883 Queen Street West
416-366-8973
mon-weds 10am-6pm
thurs-sat 10am-7pm
sun 11am-6pm
427 Spadina Road
416-487-8973
mon-sat 10am-6pm
sun 11am-6pm

GOTH BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Evan Munday draws goth portraits in the Type window to celebrate the newest book in his Dead Kid Detective Agency series


Promoting children's books is a bit different from promoting books intended for adults. Few publications review children's books, and you can't just throw a launch party in a bar when most of your readers are below legal drinking age. So you try to be a bit more creative in your promotional efforts. Because I also illustrate, as well as write the Dead Kid Detective Agency book series, my publisher ECW Press and I often try to incorporate that into my publicity efforts.

So we decided to stick me in the window of Type Books to draw portraits of the customers over the course of a weekend. I've you live in Toronto, you know that Type has the most beautiful window displays in the city (courtesy of the too-talented Kalpna Patel). And I have an unnatural compulsion to sit in store windows. (I'd drawn in a store window before, for Jon Paul Fiorentino's novel, Stripmalling.)  My book's heroine, October Schwartz, is basically a goth Nancy Drew whose friends are all dead, so I figured I should do free goth portraits of customers. Sit in the window with me for ten minutes, get a portrait of yourself, but with more eyeliner and fishnet, and maybe a dog collar, too. I made drawings of the photogenic Type staff's likenesses, which Kalpna then used to create a spooky display to advertise the weekend drawing sessions.

When I sat down on the rainy Saturday, Type staffer Kyle Buckley warned me, "You're going to be asked to draw a dog. So you should decide right now if you're okay with drawing dogs."

Things started slow (it was raining), but picked up mid-afternoon. And the Sunday that followed was jam-packed with customers. I drew dozens of kids and adults, a few infants, and yes, even a couple dogs, including one lucky Pomeranian. Drawing portraits was also great for meeting and talking with strangers. (Even though my parents had warned me against that kind of thing.) You'd sit and talk about anything and everything for ten minutes. I even made at least one friend out of the weekend portrait sessions – well, Facebook friend, but I'm still counting it.

text and art by Evan Munday
video by Daniel Reis
window design by Kalpna Patel