News

George Takei's THEY CALLED US ENEMY wins APALA Award!

January 27, 2020 / More →

Image for George Takei's THEY CALLED US ENEMY wins APALA Award!

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 27, 2020) — They Called Us Enemy, the New York Times-bestselling graphic memoir of George Takei, was announced today as the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association.

APALA's literary awards were announced at ALA's Midwinter Meeting, marking a milestone new achievement for the acclaimed bestseller by Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker. In They Called Us Enemy, the iconic actor/author/activist revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II, while reflecting on how that experience shaped America and his own astonishing life. 

Published in July 2019 by Top Shelf Productions (an imprint of IDW Publishing), They Called Us Enemy immediately debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and stayed on the list for more than 10 weeks. It has been declared one of the year's best books by such institutions as Amazon, NPR, New York Public Library, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, IGN, and Forbes.

A Spanish translation of They Called Us Enemy, entitled Nos llamaron Enemigo, will be published in June 2020. Readers can also take a deeper dive into They Called Us Enemy when a deluxe hardcover edition, packed with unseen bonus material, hits stores in July.


Kochalka's epic MONKEY VS. ROBOT is reborn! Pat Grant's THE GROT and more...

January 24, 2020 / More →

Two landmark Top Shelf books — Monkey Vs. Robot and From Hell — are finding new life in masterful new editions! And Pat Grant turns a sharp eye to a pair of grifters in a scorched swamp in his new must-read, The Grot. All coming soon, so now's the time to pre-order them from your favorite shop.

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COSMOKNIGHTS and THEY CALLED US ENEMY win Top 10 honors from YALSA!

January 14, 2020 / More →


For over a decade, the American Library Association's teen services division, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), has published an annual list of recommended Great Graphic Novels for Teens — an important pillar in the phenomenal growth of graphic novel popularity and recognition that we've witnessed in this millennium. This year, Top Shelf is honored to have two books in the Top 10!

*Cosmoknights: Book One. By Hannah Templer. Art by the author. Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing. 2019. $19.99. ISBN: 978-1603094542. Pan lives a very ordinary world on a planet called Verdian. She spends most of her time working in her father's shop and hanging out with her friend, Tara, who is a princess. But when Tara's life takes a very different turn, Pan gets a chance to bring down an archaic medieval-type jousting tradition.

*They Called Us Enemy. By George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker. Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing. 2019. $19.99. ISBN: 978-1603094504. Before he was Sulu on the starship Enterprise, boldly going where no one has gone before, actor George Takei was a little boy struggling to understand why his family was packing up and going to live in a horse stable. Readers see history in a clear, concise, compelling context and follow Takei on his journey from childhood ignorance to righteous teenage anger and finally to a life of dedicated activism.

Congratulations to all the creators of the honored books, and to the lucky teens who get to read such wonderful comics!


IDW and Smithsonian Enterprises Announce Groundbreaking Graphic Novel Publishing Program

January 8, 2020 / More →


This interpretation of the landmark Smithsonian Institution Building was drawn by Nate Powell, National Book Award-winning artist of IDW’s March trilogy.

SAN DIEGO, CA (January 8, 2020) – IDW Publishing, a division of IDW Media Holdings Inc. (OTC: IDWM), and the Smithsonian Institution are proud to announce a multi-year global publishing program, which will create an unprecedented library of graphic novels built on the cultural and scientific knowledge of the world’s largest museum, educational, and research complex.

Beginning in fall 2020, IDW and the Smithsonian will invite readers on a voyage of discovery with a comprehensive range of graphic books in a variety of formats. Among the planned product lines are: “Time Trials,” a middle-grade graphic novel series inspired by the National Museum of American History video series; original graphic novels focused on landmark events and individuals, in the tradition of IDW’s acclaimed March and They Called Us Enemy; coloring books in both the youth and adult categories; picture books for young readers; and more.

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Top Shelf's graphic novels are the Best Books of the Year!

December 18, 2019 / More →


But you don't have to take our word for it! Among the very best books of 2019 are:

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A summer of fun, flirting, & fear: where's your CAMP SPIRIT?!

December 16, 2019 / More →


A spooky LGBT hard-rock rom-com by Axelle Lenoir!



Summer camp is supposed to be about finding nirvana in a rock garden…
But Elodie prefers Nirvana and Soundgarden. Can she confront rambunctious kids, confusing feelings, and supernatural horrors all at once?

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Explore stunning new realms of Australian imagination in Campbell Whyte's HOME TIME II!

November 26, 2019 / More →


Return to the astonishing world of talking peaches, magic tea, frightening wildlife, and threatening lizard tribes! The fantasy adventure too epic for one graphic novel finally reaches its conclusion.

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IDW Publishing Launches Spanish Language Graphic Novel Program in North America

November 22, 2019 / More →

We at Top Shelf are thrilled that two of our books, They Called Us Enemy and Red Panda & Moon Bear, will be published in Spanish next year as part of IDW Publishing's new in-house translation program. See below for details and watch for them in 2020... though you can already pre-order from your favorite retailer!

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Happy Halloween! Tonight, JOHNNY BOO meets THE MIDNIGHT MONSTERS!

October 31, 2019 / More →


The best little ghost in the world — and his pet ghost, Squiggle — continue their award-winning adventures with a spooky story that can turn any night into Halloween!

Are you scared of the dark? Did you know that when the clock strikes twelve, that’s when the midnight monsters come out? Johnny Boo knows, but that won’t stop him from skateboarding on the back of a wild Tiger and plucking pumpkin ice cream from the gaping maw of a Spooky Tree. He does it all to impress Susie Boom, the cute little girl ghost who lives on the moon. Hopefully she’s watching everything with her telescope! “These are the kind of comics that win Eisner Awards,” says Eisner Award winner James Kochalka.

