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Spring preview 2015: graphica & international fiction

Screen shot 2015-01-15 at 5.37.10 PMD&Q AT 25

This year, the great Montreal publisher Drawn & Quarterly turns 25, and to celebrate, it has commissioned a retrospective anthology featuring some of the house’s most enduring work. Edited by D&Q creative director Tom Devlin, Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels features work by Kate Beaton, Guy Delisle, Michael DeForge, Jillian Tamaki, and others, alongside essays by writers such as Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, and Sheila Heti.

But that ain’t all for D&Q’s anniversary year. They also have three big new solo releases on tap, including new work by Tamaki. The product of four years’ worth of online serialization, SuperMutant Magic Academy is a collection of comics that takes up adolescent ennui and anguish via the lens of Hollywood superheroes. Think X-Men meets Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Also new from D&Q is a collection from the surreal mind of Marc Bell, creator of Hot Potatoe. Bell’s first full-length graphic novella is called Stroppy, and features the eponymous hero who gets himself into trouble when he submits a friend’s poetry to a songwriting contest run by the unscrupulous promoter of the All-Star Schnauzer Band. In other words, a fairly typical sojourn in Bell World.

Finally, D&Q presents Sylvie Rancourt’s autobiographical comic, Melody, here in translation by Helge Dascher. A frank exploration of life in 1980s Montreal, the narrative follows the adventures of Rancourt’s eponymous alter ego, who finds herself unemployed and takes a job as a dancer in a strip club. Honest but never exploitative, these Rancourt-drawn comics are appearing in English for the first time.