Top Shelf Productions


September 10, 2007

Sorry for the long wait, folks. I've been up to my eyeballs with work work work. Good thing i absolutely love what i freaking do, eh?

That said, three stellar new books are now finally off to the printer: Jeff Lemire's long-awaited second entry in the Essex County trilogy, Ghost Stories; Chris Staros' Yearbook Stories (with art by Bo Hampton and Rich Tommaso); and Alex Robinson's fabulous love-letter to Dungeons & Dragons, Lower Regions.

• Meanwhile, The Stumptown Comics Fest is a mere three weeks away, and i'm getting fired up. We'll be co-hosting a bitchin' after-party on Saturday at the Tonic Lounge with Fantagraphics, featuring The Morals, Fox Hollow, and Tractor Operator (for a record release no less!). Saturday, September 29th, $6, doors at 9:15, 21 & over. We'll have a typical merch table setup like at any rock show, so come out and kick ass!

That same night Cosmic Monkey (now residing ONLY at the Sandy Blvd location), is hosting the first annual Stumptown Trophy Awards. Not much available info on that yet.... stay tuned.

Stumptown poster by Sarah Oleksyk

• Steve Lieber sent this out, worth noting. Formerly Mercury now Periscope Studios is a serious hot spot in the comics world.

"When our studio changed its name from Mercury to Periscope, I thought we were sort of stuck with our old blog URL. I was happy to stumble upon a button in the blogspot dashboard that enables you to move your content to a new blogspot URL, (subject to availability) and I used it. Bang! All of our content was now available at . Boy was that easy, and it It didn't offer up any sort of warning, so I assumed that the address would keep the old content.

"Hoo boy, no. Within minutes a spammer took possession of our old URL and pasted viagra and porn ads into a google cache of our site's template. I've written blogspot's support, but their help forum is full of people complaining about never getting any reply from blogspot support. I'm not expecting much help there. In the meantime, we're writing to you, our friends in comics, asking you to change your Mercury Studio links to this."

• From our good friends at Stripcore... if you happen to be in Finland next weekend.

This year, the Helsinki comics festival, the biggest event of this kind in Finland and whole Northern Europe, will host Stripburger for the second time. It happened for the first time in 1999 and now your favourite Slovenian comics magazine is back to the scene of crime with the Honey Talks exhibition to present comics based on painted beehive panels to the Finnish and international audience. In the past (this year is the festival's 22nd time) the festival already hosted celebrities such as Moebius, Enki Bilal and Will Eisner among this year's guests are Christophe Blain, Yvan Alagbe, (France), Keitaro Arima (Japan), Olivier Schrauwen (Belgium) and Gunnar Lundkvist (Sweden) and Helge Reumann (Switzerland) in a joint project. There'll be 14 exhibitions in all (the Stripburger's one will take place from Sept. 12th to 30th in "Jangva" contemporary art gallery), and the main programme will take place September 15th and 16th in the "Gloria" cultural arena.

• I have been reading stuff periodically. Most recent novel was the new edition of Jack Kerouac's Darma Bums, with the nifty cover by cartoonists Jason. Stellar novel. Totally inspiring.

The bedside table kept hostage a book i picked up waaaay back at MoCCA from old friend Ria Schulpen (Bries distribution) the second volume of her anthology Hic Sunt Leones ("Here be Lions") featuring all Flemish artists. It's entirely in English … in fact my pal Mark Nevins was one of two translation editors. It's in full luscious color and a visual explosion. As per anthology rules it has its hits & misses, but here even the misses are incredibly illustrated. There's a great review here at the Forbidden Planet website, as well as some nice background info on Ria.

Cheers, Ria!

Just picked up and immediately devoured Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly's outstanding Oni Press book Local #12... the Austin TX issue. Brian's formal conceit with this series is great, and this issue is really out of nowhere, and yet one of the most powerful comics ever, revolving around the life and fate of a young man who grew up with one big ass-hole of a dad. Tragic and all too common sadly. This is great great stuff. Each issue is self-contained, but the cumulative experience of reading this (GASP!) serialized is wonderful. Brian did similar work with Becky Cloonan on Demo which i also recommend. There are very very few comics i prefer over the trade, and these are two of them.

Will Dinski gave gave me a wildly killer very rare hardcover comic, either at MoCCA, San Diego, or TCAF... man, i don't recall. In any case, "Beautiful, Cool and Irreplaceable," the story in Habitual Entertainment #4 is awesome. The twisted sordid tale of rarified Hollyweird freaks, hell-bent on self-image, power and ego really gets under the skin. His art reminds me lots of vintage Pete (Hey, Mister) Sickman-Garner, and his black black humor actually does too. Wicked good comics, also recommended.

Will is doing some excellent comics. Check out this strip on the comix section of our own website, and if you like, for god's sake find more.

• Just In... NEWS from Dave K. Comics:

"I designed a T-shirt and it goes on sale this Monday, September 10 for only ten dollars. After Monday, the shirt will be available for a week at the price of $15. WOOT features a new t-shirt everyday and this is the first one I designed for them. It's a funky rollerrink logo silkscreened on an orange T-shirt. Available in a variety of sizes."