As our customers and friends know, at The Beguiling we tend to get a lot of great comics and graphic novels that aren’t found at every comic store out there, particularly books that don’t get distribution through Diamond. It’s one of the reasons that shopping at The Beguiling is so awesome even if you’ve already got a regular comic book store. The flip side though is that a number of great books that we carry are so far off of most people’s radars that they don’t get the attention or interest they deserve. So in the spirit of promoting great books and making you (our readers) aware of them, here’s 3 books that are worth your time and money that aren’t (yet) available at most comic book stores:
Ruts & Gullies: Nine Days In Saint Petersburg
By Phillipe Girard
$17, 160 pages, Conundrum Press
“With both adventure and introspection Philippe Girard has turned a trip to a comic festival in Russia with his friend and publisher Jimmy Beaulieu into an inner journey. Throughout the book, Girard is haunted by the spectre of his deceased friend, Guillaume, who tries to remind him that he should really get those varicose veins fixed — and that it’s about time to let go and move on. The genial Girard plays the tourist and the professional equally well as the reader is taken on a nine-day journey through the sites, sounds, and culture of St. Petersburg, with glimpses into the architecture, bars, and real people of the city (not to mention a first-hand account of what it’s like to lose your passport in Russia). As Girard and Beaulieu are led around by their generous Russian hosts, they are innocently asked, “Why do you speak French? Aren’t you guys supposed to be Canadians?” Comparable to Guy Delisle’s travel journey graphic novels (such as Pyongyang and Burma Chronicles).”
Chris says: Its similarity to Delisle’s work is what me drew be to it (that and the very attractive cover), and I ended up very impressed with what I’ve read so far (I’m about half way through). If you’ve enjoyed Delisle or maybe Dupuy and Berberian, than you’ll likely enjoy this one too.
Make Yourself Happy
By Lucy Knisley
$15, 214 pages, Self-published
“A collection of journal comics, travel diary comics, hourly comics, and all sorts of other miscellaneous comics by Lucy, circa 2009-2010. The followup to 2008’s “Radiator Days,” this book brings together Lucy’s carefully inked days for your reading pleasure!”
Chris Says: Lucy is one of my favourite young cartoonists, and while her stories keep getting stronger and her observations stronger, I draw equal pleasure from seeing her work get so much more accomplished with each project she releases — particularly given how much I enjoy each project she releases!
This most recent collection is her best yet, and as she navigates her way from student to professional cartoonist and all that entails (printing, contracts, agents and the like) I find myself even more drawn into her world. Recommended if you like strong autobiography and cartooning, or if you’re a young or aspiring cartoonist yourself.
The 12 Labours of Gastrophobia
By David McGuire
$12, 160 pages, Self-published
Chris says: There’s no good publisher description for this one, so I’ll have to wing it: Gastrophobia is a popular web-strip in which a single-mom Amazon Warrior, Phobia, takes her precocious young son, Gastro, on 12 crazy adventures that echo the labours of Hercules. It’s a really fun, smart, and funny book along the lines of Asterix or Groo. The cartooning is really excellent, the production is nice with an extra spot-colour in there, and its only 12 bucks (that’s just a buck per labour–wotta deal!).
So that’s just three of the hundreds of books in store that you might not know about! All three can be found on the main floor of the store, and if you’re ever looking for these or other recommendations don’t hesitate to ask!
– Chris @ The Beguiling