some flakey, gooey baklava. Cheers!
Sunday morning, Modus Vivendi founder Marc Alain took me to breakfast at Beauty's Cafe, where I saw this drawing on the wall.
Chuck Jones ate here!
Thanks to everyone. I had a great time, and I can't wait to visit again!