Top Shelf Productions


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April 17, 2007

I'm guessing there might be a few Top Shelf fans out there who tire of my fanboy ramblings. Several months ago i ranted on and on about what i think i one of the single greatest men-in-tights collections ever, the X-Men Omnibus, collecting the bulk of the infamous Claremont/Byrne run, so fondly remembered by aging geeks everywhere.

Well, for those elitist snobs who poo-poo on the idea of legitimacy of spandex comics as an "art form," along comes one of the most gorgeous hardcover collections ever to grace American shores. From Dutch publisher Oog & Blik (the same folks who did those wonderful Waiting for Food books by Crumb), comes The Complete Universe of Dupuy & Berberian.

Now granted, this really isn't comics. But this two-man team extraordinaire, who together created the great Monsieur Jean stories in French (and partially collected in North America by Drawn & Quarterly), are such amazing illustrators, that this hodgepodge of miscellaneous freelance jobs, sketchbook drawings, wine labels and whatnot, is so mouth-wateringly stunning, that you won't care that, A) it's not "really" comics, and B) it comes with a $55 price-tag.

Seriously, this is the art-fag equivalent of the fanboy's X-Men Omnibus. It might be hard to find (since 90% of the North American comics retailers wouldn't recognize great work like this if it bit them on the leg), but if you happen to live near one of the few stellar comics shops around, then track this down. It's THAT good.


From the Previews solicitation:
A beautiful retrospective of the work of Phillipe Dupuy and Charles Berberian, best known for their Drawn & Quaterly publication Monsieur Jean. Over tewnty years of collaborations are featured here including their portaryals of everyday Parisian life, homages to Billie Holiday and Jacques Tati, and their commercial art for book jackets and CD covers.

You can read part of the Comics Journal interview with Dupuy & berberian here, but you'll need to track down the actual issue to read the entire thing. And it's well worth the effort.

The only image i could find was this tiny cover i nicked from Christopher Butcher's sublime blog. It's enough to give one an idea of what to look for... meanwhile, i've also pulled an image from Dupuy and Berberian's official website.

• Graham Annable writes:
Show: Music of Hickee Mountain
Location: Red Bird Studios, 135 Avenue Van Horn, Montréal, QC, Canada
When: Thursday April 26th, 2007 8pm

(Brett writes: These Hickee cats are all incredible ink-studs... i really wish i could hit this gig.)

• And here is the fourth set of theater ads Chris Ross did for us, these featuring Owly, in a set we co-opted with Guapo Comics.

•Â Oh, and i'll be down at APE this weekend, so if you're in San Francisco, you should swing by. It's still one of the most important, energizing, and fun conventions in comics. More like one of the many fine festivals you might find in Europe (which are all about celebrating the art form), than the plethora of crappy flea-market cons here in the good ol' USA.

Renee French's new book Micrographica will be there (as will Renee herself), plus i just received a handful of advance copies of James Kochalka's SuperF*ckers #4. It's a hoot.

Also appearing from Top Shelf will be Jeffrey Brown, Lilli Carre (i think...), Jeremy Tinder, Nate Powell, and long-lost pal and fabulous cartoonist Josue Menjivar.