News

Congressman John Lewis Recruits Another Generation to MARCH with New Graphic Novel

January 21, 2015 / More →


“With March, Congressman John Lewis takes us behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In graphic novel form, his first-hand account makes these historic events both accessible and relevant to an entire new generation of Americans.” — LEVAR BURTON

"Essential reading... March is a moving and important achievement." USA Today

"Riveting." O, The Oprah Magazine

An astonishingly accomplished graphic memoir." — NPR

"Visually stunning… This insider’s view of the civil rights movement should be required reading for young and old; not to be missed." School Library Journal (starred review)

John Lewis has been many things in his career: a civil rights activist, a featured speaker at the March on Washington, a leader of the "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, a respected member of Congress, a recipient of the Medal of Freedom, and a worldwide symbol of the power of nonviolent protest.

With his latest project, he's added "#1 bestselling author," as his multi-part graphic novel autobiography, March, has become a smash success. Today, the long-awaited March Book Two reaches store shelves, poised to be even bigger than its predecessor — and perhaps even more relevant to this day and age. With March: Book Two, Congressman Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell give us a first-hand experience of milestone events that transformed the nation, including the 1961 Freedom Rides and the 1963 March on Washington.

At a time when, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the majority of states earn a D or F grade in teaching the Civil Rights Movement to their young people, March has quickly become a key resource for schools, libraries, activists, and the general reader. It’s been adopted in classrooms nationwide, spent 40 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, and even become the first graphic novel to win a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. What's more, three major universities planned their freshman orientations around March, compelling 15,000 students nationwide to read and discuss it in a single month.

Why a graphic novel? Because John Lewis remembers the impact that a 1957 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story" had on him and his whole generation, inspiring them to take up nonviolence and join the civil rights movement. Now he's having the same impact on young people today.

As America continues to grapple with issues of race and the legacy of the civil rights movement, March offers an unforgettable success story and a way forward — one that's already been embraced by countless readers who are looking for hope today.

Congressman John Lewis is an international icon, and his story is now more essential than ever. See why this project has become such a phenomenon — join the March!


Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill Voyage into the Unknown in NEMO: RIVER OF GHOSTS!

January 13, 2015 / More →

NEMO covers

With the stunning conclusion of Century, the top-selling third volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, creators Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill brought their literary-crossover saga to an incredible climax. Critics called it "magnificent," a "glorious creative tapestry," and "arguably one of the greatest comics of all time." Moore and O'Neill might have been tempted to stop there and rest on their laurels... but one character, Captain Nemo's steel-hearted daughter Janni, demanded the spotlight for herself, and a spinoff was born!

With a classic two-fisted spirit of adventure, the NEMO graphic novels have followed the terrifying pirate queen in her confrontations with unearthly Antarctic horrors (in Heart of Ice) and mechanical metropolitan monstrosities (in The Roses of Berlin).

Now, Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics present what may be the Captain's final voyage! It's 1975, and our aging heroine is beginning to display a tenuous grip on reality. Pursuing shadows from her past—or her imagination—Captain Janni Nemo steers her wondrous ship Nautilus on an obsessive journey into the tropical mysteries of the Amazon, in a last attempt to put to rest the blood-drenched spectres of old. What awaits? New allies, outrageous enemies, inscrutable youths, impossible creatures, and a truly flabbergasting final battle. Don't miss Nemo: River of Ghosts — preorder now for release in March!


IDW Publishing Acquires Top Shelf Productions

January 6, 2015 / More →

Image for IDW Publishing Acquires Top Shelf Productions

Two Industry Leaders Combine Forces

SAN DIEGO, CA - Leading comic book and graphic novel publisher IDW Publishing announced today that it has acquired Top Shelf Productions, the award-winning independent publisher of graphic novels, including the #1 New York Times and Washington Post bestseller March by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with Kevin O'Neill) and From Hell (with Eddie Campbell), Craig Thompson's Blankets, Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole, and Jeff Lemire's Essex County.

"The acquisition of Top Shelf is a milestone for IDW," said Ted Adams, IDW CEO and publisher. "We looked a very long time for a company that would complement our own publishing line-up, and in Top Shelf we found the ideal match. The addition of Top Shelf's library further positions IDW's leadership role among the top powerhouses in comics."

