July 26, 2013 / More →
• These are some of the kindest words i've ever read about Top Shelf, the Little Comics Company that Could.
"I like Top Shelf for a lot of reasons. They’ve taught me about great creators like Jennifer Daydreamer, Jeff Lemire and Nicholas Mahler. They have become the big grand daddy of alternative comics and they were one of the first indy comics houses to dive fully and enthusiastically into digital comics."
"Top Shelf seems to be charging ahead and embracing digital is clearly going to be a major addition to their reputation globally. The move to digital has already resulted in some suprising new talent, looks, and themes to build on Top Shelf’s achievements as they take their place not just as a founder, but a contemporary player in the expanding indie and small press market."
Big big props to our Director of Digital Programming Chris Ross!
"In 1991 I dropped out of college after pursuing a political science degree. In 1995 I started Jonah Weiland's Crappy Comic Book Links page. In May of 1996 I launched the Unofficial Kingdom Come Web page. In 1997 the two were merged to become Comic Book Resources. In 2013 I interviewed an American Legend and personal hero, Congressman John Lewis. I hoped I'd meet the Congressman one day, but never thought it would be as the owner of a comic book site. Life can surprise the hell out of you.
"It was such an honor to meet the Congressman today. Talking with him, Andrew (Aydin) and Nate (Powell) is the high point of this convention for me. Thank you so much for facilitating that."
• More March Love. Robot 6, on Congressman Lewis at ComicCon. "...come on, photos of Lewis meeting Neil deGrasse Tysonand Lou Ferrigno? Everybody else, just pack it up."
In case you didn't know, ComicCon is in full swing. And while your humble bartender won't be serving drinks there this year, you can still mosey up to our booth and chat with any number of our swell staff and cartoonists. Did you hear that no less than Congressman John Lewis is there? That is amazing. (Also, Andrew Aydin, Jeffrey Brown, Rob Harrell, Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler, Zander Cannon, and wow, lots more.)
We've also got a big digital comics sale happening too! If you prefer the glow of your screen to the smell of ink, there's loads of killer comics to choose from.
• Exploring A Crisis Of Faith With Confessional Comics. Jody Arlington reflects on Jeffrey Brown's new memoir A Matter of Life, at NPR.
"...Did I mention that Brown's work is hilarious? That you will smile and laugh throughout? That you'll be inspired by the Brown family's goodness and gentle relationship with each other and the world? Reading this is a joy. Rereading it is, too."
• March keeps getting the big props. Here's a real nice one from no less than Publishers Weekly.
"Superbly told history."
Leigh informed me that apparently, the Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story comic book is indeed available in print, here. Not sure if this is accurate, so i'll have to give it a shot myself!
Here's Andrew, Nate and Rep Lewis talking at Book Expo.
And here's some video from ALA (the American Library Association).
Long overdue blog post.
• Pete Sickman-Garner rocks a new website for his sick and brilliant Hey, Mister comics! We're gonna be releasing some new Hey, Mister material as part of our digital initiative soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Pete also has a new Hey, Mister strip, titled "Pissed Christ," up at Trip City... Blasphemy!
• Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin (co-creators, with Congressman John Lewis, of March) appeared on a panel, Visualizing Peace: Graphic Art and Social Change, held at Johns Hopkins’ prestigious Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Thanks to Fantastic Forum for the coverage.
I love this video with Rep. Lewis and Andrew!
June 3, 2013 / More →
May 22, 2013 / More →
In the Fall term of 2012 i began my first teaching gig at PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) here in Portland, OR. I'm teaching it again for the current Spring term. The class is more or less a broad comics course — part of the non-credited Continuing Education program at the school — geared to towards newcomers to the medium, and how they might conceive, execute, rollout, and promote their work.
I wasn't sure what to expect when i first started. How could i? Not only have i never taught before (outside of tipsy barroom banter), i haven't taken any school courses myself in a very long time. The class size for both terms has been relatively small, and frankly, that puts me at ease. I'm not certain how i would need to alter my teaching style and the actual nature of the course itself if i had to accommodate a larger class. The smaller, more informal structure works to my own and the students' advantage, insomuch as i'm able to work directly with the students in helping them determine their goals, as well as actually making those goals come to fruition. The smaller class size also creates a tangible camaraderie amongst the students which further allows for peer-to-peer feedback and assistance.
