Tour of My Bookshelf

By: Kennedy Rooke

Perhaps you have gathered from my previous articles that I am not an art student. No, I study English and German. I read a lot of books – or I read half of them and Sparknotes the rest. Nobody’s perfect. Books and (visual) art are of course not completely separate from each other, however. Most of my reading decisions are based on whichever book cover I think is coolest. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is BS. Good books will (usually) have good covers. Some of the best art is found on the covers of graphic novels, and – spoiler alert – inside them as well! Today I thought I would take you on a little tour of my bookshelf and showcase some of my graphic novels. Hello FDG and welcome to my crib!

If you haven’t read Jacquline’s piece on Wendy Walter Scott, head on over there! I just finished the second installment of the misadventures of everyone’s favourite art school party girl and it was even better than the first. In Wendy’s Revenge we get to see Wendy stumble her way through the art scenes in Vancouver, LA, Tokyo, and of course, Montreal!

One of my favourite graphic “novels”, and one of the first I ever read, is SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki. It’s a series of comic strips set in a school for “gifted” teens. They may have mutant powers but they are just as angsty as the rest of us.

I have already done my fair share of gushing about Lisa Hanawalt, but I have recently acquired another Hanawalt item to add to my collection. Seriously, I should be a Lisa Hanawalt spokesperson I have so much of her stuff. Her first book, My Dumb Dirty Eyes, contains some truly hilarious illustrated movie reviews, comics about dogs, and sections entitled “Rumors I’ve Heard About Anna Wintour”, “Sex Fantasies Inspired by Movies”, and “How we can tell Martha Stewart’s Drunk”.

Kate Beaton’s Hark a Vagrant is a hilarious look at seemingly boring figures of history and literature. Carry This Book by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson gives us a peek at what she believes celebrities and characters like Oprah, Willy Wonka, David Bowie, and Santa Claus, carry in their bags. The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner is currently on my reading list; the 2015 film is one of my favourites, and I can’t wait to dig into the original novel.

If you’re reading this in Montreal thinking, “Oh boy, I sure do wanna check out some of those cool-lookin’ books” well you sure are lucky! Drawn & Quarterly is one of the biggest publishers of graphic novels and it’s right here in our city! I stop by their bookstore anytime I need a pick me up. 

As John Waters famously said, “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” Get some cool graphic novels, if only to convince your ~romance~ friends that you’re a hip person who appreciates art AND literature.

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