News pg. 18

Top Shelf visits Calgary for the first time ever!

June 16, 2011 / More →

Image for Top Shelf visits Calgary for the first time ever!

We're excited to announce that Top Shelf will be exhibiting for the first time at the Calgary Entertainment Expo this weekend (June 17-19), in Calgary, Alberta! Come join us and meet Top Shelf authors Jeff Lemire and Kathryn & Stuart Immonen!

Top Shelf will be set up with all our killer new releases -- The Homeland Directive, Lucille, Chester 5000, Gingerbread Girl, Liar's Kiss, Incredible Change-Bots Two, and more -- plus plenty of Essex County and Moving Pictures, to celebrate having Jeff Lemire and the Immonens in the house!

We've heard great things about this show for a while now, and Owly creator Andy Runton was very enthusiastic about his visit last year -- so here we come!

Film in development of Jeff Lemire's ESSEX COUNTY!

June 6, 2011 / More →

Image for Film in development of Jeff Lemire's ESSEX COUNTY!

Variety broke the news this morning that Academy-Award-winning visual effects designer John Dykstra (Star Wars, Spider-Man 2, X-Men: First Class) plans to direct a film based on Tales From the Farm, the award-winning first volume of Jeff Lemire's much-acclaimed Essex County trilogy!

The film, currently using the working title "Super Zero," is adapted from Jeff Lemire's graphic novel by John Carr, and will be produced by Steven Gilder and Alec Chorches as well as Top Shelf Productions. Jeff had this to say: "I'm excited about the news and optimistic that John Dykstra will make an entertaining film that stays true to the heart of Essex County."

Tales From the Farm is the story of Lester, a 10-year-old boy coping with the death of his parents while isolated on his uncle's farm, escaping into fantasy games with retired hockey pro Jimmy Lebeuf. The book memorably launched the Essex County trilogy by winning the American Library Association's prestigious Alex Award (and instantly selling out its first printing). Essex County would go on to win the Doug Wright Award, the Joe Shuster Award, and a top 5 spot (and the People's Choice Award) on Canada Reads' Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. Originally published in three parts, it's now available as a single 512-page volume.

You can meet Jeff in person at his summer convention appearances: he'll be in the Top Shelf booth at both the Calgary Entertainment Expo (June 17-19) and the San Diego Comic-Con (July 21-24). Hope to see you all there!

THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE launches this weekend at Heroes Con!

June 1, 2011 / More →

Image for THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE launches this weekend at Heroes Con!

"MEDICAL RESEARCHER MISSING: New Book Alleges Conspiracy." So runs the front-page headline on our 2011 Top Shelf Tribune, the newspaper-style catalog we've been passing out all year long. What happened to microbiologist Laura Regan, and what does the federal government have to do with her disappearance? At last, the truth will begin to emerge this weekend, with the debut of Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston's The Homeland Directive at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC!

Robert Venditti (The Surrogates, Percy Jackson & the Olympians) will be signing the debut copies of The Homeland Directive all weekend.

Also at the Top Shelf table is Owly creator Andy Runton, who drew the stunning poster artwork for Heroes Con's "Indie Island" zone! He'll have the new full-color Owly & Wormy picture book, as well as the full line of Owly books, merch, and even prints of the poster!

We're also happy to have writer/designer Eric Skillman in the house, promoting his awesome new book (with Jhomar Soriano), Liar's Kiss! Eric will be featured in a "Designing Comics" panel on Saturday with a lineup of other stellar designers.

Rounding out the crew are Top Shelf hero Duane Ballenger and friend of the family Van Jensen (author of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and more)! Don't forget to grab copies of the hot new books Chester 5000 (by Jess Fink), Lucille (by Ludovic Debeurme), and Gingerbread Girl (by Colleen Coover & Paul Tobin) as well!

Carolina, here we come!

Fall in love again with deluxe new editions of BLANKETS!

June 1, 2011 / More →

Image for Fall in love again with deluxe new editions of BLANKETS!

Blankets fans, rejoice! One of the most beloved and best-selling books in Top Shelf's 14-year history is getting an upgrade.

Shipping in August, and available now for pre-order, are brand-new deluxe hardcover and softcover editions of Craig Thompson's award-winning graphic novel, Blankets. In addition to the gorgeous new cover design, the new Blankets features higher-quality paper, Smyth-sewn bindings, a spot gloss, and a slightly wider trim size.

Blankets is one of the most critically acclaimed graphic novels of all time, having won the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards for Best Graphic Novel and Best Cartoonist. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, it explores the complex power of family and faith, the thrill of falling in love for the first time, and the coming-of-age of a remarkable young man.

