Expozine, which boasts over 270 vendors and roughly 15 000 visitors, is the largest small press fair in Canada and a November highlight for many Montrealers. If you’re looking to give “alternative” gifts this holiday season, then consider giving people Soundgarden CDs. But, if that’s not “alternative” enough for you, then head down to Expozine (November 26-27) and check out what’s hot off the small presses…
First and foremost, the Expozine opening party is happening November 25 at Drawn and Quarterly. To kick things off, there will be a round table discussion with Expozine founders Louis Rastelli (Archive Montreal and Distroboto), Andy Brown (Conundrum Press), Billy Mavreas (Monastiraki) and Pascal-Angelo Fioramore (Les Éditions Rodrigol) that will be moderated by Kevin Yuen Kit Lo (Four Minutes to Midnight). The event will also be featuring the launch of Four Minutes to Midnight’s latest offering which will celebrate Expozine with selections from Expoziners over the years.
When you’re at Expozine do yourself a favour and weave through the crowds of people to Matt Forsythe‘s table. He’s a Montreal based illustrator and comic book artist and on his website there’s a photograph of him holding a stuffed penguin. Matt Forsythe’s impressive body of work includes comics like Ojingogo, posters and drawings. At Expozine he’ll be showing his comic book Comics Class which is loosely based on his experience teaching children how to make comics. Some excerpts from the comic can be found on his website but also take a look at the book itself while you’re there. The comic itself is charming and funny and features a few choice teacher/student conversations, which is a dynamic that always yields comic gold. Matt Forsythe’s posters will also be available, look out for the beautiful poster for Prospector Films’ Sorry Rabbi.
The publishing company Drawn and Quarterly is an Expozine staple. If you haven’t heard, Drawn and Quarterly is a Montreal-based art and literary comic book publisher, they’re one of the most influential comics and art books publishers in North America and some might even argue, the world. They’re basically a Montreal institution and publish all your favourite comics by Lynda Barry, Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware among others. They will have a table or two stacked with the best and the brightest artists that the comics world has to offer.
Another Expozine gem will certainly be Toast on Jam, a darling illustrator and Montreal golden gal who runs her very own handmade small press called Toast on Jam. Her delightfully charming work features many of life’s most important things like pizza. Pizza Doing Stuff is a series about pizza doing all kinds of things like looking in the mirror, trying to catch a cab and drawing on the bathroom wall. Basically it’s stuff that you always wished you could witness pizza doing but because pizza is so delicious you never get the chance. If that’s not enough, she also makes posters, postcards and little books. All these treasures will be on sale along with other treats and things hand made with love. But if you’re not into “books” because even books with pictures is too much reading, maybe you’ll like the Montreal maverick artist collective Palimpsest. Palimpsest is a collective of Montreal artists, writers, curators and designers who strive to “create nonstandard venues for the exhibition and distribution of media and art”. Palimpsest is a magazine in a box comprised of print, audio, textile, video and everything else. Each issue features mixed media braided together by a theme not form. These guys are on the publishing vanguard and will certainly satisfy anyone who’s looking for something a little different this holiday season.
Expozine, November 26-27, 2011 (12pm-6pm)
Saint Enfant Jesus Church, 5035 Saint-Dominique, (514) 271-0943