September 26, 2007

I've got a treat for you, Stranger. A poetreat!* This Friday, September 28th, at 6pm, Kate Greenstreet and Kate Colby will, with your permission, bedazzle you with their rhymes.** And while you listen with rapt disbelief, you can swig the free wine and chomp the free snacks provided by The Publicly Complex Reading Series.*** So do Ada a solid, won't you? Be here Friday evening. We'll love you forever!**** *Bad puns, or whatever it is I did up there, will be smothered while they sleep . **Poems may not actually rhyme. ***Otherwise known as Kate Schapira. ****Forever ends when the poetry does.

September 21, 2007

If you stop in today, you might find me dabbing an eye or nostril with a hanky. You might find me distant, addled, reluctant to speak. You might even find me slumped over in a chair, head in my hands, tears oozing through the cracks between my fingers. Don't be concerned if you do see me this way. No tragedy has befallen me, unless you count hay fever as tragedy. It's got me by the throat, Stranger, and it's shaking the snot out of me. This happens each autmun and each spring and it suprises me every time. And on the subject of surpise, I have one for you (and it has nothing to do with my marshmallow head!): Ada Books has just received a small but robust selection of new graphic novels. You all know Persepolis and maybe you know that I haven't been able to get it for the last few months. But now I have it, them: volumes 1 & 2 (soon to be a major motion picture). Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel is now in paperback and on my bookshelf. A.L.I.E.E.E.N., by francophone Lewis Trondheim, needs no translation since its rare word balloons use an invented and unknowable alphabet. The Black Diamon Detective Agency, by Eddie Campbell, sets you back about a hundred years, promising Orphans! Mayhem! Terror! Chance In Hell, by Gilbert Hernandez, offers up its senseless sex and sensible violence in hardback. Notes for a War Story, by Gipi, imagines an unlikely tale of conflict in The Balkans. The Professor's Daughter, by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert, places its murder, adventure and mystery in 19th century London. Kafka, by Robert Crumb, is a kind of picto-biography, with ink as black as Kafka's sense of humor. Dogs & Water, is the latest pretty thing by Anders Nilsen. Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip is not exactly a graphic novel but it is great fun. And at last, The Acme Novelty Library, by Chris Ware, furthers the sorrows, among other things, of Jimmy Corrigan. But that's not all, Stranger. Besides my tears, my mucus, my surly stare and my sweet-hot list of new graphic novels, you will find, if you care to make the time, hundreds of new used novels (including about thirty in Spanish), an armful of good poetry and plenty of other morsels you can paw over in person. Just thought I'd let you know.

September 10, 2007

Poetry never sleeps, Stranger. Even after you think you've tucked her in for the night, poetry will just watch the ceiling and wait for the chance to spring. It's better, I've found, to get poetry out into the open, preferably in a public space where there are many witnesses. We -- the auditors and eye-spyers -- keep poetry honest. And we've got to be ever at the ready. That is why, that is one of the reasons why I urge you to come to Ada Books this Friday, September 14th, at 6pm, to observe the poetry of Tina Cane and Laurie Carlson. While their poems are on display, you might like to chew and sip quietly from the food and wine the thoughtful hosts have put within your reach. You may even find a book you'd like to buy. But more importantly, you'll help to make our world a more aesthetically bearable place. And remember: while you're sleeping, poetry is wide awake and remaking everything we know.

September 4, 2007

The postman brought me a goodie box today. Inside was not a batch of mom's brownies nor dead letters from old flames nor the terrible beating of the tell-tale heart nor a three-ring flea circus nor instant water (just add water) nor even a collection of obscure vintage pornographic magazines. What the goodie box showed to me was a small but elite squadron of independent comics. When I got them out and assembled them and lined them up and inspected them, I was impressed. And so, I think, will you be if you care to come down and run your eyes all over them. Brian Ralph, Matt Brinkman and Jordan Crane are but the celebrity names on the list. There are others, less well-known perhaps, but not less talanted. And they are here, now, a hatful of greenhorns mingling with all the old hands. I wish you could see them, Stranger! Just begging to get their cheeks pinched!

September 2, 2007

You might not have trouble believing this but tomorrow, on Labour Day, 2007, Ada Books will be taking it easy. I don't know what you're planning on doing with yourself. I guess you'll have to deal with it on your own terms. I will be eating the flesh of beasts (hamburgers) and drinking the beer of beers (Beck's). There may be a mayonaisey salad involved. What I won't be doing is working. Which, according to my wife, I don't much do anyway. Put your feet up, Stranger. We'll talk on Tuesday.