If you're one of the countless readers who love Blankets, get ready to fall in love all over again, or share it with friends & family. And for those who've never read it, now is the perfect opportunity to discover this incredible graphic novel.

Pre-order your copy now from your favorite retailer (via Diamond PREVIEWS), or direct from Top Shelf here on our web site, and join us in celebrating the rebirth of Craig's awe-inspiring book!

[Click after the jump for bigger views of the new designs!]

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Rich Koslowski wins Glyph Award for BB WOLF!

May 22, 2011 / More →

Image for Rich Koslowski wins Glyph Award for BB WOLF!

Our hearty congratulations to Rich Koslowski for winning Best Artist in the 2011 Glyph Awards! The award recognizes his work on BB Wolf & the 3 LPs with writer J.D. Arnold. Previously BB Wolf won the Texas Library Association's Maverick Award and was named one of the American Library Association's Great Graphic Novels for Teens.

The Glyph Comics Awards celebrate the greatest comics created by, for, and about people of color. BB Wolf, a dark fairy-tale allegory for race relations in Jim Crow Mississippi, was nominated in four categories this year. For a list of all the nominees and winners, click here. Congratulations to all!

Eric Skillman plants LIAR'S KISS on New York! Andy Runton brings OWLY to Maine!

May 18, 2011 / More →

Image for Eric Skillman plants LIAR'S KISS on New York! Andy Runton brings OWLY to Maine!

After Free Comic Book Day, our biggest TCAF ever, and Jeffrey Brown's Change-Bots gallery launch, the Top Shelf never-ending world tour rolls onward!

First, Eric Skillman plays hometown hero as he launches Liar's Kiss, his super-snazzy noir graphic novel with Jhomar Soriano, in Brooklyn this week! He'll be signing the book as well as some scorching-hot screenprinted posters and more, Thursday from 7-9 at Desert Island, Brooklyn, NY. For more on Eric and Liar's Kiss, check out this interview at the Criterion Collection and this blog post about how he and Jhomar created the book cover!

Then, on Sunday (May 22), Owly creator Andy Runton is the guest of honor at MECAF, the Maine Comics Arts Festival! It's 10am-5pm in Portland, ME and is a must for any fans in the Maine area. Come meet Andy and check out all the Owly books (including the new full-color picture book), shirts, plushes, and more!


May 5, 2011 / More →

Image for Saturday is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! And we're EVERYWHERE!

It's that wonderful time of year - time to visit your local comic shop and get some FREE comic books! That's right, this Saturday, May 7, is Free Comic Book Day all over the world!

This year, Top Shelf is proud to announce the launch of the TOP SHELF KIDS CLUB -- a new umbrella covering all of our kid-friendly titles! So on Saturday, grab your free Top Shelf Kids Club comic book for a collection of new stories featuring:

To celebrate Free Comic Book Day, our authors will be making appearances all over the country:

Meanwhile, a whole gang of authors will be in Toronto for TCAF, all weekend (May 7-8): Ludovic Debeurme (Lucille), Jess Fink (Chester 5000), Eric Skillman (Liar's Kiss), Jeff Lemire (Essex County), Matt Kindt (Super Spy), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), and Kathryn & Stuart Immonen (Moving Pictures)!

AND publishers Chris Staros and Brett Warnock will be in Stockholm for the Swedish Small Press Expo!

So basically, just walk out your front door on Saturday and you'll probably bump into somebody from Top Shelf. Hope to see you soon!

Jeffrey Brown's CHANGE-BOTS invade New York next weekend!

May 4, 2011 / More →

Image for Jeffrey Brown's CHANGE-BOTS invade New York next weekend!

If you've followed Jeffrey Brown's blog, you may have seen the amazing Change-Bots-themed art he's been creating lately to celebrate the release of Incredible Change-Bots Two.

Well, if you live near New York, now's your chance to see it (and him) in person! Jeffrey will appear at Scott Eder Gallery Friday night, May 13 to open a monthlong exhibit of his art from Change-Bots Two, which runs through June 23.

THEN, join Jeffrey for a signing the next night, Saturday, May 14, at Desert Island in Brooklyn!

Click "Read More" to see the flyer for the event, as well as a photo of Bew! Bew! Bew!, the giant battle drawing he'll unveil at the gallery!

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CHESTER 5000 & LUCILLE to debut at TCAF!

April 26, 2011 / More →

On May 7-8, Ludovic Debeurme and Jess Fink will join us in Toronto for the Toronto Comics Art Festival, where we will debut both Lucille and Chester 5000.

