conundrum-press

The first comic I made was called City of Champions. It was about living in Edmonton, Alberta around 2004. I figured out how to print it using Jessica Abel’s online minicomics tutorial (which is here, but all the links appear broken). I wasted a lot of money because I screwed up several aspects of the production. 

One of the people who bought my first comic was Andy Brown, of Conundrum Press in Montreal. He offered to print a book of my comics and illustrations; the result was Gilded Lilies which came out in 2006. I started going to comic conventions that year too. Doesn’t seem so long ago! Maybe it isn’t, really. 

Anyhow, Conundrum Press is celebrating TWENTY YEARS of publishing! Congrats, Andy Brown. I made this cover illustration for a book that shall celebrate the milestone. It was made using drawings from that year my book was published–2006. 

TOWERKIND has been nominated for a 2014 Ignatz Award for outstanding series. I always find incredible new creators through the Ignatz nominations, so please check out that list!

I’m also exceptionally pleased to announce that TOWERKIND will be collected as a complete book, published through Conundrum Press, to debut at TCAF 2015.

My thanks go to the judges: Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor.

Ignatz Awards are voted for by the attendees of SPX on Saturday, September the 13th. Towerkind is a 160 page story about the kids of St. James Town, a hamlet of high-rises within the city of Toronto, their subtle powers, and the oppressive warning hinted at by birds and bugs, felt in their bones.

You can buy the collected issues of Towerkind on my storenvy - there’s only a few of these single issue collections left, and I won’t be reprinting.

If you’re an SPX exhibitor interested in reading TOWERKIND please send me an email and I will send you a PDF! katherine.verhoeven@gmail.com

TCAF 2016: Initial Featured Guests Announcement

Toronto Public Library and The Beguiling present
TCAF 2016 – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival
@ Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street
Professional Development: Friday, May 13, 8:30am-5pm
Saturday, May 14, 9am-5pm
Sunday, May 15, 10am-5pm
Free to attend
www.torontocomics.com

TORONTO, CANADA — We here at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival are thrilled to announce our initial Featured Guests and Events for TCAF 2016, taking place May 14th and 15th in Toronto, Canada! With over 400 cartoonists scheduled to attend from more than a dozen countries on their way to Toronto this May, we’re getting ready celebrate the very best in comics, graphic novels, bandes dessinées, and manga! Prepare yourself for a week of readings, launches, and art events culminating in a massive, FREE two-day exhibition at Toronto Reference Library, May 14 and 15, 2016!

Every year the Toronto Comic Arts Festival showcases Canada’s incredible comics talent on a world stage by promoting some of our best and brightest creators and publishers, and inviting the attention of the global cartooning community. The 2016 programme builds on our previous successes, with a continued commitment to offer more engaging programming, in multiple formats, focusing on compelling and challenging work being made across the world. Art sales and exhibition, increased programming, and gallery shows are at the core of the 2016 programme, as highlighted by these talented Featured Guests:

Canadian comics hero Kate Beaton is the creator of beloved humour series Hark! A Vagrant, which has spawned a bestselling book of the same title. In 2015, Beaton released her first picture book, The Princess and the Pony (Scholastic), and a second collection of strips entitled Step Aside, Pops (Drawn & Quarterly). Beaton’s work is both expressive and hilarious, possessing a signature style and wit that are uniquely her own.

Kate Beaton is one of TCAF’s 2016’s official poster artists, and we will be revealing her official poster in the next few weeks!

Duncan Fegredo has been on the North American comics scene since illustrating Kid Eternity (DC Comics) with writer Grant Morrison. Since then he’s gone on to illustrate a number of critically acclaimed works, including Enigma (DC Comics) with writer Peter Milligan, and a much-lauded run on Hellboy (Dark Horse) with Mike Mignola. His most recent work is MPH (Image Comics), with writer Mark Millar. This will be Duncan Fegredo’s first visit to TCAF, and we’re excited to welcome him to Canada!

