Announcing… The Conundrum Press Spring 2020 Line-Up!

Nov 29, 2019 by

But first… let’s talk about the last few months. All of our Fall titles have been released into the wild, and we couldn’t have asked for a better season.

Cole Pauls has been touring Canada and the US with Dakwäkãda Warriors; the arrival of The Cursed Hermit   (the sequel to The Case of the Missing Men) is being received with plenty of anticipation and enthusiasm; Martin Peters earned some great reviews; and Aimée de Jongh’s Taxi: Stories from the Back Seat appeared on the MEP Library Lovers 20 Books list (titles recommended for members of the European Parliament). Meanwhile, Plummet’s receiving glowing reviews, including this one from Publisher’s Weekly, and Howard Chackowicz kept everyone laughing at Librairie D&Q with his latest collection of gags, Nothing to See Here.

That’s just a handful of highlights. But as always, we press on. And friends, Spring 2020 is looking pretty amazing.

Check it out:

 

CoverOcetwebArt Life
Catherine Ocelot
April 2020

Winner of the Prix Bédélys (Best comic in Quebec)

Catherine Ocelot wonders about her place as an artist, digging into the layers of what it means to live this Art Life. In her search for answers, she talks with seven artists from different disciplines who express their doubts, their struggles, their ambitions and their sometimes-wise and sometimesfunny observations. The author stages these encounters with finesse and wit, and echoes them with scenes from her own life. Art Life is a tragicomic tale tinged with fantasy that explores the impact of others on oneself, led by an artist who slowly comes to understand herself.

 

 

 

DRIPPING_cover3-01The Dripping Boat
Julian Lawrence
April 2020

The final volume of Drippy the Newsboy, based on the writings of Stephen Crane

Join Drippy, Harry, Bleeker and Zot in The Dripping Boat, as they battle waves, wind, wits, and wills. Following a shipwreck, the four find themselves stranded on a lifeboat, frantically trying to reach an invisible shore. Rub a dub dub, four men in a tub…but how many will return?

First published in 1897, “The Open Boat” was based on Crane’s experience of surviving a shipwreck off the coast of Florida while traveling to Cuba to work as a newspaper correspondent. Crane was stranded at sea for thirty hours when his ship, the SS Commodore, sank after hitting a sandbar. He and three other men were forced to navigate their way to shore in a small boat.

Drippy the character emerged in 1999. Lawrence had been working as a comics editor at a Vancouver weekly publication called Terminal City. When the paper folded, Lawrence and a couple of other ex-employees rallied to put together their own monthly newspaper, The Drippy Gazette. The mandate of the monthly publication was to feature artist interviews and events, and keep the Vancouver comics scene together. While the newspaper lasted 12 months, the mascot of the paper lived on in Lawrence’s work.

 

 

TOPPNEW_colour copy

Topp

David Collier
May 2020

Promoter Gary Topp brought us the world

As with all of Collier’s work, his latest graphic novel is a combination of memoir and biography. This time, he explores his involvement in the cultural landscape of Toronto in the 1970s and 80s, specifically focusing on the life of Gary Topp, a concert promoter and founder of the pioneering Canadian repertory cinema.

Topp emerged from an immigrant background, abandoned the family textile business, and became an influential figure in the lives of an entire community. He was also Collier’s first boss and mentor. Though outspoken and opinionated, Gary Topp inspired love and devotion, not only in those who worked for him, but also in the acts he booked—including The Ramones, The Police, and the Dixie Chicks.

This graphic novel looks at a rapidly disappearing past and uses Topp’s ability to see beyond the mainstream for a look at where our culture is going.

 

 

langosh and peppi300

Langosh and Peppi: Fugitive Days

Veronica Post
May 2020

A vagabond, his dog, and the true meaning of home

This debut graphic novel tells the story of the 2015 European “migrant crisis” in Budapest, Hungary through the perspective of Langosh and Peppi, a vagabond and his faithful dog. The pair brings to mind an older, down-on-their-luck Tintin and Snowy with adventures to match. A semi-autobiographical work based on Post’s own experiences, Langosh and Peppi escape the pressures of conformity by exploring out-of-the-way places, where they stumble on the vestiges of the war torn region’s hidden past. We follow them through streets, alleys, tunnels, train stations, cheap rooms, abandoned buildings and the countryside and witness the effects of various social, political and interpersonal situations through their eyes.

The story illustrates a sort of “Huckleberry Finn” existence, of travelling freely with no responsibilities except finding food and shelter, and meeting fascinating people along the way. However, Langosh and Peppi soon discover the stark difference between choosing a transient lifestyle, and being forced from one’s home and country. We meet people whose tragic personal struggles are enmeshed with the national struggles that continue to divide and destroy so many lives, see families torn apart due to ignorance and fear, and witness the disturbing global rise of nationalism. Influenced by Hideo Azuma, Joe Sacco, and Julie Doucet, Post examines the modern dilemma of what it means to be human and to call a place home.

 

 

CONUNDRUM 2020webversionThe Unknown

Anna Sommer
June 2020

A story of deceit, self-deception, and the search for happiness

When Helen finds a newborn abandoned in a changing room in her boutique, she decides to keep the baby nestled in a cardboard box and hidden from her husband.

After Vicky is talked into sex work by her boarding school roommate, Wanda, all of Vicky’s secrets–including her affair with their history teacher and her pregnancy–are quickly uncovered.

As the two narratives converge, coincidences and secrets are revealed. Incisive, wicked and breezily unconcerned by taboos, Anna Sommer lets readers put together the pieces of her morally ambiguous fable.

 

 

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