Ludovic and Jess are part of a killer Top Shelf lineup at TCAF, including Matt Kindt (Super Spy), Jeff Lemire (Essex County ), Kathryn & Stuart Immonen (Moving Pictures), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), and Eric Skillman (Liar's Kiss, which made a big splash at its debut at MoCCA just a couple weeks ago).

Ludovic Debeurme previews LUCILLE in America!

April 26, 2011 / More →

Image for Ludovic Debeurme previews LUCILLE in America!

In anticipation of the American release of his award-winning graphic novel Lucille, French cartoonist Ludovic Debeurme is making a few US appearances this week! Those in the New York area will get an early look at Lucille at these events, part of the PEN World Voices Festival. (The rest of us can read an excerpt on the PEN web site!)

First up is a free lunchtime conversation between Ludovic and Norwegian novelist Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, at La Maison Française in New York City! Tuesday, April 26 at noon. Details here.

Then on Saturday, April 30, Ludovic joins a host of comic-book talent including Kate Beaton, Nick Bertozzi, Michael Kupperman, R. Sikoryak and more, in "Comic Books Come Alive on Stage" at Cooper Union in New York! This multimedia show begins at noon and tickets are $15/$10. Details here.

Then on May 7-8, Ludovic will join us in Toronto for the Toronto Comics Art Festival, where we will debut his incredible book Lucille! You'll fall in love with its young heroes, Lucille and Arthur, and see for yourself why their story won the Goscinny Prize and the Angouleme Essential award in France.

Kevin Cannon is the Best Cartoonist in Minneapolis!

April 19, 2011 / More →

Image for Kevin Cannon is the Best Cartoonist in Minneapolis!

Now, we wouldn't presume to make that call -- there are tons of talented folks in the Twin Cities, including Will Dinski, Tim Sievert, Lars Martinson, and plenty more. Top Shelf co-publisher Brett Warnock saw firsthand what a hopping comics town Minneapolis is at the MIX expo last year!

But CityPages just announced their 2011 Best Of awards, and we can't help but celebrate with Kevin Cannon as he landed the "Best Cartoonist" crown! CP has praise for his thrill-a-minute Top Shelf graphic novel debut, Far Arden, "which started out as a rollicking Arctic adventure story and bloomed into a narrative that was surprisingly affecting and devastating," as well as the many & varied other projects he's worked on.

Congratulations, Kevin!

To Celebrate, we're offering $5 off all our books by Minneapolis cartoonists! Take a chance and try something new from this great scene.

Catch GINGERBREAD GIRL and Jeffrey Brown at Stumptown Comics Fest!

April 15, 2011 / More →

Image for Catch GINGERBREAD GIRL and Jeffrey Brown at Stumptown Comics Fest!

Portland, Oregon: where even the mayor is a comic book character! Home of hippies, hipsters, Top Shelf's production office, and one of our favorite comic conventions: the Stumptown Comics Fest!

It's this weekend, part of Portland's annual Comics Month, and it kicks off tonight with a Jeffrey Brown signing at Floating World Comics for his new book Incredible Change-Bots Two!

THEN: hit the Oregon Convention Center Saturday and Sunday. We're debuting the amazing Gingerbread Girl by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (who are featured guests of the festival, along with Jeffrey Brown)! This beguiling graphic novel is even set in Portland and prominently features local landmarks, as you know if you've been following its free online serialization, so we had to give locals the first crack at it! We'll also have plenty of Incredible Change-Bots (volumes 1 and 2) for Jeffrey to sign, and our other buzzed-about new releases Night Animals and Liar's Kiss.

Last but not least, head to the programming rooms on Sunday for two panels with Jeffrey Brown, an autobio comics roundtable at noon and an spotlight interview with Inkstuds' Robin McConnell at 1:00. For details, see the Festival events page.

See you soon!

Top Shelf and Zip Comics announce: Harvey Pekar's CLEVELAND!

April 13, 2011 / More →

Image for Top Shelf and Zip Comics announce: Harvey Pekar's CLEVELAND!

The late great Harvey Pekar pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic beginning in 1976 with his American Splendor comics (and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Pekar as himself), and later with graphic novels like Our Cancer Year (with Joyce Brabner & Frank Stack) and The Quitter (with Dean Haspiel) and webcomics with The Pekar Project up until his passing on July 12, 2010.

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland will be a 112-page graphic novel written by Harvey, illustrated by Pekar Project artist Joseph Remnant, edited by Jeff Newelt, and published by newcomer ZIP Comics in collaboration with indie comix veterans Top Shelf. Top Shelf will be providing ZIP with their distribution network, marketing support, a slot in their catalog, and booth signings by Joseph at conventions.

