Repo Man

IN THE MIDST of yet another great migration, it occurred to us that it might not be a good idea to drive over the border in a car that doesn’t even have dealer plates. The assurances of the excellent CBSA aside, we remained perhaps overly paranoid, and traded cars with none other than L. Nichols, shortly after reuniting as neighbors for the first time since we all had Brooklyn addresses. Secret Acres quietly made its way back to New York a couple weeks ago, albeit not to New York City, to Upstate New York, in the middle of nowhere, off a lake, but within walking distance of an opera house. All this continues to be a work in progress, with a ton of books yet to arrive before we hit the road for another family reunion, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

 

 

TCAF 2022 marks our tenth time in Toronto for the biggest show of the year. It should be a dozen, but Corona cut us short. You know what else got cut short? The promised grand finale of Koyama Press. Kickass Annie herself scheduled that wrap two years ago. Meanwhile, Koyama Press books continue to dominate our bookshelves and our minds. We figured we’d be writing a tearful farewell back then, but better late than never. (Annie, please skip to the next paragraph if you’re reading this.) You can only understate the incredible generosity and take-no-shit spirit of Annie Koyama. Through (damn near) fifteen years of doing Secret Acres, Annie stuck right by us, even through the dark, discouraging valleys, and when we saw only one set of footprints, it was because she carried us. We feel robbed of a fitting send-off, despite the fact that Annie is really, really bad at retiring. This woman is a force, or at least the very best kind of enabler, which we love because we don’t have to stalk her. Like everybody else, we owe you big time, and we plan on thanking the shit of you soon as we’re back up north.

 

 

Speaking of stalking and moments years in the making, we finally get to drop Gabriel Howell‘s Forget Me Not, our big TCAF 2022 debut. At least his books showed up on time. A long time ago, our very own Edie Fake brought Gabe’s comic, Father, back to our CAKE table, and that thing haunted us so hard, we proceeded to immediately haunt Gabe until we could get a book together. We clearly got the right book, considering all the stalking going on in Forget Me Not. To give credit where credit is due, here’s Edie’s take on Gabe’s book: “Like a cherished keepsake rebelling against the cruelties of an online auction, the wayward waifs of Howell’s porcelain landscape are forced to fight their way through splintered selfhood in a broken world. Vulnerable and scrappy, wistful and ferocious, Forget Me Not is a sharp pinch in a tender place.” Not bad, huh? However, words don’t do justice to the spot-glossing, embossing, flocking, and linen-tex graining – and that’s just on the cover. We promise the insides will haunt you, too.

 

 

Having Gabe behind our table for the first ever feels like a win. Joining Gabe at TCAF table 154, we have another winner, the Washington Post‘s Real Art D.C. Contest finalist, CAKE Cupcake Award and MoCCA Best of Show winner, Adam Griffiths, with his still-in-previews, first book of the Washington White trilogy. Alas, L. joins us in car and spirit only, as they’re still unpacking. And from the ICYMI files, here’s superhero Hazel Newlevant at the Portland Mercury with a round-up of comics by trans artists, including L.’s classic, Flocks. We hope to host some more guest stars this weekend, but we don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver. You’re just going to have to drop by and see. We do promise to return here with a rundown of our return to TCAF. See you in a few…

Your Pal,

Leon

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