Top Shelf will remain a distinct imprint within IDW and co-founder Chris Staros will join the company as Editor-in-Chief, Top Shelf Productions. Top Shelf's fans can expect the same independent editorial approach that has garnered industry-wide awards and made it an envy among its peers.

"IDW is committed to preserving and growing the Top Shelf brand, which we've long admired," said IDW president and COO Greg Goldstein. "Chris and his team have built a great working relationship with creators, fans, and retailers alike, and IDW will work diligently to expand Top Shelf's publishing capabilities and market reach while further developing those relationships."

Founded in 1997, Top Shelf Productions offers a broad library of comic books and graphic novels from dozens of the industry's top independent creators. Following the acquisition, Top Shelf's headquarters will remain in Marietta, GA.

"Top Shelf and IDW complement each other perfectly," said Top Shelf Productions co-founder and publisher Chris Staros. "We both started around the same time, and when I would watch IDW over the years, as a fellow publisher, I'd see them making smart move after smart move. Now I'm extremely excited to combine their talents and resources with Top Shelf's award-winning literary approach to comics. And believe it or not, the idea to join forces hit us both at exactly the same time. Last year, as I was about to pitch Ted and Greg this 'crazy' idea, they approached me to suggest the same thing! How's that for a good omen? Together, we're going to be able to publish some incredible work. I'm really looking forward to this."

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Read More →


Save a Bundle on a Holiday Bundle, with Top Shelf's Seasonal Digital Sale!

December 16, 2014 / More →

Happy holidays from Top Shelf! We're celebrating with a bundle of discounted digital bundles available from Comixology, so you can grab a ton of great comics with just a few easy clicks.

In this holiday shopping season, don't forget to treat yourself to some fun... After all, you may (fingers crossed) find yourself with free time on your hands! Or, use the "Send as Gift" feature to nab a last-minute digital gift for a loved one.

What kind of bundles? Just take a look at these deals:

  • Top Shelf Seasonal Bundle (twenty of our all-time most beloved graphic novels, by the top names in the field) - $69.99!
  • American Elf (the complete award-winning strip by James Kochalka, spanning 14 years of autobiographical magic) - $9.99!
  • The Girlfriend Trilogy (Jeffrey Brown's landmark works of autobiographical intimacy) - $8.99!
  • The Surrogates (the complete bestselling sci-fi series by Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele) - $5.99!
  • Double Barrel (the complete digital magazine by Zander & Kevin Cannon, containing two full graphic novels and much more) - $5.99!
  • Motorcycle Samurai (the acclaimed saga so far, by kinetic cartoon wizard Chris Sheridan) - $4.99!

These discounted sets are available now through December 22, so head on over and download a bundle or two while they last!


JOHNNY BOO and MONSTER ON THE HILL make ALSC's Graphic Novel Reading List!

November 19, 2014 / More →

Image for JOHNNY BOO and MONSTER ON THE HILL make ALSC's Graphic Novel Reading List!

The Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, today released the 2014 updates to their Graphic Novel Reading List, which aims to be a handy summary of the best graphic novels available for young readers each year. We're pleased to find two Top Shelf Kids Club titles receiving this honor: the Johnny Boo series by James Kochalka (for Grades K-2), and Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell (for Grades 3-5)!

Congratulations to James and Rob for this great recognition, and if you're looking to start or expand a collection of youth graphic novels, please take a look at the full ALSC list — as well as the full Top Shelf Kids Club line!


Get your first look inside MARCH: BOOK TWO as pre-orders officially open!

November 6, 2014 / More →

It's been a little over a year since we released March: Book One, and this graphic novel memoir by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell turned into a smash hit. Debuting at #1 on both the New York Times and Washington Post Bestseller lists, March has quickly become a key resource for parents, librarians, teachers, and readers searching for a powerful way to bring the lessons of the civil rights movement alive for the modern world.

Now, after 40 weeks on the Bestseller List, after university reading programs, awards, and dozens of events making up the most ambitious book tour in Top Shelf history... it's time for Phase Two.

Our distributor Diamond Comics has released their November catalog for books shipping in January, confirming your suspicions that March: Book Two is set for release in January 2015 — and you can pre-order it from your favorite retailer! To celebrate, they've also published the first interview with all three creators discussing what lies ahead in Book Two:

"If Book One is Star Wars, then Book Two is our Empire Strikes Back. The stakes are higher, the heroes are stronger, and the danger is more lethal... we show how these young people became a truly national force, and one of the key elements of the broader Civil Rights Movement." — Andrew Aydin

Diamond's also showing off a few first glimpses of interior art from Book Two. Don't miss it!

