Item! For the National Post, Jeet Heer profiles Beguiling comic store owner Peter Birkemoe on the occasion of the shop’s 25th anniversary and the appearance there today of Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine, and Charles Burns. (By the way Jeet, the name of the store Peter worked at in Kitchener was Now and Then, not Then and Now!): “I’m reasonably confident that people of my generation and older will always want physical books, particularly for graphic novels where attention to the physical object is so important,” Birkemoe says, while acknowledging that this market is likely to shrink. In the face of this change, The Beguiling is reinventing itself once again by becoming a gallery, with sales of original art being an increasingly important revenue stream.
Item! Kelli Korducki does the same sort of profile thing on Birkemoe for Torontoist blog which is a bit more personal: “Doing any sort of book retail involves a lot of lifting heavy boxes of books from one place to another. That’s an enormous amount of this job, just moving this product through space. Sometimes that has its high points, when you discover a box that has been lost for 10 years and you’re like, ‘Oh! Here’s a case of an out-of-print book we could really use!’ But most of it tends to lean towards drudgery.”
Item! On a sad note, The Vancouver Sun reports the closing of Vancouver’s oldest used bookstore, ABC Book and Comic Emporium: Part of Vancouver’s history, the store opened in 1946, as Ted Fraser’s Book Bin at 1247 Granville at Davie. The original location was 6,000 square feet on two floors and one of the largest used bookstores in Western Canada. In 1963, Fraser and his manager, Eiran Harris, were charged with “possession of obscene material for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation” when police seized several naughty titles, such as Whip Some More My Lady and Sin Teacher. They appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, but were eventually convicted and fined $3,400.
Item! The Drawn and Quarterly store celebrates five years in business and is profiled by the Montreal Gazette: “For me the store is an institution, a local one but of international repute,” says Montreal writer and broadcaster Jonathan Goldstein. “I think of it in the same vein as Schwartz’s, you know? The kind of place I tell visitors in town that they have to check out. It’s like our own City Lights, a gem of a bookstore backed up by a history of publishing iconic writers and artists.”
Item! Speaking of D+Q, the November print edition of Quill and Quire has an article about translating graphic novels for Conundrum Press and D+Q that is only available to subscribers online. Helge Dascher and her peers are among the profiled people.
Item! How Lemony Snickett met Seth.
Item! And finally, yesterday was Remembrance Day. Lest we forget, why not read this Toronto Star article about British emigrant Arthur Powell who as a POW in a German camp in World War Two created cartoons and paintings for an underground camp newspaper to keep prisoner morale up.