Lisa Hanawalt is amazing! Since debuting My Dumb Dirty Eyes at TCAF 2013, Hanawalt has really made her mark at the designer of the Netflix super hit series BoJack Horseman, contributing columns to Lucky Peach magazine, and co-hosting the podcast Baby Geniuses. She is returning to TCAF 2016 as a Featured Guest to in support of her new graphic novel Hot Dog Taste Test (Drawn & Quarterly), debuting at the show!

MariNaomi is a prolific creator of autobiographical comics. She an Eisner-nominated artist, known for fantastic books like Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories and Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22. At TCAF 2016 she will be debuting the brand new book Turning Japanese (2D Cloud). We’re so pleased to have her join us as a Featured Guest!

Noir comics master Sean Phillips is coming back to TCAF! Phillips has worked on everything from Batman to X-Men, but he’s maybe best known for his collaborations with writer Ed Brubaker: Criminal, Incognito, Fatale, and the recently-completed The Fade Out (Image Comics). This year, Sean is bringing with him “Phono+Graphic,” an art show that spotlights over 80 amazing album covers created by comics artists for vinyl records. The show tours here from the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, and we’re excited to bring it to Canada.

With six books under his belt, Michel Rabagliati is an essential figure in not only the comics scene of Quebec, but all of Canada. Creator of essential works like Paul Moves Out,Paul Joins the Scouts, and The Song of Roland (recently adapted into a feature film!), Michel is attending TCAF 2016 to debut the English version of Paul Up North(Conundrum) and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Canadian publisher Conundrum Press. It’s sure to be a real party!

Rokudenashiko is a world-famous artist, best known for her vulva-centric sculptures. Her work challenges Japan’s prudish censorship laws, which has now led to her being twice arrested by the on obscenity charges in Japan. Rokudenashiko is attending TCAF 2016 in support of her new graphic novel and essay collection What Is Obscenity? The Story Of A Good For Nothing Artist And Her Pussy (Koyama Press), produced in association with MASSIVE.

His name is Chip Zdarsky, and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to TCAF 2016 as a Featured Guest and one of our 2016 Poster Artists. Chip Zdarsky is the co-creator of the books Sex Criminals and Kaptara (Image Comics), and is writing Howard The Duck (Marvel Comics) and Jughead (Archie Comics). We’ll be revealing his 2016 poster in the next few weeks!

And these are just the first eight featured guests among the more than 400 Canadian and International cartoonists participating in the 2016 Festival.

Featured guests will continue to be announced through January, February, and March, with special guests from Germany, Italy, USA, France, Japan, and Canada still to be revealed!

In addition to the programmes mentioned above, TCAF 2016 will also feature several programming spotlights including a special tribute to the wonderful and hardworking Canadian publisher Conundrum Press, on the occasion of their 20th Anniversary, and First Second Books on their 10th Anniversary.

Additional Programs will be announced in February and March, including the CSSC-SCEBD Academic Conference, Library & Educator Day, Word Balloon Academy, Comics Vs. Games 5, Gallery Showings, Screenings, and much more. Visit TCAF online for up-to-the-minute updates.

Website: www.torontocomics.com
Twitter: @Torontocomics
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TorontoComics
Tumblr: torontocomics.tumblr.com

MEDIA

Please include in your listings. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2016, Saturday May 14, 9am-5pm, and Sunday May 15, 10am-5pm, @ Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. Attendance is FREE to the public. Select guest bios and images are available upon request. Please send all inquiries to media@torontocomics.com.

SPONSORS & PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival would not be possible without the assistance of our sponsors and partners, including presenting sponsor Toronto Public Library and primary sponsor The Beguiling Books & Art.

TCAF is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

We would also like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

TCAF would like to thank 2D Press, Conundrum Press, Drawn & Quarterly, Koyama Press, The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, Massive, and La Pasteque for the support of the artists and programmes mentioned in this announcement.

Sponsorship opportunities for TCAF 2016 are still available, please contact us at: contact@torontocomics.com for more info.

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Photobooth is debuting at TCAF!

