Sunday, December 23, 2012

Taddle Creek No. 29

Edited by Conan Tobias

It's always cause for excitement when a new issue of Taddle Creek shows up in my mailbox.  I like supporting this most local of literary magazines (although I feel that they are really relaxing the rules around where contributors have to live, and have stopped including the specific neighbourhood of residence in each author's bio), and am always rewarded with some very good fiction, and some decent comics.

This time around, the best piece in the magazine by far is Emily Schultz's 'The Side Sleeper', a fictional portrait of a woman who moves through life lying and stealing from just about everyone she meets.  She's found a new man, who she is happy to spend her nights with, but she's already back to her usual habits of deceiving him, and swiping objects from his home.  This is an excellent story.

Many of the other excellent stories were incredibly short, often only one page in length.  This includes great tales by Tony Burgess, Alexandra Leggat, and Gary Barwin.  Stuart Ross's one-pager is classic Stuart Ross, if you like that kind of thing (I don't think I do).

In terms of longer pieces, there is a nice one by Zoe Whittall which is narrated by a girl whose father was just arrested for his improprieties, and by Jessica Westhead, who shares a story about a family gathering at a Chinese buffet.

Marguerite Pigeon writes an interesting story about a woman who meets her double one day on the street, except unlike the narrator, this woman has a child.  Matthew Firth's story is about a Canadian man living in Scotland who can't handle his upstairs neighbours, a pair of Greek brothers who like to wrestle with each other.

In terms of comics, Joe Ollmann gives us 'Movie Night', about his relationship with his son, and Jason Kieffer provides his recipe for do it yourself nude pickling.  I think the nudity is optional.  Dave Lapp writes about the first engagement ring he ever bought, and also provides us with a collection of his recent Biblical drawings, which are rather strange.

There is also an interview with novelist Grace O'Connell (who is adorable), and a piece on the design elements that the cartoonist Seth incorporated into his wife's new barber shop in Guelph Ontario.  There is also a great deal of poetry to read, and enjoy.

In all, a very worthy magazine, and well worth the $6 you will pay for it on the stands.

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