One of my favourite aspects of Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and all other small press and indie comic expos for that matter, are the book debuts by super talented creators.
Here are the books I plan on seeking out when I drop by the event this weekend.
I’ve been following Deforge for only a year now. His work is truly original and interesting (and can also be dirty and disturbing. Check out his Ant Comic strip.)
Culled from mini comics, online comics and anthology contributions, Very Casual collects notable short stories from DeForge’s prolific oeuvre. Included are stories about litter gangs, meat-filled snowmen, righteous cops, beagle/human hybrids, and forest-bound drag queens. Very Casual also collects Spotting Deer, which won the Pigskin Peters Award for best non-traditional, non-narrative or avant-garde work at the 2011 Doug Wright Awards.
Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt
While technically this arrived in stores on Wednesday, I held off picking up a copy so I could buy one directly from Kindt at his table this weekend.
Welcome to the city of Red Wheelbarrow, where the world’s greatest detective has yet to meet the crime he can’t solve—every criminal in Red Wheelbarrow is caught and convicted thanks to Detective Gould’s brilliant mind and cutting-edge spy technology. But lately there has been a rash of crimes so eccentric and random that even Detective Gould is stumped. Will he discover the connection between the compulsive chair thief, the novelist who uses purloined street signs to write her magnum opus, and the photographer who secretly documents peoples’ most anguished personal moments? Or will Detective Gould finally meet his match?
Operating with wit and perception in the genre of hard-boiled crime fiction, Red Handed owes as much to Paul Auster as Dashiell Hammett, and raises some genuinely sticky questions about human nature.
Sam is the grandson of a world-renowned space adventurer. Marvelled by his ailing grandfather’s stories of interstellar travel and alien romance, he models his life after these tales – even though they may be untrue. So focussed is Sam on fulfilling what he thinks is his natural destiny in life that he becomes blind to his own reality.