CASE OF THE MISSING MEN by Kris Bertin

I am very proud to announce that the graphic novel I (and my longtime friend and artist Alex Forbes) have been working on for years and years finally has a home! THE CASE OF THE MISSING MEN is going to be published in Fall 2017 by CONUNDRUM PRESS. This represents our first foray into the world of comic books and graphic novels, and the culmination of a dream--to write and draw stories together--some 25 years old.

The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote east-coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one of their town’s bizarre occurrences as The Teen Detective Club (a registered afterschool program). Their small world of missing pets and shed-fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case—the search for his missing father. In doing so, he and the teens stumble upon a terrifying world of rural secret societies, weird-but-true folk mythology, subterranean lairs, and an occultist who can turn men into dogs.

Alex's artwork for this project is truly breathtaking, drawing inspiration from old Stratemeyer Syndicate illustrations (such as Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and others) and combining it with unique style, careful line work, and expressive, articulated characters. I'm continually impressed by his ability to take my script and show me things inside of it that I didn't even know were there.

Here's a sneak peek!

(All artwork by ALEX FORBES)

LAUNCH & TOUR DATES by Kris Bertin

I'm pleased to announce that my book is being launched at BEARLY'S HOUSE OF BLUES on February 29th at 7PM! Roger Howse will play some music, Alexander MacLeod will say some nice things and Oland draught will be $4! I hope you can make it!

After that, you can catch me reading on the following dates reading with the very talented Kevin Hardcastle, Jess Taylor and others:

MARCH 2nd: VANCOUVER BC @ INCITE Writer's Festival 730pm

MARCH 3rd: VICTORIA BC @ Russel Books 7pm

MARCH 4th: CALGARY AB @ Shelf Life Books 7pm

APRIL 12th: WINDSOR ON @ Biblioasis 7pm

APRIL 13th: TORONTO ON @ Ben McNally Books 6pm

APRIL 14th: KINGSTON ON @ Novel Idea Books 7pm

APRIL 15th: OTTAWA ON @ Ottawa International Writer's Festival

Details are still being finalized for more readings, so check back to stay in the know!

BAD THINGS HAPPENING by Kris Bertin

Biblioasis is getting ready to push my book BAD THINGS HAPPEN into the literary ocean to see if it floats, or takes on water and sinks down onto a pile of forgotten short story collections. It's going to be on shelves nationwide February 23 and will look like this:

This means I’m getting written up in places places like MAISONNEUVE, and THE TORONTO STAR (who named me—and good pal Andrew Sullivan—as one of the top up-and-comers to watch in 2016). I received an absolutely fantastic starred review from QUILL & QUIRE, who said that BAD THINGS HAPPEN is: 

Brash (in the best possible sense), intriguing, and consummate without being showy, these are terrific stories in a strong, diverse, and fascinating collection.

You can read that review here.

 

COWAN by Kris Bertin

I'm pleased to announce that my story COWAN can be purchased in this month's WALRUS MAGAZINE (October 2015). This is my second story published with the Walrus, the first being THE EVICTION PROCESS. I'm happy to have placed it with them, and very pleased to have artwork supplied by the enormously talented Jillian Tamaki (featured below) which is amorphous and strange and exactly perfect for this story.

COWAN is about a group of kids who have selected one of their own to be their scapegoat, to absorb all the punishment and abuse they've been saving up in themselves, and the boy who willingly accepts it from them. It's about the unpleasant side of growing up, when you're still part animal and haven't yet understood the consequences of what you're doing. 

I wrote COWAN while staying with my brother in Belleville Ontario, where new developments were being carved out of old growth forests to accommodate the men and women who worked at a nearby factory. I'd grown up in a semi-rural environment, and so was unaccustomed to rows of identical houses, all pristine and off-gassing the same smell into the neighbourhood, all built by the same contractors, all occupied by the same kinds of people. It was strange to me.

It was even stranger after dark when there was nothing to light your way except the glow of TVs from big bay windows and a couple of triggered security lights, and I started to see people walking down those freshly paved roads. After some time worrying that they were burglars (Belleville, I was told, had more home invasions that anywhere in Ontario) I realized they were teenagers. Around this time I had been trying to write a story about something i'd noticed, about the way that a gang sometimes has a friend that isn't really a friend at all. When I saw those kids, lingering around an unlit house, I finally felt like I had something.

You can read Cowan here.


FIDDLEHEAD 262 & COMING ATTRACTIONS 14 by Kris Bertin

Three of my stories have been collected in Oberon's COMING ATTRACTIONS 14. This is a pretty big honour, considering the likes of David Adams Richards, Caroline Adderson, Linda Svendsen, and Mark Jarman have been published in their pages. Besides my friends who have been collected by CA in the past (such as Amy Jones, Eliza Robertson, and Alexander MacLeod), I'm also published alongside my pal (and unauthorized chronicler), Will Johnson.

The three stories published in CA14 are The Eviction Process, first published by The Walrus, Crater Arms, first published in Pilot Pocketbook, and A Man Might Work, which is being released simultaneously with The Fiddlehead (#262) this month. It looks like this: