Hey Bartender! pg. 9


April 14, 2011 / More →

Kids, there's gonna be a hot time in Portland this weekend! It's always a blast attending a convention in your own hometown. Heck, this is the only trade show where i show up with my son in tow!

And fresh of the FedEx truck, we've got 100 copies of Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin's terrific Gingerbread Girl! These won't arrive from the slow boat for at least another 4-6 weeks, so if you want to get a copy you'd better act fast fast fast!

Also, Jeffrey Brown will be here as well, with copies of the brand spankin' new Incredible Change-Bots Two in hand! Yee haw!

So y'all head on out and come say hi!

• Meanwhile, here's a Kickstarter campaign for one of my favorite up & coming animators working today, Nick Cross, and his forthcoming Black Sunrise. Check out the trailer, and kick in!

Black Sunrise - Trailer from Nick Cross on Vimeo.

convention season is in bloom eh?

April 7, 2011 / More →

In the rearview mirror already: WonderCon, STAPLE, Emerald City, C2E2, and one or two more(?). This weekend, MoCCA. Next weekend, Stumptown. Then TCAF and SPX (Stockholm, Sweden). Yeesh...

April 11-13th, Nate Powell will be doing a series of presentations/ Q&A sessions in his hometown of Little Rock, AR in conjunction with the Arkansas Literary Festival and National Library Week. Check out Nate's blog for more info.

He's also doing set artwork and projected comic illustrations for the play The Outstanding Eight by Gabriel Cooper and Jonathan Wierenga, performed at Michigan State University's RCAH Theatre on April 28-30th.

oh, man... what a bummer!

March 28, 2011 / More →

I just got the news that Lloyd Dangle is ending Troubletown. Ahh, shit! : (

Troubletown, and Lloyd's own post-Underground series Dangle, were big influences early on in my career, and have remained "must-read" to this day.

Here's to good things in your future, Lloyd!

james kochalka does biology!

March 23, 2011 / More →

That's right, James' artwork graces the cover of the current issue of Trends in Cell Biology magazine! This is NOT a typo!

• Meanwhile, check out The Comic Book Guide to the Mission, an anthology of comics about San Francisco's Mission District, from Skoda Man Press. Skoda Man is the brainchild of Lauren Davis, who just threw props our way for Chester 5000, on the bitchin' genre website io9.

What a sweet idea!

• Finally, go out and get yerself the new issue of Papercutter, edited by the great Greg Means at Tugboat Press. This issue features a gripping cover story by Jonas Madden-Connor. It tells the parallel stories of a young boy who realizes his world is not what it seems and a retelling of the Hercules myth as he tricks a cowardly king. Melinda Boyce recounts her harrowing childhood memories of ill advised candy consumption and dental mishaps. MK Reed and Drew Weing wrap up the issue with a cautionary tale titled "My Boyfriend... Or My Kitty?"

And check out this insanely awesome back cover by Drew!

this is so cool!

March 22, 2011 / More →

Thanks to Jerry at Cartoon Brew!

March 21, 2011

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O.k., so i'm Pat Barrett's thesis advisor this year while he wraps up school at Center for Cartoon Studies. And his learning curve is outstanding. Here's a recent post from his own blog, on how he designed this, the seal for James Kochalka's new standing as Vermont's first Cartoon Laureate. Great stuff.


March 14, 2011 / More →

Has it really been that long?...

• The truly great Graham Annable strikes again. (Graham, do you have a dvd with all of your animations on it?)

The Smartest Dog in the World.

• Well kick me in the pants! Doesn't this look amazing!

Even The Giants by Jesse Jacobs. From AdHouse Books!

"Jesse Jacobs bursts onto the comic scene with his first published work Even The Giants. The work beautifully captures the isolation of the Great White North while also giving the artist a sequential canvas to explore and experiment. This book will be printed in three Pantone spot colors. Jesse's work has been nominated for the Doug Wright award and has won the Gene Day award."

• This is one of the coolest things i've ever seen. "The Last Breakfast", by Brian Stuckey. He's selling prints of this via his website.

