(Words and images by Elizabeth Mitchell.)
Last year when designer, illustrator, and author Leanne Shapton walked into Stephen Fowler’s The Monkey’s Paw—the idiosyncratic second-hand bookshop on Dundas West full of rare finds and curiosities—she came across a government issued field guide entitled The Native Trees of Canada. Being the creative sort, Shapton was inspired to create a series of paintings in response to it. On Saturday a celebration of the publication of her very own The Native Trees of Canada (Drawn & Quarterly) took place at—where else—The Monkey’s Paw. To double the fun Shapton, co-founder of J & L Books, had author/artist/illustrator Jason Logan (of If We Ever Break Up, This is My Book fame) on hand for the release of his new book, Festus, a graphic take on the iconic Old West prospector (J & L Books). Both authors were in fine form, with outfits chosen to reflect their books’ aesthetics, as many came out to wish them well.