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.
• SPX was amazing this year. I hadn't been since the 2008 election cycle, and the return trip was energizing. My thanks to Warren Bernard, Kevin Panetta, Mike and the crew. I FINALLY met two of the people i publish, in Jennifer Hayden and Jess Fink (NSFW!), both of whom are super cool. It really is an honor to work with so many authentic and exceptional people.
Top Shelfers Grant Reynolds, Tom Hart, and Nate Powell were all on hand, either at the booth or their own tables. (Look how fancy Nate looks here with Andrew Aydin and Rep. John Lewis. Nice suit, m'man!) And of course, Leigh Walton and his girlfriend Leah rocked the booth all weekend.
Saw a lot of people briefly: All of the Fantagraphics crew (Groth & Thompson, Eric Reynolds, Jacq Cohen, and newbie Jen Vaughn), Tom Galambos, Jim Rugg, Dan Zettwoch, Theo Ellsworth, and man, so many more people. Current intern Joyana McDiarmid, former intern Andy Kettler, Jesse Reklaw, Hazel Newlevant, and on and on. If only there was more time. Sigh...
Had the very good fortune of fine conversation with: Annie Koyama, Sean T. Collins, Tom Spurgeon, Chris Pitzer, Ethan Rilly, Renee French, Warren Craghead, Tom Neeley, Sam Arthur (NoBrow), Jim Dougan, Chris Duffy.
Gratitude to everyone with whom i crossed paths.
• I've been immortalized in another diary comic, this time in Jennifer Hayden's Rushes blog.
• How gorgeous is Garret Izumi's Chinese Calendar. (I know know, 2012 is almost over… it's not my fault! My sister had been holding onto this for months. Really. You can ask Garret.)
• And in other news, Minneapolis-based collective Paper Darts is releasing the 4th swanky issue of their gorgeous magazine! "More than double the size of Paper Darts’ previous print magazines, Volume Four is obscenely huge, featuring a swelling handful of authors, artists, and musicians who have made a blood oath vowing to explore nonconforming perspectives of art and culture."
These folks are full-up with enthusiasm, their previous issues blew my mind with killer art and writing, and... I'M IN this new issue! Whoo hoo! (Full disclosure: I have a super crush on the founders of this magazine. But let not this dissuade you from tracking down the new issue.)
They're having a swell launch party October 11. Learn more here. Wish i could attend!
I heart Paper Darts!
Diana Thung's graphic novel August Moon is headed to press, and while it's been a long time coming (thank you for your patience, Diana), this is a book i'm very very proud to be associated with. I've been a fan of Diana's work ever since i saw her debut, Captain Long Ears. (Published by Slave Labor.) There's something about her art, ideas, and stories, a wonderful magic realism that speaks to me. I'm reminded of Miyazaki especially.
• And now, for you Kochalkaholics! One terrific review of two Dragon Puncher books.
• And check it; with SPX looming, and the digital release of Tom Hart's Hutch Owen: Let's Get Furious imminent, we'll be doing a swell protest poster to help spread the word. Tom designed the front, and Chris Ross did the back (with all the text).
Oh, yeah... Veeps are all the rage right now, as the internet is all aflutter with Paul Ryan's bullshit acceptance speech, riddled with lies and mistruths, last night at the RNC. Yeesh, what a douchebag. (Don't get me wrong, i'm equal opportunity in my loathing of 99% of our politicians... but man, those GOP types are extra special douchy.)
• Stephen Theaker gives James Kochalka's Monkey vs. Robot some love (for the digital edition) at Theaker's Quarterly. Now, i'm one of Kochalka's biggest fans, and for my money, Monkey vs Robot sits up there in my own pantheon of favorites, alongside Pinky & Stinky (all-ages), SuperF*ckers (decidedly not all-ages), and American Elf. So if you have some sort of digital reader and a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket, give this terrific, timeless parable a chance.
August 24, 2012 / More →
That would be here in Portland, OR. Veeps author Bill Kelter is interviewed in the newest issue of the Portland Mercury, to be more accurate, courtesy of Alison Hallett. (Thanks Alison!)
Bill talks a little about GOP Veep candidate Paul Ryan. "We're early in the game, but Paul Ryan could seriously disrupt our entire franchise. Teddy Roosevelt and Walter Mondale were fairly sober and serious men, but there was just enough to glean from their regional affects to support the two centuries-strong thesis of the peculiar nature of the American vice president. Like [Ryan] or not, even many Democrats concede that he's smart, articulate, and fit. It's very un-vice presidential."
One month later... oh, Summer time! The heat has finally reached the normally temperate climes of the Pacific Northwest, and so there's been much hibernating in air-conditioned coffee-shops and trips to the river. I hope all y'all out there are doing what you can to stay frosty.
• Nate Powell is (no surprise here) one helluva busy man.
Follow this link to see a bounty of penciled pages galore on his forthcoming books! What a treat!
Also, digital-fans, Nate's mammoth comics collection Sounds of You Name is slated for release on September 19th!
• Craig Thompson is selling the original cover art to his recently remastered and reformatted edition of his epic classic graphic novel Blankets, to benefit people hit hard by monsoons in the Philippines. Learn more here.
• Finally, Jess Smart Smiley's forthcoming Upside Down: A Vampire Tale has been nominated for an Arty Award... kind of a big deal in Utah. Check out a preview of his terrific all-ages book here. Learn more and vote here at Salt Lake City Weekly.
• ComicCon is once again in the rear-view mirror, and here is a bitchin' video from (of all sources) Red Bull, featuring lots of the Top Shelf posse!!
(Side note: As always, THE best source for reading all about comics news, including ComicCon links galore, is Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter.)
• Here is James Kochalka's most recent American Elf cover for the digital editions. I'm so proud that he won an Eisner this year. James is a fucking nation treasure, people, so get with the program already!
• Former Top Shelf intern Hazel Newlevant was awarded a Xeric grant for her comic, Ci Vediamo, in the very last round of grants from the esteemed organization. She's hoping to have it printed up by the end of Summer.
• Finally, i just dropped $25 on a Kickstarter campaign for one of my favorite local bands, The Blackberry Bushes String Band, from Olympia, WA. This is one infectiously fun and crazy talented ensemble, worthy of your support.