• Jon Adams sent this my way... "How to Beard Yourself!"

Check it out in the McSweeney's store.

• Top Shelf alum Rick (Shuck Unmasked) Smith recently released a book collection of his web-comic Kickstand Cyclery, with more on the way. Very cool!

eric skillman on his incredible design

March 2, 2011 / More →

(with illustrator Sean Phillips) for Sweet Smell of Success. Genius. 'nuff said.

The film itself (from Criterion), made in 1957, starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster, is a masterpiece; as relevant today as ever. Lancaster's role, based on a legendary Hollywood gossip columnist, is slimy, in the Glen Beck mould. The entire cast was pitch-perfect, but Curtis was out of this world.

Extras included a terrific short film about the director, Alexander (Sandy) Mackendrick, and short film about director of photography, James Wong Howe.

Great stuff. Highly recommended. Read more about this film in this Criterion essay by Paul Cronin, "Mackendrick and Odets."

• Fantagraphics & Top Shelf Presents: Con Artists, the Emerald City Comic-Con After-Party. Saturday, March 5th at the Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous. Featuring: Can You Imagine?;
The Rheas; and Matthew Southworth, frontman for The Capillaries. DJ'ing between sets will be DJ Janice, aka Janice Headley, Events Coordinator for Fantagraphics (and Programming Assistant at Seattle radio station KEXP).
Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Jewel Box Theater at The Rendezvous
2322 2nd Avenue in Belltown
Admission $5 (General Public)
FREE with Emerald City Comic-Con badge
21 and over with ID

• Big thanks to AdHouse maestro Chris Pitzer for two outstanding new Nobrow Press books, he's sub-distributing. Both by a crazy-talented new talent (for me, at least), named Jon McNaught, titled Birchfield Close and Pebble Island. I am absolutely digging on this stuff. I know that direct comparisons can be tricky, but really, imagine the human moments, pacing, and natural rhythms of Kevin Huizenga (especially some of his older short pieces in his superlative mini, Supermonster) + the formal, mathematical visual patterns of Chris Ware + a warm, rich color palette straight from the Hudson River School. This = WOW.

• Finally, um, yeah... yet one more in a lost list of reasons i personally am not on Facebook.


February 22, 2011 / More →

Our own Jess Smart Smiley — who's first Top Shelf Kids Club book Upside Down: A Vampires Tale hits stores this Halloween — has launched a modest Kickstarter campaign to create a Monster Coloring Book!

Come on now! Let's help Jess get this done!

jennifer hayden has really been busy!...

February 17, 2011 / More →

She recently had an essay published at Undie Press, a great "lit magazine" website, and was also interviewed by the writer Tim Hall.

This week she's also starting a weekly column called "S'Crapbook" at a pretty high-profile Brooklyn blog called Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn. S'Crapbook will be little odds and ends about comix and family life.

• David Chelsea has a new book out on perspective!

In this sequel to the classic bestseller Perspective! For the Comic Book Artist, David Chelsea takes perspective to a whole other level—by exploring the most dramatic viewpoints employed by today’s artists. Many of these techniques have been carefully guarded secrets for centuries. But David, and his hollow-headed friend, Mugg, make them accessible to a new generation of artists, cartoonists, illustrators, and animators. In Extreme Perspective! For Artists, you’ll learn how to

• Render complicated multi-sided objects in perfect perspective
• Create accurate shadows and reflections from your own imagination
• Master the most difficult kinds of curvilinear perspective systems
• Draw eye-popping images in fisheye perspective
• Use your computer to create elaborate scenes quicker and more easily
• … And much, much more!

Also included is a comprehensive library of perspective grids on DVD, suitable for printing or using with Photoshop and other applications.

• Cammy gives Too Cool To Be Forgotten high marks, at Cammy's Comics Corner.

wow, there's been lots of news from the Top Shelf camp as of late,

February 12, 2011 / More →

what with all the hoopla over the Canada Reads nomination for Jeff Lemire's Essex County; our book deal with Congressman John Lewis; and James Kochalka becoming Cartoonist Laureate for the state of Vermont! Whew!...