Retailers can now place their orders for March: Book Two with Diamond code NOV141657. In addition, there are two special editions available exclusively from Top Shelf — a hardcover edition, and a limited edition signed & numbered hardcover.

Thanks for all your support. We can't wait to get this incredible book into your hands.


Name your own price for PINOCCHIO VAMPIRE SLAYER + more, with the Halloween Humble Bundle!

October 29, 2014 / More →

With PINOCCHIO, VAMPIRE SLAYER, Dusty Higgins & Van Jensen have turned a clever premise into a critically acclaimed fan-favorite comic adventure. Now the entire 528-page saga can be yours — along with a dozen other unhallowed books & graphic novels — in the name-your-own-price Humble Horror Book Bundle!

Launching today and continuing for two weeks, this DRM-free digital deal celebrates Halloween with work by Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Joss Whedon, Joe Hill, Max Brooks, and many more spooky talents. After naming their own price, customers can download thousands of pages of horror entertainment, while simultaneously helping to prevent real-life horrors: a variable portion of each purchase can be allocated to both the anti-sexual-assault organization RAINN and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

For more details and to download your Bundle today, visit www.humblebundle.com/books.

PRAISE FOR PINOCCHIO, VAMPIRE SLAYER:

One of YALSA’s Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens!
"It's the greatest thing I've read all year. And you'll notice my nose didn't grow one bit when I said that." — Mark Waid
"Page after page of amazement." Publishers Weekly
“The premise for this graphic novel is really almost too good to be true… and the execution doesn't disappoint.” Booklist
"Outstanding." Topless Robot
"Sometimes dark, sometimes silly, but always fun, Pinocchio coming of age Batman-style is just the thing for fantasy and horror fans." MTV
“Really, really good.” Comics Alliance
"Seriously, it's perfect." Comic Book Resources

This puppet may not be a real boy… but he just might be a real hero.

When bloodthirsty monsters invade Pinocchio's hometown and kill his father Geppetto, Pinocchio discovers a new benefit to his magical nose: telling lies produces a never-ending supply of wooden stakes to combat the vampire hordes! Will Pinocchio be able to defeat these horrors, avenge his father, and save his friends?

Jensen (Green Lantern Corps) and Higgins (Knights of the Living Dead) present a captivating blend of comedy, horror, romance, and adventure, rooted in the original Italian novel but brought - as if by magic - to new life.

Download your Humble Bundle at www.humblebundle.com/books!


Top Shelf's New York Comic Con is bigger than ever!

October 9, 2014 / More →

New York Comic Con is upon us! For this super-sized show, we've crammed our tiny booth full of Top Shelf talent. At booth #2238 you'll find:

Eric Orchard is coming from Toronto for the debut American signing of his critically-acclaimed graphic novel for all ages, Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch. He's a tremendously talented illustrator and his book is truly gorgeous, full of whimsy, comedy, and quirky atmosphere.

Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler are flying out from Portland for the east-coast debut of their very popular GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU panel (a big hit at Emerald City and San Diego Comic-Cons), based on their witty and informative book of the same name (just released in a new printing), which will be Friday at 5:15pm, and they'll sign their book throughout the show. It's the perfect gift for the believer AND the heathen in your life.

Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag are two young New Yorkers who have racked up a tremendous following for their webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, a smart and very modern take on the superhero genre through the eyes of a new generation. They had a phenomenally successful Kickstarter to bring it to print, and now Top Shelf is helping them distribute the book! Molly and Brennan be with us at NYCC, signing debut copies.

Come on by booth 2238 and say hello!


THANKS FOR AN AMAZING $3 SALE!

September 27, 2014 / More →

Our big sale is now over. Thank you to everyone for making it such a success! Our tireless team has been packing & shipping your orders from day one, and they will all be out the door within the next few weeks (as there's still a bunch of packing to do!). We appreciate your patience, and again, thanks for helping us continue to make great books. Happy reading!
Your friend thru comics,
Chris Staros


STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST joins the Top Shelf distro family!

September 8, 2014 / More →

STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag

She thought super-strength could save the world... but lately she's not so sure. Having put away her cape and tights, Alison Green is now a college student in the big city, trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It's impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero...