Photobooth: A Biography

Meags Fitzgerald

  • Conundrum Press
  • 7 x 9.5 inches, 275 pg, B&W
  • $20.00

For almost a century chemical photobooths have occupied public spaces, giving people the opportunity to quickly take inexpensive, quality photos. In the last decade these machines have started to rapidly disappear, causing an eclectic group of individuals from around the world to come together and respond. Illustrator, writer and long-time photobooth lover, Meags Fitzgerald has chronicled the photobooth’s fortuitous history and the events which gave rise to the desperate need to save them. Having traveled in North America, Europe and Australia, she’s constructed a biography of the booth through the eyes of technicians, owners, collectors, artists and fanatics. In this ground-breaking book Fitzgerald struggles with her own relationship to these fleeting machines, while looking to the future.

“Photobooth: A Biography is an impressive and ambitious project. A deep exploration of an unexpected topic that is in turn historical, journalistic, and personal.”
— Jillian Tamaki

“Fitzgerald has created something that’s more than candid personal memoire, more than carefully researched cultural history — she’s created a work brimming with that rarest of things: love. That I should use such a word to explain a young woman’s feelings for photobooths certainly sounds improbable and maybe even a little crazy. And that’s precisely why this book is so wonderful.”
— Jonathan Goldstein

Wim Lockefeer of Forbidden Planet International talks about dakotamcfadzean:

I would like everyone to get a good look at what Dakota McFadzean is doing. This CCS alumnus has been drawing every day for some years now, and always comes up with strange, thought-provoking, sweet (or sour), unsettling (or confirming) comics strips that are never bland or on the trodden path, and always brilliantly executed. Dakota’s first book, Other Stories And The Horse That You Rode In On came out earlier at Conundrum Press and will no doubt be lauded throughout the new year.

Link: http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2014/best-of-2013-wims-own/

10

TCAF is almost here! This weekend, May 9-10, is the official launch of my collection of Dailies titled Don’t Get Eaten By Anything. It can finally  be yours in all its shiny, foil-stamped glory. Look at it basking in the sun up there– not a care in the world. It’s time to get to work, book. 

I’ll mostly be at the Conundrum Press table (tables 153-154), especially during my signing times (10-12 on Saturday, 1-2 on Sunday). 

But let’s say you don’t like reading comics to yourself? Well, I’ll be doing a live reading of some of my Dailies as part of R. Sikoryak’s Carousel (Sunday, 4pm at The Pilot). 

So please stop by and say hello. I hope to see you there. I will draw a monster or something in my book if you buy it. 

ABOUT US: 

Inspired by the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, we here at Conundrum Towers have expanded our operations to make room for the Annapolis Valley Zine Library. Initially comprised of over 1000 items from our personal collection, compiled after decades of trolling zine fairs looking for talent. The library has discarded the dewey decimal and is divided into five categories: zines, mini-comics (art- and alt-comics), chapbooks (poetry, fiction), art / bookworks, and Billy Mavreas. Located in Greenwich, NS, walking distance from the University town of Wolfville, nestled among apple orchards, old growth maples, and farmer’s markets, we believe this to be the only zine library in the Maritimes outside Halifax. Looking for an intern with library experience to do the extensive cataloguing. 

We are always looking for donations.

Opening hours: Thursdays 10am-12. Or by appointment (conpress@ns.sympatico.ca).


10224 Highway 1
Wolfville, NS, B4P 2R2

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SARAH BURWASH is coming to TCAF!

“Sarah Burwash has been visiting rural communities and remote areas to attend artist residencies, travelling to different cities for art and craft sales, volunteering on farms and working at lodges in the Rocky Mountains. The Far Woods is a collection of watercolours and other works she produced during these residencies and travels…” - Full Bio at TCAF site

Artist’s Website: sarahburwash.com

Publisher’s Website: www.conundrumpress.com

TCAF is The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, taking place May 9-11, 2014, in Toronto, Canada. More at http://torontocomics.com/

4

Hello, 

I am a normal person who is definitely real and not imaginary. It is also factual to state that I make comics too.  