Anyway, here's a fun little video with James, from WPTZ Channel 5, in Burlington, VT.

January 30, 2011

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Jen Vaughn gives James Kochalka a BIG HUG!! Here's her appreciation for James, on his being named the first ever Vermont Cartoonist Laureate, by way of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

January 25, 2011

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Eric Skillman is posting some of his favorite panels/lines/drawings/etc from his forthcoming graphic novel Liar's Kiss (drawn by Jhomar Soriano), set to run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday through to MoCCA on April 9.

This is such a kick-ass book!

viva world war 3 illustrated!!!

January 19, 2011 / More →

Check it!...
GRAPHIC RADICALS: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated
December 7, 2010 to February 5, 2011
475 Tenth Avenue (at 36th Street), New York, NY 10018

Graphic Radicals is a 30th anniversary retrospective of World War 3 Illustrated, an independently published political comic magazine founded in 1980 by artists Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper. Comprised of original comics, drawings and paintings, posters, commissioned murals, documentary film, animation and a complete set of issues, Graphic Radicals is the largest World War 3 exhibition to date. New York Times review here.

In conjunction with the show there are several events:
Friday, January 21 / 7-9pm
With artist talks by Peter Kuper, Fly, Susan Simensky Bietile and Friends Of Brad Will

Wednesday, January 26 / 7-9pm
With artists talks by Sabrina Jones, Kevin Pyle and Milk Not Jails

Closing Party,
Friday, February 4th / 7-9pm

EXIT ART 475 Tenth Avenue (at 36th Street), New York, NY 10018
212-966-7745 / A, C, E to 34th Street / Penn Station
Open Tue.–Thu., 10am–6pm; Fri., 10am–8pm; and Sat., 12–6pm.

[Note from the bartender. If you're not familiar with WW3 co-founder Peter Kuper's bracing work, it truly is what is called "important." Not only is it ideologically challenging, but it's gorgeous to boot. We published Peter's one and only monograph, Speechless, about a decade ago, and it is still a masterpiece to this day.]

January 18, 2011

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Ummm, wow.

• Oh, how i do love interns. Current one MarieLaure Cros (aka Malo), is a real Parisian gem. In addition to repping some of Frances finest cartoonists for English Language translations, and occasionally working over at Floating World Comics, she finds time to work for Top Shelf. Here, she took the massive pile of loot i brought home and enjoyed from APE a few months back, and systematically entered names and contact data for me. Merci beaucoup, Malo.

Would that i had time to write full reviews. Alas. I don't. That said, if you find it here, it has my tacit endorsement, and i recommend you seek it out.

BABA YAGA & THE WOLF, published by Koyama Press
By Marek Golek (story + Art) & Pat Shewchuk (Art Elements) Together known as Tin Can Forest

I WANT YOU, by Lisa Hanawalt, published by Pigeon Press


YES, LET’S, by Galen Goodwin Longstreth (story) & Maris Wicks (art), published by Tugboat Press.

OGNER STUMP, by Andrew Goldfarb

THB: COMIC FROM MARS, by Paul Pope, published by AdHouse Books

THE DREAMING SEA & VIETNAM, 2010 & A VISIT TO LAOS, by Tammy Stellanova


DIARY COMICS, by Dustin Harbin, published by Koyama Press

TRIGGER 2, by Mike Bertino, published by Revival House Press

EVERYTHING UNSEEN, Drew Beckmeyer, published by Revival House Press

ELF WORLD, edited by Francois Vigneault, published by Family Style. Cover by Sammy Harkham. Contributors include: Grant Reynolds, Alec Longstreth, Ben Costa & J.R . Parks, David Enos, Jane Samborski, Dash Shaw, Eve Englezos, Josh Moutray.

THE LONELY BEAR, by Roman Muradov


LIVING THINGS, by Lizzy Stewart, published by Little Otsu [This was actually picked up at Craft Wonderland just before Christmas]

The following are creators and websites gleaned from our very useful friends, business cards and promotional postcards. (To all the naysayers who say print serves no purpose, i beg to differ.) Click, browse, and enjoy.