June 17, 2010 / More →
A couple of great reviews have come in lately on our new spring/summer books! First, Isaac Butler at Parabasis has a thoughtful take on Daren White and Eddie Campbell's The Playwright: "hidden depths lurk below Daren White’s arch, detached, perhaps even cold authorial voice," he says. "You can luxuriate in Campbell’s jerky lines and watercoloring, and live in the distance between the words and the images."
Secondly, Rob Clough at The Comics Journal looks carefully at Jeffrey Brown's Undeleted Scenes, which he calls "a fantastic collection of Brown's short work" containing "some of the best work of Brown’s career. ... the way that Brown gets at the heart of small details to convey a larger emotional truth is what makes his comics so compulsively readable." He concludes with the striking observation that "Brown has been perhaps the most influential autobiographical cartoonist of his generation," which means that "Undeleted Scenes is a kind of autobio comics Ph.D program."
Prospective students (along with the rest of us) can click below to grab their copy today!
June 15, 2010 / More →
The awesome Snow Wildsmith of School Library Journal's official Good Comics for Kids blog recently met up with one of the most beloved creators of comics for kids, our own Andy Runton! They found time among the bustling crowds of Heroes Con to discuss Andy's career, what's next for Owly, and more!
Read the whole interview here, and check out all our great Andy Runton / Owly stuff!
June 9, 2010 / More →
With the just-released Moving Pictures continuing to pull in rave reviews, we're pleased as punch to announce that the Canadian comic book community has just honored Stuart Immonen with the Joe Shuster Award for Best Artist!
Since awards are retrospective, this honor officially recognizes only Stuart's 2009 work as a freelance artist for Marvel & Image Comics. But we know that his legion of fans are going to be blown away by the power and precision showcased in his brand-new book drawn from Kathryn Immonen's script, Moving Pictures, which Booklist called "elegant and evocative" in a starred review.
The Shuster Awards are selected by jury to honor the best in Canadian comics. Previously the award for Best Cartoonist went to Top Shelf star Jeff Lemire, who was nominated again this year, as was Moving Pictures writer Kathryn Immonen.
Congratulations to Stuart and all the nominees & winners!
June 6, 2010 / More →
Douglas Wolk is among the most successful comic critics in the country -- not only in appreciating great work but in communicating that appreciation to the widest of mainstream audiences. This weekend we're delighted to see that he's written on Kathryn & Stuart Immonen's new book Moving Pictures, as part of a graphic-novel roundup in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.
"Most of the story seems less drawn than peeled and chiseled away from absolute visual and moral darkness." Moving Pictures, he concludes, "suggests how art can be a lifeline to meaning at a moment when nothing seems possible but betrayal."
Wolk's write-up in the Times continues a growing mass of critical acclaim for the book, including starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly.
For more information or to order Moving Pictures (which is hot off the press and in stores nationwide), click below!
June 2, 2010 / More →
Comic Book Resources has a great new interview up with Daren White and Eddie Campbell, creators of the upcoming dry romantic comedy, The Playwright! Learn about the origins of the book (it began as a serial in Daren's anthology magazine DeeVee) and the watercolor magic that Eddie worked to create the gorgeous final product -- while never interfering with the elegant beauty of Daren's prose script. Click here to read the whole interview.
The Playwright debuts this weekend (along with BB Wolf and the 3 LPs) at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC -- so we'll see you there!
May 26, 2010 / More →
"A lot of couples who are together for a long time finish each other’s sentences... We just also happen to finish each other’s comics."
Dave Howard over at Torontoist just posted a charming and insightful interview with one of comics' great creative couples, Kathryn & Stuart Immonen. It's full of great thoughts and anecdotes about the just-released Moving Pictures, Kathryn & Stuart's amazing interpersonal drama set in a world of art smuggling and Nazi occupation.
Check out the interview here and grab your copy of Moving Pictures below!
May 25, 2010 / More →
The 2010 Bristol International Comic Expo wrapped up recently, and among the most exciting news to come out of the show are the nominees for the 2010 Eagle Awards! The Eagles, set up in 1976, focus on British and American comics but reflect fan votes from all over the world. Take a moment and add your vote!
We're proud to see the following members of the Top Shelf family honored with nominations:
Congratulations to all the nominees, and don't forget to vote (yes, you)!
May 21, 2010 / More →
If you can get cultural institutions as far apart as MTV and NPR to agree on something, it seems fair to say you've got something special on your hands. And they're both raving about The Top Shelf Swedish Invasion!
Recently the NPR home page sported this enthusiastic review by Glen Weldon of Kolbeinn Karlsson's The Troll King, by far the most wild and creative of our Swedish Invasion graphic novels. In Weldon's opinion, the book "throbs with a sort of primal, allusive, pre-verbal power," which makes it "uncannily beautiful yet defiantly unpretty." Despite the diversity of different segments that make up The Troll King, Kolbeinn's passion and creativity make the whole thing feel unified, he argues. "Karlsson's ability to tap into the mysterious and willful emotional logic of dreams ensures that everything about The Troll King feels at once unexpected and inevitable."
