Publisher & Designer
MARK LALIBERTE is an artist-writer-designer with an MFA from University of Guelph. He has exhibited extensively in galleries across Canada and internationally, curates the online experimental comics site 4panel.ca, and edits the hybrid art/lit mag CAROUSEL. Laliberte has had pageworks, poems and other print experiments appear in publications big and small, including Ink Brick, POETRY, prairie fire, subTerrain and Vallum. Publications include ‘BRICKBRICKBRICK’ (Book*Hug, 2010) and ‘asemanticasymmetry’ (Anstruther Press, 2016). Laliberte is a member of the collaborative writing entity, MA|DE.
Tell us a bit about your press. How did you start? Who are your influences, in Canada and beyond? What is your mission?
POPNOIR EDITIONS is a publishing company founded in 2018 by Mark Laliberte, based in Canada. Since its establishment, POPNOIR EDITIONS has sought to promote and provide support to an array of emerging and established artists; these artists include: Jessica Bromley Bartram, Ben O’Neil, Scott Carruthers and Gustave Morin. Creators for the press have recently been nominated for the 2020 Expozine Prize (for Best English Comic) and a 2020 Doug Wright Award (for Emerging Talent aka ‘The Nipper’).
POPNOIR EDITIONS’ mandate is to publish innovative books that explore the frontiers of graphic literature in all forms, while promoting and supporting a wide range of emerging and established artists. Physical products include comics, art books and zines.
As a press, POPNOIR EDITIONS is focused on highlighting the diversity that is possible in contemporary graphic/hybrid literature — exploring stories, but also expanding past the strict narrative tradition of the graphic ‘novel’ into areas such as graphic poetry, formal experimentations, and hybrid page works.
We’ve also published dozens of artists via our 4PANEL curatorial project. To date, we have released two exceptional printed anthologies of new, exclusive material. We also maintain 4PANEL.CA — offering over 50 contributing artists a space to creatively explore the four-panel comics format in a formal, abstract, literary, conceptual and/or transformative context. Additionally, 4PANEL has appeared as an 8 page, full-colour print inclusion in every new issue of CAROUSEL, a bi-annual Canadian hybrid literary & arts magazine.
Influences in Canada include Conundrum Press and Drawn & Quarterly. At this particular moment, we are also attempting in the smallest way to at least partially fill the void in Canadian comics publishing that will be occurring when Koyama Press shutters in 2021.
How have the current multiple global crises impacted your work with the press?
Normally, we do a lot of book fairs and launch events, including debuting books at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival each year — unfortunately, this was not possible in 2020 — a huge loss for a new press that relies on direct contact with our audience. In response, we delayed our 2020 books to a fall release schedule.
THE NOISELESS DIN
THE NOISELESS DIN is a long-form experimental graphic novel created by Scott Carruthers over a three-year period. His 104-page debut book is a maze of panels and moments, fragmentary and symbolic in its approach to storytelling. Every page of artwork pulses with energy and movement, offering complicated collisions of visual delight. THE NOISELESS DIN is a brave new comic constructed architexturally, one that never reads the same way twice.
Constrained-comics anthology featuring Toronto-based creators: Marta Chudolinska, Jean DeMers, Aaron Linton, Dakota McFadzean, Brian Roppel
The third book in our 4PANEL anthology series features 96 pages of short works from five Toronto-based artists: Dakota McFadzean, Marta Chudolinska, Jean deMers, Brian Roppel, and Aaron Linton. This new set of experimental comics explores the 4PANEL strip form in unprecedented and beautiful ways.
“With results ranging from the abstract to the slapstick, from the poetic to the plain bizarre, the cartooning that results from 4PANEL’s strict format is free, inspired and wonderfully new.” — DOUG WRIGHT AWARDS
GHOST WATER KISS
Jessica Bromley Bartram
GHOST WATER KISS is a collection of illustrated short stories woven through with mysterious transformations and attuned to the rhythms of the natural world. In the stories of GHOST WATER KISS, seas are filled with weird songs that rise from the deep, forests are populated by shambling, mossy ‘Once Deer’ and bear-armed caretakers, and bodies shift from what they were to something strange and new. Written and illustrated by Jessica Bromley Bartram, the book brings together a range of stories she created/self-published between 2012-17, including ‘Sargasso’, ‘Frostbitten’, and ‘She Loves’. In addition to revised editions of her existing stories, GHOST WATER KISS includes a number of new and expanded works.
“Miss Bartram’s art is suffused with such exuberance and joy as to revitalize one’s eye- to redirect it upon the world with renewed hunger and curiosity. The potent mixture of innocence and control of the medium makes her color work quite hard to resist. Her art is meditative, absorbing and minutely crafted. These are the travel notes of a biologist/botanist with Hans Christian Andersen and Arthur Rackham soul. Through her annotations about our world and her own, we are revealed a landscape of enormous inner and outer beauty.” — GUILLERMO DEL TORO, director of The Shape of Water and Pan’s Labyrinth