by BK Munn
All the Canadian comix news that’s fit to blog:
Item! Exhibitor Applications for TCAF are due by this Friday, October 17th. Get those applications in, folks!
Item! The Quebec children’s literature publisher Editions de la Courte échelle, who published some comics work including the Léon series by Annie Groovie, Thomas by David Libens, and others, has closed its doors after 35 years, according to this article in Le Devoir. The publisher “temporarily ceased operations” on September 23. All the staff, with the exception of director Helen Derome, have been laid off while Derome searches for a way to restructure or refinance the company, with selling the company assets a distinct possibility.
Item! Usually you read about cops arresting people for selling or importing comic books, but Edmonton cops have actually commissioned a second comic book detailing the historic exploits of past members of the force, according to the Edmonton Sun. This latest masterpiece is about the first time in Canada a cop used an airplane. Way back in 1919, Edmonton police Det. James Campbell boarded Wilfred “Wop” May’s Curtiss Jenny bi-plane, and chased a cop-killer all the way to Jasper: “It was a daring move on the part of the police,” says Legacy of Heroes writer Jeff Awid, with the city police digital media unit. “Airplanes were relatively new, and as far as we know, had never been used in Canada to go after a criminal.”
Item! Brad Mackay offers up a short review of the Seth documentary that premiered in Ottawa a few weeks back. Brad is actually briefly interviewed in the film so it’s not exactly a balanced critique, but still gives some insight into the long genesis of Seth’s Dominion and talks about its actual content. The film is currently doing a tour of film festivals, with a few showings scheduled for Montreal next week participating in the Festival du Nouveau Cinema and at Cinema du Parc.
Item! Michael DeForge is interviewed UK comics magazine Off Life by and provides closure to a great mystery that has been plaguing the comics world, namely, What the Hell Happened to Kid Mafia? And What Does He Do With Abandoned Projects? “There are comics that I’ve drawn that I’ve felt were too personal for publication. I recently abandoned a serial I was drawing called Kid Mafia, since I thought the premise was too violent to keep going. It was about a gang of teenage criminals, and I hit this point where I just stopped wanting to write about violent young men. My comics can be violent, but I always want to use that sort of thing thoughtfully – for the violence to have a weight to it. […] I just throw them out or delete the files.”
Item! Lebonfon Printing, the Quebec-based company that took over the comics and magazine printing business of Quebecor, has been absorbed into fellow Quebec-based company Marquis Book Printing, according to a press release: “Marquis Book Printing will acquire certain assets from Lebonfon Printing as the result of the closure announcement by the latter. With the transaction, Marquis is reaffirming its confidence in the book industry and its leadership position in the country. Marquis has taken a number of concrete steps in recent years to remain an industry frontrunner and accelerate its growth in Canada and the U.S., while continuing to make inroads in Europe. Because global competition is fierce and demands major investments, Marquis requires a solid foundation in Quebec. Under the terms of the transaction, Marquis will acquire certain assets of Lebonfon Printing, including the trademark, digital property and access to archives. In addition, the Lebonfon sales team will join Marquis, thus assuring excellent follow-up on all current and future work.” (link via Marc Arsenault of Wow Cool/Alternative Comics)
Item! Beguiling manager Chris Butcher writes about the changing face of comics convention culture and economics of same: “The changing convention landscape is inherently shitty for people who make comic books. Art comix, indy comics, mainstream comics, whatever comics, the changing makeup of conventions is hostile to people who want to make and sell comics at comic conventions. And let me be clear, this is comic books and graphic novels, as opposed to ‘prints’ or crafts or whatever manner of tchotchkes makeup most exhibitor tables these days. Basically, comic book conventions are aggressively attracting an audience who don’t necessarily value books, or comic books.”
Item! Reviews and interview roundup: Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds reviewed in The Guardian. Francis Desharnais discusses his newest book LA GUERRE DES ARTS with Alexandre fountain Rousseau. Chris Mautner reviews Real Godbout’s Amerika. Le Devoir reviews Far Out, by Gautier Langevin and Olivier Carpentier. Publisher’s Weekly reviews Joe Ollmann’s Happy Stories About Well-Adjusted People. Jeet Heer is reviewed by Jared Young and interviewed by Alex Dueben.