I’ve been really good about winter this year. I haven’t really minded the snowstorms – they usually happened on Sundays and I felt cozy sitting at home – writing, cooking, baking – relieved that I wasn’t out on the streets. I even went skiing once. But now, February 29th, the temperature a frigid -15 degrees celcius and I am officially cranky. I mean, come on, enough with it already! The upside is that I’ve been writing a lot this winter, and I’m wondering if it will keep up when spring comes. It’s easy to settle in with my laptop and a warm beverage on a cold night, but it will be a different story when it’s 25 degrees and there’s a bottle of white wine in the fridge.
Anyway, word-wise, I went to two readings this past week. On Tuesday many people crammed into the delightful Drawn and Quarterly store on Bernard to watch a bearded Adrian Tomine give a slideshow presentation about his work, mostly his last graphic novel “Shortcomings”. It was interesting to see the progression of sketches to final graphic novel, and Adrian gave a thorough discussion of the process. He also addressed the “unpolitical” issue that has kind of plagued him his whole career. People expect a visible minority to tackle their otherness in their work, and given that Adrian never has really talked about being Japanese the way say, Sandra Cisneros discusses being Mexican, there have been people who criticize him for what they see as avoidance or internalized racism. It was interesting, and something I’ve definitely thought about myself with my own work. He stands firm in his position that he writes about what he wants to write about, that he’s interested in human behaviour and the small moments between people, and that to do otherwise would be forced. Anyway, his work totally resonates with people, so obviously he’s not doing anything wrong. And like he said, it’s great that people are actually paying attention to comics as valid social commentary, something that wouldn’t have been considered 20 years ago. The funny thing is that you can still sense how self-conscious he is about his work, especially his earlier stuff. It’s endearing.
Last night was the Atwater Poetry Project featuring Elizabeth Bachinsky and Carmine Starnino. Elizabeth was my favourite; she is such a great reader – charming and seductive and funny.
And some zine news!
“Cement, Flour, Saints” will soon be distro’d by the amazing Ms. Hipp’s My My distro. Also exciting, for those of you that have read the zine, an amended, edited version of the first section (“cement”) is going to be published in an upcoming anthology by the Montreal based small press, Invisible Publishing. I’ll post more details about the anthology when I know, but yay.
And I don’t think I mentioned it earlier, but there’s other book activity going on in our house – Andrew and his friend Michael will have a book published by Furnace Press about Buffalo’s grain elevators in September. Details are here: http://www.furnacepress.com/news.htmMichael is a wonderful, erudite writer and you know how I feel about Andrew’s photos, so I’m obviously excited to see the end product.