Willamette week spotlights Bell, Huizenga and Nilsen tour

“Drawn and Quarterly Artists at Reading Frenzy Tonight” / Willamette Week / Casey Jarman / February 15, 2007

Three comics authors with new releases from the excellent Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly will present their work at Reading Frenzy at 7 pm tonight. They're on a West Coast tour together, during which, I'm assuming, a lot of self-deprecating jokes are cracked and a lot of awesome portraits are drawn. Hopefully they're selling a lot of books, too, because all three artists are touring on some pretty nice work.

Kevin Huizenga's Curses finds the author's flagship character, Glenn Ganges, doing battle with starlings and (literally) fighting for his fertility. Huizenga's stories are understated and suprisingly well-researched, and his art maintains the simple elegance of a Sunday strip, while at the same time hinting at a vastness that extends far beyond the book's pages. It's deep stuff.

Anders Nilsen's new book, Don't Go Where I Can't Follow, is a heartbreaking mixed-media memoir that both ruined my day and inspired me to call my mom. It's short but dense, and really moving.

I haven't finished Gabrielle Bell's comic journal, Lucky, yet, so don't spoil it for me. She has a good observational sense of humor and the rare ability to translate those observations to ink without cluttering a page and confusing the eye.

Tonight's event is free, but plan on spending $15-20 per book. Reading Frenzy is at 921 SW Oak St.

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