To prove this, I will be attending CAKE this weekend in Chicago. I will be at Table 81A, wearing normal human clothes. There, you will be able to get examples of my work published by Conundrum Press, Irene, and One Percent Press

I hope to see you there. I have taken my own time and condensed it onto pieces of paper so that it can become your time, if you will have it. This is something that is important to humans. 


Now, the end of the message.

They Also Serve

by Burton Raffel
from Beethoven in Denver and Other Poems 
(in which Beethoven returns from the dead and moves in with Raffel for extended conversations on music, politics, women, history, chocolate, mountains, love, and God)


“They pay you so much–for teaching?” Beethoven
        asked.
“Universities are a big business, these days,” I assured
        him after noting
That it was not really so much that they paid me, not
        so much at all.
“The world of education is not what it was: time
        marches on!”
He sighed and drank some beer. “In my Vienna,
        Herr Raffel,
Teaching was much more a matter of public relations–
        of what you call advertising today–
Than a real source of income. And what dunderhead
        pupils I had!
You are fortunate, more even than you know.”
I wanted to insist that I worked for my keep, but
        instead I commented that, somehow,
The Beethovens of the world seemed always to
        manage–but Raffels, you know,
Well, we had to scramble. “And after all,” I concluded
        with a flourish,
“How many Beethovens are there?” He blinked and
        stared hard at me:
I had not noticed, before, how exceedingly blue his
        eyes could become.
“And how many Raffels are there?” he demanded
        bluntly–
And with such plain intent that I could not answer,
I could only look down and wish that somehow I had
        managed, just this once, to keep my
        mouth shut. 


Author of over 60 books, including a translation of Beowulf that has sold more than one million copies since it was published in 1963, Burton Raffel is one of the most widely read American poets of the second half of the twentieth century. In addition to six previous volumes of his own poetry, he has published critical studies of T.S. Eliot, Robert Lowell, Ezra Pound, and many other figures.

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2013

Publisher’s Weekly comics critics poll just came out and I am among those who got to name their favorites for the year, all jumbled together in a big master list. Right here, though, is my official Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2013 list, which is what I submitted to them, singled out for your own information.

1 Paul Joins The Scouts by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press)

Rabagliati expresses the worst sides of people without casting his narrative into depression, but instead an amiable and well-considered humanity, with the political backdrop of 1970s Quebec as a bonus.

2 Crater XV by Kevin Cannon (Top Shelf Productions)

Inventive and gripping, Crater XIV captures the true, over-the-top spirit of comics, while still keeping things down to earth enough to allow you to care what goes on inside.

3 The Property - Rutu Modan (Drawn and Quarterly)

One of the most accessible of graphic novelists, with a cinematic presentation and the ability to capture the complexity of larger human experience within smaller family dramas, all with good humor.

4 TEOTFW by Charles Forsman (Fantagraphics)

A perceptive, neo-realist slice of deadpan alienation and gloom about a teenage Bonnie and Clyde.

5 Jerusalem by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi (First Second Books)

An epic sweep that never breezes past the humanity as it examines how history happens to real people.

6 Journal by Julie Delporte (Koyama Press)

Personal and colorful, engaging and cryptic, Delporte slices up her own life into an abstract emotional puzzle.

7 Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. (Abrams/SelfMadeHero)

Beginning like a murder mystery, continuing like an episode of the Twilight Zone, and finishing up with the kind of existentialism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Von Trier film, a frantic examination of the human reaction to mortality.

8 Little Tommy Lost by Cole Closser (Koyama Press)

Rebooting the concept of period adventure comic strips and with tongue barely in cheek and an impressive graphic sense.

9 Susceptible - Genvieve Castree (Drawn and Quarterly)

A dysfunctional childhood and the toll it takes are presented with humor, honesty, and a huge amount of charm.

10 Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)

A smart and funny story, charmingly drawn, that is constantly hurling something new within the trope of odd couple friendships.