“It’s a privilege to publish one of my idols, especially a graphic novel with such breathtaking art by Joseph who really hit it out of the park, in this case Cleveland’s Progressive Field,” says Josh Frankel, president of ZIP Comics. “And its a true honor & treat to work with Top Shelf who put out so many of my favorite graphic novels like Blankets, Super Spy, and Jeffrey Brown’s terrific books.”

The graphic novel will be composed of 50% history of Cleveland and its characters and 50% autobiography. “The script was complete before Harvey passed and twenty pages had already been finished by Joseph,” says Jeff Newelt, editor of The Pekar Project and Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND. “So our man did get to see the book’s beginning and was super-pleased with how the art was shaping up.”

Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND covers familiar American Splendor-ous territory while weaving in chunks of Cleveland history, including the Indians winning the 1948 World Series, the notorious 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River as well as profiles of Cleveland “characters” like Charles Ruthenberg, leader of the city’s Communist party whose ashes were buried in the Kremlin wall. And of course cameos by Pekarverse regulars like Toby the Genuine Nerd, Mr. Boats and Harvey’s wife Joyce.

“We jumped at the chance to play a part in the publication of this historic and exquisitely crafted comic,” says Chris Staros, publisher, Top Shelf Productions. “Long time fans are in for something special.”

This is Remnant’s first full-length work. His previous Pekar Project collaborations include “Legendary Vienna,” “Sweeping Problem,” “Muncie Part 1” and “Muncie Part 2.” He recently wrote / illustrated a self-published a one-shot, “Blindspot.”

Free prints of the Harvey Pekar's CLEVELAND cover were available 4/9 & 4/10 at MoCCA at both the ZIP Comics and Top Shelf Booths, as well as at the MoCCA pre-party co-sponsored by ZIP & Top Shelf.

LIAR'S KISS Launches at MoCCA this weekend! Plus Brecht Evens, Alex Robinson, and more!

April 7, 2011 / More →

Image for LIAR'S KISS Launches at MoCCA this weekend! Plus Brecht Evens, Alex Robinson, and more!

New York's indie comics show, MoCCA Festival, is this weekend -- and it'll be a blast! Here's the plan:

Eric Skillman is best known as a graphic designer (those are his gorgeous designs on Alec: The Years Have Pants, Ax: Alternative Manga, and The Playwright, to say nothing of his day job at the Criterion Collection) but he's also one heck of a writer, and his slick noir graphic novel Liar's Kiss, with artist Jhomar Soriano, is an unmissable debut. He'll be with us at MoCCA signing copies all weekend, along with...

...young Belgian comics star Brecht Evens, who's pulling double duty signing his acclaimed new books Night Animals (at Top Shelf) and The Wrong Place (at Drawn & Quarterly). He's come 4000 miles to meet YOU, thanks in large part to the Flemish Literature Fund, so come say hello!

Alex Robinson will join us as well, selling a brand-new Box Office Poison mini-comic (the first new BOP comics in a decade!) plus the redesigned edition of his award-winning graphic novel Tricked!

PLUS Mats Jonsson (Hey Princess) is coming once again from Sweden! And we'll have copies of the new books Incredible Change-Bots Two by Jeffrey Brown and Owly & Wormy: Friends All Aflutter by Andy Runton.

AND we're co-sponsoring a kickoff party tomorrow (Friday) night at Sutra in the East Village! Check this post or the official Facebook invite for more details.

So if you're anywhere close to New York, come on out! We'd love to see you.

Jess Fink explores "What the Love Robot Wants" in CHESTER 5000 Interview!

April 4, 2011 / More →

Image for Jess Fink explores "What the Love Robot Wants" in CHESTER 5000 Interview!

When we first read Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's incredible Lost Girls, it was clear to us that sexually explicit comics can have as much visual and literary sophistication as any other graphic novel. And the massive success of that book has confirmed beyond a doubt that there are plenty of readers out there interested in erotic comics that are created with warmth, wit, and wisdom.

That's why we are so excited to bring you Chester 5000 by Jess Fink! Jess has built a loyal audience already with the online version of Chester, and next month we'll present this sweet, silly, sexy, romance in a beautiful hardcover edition. It's the irresistible story of a Victorian-era love robot and the woman who loves him -- and the man who loves her, and the woman who loves him, and... well, you get the picture.

Jess spoke with Tim O'Shea at Robot 6 for a wide-ranging interview that just went live! Find out about her creative process, her own Alan Moore connection, her upcoming autobigraphical book We Can Fix It!, her much-publicized battles with merchandise bootleggers, and more! Dive in, won't you?