shortcomings-212.jpgShortcomings
By Adrian Tomine
Hardcover book, 112 pages, b/w, 6.5 x 9.25 inches.
$19.95
978-1-897299-16-6

FROM THE AUTHOR OF OPTIC NERVE, THE MOST ANTICIPATED GRAPHIC NOVEL OF 2007

Ben Tanaka has problems. In addition to being rampantly critical, sarcastic, and insensitive, his long–term relationship is awash in turmoil. His girlfriend, Miko Hayashi, suspects that Ben has a wandering eye, and more to the point, it’s wandering in the direction of white women. This accusation (and its various implications) becomes the subject of heated, spiralling debate, setting in motion a story that pits California against New York, devotion against desire, and trust against truth.

By confusing their personal problems with political ones, Ben and Miko are strangely alone together and oddly alike, even as they fly apart. Being human, all too human, they fail to see that what unites them is their shared hypocrisies, their double standards. This gray zone between the personal and the political is a minefield that acclaimed cartoonist Adrian Tomine navigates boldly and nimbly. The charged, volatile dialogues that result are unlike anything in Tomine’s previous work or, for that matter, comics in general.

But Shortcomings is no mere polemic. Any issues that are raised stand on equal footing with expertly-crafted plot turns, subtle characterization, and irreverent humor, all drawn in Tomine’s heart-breakingly evocative style. What Tomine ultimately offers is more provocation than pronouncement—a brutal, funny, and insightful reflection of human shortcomings.

********White Rapids

White Rapids
Trade paperback/ 156 pages/ 2 colors/ 7 x 8.75 inches.
$19.95
978-1-897299-24-1
Pascal Blanchet

Winner of the Best Book prize for the Quebec comic industry awards, Pascal Blanchet’s graphic novel is a compelling account of the rise and fall of the small northern town of White Rapids. In the first English translation of his work, Blanchet seamlessly blends fact and fiction as he weaves together the official history of the town and snapshots of the quotidian life of its residents. Founded in 1928 in an isolated region of Quebec forest, the town was conceived and constructed by the Shawinigan Water & Power Company to function as a fully-equipped, self-contained living community for workers at the nearby dam and their families. Intended as an incentive to lure workers to the remote and inaccessible region, White Rapids provided its residents with all the luxuries of middle-class modern life in a pastoral setting—until the town was abruptly shut down in 1971, when the company changed hands. Blanchet’s unique, streamlined, retro-inspired aesthetic draws on Art Deco and fifties Modernist design to vividly conjure up idyllic scenes of lazy summer days and crisp winter nights in White Rapids, transporting the reader back to a more innocent time.

********

 

Look for Offered Again items and full-size Shortcomings cover behind the cut:
********

Shortcomings Full Size Picture32 Stories (O/A)
by
Adrian Tomine
Trade Paperback.
$12.95
978-1896597-00-3

In 1991, Adrian Tomine self-published the first issue of Optic Nerve. Consisting of three xeroxed sheets of paper, and with a print run of twenty-five, it was a less-than-auspicious, largely unnoticed debut. In the following three years, though, Optic Nerve developed at a startlingly rapid pace: the artwork and writing evolved with each story, production quality improved, page counts increased, and by issue seven, sales had reached 6,000. In 1994, Drawn & Quarterly took over the publishing duties of Optic Nerve, and the original seven issues sold out and were left out of print. 32 stories presents these rare, early editions, collected for the first time in a single volume. Offered here is Tomine’s new book, Shortcomings, an excellent companion to this title.

********Sleepwalk and Other Stories {New 4th printing}
By Adrian Tomine
Trade Paperback, 104 pages, b/w, 7.5 x 10 inches.
$15.95
978-1896597-12-6

Collecting the first four issues of Adrian Tomine’s acclaimed comic series Optic Nerve, this book offers sixteen concise, haunting tales of modern life. The characters here appear to be well-adjusted on the surface, but Tomine takes us deeper into their lives, subtly examining their struggle to connect with friends and lovers. Offered here is Tomine’s new book, Shortcomings, an excellent companion to this title.

********

Summer Blonde (O/A)
By Adrian Tomine
Trade Paperback, 152 pages, b/w, 6.25 x 9 inches.
$16.95
978-1896597-57-7

With a deft and romantic touch, Tomine portrays the emotional ambivalence of drifting, urban twenty-somethings in stunning black and white. His stories are appealingly naturalistic, stylishly cinematic, and emotionally rich. His fans accuse him of eavesdropping on their most intimate moments, exhibiting their insecurities with both forensic detachment and surprising compassion. Offered here is Tomine’s new book, Shortcomings, an excellent companion to this title.

********Scrapbook (O/A)
By Adrian Tomine
Trade paperback, 204 pages, full-color, 8.5 x 12 inches.
$24.95
978-1896597-77-5

The ultimate collection by one of the most recognized talents in graphic novels: includes over a decade of comics and illustrations by the still-under-30 Adrian Tomine, from Pulse to The New Yorker and Esquire, collected together for the first time in one sharply-designed book. Scrapbook is the first comprehensive Adrian Tomnie collection. Here you’ll find the complete run of strips which was originally published in Tower Records’ Pulse Magazine which Adrian started when he was only 17, along with comics originally published in Details and a host of other magazines of the past decade. A large section of Scrapbook is dedicated to Tomine’s extensive illustration and design work, featuring his best material over the years from virtually every major publication in America including The New Yorker, Details, Esquire, and the late JFK Jr.-edited George. Tomines’ art has also graced popular album covers and posters for bands such as The Eels and Weezer and posters and it’s all included here in this beautifully packaged book. Offered here is Tomine’s new book, Shortcomings, an excellent companion to this title.

********

- Christopher


4 Comments on “Drawn & Quarterly Solicitations: September 2007”

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  1. Steve Rolston says:

    For someone who has slacked off to the point of never having read an issue of Optic Nerve, which collection would you suggest they start with?

  2. Chris says:

    Steve- Huh. Well, Adrian’s work is all pretty good, the early stuff in 32 STORIES is particularly interesting for seeing how quickly he becomes an amazingly accomplished cartoonist (within 100 pages). His early stuff is really raw too, which you might enjoy. I don’t think anyone would argue that his last few stories, including SHORTCOMINGS, are among the best things he’s ever done, so yeah, shoot for that or the SUMMER BLONDE collection if you just want to see awesome cartooning and solid storytelling.

  3. Brian Nicholson says:

    Yeah, I didn’t like Shortcomings, but when I read Sleepwalk- the only book Chris didn’t mention, actually- it blew me away.

    I think Summer Blonde’s pretty good.

  4. Steve Rolston says:

    Thanks. What I grab first might depend on my mood at the time then. I was afraid his early stuff might be TOO raw and perhaps off-putting to someone who’s not already a diehard fan. I hear not all artists are born brilliant.

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