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COSMOKNIGHTS and Campbell lead a stellar SPX lineup!

September 11, 2019 / More →

We can't wait to see you this weekend at the Small Press Expo, September 14-15 at the Bethesda North Marriott outside Washington, DC.

As usual, Top Shelf will be represented by a stunning assortment of talent, in our booth and across the festival floor...

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Order Now the Signed & Numbered Edition of THEY CALLED US ENEMY — Still a New York Times Bestseller!

August 21, 2019 / More →

As George Takei's graphic memoir, They Called Us Enemy, hits its fifth incredible week on the New York Times Bestseller List, fans of the the iconic actor/author/activist have even more cause to celebrate.

While supplies last, Top Shelf Productions and IDW Publishing are now offering the exclusive signed & numbered edition of They Called Us Enemy to be ordered directly from IDW's web store for shipment worldwide.

Created to commemorate the book's launch at Comic-Con 2019, this deluxe paper-over-board hardcover edition (limited to 1,000 copies worldwide) features an individually numbered, sewn-in, letterpress bookplate hand-signed by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker, plus exclusive endpapers not found in the regular softcover:

They Called Us Enemy (Signed & Numbered Hardcover)
by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker
ISBN 978-1-60309-472-6 • not available in stores
$75.00 (US) • black & white interiors • YA and up
a 208-page hardcover graphic novel • 6.5” x 9”
Available now, direct from IDW Publishing, while supplies last!

Additionally, an unsigned hardcover is available in limited quantities. This deluxe paper-over-board hardcover edition features exclusive endpapers not found in the regular softcover:

They Called Us Enemy (Hardcover)
by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker
ISBN 978-1-60309-470-2 • not available in stores
$29.99 (US) • black & white interiors • YA and up
a 208-page hardcover graphic novel • 6.5” x 9”
Available now, direct from IDW Publishing, while supplies last!


LUPUS and A RADICAL SHIFT OF GRAVITY Bring Existential Sci-Fi to Fall 2019!

August 21, 2019 / More →

Read on for three haunting, unforgettable new books coming this fall:

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George Takei's THEY CALLED US ENEMY is a New York Times Bestseller! Watch him on the TODAY Show!

July 26, 2019 / More →

George Takei at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, photo by Sean Macgowan

It's been a big week for George Takei. To launch his graphic memoir, They Called Us Enemy, co-written with Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and drawn by Harmony Becker, this iconic actor/author/activist:

  • appeared on The TODAY Show (unprecedented for a graphic memoir!),
  • flew to Comic-Con for a standing-room-only panel and two sold-out book signings,
  • was honored with Comic-Con's prestigious Inkpot Award,
  • held another sold-out signing at the Japanese American National Museum,
  • and finally returned home... as a New York Times bestselling author.

Although the Times removed its "Graphic Books" bestseller list in 2017, comics can now reach the "mainstream" lists if they are hugely popular — so They Called Us Enemy is now an incredible #2 in ALL Paperback Nonfiction, sitting above The Mueller Report and many modern classics of prose.

Additionally, They Called Us Enemy has already become:

  • an Amazon bestseller — #1 Graphic Novel, Top 10 in all books
  • a Barnes & Noble College bestseller — #9 in Paperback Nonfiction

Of course, as the "King of the Internet," Takei responded on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with heartfelt words:

Just one week after its release, I am astounded and grateful to learn that my graphic memoir, THEY CALLED US ENEMY, is a New York Times Bestseller! The story of the Japanese American internment MUST reach new generations — and with your help, it will.

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James Kochalka's JOHNNY BOO wins the Eisner Award!

July 23, 2019 / More →


James Kochalka came full circle last weekend at Comic-Con as he accepted the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in Best Publication for Early Readers, honoring his book Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer. Seven years ago, he won the Eisner in the very same category for Dragon Puncher Island, the second volume in his Dragon Puncher series. Now, his long-running Johnny Boo series has earned its own Eisner with its 8th volume, in which Johnny Boo invents a machine that turns anything into ice cream.

"They're like Oscars for comics," Kochalka explained to his hometown paper Seven Days, "but cooler, because it's comics."

Kochalka and Johnny Boo show no sign of slowing down. Following The Ice Cream Computer, Johnny Boo Is King! was released in early 2019, and a 10th volume, Johnny Boo and the Midnight Monsters, will be out by the end of the year.


George Takei brings THEY CALLED US ENEMY to Comic-Con in three stunning editions!

July 10, 2019 / More →

"Moving and layered... Takei challenges Americans to look to how past humanitarian injustices speak to current political debates. Giving a personal view into difficult history, [They Called Us Enemy] is a testament to hope and tenacity in the face of adversity." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A compelling blend of nostalgia and outrage... this approachable, well-wrought graphic memoir is important reading, particularly in today's political climate. Pair with John Lewis’ acclaimed March series for a thought-provoking, critical look at the history of racism in American policies and culture." — Booklist (starred review)

"This evocative memoir shares stories of the nation’s past, draws heartbreaking parallels to the present, and serves as a cautionary tale for the future. For all readers old enough to understand the importance of our collective history." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"Emotionally staggering... They Called Us Enemy also inspires readers to engage through democracy to insist that we treat fellow human beings with fairness and dignity." — Amazon Best Books of the Month

"George Takei’s story reveals the important lessons of the WWII Japanese American Incarceration that still need to be learned today. They Called Us Enemy is a compelling must-read for all ages.” — Karen Korematsu, Founder and Executive Director, Fred T. Korematsu Institute

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