Expozine 2011

Richard Suicide and Iris's last show
On Saturday afternoon, I stopped by Expozine, Montreal's 10th annual small press, comic and zine fair. It was a balmy grey November afternoon, and the St-Enfant Jésus church basement was just as hot as it was last year. Le déo était de rigueur. There was the usual wide assortment of zines and comics, from the basic, hand-drawn, hand-stapled zines to some of the more spiffy, slick digital editions. The place was packed, and it was hard at times to make my way through the crowd.

The Expozine is a place where I often get carried away and spend a lot of dough. With that in mind, I went with just $15 cash, which meant I had to wander off to the bank machine to get more money. This had it's disadvantages. I'd found the perfect gift for my father, the Stephen Harper colouring and activity book, mocking our somewhat . . . unpopular prime minister. Montreal Mirror cartoonist Dave Rosen was selling his oeuvre for a mere $15, but when I returned with the cash, he'd already gone home. Rats!

Iris's Collection of Posters and Zines
I also discovered Iris and Richard Suicide, who were sitting side by side. Their style was brimming with humour. I picked up the above poster from their recent opening at the Cheval Blanc and The Best of Iris: One Nighters and Felix and Rocky vs. Tante Mario, which I read as soon as I got home.

I also happened upon a very amusing display of simple house cats. Author Sherwin Tija has created a Pick-A-Plot book, You Are a Cat. In this very creative narrative, you, the reader, become the cat, Holden Catfield, and you live one of his nine lives. On page two, Holden Catfield is chasing a squirrel up a tree. At the end of the page the reader is given the choice of 1) continuing to chase the squirrel or 2) deciding to turn around and jump down from the tree. I chose the second option and was instructed to continue the story on page 4. On that page, I, Holden Catfield, was stuck in a tree, but then I wake up and I am at home next to Girl. I then go to eat some stale cat food and look out the flap in the door to go out. Again I, the reader, have a choice of what to do: 1) I can go outside, in which case I must turn back to page 3, or 2) I can stay inside and nap in a sunbeam and continue the story on page 17. The reader`s life as Holden continues in this way until Holden dies / or is killed, using up one of his nine lives. I loved this book and had a lot of fun going to the bookstore (in the story), scratching the bejezus out of  a mean stranger and sadly, getting hit by a car.

Sherwin Tija was also handing out flyers for a Strip Spelling Bee on December 21. A strip spelling bee is like strip poker only  multi-syllable words are used instead of a deck of cards. In other words, bad spellers should dress warmly.
The Expozine seems to get more popular every year. The only disappointment this time around was that Microcosm Press was not there. The Portland-based zine publisher had some shipping problems because of U.S. Thanksgiving. I guess I'll just have to go and buy all my favourite zines online.

Other things in the hood:
Occupons Montréal in Photos
Bixi: 2012 Recap
Churros: The Uruguayan
Who's a Cyclopathe
Neon Icon: Miss Villeray
New Digs and Swedish Thrillers
The Haitian Barber
Good Morning Villeray
Creole Cuisine 



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