This one has it all: Vote for D.S. Barrick! Hidden comic treasures! Crucial dates!

by L.A. Mood Comics and Games

By Dan Brown

This week’s column is a grab bag of comic news and notes!


You may recall I reviewed London comic creator D.S. Barrick’s Murgatroyd & Nepenthe in this space last summer.

The graphic novel is a surrealistic travelogue through a magical landscape that reminds me of the play Waiting for Godot. It is utterly original. It rocked my world.

As it turns out, my mind wasn’t the only one that was blown by the book. Word on the street is Barrick has been nominated for two Sequential Magazine Awards.

He is up for prizes in the categories of “graphic novel of the year” and “favourite letterer”.

What does this have to do with you? Everything. The awards are given out based on an internet vote, so I urge you to take the time to support this local creator.

Heck, you could even pick up a copy of Murgatroyd & Nepenthe!

This is how Sequential describes the graphic novel: “Follow Murgatroyd, an overwhelmed Everyman, and Nepenthe, a mysterious oracle, as they traverse the hinterlands of the imagination and meet many bizarre beings along the way. Murgatroyd & Nepenthe is inspired by a love of classic cartoons and comic strips, and a fascination with random processes like the cut-up technique, Eno and Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies, and Noah Wall’s Grotesque Tables II.”

You can vote here.


There’s no better feeling than finding an unexpected treasure in the bargain bin at L.A. Mood.

I recently came across We3, a graphic novel I knew nothing about.

I grabbed the 2005 Vertigo trade paperback solely because of the cover, which features a dog, cat and bunny in futuristic battle suits. How could I resist?

I finally got around to reading the book – from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, the same team behind the much-lauded All-Star Superman – and found it to be a minor masterpiece.

It follows three regular pets who are abducted by evil government scientists before being transformed into cybernetic assassins. As you can imagine, all hell breaks loose when orders come down to decommission the trio.

Maybe you remember the basement of the old L.A. Mood on Richmond Street, where many a wonder could be found. I am happy to report that that sense of unpredictability and wonder is still alive at 100 Kellogg Lane!


As spring approaches, now is a good time to jot down some important dates that are coming up fast.

May 4 – Free Comic Book Day this year falls on May the Fourth, the day set aside in the Geek Calendar to celebrate all things Star Wars, so anything could happen at your local comic store. It always feel great to see Forest City comic fans and cosplayers celebrating their love for whatever fandom they belong to!

April 16-May 18 – The Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival returns to the TAP Centre for Creativity on Dundas Street. Tingfest celebrates the local artists who were inspired by late London Free Press editorial cartoonist Merle Tingley, known for his trademark cartoon worm. Tingfest is the baby of local graphic novelist Diana Tamblyn.

June 16 – Forest City Comicon celebrates its 10th anniversary! The celebration of nerd and geek culture like no other returns to Centennial Hall, this time on a Sunday. Can’t wait to see the creative cosplay that will be on display! The best part of the show, now a staple of London events, is the chill vibe.

I’ll have more info on all of these occasions as details become available. In the meantime, mark your calendars!

Dan Brown has covered pop culture for more than 31 years as a journalist and also moderates L.A. Mood’s monthly graphic-novel group.

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