After a phenomenal success on Kickstarter, Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag bring their popular webcomic Strong Female Protagonist into print, collecting the first four issues as well as some all-new full-color pages! Top Shelf is pleased to partner with Brennan & Molly to distribute their excellent self-published book. Click here to view interior preview pages and pre-order today!


Top Shelf zooms to SPX 2014!

September 8, 2014 / More →

Image for Top Shelf zooms to SPX 2014!

We're off to Bethesda, MD for a one of the best weekends in comics — the Small Press eXpo!

Don't miss this chance to grab early pre-release copies of two delightful graphic novels from the Top Shelf Kids Club, the stunning debut Maddy Kettle (by Eric Orchard) and the long-awaited SIXTH book in the Johnny Boo series, Johnny Boo Zooms to the Moon! by James Kochalka. What's more, James has zoomed himself all the way from Vermont to meet you and sign copies of this unforgettable outer-space adventure!

And that's not all! SPX this year will feature ALL these Top Shelf talents (located at our booth and throughout the exhibit hall):
—Andrew Aydin (March: Book One)
—James Kochalka (debuting Johnny Boo Zooms to the Moon!)
—Jess Fink (We Can Fix It!)
—Liz Prince (Alone Forever, Delayed Replays, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?)
—Nate Powell (March: Book One, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole)
—Pete Sickman-Garner (Hey, Mister: Come Hell or Highwater Pants)
—Renee French (The Ticking, Micrographica)
—Shannon Wheeler (God Is Disappointed in You)


Kevin O'Neill leads a LEAGUE of Top Shelf talent at Comic-Con 2014!

July 17, 2014 / More →

Hang on to your seats... this is the big one! San Diego Comic-Con is nearly upon us, and once again we've got an incredible line-up ready for you there. Let's dive right in:

limited-edition League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century hardcover signed & numbered by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill

Famed artist Kevin O'Neill is coming all the way from London for his first US appearance in years, to debut the complete League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century hardcover, including a $50 limited edition, signed & numbered by both himself and writer Alan Moore (which is Top Shelf's first ever official Comic-Con exclusive)!

Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell will be signing March: Book One and sharing more details about Book Two!

Earlier this week we revealed the cover to possibly our most-anticipated release ever, March: Book Two! At Comic-Con we'll have Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell signing Book One and sharing more details about Book Two (an early 2015 release).

Special advance debut of Maddy Kettle by Eric Orchard!

We'll have the special advance debut of Eric Orchard's buzzed-about fantasy graphic novel Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch - plus free Maddy Kettle posters!

Jeffrey Brown at Comic-Con 2014

Jeffrey Brown will join us to sign all his terrific Top Shelf books as well as the brand-new Goodnight Darth Vader (Chronicle) and Jedi Academy Book 2: Return of the Padawan (Scholastic)!

Don't miss our TWO incredible panels:

God Is Disappointed in You panel

God Is Disappointed in You with Shannon Wheeler & Mark Russell
Thursday, 7/24/14, 10:00a.m. - 11:00a.m., Room: 32AB
God Is Disappointed in You, published by Top Shelf, is the tongue-in-cheek "condensed" version of the Bible you never knew you needed -- hilariously modern, but surprisingly authentic -- with illustrations and gags by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man). Join him and writer Mark Russell for an hour of unforgettable irreverence, including Q&A, audience sketches, and the hilarious-yet-accurate "ten-minute Bible." PLUS: a taste of the new audiobook, read by Dr. Venture himself, James Urbaniak (The Venture Bros.)!

Top Shelf Productions featuring Kevin O'Neill and more!

Top Shelf Productions featuring Kevin O'Neill and more!
Friday, 7/25/14, 12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m., Room: 32AB
We're so excited to debut The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century hardcover that we flew artist Kevin O'Neill all the way from England for his first US visit in years! You think in his 15 years of collaboration with Alan Moore on the League, he's picked up a good story or two? PLUS: Top Shelf continues to innovate with new digital projects, meet the genius minds behind our latest graphic novels, and get a look at the much-anticipated Book Two of March, the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic memoir trilogy by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell!

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and Hey, Mister: Come Hell or Highwater Pants

Meet the authors of two outstanding recent releases: Van Jensen will be signing the thrilling Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer (complete edition), while Pete Sickman-Garner signs the fiendishly entertaining Hey, Mister: Come Hell or Highwater Pants!

