Beasts of New York and The Book of Hours

Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 2:30pm
The Gladstone Hotel, Ball Room
Beasts of New York and The Book of Hours
Beasts of New York and The Book of Hours

George Walker, Jim Westergard and Jon Evans celebrate "Beasts of New York" and "The Book of Hours"

This is Not A Reading Series, The Porcupine’s Quill and The Literary Press Group are pleased to present a celebration of two publications: Jim Westergard and Jon Evans' Beasts of New York and George Walker's The Book of Hours. Featuring discussions about New York, graphic novels, and the art of illustrating and engraving, a live printmaking demonstration, and slideshow presentations of work by Walker and Westergard.

Sunday November 27, 2011 
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West
Doors Open 2 pm, Event Starts 2:30 pm 
Admission is $5.00 or FREE with a book purchase


Beasts of New York 
by Jon Evans with wood engravings by Jim Westergard

A violent, epic, action-packed urban quest full of very eccentric, often hilarious, extremely dangerous characters who also happen to be animals -- the wildlife of New York City, to be exact.

Treachery leads to a monstrous war amongst the wildlife of New York City, and Patch, a young squirrel, is forced into exile on Staten Island. Patch must journey across deadly, human-ridden streets, parks and sewers to find his home in Central Park and to rescue all the animals from a power-hungry and sadistic enemy -- the King Beneath. Wood engravings by the award-winning Jim Westergard illuminate the scenes and the many animals that Patch encounters. Visit  The Porcupine's Quill for more information about this book.

Jon Evans  Born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario, Jon Evans is the son of a Rhodesian expatriate father and a tenth-generation Canadian mother. He studied Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, graduated in 1996, and promptly moved to California to work in the burgeoning software industry. Evans spent the next fourteen years working, writing, and travelling far and wide around the globe before finally returning to Canada in 2010 -- for now. Evans is the author of four thrillers, one graphic novel, and one dark urban fantasy, and his journalism has been published in Wired, The Guardian, Reader's Digest and The Globe and Mail. His first novel, Dark Places, won the 2005 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Evans currently lives in Toronto and at

Jim Westergard was born in Ogden, Utah in 1939. He was educated at a variety of colleges and universities in California, Arizona and Utah where he completed his BFA and MFA at Utah State. Westergard moved to Red Deer in 1975 and taught at Red Deer College until his retirement in 1999. He became a Canadian citizen in 1980.

Jim Westergard has been creating prints from wood engravings since university days in the late 60s, but had never completed a book-length collection until the original limited letterpress edition of Mother Goose Eggs. The first engraving for this project was finished in 1999. Then, after a four-year struggle which included an unexpected hernia operation and reprinting the press-sheets a second time with helpful hints from Crispin Elsted of the Barbarian Press (Mission, BC), Mother Goose Eggs was finally bound and released in a deluxe edition of eighty copies in 2003.

Westergard continues to create wood engravings on his cantankerous old VanderCook SP-15 proof press which he has affectionately named the `Spanish Fly.’


The Book of Hours

Shortlisted for a 2011 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year award, The Book of Hours draws us back through time and into the intimate routines of daily life in the hours before the onslaught of 9/11. Here Walker expresses through images what is too horrific for words, and although the inhabitants of the Book of Hours can’t imagine the tragedy about to befall them, the reader must dread the slow, uneven countdown that weaves between the pages.

The Book of Hours juxtaposes the normalcy of telephones, cubicles and sex with the catastrophic consequences of 9/11, and Walker reveals the individual lives and stories affected by and hidden beneath global politics. Through a careful, reverential representation of all the minor tasks that make up a day, the Book of Hours pays homage to the small rituals that grant our lives some stability and meaning in the midst of horrific, incomprehensible events.

This is not only a remembrance of innocence lost but also a recollection of the historical activism and art genres that had such an important influence on today’s graphic novel. Walker contributes to the great woodcut tradition established by the likes of Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward and Otto Nückel, and shows the endless need to expose and question social injustice through art and narrative. For more information on The Book of Hours, please visit The Porcupine's Quill site.

George A. Walker is an award-winning wood engraver, book artist, teacher, author, and illustrator who has been creating artwork and books and publishing at his private press since 1984. Walker’s popular courses in book arts and printmaking at the OCAD University in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor, have been running continuously since 1985. For over twenty years Walker has exhibited his wood engravings and limited edition books internationally, often in conjunction with The Loving Society of Letterpress (and The Binders of Infinite Love) and the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG). Among many book projects Walker has illustrated two hand-printed books written by author Neil Gaiman. Walker also is the illustrator of the first Canadian editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass books (Cheshire Cat Press). George A. Walker was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art for his contribution to the cultural area of Book Arts. For more information, please visit George Walker on the web.

The Porcupine’s Quill has built, since 1974, an enviable reputation for expertise in the use of twentieth-century offset printing technology to replicate the quality look, and feel, of a nineteenth-century letterpress product. Most of the production work is completed at the shop on the Main Street of Erin Village, where books are printed on a twenty-five inch Heidelberg KORD, folded, and then sewn into signatures on a 1905 Model Smyth National Book sewing machine. The Porcupine's Quill

The Literary Press Group of Canada
The LPG is a not-for-profit association of Canadian literary book publishers. Its mandate is to foster the survival, growth and maintenance of Canadian owned and operated publishing houses. Primarily an advocacy organization, the LPG also offers several projects to publishers, including the Sales Force, an advertising project, Sales and Marketing initiatives, and the distributor LitDistCo. For more information, please visit

This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS) offers a ground-breaking theatrical dimension to the appreciation of fine writing. Employing music, comedy, psychodrama, dance, multimedia performance, lectures, dialogue—everything but reading—TINARS investigates the creative process behind literary works.



Publisher Contact: Kathleen Icely, Porcupine's Quill, phone: 647 993 5750

This Is Not A Reading Series: Anna Withrow, phone: 416-805-2174,