Australian Book Design Awards Winners 2015

Congratulations to all the 2015 Australian Book Design Awards Winners!

caro was here design gayna murphy

Caro Was Here by Elizabeth Farrelly; design by Gayna Murphy

consumer-behaviour-in-action design regine abos

Consumer Behaviour in Action by Peter Ling, Steven d’Alessandro, Hume Winzar; design Regine Abos

A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson; design by Allison Colpoys

A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson; design by Allison Colpoys

fictional woman design tara moss and matt stanton

The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss; design Tara Moss & Matt Stanton

Movida Solera by Frank Comorra & Richard Cornish;  design by Daniel New

Movida Solera by Frank Comorra & Richard Cornish; design by Daniel New

What Came Before by Anna George; design by Laura Thomas

What Came Before by Anna George; design by Laura Thomas

You can find all the winning designs on the Australian Book Designers Association website.

25 Years of Drawn and Quarterly

This past weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Montreal publisher Drawn and Quarterly celebrated their 25th anniversary. D+Q cartoonist Pascal Girard (Petty Theft, Reunion, Bigfoot) drew a history of the publisher for the National Post:


While in a lengthy profile of the publisher by Mark Medley, the Globe and Mail revealed that founder Chris Oliveros is handing the company over to long-time collaborators Tom Devlin and Peggy Burns:

If Drawn and Quarterly is “like a big family,” as Chester Brown described the company to me earlier this week, then, in a sense, the family is losing its father.

A little more than a year ago, Oliveros pulled aside Burns and Devlin, his longest-serving co-workers, and told them he was thinking of stepping down, and that he wanted them to take over the company.

“It was a complete surprise,” says Devlin. “We kind of assumed he’d just do it forever.”

Burns says she burst into tears upon hearing the news.

“I’ve personally taken it as far as I can take it,” says Oliveros. “It would have been fine if I continued. It’s not like they were telling me to go or anything. I could have been around for the 30th anniversary, for the 35th, and the 40th, if I’m still alive, but I just feel, you know what, I don’t think I can accomplish – me, personally – I don’t think I can accomplish more.”

A new book celebrating the publisher, Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novelswill be published later this month.


Book Covers of Note May 2015

This month’s post is very heavy on illustrated and hand-lettered covers for some reason, but it’s all the prettier for it…

All This Has Nothing To Do With Me by Monica Sabolo; design by Justine Anweiler; illustration by Daphne van den Heuvel (Picador / April 2015)

At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón; design by Jonathan Pelham (Fourth Estate / May 2015)

B & Me by J. C. Hallman; design by Christopher Lin (Simon & Schuster / March 2015)

The Bees by Laline Paull; design by Sara Wood (Ecco / May 2015)

The jacket for the US hardcover of The Bees, designed by Steve Attardo, was a book cover of note in May 2014.

black snow cover design keith hayes
Black Snow by Paul Lynch; design by Keith Hayes (Little, Brown & Co. / May 2015)

Boo by Neil Smith; design by Isabel Urbina Peña (Vintage / May 2015)

Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert design by Maria Elias; illustration by Christopher Silas Neal (Disney-Hyperion / May 2015)

Eden West by Pete Hautman; design by Matt Roeser (Candlewick / April 2015)

Empire of the Senses by Alexis Landau; design by Janet Hansen (Pantheon / March 2015)

herzog design by Lynn Buckley
Herzog by Saul Bellow; design by Lynn Buckley (Penguin / May 2015)

How to Clone a Mammoth by Beth Shapiro; design by Jason Alejandro (Princeton University Press / April 2015)

KL by Nikolaus Wachsmann; design by Alex Merto (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / April 2015)

Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North; design by Spencer Kimble (Blue Rider Press / May 2015)

Lifted by the Great Nothing by Karim Dimechkie; design by Katya Mezhibovskaya; illustration by Christopher Silas Neal (Bloomsbury / May 2015)

Further proof, were it needed, that Christopher would do a great covers for Harper Lee.

Mislaid design by Allison Saltzman
Mislaid by Nell Zink; design by Allison Saltzman (Ecco / May 2015)

My Documents by Alejandro Zambra; design & illustration Sunra Thompson (McSweeney’s / April 2015)

Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown; design by M. S. Corley (Valancourt Books / April 2015)

Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri; design by Oliver Munday (Knopf / April 2015)

ohey design by Alban Fischer
Ohey! by Darby Larson; design by Alban Fischer (CCM / May 2015)

Schlump by Hans Herbert Grim; design by Suzanne Dean; illustration by Clare Curtis (Vintage / May 2015)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty; design by Peter Adlington (Canongate / April 2015)

The US edition, designed by David High, was a book cover of note in September 2014.

The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow; cover art by Tom Gauld (Allen Lane / May 2015)

Visiting Hours by Amy Butcher; design by Spencer Kimble (Blue Rider Press / April 2015)

Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames; design by Jamie Keenan (Pushkin Press / May 2015)



Thanks to David Gee (and others), who alerted me to the extraordinary Samplerman comics this week.

You can read an interview from earlier this year with Yvan Guillo, the French cartoonist and designer behind Samplerman, at It’s Nice That:

I’ve always downloaded tonnes of scans of American comics, from the golden age to the bronze age. I could scan the ones I have but I’ve done it only once or twice. I don’t really read the stories, but I love how they look: the cheap paper, the bright primary colours, the screen-tone, the drawings, the conventional representation of landscapes, the simplicity of the lines. I have to make a choice among this mountain of graphic elements. I pick what I like: face, hand, clothes, tree, car, text balloon etc. and start to (digitally) cut them out. At the same time I start to place the elements on one or several pages made of blank comic panels. Some elements are duplicated, rotated, arbitrarily cut in half, reduplicated and mirrored. It’s a mix of kaleidoscope and collage; I add, I move, I replace until I feel it’s done. At the end it has to remain visually surprising and dynamic.