Native Trees and Festus

Native Trees and Festus

(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.

Author Jason Logan signs for the fans.

Author and publisher Leanne Shapton mingles.

The local literati toast two of their own.