by BK Munn

Drawn & Quarterly publisher Peggy Burns revealed today that the offices of the venerable Canadian comics publisher may be undergoing a move due to a huge rent increase. The impact on the large office space used by the company will not effect the two retail bookstores run by D+Q in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood.

According to Burns in a post on Facebook, “Drawn & Quarterly has been in “mile ex” for 15 years, after being founded in Mile End 30 years ago. The new San Francisco landlords (a numbered “hold co”) of our office have told us we will not be able to afford their planned rent increase, as they plan to rent our floor to an A.I. Company.  We employ 30 people on our payroll, we publish many Quebec artists, and we sell the books of many more Quebec artists and writers. But, Quebec has given $100 million to an industry [A.I.] that is squeezing out artists and small businesses, which leads to having a Microsoft building instead of a diverse range of Quebec-owned small businesses. “

In recent years, the ongoing gentrification and large-scale takeover of the area by real estate speculators, developers, and tech companies has had a seismic effect on Montreal streetscapes and the cost of living in the city.