And now MTV's Rick Marshall follows that with a fond look at all four graphic novels in the Swedish Invasion! He has especially high praise for The 120 Days of Simon by Simon Gärdenfors, whose cartoony art is "a perfect fit for the story, taking the edge off some stories and making the whole thing seem more like a crazy adventure and less like a confessional." He also particularly liked Mats Jonsson's Hey Princess, "a great coming-of-age story that should resonate with any indie-minded readers familiar with mid-'90s culture."
Find out more about the whole wave of Swedish goodness below.
May 17, 2010 / More →
The praise continues to roll in for our upcoming book Ax (vol 1): A Collection of Alternative Manga!
Deb Aoki, the official manga guide over at About.com, got an early look and declares: "Ax goes out on a limb where most manga creators dare not go, with an undeniable energy that crackles from almost every page... it will blow your mind."
Meanwhile David Brothers at Comics Alliance has just posted his thoughts, emphasizing the vast diversity on display in the book: "Within Ax's four hundred pages are over thirty stories that explode everything you might have thought about what manga is."
Ax is currently available for pre-order below or in your local comic shop, for a July release. Don't miss it!
May 16, 2010 / More →
As graphic novels continue to find new readers, bookstores and libraries continue to launch new graphic novel collections, and they often need guidance on where to start -- which is where sites like Graphic Novel Reporter come in. They just published a "core list" of graphic novel recommendations broken down into 10 must-haves, 25 next steps, and 100 more solid picks.
Top Shelf is well represented, of course -- Craig Thompson's Blankets is one of the 10 essentials, and the following 25 include Jeff Lemire's Essex County and Kevin Cannon's Far Arden. Other picks on the GNR list include Alec: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell, From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, both Surrogates graphic novels by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, and Too Cool to Be Forgotten by Alex Robinson! Whew!
Of course, we'd argue for the inclusion of a few more -- at a minimum, to leave out indie superstars Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka seems strange, and Nate Powell's Eisner-winning Swallow Me Whole is a must -- but in general it's a solid list, filled with great books. A great place to start for casual fans and newcomers, as well as institutional buyers.
May 12, 2010 / More →
The good folks over at Time's Techland blog have posted an exclusive preview of one of the brilliant interrogation scenes from Moving Pictures, the brand-new graphic novel from Kathryn & Stuart Immonen which debuted at TCAF last weekend.
In this scene, curator Ila Gardner and Nazi officer Rolf Hauptmann exchange some tense words about the unbearable situations they've been forced into, in a dialogue thick with multiple meanings. It's a powerful experience to watch these two passionate figures struggle against the dehumanizing effects of 20th-century war, in very different ways. Check out the preview here, and click below for more details on Moving Pictures, coming soon to a store near you!
May 11, 2010 / More →
Scott Green, the anime/manga master over at nerd superblog Ain't It Cool News, is pretty excited about our upcoming release of Ax: A Collection of Alternative Manga. How excited? Well, his latest column is a 6,000-word preview-review of the book, with analyses of every artist, every story, all wrapped up in a fast-paced tour of the history of Japanese comics! You gotta check it out.
His opinion? "Top Shelf's release of Ax is a giant leap forward for manga available in English... I got chills reading it."
Hey, it's only natural to feel a few shivers when you're riding the cutting edge! Slice off your piece of the future -- pre-order Ax today!
May 6, 2010 / More →
Ontario, you're in luck! Not only are you home to rising superstar Jeff Lemire and the setting for his award-winning opus Essex County, you're also the home of the fantastically talented Kathryn & Stuart Immonen, and for the debut of their graphic novel Moving Pictures this weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)!
Come by the Top Shelf booth both Saturday and Sunday to:
- meet Kathryn & Stuart Immonen and smuggle out a brand-new copy of Moving Pictures, hot off the presses and ready to blow minds!
- congratulate Jeff Lemire on the release of the first Sweet Tooth book, and get him to sign your Essex County!
- get your super secret mission briefing from Matt Kindt and snag his latest, Super Spy (vol. 2): The Lost Dossiers!
We'll see you there, Toronto!
May 5, 2010 / More →
The Swedish Invasion continues to sweep across the internet!
First, Whitney Matheson of USA Today called out Hey Princess on her beloved Pop Candy blog, declaring Mats Jonsson "the Swedish Jeffrey Brown: very confessional and upfront about his everyday (and sexual) misadventures. Funny, relatable, honest. What's not to love?"
Then, Mark Frauenfelder reviewed The 120 Days of Simon at Boing Boing, calling it "incredibly entertaining" (and triggering a comment-thread controversy about Simon's sketchier exploits!).
If you haven't checked out these amazing autobiographies yet, now's the time!
April 26, 2010 / More →
Jeffrey Brown is crossing the border! In celebration of his new graphic novel Undeleted Scenes, Jeffrey will be appearing at Toronto's North York Central Library tonight (April 26) to discuss "the unique challenges of creating soul-bearing autobiography in comics, his development as a cartoonist and storyteller, and blurring the line between fact and fiction." The event is totally FREE and open to the public, so check it out!
It's all part of the city-wide buildup to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), May 8-9, which should be a blast. See you there, Toronto!