Whew! You'll find all this -- and more -- at the Top Shelf booth (#1721). See you there!


MARCH: BOOK TWO cover revealed -- the sequel to Rep. John Lewis' award-winning graphic memoir!

July 14, 2014 / More →

US Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis made history with the release of March: Book One, his award-winning and #1 bestselling graphic novel memoir co-written with Andrew Aydin and drawn by Nate Powell. Aside from the unprecedented factor of such a major figure using the graphic novel format, the book has been embraced as both a true work of literature and also a much-needed tool for reaching new generations with the history and lessons of the civil rights movement.

But John Lewis isn't finished making history.

March: Book Two by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

Today, for the first time, we're revealing the gorgeous cover design of March: Book Two, the much-anticipated second part of the March trilogy. It's scheduled for release in early 2015, so we're still half a year away — but the interest in this title is so tremendous that we wanted to showcase something special now, as we head into Comic-Con next week.

Book Two will be significantly longer than Book One, taking a step forward into the tumultuous events of 1961-1963 while continuing the framing narrative of President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009. Major plot lines include the famous journey of the Freedom Riders, imprisonment at Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary, and young John Lewis' involvement in helping to plan and lead the legendary 1963 March on Washington.

Nate Powell's powerful cover showcases (on top) the Freedom Riders' bus set on fire by a white supremacist mob in Anniston, AL, May 14, 1961, and (on bottom) Lewis' fiery speech at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.

Watch Lewis and Aydin discuss March and showcase the Book Two cover on CNN!

As before, we're offering two special editions of March: Book Two exclusively from Top Shelf, in addition to the regular softcover — there is a hardcover edition as well as a limited edition signed & numbered hardcover.

Please join us in celebrating this first look at the next step in the record-breaking March project! Book One continues to rack up awards and honors, has been adopted by schools in 30 states, and is currently being read by 15,000 incoming freshmen at 3 major universities, so the journey of this project is truly just beginning.


Congressman John Lewis & Andrew Aydin accept Coretta Scott King Book Award!

July 2, 2014 / More →

Andrew Aydin and Congressman John Lewis accept their Author Honor from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Sunday morning in Las Vegas was a great occasion for African-American books for young people, as the American Library Association's 45th annual Coretta Scott King Book Awards celebrated the very best in the field. History was made as, for the first time ever, a sitting member of Congress was one of the honorees: Georgia representative and civil rights icon John Lewis and his co-author Andrew Aydin received the Author Honor for their graphic novel March: Book One, drawn by Nate Powell. Congressman Lewis spoke movingly at Sunday's ceremony about his memories of Mrs. King and his hopes for the March trilogy, while Aydin thanked his mother for teaching him the importance of libraries, and singled out Powell's artistry for recognition.

March: Book One, named one of the year's best books by USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and many more publications, recently received a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and has been selected as required reading for first-year students at three major universities (totaling 15,000 freshmen). It has also been adopted by schools in 30 states at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and spent over 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, including several weeks at #1.

For more information or to download the free Teacher's Guide to March: Book One, please visit www.topshelfcomix.com/march.


Jeffrey Brown's INCREDIBLE CHANGE-BOTS Are Back! ...Or Something.

June 25, 2014 / More →

Announcing Jeffrey Brown's Incredible Change-Bots Two Point Something Something

It's been a while since beloved indie cartoonist Jeffrey Brown released his shape-changing robot parody Incredible Change-Bots and its hilarious sequel Incredible Change-Bots Two... In the meantime, he's gone and launched TWO best-selling Star Wars series for kids, Darth Vader and Jedi Academy! And now he's back, with the biggest Change-Bots book yet.

Collecting over 200 pages of rare "odds, ends, and missing parts," Incredible Change-Bots Two Point Something Something includes short stories, gallery art show pieces, game and toy designs, artwork created for fan club members, interviews with almost every Change-Bot, and more. Click here for a ten-page preview, and pre-order now with your favorite retailer!

Note: a limited HARDCOVER edition of Change-Bots Two Point Something Something is also available, exclusively from Top Shelf! Click here for details.

A new softcover edition of Lars Martinson's TONOHARU!

Also opening for pre-order is the gorgeous new softcover edition of Lars Martinson's Tonoharu Part One! This Xeric-award-winning book turned many heads in its original hardcover release, called "stunningly good" by Boing Boing. Now Lars brings his international opus to a more affordable softcover format. More details and an 8-page preview here!