Over the weekend of June 21-23 i will be co-hosting, alongside Ryan Alexander-Tanner a weekend long Graphic Novel Intensive workshop. Here's what we came up with for a description:
"Graphic Novel Intensive at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon, Jun 21, 2013 - Jun 23, 2013. Join our 7th Annual Intensive Workshop and let us assist you in making your comic book aspirations a reality. Create a blueprint with clear, achievable goals for moving forward in your career, whether your interests are in self-publishing original narratives or doing collaborative work-for-hire.
"Ryan Alexander-Tanner, artist/writer of To Teach, in-house illustrator for Dave’s Killer Bread, and Brett Warnock, Publisher at Top Shelf Productions, lead the Intensive, now in its seventh year. Guest presenters include Matt Bors, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Jöelle Jones and Katie Lane."
If you're new to the medium and/or aspire to learn more about the industry and create your own comics, this is a terrific opportunity to do so.
April 14, 2013 / More →
Yeah, that's right... James is all over the place. I'm most excited about James coming to Portland in the next couple weeks as a guest of the Stumptown Comics Fest. (He's even going to do a mini workshop & reading with my son's 2nd grade class! Yay!)
There's two new episodes of SuperF*ckers! at Cartoon Hangover.
If you've never read the comics the cartoon are based on — and you don't offend easily — there is no better time that the present to rectify the matter. Buy the collected edition pronto!
• Here's a link to James' most recent miniature paintings at a recent Giant Robot show had called 'Facial Recognition' (with Matt Furie and Mark Todd).
April 3, 2013 / More →
That was rough, our website being down for so long. But, we are back, and all y'all have probably seen the press release from Chris (your friend through comics) Staros about Jeffrey Brown's forthcoming book, A Matter of Life.
Meanwhile, i just got wind that Nate Powell is selling original art by way of his new Etsy store. This is original art by a master cartoonist, illustrator, and writer, folks; his brushwork is decidedly Scrumpdillyicious, and worth so much more than what he's asking.
O.k., and just to toot this horn again, can i tell you how much i love this show poster by Maryanna Hoggatt for her Animal Battle show coming up in less than a month? It reminds me of one of my favorite authors ever, Richard Scarry.
A little Christmas love from our great friend and cartoonist Gregory Benton. Thanks, G!
Lizz Lunney is the BEST! Not only does she produce wonderfully odd, funny, cute & charming comics and stickers and postcards and stuff, but she always sends out THE best promotional holiday gift package ever. And damn, how gorgeous is this cover to her new mini, At the... End of Your Garden.
December 7, 2012 / More →
Old pal John Weeks has been busy! He's made his new issue of Quick Draw available on many digital platforms. John is one of those awesomely wonky comics brains we should all be paying more attention to. Here's what he has to say:
"I've released QuickDraw #6 as an early holiday tidbit for 'Free Comics Friday', in English and Khmer. If Amazon and the iBookstore are going to hold such a large amount of the playing field I'm going to suit up and get in their face. (I'm using the site 'BookBaby.com' as a one-stop shop for digital distro.)
"Very keen to get some translated Khmer comics online, this first foray is a test run for translated Khmer comics.
E-Comics aren't terribly lucrative, but they seem like a good angle coming from Cambodia where shipping overshadows print costs."
November 29, 2012 / More →
Folks, i've gotta say i'm getting really really really fucking stoked for the launch of James Kochalka's insanely funny SuperF*ckers on Cartoon Hangover! James has been busting balls, as evidenced by this outstanding interview at Verbicide Magazine.
I know this has been trotted out in dozens of places, but if you haven't seen the trailer yet, feast your eyes!
• Also, make sure to read this terrific David Lasky interview at The Comics Journal. He talks about his new book The Carter Family, and also name-drops myself, and my attempts to coerce him in publishing a Boom Boom Omnibus.
APE was this last weekend. I know, i was there. It was also New York Con as well... Leigh and Leah were there. That's right, represent!
• Moving right along, how cool is this swell Cleveland Library Card, drawn by Joseph Remnant!
• And oh how sweet is this wonderful drawing James Kochalka made for a forthcoming edition of digital American Elf!
Cartoonist Diana Thung and designer Chris Ross are really working together well, and producing some real sweet covers for Diana's work.