Graphic Novel Review: Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels
Posted on November 5, 2020 at 9:45 am by Gene Ambaum
Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels edited by Tom Devlin with Chris Oliveros, Peggy Burns, Tracy Hurren, and Julia Pohl-Miranda. Translations by Helge Dascher. Drawn & Quarterly, 2015. 9781770461994. 776pp.
If you’re looking for a comics anthology to brighten your involuntary days at home or a book to introduce you to a wide range of independent creators with bodies of work you can start reading NOW, look no further. In fact, you’ll probably love the front cover and spine (plus front endpapers) by Tom Gauld. He and Pascal Girard, whose work can also be found inside, draw the best bookstores and libraries.
The book opens with a section on the history of Drawn & Quarterly that includes old photos featuring questionable haircuts of famed comics creators that will make you laugh, particularly if you frequent the better sections of comic conventions. Then it’s comics, lots of excellent comics! Alongside and among are reminiscences, tributes, and appreciations of the publishing personalities and the talent, my favorites being the one of Seth by Lemony Snicket and Aaron Cometbus’ essay about John Porcellino. You don’t have to read everything, you don’t even have to read it in any order, and it’s so diverse in tone and style you probably won’t love it all, but there’s so much great work inside that it won’t matter. Depending on how widely you read, it’s full of amazing comics by everyone you’ve heard of (if you already have great taste) or amazing comics from all of the indy creators you’re about to discover (GET YOUR HANDS ON A COPY NOW!). D&Q has introduced me to so many artists whose work I love: Doug Wright, Adriane Tomine, Michel Rabagliati, Lynda Barry, John Porcellino, Guy Delisle, Tove Jansson, Brecht Evens, Jillian Tamaki, and more. And there were a few folks I’d never heard of; how is it I’d never seen a comic by Diane Obomsawin (aka Obom)? I loved the deadpan Greek mythology by her so much (it starts with Zeus seducing Callisto) that I ordered everything by her that’s available.
And because I’ve heard that kettle bells are sold out all over the US, I want to point out that at 776 pages you can probably use this anthology as a weight for a variety of exercises.