While you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with interdisciplinary artist/ performer Robert Dayton’s deliriously lascivious mustachioed and bathrobed alter ego The Canadian Romantic in order to enjoy his accompanying book, it probably helps. The Canadian Romantic is part sketchbook, part diary entry, and part collection of sexy affirmations that truly come to life when you imagine them being read in the deep, sibilant speaking voice of Dayton’s character.
The Canadian Romantic character is to lounge-lizard Great White Northern romance as Andrew W.K. is to partying — there is a sultry sort of optimism contained within these pages and drawings, whether it’s the giant declaration “I WANT TO FUCK YOU,” written in cute-yet-menacing bubble text early on in the book, or the enthusiastic “listening party” page, featuring campy, cheesy n’ sleazy musical gems by Lee Hazlewood, Telly Savalas and Fabio — not to forget something called “Trudeau sings Bowie.”
The CanCon is further fulfilled by a delightfully filthy “history lesson” section featuring a tall tale about our drunkest Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, violating a tree with his “rather insignificant” member and discovering maple syrup. This plus many other images and stories in the book could be torn out and framed for posterity on their own — I have a giant space on my wall that would be beautifully filled by Dayton’s rendering of the “Yeti Fuck Mountain” — and when they’re presented in one volume, it’s an amusing and charmingly bawdy diversion. The Canadian Romantic is an ideal gift for the Canadian camp lover in your life — tell them to file it on the shelf between John Waters’ Shock Value and Roughing It In The Bush. (Alison Lang)