Waking Up in a Warp Zone
Remember the warp zones in Super Mario Bros? In case you aren’t a child of the eighties or a vintage video game aficionado, we’re talking about secret rooms with conveniently placed plumbing that allows players to skip big chunks of the game. A handy option, since there was no way to save–but what’s the point of playing if you skip the part where a cloud-flying reptile is trying to kill you with spiky eggs?
These last twelve months have felt a lot like a warp zone. A year after the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic, it’s hard not to feel like we’ve skipped part of our lives, despite all that’s happened around us. That’s one of the reasons we’re so excited about our 2021 line-up; the incredible art being made is proof that life is still happening, as wild and wonderful as ever. This spring alone, we’ll be publishing an exciting range of work by Sami Alwani, Cole Pauls, Zoe Maeve, and Rick Trembles. But we already told you that.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce our fall titles, including powerful work by four gifted artists: Brigitte Archambault, Stanley Wany, Sonja Ahlers, and Susan MacLeod.
by Stanley Wany
Publication date: September 2021
A surrealist journey through survivor’s guilt, lost dreams, and self-redemption
A woman loses her sister to suicide and struggles with the overwhelming and confusing feelings that continue to plague her. A man reflects on a decade spent working in a call centre and the strange day-to-day momentum that caused him to unconsciously abandon his goals. Helem relies on a propulsive graphic narrative and evocative illustration to tell the intensely personal stories of two characters at a crossroads.
These nearly wordless stories, originally published by TRIP as “Agalma” and “Sequences,” delve deep into the internal lives of their characters. Helem, created while Wany was in a hallucinatory state brought on by a severe lack of sleep, also provides an intimate look into his own personal dreamscape.
The Shiatsung Project
by Brigitte Archambault
Translated by Aleshia Jensen
Publication date: October 2021
A woman lives alone in a small house situated in a tidy yard surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable wall
She spends her days reading, swimming, and watching TV. She eats regular meals and keeps her house clean. But the simplicity is deceiving, because the woman has no idea how she came to live in her house, and—most importantly–what exists beyond the wall. Her only source of information is a talking TV monitor in her living room called Shiatsung. The entity controlling the monitor is committed to keeping the woman hydrated and educated, but it refuses to answer any of her existential questions and keeps her under constant surveillance.
by Sonja Ahlers
Publication date: October 2021
The final chapter in a body of cut-and-paste work that is difficult to categorize but has sometimes been referred to as “graphic poetry.”
Culled from decades of hunting and gathering in the underground, Ahlers has filled many binders to overflowing. Swan Song revisits the black and white photocopier esthetic of her genre-bending and influential book Temper, Temper and its sequel Fatal Distraction, finally completing this groundbreaking trilogy. Part art book, part zine collection, part diary, part graphic novel, but all Sonja Ahlers, we finally have closure from an artist who continues to push the boundaries of what a book can be.
When Susan MacLeod accompanied her 90-year-old mother through a labyrinthine long-term care system, it was a nine-year journey navigating a government without a heart in a system without compassion.
Her family, much like the system, erected walls rather than opening arms. She found herself involuntarily placed at the pivot point between her frail, elderly mother’s need for love and companionship, the system’s inability to deliver, and her brother’s indifference.
MacLeod’s tone is defined by a gentle, self-effacing humour touched by exasperation for the absurdities and the newfound wisdom around expectations. The latest memoir in the graphic medicine field, to be shelved alongside My Begging Chart by Keiler Roberts and Tangles by Sarah Leavitt.